Short Shucking A Pump

Dear Technoid:

My problem is this, I am currently shooting an older Remington 870 pump gun. It is equipped with a 24″ Baker tubed barrel. I can shoot skeet with this gun using the Federal promo loads and experience any problem with any of the doubles. When I take the gun to the field and shoot heavier loads (usually 1 1/4 oz-3 3/4 dram or 1 1/2 oz loads,) I find that I ‘short shuck’ the gun. What happens is that the empty hull is ejected from the gun, but the next shot shell is not fed. The problem is very apparent when an overhead shot is taken. I have checked the magazine tube for dents and dings and replaced the spring, all to no avail.

Is this a mechanical or an operator problem?? Can you enlighten the masses on the self-pumping mechanism of the pump gun??



Dear Ross,

Ask and ye shall receive. I shoot a pump gun a great deal and thought that I had pretty much invented the “short shuck”. It was really plaguing me until I started to experiment and found the answer. The solution is really usually pretty simple. Just hold your forend hand about 1″ further forward on that pump handle. That’s it. Nothing more.

Those 870s are about as reliable as anvils. I am afraid that short shucking is almost always an operator error problem. You are not pulling the forend all the way back before you move forward. It is coming back far enough to eject the shell, but not quite far enough to pop the second shell out of the magazine and on to the lifter. This action happens at the very end of the stroke. Moving your forehand a bit further forward will ensure that you shuck all the way to the rear.

Short shucking occurs more in the field because your body position during the shot is less predictable than it is at skeet. The shell has nothing to do with it. When you carry the gun afield, you may not be holding your forehand as far forward on the forend as you do when shooting clay targets. You may choose to put a bit of tape on the forend as a marker to remind you where to put your hand.

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid


This entry was posted in Shotguns and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.