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View Full Version : anyone have any problem where their shotgun goes off without pulling the trigger?


Bonzeye
June 22, 2012, 12:46 AM
Hi guys, i got a new home defense shotgun, and my grandfather was telling me about a shotgun that he had, and he told me that it would dry fire on its own (if the hammer was cocked obviously) without him having to pull the trigger. is this possible? should i keep a loaded home defense shotgun in my house for protection or could it really be dangerous? thanks in advance.

scottd913
June 22, 2012, 01:02 AM
i never heard of one doing that but then again every one i know that deal with guns keep them clean and in good working order!
i do how ever have some friends that keep thier shotguns loaded with the chamber clear because the sound of racking the gun is scary.

TheKlawMan
June 22, 2012, 01:28 AM
What your GF said is possible if a sear slips, which is one reason many elect not to keep a round in the chamber.

Dragline45
June 22, 2012, 01:49 AM
i do how ever have some friends that keep thier shotguns loaded with the chamber clear because the sound of racking the gun is scary.

When I had to take the basic NRA firearms course a few years back for my carry license the instructor said he does the same thing, if anyone is creeping through your house and they hear the very distinct sound of a shotgun racking, there's a good chance they may go running for the hills.

UnbearablePanda
June 22, 2012, 01:54 AM
Also in riots. The sound of chambering a pump shotgun quiets people down. Its a noise saying "I'm ready to shoot now". Some police and swat still use it for the intimidation factor of the sound.

Virginian-in-LA
June 22, 2012, 05:49 AM
Of course if you have a really badass intruder with a semi rifle he now knows just which room to riddle with bullets. The last thing any intruder in my locale is ever going to hear is the very slight click of the safety going off. That's if I have the shotgun. If I have the revolver he won't hear anything before he feels it.

zippy13
June 22, 2012, 08:16 AM
I've not experienced any guns spontaneously firing, there's always been an action involved:
• I had a .22 pistol that would fire when you took off the safety -- the LGS owner had hacked a trigger job -- a new part, and it was as good as new.
• I know shooters who've have had troubled guns that would fire when you closed the action -- they got them fixed.
• My buddy has an AR that is prone to doubling -- he wanted to see if a plastic lower was a good deal -- it wasn't.

I've no knowledge of a loaded gun, that was just sitting in a closet, go off on its own; but, that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Remember the basic rule of gun safety, always keep a loaded gun pointed in a safe direction. If you're going to keep a loaded shotgun, perhaps you'll want it pointed at the roof (or floor) and not the wall.

Personally, I avoid the problem by not using a loaded shotgun as my HD gun. My shotguns are stowed broken-down in their cases. My HD choice is a handgun kept with the hammer down. YMMV.

Doyle
June 22, 2012, 08:28 AM
Bonzeye, as previously hinted to - the only reason for a gun firing without the trigger being pulled is if there is a defective part. A "healthy" gun will not fire on its own.

Rembrandt
June 22, 2012, 08:59 AM
Sure it hasn't been outfitted with a "release trigger".......they're used by many competitive trap shooters.

BigJimP
June 22, 2012, 11:27 AM
There have been occasions ...where the act of "clicking the safety latch or button off" has caused a shotgun to fire... and to me, its an indication of possibly worn or dirty parts or someone monkeying with the gun that didn't know what they were doing...but I understand it has happened. I often wonder - when I read these reports ....if it wasn't shooter error as well ...where the shooter had their finger on the trigger as well and didn't realize it / had big thick gloves on or whatever....

and there were reported cases in the last year or so ...on some Remington shotguns, with the safety still engaged, if the butt were thumped on the ground - not even too hard - that the shotguns was firing. Now in most of the cases reported ...poor handling practices were the real issue here... hand over the muzzle, loaded gun...shooter set it butt down firmly on the ground and it went off.../ tossing a loaded shotgun into a boat (safety was on ) and it went off....stuff like that.... / maybe it was a design flaw - maybe something was worn or dirty - but it was definitely a foolish mistake - and poor gun handling practices.

Of course we all want to practice safe handling procedures....if the gun is loaded ( make sure the muzzle is pointed downrange / or up in the air ) ....and if it were to malfunction ...then if it goes off....noone will be hurt. But every year a lot of guys get hurt loading or unloading weapons in the field, crossing fence lines, etc ...and some claim its a design flaw or a safety button failure ...but in my book they were all stupid - and avoidable accidents if proper gun handling was observed.

I wouldn't keep a round chambered in a home defense gun anyway ...shotgun or handgun for that matter...loaded, in terms of rounds in the mag yes.

Al Den
June 22, 2012, 06:17 PM
I have a snap-cap in the chamber and "fired" it. Now, I need to pump the gun to load it from the mag tube to shoot, and there's one less live round on board the arm, but, on the other hand, it is abaout as safe as possible and the safety switch itself is never, ever, engaged.

jmr40
June 22, 2012, 09:06 PM
On many of the older pumps if you kept the trigger depressed as you were working the action the gun would fire as soon as the next round was chambered and the bolt closed. They were designed this way on purpose. I had more than one old timer tell me that a pump was unsafe and they would not own one because of this. They did not realise that none of the modern guns would do this. This may have been what he was refering to.

If a gun has worn parts it could fire. I know of one case where an old worn out single shot was kept loaded under a bed that fired on its own during the night under the bed. When checked by a gunsmith it was discovered that there was so little metal between the sear and trigger that they suspected that on the cold winter night the metal contracted enough to let the gun fire.

zippy13
June 22, 2012, 10:42 PM
...suspected that on the cold winter night the metal contracted enough to let the gun fire.
Very interesting, jmr40, thanks for sharing that explanation. I'm guessing there had been very little sear engagement.

natterminalvelocity
June 22, 2012, 11:08 PM
Of course if you have a really badass intruder with a semi rifle he now knows just which room to riddle with bullets. The last thing any intruder in my locale is ever going to hear is the very slight click of the safety going off. That's if I have the shotgun. If I have the revolver he won't hear anything before he feels it.
-----------

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I appreciate all of the insight and wisdom. I am curious about this comment because it makes a lot of sense to me. That goes for having a handgun without a round already chambered and on safety - do you want to make all this noise in that moment of chambering a round? I know least about shotguns, although I've fired a few, I was wondering about the AR-15 vs. the shotgun for home defense, aside from handgun. My brother loves shotguns and the sound of pumping it worked in his favor once scarring an intruder away at night. But I find the points above valid because it brings in another set of variables entirely. Do you want to be telegraphic? In martial arts it's like chambering a punch - pulling back, winding up, then moving forward. (What not to do.) The eye follows this obviously even for a fraction of a second, and (the receiver) is processing this information. So, with firearms, with intruders in the dark let's say (which is why some have a shotgun around) how important is revealing or not revealing - your coordinates by means of sound? If I'm not in law enforcement, I imagine the response to that would be, it depends how sophisticated the intruder. :o

natterminalvelocity
June 22, 2012, 11:17 PM
That goes for having a handgun without a round already chambered and on safety - do you want to make all this noise in that moment of chambering a round?
--------------

Let me attempt this again in English! I always thought if you have a semi-auto handgun at home for home defense, that it would make sense for it to be loaded with safety on, so that if you're half asleep God forbid and have a second to think you don't have to chamber a round...and for a woman it takes a little more effort. I would not feel comfortable having a shotgun with just the safety on, because I'm not familiar with them. So I would, if the need ever arose, have to telegraph my whereabouts and hope I'm dealing with a dumb sh*t. This is another reason I may go with an AR-15 (plus they're fun) but I'd love to hear any opinions at all either way...one or the other. Thank you :)

zippy13
June 22, 2012, 11:42 PM
That goes for having a handgun without a round already chambered and on safety - do you want to make all this noise in that moment of chambering a round?
Why would you have a handgun on safety in there's no round in the chamber? My thought for a HD handgun is a DA revolver with a fully loader cylinder. Just pull the trigger. It's unlikely to have an accidental hammer fall. The same can be said for a fully loaded DA semi-auto that's been decocked. Of course, this isn't a great idea if you have curious children in the house. Good HD planning isn't universal, you have to consider your specific environment.

mete
June 23, 2012, 02:36 AM
Those who think the sound of a shotgun being racked is going to scare someone high on alcohol or drugs [an ever increasing problem] is living in a dream world !!

Many pump and auto shotguns are designed such that the safety just blocks the trigger. If there are worn hammers and sears the gun can easily fire despite the blocked trigger if the gun is bumped ! The old Winchester M97 is a good example . Many old and worn ones are out there and the problem has been known for many years.

mudpack
June 23, 2012, 12:06 PM
Why can I not quote posts in my reply??

zippy13
June 23, 2012, 01:49 PM
Why can I not quote posts in my reply??

Greetings Mudpack, and welcome aboard.

Have a look in Forum Support, there's a sticky "How do I quote from a post (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=323215)?"

Creek Henry
June 24, 2012, 12:15 PM
I just have a Stevens 612 that doubled (full auto SxS gun). It started doing it once in a while then it did it all of the tiem after about 300 rounds had gone through it. What was odd was that the 2nd firing pin was still cocked even though both barrels had fired in rapid succession.

I didn't try it but I assume that if I'd dropped it while it was loaded that it might have gone off.

I shipped 'er back to Savage and got a 512 returned to me. I'm not complaining, the 512 is a better gun and safer.

Freds484
June 24, 2012, 06:40 PM
It has never happened to me, but I have heard stories.
If the gun is cleaned, oiled and it good working order it will never happen.
Also the safety should be on, to prevent this, still never rely on on guns safety.
99.9 % of these that fire without the trigger being pulled are human error.
But of course they always blame the gun not themselves.
Fred

Steel Talon
June 24, 2012, 08:29 PM
Also in riots. The sound of chambering a pump shotgun quiets people down. Its a noise saying "I'm ready to shoot now". Some police and swat still use it for the intimidation factor of the sound.

Actually the noise levels occuring during a riot nullifies the the sound of racking the slide.

TheKlawMan
June 24, 2012, 08:35 PM
Actually the noise levels occuring during a riot nullifies the the sound of racking the slide.

What if it is a stealth riot?

Steel Talon
June 24, 2012, 08:41 PM
What if it is a stealth riot?

:cool: Quiet Wabbit....

Al Den
June 24, 2012, 09:13 PM
I'd prefer yelling "Attention to orders. Fix -- bayonets. Ahhh..."

natterminalvelocity
June 24, 2012, 09:18 PM
I meant "with"

UnbearablePanda
June 25, 2012, 01:38 AM
Sorry, but if youve ever been in a riot. Once again when 30 swat pumps a shotgun at once, it quiets down fast.

youngunz4life
June 25, 2012, 02:20 AM
anyone have any problem where their shotgun goes off without pulling the trigger?

No

johnbt
June 25, 2012, 08:44 AM
"The old Winchester M97 is a good example . Many old and worn ones are out there and the problem has been known for many years. "

Oh heck, my great uncle Bern had a new 97 that would do it. It only got worse as the years went by and when I was little in the early '50s I wasn't allowed to use it.

I suppose he could have hauled it to the hardware store (later turned into a restaurant on the downtown mall) in Charlottesville and sent it off, but he said he was used to it.

John

Spammy_H
June 25, 2012, 09:50 AM
I witnessed a shotgun firing when chambering a shell one time. I was right next to the shooter, and saw the fact that their finger was outside of the trigger guard. We took that particular shotgun out of service for the day.

When he took it home and cleaned it, he said it was as dirty as he'd seen a gun, and concluded that the firing pin must have gotten stuck protruding "out" due to the buildup of gunk.

He cleaned it out and couldn't reproduce the situation.

zippy13
June 25, 2012, 11:27 AM
Why would you have a handgun on safety in there's no round in the chamber?I meant "with"
Nat,
And, I meant to say if there's no round, not in there's no round. Too bad these computers don't say what we're thinking, and not our fingers' key strokes -- there would be fewer misunderstandings. :)

Steel Talon
June 25, 2012, 12:23 PM
Sorry, but if youve ever been in a riot. Once again when 30 swat pumps a shotgun at once, it quiets down fast.

Yes,yes I have...As as a line officer, team leader, to commander, to incident commander. State and Federal level. From Morenci to Atlanta

I've always found that the first less than lethal munitions used that get peoples attention are skip shooting "Knee Knockers" (37mm multiple baton rounds) Anyway its the situation that calls for the tactics to be used.

I agree that in a closed in environment "gym" "mess hall" etc. 30 slides simultaneously racking would sound quiet impressive.

But, enough about me. I'm old and I prefer to hear others experiences.

Such as your experiences?..:)

zippy13
June 25, 2012, 12:56 PM
How do you convince a BG that you just happen to have 30 shotgun armed SWAT officers visiting in your home when he's making his intrusion? :)
Oops... sorry, we seem to have wondered off topic.

TheKlawMan
June 25, 2012, 01:48 PM
It's not the same as a riot, but back in the VietNam anti-war demonstrations the college kids would have noticed the LAPD racking shotguns. Besides using ears, people see what is going on and those kids were real concerned with everything the officers did.

Steel Talon
June 25, 2012, 04:20 PM
I believe that the myth of the paralyzing effect of "racking slide" is given to much credence as fact. Now, in a dark room I would have a moment of "Oh s--hit!"

In an active civil unrest/disobedience/disturbance you will not hear it . Simply put the noise levels are to high.

Klaw, you are correct; You get more psychological response from the presence of authority, formations, and tatics.

darkgael
June 27, 2012, 07:02 AM
(full auto SxS gun)

Huh?
I have had two SXSs double on me.....but I had to pull the trigger first.
One was an old LeFever. It would fire both barrels if the rear trigger was pulled first. Worn sear.
The other was a single trigger Baikal IZH-43. My fault partly....had my finger on the barrel selector while hunting and, evidently had pushed it so that both barrels were engaged. Happened once.
Pete

BoogieMan
June 27, 2012, 07:06 PM
Back to the OP. Franchi had a problem with unprovoked firring years ago. I have a friend who was part of one of many lawsuits filed against them. Guy nearly lost his foot while bird hunting. I am sure they have fixed it since that time. If you have any doubt bump your gun around at the range (pointed down range of coarse), hit the stock the forearm etc. I highly doubt you can make it fire without pulling the trigger.

TheKlawMan
June 27, 2012, 07:44 PM
I don't have a problem with my shotguns going off when I don't pull the trigger, but I do have a problem with them not going off when I pull the trigger. Worse is when they go off and all I hit is sky.

Virginian-in-LA
June 28, 2012, 05:21 AM
Only once. Turned out to be a tiny piece of shell base fragment lodged right in the sear notch on a semi automatic 12 gauge. What are the odds? Glad I had it pointed in a safe direction both times it went off. Positive reinforcement.

Sheikyourbootie
June 30, 2012, 11:20 PM
Spammy_H
Senior Member


I witnessed a shotgun firing when chambering a shell one time. I was right next to the shooter, and saw the fact that their finger was outside of the trigger guard. We took that particular shotgun out of service for the day.

When he took it home and cleaned it, he said it was as dirty as he'd seen a gun, and concluded that the firing pin must have gotten stuck protruding "out" due to the buildup of gunk.

He cleaned it out and couldn't reproduce the situation.

The Ithica 37 I got a couple months ago was so rusted on the inside, it did just what you describe. The gun has the "slamfire/pumpfire" feature and the trigger had so much crap it was stuck in the depressed position. After complete dis-assembly/cleaning I have not been able to reproduce this in the past few hundred rounds.