new (to me, at least) shotgun weirdness


June 16, 2005, 05:11 AM
i've just inherited a 16 gauge savage pump action shotgun from my grandfather. It only held two in the magazine, which i thought was pretty strange. I took the magazine off, and discovered the only reason that more didnt fit in the mag was a wooden dowel inside the spring blocking the follower from moving any firther.
Think that the dowel came from the factory? would anything terrible happen if i just took it out or cut it down a bit so i could get three or four shells into the magazine?
If you dont think its a terrible idea, i might get a couple dowels from home depot, cut them to different lengths, and test 'em at the trap, see if anything weird happens or it doesnt feed reliably or whatever.
I just thought the dowel thing was pretty weird, but i have like, no expiriance with shotguns other then when i've done some trap shooting with friend's guns.

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June 16, 2005, 05:47 AM
The wood more than likely came from the factory. It is a standard plug that limits the magazine for migratory bird hunting, which the limit is 3 shells in the gun. Take it out and use it, but don't hunt ducks or doves without the plug.

Fred Fuller
June 16, 2005, 06:27 AM
What kudu said.

The limit of two rounds in the magazine (three in the gun, total, with one in the chamber) has been around for a good while. Since many repeating shotguns have tubular magazines that can hold more than two shells, some sort of plug is used to limit their capacity while hunting federally regulated migratory game birds. It's not weirdness, it's a pretty regular thing.

Enjoy your shotgun, and stay safe,


June 16, 2005, 11:03 AM
My mossberg 500 came the same way. I do not hunt with it, so I pulled the plug out. Shoots great, functions great, and now holds 7 rounds. Big improvement I would say.

June 16, 2005, 12:55 PM
The dowel you describe is the "magazine plug", used to limit mag capacity to 2 shells. Required for waterfowl & migratory bird hunting...ducks, geese, doves. Not sure on other species, but if your shotty holds more than 3 while hunting said species, and the Game & Fish Cop stops to check your weapon....

Well, let's just say you are way back in the deep dark woods of trouble

June 16, 2005, 03:47 PM
I have an old Mossberg 16 bolt action shotgun. It has a clip that holds 2 + 1 in the chamber. I have always heard it called a "Goose Gun" because it can only hold 3.

June 16, 2005, 05:12 PM
thanks for the replies everyone. i think im gonna pull out that dowel or at least shorten it, as its gonna be primarily for breaking clays, not birds, and sitting in the closet so i can sleep a bit easier ;)
So, thanks again!

June 16, 2005, 05:36 PM
If it were me, I wouldn't shorten the dowel. I'd either remove it or leave it in. No point in making the magazine hold three shells. In situations where the limit applies, one extra shell will probably get you in as much trouble as you're gonna get in. In situations where the shell limit doesn't apply, it shouldn't matter either way. Maybe someone can come up with a good reason to shorten it, but I don't think it would accomplish anything. That's just my opinion. Congrats on your new shotgun though. 16 gauge is pretty sweet. Take it easy.


June 18, 2005, 02:39 AM
got a mossberg bolt in 12, and 20 ga. the 12 is one of my favs. she has sent many a rabbit and grouse to meet their maker and my oven :)
also a nice slug gun. and with the plain jane stock i don't lose my mind when it gets scuffed

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