View Full Version : Can a shotshell round in a 870 ever accidentally explode.....

March 27, 2009, 01:05 AM
....when the round pops out of the magazine tube when you cycle the action back?

It seems that the shotshell pops out and slams agianst the carrier so fast and violently, I'm worried one day a primer might go off and explode within the breech of the 870

Could it ever happen?

March 27, 2009, 02:01 AM
It would have to punch the primer hard with a pointed nub. I doubt this exists.
But I am not all knowing and others knowing the 870 can correct me...

March 27, 2009, 03:17 AM
I have never seen it happen with an 870 but a friend of mine had an old Ithaca pump action that did this while we were shooting skeet. I heard the bang because he was standing right next to me. I turned to yell at him as to why he was shooting already and the look on his face just told me something was not right. The birdshot blew everything out of his magazine tube and shot towards the ground. Neither of us was hurt. This was a couple of years ago but I do seem to remember that the only thing we could figure is the primer struck the spoon because it blew up when he was chambering a round.


March 27, 2009, 03:55 AM
i wouldn't think so. my grandfather owns an 870 and we've never had anything like that happen. The 870 is a pretty solid design, a flaw like that would certainly have changed its course in history. to set off a primer, you really need a direct and solid hit on it. not as easy as you might think. worn out guns can certainly put a good enough dent into a primer that you would THINK it would've/should've gone off. but it won't. So I'd say your chances are pretty rare.

you're probably more likely to get struck by lightning 3 times in the same spot on 3 different occasions.

now that ive said that, you had better not stay outside in a thunderstorm! :eek:

March 27, 2009, 07:01 AM
I have only seen one instance of a shotshell going off outside the chamber of a gun. It happened with a bolt action shotgun and I guess the striker released during the bolt closing. The side of the shell just blew open, the crimp didn't even open up on the shell.

March 27, 2009, 07:19 AM
I bet a change of underwear would have been in order (required urgently) :o:D


March 27, 2009, 01:44 PM
I am due one because it has not happened to me in the last 50 years of shooting various 870 shotguns.

editing.........O by the way. What about all those miles I have walked with 12 gauge and various other ammunition in my pockets. You would think they could get banged around enough to go off. That would hurt.:eek:

Lee Lapin
March 27, 2009, 02:34 PM
Could it happen? I suppose it could. There was this lady in Alabama who had a chunk of space rock come through her roof and hit her about 50 years ago. Strange things can happen.

I wouldn't waste any time worrying about either one of those things, though.

lpl (UA, 1975 - Roll, Tide!)

Link to meteorite story: http://uanews.ua.edu/anews2004/nov04/meteorite112404.htm

March 27, 2009, 03:30 PM
is it possible,yes i suppose it is. has it happened to me or my father. luckily no. i've hunted with 870's over the years before buying my own and never had i thought of that happning. i think i would have a better chance of one etc. going off if i fell out of a tree or similar onto my pocket of shells. but my swiss army knife in there would most likely be what sets it off. not that it opens on its own.

March 27, 2009, 04:09 PM
Extremely unlikely, and even if it did happen, probably would not cause much damage. As kids we used to shoot loaded 12 guage shells in the primer with a bb gun. In the open without the confines of the chamber, the shells would just blow the primer out and split. Usually the crimp was not even opened.

March 27, 2009, 04:43 PM
As kids we used to shoot loaded 12 guage shells in the primer with a bb gun. In the open without the confines of the chamber, the shells would just blow the primer out and split. Usually the crimp was not even opened.

glad I'm not the only one who used to do that.........:o

To the original question.......

Given the number of 870's in service, including those in HARD USE service (LE/Military), if it were likely, we would see quite a few reports of it actually happening. Given that such reports are absent and that there are so many 870's in service, including HARD USE service, it would be reasonable to come to the conclusion that it ain't very likely........

I think the meteor thing happening is more likely.

March 27, 2009, 05:28 PM
I've never heard of it happening, would take the gun and the shell doing some really weird things and for those things to detonate the relatively hard primer of a shotgun shell.

March 27, 2009, 06:45 PM
Kind of reminds me of one time me and a twoi buddys were just playing around with some of our shotguns and made our new shotting buddy use the .22 and so were walkin around (gravel roads) and he says hey guys Iv got like 30 .22 catrdiges in my boot iv been walkin around a while with em hold up. so were like you kidding me, both laughing our ass's off. I meen its pretty unlikely (wearing socks,padding of shoes) while stepping on a rock to set off a rim fire but still its an odd im not willing to chance. so we told him you wanna keep your toes? you might want to get them in a pocket with out holes. but rather funny moment.

March 27, 2009, 08:47 PM
I've never hear of this happening or such and while I don't recommend it I have seen unused shotgun shells ejected across the room, dropped, thrown, and spilled all over the place.

I would definately advise taking proper care with all ammunition, yet I've never hear seen a round go off that wasn't chambered.

March 27, 2009, 09:55 PM
Doubt it. The round just doesn't come out of the tube with THAT much force. It pops out of there, but it takes more than that to mash the primer.

March 28, 2009, 03:35 AM
I've owned a Wingmaster for about thirty-five years and never had a problem??;)

March 29, 2009, 02:07 AM
The thing is that I have the Scattergun technologies magazine extension that comes with the "extra high power spring" which sends those shotshells zooming the speed of light into the breech area.

You can actually feel the recoil of the shells cycling everytime you pump.

Para Bellum
March 29, 2009, 03:00 AM
if the gun gets way too hot, the primer can ignite trough heat. Happened in the army with MGs....

Lee Lapin
March 29, 2009, 12:02 PM
I wish I could afford the ammo it would take to get a pump shotgun hot enough to cook off...


March 29, 2009, 12:40 PM
I can see how it would be possible, but all the right circumstances would have to line up just right. Possibly if you had a really strong spring, the primer was a little more sensitive, and there was some debris or foriegn object inside the reciever and the primer just happened to hit it just right.

I've never heard of it before. The chances of that happening are so small that I'm not at all worried about it.