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My 870 can't hold two 3 inch shells with the plug in it. Did I put it in wrong, or is there a shorter one I can get? Shotgun season is coming up for deer, and my gun patterned best with Winchester 3 in. magnums. My state requires me to have a plug in the magazine so it can only have 3 shells.
 

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My 11-87 will hold 2, 3" waterfowl shells, maybe loaded slugs are longer than loaded shotshells (all shells are measured after firing). Can you remove a little of the lenght of the plug with a knife, saw, grinding wheel, or belt sander or make one out of a dowl? I don't think there is a set lenght for a shotgun plug as long as it does it's job. I would eather make one out of a dowl or shorten the one you have so you can get your two slugs in then check to make sure two 2-3/4" shotshells don't fit (or make sure you don't have any 2-3/4" shells with you, but I don't know the specifics of New Jersey law). Here in CT when I've been checked the warden has only shaken the gun to make sure the plug's in place, they haven't even checked to see how many shells will fit in the magazine.
 

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Swamp Yankee said:
maybe loaded slugs are longer than loaded shotshells (all shells are measured after firing).
There's the reason why you can't fit two slugs in the magazine.

A 3" shot shell and a 3" slug shell will measure 3" after firing. But the slug shell will be longer than the shot shell before firing. Why? Because slug shells are roll crimped, which uses up a lot less material from the mouth of the shell. Shot shells are fold crimped and they end up shorter than roll crimped slugs, which need as much space inside as possible for the powder and bullet.

Liek Swamp Yankee said, make a new plug just for slugs out of a wooden dowel. Make sure you leave a little bit of room in the magazine so that you can push the rim of the shells past the shell stop.
 

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I'm with Deadpair, just sand the edges of the wooden dowel. I used a wooden dowel plug that I did not sand & it tended to bind the spring.
 

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Three notes:

Both Remington and after market plugs I've purchased of late needed to be shortened to accomodate 3" shells, 12 and 20 ga. It is okay to cut, grind, shave enough off of the plug to accomodate 2 3" shells. Just do the fitting a bit at a time and make sure to try the third shell as a 2.75. As long as a third 2.75" shell does not fit you are okay.

I'd not use a wood plug in anygun that is outside in wet or humid conditions. Plastic will not absorbe and hold moisture which hastens rusting of the inside of non-stainless mag tubes.

In the how-stupid-can-you-be category I installed one plug backwards--fat end in the mag follower and found that putting two shells in the mag was nearly impossible--turned around with the large end toward the mag cap--everything chambered smoothly.
 

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I bought a Mossberg 500 that did not have a plug in it at all, I just took the one out of my Moss. 835 to check what size it was.

I then went to the local hardware/lumber store and bought a dowel that was the right diameter by 3 feet long, it cost me $0.99 plus Tax.
The only difference between my home made one and the original is the original has 2 rubber O-rings on it to keep it from rattling as much.

A new original would have cost $1.15 plus S&H, the dowel is long enuf to make 5 or 6 of them, or make them in slightly different lengths for different size shells.

Michael Grace
 

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If you have any interest in adding weight to the gun, load (or have a shooting buddy load) an empty hull full of lead shot. Place it behind the magazine spring. Makel sure you can't load more than the legal limit, or add a short wooden dowel. Ideally you can load enough of your longest slugs but not too many of your shortest shotshells.
 
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