Any semi-automatic shotgun gives you one big advantage over pumps: the ability for double-tap, rapid fire shots.
While I played around with my 870 pump while shooting clays for a period of time, I later switched to the M2 tactical.
I could run the pump pretty good, but not like I could the auto. For serious clays competitors, there is no question; they use a semi-auto or, even faster, an over/under double barrel.
A two shot limit for the double gun doesn’t matter here, since in sporting clays there are only two birds thrown at any given time.
Combine this capability with an extended magazine tube in a tactical shotgun and you can send a lot of lead (in California, copper) down range in a short amount of time, and in the case of a gas gun, keep reasonable control of the recoil generated by those rounds to boot.
Here’s what may be the biggest advantage of a semi-auto shotgun. For those who have trouble remembering to work the action of a pump each time they want to fire it, there is no such issue with the semi-auto shotgun.
Even if under stress, all that needs to be done is cycle the bolt of the semi-auto to chamber a round and cock the firing system. Then, make sure the safety is off and begin launching rounds downrange. Nothing much else to worry about.
This article is an excerpt from the The Gun Digest Book of the Tactical Shotgun.
What do you think? Do you prefer a pump-action, double-barrel or autoloader for a tactical shotgun and why? Leave your comments below.
Tactical Shotgun Resources
About the Author: Scott Wagner is a 32-year law enforcement veteran. Currently a police sergeant in Baltimore, Ohio, he spent 20 years with the Union County Ohio Sheriff's Office as a Reserve Deputy where he worked patrol, training and SWAT, and was the assistant SWAT team leader and a team sniper. Wagner has been a state-certified police firearms, fitness and defensive tactics instructor for 26 years, and has been a criminal justice professor and police academy commander for 20 years at a community college in the Midwest.He is the author of the Gun Digest books, "Tactical Shotguns,", "Own the Night—A Guide to Tactical Lights and Laser Sights," and Survival Guns.
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