SHOTGUN: o/u or pump?
I need to make a decision as to which kind of shotgun I will be buying and ultimately using for the rest of my life.
In South Africa the gun laws are very tight and the gun application process is very stiff...so I need to make the right call this once.
I am in two minds about the type of shotgun I want to purchase. There is a pretty standard looking Beretta RS pump (5+1), good condition. And there are a couple of o/u in Midland etc with case ejectors, also good condition.
The purpose for the shotgun would be all-round use. Birding, bushpig etc...
What do you guys think or know about the performance of the pump and o/u? Which one will serve me better as an all-rounder? I would also love to think that it may come in handy in a sticky situation one day.
I just dont want a semi-auto because I've heard of (but never experienced) jamming problems at the wrong time, and the o/u is simply better than the s/s because of the design and accuracy. So I dont want a semi-auto or a s/s, but I will take any informed advice about the s/s and semi-auto too.
I have always loved a beautiful O/U shotgun, the way they point, look, feel. I have owned several of them, but they are one's that stay in the in the safe. I always take the pump 12 ga to the field, so that being said, If I could only own one shotgun, the O/U's and SxS's are neat to look at and shoot, but, for everyday usage go with the 12ga pump. Scott.
I have a Remington Wingmaster 12 gauge, that I think for the dollar is one of the best guns every made. My vote is for the pump shotgun! They are usually easy to take apart and highy versatile. I use mine to shot sabots, slugs, buckshot and bird shot.
While I like side by sides or over/unders...they just are not as versatile.
My two Rand worth of advice...
I just moved to Kenya after spending the past 4 years bird hunting in South Africa. The ONLY shotguns that were accepted by the general wingshooting community were single shots, over and under and side by sides. Semi-autos and pumps were frowned upon and not allowed on our shoots. Pumps were referred to by the derogatory term "riot-gun" by most of the Afrikaner and English hunters I spent time with in the field and were deemed only suitable for law enforcement "crowd control" purposes.
I prefer a 12 bore o/u, but some of the finest shotguns in the world are side by sides. They are just as accurate and reliable as any other depending on the make and quality of construction. A kok gun is a kok gun, o/u, ss, semi-auto, pump, whatever. Spend the extra cash for something that will give good service and last a lifetime. Most importantly, you need a gun that fits you properly. A gun that is too short or too long will never be accurate for you. That is why buying used shotguns can be problematic; as with shoes, one size does not fit all. As for makes, I suggest Browning Citori or an entry level Beretta for lower cost options. Both are readily available in RSA and they will run you around 21-24,000 Rand. My personal shotgun, a Winchester 101 manufactured in Japan in the early 1970's had 26" barrels and fixed open chokes. I was able to use it to shoot skeet, guinea fowl, francolin, ducks and geese without any issues. The shorter barrel made it an awesome bush gun. It could also handle sabots, slugs and buckshot with no problem. It is a great all purpose gun.
It is my understanding that getting the SAPS to permit a semi-auto is virtually impossible and I never saw the need for one in the field anyway.
If you are looking for additional information on shotguns, I suggest contacting SA Wingshooters (Wingshooters.co.za). Their staff would be glad to assist and to offer advice. Ask to speak to Andre or Johann.
Best of luck in your search and be willing to spend the extra money. It will be worth it in the end and you will get more enjoyment from your shooting experience.
Mr. Robinson brings up some good points. I do know that Beretta, Krieghoff and Perazzi make great combo shotguns and some gun-makers build there high end shotguns to take single or double rifle barrels.
However you plan to be in the guiding industry and that changes things. Plus your limited cache of armament will help guide you in the direction you need to go. 1 or 2 shotguns or more.
I would second ennyse on the Remington. I have 2 and they work great. Here is the thing with the Remington. You can purchase different barrels. Rifled barrel with scope for slugs. short opr long barrels for tracking wounded game like cats. the 5 +1 has the single shot and OU beat hands down.
I would purchase a Magnum version and then you are set for all kinds of loads for the shotgun.
I also have single shot, OU and pump Plus auto shotguns and i go with the OU or pump when bird hunting.
I've owned a number of semi-auto loaders, pumps, SxS and O/U shotguns. I favor O/U and SxS for their reliability, safety (open action=safe), ease of checking barrel for obstructions, and sporting effect (only two shots). There is also the benefit of having two separate chokes for any given shooting situation. That said, if you are also considering home security, a pump is the better solution.
I have and own all the actions, being lucky not to have to deal with SAPS. :)
Originally Posted by HDP Safaris
I can only answer you by the criterion you lay out and knowing that you intend to be in the hunting industry.
Upland Game Birds I use my O/U and prefer it now over everything else. Easier to carry and totally safe. (You can see that it is unloaded very easily)
Ducks and Geese. Semi Auto and Pump - (More Steel/lead more hope)
Bears - Pump. I want a large tube magazine that is full thank you very much. A Remington Rifled slug gun is standard issue for out Wildlife Officers to deal with problem animals.
So, all-round use...
Given that one day you might just want to follow up on a Leopard.
Which action do you want in that situation.. one that has 6 shots or 2?
My vote is the firearm with a Pump action.
Just my 2 cents, but I have used everything from an old single shot shotgun to a new higher end semi, but never in a life or death situation. My Savage 311 side by side shotgun that I have used both in hunting and competition has worked without problems, on the other hand the over/under that I had always shot high, maybe that was the stock design or fit. I had a Mossberg 500 that shot everything I ran through it very well from birdshot to slugs, that was my turkey gun and heavy cover bear gun. I also have a Franchi I-12 semi that is inertia driven instead of gas driven like some other semi's that works great with just a drop or two of oil in the action. The Mossberg that I had is now in my brothers hands and probably has only had a drop or two of oil in the action since I traded it to him over a dozen years ago and still works like a hot knife through butter ( it rides in the tool box of his truck most of the year). If you get a good pump or semi it wont let you down.
90% of North anerican bird hunters carry pump shotgun, even more slug hunters use one. That speaks volumes to me.
I dont want to stir up sh1T here but IMO anyone who would exclude other hunters based on their weapon of choice is nothing more than an eletist snob no better than the flyfisherman who looks down his nose at a father and son using worms and spinning gear. Enough said on that.
My vote is 100% for the pump, it is clearly the best all around action. As to caliber it would have to be 12ga. Shells are available everywhere and it is good for everything from dove to geese to deer (bushpig in your case). 12ga is the 30-06 of shotguns.
My vote would also have to be for the pump. As you said you will only be able to have one shotgun a pump is definitely the most versatile. As you have a need you can buy more barrels. In Iowa we have to hunt deer with a shotgun and I have shot 20-30 this way, today with sabots and rifled barrel they are a two hundred yard gun. For bird hunting in bush conditions you can use a 22" barrel, and for open areas you can use a 28" barrel.
I farm and have a feedlot I keep a Rem. 870 on my ATV always. I keep a few slugs (if I have to put a animal down) a few 4 shot (skunks, possums, raccoons) and a few 7 1/2 shot (rats, starlings). There is hardly any bluing on the metal or finish on the would but it always goes off. If I do need to take it apart I can get it down to its basic parts with a pliers and a punch or nail.
If you want a "nice" shotgun get a o/u; they look cool, point well, feel great. If you want a working shotgun get a pump; much cheaper, holds more rounds, more versatile.
Another plus for the pump is. If it is ever used as a working gun being carried as a backup or in a vehicle you can keep the tube loaded and leave the chamber empty thus have a empty gun that can quickly be fired. This is how I keep my ATV shotgun.
I own all types of shotguns, O/U (Winchester 101), Semi-Auto (Remington 1100), Pump (Wingmaster)...all are great guns.
The thing to keep in mind is that RSA is not the USA and the shotgunning culture in RSA is very different, tending to lean heavily on English traditions of s/s and o/u. In addition, licensing guns through the South African Police Service is a very involved process. I have seen it take 2-3 years for a hunter to secure a permit for a new gun. Sure, for home protection, I would prefer my pump. For duck hunting I would prefer the semi-auto. But in RSA, SAPS frowns on semi-autos and pumps are seen more as law enforcement weapons than proper field guns. Choosing one shotgun to satisfy all the potential needs is just as problematic as finding the one rifle that can do-it-all.
Showing up to shoot birds in South Africa in plus twos or plus fours will get you laughed out of the field. Showing up with a semi-auto or pump will result in your not being invited back. This is simply based on the perception that anything that can't be carried broken in the field is deemed unsafe. We actually carried our guns broken until the birds flushed. Flush, close gun, raise, aim, boom.
A great discussion.
You guys make interesting and valid points on all sides. You have given me a lot more insight into the two shotguns I am stuck on.
Here's my take:
The o/u is a classy, fashionable, and reliable weapon in terms of accuracy, safety, and 'feel', and also it has the capcity to send a follow up shot just like a heavy double rifle would on a charging cat
-quicker than a pump or bolt- but after the second barrel is empty I better have my wits about me if my quarry is not permanently down because i've seen clips and heard stories where even the most professional and harderned hunters become frozen under that kind of duress and fumble around with the thumb-sized cartridges while smelling the breath of a pissed off cat!
The o/u is safer in that you can assess whether there is a round in the chamber quite quickly, and you can walk around with it neck-broken to avoid accidents (and it just looks good). Its a classic and i'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to stuff like that (If I had it my may I would go hunting in white and creme -coloured tennis attire with the tennis shoes and sporting top-hat with an Obendorff .416Rigby by my side just like in Harry Selby's time!!!) So the o/u is as practical as what it is 'romantic' and 'acceptable' by certain communities. But i'm not looking to join the elite and specialised wingshooting community just yet. I would love that and I know what saprof is talking about, but my intentions with my shotgun go further than being accepted in a wingshooting community. One day if I can afford a good o/u Beretta then I will buy it and take up wingshooting and clay-pigeon as a sport seperate from my 'PH/Agent' career (fingers crossed). I also already have applied for a .44spl with 4" barrel for self-defense so that's sorted. I cannot apply for anymore self-defense weapons.
I am doing a PH course this year as well as opening an agency (not a hunting outfit, an agency), so I intend to do rough work with my shotgun and not care too much about being an active wingshooting client. I intend to use the shotgun just as a backup on wounded cats etc, bushpig/bushbuck hunting (thick bush hunting), and the occasional wingshooting but nothing more than occasional wingshooting at places where its 'ok' to use a riot-gun.
Saprof, I agree with you on what you have said...things just are the way they are here in SA, when it comes to wingshooting it's very "British", but it's not like that all over, infact as far as I know those communities are more specialised than what they are all-over SA, its just like that in those clubs/outfits you are talking about. And I don't want to become a wingshooter only so an o/u for those reasons are great, but will it benefit me like the others have said...by having more in the tube when facing a wounded cat or bushpig? Your other points make a lot of sense too and i'm not sold on the pump action just yet, it's only that from the beginning I was leaning more towards the pump anyway. Your info is very enlightening. But, having said that, I couldn't care less if people laugh me out of the wingshooting club or if I don't get invited back, because it's not my intention to shoot birds in a specialised way. I may book clients there or refer people to those places/outfits, but for the purposes of my career my shotgun needs to surpass the specialist needs of the wingshooting clubs. And the pump is looking better for general use than an o/u, not to say that either is better overall. Regarding the SAPS; it's difficult to get any weapon, but saprof you are right, applying for a semi-auto is dicy if one does not have GOOD motivation plus the required dedicated shooters status (to own more ethan one etc) plus plus plus... but I think to apply for just one working pump action with good motivation will be as hard to get as any rifle, I undersatnd the dynamics and history of our country and when people here SEMI-AUTO they think very carfefully about whose going to be holding that semi-auto...and why they want a semi-auto and not a single barrel etc.
Originally Posted by HDP Safaris
but after the second barrel is empty I better have my wits about me if my quarry is not permanently down because i've seen clips and heard stories where even the most professional and harderned hunters become frozen under that kind of duress and fumble around with the thumb-sized cartridges while smelling the breath of a pissed off cat!
Rohan...so much to learn...so little time!! :) Please note the SMILE!!! Get the shooting of wounded cats with a shotgun RIGHT OUT OF YOUR MIND! We (Royal We!) all own many firearms so that one can choose the correct one to deal with the problem or challenge at hand!
An O/U will serve you well for: Birds, pigs and other little critters. NOT WOUNDED CATS!!
The Pump will serve you well for Birds pigs other little critters and felons. NOT WOUNDED CATS unless you change the barrel for a SLUG model and USE SLUGS!! In yr quoted bit, you'd better remember to pump the durn thing too!
You simply cannot have one firearm that covers the whole field! The exception would be to have a cased set of over and unders from Kriekoff (or similar) with both rifle and shotgun barrels! Now we're talking!!!:)
But there again perhaps a Drilling is what you're looking for!
More confused now?? :)
By the way, in the US there are many gun clubs that use semi's!!!!
I hear you Ole Bally.
The more weapons I have the more I can choose from to meet the needs of the situation at hand. Indeed that's one of the reasons we buy more than 5 weapons in SA or anywhere in the world. But I simply don't have that luxury of going to my walk-in safe and choosing the best two shotguns off the rack. And as far as big cat shooting goes, its just a complete and utter worst case scenario, like if I dont have my .375 by me etc. I just meant following up cats with a shotgun could be one of the purposes for my one and only shotgun, and if so which would be better, a pump or an o/u...but I don't actually intend on making it my big-cat-follow-up-weapon. But if the situation calls for it, I would just love to know that the trusty pump or o/u that I do have will throw slugs or sabots at the angry feline.
So it boils down to:
I will be using the shotgun for birding, bushpigs...etc as I said in my first message, but in the event of an angry cat and the situation calls for me to use the shotgun (for whatever reason), will the pump or the o/u serve best for birding, bushpig, AND the possibility of angry cat (general use)? Seeing as I can't just buy and buy some more rifles and shotguns i'm trying to see what's the best shotgun for ALL scenarios should I experience them, though one or two of the guys mentioned that one rifle just can't do it all and I agree period, but I think there are midways and best-suited-for-general-use weapons out there. I intend on using my .375H&H for follow-ups on DG, if I get the opportunity to guide DG hunts. And I don't take DG hunting lightly, I understand the time and exprience and learning one needs to aqcuire before guiding a DG hunt. It takes more than a 'kudu hunter' to go hunting for DG and keep the head cool when it counts!
And yes, so much to learn...:) But maybe I should also remind you guys that i'm still at university part-time and nowhere near able to afford Krieghoff and brand new Berettas:(. I just need a shotgun that's going to 'work' properly and be able to throw all kinds of loads down it's barrel. Later in life I will play around and experiment with all types of guns and ammo, when I have the dollhairs to do so:D
What i've picked up from all you guys' valuable input is that the best for me is to get a pump that can change barrels(?)...one smoothbore and one rifled(?) And a longer one and a shorter one(?)
If memory serves me correctly the pump I can afford and that most suits me is a Beretta RS201. Does this one have the capability of changing barrels like the Remingtons that James and Enysse referred to?
Originally Posted by Ole Bally
OK jokes aside! I would buy the best O/U that I could afford! It'll be something you can keep down the line and have lots of fun with! And leave it to your son one day!
We were always starved of good quality weapons and choice thereof here in Zim...and the money to fund them given PH's pay!!, but if I could do it all over again, I'd save a little longer and buy the right thing!
Shoot yr .375 a lot and become very very proficient with it...it's what'll save yr life!
I see this thread heated up since yesterday.
Yes, us Americans are very familiar with the pump shotgun. I don't know how many millions are laying around the USA. But the pump shotgun is the ultimate weapon most days. With practice you can just about shoot it fast as O/U or Side/Side. Ton Knapp, a famous shooter can throw something like 9 clay pigeons in the air with one hand and grab a shotgun and dust everyone off before any of them hit the ground.
If I had to follow up a leopard a good 20 or 12 gauge with a short rifled barrel with sabots would probably be my choice. And in some cases a smooth barrel with a rifle choke would work too. I'm not sure buck shot would be a good choice....I would have to do a lot of experiments before I would recommend it.
Practice is everything...sure the first shot counts the most. But there is no gun I can cycle fast than a pump shot or rifle. I own both...I have a 270 Win pump rifle that feeds and shoots spot on.
That being said, everything above is based on stuff available in the USA, because we have gun and ammo store on every corner here in the USA. And you don't in Africa. The whitetail is "king" here in the USA and shotgun technology is based on the semi-auto and pump. Yes, we have side/sides and O/U but that is for waterfowl and upland bird hunting for the most part.
You have to adapt to what material you have at your finger tips. And how much money time and money you have.
You like the Beretta...great. you want to know about barrels...great...purchase what you can afford...and learn to like it...
Purchase the Beretta pump Shotgun and purchase a second barrel and have it cut to 18 inches and have choke tubes installed. If you purchase an Auto you will need to clean it all the time to keep it working. Dust and sand put these gun at a stand still and make them single shots at best.
Now, hands-down there is no shotgun faster than a model 12. and it has an extended tub for 1+7 great and it will beat any auto loader for output. I gave mine to my brother as he had a better use for it that i did 18 1/2 barrel cylinder choke. With buck shot it was a dangerous game gun (former trench shotgun). you had to take the time to learn to shoot this gun to make the most of it. This is a true hip shooter with practice, run a flat through one some time at the trap range and see how proficient you become.
Now checking a shotgun to see if you have one in the chamber. I have both OU and pump and i shoot thousands of rounds a year through my OU and i can check the pump quicker and have it closed and ready to fire faster than the OU. again practice make this happen.
Now slugs VS buck shot is another question all-together i have a tendency to stack different loads in the tube ready to be loaded into the chamber. and i have a selection of copper plated BB's, 00 Buck, #4 Buck, & Slugs. All of these are killers at close range. One thing many on here do not do is pattern test there shot gun at various ranges from 5 yards out to 50yards.
I usually start at 10 to 15 yards as your projectile will be a single mass at that point and this allow me the ability to make adjustments to my stock to align the pattern either right - left & up and down. When the chips are on the line you want that gun shooting where you are looking with out thinking. If you have to stop to think where do i need to aim the game (match) is lost.
Personally I would take the double barrel. I always prefererred the side by side. I started out using single shots & doubles. I never got used to the pump and on more than one occassion i forgot to pump it! Certainly not a good situation if your chasing big Cats! Either are good choices!
Ok here is my take. Having just gone through this myself(picking the perfect shot gun). First choice would be the semi-auto. Your follow up shots (more than 2) which could save your life in Africa. The versatility is endless with the advancement of slugs. You can use a slug barrel or just a vent rib or both if you can get them. Now that being said and a semi-auto being hard to get in SA I go with the pump. That is the next best option. An as others have said get the super mag( 3 1/2). Not much use for it but at least you have the option. o/u are nice but I feel they don't serve your "all arround" needs. In a pump or semi-auto you get more shots, quicker follow up in good or bad situations. Multipe barrel choices. As far as brand you can't go wrong with a remington 870. I just upgraded from a remington 1100 to a 1187. I have the field barrel for any bird, and my cantaliever for deer. I don't need anything else.
E hit the nail on the head on the speed of the pump. When proficient they can be fired accurately nearly as fast as a semi auto. As the gun recoils the pump comes back, as the gun is pulled back on sight the pump slides forward and back on sight. With the right (practiced) shooter they can be accurately fired as quickly as you can say BANG BANG BANG!!!
I wont claim any experience with Leopard but I think it is safe to say they come fast and hard. The fastest guns are the pump and lever. A short barreled defender 12ga with sabot slugs is very potent medicine in tight cover.