View Full Version : have you ever worn out a shotgun?

May 28, 2002, 07:32 AM
Has anyone here ever worn one out? I've heard of rental shotguns at ranges that have many thousands of rounds through them. But most shotgun owners dont't put that many rounds through them, compared to pistols or rifles, so it's unlikely anyone has ever worn one out. Just curious if they are built with a minimum lifespan in mind.

May 28, 2002, 08:57 AM
Clay shooters put 100's of rounds through their shotguns in a week. Many here in this forum probably have 10's of thousands of rounds through theirs with little to no trouble at all.

I would imagine that a shotgun would outlast most rifles. There is no rifling to screw up on a shotgun. I have also never heard of anyone having a shotgun recrowned.

Stuff breaks, no matter how well you take care of it. But I think as far as ruggedness and dependablity, shotguns outclass both rifles and pistols.

So to answer your question...no they are not built with a minimum lifespan in mind. With proper care and maintainance, it will last for many generations.



May 28, 2002, 09:16 AM
I keep trying but I just cant do it. ;)

May 28, 2002, 09:17 AM
As a trap, skeet, and sporting clay shooter I've seen shotguns worn to the point that they had to be re-built by the factory or a good 'smith.

Have asked many 'smiths what the toughest gun of all is - if there really is such a thing. Usually they say something like "Hmm, I've never had an 870 come in for any work." That should say something about the design and strength of the Remington gun. And I'm not a pumpgun fan at all.


May 28, 2002, 11:36 AM
I don't think That normal use can really wear a shotgun of quality manufacture out unless of course it is abused. On the other hand, I have a single barrell kassner that is in 12 guage with a modified choke and intend to use as a lightweight stalk hunting shotgun. I took the gun out and fired it twice with some Winchester XX 2 3/4 inch turkey loads and it wore ME out in a very quick and robust fashion! I'm going to have to pattern the gun with buckshot but will do so after buying a slip on recoil pad and a mouthguard to keep my teeth in place:D

May 28, 2002, 12:30 PM
If you're putting thousands of shotshells through your gun, they're probably going to be fairly light loads. Going through my reloading log, I figure I've put a little over 30,000 through my Ithaca 37 and the action's still fine. I have a buddy that's put the same or more through his Mossberg 500 with no problems. Compared to other guns I've seen or heard about at the local range, ours are just starting to get broken in. On the other hand, I had a 500 in the early '80s that broke twice with less than 1000 rounds. Of course, they were small parts that were easily replaced.

May 28, 2002, 01:29 PM
Preventative maintenance.
Periodic IRAN..inspect and repair as necessary.
Load strength
Original quality of an individual gun

Years ago I had a custom Miruko single trap gun built. It is still servicable for it's third generation of shooter. NO parts replaced yet and headspace ok. Starting to show a bit of hinge wear. Upwards of 200,000 rounds through it, some of which were stoutish handicap loads. Paid for itself many times over.

I have seen Browning superposed trap and skeet guns that had gotten pretty loose............but still quite fixable.

Worn out is a pretty relative term. What might be an easy repair on one gun might not be worth it on another.


Dave McC
May 28, 2002, 04:38 PM

Most of the shotguns I've shot lots of shells through have been 870s.

I have seen worn out shotguns, usually old target guns shot many times for many years.

Most quality shotguns will go 50K rounds w/o needing major repair.Some will need minor parts replaced and all need PM.

If one is using high pressure rounds like buck or max shot loads for turkey and geese, the need for adjustments and repair will occur more often than if fed a diet of light loads, of course.

Still, most quality shotguns will not be worn out by a single generation of shooter.

Top quality break action guns like Sam's Miroku will need attention to different parts than an auto or pump. There, oft the wear shows first on the hinge parts and breech face.

I'm a cautious sort,which is why I've not assumed ambient temperature yet. I'd send any gun but an 870 to the smith every 10K rounds or so. 870s, maybe 20K. At present rate, that'll put the TB in the shop in 2005. Will advise...

May 28, 2002, 04:44 PM
Bruce Buck, the Technoid over at Shotgun Report. Claims to have worn out a couple of Remington 1100's he used heavily for Trap.

He also admits that part of the problem was not doing proper Preventative Maintenance, for example changing out recoil springs when they were worn out.

I have seen O/U's that actually were so worn they fell apart when shot. A trip to the gunsmith fixed them.

May 28, 2002, 06:25 PM
I doubt it was just me that wore them out, but I've owned two pump shotguns with the locking lugs worn enough to let the bolt unlock when fired with heavy loads. Although I didn't put many rounds through them, they were bought used, possibly very used. I think they both had aluminum recievers, a Marlin and a Mossburg IIRC.

May 28, 2002, 11:28 PM
I have seen some minor failures on 870s and 590s, but the oddest part failures were on a couple of Benelli M1-S90s. The pivot shaft and hole in the hammer had worn oval and the hammer would not drop. This happened on both guns at around 4000 rounds. Tried to get parts from Benelli. Lots of luck.....

RE: aluminum receivers. Keep in mind that the bolt locks into the rear of the barrel, so the receiver does not wear much from firing.

May 29, 2002, 01:58 PM
While it still shoots everythime i pull the trigger, my Marlin goosegun have seen better days, after 3000 "trap loads" (24 gram lead)and fewer than 1000 hunting loads ( half of them federal "turkey mag", 57 gram ) the (fixed extra full) choke is almost worn out (I think a few slugs might have something to do with it)

June 1, 2002, 04:43 PM
My granddad had a Win pump that he got rid of in 1949, that would fire whenever the action closed.

Knowing graddad I suspect a semi truckload of shells went through that gun!

June 2, 2002, 07:49 AM
I've not seen one so worn that I wouldn't trust it to shoot.

I've seen them get slightly less easy to cycle, but that was more due to neglect than use.

You don't have pesky stuff like rifling to worry about, so it's not like a pistol or rifle.

June 3, 2002, 01:17 PM
Older brother has a Rem 1100 he bought in 1969, has replaced the o-ring a couple of times, but i don't know of anything else he replaced on it. Uses the 1100 for everything shotgun legal, doves, squirrels, ducks & geese, rabbits, etc. He doesn't deer hunt, but would probably use it for that, too.

June 3, 2002, 02:36 PM
kim rhode has around 1.5 million rounds through her perazzi...and said it would probly be good for another 1.5 million.

June 4, 2002, 06:42 AM
I doubt it was just me that wore them out, but I've owned two pump shotguns with the locking lugs worn enough to let the bolt unlock when fired with heavy loads.

Saw this alot on Marine Corps issued Mossberg 590's, with some practice it would let you shoot even faster. Wasn't even considered a problem, you expected it to do this, most guns did.

Only problem I ever saw on 590's were broken firing pins, and in that case the guns would simply fire when you racked the slide forward so you were still in the fight.

June 5, 2002, 01:54 AM
Took apart an old(er) Wingmaster a coupla months back for a goodly cleaning & could not! get the bolt back together/in. A lengthy failure analysis showed a broken firing pin - & I'd just shot the thing not two days before. Wah! ;) Easily fixed by swapping one from a 20 gauge to that 12 & an order of 1/2 dozen pins from Rem.

All things break eventually.

Inherited a really old WingMaster from Dear Ol' Dad who shot competition skeet. Shooter must have had 1/4million shells through it. I do remember him having to re-pin the left-side receiver mounted extractor/kicker thing (not the one on the bolt).

Neither were worn out in the least, but did need (should have had) some preventative maintenance a bit sooner.

Far as that broken firing pin though - that one was a prime home defense tool. Would have been very "embarassing" had I not discovered the fault when I did.

A word to the wise.

Dave McC
June 5, 2002, 05:13 AM
In the early 80s, stories circulated that dry firing an 870 in cold weather could bust the pin.
I saw one busted pin in a privately owned 870 during that time, belonged to a friend who dry fired it in cold weather.

I don't dry fire 870s much.