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Old 03-29-2020, 04:29 PM
Airborne423 Airborne423 is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Default Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.

My question for any and all of you Stoeger shotgun experts.
I own a Stoeger 20 gauge, 18 inch double barrel shotgun. It has been loaded for at least 25 years. What are the chanches of it not firing because of the time, and possibly a weak spring now? This shotgun has never been fired. I live in the City, and there are very few firearm Ranges that will allow someone to fire a shotgun.
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:32 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Why don’t you unload it and see if it will dry fire? If so, then simply re-load with fresh shells?
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:46 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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I don't know how comfortable you are around firearms and ammunition if the 20 gauge hasn't been fired in 20 years, so I am somewhat reluctant to make this suggestion. You have to decide.

First, follow the advice to just dry fire. A couple of loud clicks should indicate the firing pins are free and working. If no clicks, use solvent to dissolve the old oil or grease or other crud that is gumming up the works. You may have to remove the stock to get to the guts of the action. There is a bolt under the butt plate that holds it to the action.

To make certain, here's what to do next. IF and ONLY IF you are comfortable with it and have a reasonably secure environment so the noise won't upset your neighbors.

Cut a couple of shells open so that the shot and ALL the powder are emptied out. Then you can fire the shells. There will be a loud POP, but nothing like a charged shell. If both the primers fire, you are good to go.

Last edited by Inusuit; 03-29-2020 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:46 PM
Airborne423 Airborne423 is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Default Stoeger shotgun

Thank you all for your advice. Another reason too, I was looking for someone out there who had a Stoeger shotgun, and it did not fail, or did fail to function, after being loaded and stored away for years. Asking for opinions too on the quality of their Stoeger owned double barrel 18 to 18 1/2 inch shotgun?

Last edited by Airborne423; 04-06-2020 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Added on wanted information.
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:51 PM
cyphertext cyphertext is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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So, now I am curious. Can you play like Paul Harvey and give us the rest of the story?

How did this shotgun sit loaded and unfired for 25 years? Did it belong to a parent? Or was it just your home defense gun that sat in the closet and was forgotten?
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:07 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Late answer, but if the gun was stored in a climate controlled environment and not filled with heavy grease it will almost certainly fire with fresh shells. The springs in the action probably will not have taken a "set", even in 20 years.

Another way you can test it would be to put a piece of paper or cardboard of correct diameter and thickness where the rim of the shell sits, and dry fire. If both firing pins put deep dents or holes in the paper you are probably good to go.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:17 PM
rosewood rosewood is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Man, I have guns that have been in the safe longer than that and have not been shot. 25 years is days for the life of a firearm. Wouldn't hesitate to break them out and shoot anytime. I have some 45 ACP hardball in military cans that is dated from 1974 and some even earlier. Have been through numerous boxes and they shoot better than the new made fodder.


If you want to check the firing pin, drop a dowel rod or something into the barrel and dry fire, as long as the rod is sitting over the firing pin hole, it should jump and or come out. That will tell you if the firing pin is working or not. This works well in pistols and rifles, may have to rig something up for the shotgun, wouldn't use a 20 gauge full size dowel though, may be too heavy. Need something light and not too hard that would damage the firing pin.

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Old 04-06-2020, 01:40 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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As long as the firearm was kept in a cool, dry place, the shells should be fine. Furthermore, springs setting might as well be an urban legend. Springs don't wear out from being compressed for too long, they were out with use from being compressed and decompressed continuously over a period of time. Yes, they can become slightly shorter in OAL from being compressed for a very very long time, but it typically isn't enough to compromise reliability, and even if it does, you can easily fix it by removing the spring the stretching it out a bit until you can replace it.

Folks seem to take for granted the fact that springs are in a wide variety of things from ballpoint pens to automobiles, but nobody worries about those springs setting or getting worn out just by being left unattended for extended periods of time.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:59 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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The gun as described will most certainly fire the ammo that’s in it, or any other 20 ga ammo you have or acquire.

Stoeger makes reliable, no-nonsense guns.

They’re not beautiful, they’re not collectable and they’re not ‘best’ guns, but they work just fine.

Last edited by Rpg; 04-06-2020 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:08 PM
Pisgah Pisgah is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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My bet -- if three ammo's good and the gun's not rusted solid, it will fire. I would not recommend dry firing without snap caps. Unlike most centerfire firearms, many double barreled shotguns have firing pins that can easily be damaged by dry firing. There's a reason many old, cased doubles came with spare firing pins. Some modern doubles, like the Ruger, are safe to dry fire because they've been designed to be safe, but Stoeger has sold many different shotguns of various makes and varying quality through the years, and there's no telling what yours is. One dry fire could break the pins.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:56 PM
gmarshall99 gmarshall99 is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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My Stoeger coach gun (side by side) in 12 ga has been very reliable. I would not hesitate to fire it after sitting for 25 years unless it was stored in a very humid environment like a damp musty basement.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:21 PM
Drm50 Drm50 is online now
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Cut the end off shells and dump shot and powder. Stick back in gun and pull the trigger. Will just make a small pop but point at ground or in trash can. Small pieces of material can fly from primer.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:25 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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I've got a 35 year oldish stoeger .410 double that still looks and functions like new. 25 years is not long in gun years
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:12 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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My gun is 173 years old:



Springs are all still just fine.

Your Stoeger almost certainly is too.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:17 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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What's the big deal. You live in Chicago. Just test fire it in the street. Nobody will even notice.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:53 PM
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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I have .38 target loads I loaded longer ago than that. I have no hesitation to fire. I bought a 20 ga SKB Mod 500 O/U that came with 17 shells which were the remainder of the only box of shells the original owner purchased. I wouldn't hesitate to take them bird hunting.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:10 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Just to be a wee bit picky, does the shotgun in question have one or two triggers? Can you select which barrel fires first?

If you've got two triggers, the tests above should prove if the firing pin springs/hammer springs are still good. If the firing system has inertial mechanisms to enable the second barrel, the primers aren't enough to set the second firing mechanism. In that case, you'd have to test one barrel, break the shotgun to cock the hammers, select the other barrel to fire first and then test that barrel.

Leaving the gun cocked and loaded for 25 years certainly isn't best practice.

Last edited by WR Moore; 04-06-2020 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:19 PM
Airborne423 Airborne423 is offline
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Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years. Stoeger 18 inch, 20 gauge shotgun loaded for 25 years.  
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Thank you all for your input.
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