Over the years I’ve picked up various tips from shotgun masters, and I’ve also discovered a few of my own. Try these four simple hacks to increase your effectiveness with the shotgun.
Probably the weakest part of a shotgun is its magazine-tube spring, especially if it’s an extended magazine. People who depend on their shotgun for home defense should be aware that this thin, malleable spring must be maintained periodically, especially if you keep the magazine fully loaded for extended periods. If the spring is compressed for years on end, it can lose its tension and fail to load the last round or two onto the loading gate due to its lack of power. They also wear out with copious use. To prevent magazine-spring failure, measure a brand-new spring from your new shotgun, or, if yours is no longer new, an identical model with the same-size extended tube and spring. Periodically—depending on how often you shoot your shotgun—pull the spring out of the gun and measure it to compare it to the new spring’s length. (Jerry Miculek checks his spring before every match; most home defenders who do not shoot much can get away with an annual checkup.) If it’s a little short, carefully stretch the spring out as evenly as possible. Return the spring to the gun, then fully load the tube. Remove the spring and measure it again. If it has already returned to its shortened state, it may mean the spring is weakened beyond repair and you need a new one. If it’s the same as it was new or after stretching it, you’re good to go. [full article]