Need Help!! (Clearing a shotgun)


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Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 09:37 PM
My wife and I volunteered to "baby-sit" a friend's kids for a while. I was expecting a Ruger P-95 and a .25 Raven (don't say it!).

When I got home today, the kids were there waiting for me. Not quite what I expected. There was no Raven (Woo Hoo!). There were, however, at least 8 air-guns along with the Ruger. The Ruger had been dropped off in it's plastic box, slide closed, condition unknown. No biggie. I cleared it and put it away. The problem is the completely unexpected shotgun. Hammer cocked, condition unknown. I'm still relatively new to the whole gun thing, and while I do have a Maverick 12 gauge, this shotgun is beyond my knowledge.

I need advice on clearing it.

I refuse to ask the owner, as she needs some education on gun safety herself. The shotgun was transported to my house in the condition you see below. She doesn't even know if it's loaded. I'm in the middle of the city... can't risk a discharge. I don't want to transport it in this condition to a range, open desert, or anywhere.

How do I handle this problem?

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/btgoober/Gunses/007.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/btgoober/Gunses/006.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/btgoober/Gunses/005.jpg

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rbernie
April 26, 2008, 09:43 PM
That's a NEF/H&R single shot. The action breaks open by pressing down on the lever to the right of the hammer, but you cannot break the action open and clear it once the hammer is cocked. The only path forward from here is to decock the weapon and then open the action.

To de-cock it, hold the weapon in your strongside hand and put your thumb on the hammer spur. KEEP YOUR FINGER AWAY FROM THE TRIGGER until you have your thumb firmly pressing down in the arch of the hammer spur. Pull the trigger with your trigger finger until the sear releases and you feel the hammer spring try to push the hammer forward/down. RELEASE THE TRIGGER with your right index finger, and then slowly let the hammer forward by easing it with your thumb. Do this outdoors, pointing the shotgun down at a patch of soft dirt or sand (but not your feet). Do not let the hammer fall uncontrolled; you control the hammer with your thumb.

As a safety measure, the shotgun has a transfer bar safety, so once you let go of the trigger the hammer can fall without impacting the firing pin. That's why you want to release the trigger as soon as you feel it trip. Nevertheless, you still want to control the hammer with your thumb.

It's not hard nor scary.

If you're really afraid of a ND, de-cock it in the garage (wearing ear protection) and point it into 5gal bucket o' sand. Don't let the barrel rest on the sand, but keep it close. The sand will stop any projectiles, and all you have to worry about is the sound. FWIW, I've discharged a rifle like this in my garage and the guy across the alley from me in his back yard had no idea what the muffled thump was nor where it came from.

rero360
April 26, 2008, 09:48 PM
well, I'd say that the lever next to the hammer would open the barrel. However not handling that paticular type of shotgun before I'd be hesitant to try to open it with the hammer back, might need the hammer foreward, or the opposite could be needed. What I would do is ease the hammer foreward slowly then hit the lever and open her up and see if theres anything inside.

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 09:48 PM
It's not hard nor scary.

So says you! :eek:

I'm really cautious about this stuff. I'll have to screw up my courage to go outside and do this.

Claymore1500
April 26, 2008, 09:50 PM
I would suggest, Since you are wary of this gun, Locate a dowel rod that fits in the barrel, slowly insert it in from the muzzle and mark the rod where it stops, Then pull it out and compare it to the outside of the barrel, if it is the same there is no shell in the gun. if there is a 2.5 to 3 inch difference that would mean it is loaded. If it proves to be empty, drop the hammer by thumbing it slowly down while pulling the trigger, then put it away.
If it proves to be loaded, it can be decocked in the same manner but BE CAREFULL!! Once the hammer is down it can be opened with the button next to the hammer. I hope this helps. Good luck.

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 09:51 PM
Okay, I gotta do it.

I hope to be posting a positive outcome here in a few minutes. <G>

akodo
April 26, 2008, 09:54 PM
I think pointing a possibly loaded shotgun with hammer back at yourself so you can put a dowel down the barrel is EXTREMELY DUMB

You'd be better off aiming it at a stack of phonebooks in the corner of your basement and just pulling the trigger.

akodo
April 26, 2008, 09:56 PM
doh, too late!

I was about to say one thing you can do to ease your nerves is place something to catch the hammer, like the thin end of a bic pen cap, so if the hammer falls it is caught by your own defacto transfer bar safety

bensdad
April 26, 2008, 09:56 PM
Hurry-up DD. The suspense is palpable.

rbernie
April 26, 2008, 09:56 PM
So says you!

I'm really cautious about this stuff. I'll have to screw up my courage to go outside and do this.I understand - the idea of a ND should worry anyone. But I've de-cocked lots of weapons thru the years, and I take it for granted, I guess.

I've edited my original post; go back and re-read it to make sure you're ready.

esmith
April 26, 2008, 10:00 PM
If you are really cautious you can put a finger from the other hand in front of the hammer, so if it slips from the thumb holding the hammer, it will just hit your finger intead of discharging the shotgun.

Soybomb
April 26, 2008, 10:00 PM
I would suggest, Since you are wary of this gun, Locate a dowel rod that fits in the barrel, slowly insert it in from the muzzle and mark the rod where it stops, Then pull it out and compare it to the outside of the barrel, if it is the same there is no shell in the gun. if there is a 2.5 to 3 inch difference that would mean it is loaded. If it proves to be empty, drop the hammer by thumbing it slowly down while pulling the trigger, then put it away.
It shouldn't have to be stated, but don't play around in front of the muzzle of a potentially loaded gun.

Its a strange feeling pulling the trigger when you don't want a gun to go off the first couple times but you'll get used to it. Remember, finger off trigger before the hammer goes down. Good luck.

scrat
April 26, 2008, 10:03 PM
good response Rbernie

i have two of those NEF pardners. excellent single shotgun. the 12 guage is hell on your shoulder though. Very strong kick. i also have a .410 wow a very nice single shot shooter.

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 10:03 PM
akodo:

Most of us here in Las Vegas do NOT have basements. Google "caliche". :) I also disregarded the dowel idea right off... sorry Claymore.

Bensdad:

Haste makes waste.


All:

Thanks for the support and input. I still have all my toes and fingers. The extra time was to get the dogs inside where they'd be safe, and to take this picture of the result.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/btgoober/Gunses/008.jpg

rbernie
April 26, 2008, 10:04 PM
Most excellent! :D

Claymore1500
April 26, 2008, 10:08 PM
Not sure why some people are reading into my post "Stand in front of the gun and jump up and down while shoving a rod down the barrel" but it can be checked in the same manner that you would use on a muzzle loader, you simply have to BE CAREFULL!! 'NUFF SAID.

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 10:08 PM
Yeah, I'm a happy camper right now.

scrat:
I'm already starting to develop an affinity for this little rascal. I wonder if she wants to get rid of it..... :D

rbernie:
Can I assume that decocking method will work with anything that uses a transfer bar? That is, it'll work for my (Taurus) .38 and .357?


Oh yeah, happy dogs. They have their yard back.

Thanks again to all.

Bazooka Joe71
April 26, 2008, 10:10 PM
I'm guessing it was empty since you didn't say one way or the other, but you need to give your friend a good smack up side the head for leaving his single shot like that.:cool:

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 10:10 PM
Claymore1500
Not sure why some people are reading into my post "Stand in front of the gun and jump up and down while shoving a rod down the barrel"

ROFL!

I wasn't reading that into it at all! But as you can see from my OP, I'm a tad cautious. And I admit that I did consider the dowel for a moment.

rbernie
April 26, 2008, 10:13 PM
Can I assume that decocking method will work with anything that uses a transfer bar? That is, it'll work for my (Taurus) .38 and .357?Yes. It works for everything, but firearms with transfer bars are safer to de-cock (and releasing the trigger actually has some value). I have a bunch of old pre-safety Marlin 336s that I decock to half-cock notch that way, and as long as I don't try to act all Chuck Conner-like, it works just fine.

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 10:15 PM
Bazooka Joe71
I'm guessing it was empty since you didn't say one way or the other, but you need to give your friend a good smack up side the head for leaving his single shot like that.

That's 'her single shot'. And sorry I skipped that salient point, but yep, it was empty.

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 10:16 PM
rbernie
Yes. It works for everything, but firearms with transfer bars are safer to de-cock.

Coolness! thanks.

Auburn1992
April 26, 2008, 11:13 PM
was it loaded?

Doggy Daddy
April 26, 2008, 11:17 PM
Auburn1992
was it loaded?


That'd be a negative.

scrat
April 27, 2008, 12:37 AM
its a heck of a good shooter. just has a kick like a mule. The ejection lever on those things are pretty strong too. After you shoot it you have to aim the back away from you as when you open her up the shell will eject a good 5-7 feet. I save the shells when i load regular loads. Then use them for black powder loads. 7-9 grains of black powder 2f followed by a 3/8 fiber wad then fill it up 3/4 the way with 7 1/2 shot followed by over the shot wad. then just use and exacto knife to cut off the top crimp. Some elmers glue to glue on the wad. Makes for a nice smoking mellow recoil shot.

Jamie C.
April 27, 2008, 12:51 AM
DD... anything with a real hammer is safe to de-cock in the manner prescribed.... so long as you maintain control of the hammer and don't let it slip forward too fast. Doesn't matter if the gun has a transfer bar or not. ( I was under the impression that most semi-modern shotguns with a hammer had an inertia ( "rebounding") hammer anyway. ( the hammer "rests" a way from the firing pin ))

Anyway... if you have control of the hammer, you have control of the firing sequence. It can't go "boom" without sufficient energy to the firing pin.

This does not apply to "coach guns" with "fake" cocking hammers though. ( Don't you just love it when gun designers make life complicated? :rolleyes: )


J.C.

Doggy Daddy
April 27, 2008, 01:22 AM
Jamie C.
DD... anything with a real hammer is safe to de-cock in the manner prescribed

I figured as much. I just like the extra security of the transfer bar. When I've decocked my .357, I've always been afraid of losing control of the hammer and letting it drop too fast. Either it has a stronger spring than this shotgun, or the hammer on the shotgun is larger and exerts more leverage on the spring. Because of that, I've only ever decocked the .357 over snap caps. Now I want to practice with the .357 loaded with live rounds. Next range trip, maybe...

Moonclip
April 27, 2008, 02:28 AM
Glad this had a positive outcome. I once had a elderly Chinese woman with limited English skills get kind of excited about a plastic bag she brought for me to see at an indoor range I once operated.

What it ended up being was a cocked .22lr S&W mod 63 revolver that was fully loaded.

I took care of it for her but jeez!

Jamie C.
April 27, 2008, 05:42 AM
I figured as much. I just like the extra security of the transfer bar.

Just remember that unless you completely release the trigger after the sear breaks and the hammer is free to move forward, that transfer bar isn't any kind of a safety. If even the edge of it catches the firing pin... :eek:

Anyway... not trying to scare you. Unless you have something slippery on your hands, you should be able to control the hammer of most any gun without incident. Though as you say, there's no harm in being cautious about it.

Oh, and this: "or the hammer on the shotgun is larger and exerts more leverage on the spring."

A larger hammer exerts more force due to mass and inertia. It can get by with a lighter spring and function just fine. It's like the difference between dropping a one ounce rock on your foot, versus dropping one that weighs one pound. The one-pounder hits harder ( and hurts more ) due to it's extra mass, even if it falls from the same height and at the same speed as the lighter one.


J.C.

Sato Ord
April 27, 2008, 11:22 AM
I don't see the need for all of the fuss.

Yeah, the guy should never have left the shotgun in that condition. The solution, point the gun in a safe direction, let the hammer down gently, open the firearm and remove the shell if there is one.

The last step, kick your buddy in the backside for leaving the firearm on your door step like that.

Doggy Daddy
April 27, 2008, 09:09 PM
Sato Ord
I don't see the need for all of the fuss.


That's okay.

It's all better now.

Thanks for touching base. :D

Lupinus
April 27, 2008, 09:27 PM
glad to hear it worked out for you doggy.

And please, just for future reference, don't shove things down the muzzle of a possibly loaded firearm, especially with the hammer cocked. It's bad juju, if someone on the net wants to risk blowing their hand off that's their choice. I'd strongly recommend against it.

Doggy Daddy
April 27, 2008, 09:35 PM
Lupinus
glad to hear it worked out for you doggy.

Thanks. Things went pretty much as I expected they would. But, not being familiar with that type of shotgun, let alone that specific one, I wasn't sure what lever did what. Admittedly, there weren't a lot of options, but that wasn't an occasion to experiment. :o Plus, I had never decocked any weapon with a live round before at all.

And please, just for future reference, don't shove things down the muzzle of a possibly loaded firearm, especially with the hammer cocked.

No worries. Won't happen. That barrel is a one-way street.

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