*Loading & Unloading A Pump Shotgun*


By Eli

03 May 2003


Disclaimer- Neither the Alpha/Rubicon nor I assume any responsibility for any firearms "accidents" or mishaps which you may have. Practicing weapons safety is YOUR responsibility.

In this article I intend to show how to safely load & unload a pump shotgun in a NON- combat situation. I am using a Mossberg 500A which is very similar to a Remington 870. Typically most pump guns will unload in this fashion, yours may vary. The SAFETY procedures are the same. Safety is #1. There IS NO such thing as an accidental discharge. An "accidental" discharge is no more than someoneís stupidity and ignorance with firearms. Firearms DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT load and then shoot all by themselves!!! Also, you NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER put your finger inside the trigger guard unless you are READY TO SHOOT!

Safety Rule #1 = = = Always treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

Safety Rule #2 = = = Always point the weapon in a safe direction

Safety Rule #3 = = = Donít point the weapon at anything you donít intend to SHOOT!

Safety Rule #4 = = = Keep your finger outside the trigger guard!! Sound familiar?

Jacking the rounds out the weapon and watching them fly like they do in the movies isnít the correct or SAFE way to unload it. It might look cool, but it wonít if you shoot somebody trying to be Billy Badass.

Ensure that the weapon is unloaded, do this by

My finger is on the action bar release

The action bar will not slide back if the weapon has not been discharged without pressing and holding the release button located near the trigger guard. Push and hold the release and slowly pull the action bar back, but not all the way. Stop right before the end of the pull, the round will look like this.

A round being ejected from the chamber

Notice the other round inside

If there is a round in the chamber it will pop out just like the above pic. Simply remove it. If there is another round in the magazine tube it will pop onto the carrier. Then continue to pull the action bar the rest of the way back.

The 2nd cartridge

Simply turn the gun upside down and the round will fall out into your hand. Then advance the action bar forward.


Close ups of a 12-gauge cartridge


Weíre not done yet; there still may be rounds in the magazine tube. Hereís how to clear them.

While continuing to point the weapon in a SAFE direction-

My thumb is on the action bar

This will give you positive control over the weapon.

Now itís time to unload the magazine tube.


Look at the gold; notice the little tang thing that is holding it in.

Use your thumb to push the tang and the round will pop right out. It will come out with a little force, donít worry, it doesnít bite and itís not going to come flying out at you.

Guide the round out nice and easy; continue to do this procedure until the tube is empty. Then one last SAFETY check. Pull the action bar back and double check to make sure that BOTH the chamber & magazine tube are empty.

NOW you have a safe weapon, but still treat it as if it were loaded.

Basically youíre going to do the same thing as unloading only backwards. First make sure the weapon is clear by using the procedures above. Once the weapon is CLEAR!


To load you donít have to push the tang out of the way, just push the rounds in.

You now have a loaded weapon, keep in mind that there is not a round in the chamber.

To chamber a round-

Push and hold the action bar release. You only have to do this to chamber the 1st round.

With your other hand pull the action bar fully to the rear and then push it forward. Donít be gentle with a shotgun, rack that round like you mean business. Everybody knows what racking a shotgun sounds like it will most likely gain somebodyís respect immediately in a TSHTF situation. Babying the gun increases the possibility of a malfunctionÖbe mean, youíre not gonna break it!

After the 1st shot has been fired you donít need to push the action bar release. Just yard that bar back and slam it back forward.

Again, these are the unloading/loading procedures in a NON-combat situation. Practice makes perfect, I also recommend that you purchase or make some "dummy" rounds to practice with, this eliminates the possibility of one of them "accidental" discharges.

Safety Slogan- Like Be Safe and Stuff


All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright (c) 1996-2003 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.