What’s a Hawaiian House? It’s a website that sells a few different tactical products, a few patches, some hats, shirts, etc. I ran across a short video on Reddit showing this fancy Shotgun Loader V2 that worked like a Pez dispenser for twelve gauge rounds. I was intrigued, went to the website, and ordered two. It seemed like a new solution to carry spare shotgun ammo.
Carrying extra shotgun rounds can be a real pain in the butt. Sure, side saddles work, but I’m talking off gun ammo options. Bandoliers are the golden option but aren’t perfect. Most are cheap pieces of crap. Innovative options from 5.11 like the VTAC shell pouch is one way to go. Wilderness makes the best shotgun belt on the market, and there are also the polymer two shotshell carriers from Safariland.
The main problem with most of these options is that to reload, and you have to index to a different position to find the next shell. It’s easy to miss a shell and skip around your shells. Plus, there seems to be zero protection for the shells. The Shotgun Loader V2 seems to solve that problem.
It’s a polymer box with a spring, follower, and shell stop. You load it like a magazine, and it can hold seven 2.75 inches twelve gauge shells. As you need to reload, you draw a shell, and the next one pops into place. The Shotgun Loader V2 comes with a set of polymer tabs that allow it to connect with MOLLE platforms.
Taking The Shotgun Loader V2 For a Spin
Loading the first six rounds is easy. Getting that final round in there takes a little squeeze. Before I even mounted these things, though, I had an idea. I could swap the orientation of the Shotgun Loader V2, and rock is horizontally on a belt. I drilled another hole in the tabs, and boom, it worked. I mounted one to my Sentry Gunnar belt and another to my 5.11 All Missions Chest Rig.
Each of the Shotgun Loader V2 devices has a strip of Velcro loop you can use to attach hook-equipped shotshell carriers. In my case, Esstac 4 shot shotshell cards. Esstac makes them in capacities up to seven, and there is enough loop on the V2 to fit the seven-round carriers if you want. Theoretically, each carrier could hold fourteen rounds of 12 gauge with the cards.
Drawing a shell is easy and smooth. At the range, I practiced both tube reloads and port reloads, and both are fairly easy. That constant index point makes it easy to always find the next shell. I preferred belt carry over the chest rig, but both were fairly simple and intuitive.
With a little experimentation, I developed different hand movements on how to draw depending on which reload I was going for. A bonus of using the shotgun cards on the Shotgun Loader V2 is that if your shotgun uses shotshell cards, then you can swap carriers out as one goes dry.
I did a total of 15 full reloads using the Shotgun Loader V2 devices. That’s 105 draws per unit with a mix of live and dummy ammo. Admittedly that was mostly using dummy ammo because shotgun ammo is still pricey. Still, the Shotgun Loader V2 never failed to feed the next round, and the shell stop always caught it and held it until I needed it.
The shells remain secure and never fell or just popped out. Even when I jumped and sprinted a bit, they stayed put and were locked in place well. I’m pleasantly impressed by these little devices. They are fairly simple and not very fancy. They are also somewhat larger. You might be able to fit three across a bigger plate carrier, but my 5.11 AMP could fit two at most.
A belt could fit more but might be tougher to access beyond two unless you’ve rocked out on yoga and have the flexibility to reach a good way behind your back. Still, even two carriers could pack 28 rounds with attached 7-round shotgun cards.
The Wilderness belt offers you 25 rounds of spare ammo, so 28 isn’t a bad trade-off. However, half will have a shifting point of grip. That’s a problem with bandos and the shotshell cards. On the flip side, with two Shotgun Loader V2 devices mounted, I still have plenty of room on my belt for a holster, handgun pouches, an IFAK, and more.
Oh, did I mention that the carriers cost all of $20? That’s $26 with an added shotshell card. Not a bad price. Keep in mind, according to Hawaiian House, these are still prototypes (and are currently out of stock). The V1 setup fits in their own micro rig and would likely fit in most mag pouches.
I’d like to see them trim a little off the side of the design. Make it a little sleeker if possible. I plan to watch the development of these with interest and hope they keep it up. These things could’ve been dumber than Cory Booker’s latest bill, but they turned out rather nice.