Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

Semi-Auto Tactical Shotgun vs. Pump

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by TexasGlockster, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. So I'm just getting into the idea of buying a tactical shotgun for home defense. What are the pros and cons of semi-auto (and within that, gas powered vs. inertia powered)? Are pump actions really that much more reliable/durable? Does one require less cleaning than the other?

    Also, I've heard about shotgun rounds that are packed with glass pellets rather than lead as a means of making them safer to use in a home defense situation (less likelihood of over penetration). Anyone know if these actually exist and if so who makes them?
  2. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    More moving parts, more for Mr. Murphy to screw with. That alone tells you a pump is more reliable then any sem-auto. Your going to get so many different answers that this entire thread is going to be useless to you. You asked the right questions and can figure out the answer with common sence.

    Glass shotgun shells, never hear of them. Sounds like some silly mess to me. Better off busting the guy in the head with a Bud long neck bottle, if they even make them any longer.

  3. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Personally, I prefer a pump gun, but semis have their advantages.

    As for the glass shot, sounds like an internet rumor, and I highly doubt they would have enough mass to be effective. If it is able to stop a BG, it is going to be more than powerful enough to go through sheetrock.
  4. DougW

    DougW Native Texan

    May 9, 2003
    North Texas
    I have owned short barreled pumps (and they are reliable and tough), but the current 2 HD shotguns are auto loaders (Benelli's). Mine have always been totally reliable, even with rediced recoil buck or slugs, which is all I shoot these days.
  5. joeshdog


    Mar 17, 2011
    Good question Texas! Ive been debating which one to get also. Never owning a pump or semi I was hoping to gain some knowledge from the replys. My gut tells me to go pump, but I was surprised when Mas suggested looking into the auto's. He was replying to a question I posted in regards to a 20 gauge pump for hd. Here is part of his reply: (before you buy, consider going with an auto instead of a pump. It takes a LOT of habituation to run a pump gun swiftly on "auto pilot," and while you may have the skill and experience to do it, the others in the home defense "pool" who resort to that gun may not) Again, he was replying to a question on a 20 gauge and evidently the Remington 20 ga pumps have been known to jam. The 12 gauges were very reliable. But it told me that he must have some degree of trust in todays autos. I was hoping to hear some positives on the auto's from owners and what attention they need to run reliably. I also read that auto's kick less than pumps and in 12 gauge that could be a plus depending on age and physical stature.
  6. glockenturm


    Jan 26, 2010
    Make sure whatever you get is comfortable to shoot and encourages practice. My first shotgun was not and it sat in a closet after the first outing. Then again, the range I went to only allowed slugs......

    Both auto and pumps can and do experience failures. The key is learning how to clear stoppages and practice......which I'm guilty of not doing enough. :quiet:

    Here are my opinions:

    Pump gun Pros: Can shoot any shell designed to fit the gun.

    Semi Auto Pros : Can shoot really fast.

    My philosophy is learn on the most challenging system first and everything else is easy. Become proficient with a pump then an auto will seem really easy. If you learn on an auto first, you might get frustrated with a pump. Unlike a handgun, it's not really easy to carry a shotgun everywhere you go. And if you are staying at someone else's home while away, odds are they will have a pump action and you can become useful should an emergency arise.

    Now the next question you should ask on the forum is which brand and why? :whistling:
  7. CCV

    CCV Millennium Member

    Apr 3, 1999
    Houston, Texas
    I'll take my Benelli M2 Tactical and not feel at any disadvantage.
  8. jhooten

    jhooten NRA Life Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Central Texas.
    The only gun replaced so far after the great conflagration is my 11-87P. This time I splurged and got the ghost ring sights.
  9. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    My favorite shooter is my 11-87P but it lives in my safe and I would never trust it with my life. The design is the reason. It will only fire heavy loads so practice means buckshot and slugs. It can not be fired from the hip as the action spring will not compact enough to send the breech bolt forward and lock up. Therefor, it has to be fired from a solid shooting stance. Great for range fun but you are not going to have a perfect solid stance in a fight.
  10. Buffering

    Buffering The Cooler

    Aug 8, 2005
    Rocking the Casbah
    I played the trombone throughout school and I'm a slide person with shotguns. A pump person can be nearly as fast as a semi and with less parts to break, it's my choice for HD.

    The only downside to a pump is the quickness of shots however i wonder if it's more of a theoretical difference than real. The downsides to an auto are more than that and while some have no negative experiences with ammo selection, the pump exhibts no such tendancies.

    A pump is like a T shirt and jeans whereas an auto is like designer jeans and a Tommy Bahama shirt.
  11. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    Feb 6, 2000
    Not all Semi's are created equal. In three gun its rare to see a Benelli or a FN SLP malfunction when fed good ammo. In fact seeing a shoote short stroke a pump is more common. However I have lost track of how many times I have seen Remington 1100's choke.

    The Pros to pumps
    1. Can far pretty much anything that fits in the chamber.
    2. Much cheaper.
    3. More reliable if the shooter runs the gun properly (but only slightly)

    1. More recoil
    2. Slower to cycle and shoot.
    3. Don't tell you when you are out of ammo. You usually end up getting a click on an empty chamber and have wasted precious time.


    1. softer recoil (with gas operated guns)
    2. Faster cycling and hence you can shoot them faster. That is why pumps are seldom used in three gun outside of Heavy Metal that requires their use.

    1. More finicky with ammo need to meet a certain power floor.
    2. More maintance required although I have yet to clean my Benelli M2 I purchased this summer and have used in over 12 matches firing over 500 rounds through it so far with no malfunctions.
  12. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

    Jul 13, 2003
    Pump, because with a bit of training on your side it's gonna be fast enough, but even without such training it's gonna be more reliable (as long as You will stick to the proven design).
  13. RetailNinjitsu


    Jun 1, 2007
    Auto for me...

    My FN SLP has been %100 reliable, can be fired with one hand, has far less recoil than my 590s, and can't be short-stroked.

    I have short-stroked guns many times, but I have never experienced a failure with the SLP. It was an easy choice...
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  14. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    Feb 6, 2000
    Without training the pump is less reliable. I have seen too many new shooters and even some cops on the firing line short stroke their pumps. As for speed there is no such thing as fast enough. Being faster and more accurate than the other guy means you get to go home and he doesn't
  15. mixflip


    Mar 4, 2009
    Im good to go with either one if I dont have the luxury of choice.
  16. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    Feb 6, 2000
    I agree I can run either. Right now for work I run a Vang 870 but I am looking at changing to a custom R&R Saiga short barrel shotgun. I have enjoyed my full on race ready R&R so I may just take the plunge on a tactical one.
  17. Denied

    Denied NRA Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    only point I will add is if you are like me, after the new wears off the gun will set in the closet or under the bed fully loaded for long periods of time, with that to consider stick with the pump, it will be much more reliable with little or no maintenance.
  18. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    Stating a semi-auto is faster then a pump is misleading to many readers. If you are talking about just pulling the trigger and making noise, then yes. However, I and many other shooters, some who are posting on this thread, are as fast and accurate with a pump as you guys are with your semi-autos. When hits count, I shoot my 870 as fast as my 11-87P.

    I see a lot on these blogs from guys that have never had to rely on one of these weapons in the line of duty. Easy to speculate on all this mess but when it is a real probability that the weapon you have is going to see you come home from work, well, you get serious about what is in your hands.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  19. KARTMAN90


    Mar 18, 2011
    Yuma, AZ
    Nothing makes a noise in the dark like a 12-gauge pumping a round in the chamber. That noise and that noise alone will stop anyone in their tracks real fast