Loading mag tube with open action

Tactical, combat, military, law enforcement and home defense use of a Remington 870 shotgun.
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gatorpilot
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Loading mag tube with open action

Post by gatorpilot » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:22 am

Hello everybody,

I've started working and training with my Remington 870 police magnum model (I'll have to post some pictures but there's a video of the completed build here: http://youtu.be/XgunzdmvIHQ if you want to see it.)

I've owned a Mossy 500A since 1995 and this is my first 870. As with all my gear as I begin to run it through basic manipulation and drills I uncover various issues with my selected build. In this case I'm realizing something that's sort of basic to the Remmy 870 but something I didn't encounter with my Moss 500: run the gun dry and admin reload the tube, and the elevator goes into "drift" mode and makes reloading the tube difficult.

Specifically, what I'm seeing is, with the action open, the elevator is released by the action and as soon as the first shell is pressed into the mag tube, the elevator "drifts" up to the top of the breech which makes it unavailable to help guide the shells into the tube. By comparison if the action is closed (slide forward) the elevator remains engaged and will provide a positive force against which the shells are guided into the tube.

Thoughts on this? The simple fix is to simply reload with the action closed, but I can't really think of a drill where it would make sense to reload in that configuration rather than action open. I base all of my training on reality: I don't count shots (it's unrealistic in a HD or tactical scenario), I fire 'til I dink the trigger, at which point I rack the action back, and go with either a combat reload (drop one shell into the ejection port) and/or start feeding the tube if I've got cover. Even going with the combo drill, in which you combat reload one shell and then start feeding the tube, the action is left open for economy of motion while you're feeding the tube.

Appreciate any thoughts on how y'all deal with this. I don't care for the way the elevator disengages with the action open.

DaveC
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Re: Loading mag tube with open action

Post by DaveC » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:58 pm

I train to put the first shell into the ejection port, close the action, shoulder the piece and aim it at the direction of the game animals or threat/target, and then with the shotgun shouldered ready to go, use my left hand [I'm right handed] to index a shell with the loading gate and reload the tube magazine.

Back when noted Shotgun guru Louis Awerbuck had a sweet mullet, he used to recommend 870 users close the action, and reload all shells through the loading gate into the tube magazine, and operate the slide-action to reload the chamber, and then top it off, or, preferably in his view, leave an empty space in the tube mag in order to allow for the "switch to slug" drill.

Your mileage may vary.

Incidentally, I was initially trained to index the shell between my forefinger and little finger, reach up underneath the action, put the heel of my hand against the loading gate, and pop the shell into the ejection port. To load the tube mag is the same, just without the heel of the hand contacting the elevator. I have done this so often, that it is awkward for me to swivel the gun over on the shoulder so that the ejection port is "up" and come over the top to drop the shell into the ejection port as is commonly taught these days. Good luck to you!
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

gatorpilot
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Re: Loading mag tube with open action

Post by gatorpilot » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:10 pm

Thanks, Dave. Good thoughts. It looks like I will simply need to do a combat reload, close the action, and start feeding the tube. I like to roll the gun so there's less chance of dropping the shell - sideways with the loading port visible in front of my face vs. facing the ground and not visible. You do have the advantage of keeping the muzzle pointed at the target in your example though. (Hopefully we're feeding the tube from cover anyway, though... )

Closing the action will be good for muscle memory anyway, even if it's not all that efficient. Do a combat reload the same way each and every time that way.

DaveC
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Re: Loading mag tube with open action

Post by DaveC » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:20 pm

Sometimes, for extended range sessions, I actually shoot a whole box with nothing but "combat reloads" as if my 870 was a single shot breech loader... :geek:

If there is a line of shotgun shooters, it makes an interesting gun game to have everyone start off with an empty mag tube and the action open, just ammo in the side saddle, or speed feed stock, or on the belt or whatever and try to load and shoot a single round as soon as the neighbor on the left goes. See how long and continuous a chain of reload and shoot can be kept up. Inevitably, someone will fumble the reload, which points up the issue of training and consistency as you rightly point out. I load my 870 the same way every time, except [always an EXCEPTION, right? :roll: ] I keep my 870 uncocked, with no round in the chamber, and a full tube mag, e.g. "cruiser ready" inside the homestead.

Good luck and good shooting with your 870! It is odd how Mossberg and Remington guns differ ever so slightly, no? :?:
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

gatorpilot
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Re: Loading mag tube with open action

Post by gatorpilot » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:03 pm

DaveC wrote:Sometimes, for extended range sessions, I actually shoot a whole box with nothing but "combat reloads" as if my 870 was a single shot breech loader... :geek:

If there is a line of shotgun shooters, it makes an interesting gun game to have everyone start off with an empty mag tube and the action open, just ammo in the side saddle, or speed feed stock, or on the belt or whatever and try to load and shoot a single round as soon as the neighbor on the left goes. See how long and continuous a chain of reload and shoot can be kept up. Inevitably, someone will fumble the reload, which points up the issue of training and consistency as you rightly point out. I load my 870 the same way every time, except [always an EXCEPTION, right? :roll: ] I keep my 870 uncocked, with no round in the chamber, and a full tube mag, e.g. "cruiser ready" inside the homestead.

Good luck and good shooting with your 870! It is odd how Mossberg and Remington guns differ ever so slightly, no? :?:
Dave, right on again! Yes, I keep my 870 in the same configuration in the house. I have kids, 8 and 9. They're well-trained in gun safety but I feel like I'm playing the odds correctly by running it cruiser safe (speaking of which, not to pick nits, but isn't your configuration cruiser safe rather than cruiser ready?)

I'm finding there are quite a few manipulation differences between the Moss 500A and the Remmy. I don't see myself swapping buck for slugs in a tactical situation but I practice it anyway and I don't like the way the user has to roll the shell out of the receiver to clear it with the Moss. Overall I'm starting to prefer the Remington for its slightly superior ergos but both are fine shotguns. Either one can be run well, it's just a matter of personal preference. When Magpul finally gets around to releasing the SGA stock for the 500 I'll switch over to that. LOVE that stock.

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Synchronizor
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Re: Loading mag tube with open action

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:47 am

gatorpilot wrote:Thoughts on this? The simple fix is to simply reload with the action closed, but I can't really think of a drill where it would make sense to reload in that configuration rather than action open. I base all of my training on reality: I don't count shots (it's unrealistic in a HD or tactical scenario), I fire 'til I dink the trigger, at which point I rack the action back, and go with either a combat reload (drop one shell into the ejection port) and/or start feeding the tube if I've got cover. Even going with the combo drill, in which you combat reload one shell and then start feeding the tube, the action is left open for economy of motion while you're feeding the tube.
To be honest, I can't think of a tactical scenario where it would make sense to leave the chamber open while reloading.

Ideally, of course, you'd want to avoid running your gun completely dry by topping off your magazine whenever you have the opportunity. If it happens though, the first priority should be to make the thing fire-able again as quickly as possible. Drop a shell into the chamber or loading port, close the action, and then worry about getting additional shells in the magazine before you have to start shooting again.

It seems like you're prioritizing things to minimize your overall reload time, which may be applicable in an IPSC match, but not in a real gunfight. Shaving a couple fractions of a second off your total reload time is not worth massively inflating the time needed to make the gun dangerous again. No matter what shotgun you have, no matter what your loading technique is, if you wait to chamber a round until after your magazine is completely topped off, you're trusting the other guy to wait politely until you're finished - not an assumption I'd make about anyone who was rude enough to warrant my gunfire.

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Zebra62
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Re: Loading mag tube with open action

Post by Zebra62 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:06 am

To be honest, I can't think of a tactical scenario where it would make sense to leave the chamber open while reloading.
I agree with Synchro on this count. If you have a dry magazine, drop your first reload directly into the port and close the action. That puts your machine back into action. Gypsy and I have been practicing our dry magazine reloads and have shaved lots of time off getting rounds downrange. We have California Competiton Stippers on our belts and pull our breechport loads directly from them. Gypsy is a little quicker than I am and can cycle 8 rounds through her 20 gauge in about 5.5 seconds. We don't have on of those fancy timers they use in competiton, but the stop watch function on our phones works good enough.
No matter what shotgun you have, no matter what your loading technique is, if you wait to chamber a round until after your magazine is completely topped off, you're trusting the other guy to wait politely until you're finished - not an assumption I'd make about anyone who was rude enough to warrant my gunfire.
:lol: You crack me up sometimes, Synchro! Rude indeed someone making me shoot at them.

In a perfect world, we would never have the need for weapons because there would be no bad guys. But since none of us live anywhere near Perfect, we do have weapons and there are lots of bad guys. Gypsy and I practise every chance we get, either at home with inert rounds or at the range with live rounds. We practise individually and as a team. One of us will engage a target while the other reloads then we will switch. We have also started to practise restocking each others assorted belt/vest mounted strippers and carriers. We both have belt mounted strippers and we both have belt mounted ammo bags. I have additional shell carriers on my vest (Gypsy does not have a vest - yet). The active shooter will engage a target from a fortified position and reload, keeping his or her eyes on the target. The inactive shooter, using the active shooter as a shiled, will pull rounds from the ammo bag and resupply the belt/vest mounted strippers and carriers only. NOT THE CARRIERS ON THE WEAPONS. Attempting to restock the weapon mounted carriers would be a distraction to the active shooter. Best to just leave them dry until there is ample opportunity for the shooters to change positions, then restock your own weapon's carriers.
The REAL definition of GUN CONTROL - The ability to keep your sights on your target.

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