What is a Shorty Shotshell


What is a shorty shotshell?


A shorty shotshell is a shotgun shell about half the length of a traditional shell. Simple right? Well, this little shotgun shell has a lot more bang for its buck than it appears. 


Shorty shotshells are also known as: 

  • short shotshells 
  • shorty shells 
  • mini shells
  • mini shotshells


Are there different sizes of short shotshells? Yes. But it’s debatable whether you can even consider anything other than a 1.75-inch shotshell a true shorty shell. Brands that sell the popular 1.75-inch shells include Federal Shorty Shotshells, Aguila Minishell®, and Challenger Shortshell. Other sizes of shorter-than-normal shells include a 2.25-inch shell from Nobel Sport and a 2.5-inch shell from Kent — but again, these sizes are only a quarter (or so) of an inch smaller than a traditional shell, so they’re not typically considered shorty shells. 


Why do gun owners love using shorty shotshells? Let’s just say it’s got a lot to do with recoil, capacity of rounds, and penetration.



How is a shorty shell different from a traditional shotgun shell?


As mentioned previously, shorty shells are typically 1.75-inches long, rather than 2.75-inches with traditional shotgun shells. 


These mini shells have a much lower recoil — meaning you can enjoy firing away without as much shoulder jolt (and soreness) from that heavy shotgun kick. Low recoil is perfect for young folks learning to shoot or for specific practice purposes. They also allow for more load capacity in your shotgun. A Mossberg 590 Shockwave can typically hold five shells in the tube, but you can fit in about eight mini shells. Of course the amount of shorty shells you can fit in a feeding tube depends on the size of your shotgun. In a nutshell: the larger your shotgun tube, the more rounds you can enjoy, responsibly. We’ll “cheers” to that.



Which shotgun shell should you use for home defense?


There is some debate over whether shorty shotshells are best used for home defense, hunting, training, or entertainment. But while we agree that shooting with shorty shells are pretty damn fun to shoot in a Mossberg 500/590 and Mossberg Shockwave 12 gauge with an Opsol Mini Clip, they have a much bigger purpose than mere entertainment. 


Mini shells with buckshot are typically used for home and personal defense — which is in line with all of Shockwave’s products. They don’t blow a huge hole in the wall because they have a more narrow and targeted area of penetration. They also have less power and velocity (but enough of it to a perfect fit for home defense). When it comes to Shockwave, we believe buckshot shorty shells are the way to go. 

shorty shells in a mossberg 590


Even OPSol Mini Clip announces, “Home Defense for the Whole Family in 3 Easy Steps: 1. Mossberg 590 Shockwave, 2. OPSol Mini-Clip 2.0 Flex, 3. Buckshot MiniShells,” on the front page of their website. So if you have all three of those, you’re all set to protect your home and loved ones.



Which shotgun shell should you use for hunting?


Depending on what you’re wanting to hunt, you can find a variety of shotshell sizes that are loaded with different types of shot: buckshot, bird shot, or slugs. 


While shorty shells are great for target practice and skeet shooting to prepare for your hunting trip, traditional shotgun shells have a longer shot range and velocity (hence, more recoil) that you might consider using during your hunting venture. 



Are there specific guns that take shorty shells?


Most pump shotguns use mini shells but have been known to have some issues with short-cycling. However, the best shotguns that seem to use shorty shells flawlessly is the Mossberg 500/590 and Mossberg 590 Shockwave series with an OPSol Mini Clip, as mentioned previously. 


The OPSol Mini Clip only goes on Mossberg firearms and is specifically designed so that you can use short shells without jams. Mini shells fit nicely in the bottom of this shotgun and prevents the shells from getting crooked, flipped, or out of place when cycling. 

With less recoil, mini shells work great with the ergonomic design of the Raptor™ Grip, allowing for a more fun and overall better shooting experience. 


Introducing NEW Raptor Grip Colors

Shockwave’s Raptor™ Grips are Back in Black… and FDE, OD green, and gray. These four colors match the new forends and heat shields, and allow you to customize your firearm to fit your personal style. And we won’t fail to mention that this product has been manufactured by Shockwave Technologies LLC in the USA…. a.k.a. MADE IN AMERICA. None of that foreign crap. That’s just one of the simple ways we like to show our patriotism. 


With the enhanced texture of the Raptor™ Grip, you’ve never held onto your firearm with as much confidence and control for both safety and comfort. Its unique angle minimizes felt recoil, allowing for maximum control shot after shot. It’s also constructed with a glass-filled polymer, making it virtually indestructible. Now that’s the kind of quality you can’t get in a foreign product. 


Whether you want to call this new style a bird’s head grip, witness protection grip, chicken head grip, border patrol grip, or entry-style grip… it’s really just one badass grip made for a badass gun owner.


These are the Raptor™ Grips on the Remington TAC-14, Remington v3 TAC-13 and Mossberg 590 Shockwave line for home and personal defense.


Learn more about the Raptor™ Grip R870 and Raptor™ Grip M500/590.



Why are ergonomics important in firearm design?


If you’ve never thought about what ergonomics are or why they’re important, I’m about to change your perspective on gun purchasing forever.


While most people think of ergonomics in the workplace, they also matter to products we love to use — like firearms. In the firearms world, a product that’s ergonomic means it’s been designed to fit the user in a safer, more comfortable, and more practical way. 


Why is that important? Because, believe it or not, ergonomics affect your entire body. When shooting a gun, you hold your body and arms in a specific position to have proper sight/picture alignment, firearm control, and recoil management. However slight, poor ergonomics of a firearm can have a significant impact on your musculoskeletal system, which controls your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. If you go to the shooting range often or spend a good chunk of time doing target practice, a gun without good ergonomic design can cause muscle stress, fatigue, discomfort, pain, or even injury. 


Shockwave’s Raptor™ Grips are specifically designed with ergonomics (and you) in mind. Our grips make it easier for gun owners to use their firearms safely, effectively, and comfortably with decreased risk of musculoskeletal injury. 

Raptor™ Grip vs. pistol grip


As you know, the grip is the part of the firearm you grasp with your hand to operate the trigger. Some grips even serve multiple functions, such as stabilizing the gun and providing storage for magazines, bipods, or tools. But some grips are better than others.


When it comes to choosing a Raptor™ Grip over a pistol grip, which one do you choose? We may be biased, but we’ll give you the basic breakdown on why the Raptor™ Grip is the best choice.


A pistol grip aligns your wrist in a straight up- and down, thumbs-up position, completely perpendicular to the direction of recoil. As a result, the recoil goes straight into your wrist joint—and can hurt like hell when you fire a heavy-recoiling shotgun. 


Here’s a video of someone using a pistol grip where you can see how his wrist is perpendicular to the recoil direction. 


With the Raptor™ Grip, you hold the grip in a more natural position, with your thumb pointed forward so your wrist is not kinked back into that vertical thumbs-up position. With the Raptor™ Grip, the recoil is transferred along your forearm, through the elbow, into your bicep, and finally into your shoulder and body. You feel much less recoil. And since you just read about the importance of great ergonomic design, this fits the bill perfectly. 


Here’s a video of someone using Shockwave’s Raptor™ Grip where you can see how his wrist is forward.


When it comes to choosing a grip, this should be your takeaway: due to poor ergonomics,  you are much more likely to do serious damage to your hand and wrist with a pistol-grip shotgun that one outfitted with the Shockwave Raptor™ Grip.


Comfort and control are crucial when it comes to handling a firearm to prevent injury. So choose the Raptor™ Grip


As seen in..


Did you know the Raptor™ Grip has been featured in popular movies?  Because it’s badass.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Raptor Grip

In early 2013, an armorer for the Hand Prop Room in Los Angeles contacted Shockwave. This armorer mentioned they were building some custom props for a Planet of the Apes sequel and wanted to know if we had a Raptor™ Grip for the Remington 870. At the time, we didn’t have any production units for sale, so we sent him a couple of R&D samples taken off of the RTV mold. We occasionally supply Shockwave items to various movie outfits but don’t always hear back. But the Raptor™ Grip R870 was seen on the big screen as the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie was released.

John Shaft II Raptor Grip

The Mossberg 590 Shockwave equipped with our Raptor™ grip was seen in the movie John Shaft II, starring Samuel L. Jackson. And what’s more badass than that? Come on.

Why buy from Shockwave Technologies? 


It’s simple. Our products are Made in the USA and our ergonomic-enhancing products stand the test of time. No BS here.


We provide innovative tactical accessories for pistols and shotguns. Our firearm accessories are made with high-quality materials and finishes, from Cerakoted stainless steel to our glass-filled polymer construction. We value quality and guarantee our products for life. Veteran designed, engineered, marketed, and sold.


Shockwave Raptor™ Grips come in in four colors: black, OD green, FDE, and gray. Learn more about Shockwave Technologies and our products.