Side by Side..warning..?

Side by Side..warning..?

This is a discussion on Side by Side..warning..? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm new to the SxS and need an answer to a question. I have the gun for HD and want to keep it loaded. The ...

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Thread: Side by Side..warning..?

  1. #1
    Member Array Bart's Avatar
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    Side by Side..warning..?

    I'm new to the SxS and need an answer to a question. I have the gun for HD and want to keep it loaded. The instruction manual under WARNING "suggests" that you do NOT keep, carry or store the gun with the HAMMER SPRINGS UNDER COMPRESSION. To release the compression the trigger must be pulled. Is this simply a safety factor or will keeping the hammer springs under compression while keeping the gun loaded weaken or damage the spring? The only way to keep the gun loaded is with the hammer springs under tension. What gives? Thanks.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Leaving it cocked means leaving full tension on the sear surface-DON'T.

    You should be able to break it open without cocking the hammers, how else are you loading/unloading...? What brand of shotgun?

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Well, I know that springs generally only weaken by being used. (tension, then relaxed cycles.) So keeping tension on the springs shouldn't really harm them.

    Not sure about the sear surface though.

    Is this one of those hammerless auto cocking SxS's?
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    I go old school with my SxS defense shottie....EXTERNAL HAMMERS....aka Rabbit Ears!
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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    It's a Stevens 411. It doesn't have external hammers. The springs come under compression automatically when the gun is opened, a safety is also set automatically. I guess I'll just have to keep it unloaded and use one of my other guns for quick HD.
    If you intend to keep a SxS for HD, then you would need to be practicing your reload, anyway. If you practice your load and reload with this gun, you will become very fast at loading. Having to keep it unloaded is no reason to exclude it from HD. There are lots of people who do not keep a round in the chamber of their pump-action or semiauto shotguns. With practice, you can load your SxS as quickly as they can work the pump or bolt. I've watched people do it.
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  6. #6
    Member Array Bart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowsbane View Post
    Well, I know that springs generally only weaken by being used. (tension, then relaxed cycles.) So keeping tension on the springs shouldn't really harm them.

    Not sure about the sear surface though.

    Is this one of those hammerless auto cocking SxS's?
    Yes, it's a hammer-less auto cocking SxS. And, I believe you're correct with what you say. The manual never says DON'T leave the springs compressed, it is only a SUGGESTION. I think it has more to do with safety measures, because the gun can't be stored or carried loaded without the springs being compressed. It's a Stevens 411, all I know for sure is, for the price it's one of the strongest SxS's made. I had the barrel cut down to 18 1/4 .in for S.D. & H.D. purposes only. And, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357 View Post
    If you intend to keep a SxS for HD, then you would need to be practicing your reload, anyway. If you practice your load and reload with this gun, you will become very fast at loading. Having to keep it unloaded is no reason to exclude it from HD. There are lots of people who do not keep a round in the chamber of their pump-action or semiauto shotguns. With practice, you can load your SxS as quickly as they can work the pump or bolt. I've watched people do it.
    Good point...I keep my Stoeger Coach Gun inside the safe. It has five shells on the stock in a sleeve, and two shells sitting on the front of the shelf...when I grab the gun, I grab and load the two front shells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Good point...I keep my Stoeger Coach Gun inside the safe. It has five shells on the stock in a sleeve, and two shells sitting on the front of the shelf...when I grab the gun, I grab and load the two front shells.
    +1. That's my usual routine.
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    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    so some folks actually keep their "home defense" weapons in a safe and unloaded?????

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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr surveyor View Post
    so some folks actually keep their "home defense" weapons in a safe and unloaded?????
    Maybe they have young children?

    Though in that case I think the best policy is just to keep it on your person most of the time, and in a quick-open bedside safe (loaded) when you're asleep.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Good point...I keep my Stoeger Coach Gun inside the safe. It has five shells on the stock in a sleeve, and two shells sitting on the front of the shelf...when I grab the gun, I grab and load the two front shells.
    Don't keep mine in the safe when I'm home (no kids in the house) but I also normally keep five shells on the stock and two sitting next to it. Safety is off. It isn't that hard to load fast. Also means you don't have to remember to put the safety off! (It also isn't the only gun available either.)

    You can also load it when you are home (safety on) and unload it when you leave (and put it back in the safe). Another option is to put the shells in the chamber but not close the action completely. That way you just snap it shut and shoot! Again, unload and put it away when you leave the house. In both of these alternatives it is not left loaded for an indefinite time. It is easy over time to forget that something is loaded or the safety is on. I don't like remembering to put the safety off so find it easier to load when I need it and not bother with remembering the safety (no automatic safety). The final option is get a pump shotgun.

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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I have 2 sitting right next to it, and can drop them in and close in 1 sec. Then, there are some 'extras' sitting a little more to the side.

    But, there is also 2 loaded handguns sitting there too.

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    Though I tend to agree with not keeping full tension on the sears I have a Stevens 311 that has been cocked for the better part of 60 years with no ill effects.

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    This is an interesting thread for me...I keep handguns (Glock 19 and my carry 26) next to the bed in a GunVault safe, due to children in the home. For home defense, I view the handgun as superior when needing to grab your kids to get them into the safe room, since a handgun leaves one free hand for doorknobs, lights, kids, and the phone.

    However...once hunkered down in the safe room, there is no question that a long arm has better "final line of defense" fire power than any handgun. While I generally favor a shotgun, I have been thinking of putting my Mini 14 carbine under the bed (unloaded) and keeping a loaded magazine in the safe. My thinking is that it would be faster to get the Mini 14 into action (insert 20-rd mag, rack bolt), than to load 5 shells (one at a time) into my Remington 870 pump shotgun. Plus, my (petite) wife could better handle the Mini 14 than the shotgun (less recoil, semi auto action). Finally, the Mini is shorter overall, thus more maneuverable.

    In a similar manner - perhaps a carbine would be a better option than a SxS shotgun? A pump shotgun would likely be better still, if you could secure it from any children in the home (I've seen those keyed action locks, but I'm not sure about using a key under stress in the dark). Options, options...
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    In a thread a long time ago I asked about leaving my Kimber Cocked and Locked all the time. The response was that it wouldnt hurt it due to the metallurgy technology these days.

    Is this same technology not used in this particular shotgun?

    Oh 10th mtn.... I like the idea of the mini 14. Depending on where you live I would consider utilizing frangible rounds that way the house next to you will not suffer a casualty and you go to prison. This is my own opinion I am not an expert. I would like to think any projectile moving at 2000+ fps with hundreds of lbs of force hitting a life threating assailant would be good enough in my book non the less.

    I plan on using my AR im about to purchase for my HD weapon in addition to my 1911 4" with NS and lasergrips. The handcannon is my first responder of course. I will use frang ammo in the AR of course being a highpower rifle.
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