How to Load a Shotgun

how to load a shotgun

Did you know that shotguns are among the most popular guns in the world?

Shotguns have changed a lot throughout history, but one thing has remained the same: gun enthusiasts love the thrill of the hunt when using a shotgun.

If you’re one of those enthusiasts, you know the value a shotgun can have on your home defense strategy. It’s versatile and powerful, enabling you to cover a lot of distance and stop an intruder in their tracks.

But do you know how to use a shotgun? And do you know how to load a shotgun shell, for that matter?

We’re here to shed some light on the process. Keep reading below to learn everything you need to know!

The Basics of Shotgun

Shotguns are firearms with shells that contain lead pellets. The number of bullets varies but is usually around 50.

The lead pellets are in a wad made of paper or plastic. It helps keep the bullets together. It also serves as a buffer between the bullets and the gunpowder.

Gunpowder is what propels the pellets out of the shotgun. You can find the gunpowder in the center of the shell.

When you fire a gun, the gunpowder ignites. The pressure from the expanding gas propels the pellets out of the shotgun.

The wad and the pellets travel down the barrel. And the bullets exit the barrel and spread out as they travel through the air.

The pellets lose energy. And then gravity takes over, causing them to fall to the ground.

Most Common Types of Shotgun

There are many different types of shotguns. But the most common are pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns.

Pump-action shotguns have a pump that you must operate to chamber a round. After a round is chambered, the gun is then ready to fire.

Semi-automatic shotguns have a magazine that holds the rounds. It cycles them through the gun automatically.

There are other types of shotguns. Learn more about them.

The Different Types of Shotgun Shells

When loading a shotgun, know which type of shotgun shell you need for hunting. The three most common shotgun shells are birdshot, buckshot, and slugs.

The birdshot is a type of shotgun you can use to shoot birds. It is a small, light gun that is easy to carry and maneuver.

Buckshot, on the other hand, is typically used for big game hunting animals such as deer. It is a type of shotgun shell that contains large pellets, typically of lead.

Lastly, there are slugs. You can typically use them for big game hunting animals such as bears.

Slugs are composed of a lead core encased in a plastic or brass casing. They are more accurate than pellets and have a higher impact on the target.

What to do Before Loading a Shotgun

Before loading your gun, you must check out some things. First, make sure your shotgun is clean before loading it. It will prevent potential problems.

Second, ensure the gun is properly lubricated. It will help keep the gun from jamming or malfunctioning.

Third, make sure that the position of the rifle is correct. It will help guarantee that your shot will direct in the desired direction.

Finally, make sure the gun is pointing in a safe direction. It will help prevent any accidents that could occur.

How to Load a Shotgun Properly

You will need a shotgun, shells, and a loading device to load the gun properly. The loading device can be a magazine or a speed loader.

Start by understanding the basics of your shotgun. Make sure you know how it works and what kind of ammunition it takes.

Once familiar with your gun, look at the ammunition you’ll be using. Make sure the shells are the right size and type for your shotgun.

To load a shotgun, first, ensure it is not loaded. Pump-action shotguns must have the pump in the forward position. Semi-automatic shotguns must have the magazine release button pressed and the magazine removed.

With the gun unloaded, open the action and look inside. Pump-action shotguns will have a shell carrier that must be moved forward to load a cartridge. Semi-automatic shotguns will feature a spring-loaded follower that must be pushed down.

With the action open, insert a round into the chamber. Push the shell carrier back until it clicks into place for pump-action shotguns. For semi-automatic shotguns, release the magazine release button and insert the magazine.

Close the action and make sure the gun is on “safe.” Pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns can now be loaded and unloaded with the pump or magazine.

Practice loading and unloading your shotgun until you’re comfortable with the process. With practice,  you’ll be loading like a pro in no time.

How to Store Your Shotgun

Ensure the action is open and the gun is not loaded before you store your shotgun. Store it in a safe, dry place away from children and pets.

If you need to transport your gun, use a secure case. Ensure that there is no ammunition in the chamber.

If the gun is loaded, unload it. Then, proceed to the next step.

With the gun unloaded, open the action and look down the barrel to be sure it is clear of any obstructions. Close the action and latches. Carry the shotgun in the case with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

Go Out and Practice Loading!

A shotgun is a versatile firearm you can use to hunt or protect your home. Learn how to load a shotgun correctly to ensure safety and accuracy.

Also, practice hard to be comfortable and confident in your abilities. Remember, you might not have enough time to think about each step in real life.

Having the muscle memory to load your shotgun quickly and efficiently could mean the difference between life and death. So, go out there and practice!

The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Soon, you’ll be a pro at loading your shotgun quickly and efficiently.

For more gun tips and advice, check the rest of our site!

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