Takho Mini Sluggers – Ukraine Shotgun Ammo In America

I don’t know if Takho is pronounced taco, but I’m going with it until someone tells me otherwise. Takho is a Ukrainian ammunition company that produces various rifle, pistol, and shotgun rounds. Today we are looking at a shotgun load, but one unlike any other. I’ve seen mini shells be 1.75 inches, and mini shells measure 2.5 inches, but I’ve never seen 2-inch shells. The Takho mini sluggers represent an interesting new load for shotgun nerds like me. 

Traditionally 2.5-inch shells work extremely well in pump and even semi-auto guns. 1.75-inch shells will work with adapters or with specific guns but typically won’t cycle. Can these 2-inch mini sluggers be both fairly short and reliable? Well, only one way to find out. I ordered a case of 250 right before the Ukraine-Russian war popped off. I feel a little bad because, well, they probably need them more than I do right now. 

Mini Sluggers – The Specifics 

These mini sluggers are 2 inches long and fire a ¾ ounce slug. The velocity isn’t listed, and I can’t even seem to find it listed for this exact load on the Takho website. The max range is listed at 45 meters, which is fairly short for a slug. Unlike other mini shells, these do have a specific use, and they are designed for Practical Shotgun competition. 

You know how a lot of practical shooting sports devolve into ways to get a slight advantage? If I had to guess, Practical Shotgun is fairly popular in Europe or Eastern Europe. A shotgun’s recoil and low capacity work against it. Decreasing recoil and your need to reload makes it a lot easier to win. So, why not shorten the shells? 

These mini sluggers are designed explicitly for this kind of competition and certainly seem like a legal way to cheat the system. The big issue would be reliability. Do they run? Well, that’s what we intend to find out!

Are Two Inches Enough? 

That’s the big question, right? For competition shooting, sure. These slugs don’t need to kill a deer or take down a bad guy. They just need to punch paper or maybe hit steel. In that realm, it’s more about accuracy than anything else. In terms of accuracy, I produced pretty good groups inside of 50 yards with my Benelli SuperNova. 

The ghost ring sights are an exceptional slug sighting system that made it pretty easy to zero the gun to the slug’s path. At 25 yards, I destroyed the A zone of an ISPC target with a nice tight group. At 50 yards, accuracy got a little wonkier, but still acceptable. I landed five shots into the target, and technically all are in the head…but two would be technical hits that just broke the paper. 

Still, the max range is 45 meters, which is 49 yards, so I was at the max range of the mini sluggers. 

What About Defensive Function? 

The added capacity can make rounds like these appealing. Admittedly the 2-inch rounds seem to allow you to add an extra two rounds into the tube of your shotgun. Extra rounds in a low-capacity platform are always nice. However, these ¾ ounce slugs are likely moving pretty slow. Sadly there isn’t a listed speed for these rounds, and the recoil is what I describe as cute. 

It’s very late, and light recoil is not always a bad thing. For defensive use, I’m sure they’d ring someone’s bell, but they appear to be both light and slow. The Federal slugs are 1-ounce slugs at 1,200 feet per second, and they have significantly more recoil and are likely the better option if you feel compelled to use mini shells for defensive use. 

I’d only ever use the 2.5-inch shells for defensive use, but that would be in a pinch. I still prefer my 2.75 inch Federal FliteControl rounds above any mini shell or mini slugger. These mini slugs would probably be pretty decent for killing pests and smaller predators like coyotes on the hunting side. For deer, I’d still want a proper slug, not mini sluggers.

Do They Cycle? 

I’ve saved what everyone wants to know for the last part of this article. Yes, the mini sluggers function… mostly. They work fine in a pump-action gun as long as the shell lifter is solid and not skeletonized. In a Mossberg 500 or 500 clone, they can get stuck in a skeletonized shell lifter.

In my Benelli SuperNova, they ran without complaint. I cycled through 50 rounds in various positions. Including low and high ready, at the hip, and cycled the action slow and gently and fast and hard. They all fed perfectly and without complaint. 

I tossed a few mini sluggers in my Benelli M4, and predictably they didn’t exactly do very well. They didn’t generate enough gas for the little gun to cycle. They turned the Benelli M4 into a straight-pull bolt action gun. 

Takho’s Rounds 

Takho makes various shotgun loads of various lengths, and I’d love to see more make it to the states. These little guys are interesting, and I’d like to see a faster, harder-hitting slug in the 2-inch variety as well as some 2-inch buckshot. It would make interesting fodder for my shotgun lust. Chest out the mini sluggers at Prinz Technology. They didn’t send these rounds, I purchased them myself, but they do host some neat foreign shotgun loads. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.