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Old January 5, 2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Shot Shell Unloading Safety

Just picked a new Mossberg 12 gauge....being brand new to shot guns and playing with the snap caps now.

Just want to confirm, is there any possibility of a shell exploding by extracting the shells by cycling slowly through to the chamber and extracting? The shells (snap caps) take a violent strike up the elevator to the chamber and hit the striker anvil upon chambering a round to extract.

I know this is not the way to unload.....but want to know. I read best method is to press thumb on magazine retainer spring and feed out of magazine spring, but want to make sure there is no way with this gun that a shell will go off accidently unless the trigger is pulled.....true?
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Old January 5, 2009, 11:16 PM   #2
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Let me try this carefully... Yes, there is always a possibility of an accidental discharge. With a properly working and maintained firearm you decrease the chance of that happening.

In your situation, there should be no problem with cycling the weapon to extract shells. Sometimes that's the best way to do it anyways. Always practice muzzle awareness and keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction and ensure the safety is on.
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Old January 6, 2009, 12:19 AM   #3
Scattergun Bob
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This is a good question. Here is some fine points on your new mossberg.

1. The rear end of the bolt is machined in such a way as to shield the firingpin from being struck by the hammer nose until it is fully in battery. This is a standard safety design on most current scatterguns.

2. You do not have to seat the bolt into battery (all the way closed) to cycle rounds out of the gun. As a right hander simply stroke the forend to the rear, rotate the gun port down and the shell should fall out into your hand, Check that no shell is on the carrier and stroke the forend forward into battery hit the slide release and repeat until mag is empty. Using this technique at no time is a shell in the chamber or retained by the extractor.

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old January 6, 2009, 01:04 AM   #4
Whiteboy67
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I just hold down that little button next to the trigger and keep pumping till they all fly out :| Probably not the safest way, but it's never accidently gone off so far. I also pump it a few extra times after I'm done shooting to make sure it's cleared fully.
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Old January 6, 2009, 01:31 AM   #5
Ricky B
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For the Mossberg 500

Here is what I do:

If there is an unfired shell in the chamber and shells in the magazine tube, I pull the slide back all the way, keeping a hand over the ejection port to keep the unfired shell from flying out and ending up on the ground. I rotate the gun sideways and drop the that out into my palm. There will be another shell (from the magazine tube) under the shell extracted from the chamber. I again rotate the gun sideways until that second shell drops out into my palm. Then I push the slide all the way forward to close the action (on an empty chamber since the shell on the shell carrier has been removed) and pull it all the way back again, opening it completely. This drops another shell onto the shell carrier and I again rotate gun sideways until that shell drops out into my palm. I repeat the process until the gun is unloaded. I visually check to make sure I can see the follower button in the magazine tube.

There are instructions for unloading the Rem 870 by depressing latches inside the action, but those instructions don't work on the Mossberg 500 (at least not so as I can tell). The Mossberg is superior in this respect because each time you open the action fully, a shell is released from the magazine tube onto the shell carrier, allowing you to dump out the shell before you close the action. You don't have to stick your fingers inside the action trying to fiddle with a latch.

With the Mossberg 500, as long as you dump the shell out the ejection port before you close the action, you can unload the magazine tube without feeding any rounds into the chamber.
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Old January 6, 2009, 10:25 AM   #6
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Ricky B

Yes, that works every time.

Just a fine point about your quote.
Quote:
There are instructions for unloading the Rem 870 by depressing latches inside the action, but those instructions don't work on the Mossberg 500 (at least not so as I can tell). The Mossberg is superior in this respect because each time you open the action fully, a shell is released from the magazine tube onto the shell carrier, allowing you to dump out the shell before you close the action. You don't have to stick your fingers inside the action trying to fiddle with a latch.
Remington 870 scatterguns work exactly the same way!

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old January 6, 2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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Safe or not... I don't know but I often shuck them out at UBERFAST speed when I am in a rush to sit down with an empty gun to help out a newbie with a question about the gun...
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Old January 6, 2009, 11:30 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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You can empty a gun without pulling the trigger!! Dang! That would be cheaper!



I do this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky B
Here is what I do:

If there is an unfired shell in the chamber and shells in the magazine tube, I pull the slide back all the way...
or this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteboy67
I just hold down that little button next to the trigger and keep pumping till they all fly out :| Probably not the safest way, but it's never accidently gone off so far. I also pump it a few extra times after I'm done shooting to make sure it's cleared fully.
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Old January 6, 2009, 01:15 PM   #9
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SG Bob

Thanks for that point. Then I would say that the 870 is actually superior in respect of unloading because one could do it either by pumping the slide or by depressing the latches.

With the Mossberg 500, by the time the nose of the shell starts to tip out, the slide is almost locked open and the shell carrier is in the way, interfering with depressing latches. Or maybe I just can't follow instructions!
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Old January 6, 2009, 01:21 PM   #10
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Ricky, You can dump the mag tube on the 500 with action closed with depressing the shell holder then open the action to remove the chambered round...
Brent
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Old January 6, 2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
I just hold down that little button next to the trigger and keep pumping till they all fly out :| Probably not the safest way, but it's never accidently gone off so far. I also pump it a few extra times after I'm done shooting to make sure it's cleared fully.
heh, that's what I do too. I just aim the shells onto the bed or something else for a soft landing. works so far.
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Old January 6, 2009, 08:06 PM   #12
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Thanks guys...all the comments appreciated....this forum rocks!
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Old January 8, 2009, 10:11 PM   #13
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Bashing shells against the ejector merely to unload the gun is unnecessary and if done repeatedly, can damage the rim of the shells enough to make the bolt hard to close on them. Running live rounds briskly through the chamber when it isn't necessary is hardly a good idea in terms of safety IMHO.

But it is easy to unload a Mossberg 500/590 safely.

With a Mossberg, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and manipulate the shell stops to unload the magazine completely first, then unload the chamber by slowly opening the action and dumping the round from the chamber into your hand.

There are pictures of a slightly different sequence, involving emptying the chamber first, at http://www.alpharubicon.com/leo/pumpshotgeli.htm . These pictures illustrate unloading the magazine by manipulating the shell stops.

hth,

lpl
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Old January 8, 2009, 10:53 PM   #14
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Well one thing I just have to say. Keep the gun pointed in a safe place or down range PLEASE DO WITH ANY GUN LOADING OR UNLOADING UNLOADED OR LOADED. I think the probability of that happening in your guns life time is 1 and a lot (Have never known a gun to do that personally). I will post you pictures of what my gun does to shells it hasn't even shot. It punctures the shotshell when i close the gun. Later i will post pics on a new thread. Eventually.
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Old January 8, 2009, 10:59 PM   #15
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I've got a Mossberg 500, and a Remington 870. I've only tried it once, but on the Remington you can press in that little thingy that holds the shells in the tube, and it will let a shell out. But it didnt work on my Mossberg when I tried it. So for the Mossberg, I'd just do what the one guy said and rack it back, then dump the shell in your hand. Then go forward on an empty chamber, and rack it back again, then dump it in your hand.... you get the idea. Since you have to go back and forth with the action to get the rounds out of the Mossberg (As far as I know) You might as well do it on an empty chamber, by taking the shell out halfway between the cycling. By the way, dont dry fire it, and I think it's fine to leave it stored for a lifetime with the hammer cocked and the chamber locked and empty.

Thats all I can tell you

Oh yeah, it seams to be agreed that you can leave the magazine tube loaded for a long time with nothing to worry about.
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Old January 9, 2009, 07:45 AM   #16
hogdogs
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Mellow, Try again on your mossberg... The bar on the left side of the receiver is the one you depress. Just squish it in a bit further...
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Old January 9, 2009, 10:49 AM   #17
Ricky B
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Hogdogs, you are right. I tried unloading my Mossberg 500 last night (with snap caps), and by depressing the latch sufficiently, I was able to pop the shells out of the magazine tube one by one without pumping. So I can follow directions; I just need to follow the right directions. Thanks for steering me in the right direction.

The problem for me is that the shells come out of the magazine tube quite snappily and smack my finger. It smarts. So I prefer operating the slide back and letting the shell carrier mechanism depress the latch for me and then dumping the shells out without chambering them.
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Old January 9, 2009, 08:31 PM   #18
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If you unload your shotgun by cycling the action 6 times you look like an idiot who doesn't know anything about his shotgun.
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Old January 9, 2009, 08:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
If you unload your shotgun by cycling the action 6 times you look like an idiot who doesn't know anything about his shotgun.

Then count me in as one of those idiots, and count an entire state LE agency. You always can use the shell stops to down load, it is the factory method and part of your operation manual. However it is slow and with some scatterguns it will eventually damage the side of your thumb. We professionals who are constantly downloading and uploading ALLWAYS find a better way.

As usual I tried to give a alternative to the manual, that was safe and faster when downloading a +6 mag tube. Do what you want!

You can lead a horse to water......
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Last edited by Scattergun Bob; January 9, 2009 at 09:53 PM.
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Old January 12, 2009, 01:31 AM   #20
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wow you guys are right, I guess if I would have spent 5 more min with my shotgun I could have figured this out myself... but thats part of the fun of this forum.
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:51 AM   #21
hogdogs
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Ricky and mellow... Practice holding the forestock in right hand and receiver in left down low hip shoot style... now insert your first 3 fingers in the loading port, I use at least 2 fingers at least. Index finger against the shell. Now when you release the shell it hasn't room to pick up speed, lowering indexfinger it scoots into position to be grabbed out...
Brent
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Old January 12, 2009, 05:22 PM   #22
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Chuck Ch-BOOM!

Back in college, some racoons were digging in the trash behind the house we were renting. One of my roomates grabbed my Mossberg 12-guage from under my bed, fed a couple shells into the magazine, and was pumping a round into the chamber as he walked through the living room, and BOOM! he blew a hole through the roof of the house.

Lucky for us:
1) He had handled guns all his life and had it pointed straight up as he carried it.
2) He did NOT have a finger near the trigger - I was standing next to him as it went off.

So then he went back and grabbed several more shells - loaded up the magazine and shot the racoons by just pumping the action - no trigger use required.

Obviously the gun was malfunctioning - but it had never done this before - so how would anyone guess it could happen?

So Yes - it is possible to discharge a shotgun when running shells through the chamber - and when you least expect it.

I'd advise against it. It wasn't the first time its happened to someone, and likely won't be the last. Be safe.
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:13 PM   #23
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What state agency would that be Bob? You would get kicked off the range by our FIs. I must say that I've fired with many, many other agencies including a good number of state and locals but I've never seen anyone else who didn't unload their pump shotguns the proper way. (Using them well is another story.) Bob, this professional does it the way our professional instructors teach us... and the same way every other professional instructor I've ever seen did it. Moreover, I can't think of a benefit to racking it six times. Much easier to rack it once, roll the shell out off the loader, and remove the other shells.

Last edited by nemoaz; January 12, 2009 at 10:22 PM.
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:55 PM   #24
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I answered you in a P/M.
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Old January 14, 2009, 09:45 AM   #25
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DaleMN

Your friend handled guns all his life? I would have been concerned when he used the shotgun after having it fire without touching the trigger. A gun that's already malfunctioning is a dangerous thing, IMHO.
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