Proper Gun Closing Technique

Dear Bruce,

Do you have a strong (or, weak will do) opinion on the proper way to close a double gun action – hold back the top lever vs. “snapping” it shut and letting the gun mechanics take care of it. I always hold it back on my SxSs, just in case. But I’m not so worried about “easily” repairable O/Us. Any differences with design of action: B-25 vs Citori vs K-gun vs Beretta vs Perazzi vs ?


Dear Lonnie,

Good question and of course I have an opinion. They are like noses, you know.

I remember a conversation with Jim Sizemore, head armorer at the US Army Marksmanship Unit in Ft. Benning. He as probably seen more heavily used competition guns than anyone. He always went to the Olympics and other World Championship events with the US team to fix the team’s guns. As a courtesy, he would also then work on the guns of other teams if they had the parts. He as seen it all. By the time someone makes an Olympic team, I can absolutely guarantee you that his gun has a few rounds through it. So I tend to listen to Jim.

He said that you should always let the lever snap over by itself, not ease the lever over by hand.

The reason behind this is that when you permit the lever to snap over under spring pressure, it does it the same way every time. This is the way that the gun was designed. When you ease it over by hand, it seats a little differently each time. The hand cannot supply consistent pressure the way the spring can. When the opening lever is seated home with differing pressures, the gun locks up a bit differently each time and will loosen more quickly.

That’s what Jim told me, so I do it his way.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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