Trouble with Federal ammo with 870


November 4, 2007, 03:59 PM
Hey guys I went duck hunting this weekend and a friend of mine gave me some 3 inch federal steel to burn up while I was out there. It was maybe a half of a box if that. I threw a couple of rounds in there this morning and waited. When the first duck came screming in I took one shot a knocked it down. When I tried to cycle it after the shot It was jammed. I ended up having to put the butt of my gun against my leg and pull with both hands. Meanwhile I missed a chance at three more green heads that came in that my friends put down while I was fumbling with my gun. I marked it up to a freak of nature since I have never had that problem and loaded another shell. Had three more green heads drop right in front of me and blasted a drake and when I went to cycle to knock down another one it jammed again. I threw the rest of the federal stuff in my bag and used the Wincheter SuperX I brought to kill another couple of ducks. Anyone had any prblems like this with their 870?

If you enjoyed reading about "Trouble with Federal ammo with 870" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 4, 2007, 05:10 PM
My suggestion is that you polish the chamber. You have been shooting short loads in that gun. It probably has a bit of melted plastic and other crud in the forward portion of the chamber.

A wad of steel wool on a wood dowel spum by a drill for a couple of minutes should ease your pains. Polish the chamber real good and oil it a bit. Hope this works.

Happy shooting!!

November 4, 2007, 05:25 PM
I'll second that.

November 4, 2007, 07:28 PM
That treatment worked for me. I had the same exact problem. I could shoot a thousand rounds of trap
loads without trouble, but shooting slugs or 00 buckshot caused the bolt to get jammed shut.

Polishing with steel wool wrapped around a brush, with an electric drill, seemed to help prevent it for the most part.

November 5, 2007, 11:23 AM
I will try that but the 3 inch winchester super x shells cycled perfectly. I would think if one 3inch shell would cycle another would too if the chamber were coming into play here. The Shells cycled fine if I was just pumping loaded shells through but as soon as one fired it was all over.

November 5, 2007, 11:39 AM
This may be a dumb question, but were the shells 3 1/2 " shells used in a 3" chamber? They would probably hand cycle OK but when fired lock things up tight.

November 5, 2007, 01:46 PM
THey were both 3inch shells.

November 6, 2007, 10:04 PM
I also agree that polishing the chamber may help. It certainly wouldn't hurt anything.

It may be that the Federal ammo (particularly the heads) are expanding too much in the chamber and not releasing after the pressure drops. This can cause a shell to stick in the chamber. Stay with ammo that the gun likes. It's best not to try anything new or different on an important hunt.

November 6, 2007, 10:21 PM
could it be that this particular load from federal uses a case that is to long for the chamber when fired? IE the crimp opens up correctly but opens past the chamber and jams up?

November 6, 2007, 10:22 PM
Thats what I was kind of thinking. I think it jus doesntlike Federal ammo.

November 8, 2007, 11:04 PM
I had the same problem with my 870. Sometimes the chambers on these mass produced shotguns are a little rough from the factory and can make case extraction a little difficult. After buying a 12ga chamber honing tool from Brownells and honing the chamber, that cheap Federal target ammo worked fine. You don't notice this so much with semi automatics because the inertia of the bolt going back is usually enough to pull the casing out of the chamber. My 870s working fine now though.

November 8, 2007, 11:12 PM
870s just don't like Federal ammo. I've had exactly the same problem with mine, with Federal bird shot and their game shok buck shot. I saw another guy have the same issue with a different kind of Federal buck.

Remington shells work fine :)

November 9, 2007, 03:32 PM
So did the Winchester Hi-Velocity 3 inch shells I was using. I also know they pattern well out of my gun because I have done my homework but also because I have dropped ducks from distances that surprised me. Its funny. I miss a passing bird twenty yards from me but I drop it on a follow up shot 45 yards or more away. Go figure.

Blue Line
November 9, 2007, 04:20 PM
I'm assuming it was an 870 magnum receiver and barrel? Were shells your friend gave you reloads?

November 9, 2007, 04:45 PM
I've got an 870 that is about 15 years old (1992 or so) and I've never had any problems with any shell. Is this a newer model problem? If I did have a problem the above suggestions sound like good remedies.

My old 870 is a just a backup anyway, but I know it is a capable shotgun. I prefer Browning shotguns (Have 2 Old A-5s and a Browning Gold) over all others.

November 9, 2007, 05:29 PM
The shells were not reloads. Im not sure of the age of my 870 because I bought it from a gun dealer used but I would be willing to bet its not more than 10 years old. I will try the other remedies but the only thing I have found that wont work out of it are those 3 inch federal shells.

If you enjoyed reading about "Trouble with Federal ammo with 870" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!