870 CLEARANCE/LOADING DRILLS, by Dave McCracken
I got an email from a member of TheFiringLine forum about the Flextab his 870 didn't have and it led into some other stuff, as things oft do. Here's a coupla things everyone should know about their 870s, and some applies to other brands also.
First, the Flextab is a few small modifications that eliminate one kind of malfunction that locks up the weapon big time. Your 870 has one if there's a slot in the shell carrier. Until I started instructing, I knew little about it, despite thousands of rounds fired through 870s. The Flextab is a nice thing to have, but proper loading technique makes it not a must have.
OF COURSE, you're practicing this with snap caps, safety on, muzzle controlled and pointing in a safe direction.
Loading while shooting:
Is holding up a 7-10 lb shotgun with one hand fatiguing? Yup, do it anyway.
Loading after running dry:
Clearance drills and techniques:
If training, and no threat exists in the area, make the weapon safe, unscrew the mag cap, and take everything out of the mag tube, including the follower and ammo. Gravity should get the stuck round out, and it can be urged by lightly tapping the butt. Reassemble and continue.
If it's a real crisis, safe the weapon, GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF THE TRIGGERGUARD, and depress the slide release and keep it depressed. Swing the weapon and hit the butt on a hard surface, goodnhard. This should clear it immediately. If not transit to your backup, or retreat. I've busted pieces of stock off doing this, so be warned it's rough on the weapon.
Dave McCracken has been shotgunning longer than many shooters have been alive. He regularly posts on TheHighRoad.org and TheFiringLine.com. This article is reprinted here with his permission; reprinting or redistributing this article without his permission is expressly prohibited.