“Adapting To Survive” The Shotgun “Shell Shrinker”

“Adapting To Survive” The Shotgun “Shell Shrinker”

Adapter Post27In the firearms or survival gear arena, I’ve always had a fascination with being able to adapt tools to perform more than one function, and do it well. In this series, we’ve discussed a cartridge adapter that allows the user to shoot a small pistol caliber bullet through a large centerfire rifle (.32ACP-.308WIN). We’ve also discussed the mechanical adapters made for some semi auto rifles and handguns. These allow the shooter to utilize the .22 Long Rifle cartridge for a practice/training or hunting application.

Next up in the series is another chamber adapter, but this one is for the shotgun. There are a number of “Shell Shrinkers” out there, that adapt one smaller gauged cartridge to a larger one. One manufacturer that comes to mind is Short Lane Gun Adapters. They make a number of shotgun, rifle and pistol adapters for a huge number of gauges and calibers. The adapter that we will discuss today is an old Savage “Four-Tenner” that I’ve had for a number of years.

SPECIFICATIONS

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As you can see on the right side of the adapter pic, the “Four-Tenner” has a mechanical extractor which you line up with the extractor in you shotgun for easier shell removal.

The “Four-Tenners” that I own (I have two) are both 20 gauge to .410 adapters. They are approximately 12 1/4 inches long, so unlike many of the adapters you’ll see at “Short Lane Gun Adapters”, this one is not pocket sized. Obviously, the adapter has a outside diameter the same as the 20 Gauge chamber/barrel it is placed into. Also, the “Four-Tenner” has it’s own built in shell extractor, unlike many other adapters on the market.

ADAPTER’S PURPOSE

As with many adapters out there, these devices usually have two primary purposes. Those would be training/practice and hunting. From the training/practice side, I can tell you the “Four-Tenner” made a great understudy for my kids to learn the use of the shotgun at a very young age (they were 4 years old), and all without them having to initially deal with the recoil of a 20 gauge. I used those devices in my Savage M24, .223/20 gauge, and my Stevens 311 20 gauge to teach them how to lead a moving target properly.

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My kids also started their hunting “Careers” by using  both of those shotguns to hunt squirrel. For them to achieve a solid killing shot on a squirrel, they needed to be within 20 yards or so. This had the added benefit of making them learn how to stalk the alert “Tree Rat” and get into position for a good hit.

SHOOTING COMPARISONS

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The 3″ .410 pattern show on the left, the 2 3/4″ 20 gauge on the right. Both were #6 shot and were fired from 20 yards. 

The test was simple. I placed paper targets at 20 yards because I figured this was a good average hunting distance. Using commonly available Remington ammo of the same shot size, I shot both targets with one round. For the .410, I used a 3″ high brass #6 shot load, and for the 20 gauge, I used a 2 3/4 high brass #6 shot load. As you can see by the photo, the .410 pattern shown on the left, has an obvious lack of “payload” for the number of pellets on target. That being said, it still will get the job done within a realistic range.

Another advantage to the “Shell Shrinker” concept is the obvious savings in weight and bulk, when comparing the .410 shell to it’s 20 gauge counterpart. The difference is carrying a cartridge that is approximately .45 of an inch in diameter and weighs about 22 grams, compared to that of a cartridge that is approximately .62 of an inch and weighs around an ounce. The difference with a box of 25 rounds is about 5 ounces in weight and a couple square inches in bulk.

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Here is a comparison of the sizes of the two cartridges. The 20 gauge box pictured (#4 shot) was not the load used in the test.

CONCLUSIONS

All in all, I have gotten a lot of use out of the “Four-Tenner” adapter over the years. But the best use I made out of it was in teaching my kids how to properly use a shotgun, and starting them hunting with one. I know there are still “Four-Tenners” available on different sales sites, but honestly, you’re better off going to a site like Short Lane LLC to get what you are looking for. Hope this was helpful.

JCD

“Parata Vivere”- Live Prepared.

 

RIP Chuck Taylor – Iconic Tactical Trainer

RIP Chuck Taylor – Iconic Tactical Trainer

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I first read Chuck Taylor’s writings in “Soldier of Fortune” and “SWAT” magazines as a teenager. I Purchased his book, The “Fighting Rifle” while still in High School. His opinion of what a real “Fighting Rifle” consisted of formed many of the opinions I still have to this day, simply because they have proven to be true in my own experiences.

I first considered the FAL as a “Go To” rifle because of his opinion of that very gun. That opinion has also proven to be, “Spot On”. Although I moved away from it for a time, I am back to using that rifle in it’s present 11″ and 16″ configurations, and they sit on my “Ready Rack” as my “Go to War” rifles. Here’s two of my favorite quotes from him,

“If you are the greatest or the fastest guy in the world, what difference does it make if you shoot the wrong guy?”

“You can’t miss fast enough to matter.”

I watched him go from adamantly opposed to optics on a combat rifle, due to their fragility, to endorsing them in the many, durable configurations available today. In a world of the many “Fly by Night” firearms/tactical trainers out there, Chuck was one who had, “Been there, done that.”, and I heeded his words. To this day, I still use some of his rifle drills in my own practice. Below is an except from the Foreward of his book “The Fighting Rifle”. It tells you many things you need to know about the Man who was Chuck Taylor.

“Whether on the range or at the typewriter, Chuck is no armchair commando, glorifying war to satisfy the Walter Mitty instincts of those who have always gone to sleep at night in a warm bed and with a full stomach. Chuck knows there is nothing glorious about war for he has been there. He has smelled the mixed smells of death and gunsmoke, and felt the slam of enemy bullets into his body as he himself went down firing. He knows what it’s like to sit down to a hurried lunch in a jungle clearing and wonder if he will still be alive to eat supper that night. He knows what the professional soldier’s two main objectives are – to defeat the enemy and stay alive to go home himself. For without life, how hollow is the name of victory.

Chuck Taylor’s training is based on actual firsthand knowledge of what happens in combat (18 months in Vietnam won him the Bronze Star with ‘V’ device, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, among other decorations) not on the theories advanced by ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ whose advice is well intended, but based on ‘book learning’ gained while relaxing at the Officer’s Club rather than upon service in the field.”

David McFarland, February 1983

Chuck Taylor, The Fighting Rifle

Here is a link with a eulogy from a personal friend of Chuck’s, giving his impressions of a man who will be sorely missed.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
New Preppers With “2020” Vision

New Preppers With “2020” Vision

Me in August ’86, as a young Survivalist. I’d been preparing for about 5 years at this point.

As many who know me understand, I have been a Survivalist since I was a kid. I received a lot of flack about that while I was growing up, and even more as an adult, but I never let it deter my focus on what was important. So now Survivalists and Preppers aren’t all that foolish, huh? Apparently those of us who have prepare for hard times are not the “Doomers” and “Nuts” that we’ve been made out to be.

To make matters worse, the “Anti Gun” and “No need for a gun” crowds are apparently is getting upset that they can’t buy a pistol or other type of “registerable” firearm, and walk out the door with it (who knew?), in States that require a waiting period for purchase. The same people who are upset about a waiting period now, were either indifferent at best, or vehemently opposed to immediate purchase and carry firearms when the “Waiting Period” regulations were being enacted.

Many of us who have prepared for a long time, understand that we all had that epiphany, concerning preparedness, at one or more points in our lives. Some realized it earlier, some later and some had to re-realize it. As much as you’d like to rub it in to those who gave you a hard time in the past, this is not a moment for that. This is a time that should be used to educate those new to the “game”.

I’ve prepared for myself, my family and select friends. My supplies are for that group only. Except for advice on the “what”, “where” and “how” of preparedness, I am not a charity organization. With that being said, I have had no problem giving advice to friends and acquaintances who made fun of my preparedness in the past, but are now asking for advice because they’ve “seen the light”. Be the bigger person and help them out.

On another note, I’ve heard from a number of people, that all the preparedness supplies have been cleaned out. Well, that’s simply not true, especially if you are going cheap. Canned goods are still available. Bulk items like rice and beans are still available. Fuel items, whether gasoline for your vehicle or generator and propane for stoves or heaters are out there if you look. Supplies of ammo or firearms are definitely in shorter supply, but still available.

Get out and practice some scenarios with your preps.

Granted, in some cases, those who need them will have to do some serious searching to find those supplies. I told a guy the other day, the supplies are out there, but to use an analogy, they are pretty spartan and somewhat like the chances for getting a nice, whitetail deer, buck in my area back in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.

Considering that this situation is about as light as a SHTF situation can be (and still be SHTF), at least for now, this is definitely a good time to learn, without the steep drop at the end of that “bell curve”. You still have things like electricity, water, sewer and working vehicles. For most, we are getting some form of income, whether you are still working or getting an unemployment check. Compared to many of the scenarios that have been envisioned by Survivalists and Preppers over the years, this one is a “lightweight”.

Let’s review what your needs are for a serious scenario? First, supplies for the environmental conditions. This includes your overhead shelter from weather. Heat makers like gas or wood fired stoves if the conditions warrant it. Also, appropriate clothing for the conditions are a necessity.

Clean filtered and purified water is next on the list. Water is followed by food to sustain yourself each day, and the calories needed depend on your own physiology and amount of calories you’re burning daily. Next up would depend on the threat situation. If violence is not typical in your situation, First Aid items are next. If the environment is “Non permissive”, firearms and other defensive items would be number four.

Some basic supplies for a short term SHTF event.

Many things are needed to make you a sustainable lifestyle. There are many resources out there to find out what you need, and for many, all you have is time for the research, right? If you are a Prepper or Survivalist, pat yourself on the back for sticking to your “guns”, staying prepared and practicing with your preps, when it is so much easier to “Eat, Drink and Be Merry”.

If you are new to preparedness, find one of the people you know (almost everyone has that one friend) to ask advice on “The steps” and “The Preps” required to give you some piece of mind in a “less than peaceful environment. I believe this is a lead in for something more severe, whether a “Round 2” of the pandemic, or “Gov overreach” from their “Plandemic”. We shall see, but being truly prepared is a lifestyle, not a hobby.

Keep prepping, but try to relax and enjoy the little things at the same time.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.