How to Safely Unload a Shotgun

How to Unload a Shotgun

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Most people don’t know how to safely unload a shotgun.  This is an important tip and works well with the earlier article on how to combat load a shotgun.

How Not to Unload a Shotgun

The problem I am addressing today is the common practice of unloading a shotgun by racking and re-racking the slide to eject all the shells out of the gun.

Sure its fast, and it looks cool in a mall ninja sort of way, but what you are doing is chambering round after round in the firearm while manipulating the gun as rapidly as possible.

Each time you close the breach you are introduction the possibility that the firing pin may strike the primer and having a negligent discharge.

A Better Way to Unload a Shotgun

I want to show you a way that is just slightly slower, MUCH safer, and is a lot more professional, which in my mind makes you look infinitely cooler to those in the know (which is better than impressing those that don’t know better)…

If you flip your shotgun over and look at the receiver you will see a lever that moves up and down.  Tthis is called the elevator, and its purpose is to catch rounds kicked out of the magazine when the slide is fully retracted, and lift them (elevate) to the chamber as the slide is moved forward.

If you flip the elevator upward as you retract the slide the round ejected from the magazine will eject out of the bottom of the receiver instead of tiding the elevator to the chamber.

Remington parts schematic

Of course it gets a little tricky if you have a loaded chamber, as you have to rack the slide to eject the loaded round while still pushing up on the elevator to keep the next round from riding it to the chamber.

It does not take a lot to lift the elevator up, and you don’t want to have your whole finger in the receiver and forcefully bring the slide back as the round form the magazine will smack your bugger hook pretty hard.

I would suggest you get a couple dummy rounds and practice this a little, as once mastered it is much safer, easier, and is a good indication your someone that knows what you are doing…

The carrier/elevator is part number 7 in the image to the left.

Please watch the video for a visual of what I am trying to discuss.

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