I recently had a novice shooter ask me to show him how to load, unload, clean, and shoot his shotgun.
He had purchased a Remington Model 11-48 at a local gun show for what he said was a good price. At first glance, it looked like a nice, well-maintained shotgun.
I always start new shooters with a discussion regarding safety and make sure they understand safety by asking them questions.
We then discuss gun fit, mount and stance. During this discussion, the student mounted his newly acquired shotgun, and I saw why he had gotten such a good deal on it. About 10 inches back from the muzzle, there was a bulge — not a big bulge, but you could see it, and if you ran your fingers up and down the area of the bulge, you could feel it.
I recommended that he take the gun to Bill Nix, a good local gunsmith, so he could assess the damage and tell my student it was or wasn’t safe to fire.
Lesson learned: Always check any ‘good deals’ for possible flaws.
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who teaches American skeet and wingshooting. You can contact Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-803-2393.