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Old September 13, 2000, 03:44 PM   #1
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What is the proper way to put my HD 870 in a "hammer down" condition for "cruiser ready" status in the gun safe?

[This message has been edited by tyro (edited September 13, 2000).]
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Old September 13, 2000, 04:33 PM   #2
Al Thompson
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Make absolutely sure the gun is unloaded, pull the trigger. Load your shells in the magazine. Remember to load them in the reverse order you want them to be fired.

Did I mention - make sure the gun is unloaded prior to dropping the hammer? No? OK - make sure the gun is unloaded, then pull the trigger.

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Old September 16, 2000, 11:53 AM   #3
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Tyro: Although unloading the shotgun completely, dropping the hammer, and then reloading the magazine is certainly one method to do this (and I would suspect safer also), I use an alternate method which bypasses unloading the shotgun completely, and is therefore faster. Because it is faster, it is also unfortunately more dangerous, and one must be very careful of the status of your shells.
That said, I bring the forend back slowly, until the chambered shell can be removed from the ejection port. At the point that the shell can be removed, you must not continue backwards movement of the forend lest another shell be dropped from the magazine (and would be chambered when you bring the forend forward.) With the chambered shell removed, and certain that no shell is dropped from the magazine, you can then bring the forend forward. I always depress the action/slide release again and check by feel and sight that no shell is either in the chamber or the loading lifter (my terminology may be suspect here, help me out please, fellow FLposters!) If empty, you can then drop the hammer, always pointed in a safe direction regardless of its condition! This will achieve the cruiser ready condition without unloading, then reloading the magazine. It does; however, require (NO, demands!) more attention to what your doing.
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Old September 22, 2000, 11:16 AM   #4
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Something to consider on "Cruiser Ready" status with shotguns that have a Surefire tactical light fore end. Due to the action being unlocked, if you rapidly lift the gun with the muzzle up, such as from a police unit's gun lock or from your gun safe, the heavier fore end can generate enough inertia to short stroke the gun. After this happened to me, I started keeping my pump guns with a loaded mag tube, hammer cocked/action locked on an empty chamber, and the safety on. To bring the weapon into action all it takes is to press the action release, cycle the action and go. Yes, it's a bit slower. But, Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong ,will at the worst possible time. This loading condition leaves me feeler slightly more comfortable than before.

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Old September 22, 2000, 03:29 PM   #5
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CQB1: Thanks for the tip on the "shortstroking because of heavier forend." I'd never heard that before. The alternative condition you mentioned was one that I also use but for long term storage I like to release the tension from the springs by putting the hammer down. This was something I learned here from a older, prior post. I don't know if it would cause any damage storing longer term with it "cocked" like that (Rem870's being so durable), but it sure made sense and I was silly for not even thinking about it.
Your alternative condition also give some (some, seconds or minutes, depending upon variables) safety from unauthorized, untrained individuals using the weapon. Ayoob mentions this loaded condition and writes about this safety feature. With some people, they could take up to 30-60 secs. or more trying to figure out how to work the weapon. Leave the safety on as well, and the individual must first activate the slide release to stroke the forend, chambering a shell, and then must also unsafe to fire. Leaving the weapon hammer down (action unlocked), and safety not on, will allow the weapon to simply be picked up, racked and fired.
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Old September 25, 2000, 09:51 AM   #6
Dave T
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The condition described by CQB1 is what I tought at my department and what became department policy. If properly trained it is no slower as you will grab the gun (In our case 870s) so as to release the action lock when you pick it up. Then, all that is left is racking the action to chamber a round.

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