How to Safely Load & Unload Your Pump-Action Shotgun

Winchester's Becky Yackley demonstrates the step-by-step to safely manipulate your slide-action scattergun.

posted on January 11, 2022

Whether you call it a pump-action or a slide-action, this type of shotgun is one of America's perennial favorites. Pump-action shotguns are incredibly versatile and hardy, so they are generally considered an excellent choice for first-time gun buyers and women interested in home defense. That said, there's a little more to a pump gun than a hinge-action, and that means a few things to be aware of when you're manipulating the shotgun.

In this video, Winchester pro shooter (and NRA Women contributor) Becky Yackley walks you through the simple steps you'll need to master in order to safely manipulate your slide-action shotgun. The trick is to remember that, for this brief time period, you're having to put one of the Three Rules of Gun Safety very temporarily on hold.

What do we mean by that? Well, Rule #3 is to keep the firearm unloaded until you're ready to use it ... and while you're loading or unloading, you're working on Rule #3. That means you need to pay extra attention to the other two! Begin by establishing a safe direction in which to point your firearm's muzzle as you load or unload, and take extra care to ensure your fingers and all other objects remain outside the trigger guard. For additional steps specific to pump guns, watch this excellent video from Winchester's new series for new gun owners!

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