Shortlane Scavenger 9mm Luger 12 Gauge Shotgun Adapter Review,
Now that I have a 12 gauge break action double barrel shotgun, one thing I’ve always wanted to try are those bizarre chamber adapters. Ever wonder if there was a way to fire 9mm out of a 12 gauge shotgun? Well thanks to Shortlane there is. Chamber adapters are fairly simple tools, basically a metal cylinder with a hole bored in the center to accommodate the cartridge. The adapter is inserted into the chamber of the shotgun, and the cartridge inserted into the adapter. Note that they cannot be used in pump or semi auto shotguns, only break actions.
They type I am firing is the Shortlane Scavenger series in 9mm Luger. It’s the simplest model which is smoothbore and 3 inches long. They also make the “Bug Out” series which is rifled and 3 inches long, the “Zombie Series” which is rifled and 5 inches long, and finally the “Pathfinder” series which is rifled and 8 inches long. They come in common pistol calibers such as .22 long rifle, 9mm luger, .380 ACP, .40 SW,.45 ACP, .45 Long Colt,.357 magnum, and .38 special. Rifled models also feature rubber O rings to make the inserts fit more snugly in the chamber. Another company called MCA sports makes rifled inserts that are 10 inches and 18 inches long, with more exotic pistol calibers, and three rifle calibers; .30-40 krag, .30-30, and 7.62×39.
Now I’m under no delusion that I’m going to get great performance out of these. Basically using these chamber inserts is like firing a smoothbore snubby revolver with a loose barrel. The bullet will not spin, definitely something that will ruin accuracy. It’s fired from only a 3 inch barrel which will decrease velocity greatly, and the insert probably vibrates with each shot. Also, my shotgun is meant for wingshooting, meaning the front sight (bead) is made for aerial targets, and thus shoots high when firing at ground targets.
So is the Shortland adapter in 9mm as crappy as I thought it would be? Well, I’m proud to say that I can easily achieve MOA accuracy, if MOA was measured at five feet. Yeah, these things suck. I was firing American Eagle brand 9mm Luger FMJ with 115 grain bullets. Note that these inserts are not made to safely fire +P ammunition. After doing some “sighting in” I determined that I needed to hold low, right at the bottom the target, and to the right, down at the right had corner. I first shot open handed at 25 yards, firing 12 rounds. The instruction manual says to expect practical accuracy at 10 yards, but I decided to push it a bit.
At this range where the bullet will hit is near unpredictable. I can hold in the same place, but sometimes it will fly high, fly low, and when it does hit the target it’s not anywhere near the bullseye. After firing at 25 yards, I moved up half distance to around 12 yards. At 12 yards I got much better results without missing the target and getting something close to a predictable group. Notice how the bullet holes look mangled rather than being clean round bullet holes. That’s because without rifling the bullet isn’t spinning, and it quickly loses flight stability and begins tumbling.
Here are my results, the left target at 25 yards and right at 10 yards.
So yeah, these things really aren’t good for much of anything. If you have a 12 gauge shotgun, and some assorted ammo you want to make go bang, these inserts will do. I guess if you only had a shotgun and only a box of 9mm, you could use it for hunting if you were starving and desperate. I wouldn’t hunt with it under normal circumstances, but if I was starving and had no other options, it would be a practical tool, though far from ideal. One advantage is that it does add more versatility to a shotgun. I could see people in the Great Depression appreciating these inserts, despite their limitations. Back in the days of my Great Grandfather, all the family could afford was a 12 gauge double barrel, which was used not only to feed the family with small game and birds, but also large game when loaded with slugs, and pressed into service scaring away Ku Klux Klan thugs whenever they decided it was “harass Italian Catholic Immigrant” day.
Finally I must state that the Scavenger series I used is the simplest and crudest model offered. They retail for $24.99 a piece. The longer rifled models are more expensive but probably much more effective. I’m going to purchase the 5 inch rifled model and test it to see how much better they perform. If I find they are practical I might get other calibers, and perhaps one of the 8 inch rifled models. While the scavenger might suck, I’ve seen youtube videos were shooters have gotten some pretty impressive accuracy out of the 5 and 8 inch rifled models. If they are practical, I might also considering getting 10 inch inserts from MCA sports in a rifle caliber cartridge, either .30-30 or 7.62×39 (which actually have similar ballistics). We shall see.