Pump vs Semi Auto Tactical Shotgun


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Goochman270
November 5, 2011, 10:20 PM
Looking into getting a new shotgun around Christmas and want to do my homework before-hand. I can't decide between a semi-auto or pump. I have a pump now but wouldn't mind a little more speed. It would be used as a tactical shotgun for shooting 3-gun and defense (not just necessarily home defense). It will be carried in the woods some and be used for turkeys here and there.

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jmr40
November 6, 2011, 12:05 AM
The pump will be more reliable in theory, but the auto will be in practice. Most autos today are very, very reliable unless you feed them junk for ammo. The pumps are more likely to shoot crappy ammo, but rely on the shooter to work the action. You'll actually see more pumps malfunction because of operator error. Autos just keep working and don't rely on the operator to mess up under stress.

The real difference is cost. You can most likely buy 2 or more quality pumps for the price of 1 quality auto.

Stevie-Ray
November 6, 2011, 12:18 AM
I went with a Mossberg 930 SPX. Ultra-reliable thus far and very fast, comfortable, and accurate shooting. Have had it for about a year.

Inebriated
November 6, 2011, 01:26 AM
Doesn't matter. Train with whatever you get, though. I voted pump, since I prefer pump, but there's no real reason not to go the other way. All preference.

2zulu1
November 6, 2011, 01:53 AM
I bought an FNH SLP (8+1) and sold an 870.

Zach S
November 6, 2011, 05:41 AM
Doesn't matter. Train with whatever you get, though. I voted pump, since I prefer pump, but there's no real reason not to go the other way. All preference.
Agreed, training is the key. I prefer a pump because that's what I've had for years.

Unless the shotgun resembles an AK47, I keep trying to pump a semi auto out of habit...

oldguy870
November 6, 2011, 09:42 AM
I shot Benellis for 15 years. I sold them all and bought 870s. I shoot the exact same number of clays, duck, dove, and quail. There is no practical difference in my performance.

Just buy the system you like best. I like the 870 platform because it is simple and easy to clean. I also trust the 870 slightly more than the Benelli M1 / M2. To be fair, the Benelli is very, very reliable. In the end, I just like pump shotguns better. They are more fun to me.

Justin
November 6, 2011, 09:49 AM
If you plan to shoot 3 gun with it, the only division where pump shotguns rule is Heavy Metal.

In all of the other divisions, people run semi-autos mostly Benellis, but the FN SLP is becoming a popular choice.

dprice3844444
November 6, 2011, 10:00 AM
keep it simple,rem 870.other than an occaisonal cleaning,nothing to wear out.semi's have gas rings and other parts that wear out.if they discontinue it,parts can be a problem.rem 870 has been around for decades,and will be around for decades more.besides,pump is lighter to carry.

rbernie
November 6, 2011, 10:09 AM
What's your budget?

Chris Rhines
November 6, 2011, 10:51 AM
If you intend to be competitive in 3-gun shooting, save yourself some pain and get a high-quality semi-auto. Many new 3-gunners start out with a pump gun, but after a few matches they either show up with a semi-auto, or they sink to the bottom of the score list.

I don't know if a shotgun built up for 3-gun will work real well as a field or turkey gun. On the other hand, 3-gun shotguns often have fiber-optic sights and interchangeable choke tubes. Anything else you would need?

-C

Hunterdad
November 6, 2011, 12:46 PM
I have both and practice with both. I run an 870 and a Stoeger 2000 tactical. Both are great guns and have been 100% reliable. Just get whatever you feel comfortable with and the most important thing, what fits you best.

Kendal Black
November 6, 2011, 01:17 PM
I voted semi because you mentioned 3-gun and that is what the 3-gunners seem to be running. I haven't shot any 3-gun myself.

I narrowly prefer the semi, because there is one thing less to do. You line up your shots, press the trigger and push in shells to top up. Not having to cycle the action manually speeds things up a little, by simplifying how many directions you are moving in.

For many uses I think pump and semi are equally useful. The slight difference in speed is often inconsequential.

Something I have found: You must condition yourself to SLAM the pump gun open and SLAM it shut to assure reliability under all circumstances. You will not break it, and trying to baby it along invites a short stroke jam.

mokin
November 6, 2011, 02:20 PM
I would start with a pump. There seems to be little difference in scores among the guys I do three gun with when it comes to pump versus semi-auto. Most of us shoot cheap ammo though and I'm pretty sure that has a lot to do with it. A lot of the semis seem to have a hard time with cheap shells. It comes down to practice more than anything.

Goochman270
November 6, 2011, 10:55 PM
I'm wanting to stick Remington because that's what I shoot now; reliable and easier on the budget. I am wanting the interchangeable choke option and a short (18-22") barrel. Three gun for atleast the next couple of years will be more of a fun practice. I was hoping to get the gun with some extras around for $700. I'm wanting it to last a while.

Ole Humpback
November 7, 2011, 08:56 PM
Depends on what you like. My only two choices are an FN SLP or a M97 Winchester.

Double Naught Spy
November 7, 2011, 10:29 PM
The pump will be more reliable in theory, but the auto will be in practice. Most autos today are very, very reliable unless you feed them junk for ammo.

From what I have seen, the issue isn't so much the quality of the ammo, but the loadings (payloads and pressures) of the ammo that cause problems. A quality manufactured light load may not be sufficient to cycle a given semi, for example. Find the makes and models that work well in your gun and you should be fine.

JohnnyK
November 7, 2011, 10:33 PM
Saiga-12.... rocks @ 3-gun!

Justin
November 8, 2011, 03:02 PM
The Saiga is really only a good choice if your intention is to compete in Open Class.

For someone just starting out in 3 Gun, Open Class is a poor choice because it's easily the most expensive division to compete in, requiring a full-on race gun for the handgun, and an open-class rifle in order to be competitive.

At 99.99% of the 3 Gun matches held, the Saigas are only allowed to compete in Open, and on top of that, many Saigas need extensive after-market modification to be a good choice for 3 Gun.

The Tactical or Limited Divisions are better places to get a start in the sport, as most people already have the equipment needed to compete sitting in their safe.

451 Detonics
November 8, 2011, 09:39 PM
Didn't we just do this in another thread?

The 1100 is the best choice as far as I am concerned. It will do just about everything well and even in open class it will compete equally with the Saiga. The speedloader tubes work very well with practice and the 1100 probably has the most winning record in 3 gun overall. Go With a 26 inch barrel and a 10+1 extension to start and it will be a great gun for hunting as well.

Youngster
November 8, 2011, 10:07 PM
I find pumps more fun to shoot normally, but if the pressure's on and fast, tight shooting is called for, I'd rather have a good semi.

Strykervet
November 8, 2011, 10:30 PM
If you plan to shoot 3 gun with it, the only division where pump shotguns rule is Heavy Metal.

In all of the other divisions, people run semi-autos mostly Benellis, but the FN SLP is becoming a popular choice.
This is true.

Check out "Impossible Shots", look for the exhibition shooter for Mossberg. That guy is amazing, and goes to show the shooter is more important than the shotgun. FWIW, when I get another shotgun, and it will be for 3gun, it will be a Benelli. It was good enough to be the Joint Services Shotgun too. All we used Mossbergs for when I was in was for unlocking doors.

BUT I've heard that gas operated shotguns are less reliable than inertia. Keep that in mind. I remember clearly a LOT of people having problems dove hunting as a kid. Those are pretty light loads, I guess they do better with heavier ones, and one guy was cussing his most sweet A5 like it was junk.

Loosedhorse
November 8, 2011, 10:43 PM
You forgot a poll choice for "both": Benelli M3. If one's not available, I'm happy with an M1 Super 90.

Chris Rhines
November 8, 2011, 10:49 PM
My experiences with the Remington 1100 have been... well, I'll just say I don't recommend them. I've seen too many 1100s hang up and break parts, in too many different matches.

As has been said before, a Saiga automatically puts you into Open division, thanks to the box magazine. Saigas also have a spotty reliability record in the practical games, although a lot of that might be blamed on incompetent home gun-plumbing.

The guys who win the big matches shoot Benellis and FN SLPs.

-C

Robert
November 8, 2011, 10:58 PM
If it were my money I'd get an FN SLP MkI

RNB65
November 8, 2011, 11:00 PM
If it were my money I'd get an FN SLP MkI

I did and I LOVE IT! :)

FIVETWOSEVEN
November 9, 2011, 05:43 PM
I'm suprised to see so many votes for a semi auto that it even passes pumps by a small margin. For tactical reasons, I'm assuming you are either 3 gunning or HD. For HD, a semi fits this role. Nothing to worry about with a modern day semi auto shotgun for HD and since you aren't using birdshot (assuming you actually know why you SHOULD NEVER use birdshot for HD) than you are perfectly fine with Buckshot and Slugs. In 3 gun, going by what everyone else is saying, you'll find out pretty quick that you are hindered by a pump.

RX-178
November 9, 2011, 09:55 PM
The only practical reason to choose a pump action shotgun over a reliable semi-auto is price. Pump actions are some of the least expensive guns on the market, and can cost less than half as much as semi-autos.

If you're willing to spend the extra $$$, I say go for the semi. If you're looking to save some bucks, go with the pump action.

stiletto raggio
November 10, 2011, 09:49 AM
Just picked up an FN SLP MKI for a steal at a local shop. My intent is to use it for Limited competition since the Saiga (which is punished for being obviously superior in concept, if not in quality of initial manufacture) is restricted to Open class. I took a box of mixed buck, bird and slugs for test firing last weekend.

B&P 5/0 buckshot: 10 rounds, no issues
S&B No. 4 buckshot: 10 rounds, 1 issue (my friend shooting, not me)
mixed Federal and Remington promo birdshot: 25 rounds, no issues
3" mag 15 pellet Remington OO buck: 5 rounds, no problems

While this was hardly an exhaustive test, it definitely has me convinced of the reliability of the platform. The one "issue" was due to my friend (who is used to pumps) not thinking the gun had cycled and manually shucking out a round. He insisted that one had not loaded, but there was an unfired round in the chamber, so I call BS.

At any rate, all loads were comfortable except the 3" mag, which I should have changed gas pistons for. The FN comes with one piston for loads under 1.5 ounces, one for over. Recoil was very low. With the birdshot I could literally sit on target and pull the trigger as fast as I could. Very impressed.

I still own a Benelli M1 (my first shotgun) and have owned an M3. My general preference now is for Saigas, but for a conventional autoloader, the SLP is extremely impressive.

Loosedhorse
November 10, 2011, 10:13 AM
The only practical reason to choose a pump action shotgun over a reliable semi-auto is price.Actually, the use of low-recoil SD rounds is another reason. Not all SA shotguns (even the expensive ones) handle light rounds well.

I've seen some tactical SA shotguns even jam with birdshot target loads (for any folks who favor birdshot).

FIVETWOSEVEN
November 10, 2011, 11:29 AM
Dangit, pumps are winning again! :D

Actually, the use of low-recoil SD rounds is another reason. Not all SA shotguns (even the expensive ones) handle light rounds well.

I've seen some tactical SA shotguns even jam with birdshot target loads (for any folks who favor birdshot).

I'm still yet to try low recoil buckshot in my 1100 but birdshot will not function in it with the 21" barrel. Although, the whole low recoil buckshot seems unnecessary with the 100 as it is pretty low recoil then, I only shoot slugs and buck with the shorter barrel and it doesn't seem like too much recoil and all.

Youngster
November 10, 2011, 12:03 PM
Actually, the use of low-recoil SD rounds is another reason. Not all SA shotguns (even the expensive ones) handle light rounds well.

Low recoil rounds aren't really called for in any semi other than the inertial and recoil operated ones IMO.

Anyway, one thing i really like about semis is their ability to easily double tap a single target, not even with a super slick slamfire capable pump are you likely to pull this off as quickly or easily, especially if you're in a less than optimum shooting stance.

USAF_Vet
November 10, 2011, 12:45 PM
You've already got a pump gun, go for a semi-auto.

CoRoMo
November 10, 2011, 12:50 PM
...save yourself some pain and get a high-quality semi-auto.
That.

I prefer semi-auto across the board, for almost all uses except precision riflery for example (that obviously is owned by the bolt action). And especially for any and every single defense purpose, semi-auto only; handgun, rifle, shotgun.

Gunfighter
November 10, 2011, 02:10 PM
You say "not just home defense." If this implies it may ever be used for self defense then you may need it to one day protect your life. Therefor it should be nothing but the best. for what its worth i worked on a catfish farm and we put 870's and 1100's through hell shooting all the fish cranes. The 870's held up much better. The 2 types were hardly ever cleaned. If you practice with the pump you can shoot it just fine without flaw. We sometimes put 100 shells through a gun a day. Over a few years thats a lot! we never did any work on the pumps but the autos stayed in the shop after about a year.They wee dropped in ponds, left in the beds of trucks, rained on, and sometimes run over. The 870's performed flawlessly 100% of the time. While the 1100's would fail to eject shells quite often. However you will not have this problem in competition of course. Im a pump guy.I have not had much experience with other brands so thats why i only talked remington. However, i love my model 12 and my 1897.

Tramadar
November 10, 2011, 11:09 PM
wow as of this post (and my vote) the poll is completly even :/

Zach S
November 11, 2011, 11:00 AM
Low recoil rounds aren't really called for in any semi other than the inertial and recoil operated ones IMO.
Some of us prefer the low-recoil rounds simply because they pattern tighter...

I would rather just use a tighter choke to get better patterns out of full power (and less expensive) buckshot. But Mossberg is too busy hanging all kinds of useless crap on the end of of the bbl to thread the inside of it for something useful...

Loosedhorse
November 11, 2011, 02:43 PM
Anyway, one thing i really like about semis is their ability to easily double tap a single targetThis, because the first 9 pellets of 00 are unlikely to make a difference?

I think we all get that, given the low relative power of most handgun rounds, a double-tap or hammer can make a lot of sense tactically. Not sure I've heard the same about 12 gauge 00.

JPG19
November 11, 2011, 02:56 PM
Semi because you already have a pump.

Kendal Black
November 11, 2011, 02:57 PM
...given the low relative power of most handgun rounds, a double-tap or hammer can make a lot of sense tactically. Not sure I've heard the same about 12 gauge 00.

Thing is, double tapping with a shotgun doubles your pattern density. This can be valuable if shooting beyond optimum distance, if you are in a situation where some pellets flying by the target is not a concern.

Let us say that at distance D your pattern is three feet across. That's what, about seven square feet? So if you put 9 pellets into that space and then 9 more, you go from about 1.3 pellets per sq ft to 2.6 pellets.

Youngster
November 11, 2011, 03:10 PM
This, because the first 9 pellets of 00 are unlikely to make a difference?

I think we all get that, given the low relative power of most handgun rounds, a double-tap or hammer can make a lot of sense tactically. Not sure I've heard the same about 12 gauge 00.

Even with 12 gauge or rifles, more is better, whether you're dealing with a determined gunman, an enraged attacker with a melee weapon or a charging animal. There's nothing to say that your first shot or the second for that matter, will have the desired effect in the desired timeframe.

Besides, its just a lot of fun to practice, BOOMBOOM, two hulls in the air and two heavy payloads on target at a rate just as fast as the pistol and carbine guys can manage.

Loosedhorse
November 11, 2011, 07:43 PM
Besides, its just a lot of fun to practice, BOOMBOOM, two hulls in the airOkay--that part I can understand and agree with! :D

LUCKYDAWG13
November 12, 2011, 11:29 AM
right now im thinking of a house gun to 870 or a side/side

PT92
November 12, 2011, 08:38 PM
I'm not going to get into the proverbial 'pump vs. semi' debate that seems to be on the verge (For the record, I have both and trust both). That being said, I don't use "reduced power" or "low recoil" loads in any of my guns so I use my semi's (either 1187P or Saiga-12) a my go-to tactical shotgun. So my recommendation would be the semi.

-Cheers

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