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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.