View Full Version : Hunting with a Pump vs. Semi Auto

March 9, 2006, 10:01 AM

I'm going to Argentina in May, to hunt ducks and other birds. We estimate to shoot about 300 rounds of 12ga. a day, during 5 days.
It's my first bird (shotgun) hunt.
My friends who have more experience, say that I can't do that with a Pump Action Shotgun, and I must use a semi auto.

Well, I have a Remington 870 Wingmaster MAGNUM, with a 30" ventilated polichoke barrel and a 20" rifled barrel for slugs, and I was very happy thinking I could use it. :(

Other option is to rent a semi auto (probabilly Benelli or Franchi) from the outfitter.

What do you guys think about it ?

Thanks in advance,

Andre Tiba - Brazil

March 9, 2006, 10:14 AM
A pump will work great - except perhaps for the cumulative recoil & resulting bruising effect of that many shots with 12 ga. So, is the weather going to be cool enough to comfortably wear a vest with extra padding in the shoulder? If so, I'd just do that and take the pump. If wearing a thin shirt, you might take their advice, and rent or borrow a semi-auto 20 ga, to reduce the recoil. 300 shots per day times 5 days is a lot of fun, but may start to hurt after awhile.

March 9, 2006, 10:20 AM
Yeah... It will be cold near Patagonia this time of the year. I will surely be wearing a coat and vest, with a padded sholder.
Other concern is the follow up shots that might be a bit slow...

Thanks for your response !


Andre Tiba - Brazil

March 9, 2006, 10:28 AM
I agree that the recoil from 300 12gauge shots could be problematic. I'd rent an outfitter 20 gauge semi. I'd also consider low recoil shells or reloading your own (not sure what the airlines will think about this one. Perhaps you can mail it to the outfitters.) A buddy and I shot 50 clay each last weekend and we are both bruised somewhat (12g pump.) The effect is cummulative. Go shoot some clays. It will be a great time, and you will have a first hand opinion of cummulative shotgun recoil.

March 9, 2006, 10:37 AM
My advise is, take atleast 2 guns in good condition and get yourself a limb saver recoil pad that you can move from one gun to the other. Might sound sort of "sissie like" to use the pad but you will be glad that you did.
Another handy item is "slightly" yellow glasses, they will filter out the UV stuff and also seems to "clear" emages up, a little.

That 870 will do just fine, probaly better than most semi autos. However, be sure that all of the moving parts are in "excellent" condition.

Have a great time, we are all invious.:D

March 9, 2006, 01:30 PM
Only 300 rounds /day ?? I've heard as many as 1000. The favorite to use and that the renters prefer are the Benelli and Beretta autos !! Forget the pumps.

Art Eatman
March 9, 2006, 01:43 PM
Don't take me wrong; I think that having lots of birds at which to shoot is truly great! But I doubt there are any cash prizes or wall plaques for who gets the most birds or who shoots the most ammo. Enjoy the hunting, and don't overestimate the importance of how many shots you take.

That said, I think a padded jacket and normal low-base birdshot loads wouldn't be all that bad on your shoulder.


March 11, 2006, 08:17 AM
Yea Art: Some of the places actually give the "hunter" a certificate showing that they killed over 1000 birds in a day.:eek: Thats doves,:rolleyes: of course.

March 11, 2006, 09:19 AM

The only reason for an auto would be slightly less felt recoil. The pump gun is faster, on the follow up shot, than an auto.

March 11, 2006, 11:32 AM
MEDDAC19; Man you have been reading too many funny books.
Explain to me how a pump is "faster on the follow up shot"
Might have been 50-60 years ago when the autos were really slow, not now, I do not believe.

March 11, 2006, 09:35 PM
I have bird hunted with both pumps, autos and when I was a boy I killed many doves with a single shot 410. I prefer the autoloader but many people swear by a pump action gun. Personally I feel more comfortable with the auto and feel like I can shoot it faster. It is what ever suits you. The gun type discussion is similar to which pick up tuck is better discussion, everyone is allowed to voice their opinion and each man thinks his is the best. :D

March 11, 2006, 09:43 PM
I take what ya got and get a good padded shooters vest or coat. Who is going to lug around 12 boxes of shotgun shells for each man per day? I honestly wouldn't want to shoot that many high brass shells in a single day. Seems a bit like it is all about the score and not the fun?

March 11, 2006, 11:04 PM
I went dove hunting in mexico about 10 years ago and took my 870 twelve gauge. Shot about a case a day. If I ever go back to Mex-s. America I will take a twenty gauge auto as a primary and a 20 870 as a back up. The twelve is just too much gun, especially in a pump.

March 12, 2006, 10:09 AM
its whatever you are comfortable with, the 12 guage pump with low brass will "work" just fine, just depends on you. i would take the pump and not worry about it.

Death from Afar
March 13, 2006, 03:21 PM
I can strongly recommend the auto. I am a huge fan of pump guns, but for large quamtity bird hunting you cannot beat an auto. Two experiences:

1/ We do a lot of pigeon shooting over grain fields for farmers. Last "Pigeon Fest" we shot about 600 birds in a morning. I was using my 1100 to reduce recoil, but also you do need that quick second shot, when 15 birds come in low and fast. If you are in a blind, you do need to be wary of your mates as the get a bit irritated by being hit by 12 gauge shells in the noggin all day.

2/ Every weekend for the past month I have been bird shooting in a vineyard. On a typical day we will let go 250 rounds of 12 gauge each. When the birds come in low and fast, skimming the vies, you need the auto. I used my Wingmaster one, but let it go after that, and stuck with the 1100.

You need the quick second shot ( or 5th as occurred this weekend ) and its great for avoiding a sore shoulder. Go for the auto.

Wild Bill Bucks
March 13, 2006, 06:33 PM
If you are use to a pump then use it, I have seen a lot of guys that can operate one as quickly as any automatic, I'm just not one of them. I use an auto simply because I'm not smart enough to remember to jack the next shell in.
Can't tell you how many birds I have missed pulling a trigger on a empty cartridge.:o

March 13, 2006, 09:11 PM
We estimate to shoot about 300 rounds of 12ga. a day

Just curious.

What will you do with that many birds?

March 14, 2006, 03:36 AM
+1 on the slip on limbsaver recoil pad. It makes a world of difference! espcially for anything more than 50 rounds in a week...

I won't trade mine for anything.

March 14, 2006, 03:55 AM
Are you experienced?

If you have a lot of shoulder time with that 12 gauge pump, take it. You might want to even if you don't, just for the expericence.

So far as the nay-sayers go, take it with a grain of salt. I've seen more than a few experienced pumpshooters who do deliver as much aimed fire as fast as any autoloader.

Most of what I see with autoloaders are sky busters if they are new to the game.

March 14, 2006, 05:21 AM
id use the pump if anything it will help you get better with your own gun. as far as the pump vs auto it seems that i was faster with my pump than my auto but then again when i bought the auto i started to aim.:D