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Need Help!! (Clearing a shotgun)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Doggy Daddy, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Doggy Daddy

    Doggy Daddy Well-Known Member

    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?



  2. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. rero360

    rero360 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Doggy Daddy

    Doggy Daddy Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Claymore1500

    Claymore1500 Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Doggy Daddy

    Doggy Daddy Well-Known Member

    Okay, I gotta do it.

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

    akodo Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. akodo

    akodo Well-Known Member

    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
  9. bensdad

    bensdad Well-Known Member

    Hurry-up DD. The suspense is palpable.
  10. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. esmith

    esmith Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Soybomb

    Soybomb Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Doggy Daddy

    Doggy Daddy Well-Known Member


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


    Haste makes waste.


    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.

  15. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Most excellent! :D
  16. Claymore1500

    Claymore1500 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Doggy Daddy

    Doggy Daddy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm a happy camper right now.

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

    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.
  18. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    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:
  19. Doggy Daddy

    Doggy Daddy Well-Known Member


    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.
  20. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    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.

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