Previous Post
Next Post


Have you ever taught a new shooter using a shotgun? If your student is young or small-framed, even a relatively shoft-shooting 12 gauge can take a toll after 10-15 rounds. Well Aguila has a better idea.


Their Minishells are short, ultra soft-shooting 1 3/4″ long 5/8 oz. loads of 7 1/2 shot that you can shoot all day. They also load up these shorties with buckshot and a little rifled slug if you want that smaller person to use your big bore gun to hunt in relative comfort.

I fired off five of them during a round of trap and got a gentle nudge more like a 10/22 going pop than a Browning going boom. These slick little babies are great for their intended purpose, but cheap they’re not. A box of 20 of the birdshot will you you $12 or so. The same quantity of buckshot or slugs are over $19.


Previous Post
Next Post


      • Exactly. Pumps and semi-autos, in most cases, won’t cycle them. But you could load them one at a time.

        • Some pumps will and some won’t. Aguila claims 1300s eat them up, and 870s don’t, but I have read about 1300s choking on them and 870s eating them like pez, so YMMV. Buy a box and see if she runs.

        • Much of the time you have to run the pump aggressively, and if you do the shells will stay aligned properly and feed properly, eject properly, etc. One advantage there is that you can hold like 2x the normal capacity haha

        • That’s been my experience with my 870, too. Pump it like yer pissed off at the gun and they’ll cycle fine, anything less than ultra agressive is jam-o-matic. Strickly a newbie teacher and range gimmick. You’ll surprise everyone with these at the range – the cutest little things you’ve ever seen! But for self-defense? Not my 870, nope. YMMV, natch.

        • Isn’t that who everybody who has to suffer with an 870 pump was trained? -Rack it like it’s government property and owes you money. Rack that slide like you’d.. oh, never mind.

          A5/Model 11. Been around functioning like clockwork for the last 100+ years. I guess if you’re broke and the $100-200 difference between a pump and an auto is too dear (and honestly I appreciate that it can be), but otherwise, seriously?

          Someone with a choice who buys a pump-action shottie? What, Linda Hamilton fantasies? It’s like carrying a bolt-action pistol for self-defense. My pre-1910 Model 11 has spit out many over 10K rounds under my ownership alone, why would I want to waste time and effort racking a slide?

      • In standard loads, yes, but a .410 doesn’t cost more to feed than these shells, at 60 cents apiece for birdshot…

  1. If you have serbu shorty (all 8 of you out there) these things give you the equivalent of a full capacity.

  2. The title of this post is “shooting Aguila’s 12 Gauge Minishells” and yet the only thing it mentions is that the recoil isn’t bad. I was expecting an exploded pumpkin or at least some gel. If the “gentle nudge like a 10/22” doesn’t do anything then what is the point?

    • You raise an *excellent* point.

      ShootingTheBull410 needs to test these puppies, as standard tall-brass buckshot loads way over-penetrate on their own.

      The website quotes a 5/8th ounce slug at 1250 fps. Just about ideal for home defense use.

      “Paging ShootingTheBull410. ShootingTheBull410 to the white courtesy phone, please…”

      • A 273 grain projectile leaving the barrel at 1,250 fps is nothing to sneeze at. In fact that is watered-down .44 Magnum territory.

        • Yeah, but being a lot larger in diameter changes things, doesn’t it?

          “Paging ShootingTheBull410…”

        • My criticism is with the “review” rather than the cartridge. If they work for their intended purpose then I will happily put a whole stack in my 500.

    • But the Herter’s mini-buckshot 2 1/4″ ones from Cabela’s do (at least in my Maverick). Gives you an additional round of capacity over 2 3/4″ shells in a 5-round tube.

      • AND they are oh so cheap compared to these(and available). Herters shot shell and handgun ammo work great for me. I’ll have to try the shorter Herter shell…

    • (for Mav 88, which I have as well) I read in a gunsmithing forum (yeah, some of us still actually do that, and not just assemble parts we bought) of a modification to the feed bail that makes this possible. What you do is lengthen the “tongue” in the center of the bail, and that keeps the round from jamming up or getting misaligned when you work the slide.

      And yeah – I’ve got a KSG on my “gotta have” list JUST to have a go-to “bump in the night” weapon, with 25 of the mini-slugs onboard, or perhaps one tube of mini-slugs and one tube of mini-buckshot!

  3. As mentioned the KSG runs with these…THAT’S an assault shottie.Up close &personal. I belong to a KSB FB group and see some using these. And it’s a mite hit or miss…

  4. Wondering if a Mossberg 500 could load/feed them reliably. If so, that would give my Persuader a hell of a lot of capacity from 7+1. Then again, I don’t really see the point, because the people in my house who’d have a problem with “normal” recoil from a shotty prefer the AR15 for home defense anyway.

    Too gimmicky for my taste.

    • It’s hit or miss with mossbergs. If you run the pump hard it usually helps. The main advantage of these for self defense is capacity and follow up shots. You don’t need a full load to stop someone at 10 feet.

    • Mossberg 500/590/shockwave need a little plastic insert to cycle these properly due to their lifter design.

      My Remington TAC-14 and 870 run them all day long.

  5. A box of 20 of the birdshot will you you $12 or so. The same quantity of buckshot or slugs are over $19.

    I never have understood this. Why are buckshot and slug shot shells always so much more expensive than birdshot. Is there more powder in them? It’s the same weight of projectile. They couldn’t be any harder to manufacture. Is it a quantity thing. They can sell birdshot cheaper because they sell so much more it? If some one knows I’d like to know.

      • my thoughts exactly.

        Always questioned why .410 was way more expensive than 12g. the .410 is smaller, using less shot and powder, yet magically costs more.

        • Why is .380 so much more expensive than 9mm? Same reason: sales and manufacturing volume and economies of scale.

    • Has to do with production volume, economies of scale, that sort of thing.

      The cheapest shotgun loads are #7 1/2 or #8 target loads, $22 and change for 100 12 gauge shells at my local Wal*Mart. Consumed by the thousands by participants in the clay sports. Heck, you can’t even reload them yourself for that price.

      Any other shotgun load is going to be more expensive, simply because they sell less of it.

  6. I’ve used mini buck shells for years in my 500m1a and budget 500. No problems And of course, your mileage may vary,

  7. Seems like a single shot 20 gauge would be more useful, for just about everything.

    The way to train someone to use a shotgun is to start them out with a .22 and then maybe graduate to a .223 and teach them to manage recoil. It’s about technique, more than anything. I’ve seen plenty of young teenage girls go through 4 boxes of 12 gauge shells during an evening at the trap range.

  8. They built a pump gun specifically for these about 5 or 10 years ago (If I remember correctly).

  9. Got some of these in 00 buck at my now-defunct LGS (different brand, “Centurion”). Two of them take residence in my HD double-barrel. Figured the reduced powder charge would be appropriate for in-house use.

  10. have run these in my ksg for a couple of years….holds 25 as pointed out and cycle flawlessly. ive used both buck and slugs. great for teaching newbies… unreal soft as hell recoil. then we eventually graduate to magnums ?

  11. If you’re just looking to soften recoil, you can reload utter creampuff low-velocity, low-shot-weight shells that will feed normally but may not cycle a semiauto. As far as increasing capacity, I wouldn’t mind seeing a short-action weapon designed to operate using only mini-shells. Make it a pump to keep costs down.

  12. I’d like to see an UTAS-15 become an UTAS-30. But since the UTAS doesn’t cycle normal shells very well I suppose its too much to ask for…

  13. These thing have been sold out everywhere but gunbroker for over a year.
    There is a guy in Baton Rouge that makes and sells these polymer clips that fit the mossberg 500s. It makes these shells very reliable, probably as much as full length without the insert.
    I have two and used them on both my mossberg till I couldn’t get the shells, I can’t remember what forum I found him in and don’t have his contact info.sorry

  14. I just used these for a father daughter day at the range. She is new to guns. The mini shells are great for new shooters! Very low recoil and very low report. My pump 590 Mossberg did ok with them.
    She really liked shooting the shotgun with them!
    It was our first time using them. I will definitely try more of them to see how well they perform.

  15. So I assume my 100 year old Browning Auto 5 would choke on these, right? What if I put in a WAY softer recoil spring? Dyspeptic Gunsmith, calling Dyspeptic Gunsmith!

    • Get a mag extension, then you can fire 9-ish (depending) real rounds.

      Works great on my 100+ year old Model 11…

      • Oops, should have checked back last night. Sorry. Yeah, I extended it to hold six already so this was more of a “What if…?” question. BTW, I only did +2 because I cut down the barrel* to 18″ and any more mag extension would look mighty silly… IMO.

        *NOT the original barrel! That is in the closet with the original furniture and mag end cap.

  16. I’ve been trying to get my hands on these in Canada for a couple of years without success until just recently. In the interim, I’ve sold my 870 which is what I’d intended to try them in.

    That left me with my Hatsan Escort tactical S/A and my 13in. bbl Adler lever action. Although I didn’t expect them to work in the Hatsan at all, the self compensating gas system seems to like them just fine. I’ve only run a box through it, it fed every round just fine.

    It’s the Adler that I was most interested in, and these didn’t disappoint. With such a short barrel, the magazine capacity was 4, and I get 6 with the standard mag spring, & 7 with the short spring. I expected the lever action would work fine with these and it does, giving me a nice short little 12ga with full size 12ga capacities. If they weren’t so hard to come by here, I’d shoot them exclusively. Recoil is very minimal with either gun, making followup shots a breeze.

    About the only thing I’m not crazy about is the price.Otherwise, they’re good rounds, and reside in the Adler for home protection.

  17. These shells would not cycle in my Mossberg Shockwave. Every shell “fliped ” 180 degrees. Maybe they work in something, but not a Mossberg Shockwave.

  18. Fun for trap shooting with a 2 barrel or break action single.

    Not so great trying to feed through a pump.

Comments are closed.