Mini Shells for HD Shotty?

I am wondering if anyone who has a Home Defense shotgun has tested out any mini shells.

I currently have not, so I have no experience with them, but I am curious. A buddy of mine keeps his HD Shotty loaded with mini shells, but he has not actually tested them out to even see if they will feed properly. He took the advice from a friend of a cousin who knows somebody whose Dad has a friend who…Well, you get the picture.

I have advised my buddy to go out and shoot them to see what they will do. Will they feed? Will they pattern correctly? what is the recoil like? He has not, to my knowledge, done any of this and is still completely in the dark in regard to how the shells function. He just took someone’s advice and loaded up. He isn’t too bright.

I have also seen that Mossberg has come out with a variant of their 590 which is built to use mini shells. Seems logical if it was built for that type of shell, it should function correctly.

All I have used in my HD Shotty, A Remington 870 Tactical, are 2 3/4 and 3 inch shells in 00 Buck, #4 Buck, Foster Slugs and a few Remington Accu-tip slugs. I don’t know if a mini shell will even feed properly.

What are your thoughts?


I have not purchased, acquired, or tested mini shells. And I have zero intention of ever doing so.

Regular ‘full size’ shells are what is known, available, proven, and what almost every shotgun was designed to function with. A shotgun isn’t my go-to for home defense but I do have a couple setup such that they could be used this way and I am comfortable, should that be the firearm I reach for or end up with, that having 5-8 shells of 2 3/4" buck in the shotgun plus at least four more on a side saddle will result in ammo count not being a limiting factor…and capacity is the only possibly upside I can see that might draw a person to mini shells for HD


I agree running the tried-and-true full sized shells is the preferred option and my HD Shotty is loaded for bear, so to speak. My Wife’s HD Shotty is also a Remington 870. Hers though, is an Express 20 gauge youth model. I have her mag tube extended out and it will accept 11 rounds. Six on a side saddle, six in a butt cuff. All that ammo makes hers too heavy for her to operate safely. She has Fibromyalgia and even her pistol is hard for her to hold sometimes. Good days, bad days.

I guess I am wondering most about the recoil of the mini shells. Being low brass and lighter payload, she should be able to handle it better than a full sized load.

Thank you for the response. Good info.


Honestly with weight of the gun as well as recoil being such a concern I’d be very tempted to go with a .22lr. Something like a 15-22 running CCI Mini Mags for example, minimally setup with just a dot and that’s it or maybe a foregrip as desired


She does have a scoped Marlin Model 60 she can bring home the bacon with. Well. SQUIRRELL, actually.

Not specifically for home defense but is another tool in the toolbox.


I have no personal experience with mini shells but do remember an article a year or so ago that said some model shotguns can run them but others need to be modified to use them reliably.

I can see them being useful at home defense distances from an increased capacity and reduced recoil standpoint. But I’d want to pattern them at various distances and make sure they functioned flawlessly before counting on them in a self defense situation.


I concur. I just haven’t found anyone with any real world experience other than a few YouTube Gurus who have had good and bad experiences on the range. There is nothing about anyone actually using them in a home defense situation.


I haven’t heard anything in terms of people or preferable agencies using them. Though I’m not an SD shotgun guy so I haven’t looked very hard.

I’m all for using new technology for gaining advantages but when it comes to PPE I prefer not to be a too early adopter. At least until there is enough solid info out there to know that something actually works as advertised.


If you have a shotgun that can run them then it is awesome because of the number of rounds that can be utilized with the shorter hulls.


Use Aguilar mini slugs in my maverick with a OPSoL mini-clip adaptor. Haven’t tried any other brand. You need to be proficient with a pump as any short stroke screws the pooch. That said they run fine for me.


While I like the idea of the mini shells, my Mossberg would require installing an adaptor.
I will stick with full size shells. Already patterned and I am quite comfortable with them.


brother BruceE,
I bring NOTHING to the table here. ZIP, NADA!
Zero knowledge/Experience w/ Mini shells.
But Nathan57 brings up some excellent points
w/ the .22. My Sister has rotator Cuff issues, Lefty and of course left side
Rotator (figures) Life hands you Lemons and you are allergic to Lemon-aid :crazy_face:
She really likes these guns Sir.
In stockHeritage Rough Rider Revolver - .22 LR / .22 Mag Combo, 4.75" Blued with Wood Grips

Heritage Rough Rider Revolver - .22 LR / .22 Mag Combo, 4.75" Blued with Wood Grips




.22 MAGNUM is NOT a dinky little gun.
Comes w/ (2) cylinders LR and magnum, accurate AF! low recoil , I pity the fool who comes up against her w/ this. (6) rounds each. It ain’t a shotty be handles well for her condition and THAT’s what counts for US.
I believe I said much of this recently but she really loves that revolver. She ‘Prefers’ my lil Taurus G3c, (12) rounds/ Sig V crown filled, she can ‘rack’ it easily/changes mags like a Seal (her trainer is pretty good :rofl:) but when the rotator gets to her I hear her swapping out the G3c for the Rough Ryder
editors note: she always keeps one gun by her on the couch when she Crochet’s :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: makes it easier to leave the house when I have to.
Her former shotgun is my side by side (12) ga. Iver Johnson s/s, 20" barrel It was just too much to handle anymore
she’s a 'pistolero ’ now!

It was ONLY 101 here today! I knew you were curious… :innocent:


This is troubling. Why depend on something untested when danger calls?
If he’s going to take advise, he should take it from you.
I suspect that the attraction of minishells is lower recoil and more rounds in the magazine.
Both of which are useless for HD if they won’t feed reliably.
Take his butt to the range and test those shells.


If someone can’t handle the recoil of a standard 12 gauge drop to a 20. Using ammo A weapon is NOT designed to feed is asking for problems-problems you certainly WON’T want if you actually need to fire your weapon. My 12bore holds 6 rounds of Winchester PDX (1 oz slug and 3 OO). I’m of the Cooper school. If six or seven rounds won’t stop a couple goblins you don’t need more ammo, you need to learn to shoot😏


My thinking is they are only 100% reliable in a single shot or double shotgun that has no action other than eject. That is unless there are others out that are designed especially for them. :us:


20 gauge is a tried alternative----LAPD issue 20s back in the day. Of course now they use 12s. Wait. What?