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Shotshells less than 2.75”

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At our recent match the last stage featured eight shotgun targets.  The rule says that the shooter may load the magazine “with the number of rounds required for the initial target sequence”.  I think an unmodified ‘97 will hold five and a Model 12 will hold six “standard” 2.75” shells.


We were speculating whether a shooter might be able to use Aguila “minishells”, or a handloaded equivalent, to increase magazine capacity and gain an advantage on stages that have an “initial target sequence” greater than six.  I’ve heard different opinions whether a shorter shell would feed properly but let’s assume it could be done without an illegal modification to the shotgun.


The rules prevent making a shotshell a smaller diameter but length is not addressed.


Certainly the stage instructions could specify that no more than six shells may be loaded but I’m just trying to confirm whether the short shells would be legal.


I’m going to add a “thank you” to Happy Jack, Boggus Deal and the WB Rules Committee for the time and effort spent in reviewing and revising the rules.  The changes have been well received here.



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Generally, short shells are legal.  The 2.5" shells from B&P are often used to let unmodified shotguns start with six rounds loaded, because that is a common stage description maximum limit, and that gets shooters "even" with folks who have modified the mag springs or followers to let them load six.


Generally, it's best if stage instructions are clear and are written as if a shooter might be using shorter shells.  So, don't say load to "initial target sequence" if that would give some shooters an advantage.  Make the description support the concept of a level playing field, with all shooters starting with same number of shells.  Say, "may load up to six shells."


Good luck, GJ



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