SHOTGUN: o/u or pump?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Rohan, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Ambassador

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    +1 on the Wingmaster. Sold mine years ago and that was a stupid thing to do.

    As far as autos go, I have a Benelli Super Black Eagle that never let me down in the snowy, muddy muck of a winter wheat field when hunting geese. It's a recoil activated gun and not gas operated and this I think is the difference. I'd love to have that Wingmaster back but it won't be at the expense of letting my Benelli go.
     
  2. PAoutlaw

    PAoutlaw AH Member

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    Just a comment on the reliability of semi's, I own a Franchi I-12, the same parent company owns Stoeger (the "bottom line" company), Franchi ( the "middle of the road" company), and Benelli (the "top of the line" company), all operate on the same system, Inertia driven. If you want to see what these guns will go through, the Duck Commanders from Louisianna (duckcommander.com), are using Benelli Super Vinci's and really put these guns to the tests before they used them. They actually torture tested these guns by using them as boat paddles and burying them in swamp mud before using them just to see what they would handle. I wouldn't recommend this but it says a lot for the reliability of this action. Just my 2 cents on this...
     
  3. idahodrifter2002

    idahodrifter2002 New Member

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    another personal opinion here, i have used winchester, remington and mossberg pump shotguns, in addition to s/s and single shots. if i could only own one shotgun for the rest of my life, it would be a mossberg model 500. i have used one,( the one PA Outlaw spoke of) for years without the slightest problem. that gun shoots in the heat, freezing rain, sub-zero weather with just a drip of oil a year. i have seen them used in the US army in the desert without problems. i have shot everything from 9 shot to slugs out of the barrel and it is a great gun. it is drilled and tapped for optics, i can buy many different barrels for less than $200 here in the USA. it is just a good reliable firearm. it may not be as pretty as an Ithaca model 37, but it is smooth, reliable, and i have never had it malfunction in years of riding in the toolbox in the bed of my truck. i have to use a remington 870 for work, and (not wanting to start arguements with this statement) the mossberg is a much better firearm. and i believe i have used this firearm in every type of weather that Northeastern United States can provide. the only downfall i have found is that my particular mossberg is only chambered for 2 3/4 and 3 inch shells. for goose hunting i have been told i would do better with a 3 1/2 inch chamber for longer range.
     
  4. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Veteran

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    I shoot all the different shotgun types, in 12,16,20 and .410 but I have the most experience with pumps and o/u guns. For your situation I think you should buy a mid grade Browning or Beretta O/U, whichever fits you best ( they do fit differently), 12 ga. 26-28" 3" chamber barrels with interchangeable chokes, (IC or 1/4 and MOD or 1/2 are the most useful ) and worry no more. It will be perfect for many of the jobs you will have for it, and will serve for the other situations very well. It will be reliable, and last a lifetime.
     
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  5. Rob404

    Rob404 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    As a Kid I owned a 12g Ithaca double, later on I bought a CZ OU, the OU seems faster to the point. Both my OU and SxS have double triggers which I prefer, I even own a CZ Semi auto that has never given me a moments Grief and it's a gas Op ( they jam because you don't clean them),all of my Shotguns could be considered as working mans guns because the aren't fancy or expensive recently I bought a old Savage 20g SxS and hung up the old Ithaca 10lbs of Shotgun with 30" got to be just a little to much to schlep around.
     
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  6. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Fanatic

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    I would go with a pump. I have killed everything from deer to doves with mine and pretty much everything in between. They pretty much work no matter what. II have hunted with o/u but I can't shoot them worn anything. The pump gives you more options and if I have to choose one the benelli super nova would be it. You can get scary fast with a pump, and can reload while keeping it in target.
     
  7. Foxi

    Foxi AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Rohan,
    I know the different types of shotguns very well and in your situation (Africa,nothing is getting better there....) I would take a 12 ga Pumpgun.
    Pumps are here in Germany allowed,but indiscutable.
    The friends I have ,which are carrying a Semi Automatic had never problems with the Benellis or Berettas.Good ones but not so beautiful like a s/s or o/u and in traditional propertys you are not very liked with them.
    I love my o/u 20/70 Beretta with 76cm barells and shot thousands of small game with her.
    Im no slug hunter,and so I think you get the best with a Pump gun,when you will do it also.
    Don't forget Vario chokes and dont use to short barrels.
    Swing is important for shotgun shooting and the long ones move better.
    Foxi
     
  8. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    O/U with 3 inch chambers and interchangeable chokes. You wont regret it, a classic look and high functionality. I also suggest two triggers as this makes for less in the way of switches which are almost always the only part that breaks on the whole gun.
     
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  9. Passport

    Passport AH Member

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    Go find a chrome lifter 870 Wingmaster and your set for life.

    This is my do all, vintage receiver, chrome lifter found unused with new trap wood. 26 inch barrel with choke tubes

    IMG_1633.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2015
  10. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Not sure that is true. I would bet half of the bird hunters in N America (excluding waterfowl) now carry an OU. There are a lot of hunting places and venues world wide that will exclude pumps and semis. That is also true of a growing number of sporting clays courses. Has more to do with safety and keeping things within a two-shot engagement than it does snobbery. That said, there are plenty of places which will judge your ability on your outfit as much as your choice of gun. There are plantations in the south that won't allow the use of anything larger than a 20 for quail. A tradition thing. I am personally a SXS fanatic. That said, I grew up using a Winchester Model 12 and still own a couple.

    Back to the original question. If slugs and buckshot are going to be an occasional loading, then get the pump. They are sturdy as hell, and handle the heavy stuff well. A good one also makes a very fine bird gun. And as Diamond notes, a 12 bore is the only way to go. Just understand there will be places and shoots where such a gun will not be welcome. And if you aren't participating in that sort of sport now, then I wouldn't worry about it. An alternative might be something like a Beretta 687 in 12 bore. A very stout OU, they can also be used for upland game and for the occasional slug. For a truly all around gun, I would also get one chambered for 3 inch shells, regardless of action.
     
  11. The Bongo

    The Bongo AH Member

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    Any shotgun that does not fit will be useless, so buy one that fits!

    I use a pump 90% of the time. The mossy 500 and remmy 870 are the most versatile guns on earth.

    If I was hunting something with teeth, I would consider a twin trigger side by side. It is essentially two ultra reliable single shot guns in one. I do not know what cartridges you have available, but pumps will jam on 67 or 65mm cases.

    In short, I have had jams with expensive Beretta, Benelli and cheaper Franchise autos, even when well maintained. Jams with pumps are very rare, but cartridge choice is important. An o/u is just as good as a sxs, but being in fashion a good one will cost more, and they are slightly harder to eject/reload in thick cover as they open further. They are also rarer in double trigger.

    A good solid English or Spanish boxlock will last a lifetime, if serviced annually (ish). A Beretta or Browning will do so too, but will need gunsmith servicing every other year. A pump you can do yourself.

    Whatever you buy, get it fitted! We all have our favourites, but if they don't fit we miss...
     
  12. JimP

    JimP AH Fanatic

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    For myself I use both a pump, O/U, semi automatic, and a side by side. It all depends on what I am going after.

    My first shotgun was a Winchester Model 12 pump. I then purchased a Ithica Mag 10 for hunting high flying geese. My next shotgun was a Ruger Red Label 20ga, and then finally a .410 side by side for a pack around shotgun while I am hunting deer and elk to be used on grouse and rabbits.

    Personally for a first shotgun I would recommend a pump, then once the shooter learns to lead and hit flying targets to go to a O/U.
     
  13. Slugs Away

    Slugs Away AH Veteran

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    If the OU has ejectors then the reloading speed gap between pump and OU can become closer in the right hands. If you want to shoot slugs I would choose the pump and mount a scope.
     
  14. BigJohnx13

    BigJohnx13 AH Member

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    Hi Rohan

    Here’s my experience with shotguns. (Shooting in the defence combat team for 10 years. With all makes and types)

    1. Semi auto’s are very reliable and very fast to shoot. Gives you the also 5/7 + 1 up or more. Just make sure the weapon is maintained and oiled periodically. 200 rounds a day with no failure very easy. Most Semi auto’s are more designed for hunting and sport shooting than defensive.

    2. Pump action’s are also very reliable. Easy to shoot. Most designed for defensive shooting. Slower on the second shot than a double or semi auto.

    3. Doubles easy to shoot, only 2 rounds. Bigger variety of stock and barrel length and type to choose from. More designed towards hunting and sport shooting.

    Here the some facts to consider when choosing a shotgun. It is very difficult to get to get a middle way for your requirements.

    4. Chamber size. Try and get the biggest chamber available 3½ if possible. You can shoot all types of cartridge length from 2¾ , 3” and 3½ ”

    5. Calibre. 12 gauge is the most popular is SA and will gives you the biggest variety of ammunition types.

    6. Barrel length. Most Pump action shotguns have a very short and smooth (straight pipe) barrel designed for short ranges. Bird/buck hunting from 20/30m is very difficult because the spread is too big and the impact very small in general. Hunting barrels are much longer and designed to keep the shot tighter with a bigger impact at longer distances.

    7. Choking of barrels. Most hunting barrels can be modified easily with a choke to give you a longer range or tighter spread for you specific type of hunting. A good gunsmith can also choke a straight pipe to some extend to narrow the spread.

    My personal choice all rounder shotgun will be a semi auto 8 shot with a medium barrel and adjustable choke.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  15. Bsto270

    Bsto270 AH Veteran

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    I have never found an o/u that I liked and shot well (with the exception of a savage 24f combo gun i bought from my great uncle). However I am a s/s fanatic so take that as you will.

    With that said, I have a well loved but well used 870 express pump that has been used hard and never letme down. Crawling through thorns after beagles chasing rabbits, calling turkeys, pass shooting doves, ducks over decoys, you name it. So for what my $0.02 is worth , I say go with the pump.
     
  16. Slugs Away

    Slugs Away AH Veteran

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    Length of the shotgun barrel does not change the pattern or the distance of the projectile. Most the powder is usally burned with in the first two inches of barrel and all the powder is burned with in the first 12 inches of barrel.
    Chokes change the distance and pattern of the projectile. Long barrels are only used for pionting purposes.
     
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  17. Slugs Away

    Slugs Away AH Veteran

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    Furthermore, the art of finding a semi automatic shotgun, is to find one that reliable reloads light and heavy loads without the need to change the gas piston.
    The buretta 1301 competition would be an excellent choice for Africa.
     
  18. 35bore

    35bore AH Legend

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  19. MS Hitman

    MS Hitman AH Veteran

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    An extremely interesting discussion, not only on action style, but culture as well. I'm not a fan of O/U, prefer SxS as well as my pump guns. I use single shots for hunter training in my house, for obvious reasons.

    I have enjoyed reading this thread, thanks to all who have shared.
     
  20. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    I will throw my 2 cents in the ring, and try and be objective about it.

    I've owned shotguns in all the major categories (O/U, SxS, single shot, pump, and semi auto) in 12, 16, and 20 gauge. I had two Remington 870's; bought the second one as a "back up" in case the first one broke or had issues.....finally sold it, because I never needed it! The 870 is very dependable, easy to take down to clean, has a minimum of parts (as opposed to the Winchester 1200/1300 series) and is very popular so it probably wouldn't be difficult to find spare parts, if needed. I've used mine primarily as a duck gun, so it has been dunked, put away wet, dropped in the mud, dropped in the boat, dropped at the boat ramp, and it still performs. The only negative that I have to say about the 870 is that the ejector is a bit on the "flimsy" side (IMHO) and is pinned into place, so if it needs to be repaired, it needs the services of a good gunsmith. Other than that, I think they are about as close to perfection as you can get in a pump!
    I have shot O/Us, and while I like them as a field gun, in the cramped quarters of a duck blind, trying to open and load a long barreled gun can be a pain. It's not so bad if you are by yourself, or standing in the reeds hiding, but in a boat or structure, it can be a bit difficult.
    As for shell capability.......by law, we are restricted to 3 shots for migratory game. I used to remove the plug for pheasant/grouse hunting, but those extra couple of shells just added weight that usually wasn't needed. Not an issue at first, but after several hours of carrying, it did become one. I did a study at the trap range over the course of a year as to the percentage of birds shot with the first, second, and third shot. birds hit with the first shot were in the 95-96% range, birds hit with the 2nd shot (after missing with the first) was in the single digits; something like 7%. Those hit with the 3 shot after missing with the first and second were almost statistically insignificant (IMHO), something like . 7 or .8%. So, with that information I no longer remove the plugs from my shotguns, even where it's legal, for bird hunting.......and I rarely shoot that third shot if I miss with the first or second. (in some instances we are limited to the number of shells we can possess while afield). I generally save that third round for the bird (while duck hunting) in case the bird is crippled and trying to make a get away.....I HATE loosing cripples!
    Anyway, that's just my opinion...........good luck with your search.
     

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