How to Take Apart a Shotgun

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After using your shotgun, you can usually clean it well simply using rags and a cleaning rod or bore snake. If the gun is particularly dirty, however, either from a hunting session in the mud or the gradual buildup of grime, it is sometimes necessary to take apart the weapon in order to clean the pieces individually. Fortunately, this process is relatively simple and usually takes only a couple of minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/8- to 1/2-inch wrench
  • Work the action, or the gun's firing mechanism, to make sure spent shells are removed from the chamber and any remaining unfired shells are removed from the magazine. Leave the pump in the back position with the action open.

  • Use the wrench to remove the securing nut from the front of the pump.

  • Slide the barrel out of its seating, which will have been loosened by the removal of the pump nut.

  • Reach two fingers into the open action and squeeze together the two feed lips that load shells from the magazine into the firing chamber, and then pull the pump forward to slide the entire bolt and action out of the gun toward the barrel end.

  • Remove the trigger guard by pushing the pins that secure it in place out from within the gun.

  • Remove the trigger from its seating, which will be loosened after the removal of the trigger guard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Observe the rules of gun safety and use common sense at all times when holding or operating firearms.

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