View Full Version : My shotgun locks up...what could it be?

September 6, 2007, 08:34 PM
I have a remington 870 shotgun and when I go clayshooting it works like a dream! BUT! every 6 or 7 rounds the last time I went it locked up on me and became extremely hard to pump....I tried to dissasemble it but no dice. So I threw the pumping rod back as hard as Icould and it slid free.....whats the deal...this happened about 5 times the whole day.....I did shoot ALLOT thru it and it seems to be fine now al though i havnt shot it yet. Has this happened to any1 else?

September 6, 2007, 08:54 PM
Your shell's, what are they/
New, Mixed bag, reloads, Length(2 1/2, 3, 31/2?
What is the shotgun chambered for?
What dose the brass look like on a empty? How freely did they chamber in the 1st place(try to easily close the slid on a loaded one, and on a empty, then on a empty that you had trouble with.(in a safe place)

Look for buildup of fouling in chamber.

September 6, 2007, 08:56 PM
I tried to disassemble it but no dice!]
One nut and two pins and you have 90% of it done! 870s are (mostly) fool proof. Clean it - thoroughly. Means taking it completely apart. Pull trigger group and use a good spray solvent. Action rods, bolt and firing pin, clean out magazine tube, .... everything! These shooters are simple but need to be cleaned. Not as much as the 1100, but every few hundred rounds.

September 6, 2007, 08:59 PM
870s are (mostly) fool proof.WHAT R YA TRYNA SAY!!! :)
No the slide was forward and the barrel wont come off because the locking lug was holding the barrel on I KNOW HOW TO TAKE MY SHOTGUN APART hahaha......
anyways. The shells make a great point! Normally i shoot remmy game and gun club loads 12 ga 2+3/4 but this time my buddy had some old shells from A friend that we were shooting...could expansion be the problem? They chambered just fine....

September 6, 2007, 09:04 PM
I would just clean it up and try some new shells.

I hunted with an old friend that had all his shells dumped int an old Mil-surp ammo can, and he was having the same kind of problems.
"You are what you ea.......Shoot"

September 6, 2007, 09:11 PM
all the above and hone the chamber:)

chris in va
September 6, 2007, 10:08 PM
Yup, highly suspect it was the shells...and a dirty chamber. My friend's Browning did the same thing and it would lock up extremely hard to the point we had to rent another shotgun.

September 7, 2007, 01:02 AM
There's been a rash of 870's failing to extract lately.

The two major causes are:
1. Cheap ammo.
A lot of the cheaper stuff bought in bulk is causing real problems. Try some better ammo.

2. Dirty chambers.
A lot of people are buying new guns and failing to clean the factory lube out of the chamber.
This lube mixes with plastic and carbon fouling and turns the chamber into a sticky mess that causes failure to open.
Older guns also get an unnoticed buildup of plastic and carbon fouling and suddenly start to give problems.

Clean the chamber.
Many shotgun shooters buy a special shotgun chamber brush to scrub the chamber and keep it clean.
These work better than using a standard bore brush.

September 7, 2007, 04:16 AM
gotta be a 870 express model: rough chambers
That's the major difference between a express and a Wingmaster 870's, the wingys had a better internal/external polish then the express.

* 4/0 steel wool wrapped around a bore brush, lots of oil and polish using a power drill will do the trick. :)

September 7, 2007, 11:55 PM
My brother's 870 super mag had the same problem, he had to hone the chamber out with sand-paper and steel-wool before it would work.


September 9, 2007, 07:41 PM
Thanks fellas! : D

September 10, 2007, 05:30 AM
What are you cleaning and lubing it with ??

September 10, 2007, 05:41 AM
hoppes #9, rem-gun oil, and barricade rust pevenative. I lube it with CLP

September 16, 2007, 10:35 PM
A cylinder hone form Brownell's is great. But, a brake cylinder home from local auto supply will do it cheaper. Go easy with both. I bougth an 870 WM a few days ago, old but NIB. Could hardly move the slide. Literally scraped dried factory lub out with an oak stick after spraying it with my bicycle degreaser (cuts better than gun scrubber on caked in gunk).

Sorry if I insulted you :o but I never, in owning a couple dozen 870s, have never seen one that could not be broken down. Some easier than others, I admit. Trigger group should always come out.

I have quit using the Wal-Mart cheap W and F and R ammo. It is not that much more to buy AA. The W-M stuff even sticks in my BT-99 occasionally. AA never does, even after several reloadings. Anyone know where the cheapo stuff is loaded. Just quality control or more benefit from China??

September 17, 2007, 05:53 AM
have never seen one that could not be broken down.
I had a shotshell in the chamber. The locking lug was up. So I COULD take out the trigger assembly but not the barrel or boltassembly because the locking lug on the bolt was holding the barrel to the receiver. Once I racked the action hard enough the bolt flew back leaving the barrel loose for me to remove.

lol no offence taken.

The only dfference is this shotgun is 2 yrs olf....ive cleaned it a bit over the years...(every time i go out) thougrougly and I dont think factory lubee is the problem here. I beleive it was shell expansion....The shotshells I was using were very old.After cleaning the chamber and using new ammunition. Chik chik. :) what I like to hear. Thanks guys

September 17, 2007, 07:01 AM
Check the base of the shells next time the gun locks up. Some of the cheapie shells may have deformed metal bases. Roll the shell on a flat surface to check if it is round. I have found some that were actually oval!

The cheap promo loads are made to be fired and tossed, some euro ammo is the same. Thinner brass (Or whatever they use) bases often cause problems with extraction.

Rem STS/Nitro27, Win AA and Fed Top Gun hulls are made to be reloaded and use better materials.

September 17, 2007, 08:07 PM
I have an 870 Express Super Mag. And the second time I went shooting this happened. I was shooting a brand new box of winchester game loads, and the exact same thing happened. All I did... Switch to Remington Game loads... PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!

September 18, 2007, 10:10 PM
i experienced similar problems (excluding taking it apart) and i lubed it up with some hoppes lube and now gravity will pull it down:D

September 19, 2007, 03:18 PM
yeah the game loads work doog for me

big shot
September 19, 2007, 10:50 PM
Happened to me too, on the dove opener no less! Gun was squeaky clean & well lubed but locked up probably 8-10 times over the course of an hour. Had to really force the slide back with all my stregth to eject the spent shells. Missed a lot of birds as a result.

Ammo I was shooting was some Winchester "universal" target/game loads that I picked up at Wall Mart for cheap. Had never heard of or seen the stuff prior to stumbling upon it at Wall Mart. Suspecting the ammo as the problem, about half way through the morning I switched over to a mixed bag of Wolf & PMC stuff I had left over from the year before (which you'd think would be even worse) and had no issues.

Still, it wasn't the first time my 870 locked up in this way and think what others have said about the 870 having a rough chamber is probably correct.

September 20, 2007, 03:03 PM
The rem. game loads and gun club loads work great and this has never happened to me with them....cheap too : D

September 21, 2007, 12:31 AM
High brass, low brass? Any difference for not locking up?