View Full Version : Auto vs. Pump for Home Defense????

Ed Brunner
August 2, 1999, 05:24 PM
I have a Moss 500 with a barely legal barrel and a pistol grip stock. It is a delightful toy and should have some use in home defense, but if it is good wouldnt a semi- auto be better? What is a good (as in reasonably priced) semi auto??

Better days to be,


August 2, 1999, 11:42 PM
I like what you have already. There is something universally terrifying about the sound of a round being shucked into a pump shotgun.
Best Regards,

August 3, 1999, 01:56 AM
Ed the only change I would make that 500 would be to replace the pistol grip with a buttstock, maybe a Speedfeed. JMHO. :)

May your lead always hit center mass and your brass always land in your range bag.


August 3, 1999, 06:50 AM
Ed, i agree w/ Blades. I would replace the pistol grip w/ a regular or speedfeed butt stock. you can still shoot it from the hip, or if you need to you can shoulder it. as for the pump vs auto, i like a pump. i reckon it's mostly because that's what i grew up shooting, and i've heard people w/ autos talk about the gas rings on an auto fouling things up(i don't know nothing 'bout no auto shotgun)JMHO-YMMV...

what me worry?

August 3, 1999, 08:24 AM
Yes. By all means, IMO, ditch the PG, for the above reasons. Trying to make a shotgun more maneuverable for indoor use is kind of a waste. That's what handguns are for. I had a PG on my M500 for a couple of years, but now use a standard field stock.

The arguement against autoloading defense shotguns use to be: "They're not as reliable as pump guns!" That may have been true at one time, but I think a well-maintained auto is every bit as reliable as a pump, nowadays.

While an auto is more efficient once you get down to the shootin', it's getting there that's the problem.

I like to keep an empty chamber in my shotgun, partly for safety, and partly so I can use the intimidating shucking sound, if it's appropriate for the situation.

If you want to keep an empty chamber in an autoloader when you investigate suspicious noises (like the cat!), then you have to take one hand off the gun to chamber a round, which could be a problem if you're suddenly confronted with an intruder. And if you want to chamber the round right before you go poking about the house in the middle of the night, that makes a noise which you might want to avoid if you want to remain stealthy.

With the pump gun I can quietly leave the chamber empty, even when I'm investigating. If I do come across a threat and I have to shoot, it takes no time at all to rack the action, mount the gun (or not), and start shooting. And I never have to take either of my hands off the gun.

The efficiency issue: With not too much practice, a pump gun can fired very rapidly, and with accuracy. The real advantage of the auto comes if one arm/hand is injured in the fight: you can still shoot the auto one handed. Much more difficult with the pump.

Under stress, the pump can be short-stroked, of course, but that's mostly a question of practice.

Then again, if I had the money, I'd buy a Benelli, too, anyway. ;)


August 3, 1999, 08:01 PM
Get both in one. M3 SuperDuper90.

- Ron V.


August 4, 1999, 09:10 PM
One other point; if you use "tactical" loads of 00 or #1, they may not cycle the autoloaders, whereas with a pump, there's no problem. EVERYBODY knows what that sound is when you pump the action, too, and if any sound is capable of having a "deterrent effect", that's gotta be it.

"Potius sero quam nunquam."

Long Path
August 9, 1999, 08:44 PM
I humbly submit that:
A good autoloader, properly employed, is just as effective, with certain benefits over the pump. (However, as I wrote in "I Need a Shotgun" thread in General Discussion forum, I am all in favor of the 870 pump...)

A long recoil auto like the Remington 1148 is very fast to bring into action with an empty chamber, and also allows one to use the racking sound as an intimidation device. With the 1148, all one need do to bring a round into battery with the gun in a shooting grip and pointed at your target is to use the off-hand to pull back the bolt handle, and let it go. Just like charging an M-14.

Kept to the bare minium of cleanliness, this gun will operate with complete efficiency. Of course you need to test your duty loads in any gun for feeding before using. I am willing to bet, however, that, over 1000 rounds fired and cycled through a gun like an 1148 or and 1100 (gas operated) vs. a pump gun like an 870 or a 500, you will find fewer failures to feed from the automatics, given new, clean ammo and reasonably clean guns.

Benefits of an automatic for tactical shotgun:
1. Reduced felt recoil.
2. Ability to fire one-handed.

1. Less reliable with dirty or bulged shells (far less of a problem since the advent of plastic hulls about half a century ago!).
2. Right-handed shooters must rotate the gun to access the bolt-handle with the left hand while the shotgun is in a shooting grip with the right. (best done with the gun brought down from the shoulder, but always pointed toward the danger)
3. SOME guns, like the M-1100, require a separate operation to bring the bolt closed after it is racked back. On the 1100, this is done by pushing the silver button on the bottom of the feed port. Long recoil guns like the 1148 generally just require a rack back of the bolt, and you're in the war.

Mike Spight
August 10, 1999, 09:29 AM
Ed: I vote for the semi-auto. Have a Benelli Super 90 Mod 1. Recoil operated, so no concern with gas ring fouling, or whatever. Otherwise, the 870 or Mossberg pumps are outstanding as well. I agree with the other posters...ditch the pistol grip and go with a standard stock.

BTW, does anyone have any data or records of interviews with felons that indicates the sound of a pump shotgun being racked has prevented the commission of a crime? I've heard and read about this for many, many years and am just wondering: is it fact or the stuff of Hollywood screenwriters' collective imaginations?


August 10, 1999, 09:58 AM
The only data I have is my personal reaction to the sound when I rack the action. It's a curious blend of "Oooo, that's mean sound!", and "I'm a little nervous just holding this thing."

If it is just an entertainment creation, then the result is the same, anyway. After all, criminals watch TV too! Ever see security camera footage of some dope sticking up a convenience store using the 90-degree "Gangsta Cant" with his handgun? Where do you think he learned that? TV, of course.

By the same token, even if they didn't think of it themselves, crooks have learned from TV/movies that "That Sound Is Bad. Run Now." They're so impressionable!



Mike Spight
August 10, 1999, 12:34 PM
boing: I think you're right...it does sound "cool" in a mechanical sort of way.

FWIW, I don't have my Super 90 standing by the bedside at night...I rely on a SIG 220 and a SUREFIRE 6Z for repelling nightime boarders. If I was justified in using the shotgun, I'd just as soon start w/a round in the chamber, push off the safety button and let the last thing they ever hear be that 12ga #1 Buck round going off...kinda like what we do with a handgun.