Challenger 12ga mini shell

I noticed very recently that a couple distributors in the U.S. were showing some minishells from Challenger. These are the same idea as the Aguila minishells, and they are the same 1&7/8" length. Challenger is a mostly unknown brand in the U.S. with weak distribution, but I assume they are more of a Canadian thing… based on the packaging and headstamp? At first I assumed they were a product of Canada for obvious reasons, but as per the back of the box, they are made in France. Shown below as the blue shell, it is next to an Aguila minishell (red), and a standard 2.75" shell for comparison.

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What is the intended use of these little mini-shells? Why would I want to buy some for use in my 12 ga. shotguns?

Apparently you can stick several more in the tube of that pump action shot gun you keep hand for folks who think they need your stuff in the early morning when your sleeping?

Or allow more shots in the tube at those clay’s speeding away from you.

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Matt, thanks for sharing. This brand was made for Société d’Expansion Commercial LIBEC, Inc., Québec, Canada.



Most of the time, and this seems strange for shotgun ammo, shells of less than 2.00” like these will not function pump or semi shotguns, which seems to defeat the capacity advantage. I have heard that the Aguila minishells, which are identical to these, will function in a Keltec KSG though. It’s almost as if Aguila and this copycat designed the shell to be just short enough to not function in pumps & semis. But I believe the original intent was to make an easily identifiable low-recoil load for use against close range varmints, particularly snakes.

Thanks for the information / correction Matt.

I can confirm that this size of shell (although I’ve not tried the Challenger ones (anyone know where I can get some in Canada?)) does work in both a KSG and a Winchester Defender (essentially a short barrel, extended magazine, Model 12) but not a Remington 870 without modification. The Aguila slug loading is 5/8th oz and more than enough to discourage “folks who think they need your stuff”.

The new Federal shorty 12ga shells are hitting the market, and their price-point appears to be generally the same as Aguila but measurably more than Challenger, although Federal goes with a 10rd box so as to have a lower dollar-number price tag, tricking some buyers into thinking that they “cost less”, as the brands often do with 20rd boxes vs 50rd boxes.

The Federal version looks to be running around .40 to .50 cents per shell at best, similar to Aguila, while the Challenger stuff is often closer to .35 to .38 cents per shell. Federal probably doesn’t care about Challenger since they don’t have any serious distribution network, and Federal is just competing with Aguila. I’m telling you though - Ammoseek… The serious buyers rely on it, and would buy whatever ammo is cheapest and appears to be decent, even if it were named “Jim-Bob’s Pickles & Ammo Company”, in order to save a few dollars, so Challenger will do just fine at the top of the results for minishell type loads. Those OpSol adapter things for Mossbergs are really helping out this short-shell market.