View Full Version : semi auto vs pump

March 3, 2008, 02:29 PM
I have always had a pump shotgun. I have never even fired a semi auto shotgun.

Am I missing out on anything?

I am happy with my pumps, but I have toyed with the idea of buying a mossberg 930 home security shotgun.

What say you?

March 3, 2008, 02:52 PM
I have both a 500 and a 930. I enjoy them both, but I would say that I prefer the 930 (if I had to choose). The main reason is that the nature of the pump action means that the forearm is not rigid. The 930 feels more "stable". Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoy the 500, but if I could only take one of the two it would be the 930, all other things being equal.

I suppose the pump would be more reliable since it is less complicated, but my 930 has been very reliable for me.

I'm not entirely sure this answered your question. :)

March 3, 2008, 04:04 PM
I love the semi-autos, mine is an HK/Benelli M1 Super 90.
Pump shotguns don't interest me at all...

Purchased new in 1993
hundreds of rounds fired

March 3, 2008, 04:22 PM
For HD I'd stick with the pump. BTW, my CCW is a revolver for the same reasons...I don"t like automatic transmissions either.

March 3, 2008, 05:28 PM
I had always preferred pumps for HD, until I layed hands on my Saiga. Beats the 870 I used to have all to pieces.

March 3, 2008, 06:33 PM
pump is my favorite but a saiga sounds like a good deal so I might get one this summer

March 3, 2008, 06:48 PM
I prefer pumps. Had a few autos but sold them all. Still have most of the pumps.

March 3, 2008, 10:01 PM
I look at this the same way I look at semis vs. revolvers. I carry a semi but love to shoot revolvers and either one will server you well. Likewise with the semi-auto shotty vs. the pump.

Blue Duck
March 3, 2008, 10:18 PM
I have owned several pumps, and still own a model 12 Winchester and a model 97 riot gun. However, I will put my money on any one of my Browning A5s vs any pump for reliability. My main HD gun is an old Browning A5, loaded with 00 Buck, it never jams, and I like having the magazene cut off. That way I feel a little more at ease keeping the tube loaded and the cut off engaged with an empty chamber. Someone less familiar will have a little more trouble getting it to fire, but I have used A5s for so many years, that hitting the cutoff lever is second nature, and I have killed a heck of a lot of stuff with it, and I have had practically no malfuctions with it, with many many rounds shot through it, in fact I have had quite a few more malufuction with pumps.

Scattergun Bob
March 3, 2008, 11:11 PM
This is a article I wrote for a small LE magazine 17 years ago. H&K still distributed the weapon to LE at this time. It is out of date but may help with some issues. Hope you enjoy.

What's Wrong With the Benelli M-1 Super 90 Shotgun? First let me say, I am a Benelli guy, I shoot the gun rigorously, I have spent days, weeks, HELL, I have spent too much time, causing this gun to fail and dissecting the fault. As with many of us, I started with a pump gun and stepped "up" to a self-loader. I emphasize the "up" because 'in my opinion' this is a Qualitative not a Quantitative description.
Before I discuss what is wrong with the Benelli, let me first talk about what is right about the Benelli. For the delivery of a massive projectile weight in the shortest time, at close distance there is simply no better weapon system available to Law Enforcement. Some will point to the MP-5 and say "More Better", this simply is not the case.

(Experiment #1)
Two 3 round bursts from an MP-5A2(3RB) delivers six 147 grain 9MM projectiles for a total weight of 882 Grains. Two rounds of 12 gauge 000 Buckshot (my favorite) deliver 16 projectiles average weight of 70.5 grains for a total weight of 1,128 Grains. The trick is both guns deliver their rounds in the same amount of time!

Understand that this experiment does not address an extended firefight, projectile velocity, muzzle flash, or recoil. I am simply discussing one of the many variables that exist.
The Benelli has solved one of the worst failures in combat shotguns. It WILL work with a shell on the shell carrier! There are no replacement parts necessary to make this occur. They designed this weapon from the start to operate with a shell on the shell carrier. As a side note, as of this writing I have yet to experience a multiple round transfer from the magazine tube to the shell carrier.

Now What is wrong with the Benelli M-1

1. The most serious problem with the Benelli lays between our ears
It is not a pump! Please don't take this statement lightly. Most of us are more comfortable with pump shotguns, we want self-loaders, but we trust pumps. This same mixture of 'wants' vs. trust must have occurred in 1937 when the first M-1 Grands came into service replacing the exceptional 1903A3. The transition of Law Enforcement from revolver to self-loading pistols consumed reams and reams of paper bitching or praising, for and against, one or the other. LETS FACE IT FOLKS, our minds don't change easily!
It's not a pump, it's a self-loader simply means that we must condition our minds to except the fact that the gun uses mechanical energy "other than our arms" to operate. This is a fact, and it denies us the ability to jam the bolt open or closed by sheer force of " will and arm". This fact denies us the mental comfort of slamming our 870 fore-end home with authority and "knowing" its in-battery, and also, the immediate body alarm that goes off when the fore-end abruptly stops somewhere else.
With the self-loader we think that we can never be sure that it will fire when we need it and we won't know about it until it's too late. This is a false notion, there are easy ways to immediately prove 'in-battery' with this weapon just as in the 1911 or Glock.

2. It DOES HAVE stoppages!
This should not be surprising to anyone. Any mechanical device will fail to operate, even our trusty pumps. I have catalogued 7 types of stoppages in the Benelli, 2 of which may be inertia related.
Four of these stoppages occur in all self-loaders, (most occur in pump shotguns) they range from the weapon being "empty", to shells loaded in the receiver backwards. I do not believe that the Benelli is any more or less prone to these types of stoppage that any other quality weapon.
Two stoppages are common to but not limited to the design of the weapons operating system. I will not lecture you on the merits and design of the inertia operating system. I will simply say that the physics of this type of operating system requires that the weapon does not travel either forward or rearward at any great velocity at the time of the extraction cycle.
The gun must be held firmly and basically in place for the system to work as specified. In my mind this eliminates any (miss guided) thoughts of hip shooting this weapons (see your sight = hit your target). It may however present a stoppage problem if the weapon is fired with the stock away from the shoulder, slipping off the shoulder or from an underarm position.
The next inertia stoppage is due to operator error. If you assist or obstruct the bolt in any manner from traveling forward there is a great likelihood that the locking head will not engage the locking lugs and "hang" just short of in-battery. This is a common occurrence and is most evident when loading the weapon through the ejection port. This stoppage can be immediately discovered if you incorporate the "in-battery" check with your loading drill.

3. It demands Periodic Maintenance Service (PMS), to prevent Piss-Poor Mechanical Function (P-PMF)
I am not suggesting that pumps don't require PMS, they do. I am suggesting that PMS in the Benelli is paramount to its operating reliability. I am also emphatically stating that if you do not perform good periodic maintenance service on this weapon, you will experience mechanical failure. If it's your weapon and your life, shoot only superior factory rounds and best clean your SCATTERGUN.
My rule of thumb is that each time I am done firing the Benelli I will remove the barrel and clean at least the chamber, pull the RAT, clean the bolt face and under the extractor head, and wipe down the inside of the receiver (don't forget the receiver rails). This is a minimum, must do, to prevent P-PMF. You can not be lazy, you can not say tomorrow, just do it!
Remember, in the middle of the gunfight, no matter how strong your ARMS are, forcefully racking the fore-end will not make up for poor PMS of this weapon and that's guaranteed!

4. Limitations of a LONG ALUMINUM Receiver
IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS : Under no circumstances attach a sidesaddle shell carrier to the receiver of any M-1. Under no circumstances replace the trigger guard pin with any steel screw or bolt. This practice will likely destroy the receiver and will void your warranty on this weapon.
In closing I say the Benelli is a true race horse, properly maintained, competently handled it out classes the field in its speed of delivering fire. It has some compromises, we have discussed those, it fixes some flaws in the operation of combat shotguns, we've discussed those, it is not a club. Does the M-1 fill the all the needs of Law Enforcement, is it truly the best scattergun? I don't know. I do know that in 7 years of shooting Benelli's I have had 3 failures that I did not self-induce. Two were operator error, one may be ammo related, all three surprised me, all three would probably have been tragic had it not been a training exercise, fortunately God is forgiving & paper targets don't shoot back! IT ONLY PAYS TO WIN,
Scattergun Bob

March 3, 2008, 11:13 PM
Stick with a pump. They're cheap and you'll most likely never use it.

March 3, 2008, 11:24 PM
remington 870 how I roll:cool: 18" matte black finish butler creek foldn stock:cool:

Ranger Al
March 4, 2008, 12:01 AM
Personally, I have both semi and pump. I get spoiled on the auto (wasted lots of shells) and when I do decided on using the pump, I woul anticipate the gun to discharge the empty by itself!

I think if you are satified with the pump, you can out shoot the semi-auto. I have Browning A-5 (locked in a safe place), 2 smith &wesson OK, but my personally favorite would be the winchester 1300 and the Mossberg 500 pump.

March 4, 2008, 11:26 AM
Some folks prefer the auto-loaders, but my preference is the Mossberg pump.

Recoil-reduction is a benefit of auto-designs, for those that are sensitive to that, but still need a shotgun. (My brother is 5'-6", 145Lbs, wearing waders full of water) bought a Rem 1100 way back in 1969 or so. He is a duck/goose/other migratory game bird hunter, so he has to use a shotgun. He has tried oldest brother's 870 and my Maverick88 & Mossy500...the R1100 works best for him.

March 4, 2008, 11:42 AM
There's no "best" one for every situation. I like my pumps, but I see the benefit of a semi. Some semi-auto pros include being able to fire faster from a prone position or when resting the weapon on a barricade and also being a hell of a lot easier to fire when you have a wounded arm. Also, there's going to be less felt recoil with a semi.

I like the cold reliability of a pump.

For those of you pump shotgun aficionados who've seen the movie "Neighbors" with Akroyd and Belushi, you'll fondly remember this scene!


"Now you just take back that cup you keep switching Earl or it'll be pump city!"