Which Shotgun is Right for You?

 

types of shotguns

Buying a new firearm is always exciting. 

 

Sometimes you’re looking for it to fill a specific role: concealed carry, “truck gun,” home defense, hunting, competition, or simple target practice. And sometimes, something behind the counter just catches your eye — and you have to have it.

 

Shotguns in particular tend to span those categories — other than concealed carry, of course. When it comes to shotguns, there are a few different basic types: break-action, lever-action, pump-action, and semi-auto. And each has its unique purposes and followers. 

 

Break-action Shotguns

 

These shotguns feature a receiver comprising two main parts, which are hinged together. As the name would imply, these shotguns “break” open to allow loading and unloading of shells. Break-action shotguns are most often seen used in competition and hunting. And while they can be pressed into other roles, other shotgun types are probably much better suited in those cases.

 

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Very traditional
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Lightweight at 5-6 pounds on average

 

Cons:

  • Typically very expensive, though of course there are exceptions
  • Light weight and lack of a recoiling action make for a heavier recoil
  • Manually reloading after every one or two shots is slow, making them less than ideal in a home defense situation




Lever-action Shotguns

 

With very few exceptions, you don’t see as many new lever-action shotguns these And that’s a bit of a shame. Lever-action shotguns, like lever-action rifles, load through use of a firing-hand-actuated lever that swings down from underneath the receiver and then back up. With practice, they can be cycled quite quickly. And they easily fill a number of our identified roles.

 

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Traditional
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Fairly lightweight at 7-8 pounds on average
  • Prices for new models vary from $300 to $1,500 or so

 

Cons:

  • Light weight and lack of a recoiling action make for a heavier recoil
  • Levering the action to reload after each shot does take a certain amount of time — time that’s very precious in a high-stress situation like a home invasion



Pump-action Shotguns

 

A pump-action shotgun (or slide-action shotgun) is exactly what it sounds like: The shooter must manually pump or slide the firearm’s forend back and forth to load and unload shells. Click, clack, aim, fire. 

 

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Fairly lightweight at 7-8 pounds on average
  • Inexpensive, costing between $250 and $500 for most models

 

Cons:

  • Light weight and lack of a recoiling action make for a heavier recoil
  • Because you have to pump the action after each shot, you can lose precious time in a home defense situation



Semi-auto Shotguns

 

Instead of manually inserting and extracting rounds in a break-action shotgun — or using a lever or pump to accomplish the same — semi-auto shotguns automatically eject a spent shell and load a new one each time you fire the gun (as long as your magazine has rounds). They accomplish this action through an inertia or gas-operated recoil system.

 

Inertia-based systems harness the recoil energy from a fired shell to cycle the firearm’s bolt from its closed position rearward to its open position. A recoil spring pushes the bolt forward after it reaches its most rearward position, picking up a shell and loading it into the chamber for the next shot.

 

Gas-operated recoil systems also harness the energy from a fired shell. But instead of relying solely on the recoil energy of a fired shell, they make use of the expanding gases from the burnt gunpowder. One or more small vent holes at the base of the barrel are “plumbed” into the action. Upon firing, the expanding gas causes the bolt to cycle, unloading the spent shell and loading a new one into the chamber.

 

Pros:

  • Automatic reloading allows for faster follow-up shots
  • Recoil is reduced thanks to heavier weights and a recoiling action

 

Cons:

  • Typically more expensive that other shotgun types—with break-actions being the exception
  • Heavier than most other options
  • Often more complicated than other options, which may be a concern during high-stress situations
  • Requires more maintenance due to more moving parts for firearm function

 

When choosing among the various shotgun action types, the most important thing you need to consider is finding a firearm that best fits your needs. Then learn how it operates. And practice with it regularly so you’re prepared for whatever situation you might face that requires the use of a firearm.

 

It’s also important to know your state’s gun laws so you can avoid legal concerns. 

 

Generally, break-op, lever-action, and pump-action shotguns are immune to so-called “assault-weapon laws.” Some states consider many semi-automatic shotguns “assault weapons.” And still other states don’t allow them for hunting.

 

You might also want to consider these 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Gun and What is a Non-NFA Firearm for more information.

 

Now let’s talk a little more about some of the various uses we’ve identified for these shotgun types.

 

Home Defense

 

In general, shotguns are a commonly used firearm for home protection. 

 

Main reasons include:

  • Shotguns are by and large easy to use. This is never more important than during the high-stress scenario of a home invasion. Adrenaline changes everything.
  • Because the shot spreads out after it leaves the barrel, your hit probability increases. In other words, point and shoot.
  • Stopping power is another often-cited reason for choosing a shotgun for home defense.
  • At the same time, by selecting the right size of shot, you can reduce your chances of a projectile going through a wall and injuring a family member. Shorty shells are also worth considering for recoil-sensitive users.



As we mentioned earlier, any type of shotgun can be pressed into home defense duty. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing more intimidating than the sound of racking a shotgun. That pump-action sound can, in some cases, be enough to scare off an intruder before you have to take any further action. 

 

Mossberg and Remington are among the most popular pump shotguns used for home defense. You can also check out these Top 5 Firearm Accessories for Home Defense. 

 

A semi-automatic gives you faster trigger action, but when your adrenaline is pumping during a moment of defense, you may be more likely to go through all your rounds quickly. Training and practice are vital with any home defense firearm. Especially with a semi-auto.

 

While not technically a shotgun, a great semi-auto choice for home defense is the Remington V3 Tac 13, which is made with the Shockwave Raptor Grip






Fun

 

We’ve talked a lot about high-stress situations you could find yourself in. But let’s not forget that shooting firearms can be a lot of fun. 

 

For those who enjoy skeet or clay target shooting — whether just for target practice or for competition — any of the shotgun types we listed at the beginning of this article can be used. However, many competitions prescribe which type and number of shells can be used.

 

But if we’re talking strictly recreational shooting, lever- and pump-action shotgun are good for shooting single targets. However they can be slower and more distracting when you’re trying to shoot multiple targets moving across the open sky.

 

If you plan to shoot clay pigeons for longer periods of time, a semi-automatic may be a good fit. Its lower recoil won’t wear out your shoulder as quickly. But semi-autos do tend to be heavier firearms.

 

Hunting

 

While many would consider hunting to be a fun activity, we’ve given it its own section here. 

 

Again, any of the described shotgun types can be pressed into hunting duty. The choice is largely up to you. Certain state and local laws will likely specify type, gauge, and number of shells for taking various game.

 

The semi-automatic shotgun may be preferred (when legal to use) thanks to the capability of fast follow-up shots and lower recoil.

 

However, lever- and pump-action shotguns may be preferred when shooting in harsh conditions (higher altitudes, cold or hot temperatures, etc.). They’re also known to be less sensitive to load variability and ammo condition.

 

Finally, there’s little that’s more traditional when it comes to hunting than walking across a dewy morning field searching for upland game birds with an over-under 28-gauge broken open in the crook of your arm.

What is a non-NFA firearm?

What does it take to innovate a stubby little firearm that shoots 12- and 20-gauge shotgun shells—that isn’t classified as a short-barreled shotgun? A little creativity and a rebellious attitude to disrupt the firearms market. And that’s exactly what Len Savage of Historic Arms did in the late 00s / early 10s. He came up with the whole idea of what many would later term the “not a shotgun.”

 

Len Savage is first and foremost an American. He’s also an incredibly smart firearms designer and businessman. He’s been called as a subject matter expert on several high-profile trials that have involved the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives). Because of his encyclopedic knowledge of firearms and the overwhelming, often-contradictory myriad of laws, orders, rulings, findings, letters, etc. that have come out of the ATF over the years, those cases never really worked out for the ATF. In other words, let’s just say he’s not exactly on their Christmas card list. 

 

Mr. Savage didn’t make the rules. And he certainly doesn’t break them. But sometimes he finds new solutions to meet the rules in unique ways that give firearms owners what they want while making things a bit more hassle-free for them. And that’s what he did with the “not a shotgun” concept.

 

Such a firearm would allow buyers to make a quick purchase at their local dealer without all the extra paperwork and waiting on NFA tax stamps. Pricing could also be kept fairly low on such a simple firearm, making it a no-brainer for buyers looking for a compact yet powerful firearm for home defense.

 

Hearing about the “not a shotgun” idea in the early 10s, the founder of Shockwave Technologies contacted Mr. Savage and discussed plans for introducing a new birdshead grip for the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 firearm families. As it turned out, the Raptor™ Grip’s length was perfect for making the “not a shotgun” a reality with a 14” barrel, an overall length of over 26”, and built on a receiver that had never had a stock attached to it. However, because of Mr. Savage’s “history” with the ATF, he wasn’t about to bring such a product to market. He didn’t trust them. He loves his dog too much. And his freedom.

 

NFA Firearm vs Non-NFA Firearm

 

But maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s back up for a minute. Before we can get into what a “not a shotgun” (a.k.a. a non-NFA firearm) is, we should consider what makes an NFA firearm an NFA firearm—and requires an NFA tax stamp—in the first place. Because the definition is more about what it’s not than what it is.

 

Regardless of the 18” barrel length rule, to be an NFA short-barreled shotgun (SBS), a firearm must first be a shotgun. Meaning, it has to be designed to be fired from the shoulder. Since the “not a shotgun” isn’t designed to be fired from the shoulder, it can’t be an SBS.

 

One of the key features of an NFA Any Other Weapon (AOW) is that it must be capable of being concealed on a person. And the ATF defines that capability as being less than 26” in overall length. Since the “not a shotgun” is over 26” long, it can’t be an AOW either.

 

The NFA makes an exemption for firearms firing fixed shotgun shells. So it also can’t be classified a Destructive Device (DD).

 

So what the hell is it? Simply put, it’s just a firearm — one not subject to the NFA tax stamp requirements.

 

Shockwave Came into the Story

 

Shockwave Technologies began selling the Raptor Grip in 2011. The unique angle of the Raptor Grip minimizes felt recoil, allowing maximum control shot after shot. Small businesses and individual customers alike began buying the Raptor Grips and building their own “not a shotgun” creations. Len Savage enjoyed many long walks with his dog.

 

With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, you may remember that the firearms market took a bit of a nosedive. Manufacturers were looking for new, innovative products to boost sales. That’s when Mossberg and Remington came knocking on Shockwave’s door. And the rest is history, as they say.

 

With a short 14-inch barrel and the Raptor Grip, the Mossberg 590 Shockwave was the first to hit the market. Because it didn’t feature a buttstock, wasn’t intended to be fired from the shoulder, and was over 26 inches in overall length, the Mossberg 590 Shockwave was classified as a non-NFA firearm by the ATF.

 

The next up was the Remington 870 TAC-14. Similar to the Mossberg 590 Shockwave, the TAC-14 sported a 14-inch barrel, Shockwave Raptor Grip, and overall length of just over 26 inches. It too was found to be a non-NFA firearm by the ATF.

 

Since then, Mossberg has introduced versions of their 590 Shockwave in 20- and .410 gauges. Likewise, Remington has brought a 20-gauge version of the TAC-14 to market in recent years.

 

One of the newest innovations is the Remington V3 TAC-13. This unique non-NFA firearm is semi-auto, making it softer recoiling thanks to the Versaport gas system. It features a 13” contoured barrel, the Shockwave Raptor Grip with our new Shockwave QD1 cup. It’s a bit more expensive than the other “not a shotguns.” But it transfers just like any Title 1 firearm.

 

Build Your Own Shockwave

 

Did you know you can build your own “Shockwave”? 

If you own a Mossberg 500/590, Maverick 88, or Remington 870 (see which firearms are compatible) and, critically, it’s never had a stock on it, all you have to do is install a Raptor Grip and 14” barrel on it. 

 

Of course, gun owners should be sure to check their state and local laws first to make sure a “not a shotgun” is legal in their area.  

 

Specifications of the Mossberg 590 Shockwave:

 

 

Specifications of the Remington 870 TAC-14:

 

 

Specifications of the Remington V3 TAC-13:

 

  • Type: Semi-automatic gas operated, non-NFA firearm
  • Gauge: 12
  • Chamber: 3 in.
  • Barrel: 13 in.
  • Overall Length: 26.5 in.
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Grip: Shockwave Technologies Raptor™ grip
  • Forend: Remington
  • Sight: Bead sight
  • Barrel Type: Cylinder bore
  • Capacity: 5 rounds
  • Price: $933
  • Manufacturer: Remington

Shockwave Technologies Product Review by Shotgun Nation

We’re proud to feature a review of our products from Shotgun Nation. Check out the video below or watch it on YouTube here.

 

 

In this video, Shotgun Nation reviews installation and tests out performance of these quality Shockwave Technologies products:

 

These products are also available for the Remington 870 and Remington Tac 14:

 

Raptor F1 Forend/Heatshield

The Raptor™ F1 Forend/Heatshield is available for Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870. It features glass reinforced polymer, an integrated removable heat shield, 10 M-LOK® slots, front and rear hand stops and sights. The heat shield prevents burns from the hot barrel of the shotgun. Also featured in the video is our Forend Nut Removal Tool available for the Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 12-gauge. 

 

Raptor™ Grip

Created for the Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870, the Raptor™ Grip is made of super-tough glass-filled polymer and provides an enhanced texture to give a great hold on your firearm. This video features an installation of the Raptor™ Grip on a Mossberg 590 and fits a variety of firearms listed here. The Raptor Grip is also available for Remington 870

 

Raptor™ Strap Kit

Designed for the Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 forends, the Raptor™ Strap Kit includes the strap, attachment hardware and detailed instructions with full-size template. A quick installation is demonstrated in the video. 

 

Blade® 2M Pistol Stabilizer

The video shows the Blade 2M Pistol Stabilizer and the new feature that sets it apart from the original version: the ability to easily adjust the stabilizer. This product fits all pistols equipped with a Mil-spec buffer tube to provide additional support during firing. 

 

All Shockwave Technologies products are proudly veteran designed and made in the U.S.A. Special thanks to Shotgun Nation for demoing our products. Follow along for more of their awesome content here

 

To enter the Shotgun Nation contest to win any of the items reviewed in the video, be sure to join the Sluglife Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/sluglife and like our Shockwave Technologies Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ShockwaveTechnologies



Which Firearms are Compatible with Shockwave?

What makes Shockwave™ Technologies’ line of products so great is not only the unparalleled quality of the items, but that they’re also Made in America and veteran designed, engineered, marketed, and sold. Check out some of our popular product lines at Shockwave Technologies and experience the difference yourself. Find out which firearms are compatible with Shockwave below.

 

Shockwave™ Raptor™ Product Line

 

Raptor™ Grip 

Shockwave raptor grip
The unique angle of the Raptor™ Grip minimizes felt recoil, allowing maximum control shot after shot. Paired with the Raptor F1™ Forend, you gain a great hold on your firearm with their enhanced texture. The glass-filled polymer construction is virtually indestructible.The Raptor™ Grip is compatible with both 12-gauge and 20-gauge firearms with 18.5”, 20”, and longer barrels.

 

Our Raptor™ Grip 500/590 is compatible with:

  • Mossberg 500 12-gauge firearms (aka 500A)
  • Mossberg 500 20-gauge firearms (aka 500C)
  • Mossberg 590 and 590A1 firearms (12-gauge)
  • Mossberg 510 Mini firearms (12- and 20-gauges)
  • Mossberg 835 firearms (12- and 20-gauges)
  • Mossberg 535 firearms (12- and 20-gauges)
  • Mossberg 600 (New Haven) firearms (12- and 20-gauges)
  • Maverick 88 (12- and 20-gauges)
  • Coast to Coast model CC 660 Master Mag (12- and 20 gauges)
  • Mossberg 590A1 and 500 Compact Cruiser AOW

 

Our Raptor™ Grip 870 and Raptor™ Grip for 870 with QD is compatible with:

  • Remington 870 12-gauge firearms
  • New England Firearms (NEF) Pardner Pump Protector 12-gauge
  • Harrington & Richardson (H&R) Pardner Pump 12-gauge
  • Protector 12-gauge
  • Interstate Arms Corp (IAC) Hawk Model 98 12-gauge
  • Interstate Arms Corp (IAC) Hawk Model 982 12-gauge
  • Interstate Arms Corp (IAC) Hawk Model 981R 12-gauge

 

Our Raptor Grip 870 for 20-gauge and Raptor™ Grip for 870 with QD is compatible with:

  • Remington 870 20-gauge firearms
  • New England Firearms (NEF) Pardner Pump Protector 20-gauge
  • Harrington & Richardson (H&R) Pardner Pump 20-gauge
  • Protector 20-gauge
  • Interstate Arms Corp (IAC) Hawk Model 98 20-gauge
  • Interstate Arms Corp (IAC) Hawk Model 982 20-gauge
  • Interstate Arms Corp (IAC) Hawk Model 981R 20-gauge

 

Our Raptor™ Grip 500E is compatible with:

  • Mossberg 500E .410 gauge firearms 
  • Mossberg 590E .410 gauge firearms



Raptor™ F1 Forend

Raptor™ F1 Forend
The cutting-edge design of the Shockwave Raptor™ F1 forend meets improved handling and fast target acquisition. A bolt-on replacement for your factory or aftermarket forend.

 

Compatible with:

  • Mossberg 500 12-gauge
  • Mossberg 590 12-gauge
  • Mossberg 590 Shockwave 12-gauge
  • Remington 870 12-gauge
  • Remington Tac 14 12-gauge

 

Features include:

  • A total of 10 M-LOK® slots for mounting lights,vertical grips, angled grips, Picatinny rails, and more
  • The optional upper heat shield to prevents burns and offers rifle sights for fast target acquisition
  • Rugged glass-reinforced polymer
  • Lightweight
  • Extra length lets you personalize forward handhold
  • Ribbed inset area provides secure gripping
  • Front and rear handstops improve safety
  • Veteran designed



Raptor™ Forend Tool

Raptor™ Forend Tool

If you’ve ever tried to remove or install a forend nut on a pump-action shotgun, you know how frustrating that can be — and the potential damage to your gun. Whether the nut protrudes or is recessed, and no matter how long your magazine tube, you can now quickly and easily reach it. The nut tool works for all forends including the Streamlight TL-Racker forend. Replace your forend in under two minutes.

 

The Shockwave Technologies Raptor™ Forend Nut tool is made for Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 Forends. One side fits Mossberg 500/590, and the other Remington 870 and Hawk 982 12-gauge firearms.





Raptor™ Strap Kit

Raptor™ Strap Kit

The Raptor™ Strap kit includes the strap, attachment hardware, and detailed instructions with full-size template. It’s easy and quick to install in about 10 minutes. And it improves handling immensely!

 

The Raptor™ Strap is designed for the tactical forearm, but will also fit the standard handguard. It will also fit other shotgun models from other manufacturers.

 

The Raptor™ Strap kit is compatible with:

  • Mossberg 500 forends
  • Mossberg 590 forends
  • Remington 870 forends
  • Magpul forends
  • Shockwave Raptor F1™ forends






Shockwave Blade® Product Line



Blade® 

 

Made from high-strength glass-reinforced polymer, the Blade® is manufactured to exacting tolerances and fits all pistols equipped with a standard AR-15 pistol buffer tube (up to 1.25? in diameter). Just slip it on and tighten the large set screw for a rock-solid installation.

 

Blade® fits all pistols equipped with a standard AR-15 pistol buffer tube (up to 1.25? in diameter) AR pattern, Glock, CZ Scorpion Evo 3, HK9X pattern, etc.

 

Features include:

  • Available in black, flat dark earth, OD green, and stealth gray
  • Quick and easy to install.
  • Provides additional support during firing.
  • Weighs a scant 5.0 ounces.
  • ATF approved for pistol use 








Blade® 2M 

Shockwave Blade® 2M 

Made from high-strength glass-reinforced polymer, the adjustable Blade® 2M pistol stabilizer is manufactured to exacting tolerances and fits all pistols equipped with a Mil-spec buffer tube. Just slip it on and lock in place.  Adjusts with a simple finger lever.

 

Compatible with all pistols equipped with a Mil-spec buffer tube: 

  • AR-15 pattern
  • MPX
  • Glock
  • CZ Scorpion Evo 3
  • HK9X pattern
  • etc.

 

Features include:

  • Available in black, flat dark earth, OD green, and stealth gray
  • Quick and easy to install.
  • Provides additional support during firing.
  • Weighs a scant 4.0 ounces.
  • ATF approved for pistol use 





Shockwave ZMAG™ Product Line

 

30 Round ZMAG™ and 50 Round ZMAG™

30 Round ZMAG™ and 50 Round ZMAG™

The design of the all-metal 30-round Shockwave ZMAG™ and 50-round Shockwave ZMAG™  for the Cobray/SWD M-11 (9mm and .380) is head and shoulders above the competition. 

 

The Shockwave ZMAG™ fits and functions in all M-11 guns that originally shipped with the Zytel magazines:

  • SWD M-11/NINE Submachine Gun (9mm)
  • SWD SM-11/NINE Semi-Auto Pistol (9mm)
  • SWD SM-11/NINE Semi-Auto Carbine (9mm)
  • SWD M11-A1 Submachine Gun (.380)
  • SWD SM-12/380 Semi-Auto Pistol (.380)
  • LEINAD / FMJ PM-11/NINE AWB-Compliant Semi-Auto Pistol (9mm)
  • LEINAD / FMJ PM-12/380 AWB-Compliant Semi-Auto Pistol (.380)
  • LEINAD CM-11/NINE AWB-Compliant Semi-Auto Carbine (9mm)
  • LEINAD TM-11/NINE AWB-Compliant Thompson-Style Semi-Auto Carbine (9mm)

 

Some exclusive features include:

 

  • Mag stop is a go/no-go feature in our opinion. It prevents over-inserting a mag into your gun and bending your ejector rod, which can quickly ruin your day at the range.
  • Robust, high-reliability feedlips are designed for optimal ammunition feeding. If you have a feedramp that’s out of spec, resolve your feeding issues once and for all with the super-reliable ZMAG.
  • Anti-tilt, low-friction polymer follower ensures the utmost in reliability.
  • Wolff spring improves feeding reliability.
  • Compatibility with the factory Cobray loader and the Butler Creek Uplula lets you easily load your ZMAGs.
  • Works with all stock designs, including the factory folding stock.
  • Ammo witness holes on the left side of the ZMAG allow you to see remaining ammo at a glance.
  • Optimally placed mag catch hole.
  • Rugged black Cerakote finish will protect your ZMAGs for decades to come. 

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.