How to Install a Shotgun Plug

How to Install a Shotgun Plug

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Most states have a limit on how many shotgun shells can be carried inside the weapon's magazine tube. These limits are designed to level the playing field for game animals, and encourage good marksmanship. To ensure that these limits are adhered to, most states require shotguns to have a plastic or wooden plug installed inside the magazine tube. The plug physically prevents more shells from being carried than the limit allows.

Items you will need

  • Shotgun

  • Shotgun plug

  • Shotgun shells

Unload the shotgun and clear the work area of any ammunition.

Disassemble the shotgun. Every model has a different take-down procedure, so refer to your user's manual.

Turn the cap on the end of the magazine tube counterclockwise until it releases.

Point the tube toward the ground; shake or tap from the base. This loosens the plastic or wooden plug.

Grab the tip of the plug with your your fingers once it is exposed. Pull straight out. The plug normally falls free from the tube.

Insert the new plug into the hole in the magazine tube.

Push the plug firmly into the tube until it's flush with the tube's top.

Replace the cap on the end of the tube. Turn the cap clockwise until it's tight.

Reassemble the shotgun.

Insert shells into the magazine tube until no more will fit. The number of shells must be within the legal limit for your area.


  • Select a plug that is specifically designed for your model of shotgun; parts do vary.
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