Pump vs. over/under

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by Garandman1945, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Garandman1945

    Garandman1945 New Member

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    Hello all!

    I've just recently taken up trap shooting with my local club, and I'm thinking over getting a cheap shotgun to call my own (currently I use one of the 870s my club owns when I shoot trap).

    Since it will be the only shotgun in my arsenal, I want something relatively all purpose (useable for home defense or trap). I've considered semi-auto, but I think what I want is either a pump or a over/under, namely because I love the classic look and feel of both of those styles. Definitely 12 gauge, and ideally not too pricey since it's just a starter gun.

    What do you guys think, any suggestions out there?

    Thanks!
    -Garandman
     
  2. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    Buy an 870 if you shoot it well. Mossberg 500 is a good choice. I wouldn't want my only shotgun to be an O/U. If you are going to buy it for dedicated trap shooting that is one thing. But you said a multi-purpose so a pump is your best option.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    my preference is for side by side for trap skeet birding. i just prefer the more classy look. for me the side by side tracks better on moving targets.

    the difference tween side by side and o/u is mainly cosmetic but the diff tween those and a pump or semi is speed. a double barrel is faster than a pump or semi. there is no round to cycle into the chamber both barrels are already loaded. doesnt get any faster than that.

    the other choice is double or single trigger. i have two sxs one with a double the other a single. my pref is the double trigger since i can have two different shells and two different chokes and not have to muck with a barrel selector switch to set off one barrel or the other as needed for target distance. VERY handy for birding.

    pumps and semis offer much higher capaciy and easier loading but a lot of trap shooting you only get two shots. a lot of states only allow two shells in the gun, which negates the advantages of the pump or semi in such things.

    sxs and o/u arent very good for home defense and other things like three gun competition and other shooting sports which arent trap/skeet
     
  4. KingGlamis

    KingGlamis New Member

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    For trap shooting only I would go over/under. But for everything else I prefer a pump. I have a buddy that uses his over/under as his home defense as well, but that is only two shots before you have to reload. My sister's house got robbed by four guys. Two shots is not always enough.
     
  5. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree an 870 is a great trap and self defense shotgun, I shot trap for about 10 years with an 870 before I bought my Ruger Red Label o/u. The Mossberg 500 is also a good choice, a friend of mine had one that he literally shot until it fell apart, this took over 20 years of trap, hunting, and various other pursuits.

    A used Remington 1100 is also a very good choice, a little less recoil. With either 870 or 1100 go with a 28" or 30" barrel with the interchangeable chokes.
     
  6. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    My personal preference for clays is an over and under. For me, it's the weight / balance that seems to work for me. I find I can grip the O&U more comfortably and bring it up to my shoulder without thinking about the aim. It just seems to fit well. I do have a single which I have used for fun on clays but it knocks the crap out of me for some reason. (weight, no doubt) I also have a Moss 500 which I started with....and still shoot clays with. But I always gravitate back to the O&U.
     
  7. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Buy a pump for now as a do it all option. Remington offers a 21 inch Rem Choke barrel with some of the newer 870s that with a change of a choke tube, most needs would be covered. If you shoot the club 870s well, I would get an 870, as you are already used to how they operate.

    Should you decide you want a trap only shotgun later see if some of the other club members will let you try out a round with one of their shotguns. That way you can find out if a SXS or an O\U would work well for you.
     
  8. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    You can get a Mossberg 500 combo with a 28" barrel and a 18.5" security barrel for the cost of an 870 express. At this point you are not prepared to lay out $2,500 or more for a decent double barrel when you might quit shooting skeet and trap in six months. Don't settle for a pump with a security type barrel even if it has screw in chokes. You need as much sight plane as you can get. If expert skeet shooters feel the need for a 30" barrel you will not do better with a 20" barrel.

    Don't cheap out on a double barrel. The minimum double barrel you should consider is a graded Browning with a 30" barrel. Unless you can find a stevens made in the 60's a cheap double barrel is not going to have the balance of a well made skeet gun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  9. sandog

    sandog Member

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    I've had a few pumps over the years and they are reliable, cheaper to buy, and more versatile, as you can add another barrel. However, I find I shoot much better with an O/U. Whether it's clay pigeons, pheasant, grouse or quail, I prefer an Over/Under. Not for home defense, I'll stick with the 8 shot scattergun for that. I would stay away from the Chinese made O/U's that you see for $300-400. Check out the O/U models from CZ, $600 to $800, but they are some of the best handling double guns I've seen.
    http://www.cz-usa.com/products/by-category/over-under/
     
  10. deg

    deg Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Here is my 2 cents worth – buy an auto loader and get as good a one you can afford and feel just a little pain when you pay for it. I am not saying pay more than you can afford, but if you can back of on eating out (assuming you do) for a month – do it and apply those dollars to your “only shotgun…”
    If you were not going to be set on one shotgun here is the rundown on what I would recommend:

    • Trap singles – Pump Action full choke 30” barrel
    • Trap doubles – O/U, SxS, Autoloader, just not a pump 30” barrel full choke
    • Skeet – O/U or Autoloader, if you want “the look” SxS is fine 26 – 28 inch barrel skeet choke
    • 5-Stand and Sporting Clay’s – O/U 30” barrel screw-in chokes
     
  11. deg

    deg Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Oh yea – Home Defense, two entirely different categories, you can find some kind of a common denominator in clay shooting but Home Defense is a different topic. With that said, in the event on a home invasion and a shotgun is your go-to gun, grab whatever Shotgun you have.
     
  12. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I have noticed posters mentioning that an over under is much faster than a pump. We have a female shooter in our club that can throw 5 clays in the air and bust them all before they hit the round. We have a fellow that is bumping 70...We don't know how old he is...All we know about his age is he was the 2012 national over 65 champion. He can throw 7 clays in the air and bust them all before they hit the ground. I can throw 3 clays in the air and hit two of them sometimes.

    If anyone lives in the Nashville, NC area who wants shotgun lessons for their wife our female shooter is very good with women. She is a sporting clay champ and she is planning to make a run at a national championship. We have 3 shooters at our club that have won national championships at some point in their life. One shooter who was a an Olympic team coach. We have two young shooters that are planning a national championship run.

    The rest of us shoot sporting clays and skeet to prepare for hunting or the joy of the game. The only time we get serious is when the "Sir Walter Rowdies" are visiting. They all are great fellows and have a nice facility. I would rather get kicked in the cods by a mule than lose a match to a Rowdy.
     
  13. seibert1903

    seibert1903 New Member

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    You said you were looking for a cheap shotgun, therefore I'd go with a pump. The double barreled shotguns are an investment.
     
  14. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good call on the Stevens Doubles JD. I have a Stevens Springfield that was my grandfather's go to bird gun that has, over the years, earned it's place as my go to bird and clays shotgun. She may only be worth about $350, but there is no amount of money that will ever make me part with her.

    To all those who say a double is faster than a pump: Google Tom Knapp and Herb Parsons. A person who trains with a pump can oftentimes empty it faster and mor accurately than most folks can an autoloader. I will agree that an untrained person will get a second shot faster with a 2 triggered double than a pump, but 2 trained individuals and it becomes a damn close race.
     
  15. Garandman1945

    Garandman1945 New Member

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    Thanks for all the input everyone, this has been pretty interesting so far!

    It sounds like the common theme is that everyone agrees that a pump is pretty good all around where as an O/U is supreme for clays but not good for much else.
     
  16. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    When you throw in the budget requirement, a pump is the only good option. You can get a VERY good pump for a whole lot less than a decent O/U. A cheap O/U is a poor choice. 870's have probably killed more clay pigeons than most other guns combined.
     
  17. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    There was a time that the 870 wingmaster was one of the most popular guns on any skeet range. Most people that were raised shooting a pump now won't have anything to do with a range. They would rather buy a spring trap and pay a neighborhood kid the range fees to load the trap and cock the throwing arm.
     
  18. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I posted earlier in this thread about my friend who shot the mossburg until it fell apart. When shooting doubles with it he consistently got his second shots off faster than the automatics and most of the doubles. No matter how fast your action is you can't make your second shot until you acquire your second target over the sights. He excels at acquiring the second target faster than the competition.

    When the boys of his family were a certain age (I forget what age) they were given a single shot shotgun for Christmas and taken dear hunting the following season, and every season thereafter. They would hunt with 3 extra shells between the fingers of their left hand for quick reloads. They learned quick to be both fast AND accurate.

    A good pump action will meet all of your needs, I am partial to the 870 but that is because that is what I came up on. There are other pumps out there that will serve you as well. 2 barrels, 1 for trap and 1 for home defense both with screw in chokes would be the best setup but a trap barrel will take out a bad guy just as well.