semi-automatic vs. pump for home defense?

This is a discussion on semi-automatic vs. pump for home defense? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hi all, I would assume that for actual firing, that a semi-automatic shotgun would be superior to a pump, based on the ability to deliver ...

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Thread: semi-automatic vs. pump for home defense?

  1. #1
    New Member Array Joe Weinstein's Avatar
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    semi-automatic vs. pump for home defense?

    Hi all,
    I would assume that for actual firing, that a semi-automatic
    shotgun would be superior to a pump, based on the ability to
    deliver followup shots as necessary. I *guess* that the reliability
    of a high-quality gun such as the 1187 or Benelli M series would
    make reliability moot. How far off-base am I?
    Second question: I know/think that at defensive ranges, there
    is essentially zero spread of the shot, so accurate aim is still
    necessary. Is there a flashlight attachment whose beam has
    enough of a bright center to suit as a target indicator? Lasers
    seem very good indoors... Do flashlights work well in concert
    with lasers, or do they wash the laser spot out?

    Thanks in advance,
    Joe

    ( I would have expected this to be covered but a search
    didn't find it...)

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Personally I like a pump. As for lights and lasers, I can't make any judgements as I have little to no experience with them.
    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out." British Prime Minister Tony Blair

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Weinstein View Post
    Hi all,
    I would assume that for actual firing, that a semi-automatic
    shotgun would be superior to a pump, based on the ability to
    deliver followup shots as necessary. I *guess* that the reliability
    of a high-quality gun such as the 1187 or Benelli M series would
    make reliability moot. How far off-base am I?
    Second question: I know/think that at defensive ranges, there
    is essentially zero spread of the shot, so accurate aim is still
    necessary. Is there a flashlight attachment whose beam has
    enough of a bright center to suit as a target indicator? Lasers
    seem very good indoors... Do flashlights work well in concert
    with lasers, or do they wash the laser spot out?

    Thanks in advance,
    Joe

    ( I would have expected this to be covered but a search
    didn't find it...)
    When considering an semi auto, quality is the key. Both the 1187 and Benelli are fine choices. Semi's shoot a little softer due to the action soaking up some of the recoil.
    Problems with the semi autos is you have to take care of them. A dirty gun will not function correctly. You dont have as many choices in ammo, a pump gun will feed anything and everything even the specialty or novelty ammo. Expense is a factor too. You can buy two or three 870's at the cost of one Benelli, but they sure are nice.
    Mounting a flashlight on a shotgun is a good idea, laser is a waste of money. I always say the lasers are a waste of money, but its even more so on a shotgun. You are not looking for pinpoint accuracy, its speed and COM. For home defense work, simple is good. I prefer the simple bead sights, ghost rings are my second choice. Its all about speed witha shotgun at close ranges. The bead is the fastest sight you can use, just ask any bird hunter.
    I have semi auto's for bird hunting, but I still prefer the trusty 870 for home defense. Whatever you decide, buy a quality gun and you will be happy.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  5. #4
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    Both are completely acceptable. You seem to have avoided the major shotgun myths ("I don't even have to aim it" and "the semi-auto is unreliable" being two) so I think you're well on your way to making an informed choice.

    Pros for the semi: Less perceived recoil, (generally) faster follow up shots, no chance of short-stroking, one handed operation is much easier, and so on.

    Pros for the pump: less chance for mechanical failure (though it's very low in a quality semi, too), more available ammo choices, and the "all evil immediately craps its pants and flees in terror at the mere sound of the slide being manipulated" factor (can you tell I don't put much stock in that "effect?" I'd rather have the extra round of ammo, personally).

    As for lights - Surefire makes a dedicated forend for several popular shotguns that contain the light and the contols - we use them on many of our issue Rem 870Ps. They work pretty well; the lights are bright and durable, they are very close to point of impact, and the controls are easy to manipulate. Good luck in your search!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    New Member Array jhoward's Avatar
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    My wife and I started out with a Remington 870 12g. pump,but her being a left-hander,with got a Mossberg 590A1(top operated safety)...That was all before we met Mr. Hans Vang!
    We now own his/hers model Remington 870 police magnums built by Mr. Vang.
    Hers includes a "lefty" safety and youth stock.
    They both have Surefire lighted forends,which(as mentioned in a previous post) are durable,easy to operate and BRIGHT!
    With training we are approaching semi-auto speeds as far as reloads/follow-up shots, and are discovering just how versatile a shot gun is.
    Why a pump?...It speaks a universal language!(when rackin' a round in)...one which we hope will give the BG pause...
    DVC
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    I love semi's and enjoyed a Browning 1100 way back, I think that was the model.

    But as has been said, the small ''edge'' maybe, of reliability with the pump, would be something I'd hang on to.

    My 870 is super fast if needed - and fits the bill just fine


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    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    I'm a semi guy, chose the Benelli M1S90 after hunting ducks/geese with it's big brother the SBE.

    I think with a quality well maintained auto reliability is a non issue. Neither of my Benelli's have ever choked, but my old 11-87 hasn't either.

    The one thing I will caution folks about is choosing a pump and then not training with it. I've taken a couple of tactical shotgun classes, and have seen quite a few short-shucked pumps by folks that hadn't spent some time with their guns.

    I like the M3X that I use on my gun Vs. the dedicated light forend, because it's easily removed for training, or swapped to a different gun. It's also very light and at 65 Lumens gets the job done. At house distance the pattern is a little low of center light beam.

    Chuck
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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    I love semi's and enjoyed a Browning 1100 way back, I think that was the model.

    But as has been said, the small ''edge'' maybe, of reliability with the pump, would be something I'd hang on to.

    My 870 is super fast if needed - and fits the bill just fine


    I enjoy that pic everytime you post it because that bad boy still has wood on it, like mine. What type of mag tube do you have on it?
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    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    I've had may semi auto's handed down to me from my Grandfather, maybe 16 total that I got and I honestly can't remember when one jammed or failed in any way over thousands and thousands of rds with several being 40-50 years old. A bead site is super fast true but much less accurate when in a hurry, bird hunting requires only a few BB's that need to hit the bird, real life BG's need a few more than that and placed well. Rifled sites is the best choice for me that I have used for this, big difference between the two IMO at a distance.

    A *mounted* light is a good choice but the laser is not for me as well, no need for them from any of the training classes I've taken and really the light is optional as well. Same with night sites, really no need for them I have found also, I actually found I performed better without them than with them due to wanting to line up the site and taking that extra time that you may or may not have. I am not saying there is anything wrong with any of it just that in field testing several options I was surprised at the result, less really is more.


    Ti
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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    I think it comes down to cost, really. At least, it did for me. With training, a pump-action can be nearly as fast as a semi-auto, but costs far far less.

    If you are planning to spend a thousand dollars or more on this, I would go semi, just for the added convenience. But, it you're budget minded, like I was, pump is the way to go.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ti Carry View Post
    A bead site is super fast true but much less accurate when in a hurry, bird hunting requires only a few BB's that need to hit the bird, real life BG's need a few more than that and placed well. Rifled sites is the best choice for me that I have used for this, big difference between the two IMO at a distance.
    Thats kind of true...in a way. I'll put a standard bead sight up against a rifle sight any day, in both speed and accuracy out to about 25yds.
    I dont want to start a pee pee match, thats just my experiance.
    It might not take the entire load to knock down a bird, but I am also shooting a much wider choke with a completly different load than I would be for self defense. S/D loads should stay tight for lots of reasons, and bird shot you want more spread.
    Back to the topic.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    A pump is so reliable that other than a double, it is the surest repeater there is.
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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Get and use whateaver your budget and preferances dictate , you will be well served by either an auto or a pump .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obxned View Post
    A pump is so reliable that other than a double, it is the surest repeater there is.
    I dunno.

    The pump action itself may have a slight edge over an auto, but when the human element is added that slight edge may well favor the auto.

    Case in point, I've taken a couple tactical shotgun classes. During those classes, I saw more jams with pumps than I did autos. It seemed like it was always the shooters fault, but the result was the same, a jammed gun.

    Granted, this is a very small sample. But one thing I did notice was that the brand new folks, and there were several, that were handed a loaded auto could manage to pull the trigger till the gun was empty.

    The ones with pumps, either got excited and short shucked, or failed to remember to cycle the action.

    Chuck
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    I Have Plenty Of Pistols...

    But for the first few through the door...I have my 'reworked', nickel coach gun...short...12ga...and it never jams...
    Before someone can get up...or recover from the sound, I can have two more already to go in about 2-3 seconds...

    If one in intemidated by the 'racking' sound, then that individual will surely be taken aback by the sight of two huge barrels starin' at 'em...

    OMO...your opinion may vary!

    Stay armed...stay safe!

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