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Old February 26, 2013, 07:58 PM   #1
darwins
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Tactical shotgun - pump or semi-auto and why?

I've come to the conclusion that I want a diverse set of firearms for defense of life, liberty and property. Also for fun, of course. I have the rifles and handguns I want and am now considering a shotgun. Versatility and reliability are the key with the added desire that it be something that will retain its value. I've acquired the necessary funds such that I could pick one up for as much as $1700 but if that kind of price isn't really necessary why spend it? I've asked around and been told by some to get a pump, particularly the Mossberg 500 tactical, which can be had for around $400. I asked why the pump, the answer was due to there being fewer moving parts. I assume that is to mean it will be more durable and reliable. One con to the Mossber is that when using the pistol grip, the safety isn't very accessible. There are other pumps though.

I've always been partial to semi-automatics and have considered the Remington Versamax, FNH Police Tactical and even the Benelli M4. Will these shotguns be reliable and durable enough, and worth the price, in an event requiring defense of life, liberty and property? The military and police use the FNH and Benelli. I suppose there are other models to consider.

With regards to semi-autos, I own an old Remington model 11 Sportsman and have enjoyed shooting clays with it. It has been very reliable.

I've gotten myself into a position that I almost don't know where to begin. So, I thought I'd reach out to you guys for your knowledge and experience. I appreciate whatever you are willing to share.

Thanks,
Darwin
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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In a fighting shotgun a semi will prove to be more reliable. In theory a pump should be, but human error will always be an issue and you will see far less malfunctions with a semi.

A pump is far less expensive. if money is a concern you get more gun for the money with pump. A pump would be my choice as a survival gun. Semi's work great with decent ammo, but pumps will still shoot crappy ammo a semi will choke on. They are also going to take abuse and work when filthy better than most semi's.

For SD purposes I'd take a quality semi. For a TEOTWAWKI scenario I'd take a quality pump.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:43 PM   #3
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I would go with the semi....and lose the thought about using a PGO grip on any shotgun.

There are many versions and makers of semis that are reliable, both gas and inertia. Find the one that fits you the best and go from there
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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I say semi. I would go with the Benelli or an FNH semi. Both make great tactical shotguns (so I hear)
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Old February 27, 2013, 12:03 AM   #5
darwins
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Nobody has anything good to say about the Versamax? I just found an FNH SLP MK I advertised for sale at a local gun shop. I'm giving that some serious consideration.
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Old February 27, 2013, 12:24 AM   #6
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Nothing fancy

My HD shotgun is a Remington 870 Youth Model 20 ga. I have a light on the front that I can use to identify my target. If I need more than 5 #4 Buckshot shells at one time, well, thats why I keep a pistol and a spare mag in a shoulder rig next to the shotgun...
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Old February 27, 2013, 01:41 AM   #7
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I have a Benelli M1 Super 90 with ghost ring sights. About 1000rnds through it with no malfunctions aside from some really light trap loads that didnt want to cycle. I had a remington 870 that had problem after problem. Sold it and got a benelli nova tactical, loved it, bought the M1 super 90. I'll never buy Another shotgun that isnt made by benelli unless I can get my hands on an old trench gun.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:21 PM   #8
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If I wanted a tactical shotgun...I'd pick the Benelli M-4 ...its gas operated / will be a lot more forgiving in terms of recoil if you want to shoot typically heavy loads of "OO" Buck or slugs...

Both pump guns and semi-autos have a significant number of moving parts...but I don't see "parts wear" as an issue if its a decent gun with usage under 250,000 shells...
------------
If I was not concerned about recoil ...I'd go with a pump gun...but I'd go with the Browning BPS like this model ...that comes with a 28" and a 20" barrel...

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...id=012&tid=273

On the BPS - the tang is on the top of the tang, easy to reach even with gloves on ....action is smoother than many other pump guns...cast on stock is neutral so it doesn't favor lefties or righties...just a good basic, solid gun.
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: Tactical shotgun - pump or semi-auto and why?

If you're willing to practice a lot, pump.

If not, semi-auto.

And here's the other kicker that makes me go semi, I may not be the one using it. It may be someone with far less experience. Other family members, trusted neighbors/friends after we have our future financial meltdown. So its good to keep the operation simple.
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Old February 27, 2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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I prefer pumps. I prefer pumps with regular stocks and not allot of gadgets attached, but that's just what I'm use to. My Dept. has a couple of variations and I don't like the ar15 type knox stock. That being said I had the chance to use an FNH SLP semi at a competition and that thing was sweet. It handled every load we had and was super smooth.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:39 PM   #11
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Cops use pumps for a reason. Way more reliable than a semi.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:52 PM   #12
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Or, way more cheaper...
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Old February 27, 2013, 07:15 PM   #13
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I don't think it is a question of which is better, more of... which you are more comfortable with.

For me, I'm more comfortable with a pump-action shot gun, so that is what I have. If you are more comfortable with a semi-auto, then by all means, go with that. No amount of this or that you will read about the pros/cons between the two types will mean much of anything if you are not comfortable with you chosen weapon.
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Old February 27, 2013, 07:37 PM   #14
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Re: Tactical shotgun - pump or semi-auto and why?

Well said. That includes clearing jams with either. I don't think that's something we train for enough pistol/rifle or shotgun. We don't (in general) train for when things go wrong.

I am going to start mixing some snap caps into my mags and train more for failure drills.
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Old February 27, 2013, 07:38 PM   #15
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Benelli M4

If money isn't a factor, get the Benelli M4!
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Old February 27, 2013, 07:54 PM   #16
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Before you decide,pick up one of the better pumps, a BPS (notice BigJim mentioned that model above) or a benelli nova. The action on a higher end pump is radically different IMHO. The 500's and 870's are reliable and rugged but are MUCH easier to short stroke because the actions just aren't as smooth. One other note on the BPS the drop at the comb is different than the others I've tried. The barrel seems just fractionally higher. This means it kicks backward more and upward less. What this means in practical situations is the muzzle rise is minimized so you stay on target better and you can transition to the next target quicker. I've just never used anything that engaged multiple targets as well. Very confidence inspiring in a HD weapon.
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Old February 28, 2013, 07:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Cops use pumps for a reason. Way more reliable than a semi.
Incorrect. Cops use pumps because they cost less - plain and simple. Purchasing goes by lowest cost, not necessarily by what is the best. And BTW, cops no longer use shotguns, they use ARs


If you want the ultimate in reliability, you use a double barrel with two triggers - NO jams of FTF, FTE or similar
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:22 AM   #18
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Mine only shotgun is a semi-auto HK/Benelli.
I purchased 20 years ago and it's been 100% reliable.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:51 AM   #19
hogdogs
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With that cash, you can afford both a Mossberg 500 pump and a 930 semi in blue and wood and hang a light on each... or not...

Tactical is in your head not in your hands...

Brent
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:58 PM   #20
darwins
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I wasn't aware of the Mossberg 930 until this thread. I don't know how I missed it. That's worth considering.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:43 PM   #21
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Re: Tactical shotgun - pump or semi-auto and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogdogs View Post
Tactical is in your head not in your hands...;
I had a 930 SPX. I liked it a lot. Extremely reliable. But the tall front sight and ghost ring and rail I found unnecessary.

I really like the 930 Home Security model. Much more plain looking. No mag extension to goof with, bead sight.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:30 PM   #22
scrubcedar
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I could hit multiple stationary clay pigeons at twice the distance I would need to shoot in a large house, as a near complete noob with my BPS set up with a bead sight within minutes. I never saw the need for ghost ring sights or lasers etc.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:45 PM   #23
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Pump, its easier for a lesser experienced operator to troubleshout on the fly.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:52 PM   #24
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Re: Tactical shotgun - pump or semi-auto and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadpod88 View Post
Pump, its easier for a lesser experienced operator to troubleshout on the fly.
It is?
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Old March 2, 2013, 12:09 AM   #25
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Tactical shotgun - pump or semi-auto and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDinFL View Post
Incorrect. Cops use pumps because they cost less - plain and simple. Purchasing goes by lowest cost, not necessarily by what is the best. And BTW, cops no longer use shotguns, they use ARs


If you want the ultimate in reliability, you use a double barrel with two triggers - NO jams of FTF, FTE or similar
I'm not saying you're absolutely wrong here, that could be part of the reason, but your logic doesn't follow. If purchasing goes by lowest cost, then we'd see departments shooting Hi Points and Taurus. But instead, we see departments issuing Glocks, and not inexpensive Sigs and HKs.

I'm friends with an Alaska State Trooper who used to be one of their firearm instructors, and I got two pieces of information that contradicts what you have there.

1) AST still use shotguns. Duty sidearms are Glock 22's, but they have both ARs and Remington 870's in their patrol cars. You could say the 870's are for a specialized purpose that most Police forces don't have to worry about (big grizzly bears) but they still train to deploy them on personnel and even keep buckshot loaded (useless on a bear), they'll unload and reload slugs if they head into the woods, or if they need to put a suffering bear/moose/whatever out of its misery.

2) My buddy specifically stated they use 870s for their reliability, ease of use, and utter ruggedness. I asked why they don't use semi autos, and he just laughed at me and said, "Being charged by a bear is a helluva time to have a malfunction."
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