View Full Version : Shotgun inserts

11-09-2010, 07:20 PM
I thought I would share this with you guys because it is a great way to have a longarm which can shoot very widely available pistol cartridges in a gun you may already own in a SHTF scenario... or just for fun!:50:

I got some 12 ga barrel inserts recently from a fellow who goes by "latherunner" over on gunbroker. I ended up with an 8" & 12" 9mm and also a 10" .45 ACP barrel. I've got say that my transaction with the guy was extremely positive and speedy. The guy makes the inserts himself in his garage so he is very ammenable to suggestions and commentary. You end up with practically a custom product.

The 9mm and .45 ACP are particularly great for shotgun inserts because of the tapered case of those cartrdiges. It means that they likely not get stuck even though one uses your fingernails to remove the cases. I experienced about 200 fps increase in velocity with my handloads for the 9 mm barrels and about 50 fps increase for the .45 ACP. My 9mm handloads were 124 gr JHP on top of 3.8 gr and 4.6 gr of Unique while the .45 CP was 255 gr Oregon Trail hard cast SWC over 5.8 gr of Unqiue to an OAL of 1.12".

I used the inserts in my Beretta BL-1 and it was a treat! The front ghost ring on my overunder had a the very fortunate coincidence of have POA=POI @ 25y for my upper barrel for the .45 ACP loads. For my 9mm loads in the upper barrel, they tended to shoot about 1 to 2" low and about 2" to the left. The lower barrel printed all of the ammo I ran about 2" to 3" above POA but nicely centered left-right. Th .45 ACP was the most accurate for me and I could hit a 6" steel plate at 40 y offhand with impunity. It doesn't sound like that great a shot but it was a lot of fun. In general, the inserts will easily manage about 1" per 25 y out to the 25y that I shot standing, offhand. The .45 ACP insert gave a very pleasant, soft push of recoil whiel the 9 mm while slightly snappy but still very light.

Here is a typical group for the 9 mm insert (12" barrel, 9 shots, clocking the barrel):

Here is the .45 ACP target to the left:

A couple more 9mm targets with various ammo:

Here's a youtube vid of the insert being inserted into the barrel:

YouTube - shotgun insert (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92FLVaQQLGE)

I do plan on installing better sights on the thing to see if it can shoot any better. I already have the pieces - just need to drill and tap. The rear sight is a Skinner ladder-type aperature that I took off a Marlin I have. If my measurements are right, I can still just use the front hooded sight alone - like a regular shotgun - when the rear aperature is folded and still have a decent, fast and bright sight picture for shotgun use and close in pistol cartridge work. I love this thing :4:


I'm going to try it with duct tape before I drill...

11-09-2010, 07:38 PM
Those are sweet!
Do you think I could find one to fit a 20 gauge barrel?


11-09-2010, 07:42 PM
Just go on gunbroker and look for a seller called "latherunner" and send him a question... you never know :)

11-09-2010, 07:47 PM
Here is another place to get some too http://www.mcace.com/Insertsindex.htm

leaf and lightning
11-09-2010, 07:55 PM
how much did those set you back... I might try to get one of those in .357 for my 20Ga... oh and is it legal if the insert is less than 18"?(ie, is the insert length considered as barrel length?)

11-09-2010, 08:34 PM
Drill Here, Drill Now is ok for oil, not so much where you have that rear sight.

Drilling into the chamber is never a good idea, even if it is a shotgun. Move it down past the forcing cone, and I'd be much happier for you.:D

As to the inserts themselves, I really like the idea, and am glad these are working out for you. :dblthumb:

11-10-2010, 07:12 AM
There's actually a rib about 3" long above the chamber where I plan on drilling that is > 1/4" thick. Nice eh? :D

He charged me $65 plus shipping. He's only doing a couple of calibers in 12 ga right now. He has to tool up for reamers for other calibers and I guess that would up the cost a bit. I don't see why he could not turn down some more for 20 ga though I do not know if he offers inserts for that. Just ask the guy - you never know.

I am told that the mcace.com guy has a ridiculous waiting period - which is why I went over to gunbroker to look for one used and I stumbled onto this guy. He does have a web site which I forgot to post above:


11-10-2010, 08:21 AM
Are these inserts rifled? I have always been interested in this concept. Mac

11-10-2010, 10:00 AM

It appears he is using Green Mountain barrel blanks which do come rifled already. If you can find a competent machinist, it wouldn't be that hard to have one turned down. Which leads me to my next question. Which caliber would you pick for a double gun? lets say 20 ga. over and under?


11-10-2010, 10:25 AM
I had a friend once set up an 18 inch SxS as a 12 ga/.45-70. The gun was being sent to Alaska as a survival rifle for a light plane. I never got to fire it.

If I were to set up one of these combo guns here in Brazil the rifle barrel would be in .38 special due to our ammo restrictions. They make the Rossi matched pair here as a 10 inch barrel pistol. You swap the .410 and .22 barrels. I would love to have one of them set up with a .38 special insert for the .410 barrel making it a 3 caliber gun.

I think the over under 20 ga would work real well with a .357 magnum insert.

12 ga over 7.63x39 with a 7.62x25 chamber adaptor?


11-10-2010, 11:29 AM
Like Pict, I'm curious to know if they're rifled.

Also, if you rotate one a few degrees and re-insert it, it will probably change the point of impact.

11-10-2010, 12:30 PM
There's actually a rib about 3" long above the chamber where I plan on drilling that is > 1/4" thick. Nice eh? :D

:dblthumb: Just checkin'.

11-10-2010, 03:27 PM
Very interesting.

Idea: take a pump-gun and find the maximum cycleable length of cartridge. Then make an insert just under that length. The 'barrel' length would be short but no shorter than a compact pistol, and the accuracy (pointability and sight radius) would be vastly improved. Then you have a quiet small-game gun but push the action release, rack, and you can have a slug for deer, bear or pig, or shot for a bird.

11-10-2010, 04:25 PM
Yes, they are rifled.

11-10-2010, 04:44 PM
This concept has been around for a while. I think the Russian IZH shotguns used to have them for an option. I never got around to getting any, but maybe it's time to look at them again especially since you've pointed to a good source. Heck, even a .22 barrel might be fun. Maybe .223, .308, .45-70 for that real double rifle effect?

I now see he's only doing 9mm, .44S&W and .45ACP. I hope he adds .357 next.

A K Church
11-10-2010, 04:46 PM
A friend had an MC/Ace insert back in the Mel Tappan era for .45LC/12G. He dealt with the point of impact issues by dremelling a tiny little notch on the insert extractor, and a matching little notch on the shotgun extractor. As witness marks.

It did the trick.

11-24-2010, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the info, alukban. I've been interested in such inserts, but the ones I've seen are too short, 2.5" or 2.75", to give good accuracy. These look like they're long enough to do good, as evidenced by your groups.
Does he have a website?