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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I recentry bought a new shotgun. It is a break action shotgun (I think that's the right term) Anyways, it is the kind that you pull a release lever back and it bends in half (has a hinge). It fits only one cartrigde at a time. Anyways, when the gun is opened, for example after firing a shot and removing the empty cartrige, the gun is automatically 'cocked'. So the firing pin is put into the 'cocked' position. The only way to
'uncock' it is to fire the gun.

I have a question regarding how I should store my gun. I mean, my common sense tells me that it wouldn't be very good to store it for several months while the firing pin is in the 'cocked' position. It seems to me that this would ruin the sping since it would be under constant tension for such a long time. However, I have read that firing the gun while it's empty, damages the firing pin... So my question is: If I don't plan to use the gun for a few weeks/months, how should I store it? In the cocked position, or should I 'uncock' it? If I should 'uncock' it, how should I do that without damaging the firing pin.
I thought maybe I should just keep the last fired cartridge in the gun, but then I wouldn't be able to clean the gun before storing it... I thought of cleaning it and then puting an empty cartridge in it and pulling the trigger (that way the firing pin would hit the cartridge and it wouldn't get damaged as much, but I think that after a few times that cap would be so bent that the firing pin probably wouldn't even reach it, so it would be as if the gun was empty...

I'm sorry but this is the first gun that I have owned so I don't have much experience with gun maintenance, so any advice would be appreciated.

Note: I read that there are special cartrige-like things that can be put in a gun (they don't have any gunpowder or anything.. they are just like an empty cartrigde). They can be used if one wants to pull the trigger on a shotgun without damaging the firing pin. However, i don't think I have the option of buying any of those because where I live I don't have access to any stores that sell such things.

Thank you!
 

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Check your owners manual as it usually states somewhere in there if it is safe to dry fire without damaging the firing pin mechanism. If you don't have a manual, call the manufacturer or check their website. Not all designs are subject to damage from dry firing.

If the manufacturer states you can not dry fire safely, then order a snap cap for the gauge of your gun from one of the on-line retailers. They are a common item and quite a few carry them in many styles and designs.
 

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Cheap way is stick a spent shell back in it. Snap it and forget about it. Do it all the time.
 

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cbxchris said:
Cheap way is stick a spent shell back in it. Snap it and forget about it. Do it all the time.
What that proves is that most firing pins will not break the first few times you snap them - or in some cases, not even the first few hundred times.

A spent shell will not provide adequate protection to the firing pin. Once the primer has been dented, there isn't much there to provide resistance to the pin. Some people advocate punching the primer out and inserting a piece of rubber, but it would have to be very stiff rubber - a pencil eraser is too soft.

There have been long and spirited arguments on this forum and others about whether it is necessary to let the hammer down to relieve pressure on the mainspring. All I can say is I have never seen a single case of a mainspring that got weak as a result of being stored cocked - even in guns that have been stored cocked for almost a hundred years.
 

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Mrofar, welcome to ShotgunWorld!

I am curious about the gun you described. It sounds like the one made by Beretta which I recently bought. That design was made by Beretta from 1922 until the 1990's, also made during the 1960's-70's by another Italian company for Galef, and now is made by Effebi. Does it look like this?



The illustration is one of the Effebi guns. Who made yours? You described it as "new", but is it literally new or just new to you? Are new guns of this design being sold in the US now? Are you in the US or another country?

If your gun works the way my Beretta does, it is easy to store it with the hammer down, without snapping it. Just pull the underlever back, hold it back while pulling the trigger, and hold the trigger while releasing the underlever. That will allow the hammer to fall gently on the firing pin while you are releasing the underlever. However, if you do that with the gun open do not try to close it without first cocking it - the extractor will hit the firing pin when you try to close it.
 

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Seamus is absolutly correct! A spent shell is just a "feel good" exercise. If it makes you feel good by having an empty in the chamber when you dry fire it, good for you! The spring is about as likley to weaken or break while at rest as it is fully cocked. Think about it. The spring is under quite a bit of compression already. Do you want to dismantle the gun and actually remove the fireing pin spring after each use? You'd have to "to do it right"! Don't worry about it! Put a fired shell in there if it makes you feel better, if you don't like that, get a snapcap!

BP
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First of all, I would like to thank all of you who answered my post.

Seamus, in response to your question, yes the gun that I bought is brand new. And yes, it looks exactly like that one in the picture. I'm not sure if they sell them in the USA, because don't live in the USA and therefore I didn't buy mine from the USA.

So, just to get things stright, what you are saying is this: There is a way to 'uncock' my gun (which Seamus discribed above), but it is not neccessary to do so. Keeping my gun 'cocked' won't hurt it. Correct?
 

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Not sure of the answer here, but if you release the firing pin spring, wouldn't the ejectors springs still be under tension in most O/Us? I'm with the folks that leave the firing pin spring under tension as I feel it doesn't hurt anything. I think releasing the pressure on the spring goes back a hundred years when springs were liable to take a set.
 

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mrofar said:
Keeping my gun 'cocked' won't hurt it. Correct?
Correct, in my opinion.

The decocking method I described works for the Beretta, but I can't be certain it will work on yours. The two guns are based on the same design, but there may be some differences. The only difference I am aware of is that the Beretta has a safety button in the trigger guard, while the Galef and Effebi versions have a tang safety.

The gun was designed in the mid-1920's by Tullio Marengoni and Pietro Beretta, and was produced by Beretta for 70 years, with a total production of about 500,000 guns in many versions. The design has been copied by several other makers.

BTW, the Italian gunmaking industry is closely inter-related. "Effebi" represents the letters F. E. B., which are the initials of the company's founder, Dr. Franco E. Beretta. I know nothing about him, but I assume he is related to "the other" Berettas. What goes around comes around.
 
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