How to handload reduced length 12 gauge shotshells (and why)
By Jason Wimbiscus
A 12 gauge, 2 inch buckshot load, far left, compared to 2.75 inch, 3 inch, and 3.5 inch factory loads. (Photo: Jason Wimbiscus)
I am not a high volume handloader. Turning my reloading bench into a miniature manufacturing facility where I spend endless hours performing the repetitive tasks needed to churn out hundreds of cartridges or shotshells strikes me more as a kind of punishment than as a relaxing hobby. For me, the appeal of handloading is not the potential to save money on ammo but the fact that I can create custom loads not commonly available on store shelves tailored to my specific shooting purposes.
Sometimes such handloads will be tailored for optimal performance in a particular gun or as specialized ammo suited to a particular task. Sometimes, however, I’ll take on a handloading project for no reason beyond a desire to make something a little unusual.
Such was my motivation when I decided to make up a sample pack of reduced length (2 inch) 12 gauge shotshells. Besides satisfying a curiosity about how these diminutive rounds would pattern, there are essentially three practical reasons for loading reduced length shells.
You own an old shotgun with a chamber length shorter than 2.75 inchesSource: Guns.com