High-Tech Shotgun Ammo

Maxstop And DDupleks Maximize The Effectiveness Of
The 12-Gauge Defensive And Hunting Shotgun.

By Holt Bodinson

Innovations in ammunition power the shooting industry. Some developments are particularly intriguing because they’re radical, unique and highly effective, yet, haven’t realized their true market potential. Two brands I have been working with recently are Maxstop and DDupleks. Maxstop is, in essence, a reintroduction of the Polyshok round once restricted to law enforcement and military agencies years ago. Not anymore.

Under the Maxstop label this unique defense loading is now available to the public. The radical hunting and target slugs produced by DDupleks, a firm located in Latvia, were once impossible to find in the United States, but the company has now partnered with Century Arms as an importer, so hopefully the availability of the brand is secure.

Maxstop uses the term “impact reactive projectile” to describe their product. It’s strictly a 12-gauge self-defense round which is designed to remove the threat while minimizing to a high degree any possible collateral damage. There’s nothing quite like it in terms of performance which is graphically depicted on the company’s website.

Here’s how it works. The 540-grain projectile is composed of three components. There’s a soft plastic, unitized wad column consisting of a gas seal, which fractures into eight stabilizing wind vanes upon discharge, a cushion crush section and a shot cup. Contained in the shot cup is a charge of free-flow shot. Capping off the shot cup is a hard polymer toadstool, which the company calls an “actuator.” The projectile is a complete ballistic system.


The innovative Latvian-made, Century Arms-imported DDupleks shotgun slug (above) line is
finally gaining a toehold in the USA. Maxstop ammunition (below) is designed to terminate
the threat while minimizing collateral damage. It does so quite convincingly.


The projectile is designed to “transfer a highly disruptive, radial energy discharge into the first target it encounters” while dumping or dissipating its energy and thereby minimizing collateral damage beyond the target. Three characteristics of the projectile make this possible.

Free-flow shot is an ultra-fine shot manufactured by the same company that makes the Lawrence brand shot for handloaders. If you had to give it a numerical shot designation, it would probably rate about No. 16 shot. Free-flow shot has been used to manufacture radiation protection pads used in dental offices, and I understand it has also been used in the walls of “safe rooms” to eliminate eavesdropping. While the shot column functions like a solid projectile at the moment of impact, it’s dispersed radially and because of the low mass of individual pellets, looses energy rapidly.


The secret is in the use of fine, free-flow shot (above) as fine as sand encapsulated inside
a capped polymer wad. Such shot is about the size of No. 16. In tissue, free-flow shot pellets
are dispersed radially creating massive wounds, and minimal penetration beyond. Upon hitting
its target, the Maxstop gas seal (below) fractures into eight stabilizing wind vanes.


The plastic toadstool capping off the shot cup is rammed into the shot charge at the time of impact and disperses it radially. At the same time, the super soft polymer shot cup rolls back upon itself allowing the shot to be dispersed at an angle of 90-degrees from the point of impact. The plastic toadstool was developed by Polywad years ago as a spreader component for its loaded ammunition as well as a reloading component. It’s appearance in this shell is no surprise since Jay Menefee, president of Polywad, lead the development of the original Polyshok shell as well as many other innovative shotgun shells you see loaded by major companies and indeed loads the Maxstop round under license at his factory in Georgia.

In performance, the Maxstop round will instantly incapacitate a human threat with the round opening up within 8 to 10 inches of penetration and creating a massive wound channel. When fired through automobile windshields or doors, the round behaves much like a shaped charge, penetrating the barrier and setting up a highly focused pressure wave delivering a blunt trauma blow to anything 2 to 3 feet beyond the barrier. Because it behaves differently on different targets, it’s been called a “smart round.”


Maxstop is accurate. At 25 yards (above), the round produced 3-shot groups
measuring 1-1/2 inches, and the group at 50 yards was 3 inches (below).


Suitable Guns

The Maxstop round is designed specifically for 14- to 18-inch-barreled, smoothbore shotguns with cylinder or improved cylinder chokes. Rifled barrels will shred the projectile and back-bored barrels or barrels with ports or ported chokes will compromise the round’s performance.

What really impressed me with the round was its accuracy. From an 18-inch cylinder bore, open sighted, Remington 870, the Maxstop delivered 3-round groups of 1-1/2 inches at 25 yards and 3 inches at 50 yards. Trajectory was virtually flat. Felt recoil was half that of a standard buckshot round. Velocity recorded 10 feet from the muzzle was 1,028 fps.
The Maxstop ammunition is $54.99 for a box of 25 and $11.99 for a 5-round pack. This is one of the finest home defense and urban shotgun rounds ever developed to end the threat while minimizing collateral damage. It deserves a serious place in your battery.


The DUPO28 (above), a lead free, diablo-styled slug featuring 6 tissue-cutting petals, which
open up on impact and can break free averaged 1-7/8 inches at 50 yards. The MONOLIT28, a steel
Diablo-styled slug galvanized to prevent corrosion, does not deform and averaged 2-inch groups
(below). Both groups were fired at 50 yards.


Slug Power

DDupleks, Ltd. is a shotshell manufacturer in Riga, Latvia, specializing in high-tech slug ammunition. They’re finally getting a toehold in the United States market thanks to a partnership with Century Arms. Century sent me two different 2-3/4-inch 12-gauge loads called DUPO 28 and MONOLIT28. Both loads feature a 28-gram projectile (approximately 1 ounce) at 1,483 to 1,520 fps churning up roughly 2,040 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

The DUPO28 is what I term a “buzz-saw round.” It’s a lead free, Diablo-styled slug featuring 6 tissue cutting petals that open up to 1.18 inches at the nose of the slug upon impact. It creates a massive entrance and interior wound channel, and if the slug encounters heavy muscle, the petals fly off as secondary projectiles. It can be fired in any choke and in rifled as well as smoothbores, but back-bored barrels are not recommended. I tested the DUPO28 in a Savage Model 210, rifled slug gun mounted with a 1.5-5X Weaver scope. At 50 yards, my 3-shot group measured 1-7/8 inches. Average velocity 10 feet from the muzzle was 1,483 fps.

The MONOLIT28 features a steel Diablo-styled slug galvanized to prevent corrosion. Being steel, the slug does not deform and being lead free, it doesn’t contaminate game meat. One of its outstanding qualities is its stability through brush and cover, due in large part to its shape, non-deforming material and ideal center of mass. At 50 yards it placed 3-shots in 2 inches at an average velocity of 1,520 fps. Again, it’s suitable for any choke, smooth or rifled bore.

All the DDupleks slugs feature polymer, bore-riding and bearing surfaces so there is never any contact between the slug and the shotgun bore.

Twelve-gauge slug loads are available in 2-3/4- and 3-inch cases loaded with 28- or 32-gram slugs and in a variety of field types, including one frangible target round. The DDupleks line also includes slug loads for the 16 and 20 gauge and the .410.

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(800) 527-1252

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Houston, Texas 77098
(716) 997-4352

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