How fast to chamber next round in 870?

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Feb 19, 2008
I have a Remington 870 that seems to be giving me some trouble.
But I am not sure I have reasonable expectations.
If I try to chamber the next round as fast as I can - and I am making sure I am smooth while not short stroking it - the shell gets hung up/delayed on about 1 inch into the forward stroke.
If I pull back to the rear and go forward again I can usually chamber the round in one try - sometimes takes two tries to complet forward stroke..
If I go slow it seems to work ok.
Its worse with 3” shells than 2 ¾ shells.
Is this normal/what I should expect or do I have a real problem?
I can't say I've had that problem, but then again I run the gun hard. When I started shooting an autoloader or SxS after shooting a pump for so long, I nearly ripped the fore end off of them.

You should feel the slide slam to the rear before going forward with it. If you're not, you may be short stroking and not realize it.
I share Machinisttx's suggestion, and I've sometimes had the same experience when transitioning to another shotgun.

My 870 technique is not subtle: slam the forearm back, slam the forearm forward, pull the trigger, then repeat.
Slugs? buckshot? Standard stock? pistol grip...with tactical stock?
How aware are you of anticipation of recoil? I see many people that concentrate too much on the force of recoil often times are distracted from fully working the action.

Get a good recoil pad, put 20 magnum slugs through it, have a drink of water, fire some low recoil slugs and see if the problem persists. If so, there "May" be an issue with the gun.
The beast

The 870 is a beast and should be treated like one. My department uses them and I have 3 of my own. They get better with age and use or maybe we do lol. Work that gun out and you will get more fun and action out of it. PS the 870 is one of the best all around shotguns ever made.
Never had the problem, you say you're not short stroking it, but....I think you might be. Try working the action real hard and make sure you don't short stroke if you still have the same problem we will need more details.
If you aren't feeling the bolt stop firmly at the rear of your pump stroke before you start forward, odds are you are short stroking by just a bit and don't realize it.

Make your pump stroke a deliberate two-count movement, one count back, one count forward, with a mechanically imposed full stop at the rear, and chances are your problem will go away. In other words, try to run the forearm all the way back to your shooting hand, and when it stops on its own, THEN go forward.

That should do it- and it won't slow you down, when you get used to it.


maybe your speed is the cause you may not be giving the shell time to fast do you need to pump/fire.slow down and practice and then speed up if you actually need to aim a shotgun as the pattern is not that great at short range.:uhoh:
Fast and hard.

You can pump fast enough to shoot Skeet doubles with an 870. Use the forearm like a hammer on the receiver. Stroke hard enough to bounce off the receiver and fast enough to complete the stroke during the swing from the station 7 low house bird to the high house bird shooting doubles.
take out all the rounds and jerk the thing for awhile to get used to it I've fired some 870's with an action that wis so hard I was jerking the whole gun and others with ones so smoth that I could do a nice pump on it with no real need in trying to do so.

just work the action and let it get broken in a little or by a mossi 535 one of the smothest action pumps I have fired and that was brand new even better now with a couple hundred rounds through it
I had an 870 Express that would stab the shell with the "ears" on the carrier if racked quickly. Apparently, the carrier was twisted a bit.

What's the shell getting caught up on? Surely, it's not just jamming midway down the chamber. I'd figure that one the end of the shell is started in, there would not be much to stop it if everything was mechanically sound.
When the problem occurs and I tip the gun left to look in, the shell is sitting on the carrier.
It seems as if the front end of the shell is stubbing on the bottom edge of the chamber - but not really sure that is the case.
I do not believe I am short stroking but cannot rule it out entirely.
I will try your suggestions of making it two specific purposeful steps - rearward until hard stop, then forward to stop.
I will practice dry until I make it to the range later this week.
If it still occurs I will try to find a knowledgeable gunsmith - or become more enamored of my Remington 1100.…..
I will keep you posted on results.
Not sure how relevant it is but I had a similar problem when I first got my Mossberg 500. It would often jam up in between shots, leaving the shell stuck vertically in the reciever, or sometimes it would drop the shell right at my feet, not going into the reciever at all. Of course all my Beretta 68** shooting chums enjoyed this immensely, one in particular warning me repeatedly that I should have never bought some "rattley scrap iron" like that in the first place.

Obviously this annoyed me quite a bit, I checked with the shop I'd bought it from, who said they didnt know, trawled the net for months trying to find an answer till I ended up finding a thread here on THR, which told me it was the shell stop and interrupter that need fixing. I changed these, despite the shop still claiming there wasnt a problem, and it was all fixed.

I know obviously an 870 has a different mechanism to a 500, but is there maybe a problem in your gun? Worth a look!

p.s Nowadays I kick that particular "scrap iron" detractors arse every week, be it with my Mossberg or my Benelli. What goes around, comes around :p
Is it a new or used gun? If it is used check your mag spring. If the spring gets weak the shell may not go far enough back when released from the mag tube and can hang up as it is being lifted.
Cycle it like you hate it....if it still has the problem, look to the lifter....does your gun have the flextab lifter?
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