A tale of two elastomers

Mesa Tactical Santoprene Elastomer Tube

A tale of two elastomers

Back in 2005 when we first developed our SureShell™ shotshell carrier, we must have tested some 20 or 30 different compounds for the elastomers that actually secures the shells in the machined aluminum yokes. We tested solid rubber, rubber tubing, foam rod, all kinds of things before settling on what appeared to be a pretty robust silicone.

After a few months we were obliged to head back to the drawing board for some more testing, before we finally arrived at an A64 shore durometer Santoprene elastomer tubing (Santoprene is a sort of mix of EPDM rubber and polypropylene). The Santoprene elastomers served us well for over five years, proving to be very robust.

Over the years we have received occasional complaints about it being too difficult to fit shells into the shell carriers, and other complaints about shells being too loose or falling out. Obviously, one design can’t please everyone when working with something as imprecise in dimensions as a shotgun shell. But as more shell carriers were deployed in the field and more complaints about loose shells started coming in, we decided once again to look into the elastomers.

We are starting to test new compounds again. We have been wondering, for example, whether the Santoprene elastomers has been too slick, that perhaps a stickier urethane might be an improvement in many cases. But one of the first changes we can make is to offer a stiffer durometer Santoprene tube, such as the white A73 shore value tube in the photo above. A stiffer tube will cause more interference, and may retain the shells better. We are still waiting for more results from the field to be sure.

In the meantime, anyone who is interested in trying the stiffer tubing should email us at support@nullmesatactical.com and request that we send you one of the following replacement parts:

23006 Four-shell Santoprene tubing (A73 durometer) 23007 Six-shell Santoprene tubing (A73 durometer) 23008 Eight-shell Santoprene tubing (A73 durometer)

We’d like to hear how it works for you.

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