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Dusty Rivers
July 17, 2008, 09:33 AM
is there any way to decock a shotgun on an empty chamber without dry firing it? I am thinking of a pump, but Same question for an O/U/

My purpose- If I leave the pump empty chamber, decocked, magazine full, safety off ( nothing in the chamber) all my wife has to do is pick it up, cycle a round into the chamber and pull the trigger.

I am more comfortable with the chamber empty and the safety off than the other way around. If the chamber is empty and the gun is not decocked, then you have to find the slide release to cycle the action and load a round.

I just don't like dry firing the gun to get into the configuration I want to leave it in for emergency use by my wife. any suggestions? If I dry fire it on a spent shell does that protect the firing pin?

Doyle
July 17, 2008, 09:42 AM
The only way is to get an old style with an external hammer.

copenhagen
July 17, 2008, 09:42 AM
They do make 12Gauge Snap Caps (dummy rounds with soft urethane primers).

darkgael
July 17, 2008, 09:59 AM
As recommended, buy snap caps. Or make one - knock the primer out of a fired case, cut a small piece of plastic (polyethylene type) or rubber (the harder the better) and plug the primer hole with it. There's your snap cap.
Pete

jmr40
July 17, 2008, 10:36 AM
What kind of gun? I am not aware of any pump that would be hurt in the least by dry firing. Especially for limited use like you describe. I would just drop the hammer and not worry.

rzach
July 17, 2008, 10:46 AM
Drop hammer then load do not cycle until you want to shoot

RoscoeC
July 17, 2008, 10:48 AM
What kind of gun? I am not aware of any pump that would be hurt in the least by dry firing. Especially for limited use like you describe. I would just drop the hammer and not worry.

My thoughts exactly, and exactly what I do. If dry firing it occasionally damages it, then you have got the wrong shotgun. It's a shotgun, not a watch.

USMCGrunt
July 17, 2008, 11:58 AM
Ensure the chamber is empty, retract the slide just until you feel it contact the cocked hammer, squeeze the trigger and let the hammer follow the bolt forward.

texagun
July 17, 2008, 11:59 AM
I've been dry-firing for decades in the manner you described with no ill effects....autos, pumps, side by sides, and over and unders.

Juhosaphat
July 17, 2008, 12:15 PM
Why are you not able to load the gun on an empty chamber in the first place? There should be no need to dry fire at all with a pump. Just leave the chamber empty and load the tube. Pump one into the tube and you're good to go when you need it. What's the problem?

The O/U would be a problem to decock, but then every time you open it to load shells, it cocks. So why not just keep it broken with shells near by if you're worried about fast loading?

Jeff Mulliken
July 17, 2008, 07:10 PM
There is no need to leave the hammer down, it serves no purpose at all.

Just leave the chamber empty and the mag full. All you need to do is pump it once and your ready to dance.

Jeff

jmr40
July 17, 2008, 07:22 PM
There is an advantage to having the hammer down. If the gun is cocked you cannot pump the action until you depress the bolt release. With hammer down you can just work the action. One less thing to think about in a moment of stress.

hogdogs
July 17, 2008, 07:23 PM
If I read it correct, the reason he wants the hammer dropped is so when the lady of the home grabs it up she won't need to worry with the slide release. The dropped hammer allows her to just pump and shoot.
I keep mine fully loaded on safety. Why give away my position racking the slide? Also the most critical point in reliablity issues is when chambering a round. If not done firm it may not feed well.
Brent

bcrash15
July 17, 2008, 07:37 PM
Ensure the chamber is empty, retract the slide just until you feel it contact the cocked hammer, squeeze the trigger and let the hammer follow the bolt forward.

Either holding the trigger on a gentle pump closed or releasing the hammer after it's just freed should allow the hammer to just follow the slide home. This would work in a lot of cases, but I'd check for sure if it's ok to do on your gun, some may not like that. I mention that also because some guns may be designed to prevent this to avoid potential slamfires, but I don't know enough about specific models to say which, if any, it will work for.

Though I would not sweat it too much to dry fire an empty shotgun at infrequent intervals.

New_Pollution1086
July 17, 2008, 07:51 PM
Why not teach her how to properly use a shotgun?

T

Scattergun Bob
July 17, 2008, 09:49 PM
This was a great question. Rem 870 and Mossy 500 require the action completely closed to allow the hammer to fall. So the folks who told you to use snap caps or some other form of dummy rounds are correct. I also store my scatterguns in the condition of readiness you suggest.

bcrash15 - neither 870 or 590 pumps allow the hammer to follow the bolt, so your idea will not work with either one of these pumps, you can hammer follow a Benelli super-90.

Jeff Mulliken - one of the standard ways to carry a pump scattergun is with the hammer down and mag loaded. It allows the hammer spring to be at rest, over long term storage this is a good idea! If you are in a patrol car with a vertical mount then I agree with you "cruiser ready" is a better deal, make sure you deal with the safety!

jmr40 - Rem 870 firing pins DO fracture, the factory says that dryfiring is a major cause of this problem. Because of the length of the pin it is an issue. I have 5 or 6 broken pins in my armors box just to show folks the facts of life.

arizona98tj
July 17, 2008, 11:21 PM
It allows the hammer spring to be at rest, over long term storage this is a good idea!

I have multiple long guns stored cocked and locked....and I've had them for 30+ years. None have the slightest indication of a weak firing pin spring. I was instructed, by folks that make springs, that they "wear out" by flexing, not by being held in a static position. Are there some findings that indicate otherwise?

Scattergun Bob
July 18, 2008, 12:18 AM
Remingtion Armorer manual, Field Service, 1989, Model 870, page 2, fitting and adjusting springs. It is recommended that Hammer spring and firing pin retractor spring be unstressed periodically.

I could never figure out how to do both at the same time. I decided that the hammer spring is more important, this is why I store scatterguns with the hammer at rest. I also leave my magazine downloaded by a minimum of 2 rounds. I also make sure the safety is in the FIRE position. All of these are my personal preference, and my response was in reply to Jeff Mulliken "There is no need to leave the hammer down, it serves no purpose at all." I disagree with that statement.

Good Luck and Be Safe

Uncle Ben
July 18, 2008, 10:31 AM
Lots of good answers already...good question. I'll just add another opinion that this is the way I prefer to store a shotgun also. It's a little safer for storage, and still fast to use when needed. As stated before, pull the trigger on a FULLY empty gun, do not pump the slide, load the mag full, leave the safety off (this is assuming there are no kids in the house EVER, or you need to have it in a safe, or a trigger lock at those times without exception), then stick it in the closet :cool:

clt46910
July 18, 2008, 01:58 PM
Norinco Mod 97 Trench Pump Action Shotgun


Copy of the Winchester Mod 97.

KCabbage
July 18, 2008, 03:43 PM
Greetings.
If you don't have kids I suggest having it chambered with the saftey on.
I keep mine like the way you want to, pump and shoot, but I have two very young children.
I say that because i'd hate for it to hang up or not get fully pumped when she needed it most.
Take care

Jeff Mulliken
July 18, 2008, 03:43 PM
Study metallurgy, leaving a spring in a compressed position does not wear out a spring. Cycles of use wear out a spring.

Releasing the tension in a hammer spring on a gun while all the other springs remain tensioned is one of the most useless things gunners do. But many of us do it. Consider the A5, I shoot two A5's that are over 100 years old that have the original springs, no issue. (Note: there are 3 flat springs and 9 coil springs in an A5)

If the point is to allow a person to avoid remembering to use the slide release, that sounds like it is logical.....but it is a far cry from the proper solution, training. If a person is so unfamiliar with a weapon that there is a risk that they wont know what to do under pressure, they they need more training or a less complicated weapon.

IMO and all things considered, If you need a gun loaded then there should be a round in the chamber and the safety should be on. If you dont need it loaded then just dont load it. Being half loaded adds opportunities for problems but offers no real benefit.

Jeff

Scattergun Bob
July 18, 2008, 06:55 PM
I understand your point. Mine was that there are other ways to live store shotguns. Gusess we will have to agree to disagree with this one.

Good Luck & Be Safe

Bill DeShivs
July 18, 2008, 07:38 PM
Jeff
I think you left the word "not" out of your post, above.

Jeff Mulliken
July 18, 2008, 07:44 PM
Thanks Bill, corrected it!

Jeff

Gnarly
July 19, 2008, 02:06 PM
I gotta drink more coffee now & re-read all this post!'Cause I had the same basic question where this started.

----Gnarly

brentfoto
July 19, 2008, 07:01 PM
jmr40 There is an advantage to having the hammer down. If the gun is cocked you cannot pump the action until you depress the bolt release. With hammer down you can just work the action. One less thing to think about in a moment of stress.
2008-07-17


Agreed. I even had a poll on this. After much thought, I believe in a high stress situation the very best way to have the gun ready for action is what is commonly referred to as 'cruiser-ready'. Hammer down (dry-fired) with full magazine, chamber empty, safety OFF.

'Pump and shoot'.

aroundlsu
July 19, 2008, 07:49 PM
For years I kept my 500 magazine tube loaded and the chamber empty, hammer down for exactly the reasons mentioned above; all I had to do is grab the gun, rack the slide, and fire.

This year I took an intensive Louis Awerbuck shotgun class and feel comfortable leaving it fully loaded and a round in the chamber with the safety on. We flicked the safety on and off so many times I'm certain it'll happen instinctively under stress. Plus, I get one extra round.

brentfoto
July 19, 2008, 09:06 PM
I can certainly seeing doing it that way, too.

However, in my case, I shoot trap a couple of times a month with the same shotgun.

Each outing is for about 50 or 75 rounds shot (each 'set' is 25 rounds shot); one at a time, you have to wait in succession when to chamber your only round (usually four other shooters involved); the safety is always OFF, so to be consistent, 'cruiser-ready' is better for me because the shotgun serves a dual-purpose-sport (trap shooting) and HD.

For me, if it only served for HD I would probably do as you do. But the police usually have theirs as 'cruiser-ready'. Food for thought...