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Old July 22, 2012, 01:43 AM   #1
TheKlawMan
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Ghost Loading the Remington 870

I have heard that you can load an extra shell in the shell carrier of a Mossberg 500 and some other guns, but never thought it could be done on a Remington 870. Now I hear it can be done, but my thinking an increased capacity of one round just isn't worth risking jamming the action. As is my 870 Express configured for HD sports an 18.5" barrel and has a capacity of 6+1.

If one were to ghost load the 7 shot 870, what would you think of leaving the chamber empty, loading 6 in the tube, and ghost loading round 7?

Here is a link to a video on this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUHPwB-8JKg

I AM NOT ENDORSING DOING THIS AND MYSELF AM WONDERING ABOUT WHETHER IT IS SAFE, COULD DAMAGE MY 870, OR SIMPLY CAUSE A BAD JAM.
I have tried it on my 870 and so far I cannot close the breech without using more force than I am willing to exert until I hear from others about their experience with this.

Last edited by TheKlawMan; July 22, 2012 at 02:53 AM.
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Old July 22, 2012, 01:59 AM   #2
the rifleer
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You cannot do that with a mossberg 500 because the lifter is up when the bolt is closed. You simply could not operate it.
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:46 AM   #3
TheKlawMan
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My bad. It was the Mossberg 930 I was thinking of but what I am wondering about is the 870.
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Old July 22, 2012, 11:50 AM   #4
Edward429451
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Perhaps I've not had enough coffee yet, but what, praytell, would be the point in loading your SG in such a way?
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Old July 22, 2012, 12:56 PM   #5
TheKlawMan
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Perhaps I've not had enough coffee yet, but what, praytell, would be the point in loading your SG in such a way?
The point of ghost loading, which should be obvious to even the coffee deprived, is to increase shell capacity by one round. Having played with doing so on my 870, I don't recommend this but am wondering what others have to say about the practice.
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Ahh, I see now. That explains why it wasn't obvious to me. Even being coffee deprived, I still have some common sense which filtered it for me.

I like poorman engineering as much as the next guy, but this idea is reaching at best, and sounds like you could tie up your SG at worst. This is not the way to gain capacity, but should be entertaining to hear the kids talk.
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:24 PM   #7
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This is not the way to gain capacity, but should be entertaining to hear the kids talk.
Shhhhh. You'll scare 'em off.
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:51 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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At one time the 870 was rather notorious for a shell jumping the stops and getting on the carrier under a closed bolt for a major hangup. The current guns have the Flextab cut in the lifter that is somehow supposed to prevent that. I sure wouldn't put one back there on purpose without a lot of research and testing.

I think one of the early Benellis was commonly treated that way.
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Old July 22, 2012, 03:24 PM   #9
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Why not install a side-saddle? They hold six additional rounds and with practice it's easy to "top off" the magazine during a break in the action.
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Old July 22, 2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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Some Benelli semi's can be made to do this. Never heard of anyone doing it with an 870 and I don't think it would work on that gun. I know a few duck hunters who use the method to gain an extra round. It is illegal, but awful hard to prove since you have a plug in your gun that limits it to 2+1. Lots of guys keep 1 or 2 shells in their left hand and can reload fast enough to get off 4-5 shots in pretty rapid order even without doing this. One of mine will, the other will not, but I've never really done it other than just see if it will work.

On a SD gun it is a more practical application. One more round in the magazine never hurt.
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Old July 22, 2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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I don't think it's mechanically possible in the 870.

Assuming you have one round inside the receiver laying on top of the shell lifer and more shells in the magazine, the gun would jam when you tried to operate the action.

As the pump handle is pulled back the bolt opens and a shell is fed from the magazine into the receiver and on top of the shell lifter.
With a shell already in the receiver, the gun would jam when the shell in the receiver blocked the shell attempting to be fed.
With one shell in the receiver and the next shell jammed partially out of the magazine, the action couldn't operate the shell lifter to feed the first round.

Then too it takes much more force to operate an 870 fitted with the flex-tab feature with a jammed shell.
Contrary to popular belief, the flex-tab cut in the shell lifter isn't so you can use a pocket knife to push the shell back into the magazine, it's so the slotted tab in the lifter can flex and allow the bolt to over ride the shell and open so it can be fed normally.
To use this feature if a shell is trapped in the receiver, all the operator has to do is pull harder on the pump handle to force the action open.
This does take more force to operate the gun.
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Old July 22, 2012, 06:49 PM   #12
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I had hoped to see well reasoned responses like have been made. Besides the one for which I provided a link, there is another guy with a similar video on youtube showing how an 870 can be ghost loaded. The idea interested me and I have little doubt that it will persuade others to utilize the technique WHICH THE CONSENSUS HERE SEEMS TO BE IT IS A BAD IDEA.

There is a some older threads on SGW re ghost loading an 870, and some posters report that it works while others were unable to do it. Most agreed that if you could ghost load your 870 it was a bad idea for a defense gun, since you could end up having jammed it up at a critical time. Most posters seem to have been unable to glose the bolt when attempting a ghost load. I am one of them and my 870 is less than 2 years old. It isn't clear, but I believe it may be more difficult to gl an 870 equipped with a flex tab.

Hopefully, this thread helps to serve one of the purposes for which I raised the issue, which it to warn anyone doing a rudimentary google of the risk of ghost loading the 870.
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Old July 22, 2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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On a SD gun it is a more practical application. One more round in the magazine never hurt.
That is what I was thinking, but if it jams your gun just when you need it the most
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Old July 22, 2012, 08:29 PM   #14
Dave McC
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Bad idea.

Had someone try to demonstrate this a few decades back. About 3 times out of ten, it jammed things up big time.

IMO, ain't worth it for a measly one round....
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Old July 23, 2012, 01:22 AM   #15
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Some Benelli semi's can be made to do this
I do it all the time with my M4. Pretty simple actually. Here's a video which demonstrates the technique:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP-wamGA2YY
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Old July 23, 2012, 12:44 PM   #16
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Naaaah. Not even worth trying on pump guns.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:00 AM   #17
.300 Weatherby Mag
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KlawMan,

The 870 can be fired and reloaded pretty fast... You've seen me fire it quick, never had a reason to reload it fast while clay shooting.. You'd have to follow me out to the dove field to see how fast I can empty and reload an 870 ...
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:18 AM   #18
NYCShooter
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The 870 can be fired and reloaded pretty fast... You've seen me fire it quick, never had a reason to reload it fast while clay shooting.. You'd have to follow me out to the dove field to see how fast I can empty and reload an 870 ...
Congratulations... but the OP asked about ghost loading an 870, not about how fast one can fire and reload.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Bad idea.

Had someone try to demonstrate this a few decades back. About 3 times out of ten, it jammed things up big time.

IMO, ain't worth it for a measly one round....
I have not been able to make it work on my 870, but part of the reason for wanting to make it work was particularly because the 12 ga is not a measly round. They are large, powerful rounds for which the capacity of the firearm ends up being on the shy side.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:37 AM   #20
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A stock 870 is a multiple purpose shotgun, and isn't optimized for combat.
As a sporting shotgun, used in states with load limits, it's great.
Good news is, you can still get a lot done with 3 or 4.
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