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Another day another mini shell. That was my reaction scrolling through a social media group dedicated to shotguns. A fella was showing off and talking about a new mini shell I’ve never heard of.

These are 2-inch slugs he was talking about. In the past, we’ve tested 1.75-inch shells and 2.5-inch shells, so these were something new. These 2-inch shells are made by a Ukranian company called Takho (no, I don’t know their current status given Russian hostilities). I asked where to buy, got a response, and bought a case ASAP.

This tiny little fella seemd interesting (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I’m glad I did because they are now sold out. Prinz Technologies sold the shells, and they seem to have a variety of eastern European shells from various companies. I’m excited to see what ammo pops out of those areas and will probably purchase a bit to test and experiment with, anyway, back to the 2-inch slugs.

These rounds are apparently made for practice for ‘Practical’ shotgun competition and practice.

They aren’t messing around (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I’m not familiar with Practical shotgun, but I want to be. I love shotguns, so this seems like a sport for me. Practical shotgun is likely popular overseas, where shotguns are relatively less restricted compared to rifles and handguns.

These 2-inch slugs give you a short, light recoiling round. One of the benefits seems to be the ability to shove more rounds in the always limited shotgun magazine tube.

How Many 2-Inch Slugs Can We Shove In There?

So how many extra rounds can I fit in a gun? Well, in my seven-shot 590A1, I was able to shove nine shells in there. In my six-shot 870, I was able to fit eight. In my Mossberg 930 SPX with a seven-round tube…I could only fit eight.

They are just a hair shorter, but every fraction of an inch matters. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

It seems like an extra two might be a general rule of thumb, but it isn’t hard and fast and will be dependent on your shotgun. I can see the benefit for competitions where shotgun reloading is a huge time suck, so more rounds means less reloading.

Do The 2-inch Slugs Cycle?

I get really excited any time I hit the range with a shotgun and some new rounds to try. Shotguns are like science to me, and I’m interested in seeing what new rounds can do. I started with the Mossberg 930 SPX. I know 1.75-inch mini shells won’t cycle in the 903, but 2.5-inch shells most certainly will. How would the 2-inch slugs hold up?

Skeletonized lifters provide some difficulty. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Sadly, they didn’t cycle either. They fired, but the bolt didn’t travel far enough rearward to eject the shell and pick up the next round. When I hand-cycled the shells, they popped out with ease. I tried several times and never got the gun to cycle.

Next up was the Mossberg 590A1. I pumped the slide and immediately had a failure. The shell rotated and twisted and landed in the skeletonized lifter with the shell hanging out of the bottom of the receiver. No bueno.

Standard lifters work better (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Ooh boy, maybe this would work with the OPSol mini clip or with 590S series guns, but they challenged the 590A1. Nevertheless, I fixed the malfunction and fired all nine rounds without issue.

I found out that as long as you work the slide from the firing position, the 2-inch shells cycle reliably. If you pump the gun in any other position, you risked the flip, flop, and the shell hanging out the bottom of the gun.

The Best Gun For the Task

Since the skeletonized lifter wasn’t optimal, I grabbed the classic 870 with its standard shell lift. That was the ticket.

The rounds ran without issue. I put a whole box of 25 shells through the 870 without issue, then put a few more through the TX3 12HD I recently reviewed. Both have standard lifters and had zero issues cycling the 2-inch slugs.

The Mossberg 590A1 mostly worked (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I worked the action in the low ready, in the high ready, at the hip, and in the firing position, and it didn’t malfunction. I worked the action fast. I worked it slow. The shells always fed. Not a bad deal.

One advantage I found using the small shells and the big loading ports is the ease of reloading. Shotgun reloads are famously slow. The Takho mini shells are the perfect size for a fast reload. Hear me out…they are big enough to easily grab, and the ports on most guns are made for 3-inch shells. That extra inch space gives you room for mistakes and makes it more intuitive for reloads.

Accuracy and Recoil

The Takho 2-inch mini slugs made a 12 gauge a tame kitten. I’d imagine the velocity is quite slow, and there isn’t a lot of powder. The Aguila mini slugs have more recoil than these 2-inch mini slugs, and those bad boys hit with the same velocity as a .44 Magnum.

Recoil was soft and sweet (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I can’t imagine these slugs are breaking 1,000 feet per second. Sadly, I can’t find velocity information anywhere. I found some Short Practice branded slugs in a Takho catalog from 2018 that lists the velocity over 1,200 feet per second. That slug has a polymer core. I can’t see these loads throwing the ¾ ounce slugs at 1,200 feet per second.

This three shot group at 25 yards wasn’t too bad (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I tossed in a round of Federal birdshot mini shells, and the difference between the two was minor. The 2-inch mini slugs produced just a hair more oomph than the birdshot rounds, and that was it.

At 50 yards it opened up a little (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The box says the effective range is 45 meters. That’s fairly short for a slug. I took them out to 25 yards and 50 yards. At 25 yards, accuracy was fantastic with a three-shot load only making two holes. At 50 yards, things spread out a bit more.

They are cute little fellas (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I couldn’t see myself using these to hunt or for defensive use. Maybe popping coyotes or something similar, but not for serious work.

More Minishells and 2-inch Slugs

I hate hearing someone ask if a semi-auto can use mini shells, but I do enjoy shooting them. I think they’re a great option and bring me some fun at the range. I’d be curious to see how 2-inch buckshot works. Maybe Number 1 buck with a little more velocity. It might be a good load for light work. Sadly, these 2-inch slugs are sold out for the time being, but I hope they make a comeback sooner than later. Given what’s going on in Ukraine right now, though, I’m not optimistic.


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  1. i like that certified sticker.
    maybe these will cycle through a 37; the smaller ones do not.

  2. If you’re going to play shotgun games ala 3Gun they’ll have to run in an auto unless you are in Heavy Metal. I’ve not seen any that ran in a Benelli. I do have some home brews that run an 1100 and a Benelli but in the wild they are a rare bird and took lots of work and niche components.

  3. Yes, I can agree with much of this article.
    Especially the part about cycling,
    Depending on which shotgun I use, out of the hunting class or the combat styles I have, they perform differently.
    Myself, I prefer the 2 & 3/4 , the 3 in, the 3 inch & above class. Smaller shells can’t be trusted in a desperate situation. & yes not much power.
    Just my opinion though… one more thing…

    • Up here in the queens colonies it’s “LETS GO, CASTRO!!”. Hey, you guys stole our trucker convoy thing… 😉

  4. Yowza? Mine’s a classic 870, so let’s hear it for Team Remington! (crowd goes wild…)

    (then looks around for some of these nifty 2-in shells, doesn’t see any available …)

    • Pretty much my reaction as well. Oh well another for the watch list of lets see how it does when available. Was surprised at the build quality for UARM gear so Ukrainian is not an immediate disregard for manufacturing country.

  5. It’s really amazing that Joe Biden wants Americans to pay for the more expensive Russian oil. But he doesn’t want Americans to have inexpensive Russian ammunition. It’s amazing how the Democrats like to line the pockets of Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

    American ammo is now being sent to the Ukraine.

    “America currently imports something on the order of 600,000 barrels of Russian oil every day – an amount about 200,000 barrels shy of the number of barrels America would not have to import from Russia, had the Biden Thing not cancelled the Keystone Pipeline, among other things.”

    • “Just the thing for popping possums around the homestead.”

      That’s not very nice, JWM.

      I like Possums, jagged, nasty yellow teeth, rat-like tail and all… 🙂

      • He’s developing WMD’s to destroy all mankind. Some day I will track him to his lair and there will be a showdown. Man vs. Marsupial.

        • Ho ho my human nemesis, the UEPFNB is a galaxy destroying,black hole swallowing, eater of stars. Not only will it destroy mankind, the planet, its moon, sun and solar system, but it jumps the fifth dimension and vaporizes the vapor of ( what used to be) the cosmos perpetually. I’m not taking any chances with you humans making a come back.

        • Not only mankind my human nemesis, it’s an eater of stars, black hole swallowing, universe ending, fifth dimension jumping vaporizer of the vapor perpetually.
          I’m not taking any chances on you guys making a come back.

  6. Well shoot, we all know that a 3/4 oz chunk of lead would just bounce off a light jacket if it’s only moving 900 fps….

    I had a case of Centurion 2 1/4” buckshot for a long time, I believe it was from Cabelas Herters brand – they were just long enough to cycle in all my pump actions, but short enough to get an extra round in the tube. I definitely like to see more developments like these! (I also like 13 mini shells in my OpSol/Mossberg)!

    • I still have 40 rounds of mini buckshot from Herter’s/Cabelas. Wish I’d bought more when they were ultra cheap!(I did buy lots a cheap 223/556 & 9mm). Shotgun is my apocalypse gun. Like next week?!?😦

    • Nate in CA,

      Well shoot, we all know that a 3/4 oz chunk of lead would just bounce off a light jacket if it’s only moving 900 fps….

      I had the same sentiment–although you stated it much more effectively and with a giant does of humor to boot.

      A .72 caliber, 328 grain (3/4-ounce) lead projectile impacting your torso at 900 feet-per-second is going to seriously ruin your day.

      I have been advocating on this forum for “light” 20 gauge slug loads for home-defense at distances of 50 feet or less. Light loads enable a much wider range of people to practice and shoot. Light loads could even enable a lighter shotgun which, again, enables a wider range of people to practice and shoot. Of course light loads also enable faster follow-up shots.

      So, what we really need is someone to develop a lighter-weight and compact 20 gauge shotgun which is designed to handle 1 & 3/4-inch mini-shells with slugs which yield a muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet-per-second. That would be an excellent home-defense platform that most women, pre-teen children, and even elderly people of decent health would be able to handle.

  7. I’m guessing I’m pronouncing it wrong but seeing the name ‘Takho’ made me immediately think of ‘taco’. So reading about Takho/taco mini shells kind of made me hungry. Unfortunately, it appears I can’t buy these so I may have to run to a fast-food joint to get some.

  8. I know the author likes shotguns. So do I. For shooting birds. Even if I would forsake a rifle for a shotgun (yeah, that’s gonna happen) why would I want to shoot smaller ammo when that famous “knock down power” is the only ace a shotgun has to play. Nope.
    If the question is a gunfight, the answer is a rifle. A handgun when a long gun is not socially acceptable at the evening’s restaurant. Carried a Scattergun Technologies 870 or an M1Super90 for over two decades in my county car because they paid me to. Qualified with a shotgun twice a year. Cleaned it. Reloaded it and forgot about it. Deployed a rifle.

    • Gadsden Flag,

      It sounded like those mini-shells were somehow optimized for competition. That sounds analogous to single-action revolvers and cowboy-action loads.

      For the uninitiated, cowboy action loads are light loads for competition or entertainment. They typically produce something like 650 to 700 feet-per-second versus “normal” (whatever that means) loads which produce more like 850 to 1000 feet-per-second in revolvers.

      As I stated in my comment above, assuming that these mini-shells launch a .72 caliber, 328 grain lead slug at something like 900 to 1000 feet-per-second: they will seriously mess-up your day if they hit you in the torso or even the center-line of your arms or legs. To put that in perspective, a modest .45 caliber 300 grain lead slug with a muzzle velocity of 1000 feet per second will promptly drop a 2000 pound bison with a heart/lung shot (assuming a hardcast lead bullet with a wide flat meplat). To be blunt, those mini-shells would be devastating to a human attacker. As the saying goes, “There is no replacement for displacement!”

      • Uncommon, I understand all that. I meant for my comment to be directed more to the utility of the shotgun rather than these shells. Even though I had little use for a working shotgun mine were loaded with full house 2 3/4″ 00 buckshot. The Side Saddle Shell Carrier had four Breneke rifled slugs in it. Both shotguns shot great. Seldom used them. Sold them as soon as I retired. Still own shotguns. With vent ribs. Quail tremble. Own a lot more rifles. A lot of those have “that thing that goes up” and other physical features that I’m assured means I’m not a FUDD. So you guys can get your fingers off your keyboards.

  9. So exactly what is the point of a very low power 12 gauge shell that does not have the oomph to cycle auto action Not skeet or clay not even practice so maby the Ukrainians have come unk mnon purpose I know that in Eastern Europe they do have some strange shhoting competitions so maybe these are for someikind of indoor shooting, As it is recoil and GAS GENERATION is directly proportional to cartridge power If you do not have enough of either to cycle the mechanism it’s iunlikely that these caertriges are of any practical use over anything more than 25/35 metres, Or am I missing something??

      • You’re missing a functional auto-correct…. it keeps changing All Hail to “Albert Hall ” for som mysterious reason.

    • It says right on the box what they’re for. Practice. Practice loading shell, aiming, and firing many time until you can do so well. But this low power shell does not hurt your shoulder so much after firing many rounds of training. So you can practice more.

  10. Okay ttag you run a commercial for shells that are out of stock?
    BTW I just happened to buy an 870 today, one of the older ones , I’ve got the new and improved version (haha) but they are not like the old ones.
    And the pawn shop didn’t have any shells for it either. They had two boxes of .45acp, now one, about 15 boxes of 9mm, 10 7.62×39 and one box 500 count .22LR.
    I guess your supposed to get ur sht online?
    Oh and another fcked up thing happened, made a phone call, ” I’ve got an 870SuperMag for sale.”
    Okay where you at?
    “On the road, eta 20 minutes”
    K meet you there.
    I got the shotgunm out handed it to him ,said its loaded,he pulled the trigger and blew a hole right through my front wall.
    WTF you dumb ass, now mind you I live in an apartment, my neighbor came out and said ” Did you just shoot a gunm?”
    I said No, I was showing this guy a karate move and stomped a milk jug.
    Anyway I got the hole patched up outside pretty good but if you look to close you can tell something ain’t right– but That was like that when I moved in, right, uh huh uh huh” ,,-, inside looks great, spackle spackle.
    Needless to say he didn’t get to buy no gunms from me and we just about got in a fight on account of me calling him a stupid son of a beetch repeatedly.
    Yeah I fcked up by handing someone a loaded gunm, but damn ,I guess its loaded means pull the trigger?

      • You kno jwm, ole dacian is going to cream his jeans on that story.
        And it taught be a lesson relearned, Never Trust A Human.

      • I’m surprised possum didn’t mark one up for gun violence! This is why we need more gun regulations right here. Any old moron, just buying guns, and phallic firing right into apartment walls! Only in the USA, any crazy buying a gun. It’s pathetic. I bet Possum is white too! I’d bet money on it. White people.

  11. Some shotgunners can load their shotguns with amazing speed. I was at a 3-gun clinic and there was a pro woman shooter there who could slam 4 shotgun rounds in her shotgun while I am still trying to decide which end goes in first. She was absolutely amazing. She had a special four round holder on her belt and she grabbed all four rounds at once. Not only could she load in a flash she was deadly unloading too. I can’t hold four 12 ga. shells in one hand and load at the same time. I can barely hold four shells in one hand and hang onto them, trying to keep them all headed in the same direction.

    Of course she was a pro and probably practiced loading her shotgun every day of the week. An exception, of course, but I believe she could load four rounds in her shotgun as fast if not faster than the pros could drop their mag, grab a new one and insert it in their pistols and let the slide go.

    It was a fun weekend. I wasn’t the best amateur there but I was the best 80 year old amateur there. No, make that the best 80 year old there period. I treated myself to the clinic for my 80th birthday and I believe it was the best birthday present I ever received. There were some young guys who were trying to break into the pros and hoped to impress some of the sponsors of the clinic. I think a couple of them were equal to the pros. I didn’t see the woman shoot rifle or pistol. She was in the relay ahead of mine and the other disciplines weren’t as close together as the shotgun. She didn’t miss any clays and shot two at a time. She shot the first clay into the air and while it was launching, launched the second, returned to the first clay as it reached its zenith and then moved to the second clay as it reached its zenith and of course, broke both of them, then moved to the second bank and repeated. I think she had the fastest time of her group.

  12. i bought a case and trim them down to use with my opsol mini shell adapter. just a few drops of wax holds the slug in just fine and i can fit 13+1 in my mossy 500 that way.

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