SLR15 Law Enforcement Shotgun Armorer Course, Leesburg FL


When: March 7-8, 2019

Where: Leesburg, Florida

We conducted a Law Enforcement Shotgun Armorer Course that was hosted that was hosted that was hosted by the Leesburg Police Dept. This was our 3rd time teaching courses at this location, and we look forward to more in the future. The training room offered plenty of table space, decent lighting, and they had a HDTV & projection system that allowed us to show some powerpoint & detailed pics of the weapons systems and parts, especially when looking at finer detail things like machining, stress cracks & wear.

This class was a mix of Law Enforcement Officers from all over Florida.

Shotguns present in this course were a mix of Remington 870's, Mossberg 500/590's, a couple of Benelli MI-90/M2's, and one Officer brought his personal Benelli M4, and another Officer brought a personally owned Smith & Wesson 3000 shotgun that was in almost new condition. 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.

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.

Note: There was a Remington 870, and a Mossberg 590A1 that were missing the spring & detent which locks the barrel onto the magazine tube via that retaining cap. They were supplied the new parts, the proper punch, and made the repairs.

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 showed how the bolts assemblies, slides, action bar assemblies, 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 disassembled, 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, but we covered repair and replacement.

Note: One agency brought 2 Remington 870 Tactical model shotguns that were having feeding issues. Upon inspection, they were found to have sport type shotgun magazine springs and these were very weak. We supplied them with new Wolff springs, which cured the issue they were having.

Note: Another agency brought 3 Mossberg 500's that were having issues where shells would fall out of the magazine tube, past the shell latches, when Officers were driving around town. Upon inspection these shotguns were found to be extremely dirty with a heavy fouling, along with very weak and rusted magazine springs. The forend assemblies were also loose, which were reindexed and tightened down. The Officers who brought them did a major cleaning, and once cleaned we gave them new Wolff magazine tube springs, which seemed to have taken care of the problem.

Day-2 started with a review of day-1. We then 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: One agency brought a couple of shorty Mossberg 590's that they had been having issues of cycling the action. Upon inspection the shell latches were showing peening damage where they make contact with the timing cuts on the action bars. The Officer who brought them got in contact with Mossberg, and had already had a few replaced due to what Mossberg said was improper hardening.

Note: Several Surefire forends were found to be misaligned and loose, which is something we see often due to whoever the installer was used the flat piece of steel that came with the light system doesn't work well for proper installation and indexing. It is our recommendation that Armorers obtain a proper forend wrench. Several of the shotguns had been experiencing feeding or binding issues. Once the forends were properly installed and tightened, magically all of them started working correctly with no binding. This is why we recommend that Shotgun Armorer need to have a forend wrench, as the flat pieces of metal that comes with many of the aftermarket forends doesn't do a good job.

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.

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.

Note: One Officer brought a Remington 870 that the trigger group had been jammed into the front of the receiver upon someone removing trying to remove it that didn't know what they were doing. Upon inspection of the trigger group, it had a cracked action bar lock. He was advised that he should replace the entire trigger group assembly, which he took the advice and ordered a new one.

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: Three of the Remington 870's in class had loose ejector springs. This gave everyone the opportunity to see a hands on repair, as we provided the Officers the tools, and they got things tightened up and readjusted.

The 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
Barrel inspections
Fore-end assembly & action bars
Bolt assembly (extraction & spring, firing pin, retractor spring, flexitab cuts)
Ejector inspection, repair & replacement
Slide assembly inspection
Stem adjustments
Hook Space
Magazine spring, retainer & followers
Shell latches, inspections, adjustment & replacement
Custom accessories & enhancements

Greg Sullivan "Sully"
SLR15 Rifles
(763) 712-0123