Wednesday, April 6, 2016

REVIEW: Short Lane 20 Gauge to 410 Shotgun Adapter

(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft, ©2016)

As some of you may recall, I reviewed Short Lane's multi-caliber shotgun adapters back in April of 2014. In a nutshell, I really liked their 12 Gauge to 20 Gauge Shotgun Adapter, but was less impressed with their 12 Gauge to 410/45 Colt Shotgun Adapter.

Short Lane's 12 Gauge to 410/45 Colt Adapter:
(photo credit: Short Lane Adapters)

Shooting a small 410 shell inside a cavernous 12 Gauge bore with this adapter was like shooting a 410 shell from a short-barreled pistol 410 pistol. There was just not enough power behind the shot load. 

The result? Low velocity, poor penetration, and thin patterns past 10-15 yards. This made me shy about wanting to rely on this adapter for small game hunting except for emergency use (severe ammo shortage, etc). 

Since that review, I have been curious as to how a 410 adapter might perform in a 20 Gauge shotgun. Since a 20 gauge bore is smaller, it might give the 410 shell more power and make it pattern better. 

So I decided to take a chance and ordered a 20 Gauge to 410/45 Colt Shotgun adapter from Short Lane's website, hoping to see if my theory proved correct. I am happy to report that yes, this little adapter does work, as you'll see below. 

Short Lane's 20 Gauge to 410/45 Colt Adapter:
(photo credit: Short Lane Adapters)

FIELD TEST- Penetration

The first thing I wanted to try was a penetration test. In my previous review, I loaded a Remington 410 "Game Load" 2 1/2" #6 shell inside a Short Lane 12 Gauge to 410 adapter, and shot the bottom of a steel vegetable can at 15 yards using a Tri-Star SB Folding Shotgun. For a comparison, I shot a similar can at 25 yards with a full size Chiappa Double Badger 410 Shotgun. Here were the results:

(Left)- Short Lane 410 Adapter fired out of a 12 Gauge at 15 yards did not have enough power to penetrate the bottom of the steel vegetable can. (Right)-, a full sized Chiappa Double Badger 410 Shotgun using the same load was able to easily penetrate a similar can at 25 Yards:

In the new test, I used the exact same Remington 410 load in a Short Lane 20 Gauge to 410 Adapter and fired it through an H&R 20 Gauge Single Shot Shotgun.

The result? Although it wasn't quite as powerful as a full sized 410 shotgun, there was a definite improvement in velocity over the 12 Gauge to 410 adapter. As you can see below, one pellet went straight through the bottom of the can, and one nearly broke through:

Pattern Testing at 20 Yards

Here is the original pattern test of the Short Lane 12 Gauge to 410 Adapter at 20 Yards using Remington's 410 3" Magnum 11/16 oz #5 shotshell. The adapter was fired through a Tri-Star SB Shotgun with a Modified Choke:

Below is the pattern I got using Short Lane's 20 Gauge to 410 Adapter, using the same ammo at the same distance, but on a smaller Champion squirrel target. The adapter was fired through an H&R 20 Gauge Single Shot Shotgun with a Modified Choke:

20 Yards using Remington's 410 2 1/2" 1/2 ounce #6 "Game Load" 

The improvement in the pattern over the 12 Gauge to 410 adapter wasn't dramatic, but it was enough of an improvement to make it usable out to roughly 20-25 yards. Coupled with the increased velocity as seen in the previous penetration test, Short Lane's 20 Gauge to 410 Adapter has proven to me that it is useful for close range small game hunting or for use in a survival situation.

NOTE: I tested a number of different 410 #6 squirrel and rabbit loads in the adapter, and it seemed to get the best patterns with Remington 410 Game Loads.

Additional Pattern testing at 25 Yards
(clock any photo to enlarge)

Remington Nitro 410 2 1/2" #8 Load:

Federal Premium 410 2 1/2" Target Load #8.5:

Winchester AA 2 1/2" #9 Target Load:


The Short Lane 20 Gauge to 410 Shell Adapter is probably the best money I've spent in quite a while. For under $25, it gives me the option of carrying a 20 Gauge single shot shotgun with a large amount of lightweight 410 shotshells for small game hunting, yet still have 20 Gauge power for longer shots, big game hunting, or dangerous animal defense.

(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft, ©2016)

Such a rig would also be great for canoeists, bush pilots, ATV riders and snowmobilers who prefer a shotgun for a survival tool, but also need to keep the weight down in case they need to travel through the wilderness on foot in an emergency situation.

5 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

For more information, visit:

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for the The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ (without spaces)

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