Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How long does a shotgun last?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by BridgeWalker, Oct 27, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BridgeWalker

    BridgeWalker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    Yeah, so it can last several lifetimes, but if one is shooting a lot, they do get worn out, don't they?

    So, how many round can I expect to put through my Benelli? And does it gradually start losing accuracy or velocity, or start jamming frequently, or some other problem? I know barrel wear impedes accuracy in a rifle, but in a shotgun, I could just replace the choke when it wears out, couldn't I?

    If the chamber wears out, I could see that reducing velocity? I'm just guessing here. I have seen people refer to "shot out" shotguns.

    I'm only doing about 200 rounds/week and cleaning on average every 500 rounds. Probably do a perfunctory cleaning every time I take it out in the winter, just to get rid of any accumulated moisture from condensation and such, but only a real thorough cleaning every 500-800 rounds.
     
  2. zinj

    zinj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    Midwest
    First, many people will call a gun "shot out" when it just needs a small part or two replaced to start running again. The general concensus of a truly "shot out" gun is that the receiver has worn in some way to make the gun not function safely or at all.

    It really depends on the design as to the service life of a gun. There are other factors too, like proper maintanence. That said:

    There are 870's out there in IIRC police training programs that have over one MILLION rounds through them.

    Most quality O/U shotguns need to have a new hinge pin bushing fitted every 40k-60k rounds, but provided this maintanence is done on schedule they should last forever.

    There are competitors shooting Beretta 391s that have a couple of hundred thousand rounds through them and keep going.

    I haven't really heard anything about the Nova, as they haven't been out for that long and aren't used in high volume shooting situations.

    Shotgun barrels don't really wear like a rifle barrel does; for one thing the operate a pressure levels at least four times lower than the average centerfire rifle. I've heard stories of chokes getting flattened, but the only ones that I can find that have any creedence are with steel shot. There are fixed choke trap guns from decades ago that were shot quite a bit and still throw a tight pattern.

    That cleaning regimen should be more than adequate for a pump, as long as you are protecting it from corrosion.
     
  3. Pete409

    Pete409 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Florida
    Wearing Out a Shotgun

    Very, very few people will ever shoot a shotgun enough to "wear it out". Some shotguns may require some parts replacement due to wear or breakage at around the 10,000 to 12,000 round mark. Others may go 30,000 before any replacement of parts is needed.

    By about 60,000 to 80,000 rounds most shotguns will require replacement of parts due to wear or breakage. Some may require numerous replacement of parts by this time.

    From a financial perspective however, the cost of the shotgun is usually only a small fraction of the overall cost of shooting the gun. Ammo may cost about 20 cents per shell. Targets and shooting fees at ranges can add considerable cost also. So, by the time a person has shot a shotgun 80,000 rounds, he has probably spent $25,000 to $40,000 on shells, targets, and fees..... so why be concerned about a couple of thousand dollars for a new shotgun?
     
  4. BridgeWalker

    BridgeWalker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    I'm not concerned about the cost! Heh, I'm currently exploring whole new levels of household economy so that I can shoot eight boxes of shells a week. I'm beginning to wish I'd taken up, oh, nearly any other sport...this is *expensive*!

    No, I'm just curious. I've seen people refer to a shotgun as "probably shot out" with a round counts in the tens, rather than the hundreds, of thousands and was simply curious. :)

    Thanks for the replies. Btw, I'm shooting a semi, not a pump.
     
  5. zinj

    zinj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    Midwest
    Depends on the gun. Many guns built using early aluminum receivers have a tendancy to warp. Also, many automatics will beat themselves to pieces if shot enough; even the most durable autos can get damaged if springs aren't replaced regularly, or if the gun isn't set up properly. Case in point: Remington 1100's will crack a receiver if the action spring isn't regularly replaced.

    That said, most people will designate a gun "shot out" far before it really is.

    I guess I have the Nova on my brain. I haven't heard of any durability issues with Benellis, and they are the prefered guns on those high volume dove shooting expeditions in Argentina.
     
  6. BridgeWalker

    BridgeWalker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    I've read about the A5 being especially finicky in this regard.
     
  7. zinj

    zinj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    Midwest
    An Auto-5 will take a hell of a lot of abuse, but consistantly shooting heavy loads on the light load setting will crack the receiver. I wouldn't call them finicky though, shooting a heavy load on the light setting is probably going to do more damage to the shooter than the gun.
     
  8. New_geezer

    New_geezer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    High Desert, California
    I heard it said it's easier (and more common) to neglect a shotgun to death than to shoot one to death.

    It's hard to imagine actually wearing out a modern pump. There are pumps around a hundred years old still in service the only caveat to using them is no steel shot.

    I think where you hear the "shot out" argument used most is with the double guns, especially O/Us which are preferred by many competitive shooters. And "shot out" usually just means it's cheaper to replace than repair. Competition shooters can can put a thousand or more rounds a week thru a gun. The internals and lock up of a double gun are more complex than a pump or most semis, the tolerances are usually tighter and the design is harder on the parts. To repair an older O/U, a gunsmith might need specific knowledge and even have to hand fabricate the parts. The receiver may have worn enough that it will no longer lock up tight even after replacing hinge pins. Even replacing standards parts in a modern O/U might require some tweaking by the gunsmith. There are a lot of inexpensive O/Us now available and the usual complaint heard is the internals are not finely finished and the metal is not top grade. These guns are made to a price point and are generally expected to last only so long before major repairs are due and you have to consider repair or replace. These guns are probably fine for seasonal hunters or other low - moderate use shooters but really wouldn't meet the needs of a serious competition shooter.
     
  9. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    Deep South
    The USAMU has a Perazzi MX8 that has over 1 million rounds throught it. Yes, It has been tightened up and repaired many times. Perazzi tried to trade them for a brand new one but Branham (the coach) would not do it.
     
  10. rogdigity

    rogdigity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    santonio tx
    i do have an old winchester model 37 i got from my dad. for being a single shot, this one sure has seen a lot of rounds. i used to put about 75-100 through a week for a long time. it still fires like the day it was made and when shooting with my dad hes told me before that it shoots more acurate than the day he got it now.

    but also, i pick up his 12ga semi and make that one more accurate than the day he bought it...hehe
     
  11. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,548
    Location:
    AZ
    even if they are "shot out" usually a small number of parts and some handiwork is all that is required to get them booming again.
     
  12. chemist308

    chemist308 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Messages:
    492
    Location:
    Pocono Area, PA
    Reference the Winchester Model 12...
     
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    It's also possible to abuse a shotgun to death.

    People slam their break-actions shut, for example. I'm not talking about a quick reload when the birds are flushing out like crazy, I'm talking about slamming the things shut as hard as they can before they call "pull" at the trap range. Do that sort of thing enough, and the gun will start to have problems while another gun, shot just as much, will be like new.

    Auto-5's that are shot with really heavy loads while set up for really light ones have been known to blow themselves apart when fired. Happened twice at the range where I shoot. Pieces flying, no joke. Injuries to shooters. I don't like to shoot next to the things, if I don't know the shooter, or if I DO know that he or she is likely to do something dumb.

    I have a BT-99 that was shot by an ATA competitor for probably 200,000 rounds, then sold to another guy who used it for Friday night games with REALLY heavy loads. It had to have metal built back up on the barrel lug with a torch, then machined back into shape, it had been shot so loose. But it works well now.

    Bottom line? YOU can buy a quality new gun, maintain it, and shoot it for a lifetime, but you can't always trust a gun you buy from some idiot or slob. You can get a good deal, or you can waste your money. I'm learning what to look for; if it's your first used shotgun, try and find an expert who will help you inspect it before buying -- preferably someone with gunsmithing, shooting and machining experience.

    As far as this "low volume hunter" stuff, I suppose people have a point. If you know you will abuse a gun because of the conditions it's used in, hell, buy a cheap junk gun and shoot it until it breaks.

    However, other shotgunners know which guns these are, so don't plan on any resale value. Just plan on shooting them until they die. Understand what you're not getting for your money.
     
  14. collector14

    collector14 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    34.33N, -86.5W
    I can testify to that zinj. I've owned two, an Ithaca and a Parker that I know were used regularly for almost 100 years. The Parker is on the list of Why Did I Sell That Gun and I wish I had it back.

    I shoot at "Turkey Shoots" in the Fall, paper targets at 90 feet. I got the Parker in a trade, wasn't really into SxS and priced it to a guy that took me up on it.

    Back on subject, there is a lot of good info posted here, but nobody has mentioned a gun that some idiot shot a slug through. I thought that might be what delta9's term "shot out" might refer to.
     
  15. New_geezer

    New_geezer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    High Desert, California

    That's pretty much the point I was making. So many people see these inexpensive O/Us and think they'll stand up to high volume competitive shooting. But depending on how the gun will be used and how much, then there can be a decent argument for getting one.

    Though as someone once pointed out, when you come right down to it, an 870 is actually as much shotgun as most of us actually need. What we end up buying depends on a multitude of factors, not all of them logic based.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    That's crazy talk right there!
    If you saw two A-5 Brownings blow themselves apart, you saw two fools shooting unsafe / over-pressure reloads of some kind.

    At the worst, an A-5 or model 11 Remington will eventually crack the forearm, followed by a cracked receiver, if fired for years with factory loaded heavy field or magnum hunting loads while set up for light target loads.

    They do not just "blow themselves apart" unless someone slips them a double charged reload, or a massive load mistakenly charged with Bullseye Pistol Powder or something.

    In over 50 years of shooting, I have only seen one A-5 damaged beyond repair.
    It was run over by a Tractor & Brush-Hog!

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  17. Pete409

    Pete409 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Florida
    "Back on subject, there is a lot of good info posted here, but nobody has mentioned a gun that some idiot shot a slug through. I thought that might be what delta9's term "shot out" might refer to."


    Shooting a slug through a shotgun in good condition shouldn't harm it at all. I've got a 12 gauge unfired slug in front of me now. It measures .685" on top of the soft "rifled" ridges.

    A 12 gauge with a standard .729" bore and a full choke (.040") would measure .689" at its tightest point which is still bigger than the slug. Even if the choke were a few thousandths smaller than the slug, the slug is very soft lead and the ridges could easily deform a little and squeeze into the valleys beside the ridges.

    There have been many slugs shot through old tight choked guns with no harm done.
     
  18. Pete409

    Pete409 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Florida
    "That's crazy talk right there!
    If you saw two A-5 Brownings blow themselves apart, you saw two fools shooting unsafe / over-pressure reloads of some kind
    ."

    I would call it "misinformed talk". Shooting a heavy load in a Browning A-5 with the gun set on light loads will, at most, cause it to wear out quicker or break some part quicker. In no way is it going to cause the gun to blow up.
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Shooting Forster type rifled slugs through any degree of choke will not hurt the gun in the slightest.

    Not only that, but a hollow-base soft lead Forster type slug is no harder, if as hard, as a shot charge of normal bird-shot when it hits the choke.
    It wouldn't matter, even if it started out over bore size.

    A tightly compressed load of shot has no more "give" to it, except through pellet deformation.
    A pure lead rifled slug can easily expand to fit the bore then squeeze back down when it gets to the choke constriction.

    If it did harm, or even could harm any choke, ammo manufactures wouldn't even sell them.

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  20. collector14

    collector14 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    34.33N, -86.5W
    I think the impact of a slug on the choke at velocities around 1500 feet per second could stretch the barrel with repeated firings. I don't shoot slugs and will be the first to admit that I have little knowledge about it, but here is a quote from ...

    Warning from the Instructions Manual with a new shotgun: On fixed choke guns, slugs may be fired in only IC and Cylinder barrels. DO NOT fire slugs in fixed choke barrels with Modified, Improved Modified or Fullchokes.
     
  21. zinj

    zinj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    Midwest
    As others have said, shot loads are hitting the choke at the same velocity, including stuff like steel which is harder than lead. I'd say that the warning in the instruction manual is the same CYA stuff as "Shooting Reloaded Ammunition Voids the Manufacturer's Warantee."
     
  22. New_geezer

    New_geezer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    High Desert, California
    The thing with steel shot is, a load doesn't compress or deform like lead shot. The usual advice is - if you shoot Full choke w/ lead, shoot Mod with steel. Basically use a 1 step more open choke.
     
  23. Capstick1

    Capstick1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    339
    Browning Auto Five Durability

    I purchased a slightly used "Light Twelve" at a pawn shop. This gun had a polychoked barrel on it and it was set for the "Light" loads. The friction disc was in the back of the spring directly against the reciever. After about 600 rds of 1 1/8 oz trap loads fired in trap the original wood forend started to get a hairline crack in it. That was the only wear and tear that I noticed on it. I've since replaced the wood furniture with an ugly but very durable Bell and Carlson Carbellite stock set. I think that this will be the last stockset that I ever have to buy for this shotgun. I also have a spare set of springs, friction ring and brass collar available in the event I wear out these parts. I really like this shotgun and plan on keeping this as my designated all around trap and skeet gun.
     
  24. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,938
    Location:
    MD.
    Anecdotal testimony is always suspect, but I've heard the 250K number for 870s so many times from diverse sources I believe it.

    And I believe a retired Marine noncom not given to hyberbole when he tells me he's put 230K rounds through his Model 12. He has replaced some springs and there's not much takeup left in the adjustment thingie.

    And I believe Will Fennell when he says that a 686 Beretta goes 50k loads a year sans burpsnglitches indefinitely.

    I do not believe that the average imported double selling for less than a Grand will last like the above. Whether or not a lesser price is worth less of a working life is something each of us should decide on our own.
     
  25. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,938
    Location:
    MD.
    Oooops, double tap....
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page