Pump action shotguns and rifles are well suited to home defense, due to their reliability. An added benefit of pump action is that it makes storing the firearm in a relatively safe yet ready to use fashion easier. While this practice is likely obvious to those experienced with pump action firearms, it may not be as obvious for those more familiar with other action types, or those new to firearms. This article describes how to store a pump action firearm in a safe yet ready to use manner.
Completely unload the gun. This means ensure that the chamber is empty, and that the magazine is empty. This is important.
Hand load a dummy round directly into the chamber. The dummy round is a plastic or metal place holder for a real round. It is inert but is shaped like the real thing. The purpose of loading a dummy round is to prevent damage to the gun’s firing pin that could result if the gun were firing on an empty chamber. Make sure this is a dummy round, not a live round!
Point the gun in a safe direction and pull the trigger, being sure that you loaded only a dummy round into the chamber, rather than a live round. Even though we have only a dummy round in the gun, it is always important to follow the gun safety rules and keep the gun pointed away from people or things you don’t want to shoot. I can’t over stress the importance of ensuring that Steps 1 and 2 were followed, and that the gun is pointed in a safe direction. After pulling the trigger do not pump the slide (leave the dummy round in the chamber).
Load the magazine with live rounds of the appropriate type for home defense.
Your pump action firearm now has only a dummy round in the chamber, and a full magazine. In an emergency, you can pick up the shotgun and pump the slide to make it ready to fire (please remember to store your guns safely).Because you pulled the trigger with the dummy round in the chamber, the slide will move freely, and you won’t have to fumble with the action release bar during an emergency. The lack of a live round in the chamber means that an accidental pull of the trigger will not fire the gun (unless it is pumped first).
From a mechanical standpoint, the only part of the gun that is under any tension is the magazine spring, but the magazine spring can take years and years of storage like this, especially if you occasionally remove the shells from the magazine, such as when transporting the gun to the range for some target practice. Even if you keep the shells stored in the magazine for years and eventually wear out the spring, it will only cost about $15 to replace.