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Pulled the trigger on my 870 this evening on a doe and nothing happened, as I lowered the 12 GA it went off (about a second or 2

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  • Pulled the trigger on my 870 this evening on a doe and nothing happened, as I lowered the 12 GA it went off (about a second or 2

    Pulled the trigger on my 870 this evening on a doe and nothing happened, as I lowered the 12 GA it went off (about a second or 2 after trigger pulled) I could see the bullet hit the snow a few feet under the doe and the gun report was about 1/10 of the usual loudness. I looked at the gun and saw smoke come out of the chamber area. Is this a result of bad gunpowder or is it packed wrong or what? Anybody ever have anything similar happen? In 15 years of slug hunting this is the first time this has happened to me. They were new Remington slugs by the way.

  • #2
    It could have been a bad primer, but my guess is that it was not an ammunition problem. When was the last time you degreased your trigger assembly?
    Grease and gunk can build up around the firing pin. If the temperature was fairly cold, that gunk gets even thicker, which can actually prevent the firing pin from striking properly.
    Sounds to me like the gun went off, but it was delayed. That sounds like a firing pin problem to me. Thank goodness you had the muzzle facing in a safe direction.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your response. I don't believe I have ever degreased the trigger assembly. I need to look into that. I was thinking it may be the ammo cause there was practically no kick, the report was so quiet and it seemed (although really hard to actually tell) that the bullet flew slowly. Another thing, I looked in the spent shell and saw pellets of gun powder at the bottom of the shell, like not all of it was ignited. Could the firing pin not striking correctly cause the gunpowder to only partially ignite and thus the bullet fly at a slower speed? The temp was about 34 degrees F.

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      • #4
        Hmmm...the firing pin wouldn't have anything to do with whether the powder only partially ignited. It either strikes the primer with enough force to ignite the primer or it doesn't.
        What's puzzling is the delay that you describe in the shot being fired. Even if the shotshell was not completely full (a squib load) it would still go off when you pulled the trigger, assuming the firing pin struck the primer as it should. I'm stumped.
        Anyone else out there have any ideas?

        Comment


        • #5
          I've never actually had a hang fire like this, but I do recall that in the NRA Basic Pistol course they instructed you to keep the weapon pointed in a safe dircection for 10 or 30 seconds after a misfire due to the possibility. I thought the cause was cartridge related, not necessarily mechanical.

          Comment


          • #6
            Smitty is correct. There aren't any shades of gray when it comes to the firing pin. Either it strikes and ignites the primer or it doesn't. I'd probably lean more towards the idea of a faulty cartridge. I noticed you only mentioned that you fired one shell... did you fire or attempt to fire any other shells from that particular box?

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            • #7
              MWK, That once happend with a rifle with me, I 'm walking up a old growin over logging road then up jumps about 7 does & a eye poping buck, I get my cross hairs on him he's running broadside only 40yrds away "Oh man sweet how lucky is this" pop. What the h¿ll he didn't even flinch? "it looked like i didn't even hit him" come to think about it the recoil & sound wasn't right, I point the barrel down towards the ground in front of me. Then i hear whats sounded like a marble rolling coming from my barrel, "PLUNK" the bullet rolls out into the ice puddle in front of me. It never done such a thing afterwards, I took it as the cold making the random mechanical failure law much more random.

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              • #8
                It sounds to me like the powder inside the cartridge was bad. It could be a combination of a light powder load and the powder burning slowly. The slow burn could have come from a defective primer or dampness in the cartridge slowing the burn of the powder. It definately sounds like an ammo problem and not anything mechanical to me. I would recommend test firing some more shells out of that box to see if it's an isolated problem or a trend.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You describe all the symptoms of an out of battery incident. This is where the bolt is not locked properly causing the firing pin to not ignite the primer with enough force, the bolt is slightly open allowing gas to escape from the breach, making for slow burning powder; thereby greatly reducing sound, recoil and power to the shot charge. Hang fire is also possible.
                  You are very lucky the shooter can suffer severe injury.
                  Make sure you clean your gun thoroughly. Usually the barrel will have thick tar like residue its entire length. The slower the burn the thicker the residue.
                  Take your gun to a smith for inspection of the locking mechanism and other parts that may have sustained damage. Modern firearms have safety features that should prevent an out of battery incident; something needs fixing in your gun.
                  later,
                  charlie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I only fired the one time cause I was a little worried about what happened and the doe was a small one so I let her be. This past Sat was very snowy here in MN while in the mid 30's so moisture may be a problem but I will follow Charlie Elk's advice and take it to a gunsmith, no need to take any chances. Once the season is over I will try firing the other shells through a different 12 GA and see what happens. Until then I will use that other 12 GA with different brand shells not exposed to the wet elements of this past weekend when I'm out in the field.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sounds like moisture in the ammo to me. I doubt it was the gun.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        MWK you may also want to contact Remington and discuss this with them. Last spring I had similar experience with my 1100 and Fiochi turkey shells. In 45 years of hunting this was my first experience with an event like that. Remington, Fiochi and 4 smiths after inspecting the gun and dissecting the hull; all agreed it was the gun firing out of battery. I too thought- it had to be a bad shell (bad shells do happen) and argued with all of them. But hey they are experts not me and they turned out to be right. The smith at Woodbury Gander Mountain fixed my gun and it shoots flawlessly.
                        Good luck.
                        later,
                        charlie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you Charlie and everyone else. I am a regular at Lakeville Gander Mountain so will prob start there. I'll keep you posted on what I find out. Probably will be a couple months though.

                          Comment

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