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View Full Version : Your Opinion-Home Defense-Semi Or Pump? Why?


TPAW
July 7, 2012, 09:13 AM
Looking for a .12 guage for home defense. Choice between a semi-auto or pump. Which one and why? Can you recommend a high capacity tube or magazine .12 guage. Thank you. :confused:

NESHOOTER
July 7, 2012, 09:21 AM
I would choose a pump in a remy 870 it is proven and tube ext's are available most places, the pump has less things that would go wrong with them and for dirt,sludge,ect have been used in the military for years. And is easy to break down and clean.

jmortimer
July 7, 2012, 09:36 AM
Either one would work well. Semi-auto will shoot faster with less recoil. If you are going to get an 870 I would get a Police grade model. A regular Mossberg 500 seems to work well but the 590 A1 is nice. A good semi-auto is the Mossberg 930 SPX.

themalicious0ne
July 7, 2012, 09:46 AM
Both would work just fine, any 12 gauge and you really cant go wrong. I would prefer a pump, generally cheaper, equally as effective, and if something goes awry a pump is much easier and generally quicker to fix and be ready to fire. Honestly though with either well maintained and in your house and if you EVER needed to fire a shot, it will most likely be only one and your chances of having a problem at that exact point in time are slim to none if you take care of it and know propper cleaning, maintenance, and how to clear a jam or fix a problem, you will be fine with either. Pick what you like. My personal choice is my Remington 870 tactical. Ext. magazine tube, ghost sights, recoil reducing pistol grip stock with a side saddle with any choice of shells on it. Best for me, but not everyone.

CDR_Glock
July 7, 2012, 09:58 AM
I have a Mossberg 930 SPX and FN Police Tactical pump. I am faster with the SPX and it's reliable. The sights are great on it. It's my favorite shotgun.

jmortimer
July 7, 2012, 10:02 AM
"I would prefer a pump, generally cheaper, equally as effective...",
The semi-auto will be "more" effective" - again, softer recoil and a much faster rate of fire. If you are willing to devote many hours of practice to master a pump action you would be more "efective" but still never close to a semi-auto. You can get a 930 for around $550.00 and a Police grade 870 will cost about the same or more.

Botswana
July 7, 2012, 11:30 AM
Looking at a pump action myself.

Easy to use
Cheap (Can find some very good guns for $400 or LESS)
About as reliable as they come

I have nothing against semi-auto, but if you're not an experienced shotgunner then a pump is the way to go. Hell, just racking the slide would be enough to get most people to flee your home.

themalicious0ne
July 7, 2012, 11:52 AM
jmortimer, I completely agree the semi is better as in follow up shots for quickness, effectiveness. In this situation, as in HD, I would assume equally as effective, hopefully you wont need to fully utilize the semi.:D If your talking hunting, skeet, trap, 3gun; The semi is better. Either "work" for HD. A Semi is better in every way. For the price factor, most are more expensive, but as stated a small amount are reasonably priced. The only thing a pump has over a semi is "reliability". Now saying that I dont mean less problems or jams or anything like that, I have never had a jam in my Ithica and have had only one in my 870, which was actually my fault, but it is quicker to clear in a pump in my opinion.

jmr40
July 7, 2012, 12:57 PM
For home defense a quality semi-auto will prove to be more relible. A pump should be, but when you factor in human error the semi will win. Most pump problems are from short stroking the action. It happens a lot more than many folks want to admit when users are under stress. As long as quality ammo is used there is very, very little difference in reliability between the 2 even if you don't factor in human error. For this use the only advantage pump has is price. And that is a consideration.

As a survival gun that would be used outdoors and in harsh conditions and might have to function with sub standard ammo or after being abused and neglected I'd select a quality pump.

TheKlawMan
July 7, 2012, 01:32 PM
I think JMR is right about reliability of semi autos vs. pumps under stress. I put in pretty much practice time with my 870 and would not go to a semi at this point, but that is after a lot of time on the range. Were I to start over and buy an HD gun, I might go with the Mossberg 930 SPX.

cajun47
July 7, 2012, 04:39 PM
is short stroking a pump mean the next shell did not come out of the mag? thats what i did the other day shooting slugs. simple fix is to pump again. i would think a semi auto malfunction would be much worse.

Creeper
July 7, 2012, 05:06 PM
These wide-open, "what should I get" threads are soooo entertaining. Opinions, and the logic to accompany them... abounding.

I get that you have X dollars, and you want a gun for a semi-specific application (with the likelihood of it ever actually being used in that application being slim to none)... but the number of unspoken variables virtually eliminate the possibility of anyone being able to provide an objective response.

Just a few of the Semi VS. Pump questions I'd have, completely disregarding the price differences:


Do you live alone... will you be the only one using the gun? Who will have access to the gun?
Will you train... devote some, at least monthly, time to practice and learning the guns idiosyncrasies? Is there a "place to shoot" for you that's convenient, and can you afford to go there on a fairly regular basis?
What is your physical size/condition... can you operate a pump gun properly?
What firearms experience do you have... how are you with recoil?
Are you wanting a shotgun so you can farkalize it into some tacti-cool, 15lb monstrosity?
Do you buy into the fantasy that just cycling a pump gun will cause your attacker to run away in terror?


Yes, I know, the last 2 are sort of silly and highly subjective, but you'd be surprised what motivates people when it comes to gun choices.

All of the folks that have answered your question are well meaning and sincere, some have substantial experience and knowledge, but they are them and you are you... and no one really knows you and your requirements, experience and motives.

Cheers,
C

a7mmnut
July 7, 2012, 05:09 PM
My first thought is to forget about the 12 gauge all together. It will blow huge holes in walls, people, pets, and many other things you might not want destroyed with only a mild target load.

-7-

johnwilliamson062
July 7, 2012, 05:36 PM
930 with rifled barrel.
I have a 500 SPX I used for a bit, but in the end I decided the recoil out of the semi was so much easier to handle on defensive loads all the other arguments against a semi were silliness.

Al Den
July 7, 2012, 10:00 PM
Pump. Reliability.

LockedBreech
July 7, 2012, 11:30 PM
I enjoy my 870 Express Tactical. That said, were I buying now, I'd go

1.) Remington 870 Marine Magnum or 870 Police (just for the better finish than the Express)

2.) Mossberg 590A1

Those two shotguns are arguably the most proven, battle tested shotguns on the market. They're tough as a junkyard dog, reliable as heck, and will fit your needs.

TPAW
July 8, 2012, 10:06 AM
I want to thank all of you for your great input. I have decided that I will go for the semi auto. I like the Mossberg 930 SPX so far, but are there other shot guns out their that are similiar in design that you can recommend that will not run me out of house and home?

CDR_Glock
July 8, 2012, 10:52 AM
I want to thank all of you for your great input. I have decided that I will go for the semi auto. I like the Mossberg 930 SPX so far, but are there other shot guns out their that are similiar in design that you can recommend that will not run me out of house and home?

Benelli and Beretta make Semiautos but for much more money.

The advantage that I have with the SPX is the shorter barrel for maneuverability (it may not apply to you, if you live in a mansion - I do not).

Battle Born
July 8, 2012, 03:01 PM
Interesting thread,
All great advise for sure! I would suggest going down to your local shop and handling both, work the actions etc...
After that I think youll have a good idea of whats better for you.
Good luck!

Mark

LockedBreech
July 8, 2012, 03:47 PM
I want to thank all of you for your great input. I have decided that I will go for the semi auto. I like the Mossberg 930 SPX so far, but are there other shot guns out their that are similiar in design that you can recommend that will not run me out of house and home?

Look at the Beretta TX4 and the Benelli M2 or M4. Expensive, but nice.

Backwoodsboy
July 8, 2012, 04:02 PM
Both, I have a mossy 930 semi auto ready at a moments notice and the wife has a mossys 500 pump if the perp happens to get by me. We are ready for mist situations given the two and will survive one way or another.

ripnbst
July 8, 2012, 04:12 PM
I haven't read all posts before me so some of this may be re-iterating whats already been said.

A dependable, proven Semi would be better IMO. The reason you see so many pumps is their reliability is generally inherently better because you aren't relying on "automatic" motion for function. Some are recoil operated and others are gas operated. Different loads cause the gun to cycle differently, the way you hold it cause it to cycle differently. If you get a low powder charged round the gun will function differently, in some cases not functioning properly. Pumps will fire any loading from barely getting the load on target to magnums.

The other reason you see alot of pumps in HD roles is cost. A gun that one hopes to never have to use (except for practice/fun) you can get a good HD pump for under $400. The Semi I would deploy in that role exceeds $1000.

All that being said I prefer a pistol to a shotgun for initial HD contact anyway. Pistol fights me to my AR, which fights me to my HD Pump Shotgun.

TX Hunter
July 8, 2012, 05:24 PM
I like a Pump, but in the case your arm gets injured when your attacked the Semi might be easier to use. On the fence, both good options.

Amsdorf
July 8, 2012, 05:51 PM
My favorite home defense shotgun in action:

VIDEO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5-EsXVTAwU)

Al Den
July 8, 2012, 07:24 PM
OK, if u r gonna get the 930 do NOT get that high ghost-ring-sighted tacticool thing -- buy the one with plain bead sight and extend the mag tube or buy the lower-sighted Blackwater model -- they, at least, know better than most posters who have just been defending the SPX sights that deny you a cheek weld.

Slamfire
July 8, 2012, 08:20 PM
Pump shotgun.

Pump shotgun will cycle as long as you can shuck it.

Sport45
July 8, 2012, 09:27 PM
If you get the semi, make sure it's 100% reliable with your selected ammo. Some of the specialty (short case or low recoil) shells may not work properly in a semi.

Make sure of the reliability by taking it out and making noise. Just because somebody on an internet forum says their 1100 worked fine with 'em doesn't mean yours will.

scottycoyote
July 9, 2012, 09:51 AM
ive seen too many semi-autos fail due to one thing or another. If i have to bet my life on it id want a pump.

windshear
July 9, 2012, 02:02 PM
Join the cult; Saiga 12.

oneounceload
July 9, 2012, 02:26 PM
Remember that a 12 gauge pump, firing typical buckshot loads has the recoil of firing a rifle on the order of a 30-06 or 300 winmag. As long as you are comfortable with that, get a shotgun.

Personally, I find a handgun and a dog to be a better deterrent

KevK.
July 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
Pump action.

Nothings says 'get out of my house' like the racking slide of a pump shotgun.

oneounceload
July 10, 2012, 12:59 PM
Nothings says 'get out of my house' like the racking slide of a pump shotgun.

Sorry, but that has been debunked all over the Net as false. Additionally, if you have bad guys in your home and your gun is still unloaded - that is not good, especially when that sound just gave away your position

Creeper
July 10, 2012, 01:04 PM
Myths spread faster than facts... but the entertainment value is still priceless. :rolleyes:

gun nut
July 10, 2012, 01:15 PM
Pump. My choice is 870.;)

Dave McC
July 10, 2012, 01:48 PM
Either, IF IT"S WELL KNOWN TO THE USER....

Expertise trumps technology....

hogdoc357
July 10, 2012, 02:54 PM
I am sure most will recommend a pump. I have 2 shotguns I use for home defense:
1) 20 gauge Stoeger Coach Gun, double barrel.
2) 12 gauge lever shotgun. It holds 7 rounds of buckshot

I do not feel under-gunned with either one of them. :cool:

zincwarrior
July 10, 2012, 03:49 PM
Double barreled and lever action-are you an SASS shooter by chance?

Side question related to topic, people practicing with shotguns: Besides shooting clays, which these guns aren't made for, how do you regularly practice with them?

Creeper
July 10, 2012, 04:09 PM
Side question related to topic, people practicing with shotguns: Besides shooting clays, which these guns aren't made for, how do you regularly practice with them?

You can shoot 3-gun matches if you have the desire, guns, time and money.

You can shoot targets at various ranges with buckshot and slugs... depends what your local range allows.

You can participate in combat and tactical shooting schools and matches... again, contact your local range.

If you have the land and it's legal, you can set up a "course of fire" on a personal outdoor range... an "indoor" range if you have the above and some spare lumber to build a "fun house", "shoot house" or "kill house"... depending on who you're talking to.

Cheers,
C

zincwarrior
July 10, 2012, 04:12 PM
Thanks!

Creeper
July 10, 2012, 04:22 PM
I hear that the food alone is sufficient justification for attending a 3-gun match in Texas. :p

TheKlawMan
July 10, 2012, 05:19 PM
Sorry, but that (scaring a bg off with the sound of racking a pump) has been debunked all over the Net as false. Additionally, if you have bad guys in your home and your gun is still unloaded - that is not good, especially when that sound just gave away your position

I have wondered about this, oneounce, but if it is dangerous to keep a round chambered what is the solution? I keep the 870 with a full tube next to the bed and if something sounds wrong in the middle of the night, I quietly rack it and then go out on the landing to listen quietly for anything amiss. Of course if things sound definitely bad, my wife is on the phone to the police and I have my son breaking out the skeet gun for a back up if time permits.

Creeper
July 10, 2012, 06:09 PM
if something sounds wrong in the middle of the night, I quietly rack it and then go out on the landing to listen quietly for anything amiss

Respectfully... why is it dangerous?

Aside from the compound safety you possess between your ears... you have a manual safety on the gun. Why not keep a round in the chamber rather than go thru the mechanizations of chambering, then I presume, unchambering a round?

If your son is "breaking out the skeet gun" then there are no concerns about unsafe gun handling with him.

Cheers,
C

LockedBreech
July 10, 2012, 06:52 PM
Respectfully... why is it dangerous?

Aside from the compound safety you possess between your ears... you have a manual safety on the gun. Why not keep a round in the chamber rather than go thru the mechanizations of chambering, then I presume, unchambering a round?

If your son is "breaking out the skeet gun" then there are no concerns about unsafe gun handling with him.

Cheers,
C

Well, I'm a person who keeps my long guns fired on an empty chamber but all my handguns chambered, simply because of the much-lighter average trigger pull on long guns.

Creeper
July 10, 2012, 06:59 PM
Well, I'm a person who keeps my long guns fired on an empty chamber but all my handguns chambered, simply because of the much-lighter average trigger pull on long guns.

Respectfully... I think this might be a different situation LockedBreach. KlawMan is referring to his home defense weapon, not all his guns.

By that I mean: The guns I have placed around the house for home defense all have rounds in their respective chambers and safeties on... as well as any gun I may carry for the day. The guns in the safe are all empty.

Cheers,
C

North East Redneck
July 10, 2012, 09:40 PM
Buy what you will practice with and what you will actually enjoy shooting. Personally, I prefer pumps. You may not. Either is a fine choice if you take the time to learn the gun and what it likes and dislikes. I like manual actions, maybe you feel more intune with a semi auto. If you can, try both types. See what fits you.

Panfisher
July 11, 2012, 08:25 AM
Either will work as will the double gun (I love Double guns). Keep them clean and working well and practice. If its a Semi test it after you clean it, sometimes things like O rings get broken or pieces in wrong and keeps it from cycling.

dieselbeef
July 11, 2012, 09:18 AM
having a full blown shootout in yer house are ya? just askin..sems like alotta overkill..literally...the spread on the distnce indoors is minimal..why a 12 ga..

TheKlawMan
July 11, 2012, 08:11 PM
Respectfully... why is it dangerous?

Aside from the compound safety you possess between your ears... you have a manual safety on the gun. Why not keep a round in the chamber rather than go thru the mechanizations of chambering, then I presume, unchambering a round?

If your son is "breaking out the skeet gun" then there are no concerns about unsafe gun handling with him.

Besides my son there is my daughter and wife at home and the occasional visitor. The safety blocks a shotgun trigger from being pulled. Drop it and the sear can release the hammer and boom!

Justice06RR
July 11, 2012, 08:26 PM
I don't have a preference on either, as both will work fine IMO. But I do suggest the Keltec KSG for 14+1 capacity. That thing is sweet!

Creeper
July 11, 2012, 08:37 PM
Drop it and the sear can release the hammer and boom!

Well, if that's the way you see it, then more power to you.

Best wishes,
C