Little Skeeters

Dear Technoid,

I read your comment that the sub-gauges (except .410) perform normally in the Little Skeeters. Are you saying all the powder is burned in 2 3/4 inches? or that wads do not need to form a gas seal? There has to be gas blow by using a 28 gauge wad in a 12 gauge barrel! Are we re-writing everything we know about ballistics or am I missing something?

I will agree the Beretta 303 is a great gun.


Dear Tony,

I don’t really know what is happening inside that barrel with those Little Skeeters. I’d love to get a lab photo of the shot doing down a Lexan barrel. But I do know that the 12>20 and 12>28 LS I tested do have normal velocity. I measured it myself on my very own genuwhine home hobbyist chronograph. The manufacturers of LS also swear to me that the my numbers are right.

I think that there may be a number of factors working here to keep velocity up when gas seal is questionable.

First, maybe the subgauges get more of a boost from the powder burn inside the shell than we had imagined. Look at all those snub nosed .38 pistols. Yes, I know it’s not the same, but it’s the only analogy that came to mind. Better a lousy analogy than no analogy at all!

Second, barrel friction against the wad, or its lack, may play a bigger part than we thought. There sure won’t be much friction when you shove a 28 gauge wad down a 12 gauge barrel. When you get a blooper using a regular 12 gauge shell in a 12 gauge barrel, you have less gas pressure, but normal friction, hence less velocity.

Third, there may be some residual gas seal from the wad. Not exactly from the gas seal portion of the wad, but perhaps from the wad fingers folding back and out. That might explain the difference between the success of the 12>28 and the failure of the 12>410. Folding back the 410’s fingers just isn’t enough to provide any gas seal, while the 28 might be just enough bigger.

After those three guesses, I’m out of ideas. By the way, Lenny Vallender and Joe Scancarello who make the LS don’t have any better ideas themselves. One thing is for sure, we aren’t rewriting the laws of ballistics or treading where no man has gone before. Chamber inserts are old hat. They’ve been done before. It’s just that the LS use modern materials and machinery.

As to the 303 being a great gun, yes, it is. But I’d probably be every bit as happy with a properly setup 390 or 391.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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