Ever wish your 12 gauge shotgun didn't tear up game when shot up close?
Short Lane Gun Adapters took great consideration in this issue, and they believe they have you covered. We reviewed the Short Lane Gun Adapters Stack-N-Pack, and we're pleasantly surprised at how it performed.
When armed with a hinge action shotgun (in single shot or double barrel variety), the big 12 gauge shotshell is sometimes just overkill. The ability to fire a 20 gauge or even a .410 bore shotshell would be really handy. Different calibers and gauges for your trusty shotgun could really help fill the freezer if you've got small game around and only the one gun.
Short Lane Gun Adapters had hunters and survivalists in mind when they came up with the Stack-N-Pack Kit. Thanks to their unique adapter system, the old 12 gauge shotgun has become much more flexible.
Let's say, heaven forbid, you find yourself in a survival situation. It's common knowledge that ammunition will be scarce. If you own a 12 gauge break action shotgun, you might be able to use the shotshells you have to defend and feed yourself, at least for a short while. But imagine if you came about some .410 or 20 gauge shells, or even .22 long rifle or .45 Colt ammunition, minus the guns to shoot them. You'd think you were out of luck, right?
The truth is, you still might be in business. The Short Lane Gun Adapters Stack-N-Pack Kit lets you increase the capabilities of the 12 gauge, and increase your adaptability in a dire situation.
The shotgun I used for this review is a tried and true H&R Topper Model 88 in 12 gauge that shoots 3" magnums. This type of shotgun is found just about anywhere, and usually at an affordable price. I wanted something average, without bells and whistles, to experiment with the bare bones approach to transforming the shotgun.
Let's look first at how it's all set up before shots are fired.
The Short Lane Gun Adapters Stack-N-Pack is a series of three chamber adapters that will drop into the 12 gauge shotgun chamber. It is important to note you can only use these in a break action type shotgun. The first chamber adapter is for 12 gauge down to 20 gauge. The second is 20 gauge down to .410 bore/ .45 Colt cartridges. Lastly, the third adapter is .410 bore/.45 Colt smooth bore shotgun down to smooth bore .22 Long Rifle caliber.
They nest inside of each other for both storage and use. I've got to admit that it's a neat, out of the box idea. A small rod serves as an ejector that then sits inside the .22 Long Rifle adapter and is all housed in a rubber o-ringed plastic twist top polymer case. These adapters are stackable & packable, ready for easy storage and transportation.
Range day came with targets provided by my friends at Silverado Arms LTD. The .22 Long Rifle ammunition used was Federal bulk pack 36 grain hollow points. With all inserts nested together, I situated the .22 Long Rifle chamber to the 12 o'clock position.
On my first shot I could see I was low at 12 yards away. I decided to then rotate the adapter to a 6 o'clock position. That did the trick. Using just the shotgun bead sight and the rough shotgun trigger, I fired five shots that grouped into two inches. Some shots were even touching.
I was surprised, because I knew that there was no accuracy-inducing rifling at work, spinning the fired bullets. This was all down a smooth bore insert. Making that easy of an adjustment and producing super-accurate shots that quickly made my eyebrows rise.
I did notice that there appeared to be some bullet tumble, evidenced by the target itself. How lethal could a tumbling .22 bullet be? I decided to shoot at an old 700-page paper catalog, to see if I could catch any rounds.
The bullets did tumble, but also did something I found quite remarkable. The projectiles turned sideways and continued to blast all the way through the book. They still carried a good amount of energy. It's fair to say that round would certainly be deadly at the sort of short distances it's intended for. The 22LR adapter has its place in the survivalist's bag of tricks, to say the least.
The next adapter I tried was the .410 bore/.45 Colt insert. This was tested using Remington Express Long Range 3" Magnum loads in #6 at 12 yards. Let's just say, if that target had been a rabbit, it would have had a really bad day. It really seemed like Short Lane Chamber Adapters would help get the job done using the old small bore shotgun load.
While the short range target had plenty of shot, I was curious of the power and penetration performance. At the same 12 yards, I fired into that 700-page catalog again. The #6 lead shot made it to page 98 before they were captured. The force of the impacts also left dent impressions into a few of the following pages. If you were hunting small game, the #6 lead pellets proved to have enough power in this test.
The last test was with the 20 gauge insert. Federal 2.75", 7/8 ounce, #7.5 lead shot loads were used. This time I backed up 15 yards from the target and fired off a shotshell. The shot covered the target, proving its ability to catch any small game critter in a lead storm.
All of the cartridges and shotshells I fired using the Short Lane Gun Adapters Stack-N-Pack went off without any problems. Each hit of the firing pin was right on the money. Even though I convinced myself the .22 Long Rifle adapter was good enough to work in a desperate situation, it would really prove itself most useful dispatching trapped animals, or as a training tool. Maybe if there was some added rifling within that adapter, it would help increase the accuracy and hold bullet tumbling to a minimum.
To be honest, I first thought that the patterns of the shot loads would be subpar when the shot flew through a larger barrel than it was originally intended for. Surprisingly, it did not become an apparent problem at all. The groups were certainly compatible with what you'd expect from an worthy small game firearm. The shotshells extracted easily with a simple push of the finger, but the .22 Long Rifle adapter required the use of the supplied ejecting rod.
A quick word of warning: If your break-open shotgun has automatic eject upon opening, you need to be extra careful. Put your hand behind the Stack-N-Pack shotgun adapter before ejecting the shell. This beats picking up the unit out of the mud or bouncing it off a hard surface as it hits the ground.
What would the Short Lane Gun Adapters Stack-N-Pack be best used for? Obviously, if you're needing something for survival, the ability to change a 12 gauge gun into something that shoots 20 gauge, .410/.45 Colt and .22 Long Rifle loads could be a real game changer. Used as a bug out tool, you've got something that ca be easily carried and adjustable to fit your finds. And most importantly, it can be utilized safely and usefully in a jiffy. I want to reiterate how simple and small adjustments were all that was needed to really see the advantage of this thing.
If you're hunting, using smaller shotshells is great for up close small game harvesting. The fact that these shotgun adapters can be used individually in other weapons just makes them even more appealing.
Overall, I feel the Short Lane Gun Adapters Stack-N-Pack is a very useful product for any hunter, survivalist, or recreational shooter. When your products are made in the USA and you offer free shipping, you're exhibiting a level of trust and reliability. On top of all that, they are just flat out fun to shoot. I found myself smiling a little more than usual at the thought of easily switching my 12 gauge into a Transformer of a gun.
When you create your next wish list for hunting or survival gear, this little handy item should make the cut.
I did find out Short Lane also has rifled adapters for shotguns. That's the sort of idea I was alluding to earlier with the .22 LR rifling, but they've produced some variations like the 12, 16, or 20 gauge Pathfinder Kit, or the 12, 16, or 20 Gauge Scavenger Kit. In fact, the whole product line of Short Lane Gun Adapters they have online makes you feel a bit like a kid in a candy store. You keep finding more and more things you know you want! It's well worth checking out.
It's particularly interesting to note that the rifled Pathfinder Series was created with the help of the famous survivalist Dave Canterbury. The smooth bore Scavenger Series offers shorter adapters that can fit so easily in your pocket or pack, and there are even adapters for the popular Taurus Judge revolver.
We look forward to new products in the future from the good folks at Short Lane Gun Adapters, because they seem to continually hit it out of the park. The Stack-N-Pack kit stood up to the test, and we're recommend it to just about anyone.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.