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how to load a shotgun

How to Load a Shotgun

This video will show you how to load a shotgun. Shotguns come in a wide variety. There are two types of shotguns that are covered in this video: the pump-action and semi-automatic. Shotguns handle differently than other firearms to some degree. Firearm owners, especially ones new to the field, ask how to load and unload their shotgun all of the time. Typically, shotguns do not have the usual magazine that handguns or rifles tend to have. Some shotguns have magazines but for the most part, they will have some sort of tube that the shells are loaded into. Both of these shotguns shown in this video have a tube style “magazine”.

How to Load a Semi-Automatic Shotgun

Step 1: Make sure the firearm is not already loaded

You will want to do this whenever you are handling a firearm.  That is the first rule of firearm safety: Always assume the firearm is loaded. You do not just assume it is loaded but you will also want to check to verify that it is unloaded.

Step 2. Make sure the bolt is forward

Step 3. Slide the shell, from the bottom of the firearm, into the magazine tube

You will want to make sure that the shell is facing the right direction. The side of the shell that has the primer is the rear of the shell. You will slide the shotgun shell in by pushing, with your thumb, on the rear of the shell into the tube. You will continue this until you have loaded the desired number of shells or until the tube is full.

Step 4. Pull the bolt back

This is how you get the shell from the magazine tube into the chamber so that it is ready to fire. If the shotgun is loaded and you want to unload it, you will just pull the bolt back to eject the shell. Remember, if there are shells still in the magazine tube, it will load another one into the chamber. You can continue this process until all the shells are ejected.

 

How to Load a Pump-Action Shotgun

Loading a pump-action shotgun is similar to a semi-automatic shotgun, but it is a little different.

Step 1: Make sure the firearm is not already loaded

You will want to do this whenever you are handling a firearm.  This is the first rule of firearm safety: Always assume the firearm is loaded. You do not just assume it is loaded but you will also want to check to verify that it is unloaded.

Step 2. Make sure that the forestock or forend is all the way forward

This is the forward grip that your non-trigger hand will grip. You will use this to cycle rounds into and out of the chamber. Depending on the shotgun that you own, there may or may not be a little lever that you have to hold down near the trigger in order to operate the pump.

Step 3. Slide the shell, from the bottom of the firearm, into the magazine tube

You will do this in the same fashion as the semi-automatic shotgun. You will want to make sure that the shell is facing the right direction. The side of the shell that has the primer is the rear of the shell. You will slide the shotgun shell in by pushing, with your thumb, on the rear of the shell into the tube. You will continue this until you have loaded the desired number of shells or until the tube is full.

Step 4. Load a shell into the chamber

You will do this by pulling the forestock to the rear and then pushing it back forward. This is also how a pump-action shotgun will cycle the shells. To unload a pump-action shotgun, you will continue this action until all the rounds have been unloaded.

 

Shotguns are used for a variety of purposes from home defense to competitions. If you are new to the firearms world, check out the New Shooter Seminar. This is a free seminar that covers the basics of firearms and safety. This education is a building block that you will use to further your firearms training.

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