Cutting shotgun shells


12 pointer
Aug 5, 2015
Have any of you cut shotgun shells. I have never done that and it looks like to me it could damage a good gun barrel.
I can see it would make a good home defense round.


6 pointer
Jun 14, 2009
lawrenceburg, ky
I was with a buddy once. And he said let's try they cut shell. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. When I saw him start cutting an actual shotgun shell. Just like this guy in the video. I thought, well someone needs to be here to call 911. But sure enough it worked. I was blown away.


6 pointer
Feb 3, 2008
Nelson County
Deer poachers from long ago did this to make the shell shoot nearly like a slug. Or so I’ve been told but you couldn’t prove it by me. I found a shell that had been cut while squirrel hunting once and I knew of an older guy that supposedly would do this and hunted the same area. Been along time ago.



12 pointer
Dec 25, 2008
On top of a hill in Ky
I did it a few times one day while squirrel hunting as a teenager. Buddy of mine at the time brought it up, so we tried it. Fired it thru a H&R 12ga with modified choke. 2 of the 3 we did solidly smacked a small tree. The other I didn’t cut deep enough and it still fired like normal. I’m not up for gimmicks or tricks when it comes to home defense. Based on my experience, I’m not willing to risk it. I know the odds are pretty much zero, but definitely not zero, that I will ever need to use a gun in self defense. However, if I do. I want to know I can depend on it. #4 buck up to 00 buck is the best load for home defense. Birdshot sizes aren’t very effective unless the person is close enough to take the gun from you. Even then, penetration isn’t what you’d think it would be. Buckshot and slugs are the best way to go.

ETA: After watching the video. It reminded me of another aspect I don’t like about cut shells. Only useful in a single shot or double barrel. They most likely wouldn’t reliably cycle in a pump or semi auto.
Last edited:


12 pointer
Nov 13, 2003
Foster, KY, USA.
My cousin showed me that trick when I was a kid. We were squirrel hunting and all I had was size 7 birdshot shells. After not killing the first few I shot at and obviously hit he asked to see one of my shells and started cutting on it. I'll be damned it worked and not another squirrel got away that day. When I told my dad he didn't think it was a good idea so I never did it again. Not sure if there really is any danger in doing that or not but it does seem to work.


6 pointer
Oct 28, 2014
When I was younger I duck hunted with some wild boys in south TX on the coast. When the giants flocks of redheads would raft up out in the middle of the bay they'd start lobbing cut loads at them to get them to fly. It was impressive how far they would go when you pointed the barrel at about a 45 degree angle up in the air. You could watch the load hit the water and then adjust for the next shot if you were off. It worked very well. Birds would scatter and eventually a few flocks would come work the decoys.


12 pointer
Jul 14, 2014
Never heard of it. Interesting.
Several years ago, a Hunting Friend of mine, fired a few cut shotgun shells (12 gauge). He was shooting them out his Remington M-1100; and the end result was he damaged his shotgun. I've never attempted to do this cutting as it seemed dangerous and can damage your shotgun.


12 pointer
Apr 7, 2015
Saw a guy rabbit hunting stop once and pull a shell out and do that. Closed up his gun and took another step and a buck jumped up and he dropped it.


12 pointer
Feb 20, 2013
La Grange
I used to work with a guy from northern Minnesota who said that they used to take the 00 buck pellets out of the shell then split the pellets with pliers and then use piano wire to string the pellets together and then pack the pellets back into the shell.

I'm sure this would make an ugly hole....but soooo many things could go wrong.

Latest posts