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Which more likely - pump short stroke or semi malfunction?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by 70extreme, Dec 8, 2010.

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  1. 70extreme

    70extreme Member

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    Let say you took two equally well trained people:

    One with a Remington 870 HD
    One with a Benelli M2 or FN SLP Mark 1

    You wake them up at 2:00am and add the dynamic deadly stress of a home invasion.

    Which is more likely to occur? The semi auto malfunctioning or the pump guy short shucking his 870?

    To me, this is the essence of the pump vs. semi auto debate.
     
  2. krazykeny

    krazykeny Member

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    The semi-auto would be less dependable.
    The same reason many choose a revolver rather than a semi-auto pistol.



    .
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That must be the reason every military in the world uses semi-auto/full auto weapons then?

    Personally, I have been able to short-stroke a pump more then once in a cramped duck blind.

    I do have an A-5 Browning semi-auto I have hunted with in every conceivable weather condition for 40 years.
    It has never failed to function perfectly, even once.

    Todays semi-auto shotguns from any of several quality name brand manufactures are so reliable as it to be a non-issue in selecting one action type over another.

    Pick the one you want, feed it good quality ammo, clean it occasionally, and it will work.

    rc
     
  4. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Member

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    I have used a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge of 1 flavor or another for almost 20 years, as well as a Browning Silver Hunter 12 gauge (semi-auto) for the last 5 years.

    In thousands of rounds with both guns, the Browning has never malfunctioned, and I've short-stroked the 870 exactly 2 times, and that was in the same string of shooting a mag tube full of 3" slugs. And that was with a brand-new 870 Marine, not a well-worn old slicked-up 870.

    So I have a lot of confidence in well-made semi-autos, as well as my abilities with an 870. But the 870 is my primary go-to shotgun. I can run it with my eyes closed. If a semi-auto malfunctions in some way, how likely are you to fix the problem quickly? If you short-stroke the pump and get a "click", just pump it again (harder this time) and that should fix the problem. Sort of like pulling the trigger again on a revolver to rotate to the next round, versus "tap, rack, bang" on a semi-auto handgun.

    A short-stroke is 100% a user error. Practice, familiarity with the gun, and thousands of rounds cycled through the action should greatly reduce the chances of this happening. As Lee Lapin said in another post, "shoot it till you know it like your tongue knows your teeth".
     
  5. hardworker

    hardworker Member

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    not trusting a modern semi is like not trusting a glock. you may not like them, but the writing is on the wall. they work. the notion that a modern semi isn't as reliable as a pump needs to die.
     
  6. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    If I had to bet, I'd say the semi will do better than the pump. Given a well trained individual it likely won't be an issue either way, but with a less well trained individual I've seen a lot more short stroking of pumps than I've seen reliability issues with modern semis.
     
  7. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    I'd go with the semi, I've seen a LOT more pumps short stroked than semis jam, and most of the time clearing a semi stoppage was just a matter of cycling the bolt.

    IMO pumps only have a reliability advantage over a quality modern semi when you're talking about long periods without cleaning or harsh environmental exposure.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    During my career in LE, my constant companion when working in Patrol was a Remington 870. I even bought my personal 870 (surplus Seattle PD gun) so that I could tweak it to work best for my situation. It wouldn't have been my personal first choice....I like the Ithaca 37 better and thought the S&W a better choice also.

    When I retired, I sold the 870 to a young high speed/low drag guy coming out of the academy and went looking for a semi-auto for myself. After a lot of research, I settled on the FN SLP (the shorter one with the ghost ring sights).

    It has been my experience, in LE and teaching, that the semi-auto is less likely to malfunction in the hands of most shooters. While the pump action shotgun is very simple (only surpassed by the S/S or O/U), it has a steep learning curve...especially when used at speed or under any kind of stress. With training and a lot of practice, the ability of a shooter to reliably run a pump action shotgun will equal that of the semi-auto shooter. With skill and natural talent, I've seen a pump action run faster than a semi-auto...but that would be a level I have neither the time nor talent to attain.

    FWIW: between the 870 and the SLP, I felt very secure with my Rossi SxS with exposed hammers and dual triggers
     
  9. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    I'd say there’s a greater chance of human error over mechanical failure, as long as the semi is of reasonable quality.
     
  10. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    This:

    might or might not be true, but it doesn't begin to answer the question.

    You have to ask: how dependable is the operator? I have seen far more short-shucked pumps than malf'ing semis in training classes.
     
  11. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    If I were standing between an 870 and an SLP, as long as they were pointed at the threat and not at me, I'd feel secure enough to put down the Rossi and have a smoke! ;) :D
     
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The semi auto will be more dependable in this situation. The pump would be more likely to work abused, or with dirty or out of spec ammo.
     
  13. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Eight years shooting and administering 3-Gun competition tells me that even a practiced shooter will cause malfunctions in a pump more often than a M1/2S90 will malfunction.
     
  14. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    I have been shooting pump guns for over thirty years, and i have never short stroked any of them. I have never had a pump gun fail in the field, but have had auto's jam on several occasions. Even temperatures can affect a load enough to cause it to jam in a semi. Whenever you ask questions on these forums you are bound to get plenty of replies from people that don't know squat about a shotgun other than what they have heard from someone else who didn't know squat about shotguns. A pump gun is the most dependable of the two in that it alone will digest any load with no regard to temperature or other conditions. By the way i have never, ever seen a companion short stroke a pump in the field either regardless of what we were hunting ...also in over thirty years. I guess some people just don't know enough about manual repeaters to manipulate them.
     
  15. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    Gas operated? Fatal flaw, counting on a gas system is as bad as using manpower to cycle a shotgun.
     
  16. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    hmmmm, what is more likely ... human error or mechanical error?

    I'd vote "human error" every time, unless you are talking about some really gawd aweful mechanical system ... and then it's still human error on the part of the boob that designed (or maintained) it.
     
  17. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    Gas and recoil operated. I have learned a lot about guns while hunting. I have had semi autos that would not cycle certain ammo under certain conditions, and on several occasions over the years i have had them fail to cycle due to small limbs brushing the cocking lever/bolt. I think of these things when thinking about sd guns. What if under certain circumstances a curtain caused a jam? or perhaps a coat hanging on a rack? Some might ask "but what if your in a position that does not allow easy manipulation of the slide? To that i would say "hey i am the one with the shotgun! i won't be hiding in the closet." The pump is the better gun.

    Again, in over thirty years i have never short cycled a shotgun nor have i ever witnessed it. I could not count the number of shotgunners i have hunted with over the years. I had to search the net to find people whom have done this, and what i found was people (mainly kids) that are not familiar with shotguns or guns at all. Even when learning to shoot as a kid i never experienced this practice. To any one that thinks this would be a problem i would say they just need to learn how to shoot and use a firearm properly.
     
  18. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    To see evidence to the contrary, one only has to show up to a few 3-Gun matches where people are shooting pumps.
     
  19. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    I, too, have seen competitors at 3gun matches short-stroke pump shotguns. It happens.

    Yeah, semi-autos can be more finicky and prone to jamming but only if you don't do your due diligence and function test the ammunition you plan to use ahead of time.
     
  20. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    I suppose when one is playing games, and changing actions...one could get confused.
     
  21. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    The problem with this is that some folks don't or wont realize that the ammo they tested on a cool September day might not cycle the action on a freezing cold January night. I will say that with buckshot and slugs i have never had a failure to cycle due to temperature, but some folks actually buy that cheap bird shot and plan to use it for home defense.
     
  22. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Not sure what you mean exactly-- "changing actions" ? You compete with a shotgun, a rifle, and a pistol. If shooting regularly with the two other main types of handheld weapons is going to screw up the ability to operate a pump shotgun properly, that's a pretty good argument against them.

    Is there a vague slam against competition in there too? I have guys who bring their "Hunt'n" shotgun to matches and they regularly have problems. And the guys who said, "It worked just fine last weekend when I shot five rounds." Shooting high round count stages under stress exposes training and equipment faults much more readily than recreational shooting and hunting.
     
  23. 70extreme

    70extreme Member

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    Zak makes excellent points. Under the stress of competition, pump guns see more failure. He has the experience from his years of observing probably hundreds and hundreds of shooters. It is logical to assume that the pressure of real life or death situations would increase this stress. Therefore, one could assume an equal or greater amount of malfunctions with a pump.

    Although speed isn't my main concern, I don't agree with those who say the pump gun is faster. It just doesn't square with measurable reality. Proof:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2QPvuEk5dg


    It is settled in my mind. In my opinion, a human being under deadly stress will havd a greater likelihood of failure with a pump than with a properly maintained M1/M2/FN SLP with proper ammo.
     
  24. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    No, didn't mean for it to sound that way. I enjoy busting clays (or playing shotgun games) but i mainly use shotguns for hunting, and never competed. I just don't see how someone familiar with any self manipulated action could short cycle it unless there is some confusion when using different guns, but again i never have, and have never been in the company of one whom has.

    In my experiences the pump is the most reliable of the two. I am also one whom thinks the revolver is more reliable than the semi auto pistol, but still i carry an semi for the same reason the military does...capacity.
     
  25. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    It's odd that some people short stroke a pump under stress. I tend to work actions harder when I'm fired up. Not saying it doesn't happen, just seems odd. Is it a matter of fatigue occurring after the first shot of adrenalin wears off?

    The reliability debate of pump v. auto will probably go on forever. I'm sure a top end auto is probably as reliable as a pump gun, but those top end autos are pricey. I can buy a good pump for half (less) the cost of a good auto. I'm not convinced on staking my life on a $500-$600 auto.

    Also, I like how a pump will cycle anything I feed it. Even if I want to use 2" loads to pack more in a mag. I also know a pump will still fire after I tumble headfirst down a muddy hill (which has happened more than I'm proud of).
     
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