870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Remington 870 Repair and Gunsmithing.
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thatnahr
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870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by thatnahr » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:52 pm

I just got an 870 Express Tactical today, and I wanted to try to get used to working the gun with some cheap snap caps I bought. If I load the shotgun with the snap caps, the gun won't "fire." Pulling the trigger does not produce a click. If I dry fire without the snap caps, it works as expected; I can "fire" the gun, work the action, and go again. No modifications have been done to the gun; I just got it today from Remington. I was going to try to take it to the range on Sunday and shoot it, and I guess I still could just to check if it's the snap caps that are the issue (but I don't think they would be).

Thanks for any help.

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Scorpion8
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Re: 870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by Scorpion8 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:30 pm

Make sure you've got the action fully cocked by moving the slide forward, and you don't have to be gentle as these are tough, capable shotguns. Feed a couple snap caps into the magazine tube, and then work the action enthusiastically. Chances are you're not seating the snap cap fully to engage the mechanism. Let us know. Also work the safety back and forth to make sure it isn't binding.
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thatnahr
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Re: 870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by thatnahr » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:23 pm

Scorpion8 wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:30 pm
Make sure you've got the action fully cocked by moving the slide forward, and you don't have to be gentle as these are tough, capable shotguns. Feed a couple snap caps into the magazine tube, and then work the action enthusiastically. Chances are you're not seating the snap cap fully to engage the mechanism. Let us know. Also work the safety back and forth to make sure it isn't binding.
This worked, thanks. Is this something that will improve with usage? I've only shot shotguns once before, years ago, and I didn't have any issues with being forceful enough. I'm more experienced with handguns, and I know that lots of handguns have a break-in period where you might have to keep the slide locked for an extended period of time or use hotter ammo. So should I expect the action to get a little easier/smoother with time and usage, or am I just being a wimp? Thanks again for your help.

USMA-1982
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Re: 870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by USMA-1982 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:45 pm

If the "cheap" snap caps are shorter than 2 3/4 in length it might be that you're able to chamber the cap without fully retracting the forearm and cocking the hammer. New shotgun actions do wear in and get smoother with use just like any other firearm.

Also make sure you clean and lube it to remove any leftover gunk from the manufacturing process.

thatnahr
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Re: 870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by thatnahr » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:01 pm

USMA-1982 wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:45 pm
If the "cheap" snap caps are shorter than 2 3/4 in length it might be that you're able to chamber the cap without fully retracting the forearm and cocking the hammer. New shotgun actions do wear in and get smoother with use just like any other firearm.

Also make sure you clean and lube it to remove any leftover gunk from the manufacturing process.
Didn't even think to actually measure the snap caps until I read your comment. Put them next to some Federal 2 3/4" birdshot and they are definitely short. They're closer to 2". Still 12 gauge, but very short. That's what I get for cheaping out, I guess.

I like to keep my handguns clean, so I'll be sure to keep it clean too. Will need to give it a cleaning before firing it, but first I need to find a longer cleaning rod.

Thanks!

USMA-1982
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Re: 870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by USMA-1982 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:12 pm

Yup, sounded like you were short stroking it. Good luck and enjoy your new 870!

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Klagz13
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Re: 870 Express Tactical won't fire unless empty

Post by Klagz13 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:03 am

thatnahr wrote:
USMA-1982 wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:45 pm
If the "cheap" snap caps are shorter than 2 3/4 in length it might be that you're able to chamber the cap without fully retracting the forearm and cocking the hammer. New shotgun actions do wear in and get smoother with use just like any other firearm.

Also make sure you clean and lube it to remove any leftover gunk from the manufacturing process.
Didn't even think to actually measure the snap caps until I read your comment. Put them next to some Federal 2 3/4" birdshot and they are definitely short. They're closer to 2". Still 12 gauge, but very short. That's what I get for cheaping out, I guess.

I like to keep my handguns clean, so I'll be sure to keep it clean too. Will need to give it a cleaning before firing it, but first I need to find a longer cleaning rod.

Thanks!
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