Saturday, April 12, 2014

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Gadgets and Gizmos: Shotgun Inserts

Amazon chamber insert

Shotgun inserts

Here is one item that all serious survivalists and preppers have to have. It's a chamber insert that allows you to shoot 20 gauge shells in your 12 gauge.

It's been almost six months since the grid went down. You and just about everyone else in your group, and in those groups around you, are just about out of 12 gauge shells. The supply of 20 gauge shells have held up pretty good. Drop one of these in your single shot or double barrel. Now you have a working shotgun again.


Harry's group (half a mile away) is just about out of 12 ga. shells. They still have lots of 20s though. They also have the only flock of laying hens around, for more than seven miles. Sure would be nice to have some of your own layers. Maybe they would be interested in a trade.

Use your imagination, you will be able to thinks of lots of reasons to have a chamber insert.

They are available for all the shotgun sizes.

They are also available for shooting 9mm in your 12 gauge (one of many choices.) I think the chamber inserts for shotgun gauges are smart. The choices for using pistol and rifle cartridges in your shotgun, probably are not worth it. Aiming and accuracy would be problems.

The insert you see above is available for about 30 bucks from amazon.


  1. Though a bit pricey, inserts can be very useful. I have an insert for .308 that allows you to shoot a .32 ACP. Plus, out of a 20 inch barrel it is very quiet. Tell me that isn't handy. Now that I think about it, I should get one for my #4 Enfield. Jim?

  2. Good call - single shots are much quicker to load then muzzleloaders, and this design will likely be the 'last man standing' when factory ammunition runs out. Shotgun shells can be loaded with virtually anything that fits the case (i.e. does not have to be a specific bore size) and that feature alone makes it a good choice.

    Be a good idea to have an object to push the cases out quickly, they don't just slip out of insert easily. I've had good luck with the handgun looped end cleaning rod - just push case out and load new round into case, liketty spit.

    1. Should also comment - I bought a MCA 20 gauge insert for the 30-30 Winchester, this is a barrel sleeve, being 18" long. I use it in a Savage 24C combination gun, the iron sights giving me better precision than a standard shotgun bead sight.

      Having a shotgun with standard sights is worth considering. You bascially ignore them for wing shooting and for slugs and cartridge inserts, are more precise.

  3. Hi Jim,

    Er..I dunno...yeah that shell adaptor will work BUT...I doubt it will be very accurate unless the target is very close. After the cartridge is fired, the diameter of the barrel is still a 12 gauge. I would think that the shot column would open up. Not only that, you would have a lot of blow by. The loss of power would be significant, imo.

  4. Seems like a useful item to have, adding versatility to an existing gun. Most general stores in small towns will often carry at least a few varieties of ammunition, usually at least 12Ga, 20Ga ( sometimes .410) and .22 LR.

    When I got my Stevens model 9478 as a boy, I recall that it came with an accessories pamphlet, advertising a nifty little device referred to as the ".410'er" that converted the 12Ga to the little .410.

    Off topic, but those M6 Scouts sure were some cool little survival rifles.

  5. what's up? no post today? hope ya didn't get run over by a car.


  6. I agree that having shot shell options between 12 ga./20 ga./.410 bore is a good thing. I use a .410 insert for close range varmints around the house (possums and such) and larger loads according to the nature and range of the game I'm seeking.
    I can see that further down the road, being able to reload smaller shells using less powder and shot could be mighty helpful as well.
    While I wouldn't go out of my way to use a pistol round out of the shotgun because of the accuracy issue, if a body already has a stock of pistol ammo and/or reloading capability, I can see where having such an adapter would permit more flexibility in ammo choices.
    I have seen Dave Canterbury talking about 8-inch rifled adapters in pistol calibers for the 12 gauge on YouTube. That would surely help with the accuracy issue, given the longer sight radius of a shotgun.
    Back in the day, men fed their families with round ball out of smooth-bore barrels . . . and kept the homestead safe from all sorts of threats.

  7. I picked up an adapter for shooting 32ACP out of my Mosins. Not sure how the power compares to using a .22LR... but having the ability to take small game with the Mosin doubles its survival uses. A Mosin, 2 cans of ammo, a pair of adapters and 4 boxes of .32 ACP cost me around $400. That will keep me fed a long time.

  8. I purchased a set of .38, 9mm, and ,22 inserts. Thee accuracy isn't horrible within 20-30 feet. The .38 tends to keyhole (hit sideways instead of point on) which would make for a nasty wound. Turns a $99 single shot shotgun into a very diverse weapon. You can even get some inserts that are rifled and about 9" long for better accuracy though firing a pistol caliber from a smooth bore has some interesting possibilities.