Pump Action vs. Semi-Automatic

This is a discussion on Pump Action vs. Semi-Automatic within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Howdy all! New to the site and want to thank you for the admittance here. Hopefully my first question won't get me banned for being ...

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Thread: Pump Action vs. Semi-Automatic

  1. #1
    New Member Array psuminer's Avatar
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    Pump Action vs. Semi-Automatic

    Howdy all! New to the site and want to thank you for the admittance here. Hopefully my first question won't get me banned for being either too silly or too stupid...

    I'm in the market for a new, multi-purpose, shotgun and was wondering as to the benefits of a pump-action shotgun over a semi-automatic. Aside from the obvious price difference, I'm failing to see the advantage of having a "tricked-out", tactical, pump-action shotgun vs. say, for example, a "tricked-out", tactical, Beretta Xtrema (or any other similar make/model) semi-automatic. If I actually have $1,500 to spend on a shotgun, is there any particular reason to choose pump-action over semi-automatic? If it's a state law issue, I live in Texas - 'nuff said.

    I would imagine that the cleaning and care of the weapon is more involved for the semi-automatic but that's a non-issue with me (I actually don't mind the cleaning part). Are there issues with jamming at the rate of fire these semi's are rated at. Just curious before I spend my hard-earned coin.

    Thanks in advance for any response to this inquiry and I apologize if this topic has been covered in the past.

    Regards

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  3. #2
    Member Array Raider39a's Avatar
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    I like them both. I shoot 870s and 590s both; I appreciate how robust and simple they are. load, rack, shoot. I don't have any attachments to them and use them plain jane configuration. i prefer the mossbergs more.

    I also shoot semiautos; the first time i shot skeet with a beretta it was a epiphany. this shotgun was shootable, less recoil than the equivalent 12G pump. you can shoot more rounds w/o really hurting your shoulder. it was also easy to shoot multiple targets. I also shoot the mossberg spx and has not had any problems.

    I think though that if I have to put down multiple targets fast... I would grab the spx as I can shoot quicker and has better sights than the pumps that I own. although, I have seen Marines and some special sailors handle a pump 870/590 and made it look like they are shooting semiautos. I guess it is a matter of training.

    I really didn't answer your question but this is one point of view. semper gumby...
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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I have a pump action shotgun. I chose it because of 1. Reliability and 2. Price. Mime is the Rem. 870 Express and it's a work horse. It will go bang every time and if add ons are your thing, the options for the pumps are endless

    I use mime as a home/self defense gun, so simplicity was a major factor.

    BTW I used a Rem. 1100 for hunting as a teen, so I have experience with both types.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    What is the primary and if applicable secondary purpose for this shotgun?

    Is is to hunt on land, over water or to shoot clays?
    To be a competition gun and to what degree of use such as 3-Gun or SASS?
    Will it be primarily be a HD gun to basically sit untouched much of it's life or will you be using it regularly in combat courses to train with as well?

    Like any other tool before figuring what you'll spend, and can afford, the big question is what is the point and purpose of having the tool at all?
    After that answer comes question of cost and manner of function etc.

    - Janq
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  6. #5
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    First...welcome to the forum. Second...define "multi-purpose" in your sense of the word.
    I guess I've never really been a fan of the semi-auto shotguns. More than likely this is due to my personal intended 'purposes'. I've shot clays for fun, duck/pheasant/dove hunted in Kansas, and owned a few specifically for home/zombie defense. Honestly.....I don't think I've ever owned more than one shotgun at a time. A couple I have had served double purposes with an extra barrel...hunting/HD. I've always gone for the pump action. Granted, the semi-autos might be easier on the shoulder, but maybe I'm more adept at the manual vs mechanical for dependability and reliability. Go figure.....I make a living as a maintenance mechanic. I'm sure some will argue that the semi-autos are just as reliable as the pumps. Go ahead and put the same question to them about revolvers vs semi-auto pistols. Actually, a well maintained firearm is...well......more dependable than one that's ignored, abused, or heavily modified for certain. I've seen a lot of jammed semi-auto shotguns at the range during sight-in for turkey season after somebody did it themselves with a side scope mount and tightened the screws too tight, or stuck a mount on top with screws that were too long. My opinion in a nutshell, and if I were to be in the market for "the multi-purpose shotgun", AND I had $1500 to spend on ONE.........I wouldn't. I'd spend that chunk of change on both. One semi-auto, and one pump, and have plenty left over for range/test ammo, and mission specific ammo. Maybe I'm a rather simple man, but that would be the best way I could see spending that much for (a) shotgun (get both plus ammo and accessories if need be). Hope this helps.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    I have a Mossberg 500 pump action. Very reliable and easy to use.

    One of the features I particularly like about pump guns for home defense is the racking noise. True story - a close friend had a burglar break into his house in middle of night. He grabbed his pump shotgun and stood at top of stairs. He heard the burglar rummaging around downstairs. He loudly racked a 00 Buck into the chamber and says the only thing he heard after that was the burglar beating feet out of his house ASAP. I know there are some here that will downplay the racking noise, but let's face it - every single BG in the entire world knows that sound!

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    New Member Array psuminer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    What is the primary and if applicable secondary purpose for this shotgun?

    Is is to hunt on land, over water or to shoot clays?
    To be a competition gun and to what degree of use such as 3-Gun or SASS?
    Will it be primarily be a HD gun to basically sit untouched much of it's life or will you be using it regularly in combat courses to train with as well?

    Like any other tool before figuring what you'll spend, and can afford, the big question is what is the point and purpose of having the tool at all?
    After that answer comes question of cost and manner of function etc.

    - Janq
    Thanks for all the rapid replies! In response to above (which also should cover Ram Rod), the answer to the uses will be as follows:

    1) bird hunting - land; dove thru geese and wild turkey
    2) bird hunting - water; all variety of ducks
    3) clay shoots and skeet competitions
    4) home defense
    5) range blasting
    6) zombie slaying

    Long story short, my wife's not a huge fan on weapons in the house so I was forced to compromise and promise only one of each type of firearm. Therefore, I need to be sure that my initial choices are sound. I'm holding out on the hope that one day she may relax a bit and more options will be made available but for the moment, I get one pistol (Beretta PX4 Storm - 9mm), one deer/exotic game hunting rifle (Tikka T3 - .308), one semi-automatic "pig/varmint hunter" (Sig 556 - yet to be purchase), and one shotgun (leaning towards the Beretta Xtrema2 w/ KO - yet to be purchased).

    I would love to have one for all ocassions and a mix between semi-auto and pump but it's just not in the cards for me. I'm actually thankful that I even have the opportunity to consider which one to get...

    Anyways, hope that sheds some more light onto my situation and helps with any additional comments and opinions. Thanks again for all the great advice!

    Cheers!

  9. #8
    Member Array BadgerMan's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is that with a pump, you can feed pretty much any size/power shell up to what it it is rated for with no issues. Some semis may have issues feeding low recoil shells or shorter shells. This probably won't be a concern for you as most HD shells are probably over 1 1/8 oz of shot/slug and 2 3/4" or longer, however it may come into play if you decide to go with reduced recoil shells. If the semi-auto is gas operated and has an adjustable gas system then you could compensate for that.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I have a remington 870. I can shoot that thing just almost as fast as a semi. I mostly use mine for duck and dove hunting, and I've never had a problem getting all 3 shots off before the flock gets too far away. Need to take a tiny bit of time to aim anyway when hunting. I'm also pretty good with the clays, but for competition, you might want to go the semi route...but I'm pretty sure they would break it down into categories like IDPA does, so if you shoot pump, you'll probably only be shooting against other pumps. I like the reliability factor...I can shoot any round, and a dud round isn't going to cause it to not cycle. No worries about tap, rack, bang drills since you rack every time. I have a 26" barrel on for hunting, and plan on getting an 18" for HD. It's a pretty versatile gun, and I'm happy I went pump over semi.
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  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array XD 45's Avatar
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    i have a 590 pump and thats what I would recccomend it for HD duty
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I always loved the pump better than the auto ;-)
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    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    IF youíre serious about clays/skeet Iíd be inclined to get a semi-auto, you just donít see that many folks shooting clays with a pump. It can be done, but it will be easier with a semi.

    I was a big pump gun for waterfowl guy for a long time till about 9 years ago when I started doing a lot more hunting out of layout blinds and one man layout boats. Basically, a lot of shooting sitting down. A pump can be/is a real PITA on a hard right to left crossing shot while sitting. I experienced quite a few short-strokes while making awkward shots. Switched to a Benelli SBE and solved the issue. Hard right to lefts are still a PITA, but at least Iím not pumping the gun while doing them.

    As for reliability, IMHO itís a wash really. A pump ďcanĒ be more reliable, but when the human factor kicks it Iíd actually give the edge to a semi. Iíve taken two shotgun classes and in both I saw more short-stroked pumps than I did semiís jam. A modern well maintained semi fed decent ammo is a pretty reliable firearm. I see guys at our post skeet range go through hundreds, if not thousands of rounds without an issue.

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  14. #13
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    I like pumps and semis about the same. Semis are a bit faster with follow ups and have about 15% less recoil. Pumps are said to be more reliable and are idiot proof. To me the best feature of a pump is price. For $1500 dollars you could get two guns that specialize. My advice is to save some dough and get a combo.

    Semi:

    http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossb.../NEW/85325.jpg

    Pump:

    http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossb.../NEW/54169.jpg
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  15. #14
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    I have an own both pumps and semis.

    For hunting and all that you mention, both will be fine.


    The only real advantage of a pump over a semi is the ability to shoot light loads that may not allow a semi to function correctly.

    Another slight advantage goes to the pump in very cold weather when duck or bird hunting. Sometimes around freezing water such as duck hunting, the semi's just wont function if they freeze up. The pumps can still be operated when the semi's are locked up, same goes with pheasant or quail hunting in the snow.

    If you dont have these issues, then go with whatever suits your fancy.
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I'll throw out Massad's take on the issue from "In the gravest extreme": Police carry pumps b/c they're sitting in a cruiser in the heat/cold/dust their entire lives and when suspects or traffic offenders are sitting in the front seat some think it's cute to put gum, etc down the barrel. When someone is breaking in your home, it's better to bet on the reliability built into the semi-auto's by the engineers at Remington/Mossberg, then you not short stroking a pump.

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