View Full Version : Winchester 1300 Defender range report w/ mini-shells

06-25-2005, 6:54 PM
I took my new 1300 Defender with an 18" barrel and 8 round mag out to the range the other day, and put a few dozen rounds through it.

I shot 20 Aquila mini-shells with a mix of 7 #4 and 4 #1 pellets, and 10 Federal low recoil tactical 00 buck (9 pellet).

Everything worked like a champ. I'll have to put a lot more rounds through it to get my confidence up, but so far, so good.

It's pretty light at 6.5 lbs, which is good for handling, but can be bad for recoil. The balance seems good to me, but I don't shoot shotguns a lot. The stock's just a bit short for me, and the 00 buck made my thumb bonk me in the nose, which is really irritating, so I may hunt up a longer recoil pad to give me another inch or so and tame it a bit more.

The action was fast and very smooth, with a pretty short pump. The Defender has a feature they call "Speed Pump" that unlocks the action with the recoil and lets you pump it faster, but I didn't do speed tests, since I was at the indoor range. It's a little disconcerting to have it partly unlocked after the mag's dry, but it didn't cause any problems for me.

The slide release button is pertty small and behind the trigger guard. I found it harder to get at than on an 870, and it'll take some practice to get used to it. I may not have discovered the right technique for it yet.

I loaded the Aguilas 10 rounds at a time, and they fed and ejected flawlessly, with very light recoil - much like a .410. Each shell gave a 10 yard pattern about 4" wide, but a bit patchy in coverage. I'm a bit recoil shy, and I really enjoyed shooting these.

Ejection was not super strong on them, and they didn't fly very far, so I've got a bit of concern that they may not clear the chamber in a tricky situation. I have some minishell slugs, too, but didn't try them out yet.

Next I put 10 Federal low-recoil tactical 00 buck rounds through it. These had a good punch to them, low-recoil or not, and my shoulder was starting to complain by the end. Groups were about 4" with these too, but were more evenly distributed, despite fewer pellets.

Ejection was a lot stronger with the full-size shells, and cleared the chamber lots better.

Overall, I like it a lot. I think I'll buy a bunch of the mini-shells and work on reliability and technique for them, because I have a hard time practicing enough with full-load 12 gauge. I'd like to do some tests on pumpkins, water jugs, and such, but I have no doubt they're reasonably effective rounds for home defense.

I don't really use a shotgun in my home-defense planning, as I like to have a hand free, but it's still a good thing to have on hand, tested and ready.


06-27-2005, 7:29 AM
I had my 1300 for about 4 years now. Not even over 50rnds fired. She makes me sleep easier at night.
The action is very slick and fast.

06-27-2005, 7:52 PM
The Defender1300 I got from Big 5 is pretty sweet. I added a pistol + butt grip, and a tactical grip on the pump. Also added a LED to it.

I use it for fishing.

06-27-2005, 9:44 PM
I got my shotty out to the range for the first time Fri & Sun also. Ran through 45 standard slugs and 40 shells of 7.5. Wheeeee!

My shotgun is a bit of a heavy pig though.

09-09-2005, 10:39 PM
An update on the mini-shells:

I ran 20 more through it today, and they were a bit problematic.

First off, I loaded it up with 10 at a time (it'll hold 12 of them, but that's a legal grey area in California), and shucked them out without firing, using the slide release. I did this a half-dozen times.

As before, they don't eject very forcefully, and I found that frequently the ejected one would fail to clear the receiver, and I'd end up with 2 of them in the loading chamber. It didn't matter much if I pumped harder or held it with the ejection port down - I still had to clear a jam several times per run.

It didn't jam when I actually fired them, so it may have been the heavier weight of the loaded shells keeping them from clearing reliably, but I'd need to put a few hundred rounds through before I had enough confidence in them. Possibly tweaking the ejector could help, but I don't know the inner workings of the gun that well yet.

Doing this with the Federal tactical buck was no problem - the rounds went spinning out and had good, strong ejection, even when unfired.

As before, the recoil on the mini-shells was very light, which I like. These were 7.5 birdshot, and they patterned a sparse 12" at 10 yards, and a stronger 4" at 5 yards.

The Federal tactical 9 pellet buck patterned about 3.5" at 10 yards and 2" at 5 yards, but had plenty kick, and kept bonking my hand into my nose.

I'm thinking seriously about that Knoxx SpecOps stock, as it would both reduce recoil, and get my right hand away from my nose and onto the pistol grip. I'd sure like to try one on for size first, though.


09-10-2005, 11:01 AM
If you keep your thumb along the side of the stock and not wrapping it over the top of the stock you won't bonk your nose.

09-10-2005, 3:45 PM
Yah, I tried a few different grip positions and cheekwelds, and I could get it so it wouldn't hit, but if I just pick up the gun and mount it naturally, I get my nose whacked. I'm sure I could break this with enough practice, but I'm not always good at changing such automatic reflexes.

Anyhow, it gives me an excuse to modify the gun some (like I need that).


09-15-2005, 2:38 AM
I let my buddy Paul shoot some 3 1/2" slugs and it rattled loose some fillings! Cheek weld is important!