The shotgun is the ideal weapon for home defense and is used heavily in sport shooting and hunting. This article will help you familiarize yourself with how to load a generic pump action shotgun.

First, as always, ensure the gun is unloaded, the safety is on, the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction and your finger is off the trigger.

  • While holding the shotgun slide with your offhand, place the butt of the shotgun on a solid supported surface with the muzzle pointed upwards and the trigger facing away from you. A table or your thigh will work.
  • Using your dominant hand, place the shell in the loading flap in front of the trigger guard and push the shell up with your thumb until you you hear a click. This means the shell is past the magazine catch.
  • Repeat the step above until the magazine is fully loaded. You will know it is fully loaded when no more shells will go into the magazine.
  • To chamber a shell, pull the slide back and forward with a smooth, forceful action. A shell will then be chambered and the shotgun ready to shoot.

With a shell ready to fire, always keep the usual gun safety rules in mind and have fun!

Photo: Mad House Photography

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One thought on “How To Load a Pump Action Shotgun

  1. Really?  Thats a rather simplistic explanation.  The magazine of a shotgun is a tube that lies directly beneath the barrel.  There is a slot on the bottom of the gun that is directly forward of the triger guard but the magazine catch is really at the mouth of the tube.  When empty the tube apears sealed off but that is really the end of a spring that pushes the rounds into the afore mentioned slot onto a carier that will feed the round into the empty chamber to be fired each time the action is cycled.  After fireing the spent hull is ejected from the ejection port that is on the side of the gun (usually) and a fresh round is loaded at the same time from the magazine.
    So you can either load the magazine and chamber a round when ready (safest but holds one less round), or you can load the chamber and and then load the magazine (thats how I do it).  Be sure the safety is on whenever the chamber is loaded (obviously). 
    To unload I open the action ejecting the one from the chamber then I reach thru the bottom and press the catch that holds the rounds in the magazine one at a time.  You could also cycle all the rounds thru the chamber (safety on of course).   

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