View Full Version : question about pump action shotguns

December 13, 2008, 11:01 PM
I have a mossberg 500. I have noticed that the shell to be chambered will fall out if the shotgun is shaken or turned on an angle.

Is this normal?

Scattergun Bob
December 13, 2008, 11:13 PM
Yes, this is true of the mossberg design. The shell "free floats" on the lifters from the time it leaves the tube mag until it is captured by the extractor. with the forend pumped rearward it is possible to cant the gun and have the shell fall out. As far a shaking, I am sure you could but I have not experminted with that.

I teach that the pump scattergun is handled and functioned with the receiver straight up and down, seems to work just fine.

Good Luck & Be Safe

December 13, 2008, 11:18 PM
Thanks for the info. This is important to know...particularly when a Mossberg is being used in a tactical setting.

Scattergun Bob
December 13, 2008, 11:28 PM
By the way, Remington 870 does the same thing, and I have watched many shell from my students scatterguns hit the ground without their knowledge during training.

There is a method to "press Check" your scattergun, I suggest you investigate this as part of your loading procedure.

December 13, 2008, 11:33 PM
Massnee, Are you talking about the shell will fall out once you begin the reload cycle or anytime?
If you mean anytime than either the shell is not fully loaded in the tube and thus not captured or the device that captures it (cartridge interrupter or cartridge stop) is not in operating condition allowing it to protrude out of the mag tube.
If operated properly the next round is captured until you cycle and would only fall out if terribly shaken or flipped over... If you cycle the gun with "attitude" it is over with to fast to worry about losing the shell. There is never a time where a slow cycle is prudent as it is never silent and is a good way to have a hang up in the action..

December 13, 2008, 11:35 PM
SGB, By "press check" do you mean a verified check of the ammo inside the mag tube?

December 13, 2008, 11:36 PM
Ithaca Model 37 won't allow the shell to drop....ever. :D

December 13, 2008, 11:40 PM
I have never in "umpteen" thousand rounds, never seen a shell fall out of a mossberg... I have seen a few "double feeds" from folks trying to baby the gun...:D Where can I buy one of them Ithica guns new for 200 bones?

December 13, 2008, 11:41 PM
if you are cycling it slowly and investigating the mechanism visually maybe. but turn it on its right side 90 degrees and cycle it like you are trying to use the thing and i doubt it will drop a shell except for ejecting the chambered hull or shell as designed.

i turn mine on its side to cycle out the ammo onto the sofa or whatever i dont know how many times, and i never had it fail to feed properly or drop something it wasnt supposed to drop.

Scattergun Bob
December 14, 2008, 12:04 AM
No, I am talking about press checking the chamber to verify it's condition of readiness.

And Guys, angling or turning the gun on it's side is EXACTLY what the OP is discussing. I will say again, it happens every class and most of the time is undetected by the shooter, UNTIL that thunderous SNAP as the firing pin rams home on nothing. It is not just your SAINTED Mossbergs, OK!

Yes M-37 and BPS don't have this issue, but then they have their own faults.

December 14, 2008, 12:09 AM
angling or turning the gun on it's side is EXACTLY what the OP is discussing

sure it is, but if the thing got shucked instead of trying to make a shell fall out and shaking it to see what drops, i dont think anything would fall out.

i can make most anything from a colt 45 to bolt action rifle act silly if im trying to.

Scattergun Bob
December 14, 2008, 12:13 AM
Fine, you win, it will never happen, I'm just on drugs:( , perhaps you have never tried operating a fighting scattergun in any other position besides standing up, might be enlightening.

December 14, 2008, 12:18 AM
scattergunbob thanks and i will spend much time trying to make my shotgun jam in the future.:)

December 14, 2008, 12:56 AM
ScattergunBob,How do you chamber check a pumpgun?I did a search here and could not find how,though I did find an answer to another thing I was ignorant of(I have had the mag cap loosen on my 870 during shooting.During my search I found a post about a shotgun course that Louis Awerbuck(sp?)runs and one thing the post mentions is that Mr Awerbuck said that the mag cap is one nut that can't be overtightened by hand and really snugged down the nut on several guns that the nut came loose on.)Back to the original question would the way to check to make sure a round is chambered be to press the slide lock and ease the forend back slightly and look through the ejection port at the bolt as it comes back then after you see the brass and know there is a shell there push the forend forward until the gun is back in battery?

December 14, 2008, 04:02 AM
I'm not framiliar with mossy's but with an 870, with the forend all the way to the rear, it is possible for a shell to drop out of the chamber. I can tell you this though; you need to seriously need to try to shake it out for it to come out. Sometimes I try to eject shells by just dropping them out of the receiver which requires shaking the receiver in different ways to try to get the shell to drop out. It is very hard to get out without putting your finger in the chamber to try to "finger" the shell out. I'd be hard pressed to believe that a shell would EVER fall out of the reciever of an 870, unintentionally.

Dave McC
December 14, 2008, 09:14 AM
Bob, I got your back.....

I just lumbered downstairs, grabbed a dummy round, checked Number Six TWICE and closed the action on an empty chamber. Loading the dummy and holding the weapon with the ejection port pointing DOWN, I then pushed the slide release and shucked the thing briskly. The dummy chambered without a glitch. Same with the port pointing up. Same upside down.

Easing the action open left the dummy bouncing off my large and hairy toes.

Thus also if I held the weapon vertically and gently opened it.

But take not my word. Use a DUMMY round and try yours.

Pumpguns were meant to cycle emphatically.

December 14, 2008, 04:16 PM
sounds interesting. i think i shall try to get mine to jam,not feed right,shell fallout. as soon as i'm done burning er i mean cooking dinner.

i check mine by pressing the slide release and pulling the slide back maybe an inch ,just enough to see if its empty or not. even if i think its empty, to be absolutly sure it is. i'll pull the slide back all the way and look inside. better safe than sorry.

December 14, 2008, 04:30 PM
Scattergun Bob and Dave speak from experience - you guys should listen to their counsel. They have a lof of experience in " fighting shotguns "....

December 14, 2008, 05:23 PM
It seems like both Bob and Alloy and Dave are saying the same thing.Pump the thing forcefully all the way back and forward,no problem no matter which way the ejection port is pointed.If you pump it slowly,lazily,or timidly you better not have the port facing down or the muzzle skyward.I think Bobs point is that some folks will fail to pump fully and forcefully under some situations such as practicing shooting under a car or simulating an injured arm and the weak pump combined with a downward facing port will result in a click instead of a bang,and an unfired shell on the ground.I think Lukes warden might say someting about failures of communication here:)But does anyone know if I am doing the chamber check or "press check" correctly by pushing the slide lock and easing the bolt back only far enough to see brass the pushing forward to lock up?It works for me.

December 14, 2008, 05:35 PM
xm, that's how I check the chamber, too. Seems to work ok.

Next time I see someone at the range quickcycle the action on their 870 or Mossy, I guess now I'll know why! Interesting. I just thought they were trying to look cool or something. :D

Katrina Guy
December 14, 2008, 07:07 PM

December 14, 2008, 07:09 PM
i just tried my 870. only had 2 dummy shells though. after checking it 3 times to be sure nothing in the chamber or mag.

i loaded both dummies into mag then turned the shotgun so the port was facing down. pumped the action,upon pulling the slide forward the dummy fell out.

i pulled with authority nonetheless.pulled trigger,pumped the action again the next dummy chambered.

tried it again loading both into mag and pumping the action. it did the same exact thing again,first one fell out upon attempting to chamber it.

i loaded the 2 dummies into the mag again,i turned the shotgun upside down.pulled the slide back,shell fell out of the port. pushed it forward and tried to chamber the second shell. it fell out of the port upon pushing the slide forward.

i found that if i have the port down and the action open, and i drop a shell inside, then push the slide forward it will chamber it.

i couldn't get it to double feed.

Katrina Guy
December 14, 2008, 07:11 PM
my 1911 45acp, when I go to chamber a round (the first round) it will jam every time if I ease the slide forward as opposed to letting it slam-which never ever has jammed. For what that is worth to the topic.

December 14, 2008, 07:16 PM
my 1911 45acp, when I go to chamber a round (the first round) it will jam every time if I ease the slide forward as opposed to letting it slam-which never ever has jammed. For what that is worth to the topic.

You should either slingshot the slide or use the slide release and not ease the slide forward anyways.

Katrina Guy
December 14, 2008, 07:29 PM

.357 mag
December 14, 2008, 08:50 PM
Hmmm, I have 3 Nova's and none of them will let a shell come out.

December 14, 2008, 08:59 PM
I have a Mossberg Cruiser, took it thru a combat course today, no rounds fell out. I'll have to try and make one fall out next time on the course, I have never seen it happen.

December 20, 2008, 12:42 AM
This is precisely why I have magnetized my shotgun magazines.:D
I have yet to have a round fall out. Come to think of it, none fell out before magnetization either. Hmmm.:eek:

Scattergun Bob
December 20, 2008, 01:07 AM
Wow, those BRASS magnets are real expensive, you could make a buck or 2 with that add on. Rounds don't fall out on their own, stupid folks help them along:cool:, take it for what it is worth.

December 20, 2008, 01:28 AM
SGB.... I am still waiting for my MAG magnets... I sent my money to a supermodel inventor chick in Nigeria who's daddy was killed in a civil war and here inheritance was tied up... Not that she hit me up to help with that. But I am thinking she may have written down my address and phone numbers wrong as it has been quite some months since the check cleared the bank...

Scattergun Bob
December 20, 2008, 01:40 AM
:D, as usual


December 20, 2008, 07:12 PM
hogdogs, I didn`t care for my MAG magnets. I found the magnetic field between projectile and magnet lowered my MOA.:confused:

December 20, 2008, 08:28 PM
Not owning a M500 nor R870 pump shotgun, I've been following this tread without a specific interest but with a general curiosity. There's always something new to learn in this forum. Like many shooters, I've never experienced a fall out when shooting a pump. But, I've never consciously laid one on in its side while slow shucking.

Thinking of the pump's propensity for drop out, I was curious if other configurations might have drop out problems, too. I tried several top break guns and they have a similar problem. With a single barrel, SxS and O/U if you do not load correctly, you may experience shell fall out.

I experimented with the guns in their normal orientation and rotated 90-degrees on their left and right sides. With the chambers charged in the normal manner, I elevated the muzzle. Sure enough, I was never able to get the muzzle vertical without the shells falling out. Some models did better than others: Single barrel and SxS would dump clear, but sometimes the O/U would retain the lower barrel's shell against the breech face. Be advised, when going for those vertical shots with a top break gun, close the breech before attempting extreme elevations.
Happy Holidays

Katrina Guy
December 20, 2008, 09:57 PM
Thought I was the only one LOL,.. dear beloved brother (that's how my emails typically start off) LOLOL

December 21, 2008, 02:24 AM
Hmm . . .I just had to go dig out my 870 to try this stunt. Yes, the shell did fall out and yes, I hurt my wrist racking it at such a weird angle. Trying to think of a time when I would ever do so again on purpose . . . nah:)

December 21, 2008, 02:54 AM
I have a Savage 12 gauge and unless you shuck it slooow it will not drop a shell, but I don't know why you would ever slow shuck a shell in a pump gun. As soon as I pull the trigger the action is worked fast and hard ready for the next bird or bad guy ( just the way I was taught) and it has served me well.

December 21, 2008, 05:06 AM
FBrown,if your gun is used for hunting only your post sounds good.But for a defense gun the prudent owner practices for all situations.These include lying on the ground and and manipulating the gun one handed in case the zombies have wounded one of your wings.It is a lot harder to pump "fast and hard" with only one hand to use,try it sometime.

December 21, 2008, 08:38 AM
I have and it works fine

December 21, 2008, 09:14 AM
Mossberg 500 owners manual page 7. "continue pulling the forearm rearward to release the next shotshell onto the elevator. Turn the shotgun so the ejection port faces downward to allow the released shotshell to drop out through the ejection port. Owners manuals can be downloaded/printed from Mossbergs website.