Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shotgun Reloading - part three

Okay, let’s get back to reloading.

For convenience, or maybe clarity, I’m ignoring right and left.  I’ll just talk about the hand you use to pull the trigger and the hand you hold the fore-arm of the shotgun with. 

It’s quite possible you'll shoot your gun dry.  Try as we might, most professionals report that under fire they lose count of the number of times they fired.  Dirty Harry wasn’t lying when he said:   “I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself.”

How do you tell when you’re empty?  The chief clue is the lack of Boom! and recoil when you press the trigger.   Of course you could have also slipped the safety on by mistake.  Skill-with-arms come from practice.  Practice, Grasshopper.

Your immediate goal is to continue breathing and having an empty shotgun is not conducive to that goal.  You need to reload.

The semi-auto is simple.  If it is functioning properly the last round locks the breech bolt back.  Demount the gun, turn it sideways so you can see the open chamber. Drop a round into the open chamber and depress the carrier release.  Use your fingers.  Yes, the cool tactical guys use the reloading motion of a second shell to close the breech bolt and load a second round.  That’s the Master level reload.  The PhD level is never letting your gun go dry.  We’re working at the BS level.

Dropped shell in chamber of shotgun
Ive dropped a rshell in the empty chamber of my shotgun.  If it's manual I'll pump it closed, semi-auto- I'll turn it over a little more and push the release with my finger tips.

If people are shooting at you, Keep It Sweetly Simple.  Get one round in the gun, and if you don’t need to shoot at that moment, load more.

The carrier release?  That’s the shiny rectangular button on the bottom of the carrier.  Most semi-auto shotguns are set up that way.  Check your instruction manual.  Don’t have one?  E-mail, call or download one from their website.

Pumps are more complicated.  An empty pump shotgun will go click, but no boom or recoil.  Use the fore-end to cycle the breech bolt open, demount the gun, turn it sideways and drop a shell into the open chamber. Continue with the forward stroke to complete the cycle loading your gun.  Most pump shotguns can’t be reloaded into the gun’s magazine if the breach bolt open, so get it closed and your gun loaded.

Pssst!…Do you know what the most common source of failure to fire is in a pump shotgun?  Incomplete cycling of the breech bolt.  So rack the gun with authority.  Do not short stroke it.

Why do I want you to take the time to demount the gun?  All your efforts need to be concentrated on completing this reload.  One round.  One round loaded.  One round loaded when you need it.  Get the drift?

I anticipate my fingers will be numb and my manual dexterity will be in the toilet.  I need to concentrate on getting one round loaded and not juggling two or more rounds in my hand.  Once I get the gun loaded, dropping the second or third round from my hand isn’t the end of the world.  My loaded gun gives me options.  I don’t need to mount the gun, if I need to use the trigger.

The army video (previous post) is great.  I would never say anything bad about them, but they are on a sportsman’s field.  Put them behind a short, shot-up brick and clay wall in Iran or next to a doorway in a mud hut with rounds coming at them and I know you’ll see a different reload.


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