View Full Version : Newb Question About Storage

July 18, 2002, 11:06 AM
I have a Remington 870 Marine Magnum 12 gauge pump.

When the forearm is pumped or pulled to the rear the weapon is both chambered, cocked and locked.

The only two ways to unlock the forearm pump is to use the unlock lever or pull the trigger.

When I am storing the shotgun is it ok to leave the pump forearm unlocked so it droops a bit with the gun pointing in the air in a standard rifle rack. The reason I ask this is because I store all my firearms with the hammers, strikers etc in the down or decocked position to keep the tension off of the springs until use.

Or should I store the shotgun with the interanal hammer cocked and the forearm locked into position.

I know this is a stupid newby question but but I am relatively new to pump shotguns, I have shot many but never owned one.

Sorry to dumb down the forum. :0)


July 18, 2002, 11:11 AM
Not a dumb question at all; I've got 2 870s, and (since I also don't like to leave a cocked firearm sit for too long), I usually store mine with the hammer dropped on an empty chamber. Some people (usually with small kids in the house), like to store them with the action pumped, bolt closed on an empty chamber, and a trigger lock on the trigger-guard. If you've got one of these "twist-off" numbered combination locks, all you'd need to do would be spin the dial, twist the lock off, then pump once to be in action.

July 18, 2002, 11:11 AM
I have read from the learned among us that either way is acceptable. Check the search functionfor previous discussions. I leave mine cocked and locked.

July 18, 2002, 11:35 AM
I am not worried about safe storage as it is sitting in a steel, locked safe. I was just worried about the mechanics of the strain of having a cocked weapons sit for long periods of time.

I realize we are talking about machines designed to withstand mini explosions on a regular basis but the better preventitive care you take the less headaches you will have.

I drive a truck because it is overengineered for anything I will ever put it through and combined with the way I take care of vehicles it should last forever.

Once again.


Andrew Wyatt
July 18, 2002, 01:20 PM
I leave my shotguns with the hammer down, and hung up on nails inside the closet that has my safe.

I figure that if i need one in a hurry, I don't want to mess around with trying to findd the bolt release in the dark so i can load my gun.

Dave McC
July 18, 2002, 04:01 PM
My HD 870 was made in 1950. It has been kept cocked for most of the time since. For at least the last 20 years it's been in Cruiser Ready. The action's locked shut on an empty chamber, the mag is full, the safety's on. Putting it into Hot Mode takes but a twinkling for the cognizant, oneheckuvalot longer for kids, other adults, and anyone else who has no business messing with it.

Anyone wanna bet as to whether it'll fire immediately when I want it to?

It has done exactly that for me since Ike was Prez.

And Chris, the only stupid questions are those that do not get asked.


Al Thompson
July 18, 2002, 04:03 PM
Dave - 1950? Try Truman........ LOL

July 18, 2002, 04:37 PM
It's stories like that, that made my choice of buying an 870 easy. Thanks for the info.

Mine will most likely live most of it's life the same way as yours once I've determined it is reliable enough for home defense duty.

I know, I know its an 870.......still gotta put it through it's paces, everybody makes a lemon now and then.

July 18, 2002, 06:36 PM
Since I only have a short barrel Mossberg 500 12 ga, I'm hesitant to ask, but does the same stuff apply to mossbergs?

I recently changed from a cocked, locked, loaded HD config to a hammer down, off-safe, ready to pump mode. (no kids anywhere near) My theory was that if I heard something go bump in the night, I could maybe become coherent enough to remember to rack the slide, but might forget to thumb the ambidextrous, easy-to-use, mossberg safety forward.

I've never had to handle my SG under anything than artificial stress, so What to do... what to do?


Al Thompson
July 18, 2002, 06:48 PM
Hey Bruce, welcome to TFL!

FWIW, I have no small kids around and as long as my Lab dosen't grow a thumb, my HD SGs will have the chamber empty, hammer down and ready to go.

Change anything in the current environment and I'll go to a cocked hammer, empty chamber, safety on. That includes acquiring kids or the dog dying. Once I'm asleep, I'm asleep. Have no desire to wake up with a BG in the rooom and wrestling for a SG.

FWIW, the former SO was quite adept at pumping the SG and covering the door. She was not especially good at hitting the bolt release and safety. Worked for us.

As Dave says, it takes some skill to get up and running in that mode. But that's why we have ranges and cheap ammo. :D

July 18, 2002, 07:25 PM
PERSONALLY I store mine with an empty chamber... and I dry fire it BEFORE I load the magazine... so that the ONLY thing needed is to rack it and fire it...

no fumbling for a latch in the middle of the night!

July 18, 2002, 07:51 PM
For a couple of reasons, I store my 870 unloaded with the action back and the hammer therefore cocked. I do this so that I can quickly insert a round up the spout from the side saddle and then load the magazine at my leisure.

I don't worry about guns powered by coil springs being left cocked. Guns with leaf springs OTOH are a different matter and I drop the hammers on them (always with snap caps) before storage.


Dave McC
July 19, 2002, 03:10 AM
Giz, Pop gave it to me around 1958. Ike. I was 12 then, and have no idea when Pop bought it, tho I recall him saying he got it used. It was ours before 1956.

Bruce, I keep mine like this because it's the way we kept them on post in Md's prison system. It also was great when the little McCs were really little. Having just one Manual Of Arms eliminates fumbling if practiced well.

Whatever system you establish and use, it takes practice to groove it in. This one, after so many years, comes as natural as breathing.