SLR15 LAW ENFORCEMENT SHOTGUN ARMORER COURSE
When: January 16-17, 2019
Where: Appleton, Wisconsin
We conducted a Law Enforcement Shotgun Armorer Course at the Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center in Appleton WI. We have taught numerous courses there over the last decade, and we look forward to more. The training room offers great lighting, plenty of table space for people to spread out, and a large screen which allows us to project some powerpoint onto, showing close up detailed pics of gun parts. In this course we cover the Remington 870, Mossberg 500/590, and Benelli M1-90/M2.
The student base was a mix of Local, County and State Law Enforcement Officers from Wisconsin.
Shotguns present in this course were mostly Remington 870's, with only a couple of Mossberg 500/590's, and one Benelli M1-90. Students bring shotguns to work on, and we always recommend that Officers bring shotguns that are not working correctly or broken, as we look at this as a learning opportunity to figure out what is not working correctly, and Officers can make repairs onsite to get them back into working condition.
We started with an introduction of all present. Everyone was supplied with a course manual, inspection forms, and supplier lists of where to obtain parts, tools and accessories. We supplied every student with their own set of basic tools that are necessary to do most of the general work on the shotguns. Everyone was introduced and supplied with Slip2000 "EWL" Extreme Weapons Lubricant and #725 Cleaner Degreaser.
We showed our procedure of a series of checks that we use to make sure everything is working correctly, and why we use this series of checks. Everyone was taught a hands on session of the eight cycles of function on the shotguns. From there we broke the same eight cycles down further in greater detail.
We went through the proper way to remove barrels from each type of shotgun. With the barrels removed, they were inspected, in this class I think every barrel was heavily fouled. The fouling inside the barrel is generally plastic from the shot wadding, mixed with powder and shot residue. Everyone was shown that they needed to clean the chamber and bore, as these are different diameters and require different brushes. They were also shown all the other hidden areas of the barrel that need to be kept clean for proper functioning of the bolt assembly and barrel to receiver fit for lock up etc. Also shown were a multitude of tools, brushes, and jags for cleaning the barrel. Everyone with fouled barrels were allowed to clean them, as a hands on session of trying the different methods and tools shows what works better. Everyone was supplied with Slip2000 #725 Cleaner/Degreaser, Slip2000 Piston Parts & Choke Tube Cleaner, which help to cut through the fouling rather quickly. After a short session of barrel cleaning, the fouling was removed.
Note: One Officers 870 was brought to class as it was having issues with shells sticking in the chamber. Looking inside the barre, you could see a heavy fouling build up in the bore and chamber. The fouling was so heavily built up, that a Lewis Lead Remover, or brass jag with a patch could pass through, as they would get stuck in the chamber (It is amazing how many people we come across that don't realize that a shotgun has a chamber, that shotgun chamber brushes exist, and that shotgun chambers should be cleaned using a chamber brush as bore brushes don't do a good job on chambers). This barrel took about 3 minutes of work with a chamber brush and some Slip2000 Gas Piston Parts & Choke Tube Cleaner, to get enough fouling loosened up, that once it started coming out it came out in chunks. After about another 5-minutes of work, the barrel was completely clean. Once this barrel was cleaned, shells were extracting like they should.
Barrels were inspected for damage, stress, missing parts etc. We also showed the differences between old and new styles of Remington 870 retaining cap designs, and showed why these shouldn't be intermixed.
Next we showed how to remove the bolt assemblies from each of the different weapon systems. Everyone learned that the Mossberg system is more involved when compared to the Remington and Benelli systems.
We then moved into the bolt assemblies, slides, action bar assemblies, and how they integrate together. Bolts were disassembled and reassembled, and inspections were done, showing where debris and corrosion is found, and why we recommend that certain things be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Students were introduced to splined pins, and shown the proper way to remove and install them. The 870's were inspected for old versus new parts, the difference in era's of 870 parts, and shown a hands on difference of forged vs MIM (metal injection molded) parts and why we recommend using the forged parts on police 870's. The 500/590 bolts were disassmbled, and people were shown the changes in eras of these parts, and that there is a difference in the right & left extractor assemblies and why.
Magazine tubes and their internals were gone through. When we allow people to clean the magazine tubes using a magazine tube brush, it’s always amazing to see how much crud comes out, and IMHO the magazine tube should be scrubbed clean of debris on a regular basis. Magazine springs were covered, and there were a few students that had sporting shotgun springs, of which were replaced with heavier springs. Students were also shown why we recommend tactical magazine tube followers over the stock cup shaped ones. No magazine tubes were found to be bent or damaged.
After lunch we moved into forend assembles, stocks receivers and trigger groups. Forend assemblies (action bar assemblies) were taken apart using the proper wrenches, then the forends were inspected, action bars inspected, and things were reassembled and indexed correctly. It was shown how the action bars have a timing that controls the shell latches, and if the action bars are damaged or bent that the timing could be off. We also showed variations and evolution changes in the forends.
Note: Several of the shotguns in this class had misaligned forends, and a couple were also found to be loose. A misaligned or loose forend can cause action bars to get bent or twisted, resulting in damage and/or functioning issues. Everyone was supplied with a forend wrench, and was able to make the needed adjustments to get things back into proper working order.
We removed the butt stocks. Once removed, we showed the different bolts and washers that are used. Stocks were inspected for cracks, and all made sure they had stock bearing plates and were shown their importance. We went through stock repair on wood and synthetic stocks, to include alterations. Receivers were inspected where stocks mount to, and replacement and repair was covered.
At the end of the day all shotguns were reassembled, and inspected to make sure things were back in proper working order. We then did a review of what was covered up to this point, and with a short Q&A session before we broke off for the night.
Day-2 started with a review of everything that we covered the previous day. We then moved into trigger groups, starting with the Remington 870, followed by the Mossberg, and ending with the Benelli. Everyone was shown how the entire trigger groups work, what can be disassembled and what cannot due to availability of parts, inspections, maintenance, mechanical safeties, changes in designs, Police/Military models vs sporting models, and how the carrier integrates during cycling. We also showed common mistakes that people make with trigger groups, the problems in function, and how to correct any issues. After trigger groups were put back together, we showed how the carriers integrate, how the slides with action bars work, and how/why the lock forward cycle works.
Shell Latches on the Remington system was next. We covered proper staking and why, how they get damaged or misaligned, and their replacement. We demonstrated, and then allowed people to use several different staking tools that we brought.
The next thing we covered was the ejector systems. We showed the 4 piece system of the 870, 2 piece system of the Mossberg, and how simple the Benelli system is. We covered how these are replaced, tuned, and proper inspections, showing several variations of tools and methods of how to perform repair & replacement.
Note: One Officers 870 was missing the ejector spring, which he didn't even realize was missing. He was supplied with an new spring, rivet, and the tools for removal and installation. This gave everyone a hands on opportunity to see how to make the repair, as they did the work as a group.
Then end of the day was a review, followed by all shotguns being reassembled, then inspected and gauged to make sure everything was in spec and ready to go back into service.
Here is a brief overview of what is covered:
Headspace and wear inspections
Action and function
Fore-end assembly & action bars
Bolt assembly (extraction & spring, firing pin, retractor spring, flexitab cuts)
Ejector inspection, repair & replacement
Slide assembly inspection
Magazine spring, retainer & followers
Shell latches, inspections, adjustment & replacement
Custom accessories & enhancements