Unexpected Shotgun Mishaps

A 6 Part Series on the Fine Print Reasons You Should Properly Insure Your Shotguns

The sun is peering in through a small window and casting a warm light across the wooden floors. You can hear the rustling of crunching leaves and hushed whispers outside – the sleepy campsite will soon be bustling. You close your eyes and embrace the calmness for a few more seconds then, with a deep breath, swing your legs out of the bunk bed and grab your boots. You are greeted with the smell of fresh coffee and friendly “good mornings” as you walk out of your cabin. It’s the first duck hunt of the season and there is a buzz of excitement throughout camp.

After an early morning hunt, you return to camp to grab some lunch. The sun is shining high and the brisk fall temperatures are making for the ideal day. One of the more seasoned hunters offers to bring out his automatic trap thrower for a friendly competition. Eagerly, a group grabs their shotguns, ammo, and clay targets. While you know you’re not as skilled as the others, you’re excited to join the fun. The first few shooters are very skilled and you feel a little bit intimated to follow – but will welcome any tips.

The machine launches the first pigeon and you fire – close, but not quite. After a few pointers, the second pigeon flies – a direct hit! A sense of pride and excitement wash over you. The afternoon continues and you’re feeling like a pro. You decide to take a short break and put your shotgun on the rack. The whoops and hollers from the group make it hard to stay away for long. You return to the excitement ready for another round.

As you’re grabbing your 12 gauge, a younger hunter hands you your ammo pouch and boasts that he reloaded it while you were away. He looked proud and you can tell he’s eager to be a part of the sport. You smile and nod, then resume your place in the field. You hear the whoosh of the machine and line up your shot. DIRECT HIT! Nothing beats that feeling. Two more shots and you’re three for three.

Feeling that you’re on a hot streak, you open the chamber to inspect and can see it is empty. You grab a fresh round and prepare for your fourth success. Once you’ve found your shot – you pull the trigger. In an instant, the barrel splits from the chamber, the aluminum receiver shatters, and the mag tube is completely destroyed!

As you can imagine, the rest of the day is spent in the hospital treating burns on your arm and face….

Back at camp, after a little investigating, they discover that the third round in your ammo pouch was a 20-gauge. And because it was the wrong size, instead of sticking on the extractor hook, it became stuck in the barrel and obstructed the chamber, causing the explosion. Feeding your gun the wrong shell is a recipe for disaster. It was obvious the youngster who re-loaded your pouch made a dangerous mistake.

Does this sound unbelievable? Sadly, this situation occurs much more often than you think. Gun and Trophy Insurance knows these bizarre occurrences are common enough to include coverage for them in their policy. We will pay up to $5,000 for the loss of your covered firearm caused by the bending, bulging, twisting, cracking, breaking or blowing up of the barrel, which occurs when the gun is fired.

Our policies were created by gun owners and crafted to provide the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest price. Our customers save up to 75% when moving from competitor policies. Take a few minutes and learn about our blanket policies. You can get $20k of blanket coverage for just $130 per year with a $500 deductible.

Are you interested in a more extensive plan? We also offer our Premier Policy, which is designed to address the more complex needs of shooting enthusiasts. We recommend either the Silver or Gold blanket policies if you do not have trophies and if your collection is valued under $48,000. Note, these options also are best for when your single guns and accessories are valued under $10,000, or if you prefer not to schedule guns on your policy.

Whether you’re a hunter, sportsman, competitor, collector, or all of the above – we have coverage plans to meet your needs. Visit our website to learn more and stay tuned for more shotgun owner mishaps.

Written by Cole Cushman



Cole Cushman found his passion for hunting at just 11 years old. His extensive gun collection can be traced back to when he received his first rifle at 15, a Browning medallion 7mm. In 2007, Cole decided to merge his personal love for hunting with his professional career in finance by starting Gun & Trophy Insurance.