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Old December 15, 2001, 04:13 PM   #1
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Shotgun lifespans and round counts

While I was driving in the car I was wondering about this, more out of curiosity than anything else, but still thought I'd ask. The most well used shotgun I've ever seen is my friends 20 ga. Moss 500 which has about 10K rounds through her. The only ever problem it had was it jammed once. It happened this morning out shooting actually and there is a very interesting story behind it too .

About how many rounds can you put through your popular pump shotgun model's (870, 500, 1300, BPS, Ithaca 37) before they give out? I know that's a very open ended question, as you could drive a car for 200K miles before it gives out but you'll only make it to 50K before a few parts start needing replacement. I guess my definition of "giving out" would be where the replacements/repairs are costing you more than the gun is worth. Sentimental worth aside.

And let's just say that we are talking about a 12 ga. About 80% of the loads through it are your normal 1 oz. or 1 1/8th oz. field loads. The other shells are mostly buckshot with a handful of slugs, steel shot, goose loads thrown in the mix. Also the gun is cleaned after every couple hundred rounds. That seems to be fairly normal in my experience.

So under those conditions, what would you say the life span would be of the popular pump shotgun models? All I could think of was "A really long time." Any of you guys have a slightly more exact measurement?


The interesting story: I left this until the end because it doesn't have anything to do with the post but is still really funny. My friend was starting to date this trashy lady and I've been bugging him to dump her. Well I finally won out and we decided the best way to kiss her goodbye was to duck tape the phone # she gave him to a clay pigeon and have him shoot it. So our thrower chucked the pigeon out there and my friend shot and missed, then when we went for a quick follow up shot the gun jammed. No idea how this happened, but both the old round got stuck ejecting and the new round got stuck diagonally inside his action, plus a second live round dropped out the bottom of his gun. Absolutely no clue how that can happen, but it did and only once and at the worst possible time from a superstitious standpoint. But after that his gun worked as well as it always has.
New gun, same ol' shot.
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Old December 15, 2001, 07:18 PM   #2
Dan Morris
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I have pumps/autos and O/U's that have thousands of rounds through them. Never really kept a log.They have always functioned as long as kept clean.
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Old December 16, 2001, 12:20 AM   #3
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An 870 should go hundreds of thousands of rounds without requiring major repairs. Maybe a firing pin or other small part along the way. For a regular target shooter 10 thousand rounds might be a year's shooting. It's real easy to shoot 2 rounds of trap, 2 rounds of skeet and a round of sporting each week to hit ten thousand a year.

I know of guys who have been shooting that much with an 870 and doing so for many years. Their guns are still holding up and are smooooooth.
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Old December 16, 2001, 01:39 PM   #4
Dave McC
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A secondhand story I heard a while back had an 870 go over 250K rounds for a skeet shooter.

One of the stalwarts of the Geezer League states his Model 12 has gone well over 100,000 rounds with some work.

The short answer? Longer than we will.
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Old December 17, 2001, 05:21 AM   #5
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On the friend's gun: the Mossy's have the two shell holder tabs that keep the shells from coming out of the tube. The are light steel and probably gave up the ghost due to fatigue.
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Old December 17, 2001, 12:14 PM   #6
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It could of been that, we'll have to watch to see if it happens again. I know exactly which 2 parts you are talking about so if they die I bet the easiest thing to do is get new ones strait from mossberg.

New gun, same ol' shot.
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Old December 17, 2001, 06:53 PM   #7
dick w. holliday
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Seems like i read an article about a Perrazi that the Army Marksmanship unit has that has gone 6 million rounds.....
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Old December 17, 2001, 09:34 PM   #8
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I read an article in one of the shotgun magazines by John Taylor about a Ruger Red Label which had been fired at the Ruger factory in excess of 100,000 times with proof loads! I don't know just how many regular loads this would equal, but it sold me on the Red Label.
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