Vista Outdoors has published a press release announcing that SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) has approved and issued the 12 Gauge 1-3/4″ cartridge and chamber drawing standards for smoothbore barrels.
Currently, you can find on the market 1-3/4″ 12 gauge ammunition made by Federal Premium (Shorty Shotshells), Aguila (Minishells) and Challenger (Super Shortshells). Although Aguila has been making those shells for quite some time, Federal Premium is the company that submitted the cartridge and chamber drawings for standardization. The reason is probably that Federal Cartridge Company is a Voting and Associate Member of SAAMI. The Vista Outdoors press release quotes Rick Stoeckel, Federal’s Shotshell Product Director, who said:
This is big news for our new Shorty Shotshell ammunition. The 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch cartridge has been around for more than a decade, but it was never brought to SAAMI to be considered by its Technical Committee. Once we decided to start manufacturing this load, we immediately submitted it to SAAMI for industry standardization. We’re excited about this approval and we deeply appreciate SAAMI’s support.
SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing it within the industry. Their work creates industry standards for the cartridge, and will hopefully inspire shotgun manufacturers to purposely build pump-action and semi-auto shotguns to specifically run 1 ¾-inch loads.
Despite being one inch shorter than the more common 2-3/4″ ammunition, the 1-3/4″ shells can sometimes rival their performance especially when it comes to slug loads. However, the primary advantage of these shells is, of course, the possibility to have more ammunition in the tubular shotgun magazines compared to 2-3/4″ or 3″ shells. For example, if we compare the unfolded/uncrimped lengths of the shells then the combined length of seven 2-3/4″ shells is equal to eleven 1-3/4″s.
The problem with 1-3/4″ shells is that they may not cycle properly in repeating firearms designed for 2-3/4″ or longer cartridges. That’s why some companies make adapters for different shotguns designed to allow reliable feeding of 1-3/4″ shells. With these shells now being SAAMI standard ammunition, I hope we’ll see many more ammunition and firearm offerings on the market.
You can download the SAAMI tech sheet of 1-3/4″ shells (pdf file) by clicking HERE.
Images from www.vistaoutdoor.com, www.saami.org, www.federalpremium.com
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