In my last article I went over how to make reduced length (shorter than 2.75 inch) shotshells. In addition to looking cool, the short-stature shells serve the practical function of increasing the capacity of a tube magazine without the addition of an extension. My Benelli Nova Tactical, for instance, will accommodate a total of five 2.75 inch shells (four in the magazine and one in the chamber). By switching to two inch rounds, I’m able to increase the gun’s overall capacity to seven.
Increased capacity can be useful but only if the ammo performs as needed in terms of feeding, cycling, and pattern. In order to answer the performance question, I took to the range with a sample pack of handloaded, two inch shotshells.
Before firing a shot, I assumed the shot from the 2-inch rounds would spread out rapidly. My Nova has 3.5-inch chamber and the 2-inch loads