How to Avoid a Short Stroke on Your Pump Action Shotgun

Vitaly Pedchenko, Shotgun Instructor

Short stroking or short cycling means you have not brought the bolt back far enough to eject the cartridge, which means you cannot chamber a shell. In some instances, the shell may eject but there is not enough force to chamber a round and it can jam on you, which is not what you want to happen. On semi-automatics, the work is done by the exploding gas from the propellant or gunpowder. Shells designed for less recoil can cause a short stroke on semi-automatics because there is not enough energy produced by the powder to slam the bolt back and then propel it forward. The work is done by you with a pump action shotgun however. Sometimes not allowing the trigger to reset or there is a failure to reset can cause a short stroke but this is not typical.

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