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Jam in a double-barrel shotgun?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Ross_R, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Ross_R

    Ross_R Member

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    Hello everyone, good time of the day to you. I hope, this is the right place for such type of a question. I'm still hesitationg between this sub and Gunsmithing and Repairs, but, well, pardon the newbie...

    Thing is, I'm coming from the place where the weapons are almost completely illegal. Still, I love firearms and try to learn about them as much as I can. One of the questions that bugs me for quite some time is this: can your usual, rabbit-eared double-barrel shotgun jam? And if yes, what are the most common reasons for it?

    I've saw quite a number of info about jammed pump-action shotguns, but double-barrel shotguns... The only thing that comes into my mind is bad cartridge, but other than that - I'm totally out of the loop.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. George P

    George P Member

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    A firing pin that does not retract can prevent opening. Solution is to take it down and clean out any gunk that might be in there - and if that doesn't do it - get a new spring for the pin.
     
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  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I guess it falls under the bad cartridge category, but I once saw pictured a double shotgun - an under/over, but that doesn't appear to matter - that had the shell in one barrel split and enough gas got in behind the shell in the other barrel to push it forward in the chamber, rolling the rim right back.

    I have seen more than one single or double trap gun fail to close because of a shot pellet under the extractor. This due to poorly crimped reloaded shells.
     
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  4. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Had an older Savage that had selective ejectors, only ejected the barrel that had been fired. Anyway the ejector were a little sloppy and combine that with cheap Remington Mohawk shells, these had slightly undersized rims and if you got aggressive stuffing a shell in, it would slip past the ejector and it was a PITA to get out.
    I had a BSS one time and it's single trigger wouldn't switch to second barrel about 1/2 the time but it was filthy dirty and straightened right up when I cleaned it.
    I've owned a few other doubles both OU and SBS and they've been reliable as most anything man made
     
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  5. Ross_R

    Ross_R Member

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    Thank you very much, kind people! Just three answers so far - and already quite an amount of very interesting information. Well, for me, at least.

    If anyone else would like to add something - you're welcome!
     
  6. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I have a rabbit eared Hamilton 12 guage right now someone brought me that the breakdown lever moves but nothing happens, I'm thinking something broke internally on the lever. I'll dig into it someday. So yep, they can jam.
     
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  7. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    I had an old Ithaca Flues that would refuse to open after either barrel was fired. Evidently the firing pins would hang up.
    However....that was a problem only with modern smokeless shells. When I used BP shotshells, the gun function normally.
    So....maybe something other than firing pins were the problem. I no longer own the gun.
     
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  8. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Often on the really old ones the link or lever that is operated by the top lever breaks locking up the whole gun. More common on hammerless doubles is the link on the safety lever breaks.
     
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  9. deadin

    deadin Member

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    I've found that anything mechanical, in the right hands, can malfunction.:oops:
     
  10. Ross_R

    Ross_R Member

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    He-he. True, sometimes it can make you wonder...

    Thanks to everyone else for their answers! Particularly interesting story about that shotgun that worked normally with BP shells, but didn't open with smokeless ones.
     
  11. George P

    George P Member

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    I suspect that is because the BP loads were of much lower pressure than the smokeless and the those smokeless ones were putting an inordinate amount of excessive wear on the action.
     
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  12. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    I bought an inexpensive Side X Side .410 gauge shotgun for my son, from Value Fair way back about 50 years ago in of all places Southern California. We took it dove hunting and he was just a natural shooting less than a box of 3" shells with #8 shot getting his limit before me and a buddy of mine. To make a long story even longer, the next week end we went out and I'll be darned if he didn't get a shell stuck under the extractor, now talk about a jam, that was definitely the "mother of all jams". it took me at least an hour to get the shell out, and by that time the dove had stopped flying. However, we never had a problem with that shotgun ever doing it again. Anyway we ended up selling it to a good friend just recently.
     
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  13. Jbird45

    Jbird45 Member

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    My uncle had a cheap over under that after a couple shells fired from it would not break open. I am pretty sure the metal was so cheap that when it heated up it expanded and caused it not to open, because the firing pins never hung up and the shells were never deformed. The only way to open it was to put it over your knee at the hinge and push on the end of the butt and the middle of the barrel. He actually wound up cracking the stock eventually from the leverage needed to open it. That's what you get for buying a $50 over under brand spanking new though.
     
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  14. Ross_R

    Ross_R Member

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    That was an interesting one. Thanks for the reply - I'm still here and it is never too late!
     
  15. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    Ya don’t put jam in a double. That’s where the jelly goes
     
  16. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    A firing pin that does not retract can prevent opening.

    That's my guess...
     
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