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This is why TAOFLEDERMAUS, Wide Open Spaces’ video contributor, doesn’t bother with break-action shotguns.

You might not even realize it, but TAOFLEDERMAUS is prone to avoid break-action shotguns in his ammo test videos, and there’s a pretty good reason why. A consistent catastrophic failure isn’t going to produce the kind of ballistic┬áresult you’d want to see.

Check out his YouTube channel and see more videos of his here on

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  1. I suppose if I was in the habit of loading shells with assorted trash, debris, and various other shit just to see what it would do, I wouldn’t use a break-action either. In fact, I’d probably use a gun vice and a LONG string to pull the trigger.

    I have to admit that I watch these “Hold my beer and watch this” videos to see when, one day, he blows a gun up.

  2. This has nothing to do with being break action… It might have everything to do with shooting through a fixed choke that doesn’t fit well with slugs. I’ve got a few break action shotguns that have changeable chokes and can go from super full to cylinder. And I’ve got semi autos and pumps that have fixed chokes.

    • If you watch the entire excruciating video, at the very end they say “It’s a hard slug through a fixed choke.” (I skipped forward. Too excruciating for me.) Dafuq they think was gonna happen?

  3. I call BS. People all over the world use break action shotguns, especially in countries where other guns are tightly regulated.

    People kill cape buffalo with them all the time in Africa and Australia.

    It shouldn’t blow up unless it is a very hard slug going through a choked barrel).

  4. The issue of fixed chokes isn’t particular or special to break action shotguns. Most all shotguns made before WWII had a fixed choke, and many made after WWII had a fixed choke. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that you saw more shotguns start to sport interchangeable, screw-in chokes. I have a Browning shotgun made in Belgium in 1974 that has only fixed chokes in the barrel. There are Browning Citori’s made in the late 70’s that had fixed chokes.

    It wasn’t only break-action shotguns that had fixed chokes – pump and semi-auto guns used to have fixed chokes as well. You can find plenty of Model 12 Winchester and Browning A5’s guns out there with fixed chokes.

    There were break-action shotguns that shot slugs just fine – they were called “coach guns” and they were often made by hacking the chokes off of double guns, tidying up the interbarrel space on the end of the tube set by stuffing it with steel wool, flux and soldering the opening shut. The barrels would be dressed off and now you have a SxS shotgun with cylinder chokes, out of which you could shoot slugs or buck. There were also SxS and O/U guns available with cylinder choke constrictions from the factory.

    I’d wager he’d get the same result if he tried shooting those slugs out of a Model 12 pump gun with an improved to full choke barrel. If they’re really wanting a cylinder bore barrel there, all they need to do is get a barrel hone, some honing oil and a bore gauge – and hone the choke in the last 6″ of barrel out of there. It would probably take no more than an hour of honing with some aggressive stones.

    People interested in how chokes were developed and set up in shotguns should read the book “The Gun and Its Development,” by W.W. Greener. It’s available online in various places for download. People who want to know some things about shotguns in general should read that book as a starting point.

    This is yet another instance where I’m shaking my head, and muttering “Damn kids, didn’t do their homework…”

    • Roughly 20 years ago I bought a mossberg 500, new in the box, as a house gun. It came with 2 barrels. One a short police style and the other a 28 inch vented rib with a fixed, modified choke.

      I just received a new ported, screw in choke barrel yesterday for the gun to make it a little more versatile as a hunter.

      In my youth all the shotguns we had were fixed chokes. Model 12, Browning a5, Remington, Ithaca. We had a closet full of them and they were all fixed.

    • Yep, fixed chokes are not found only on break action shotguns. But you said it better.
      Have the book on my nighstand. So far I’m about half way through it. It does have over 800 pages though.

  5. Hell, even an inexpensive Yildiz double will still have interchangeable chokes and costs a bit less than the Weatherby I see him usually using.

    • I wonder if RF understands how he can have people with similar talent and knowledge to Ian and Karl yet while they have a viewership that happily supports them directly with contributions, TTAG has viewers that are growing disaffected and often make efforts to get around their ads and ‘upgrades’.

  6. My concern isn’t with the slugs or the shotguns, but rather the lack of backstop for their “range.” I don’t know the distance from their target to that treeline, and assume that a typical shotgun slug would drop to the ground before getting that far. But, do they use rifles at the same location? What’s out there in the trees?

    Particularly since there’s traffic on the road in the background (off to the left of the frame) I’m assuming that they aren’t out in a remote corner of the desert, where there’s probably miles of separation. To me, this is a situation that calls for a dirt berm, etc. to be shooting into.

    • Slugs drop pretty fast. I’d be surprised if these unstable slugs made it much past 100-150 yards. A decent foster slug wouldn’t go much past 200 yards when shot level from table top height. A sabot slug coukd go a little further. 800 yards downrange would be a safe margin.

  7. This is a video from Taofledermaus from several months ago; he has a Youtube channel.
    He has been roundly chastised for this video, with many telling him in no uncertain terms that not all break action shotguns have chokes built in. Where he got the idea seems to be this: “I have a break action shotgun, it has a choke integral to the gun, therefore all break action shotguns have integral chokes.”
    You can clearly see the logic fail there.
    I have a SxS,made in China, a coach gun replica (rabbit ears and all) with no choke in either barrel.

    I still get no follow-up emails with added comments. I also see no articles explaining why that would be so.
    I have to wonder if I’m the only one, as I’ve mentioned this a few times, with no response or fix.

  8. been shooting slugs out of break actions for about 40 years didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to do that! Live and learn.
    guess I won’t watch the people any more.


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