Pump vs Double barrel shotgun for all round use.

Pump vs Double barrel shotgun for all round use.

This is a discussion on Pump vs Double barrel shotgun for all round use. within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; One thing that stands out as an advantage of the double barrel is the quick second shot, and the length advantage, usually shorter and more ...

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Thread: Pump vs Double barrel shotgun for all round use.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Pump vs Double barrel shotgun for all round use.

    One thing that stands out as an advantage of the double barrel is the quick second shot, and the length advantage, usually shorter and more handy.

    Assuming both can be fitted with different chokes, or none at all, what would be the reasons one would choose one over the other, if it was to be the only shotgun one would own.

    Please discuss in terms of versatility, and not confine it to the defensive aspects, but that should be considered also.
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    Senior Member Array Dougb's Avatar
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    Been to the third shot many times. If I miss twice, I am going to miss three times. But that is bird hunting or clays.
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    I still have my old double barrel 410. Love that gun. Killed a ton of rabbits, crows and pretty much anything else that moved when I was a teen. I appreciated having a second shot. The free shotgun my dad started me on was a single shot.

    Comparing the time difference between 2 shots from a double barrel vs pump you would need a pretty sensitive stop watch. I can fire off 2 rounds almost as fast with a pump as I can the double barrel, and of course there is the greater shell capacity. I hunted with a pump shotgun for years then when I had $ burning a hole in my pocket I got a light a Browning semi auto shotgun. You would still need the stopwatch to see much difference between the Browning and the pump. You shoot a pump enough and it is about as fast as anything.

    Now I have a pump for self defense (short barrel) and I have no worries about getting enough lead down the hallway. I still have that old double barrel 410. Wouldn't part with it for anything but my short barreled pump (Mossy) is my go to for home defense. I traded the Browning for other guns when I could no longer get out and hunt.
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    G-Man both have their strongponts. I really like SxS doubles particularly for upland bird hunting and yes sporting clays! I never warmed up to O&U's. A Stoeger Coach Gun makes a very compact & handy H/D scattergun. I don't have anything against pumps and I own a couple in 12 & 20 ga. When I go quail hunting I prefer my English straight stock Browning BSS SxS 20 ga it is a joy to carry and shoot! To me it is like a fine cigar or aged Bourbon. The Mossberg 500 12 ga I have OTOH, feels more like a clunky piece of lumber. The older Ithaca Mod 37's and Winchester 1200's feel better but nothing like a fine SxS double. As I get older the wide sighting plane of a nice double is easier to track on moving birds vs. the single barrel plane of a pump. Just my .02 worth
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    Retracted. Didn't read title close enough
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    Member Array wizard7mm08's Avatar
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    For all around use, I'm reaching for a 12g pump. Mossberg 500 specifically, since I prefer tang safeties and like having the action release behind the trigger guard. For hunting, you can't go wrong with having extra shells should the first two fail to connect, granted you only get one more when dropping migratory birds. A simple swapping of the ribbed barrel for a rib-less 18" allows it to take on social problems with ease. It just seems far more practical to have a pump for tactical use, and it is convenient for hunting.

    That being said, I love side by sides. I have often walked public timberland trails up north for grouse, woodcock, and squirrel with a Rossi Overland in my hands. Before I had won a Winchester SXP Marine Defender, the Overland was loaded with 00 and deemed the house gun. The only two reasons the Overland lost that role was because the left firing pin broke and that SXP is too gaudy to be taken out in public. I have a firing pin for the gun now and intend on replacing it soon. I'd also like to own a blued Stoeger Supreme in 20g. Hell, I even considered the Double Defense SxS in 20g once upon a time. If my resources were near unlimited, I'd certainly have one for some super specific role. Thank God I'm not limited to one shotgun and since I don't believe in selling guns, I never will be.

    There is something nostalgic about a SxS and a Blackhawk in a leather crossdraw going for a walk. And I like that.
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    Member Array orangeman79's Avatar
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    I have a 12 ga Stoeger Coach. Versatile, lightweight, 20 inch barrel, and easy enough for my wife to operate if she needed to. Plus I love the walnut. It's a pretty gun.

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    For defense, the biggest issue with a double is that most are not drop safe. Therefore, you cannot safely store them loaded. I would only consider one that either is drop safe (don't know of any) or that has external hammers. Of course, you can keep the chambers loaded and the gun open, too. I have kids at home, so that isn't a practical way to store it in the safe.

    I have an NEF single shot with an external hammer that is kept at times in the underfloor compartment of our SUV. The barrel was cut to 18.5" and it fits. With Aguila Mini buck shells (mix of #1 and #4 buck) it holds 10 shells in the butt cuff. Nice truck gun. And since it is unloaded, it is legal just about everywhere.

    Doubles have some unique advantages. Can be taken apart into a very compact package. Can load the two barrels with different loads, and if you have dual triggers you can choose the appropriate one for the situation very easily. And with practice, they can be reloaded surprisingly quickly.

    Especially if you also have a sidearm, a double will do just fine.
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    All around use, pump. But a nice double is hard to argue against.
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    Distinguished Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Out of 15 shotguns, 3 are SxS and 1 pump (rest are O/Us & semis).

    For me it really depends on the type of hunting. I like doubles on flushing birds, more instinctive/reflexive shooting (the big blob of barrels is hard to miss), but prefer a single barrel (usually an O/U) for crossing type shots when I have to think about a lead etc. So about 75% of the time my SxSs stay home. Also all 3 of my SxS's (A.H. Fox and 2 Parker's) are double triggers, which depending on the weather is a PITA with gloves on.

    Straight out versatility I'd go with the pump, add a barrel and you've got everything reasonably covered from game to HD. While the SxS is more compact for transport, that's not something I'd really worry about. You do get two chokes with a double, but you can also load 6s then 5s (for instance) in the pump for pretty close to the same increased range effect for your follow on shot.

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    I've been a shotgunner for 35 years, and have a lot of experience with autoloaders, pumps, and single-trigger O/U doubles. The fastest follow-up shot is with the double, but my gut says "not by much." I may have to bring the shot timer with me to check some time!

    Between the autoloader and the pump, the timing is close to a draw. Most autoloaders are actually slower on follow-up shots with heavy loads (i.e., they're fastest with light target loads) so my speed with a pump gun shooting reduced-recoil buckshot loads is no slower, and possibly faster, than with an autoloader.

    As for choke, I was steered well in my early hunting days by reading everything I could get my hands on about upland hunting. Richard Alden Knight - inventor of the "Solunar Days" fishing and hunting calendar that appeared in a lot of newspapers way back when - had a book, "Mastering the Shotgun." which became a beacon of practical knowledge for me. He was a huge advocate of open chokes for most bird hunting, and my success over 20+ years of bird hunting drew in no small part from his advice. As a group, we wingshooters generally use too tight a choke. I bought my first shotgun in 1982 before screw-in chokes were the norm, and I got mine with a skeet choke which put a lot of birds in the bag. When I started doing a fair amount of waterfowling, I opted for a new barrel with screw-in chokes so I could tighten up to modified. The only time I ever found a need for a tighter choke was for turkey hunting, because you're going for head shots.

    Of course if you have a modern double gun that has screw-in chokes for both barrels, the world is your oyster. For bird hunting I use IC for #1 and Modified for #2, which works out nicely.

    Trying to corral my random thoughts and comments back to answering the question at hand, if I had to pick a single choke for all-around use I would be hard-pressed to choose between Improved Cylinder and Modified. If waterfowling wasn't part of my hunting regimen, then the hands-down answer would be IC, period. My experiments with buckshot at in-home distances confirm that a) aiming is necessary! and b) open chokes work just fine controlling the spread of buckshot at short ranges.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Pumps are hard to operate in the prone position.
    Double barrels only hold two rounds.
    With the same length barrel a double barrel will be shorter which can be a big advantage in tight quarters.
    A double barrel can get off two shots with one handed if you find yourself in that situation.
    It is possible for the the barrels of double barrels to have different points of impacts.
    You can get a double barrel with extractors vice ejectors. Extractors you won't have to pick up you empties. Ejector is better for combat.

    Either one will get the job done.
    My wife has a 20 gauge coach gun.
    I have several pumps.
    Get both.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I've been a shotgunner for 35 years, and have a lot of experience with autoloaders, pumps, and single-trigger O/U doubles. The fastest follow-up shot is with the double, but my gut says "not by much." I may have to bring the shot timer with me to check some time!

    Between the autoloader and the pump, the timing is close to a draw. Most autoloaders are actually slower on follow-up shots with heavy loads (i.e., they're fastest with light target loads) so my speed with a pump gun shooting reduced-recoil buckshot loads is no slower, and possibly faster, than with an autoloader.

    As for choke, I was steered well in my early hunting days by reading everything I could get my hands on about upland hunting. Richard Alden Knight - inventor of the "Solunar Days" fishing and hunting calendar that appeared in a lot of newspapers way back when - had a book, "Mastering the Shotgun." which became a beacon of practical knowledge for me. He was a huge advocate of open chokes for most bird hunting, and my success over 20+ years of bird hunting drew in no small part from his advice. As a group, we wingshooters generally use too tight a choke. I bought my first shotgun in 1982 before screw-in chokes were the norm, and I got mine with a skeet choke which put a lot of birds in the bag. When I started doing a fair amount of waterfowling, I opted for a new barrel with screw-in chokes so I could tighten up to modified. The only time I ever found a need for a tighter choke was for turkey hunting, because you're going for head shots.

    Of course if you have a modern double gun that has screw-in chokes for both barrels, the world is your oyster. For bird hunting I use IC for #1 and Modified for #2, which works out nicely.

    Trying to corral my random thoughts and comments back to answering the question at hand, if I had to pick a single choke for all-around use I would be hard-pressed to choose between Improved Cylinder and Modified. If waterfowling wasn't part of my hunting regimen, then the hands-down answer would be IC, period. My experiments with buckshot at in-home distances confirm that a) aiming is necessary! and b) open chokes work just fine controlling the spread of buckshot at short ranges.
    I can relate to what you say....I grew up in a skeetshooting and bird hunting family, and my mom, grandmother, and grandfather all held the Kentucky titles, for team and individual more times than not.

    I remember my grandfather told me the IC was the best all rounder, and demonstrated by showing how much more even patterning it thru than the Mod and even full because he said it didn't crowd the shot as much, which caused flattened shot in excess, and much less flyers as a result.

    But I never followed in their footsteps with shotguns, although I did fancy a little Matador SxS in 28 gauge with a IMP and Mod choke for squirrel and ruffed grouse.

    The reason for my question is because there is not a scattergun in my house. Just never had need of one for many years, because I always favored a rifle or handgun of some type for hunting.

    Because of that little 28 gauge Spanish Matador SxS with a straight stock and English Walnut, I'm thinking about adding one to my long guns.
    But then I think about pumps, and practicality......
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    Pump for me. Favorite load is #1 buckshot for HD
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    I've been a shotgunner for 35 years, and have a lot of experience with autoloaders, pumps, and single-trigger O/U doubles. The fastest follow-up shot is with the double, but my gut says "not by much." I may have to bring the shot timer with me to check some time!

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