Pump or Semi-Automatic: Which Shotgun Is Best for You?

semi-automatic shotguns

Pump action, and semi-automatic shotguns are well known to many hunters, police officers, home defenders, and recreational shooters, as both types allow you to quickly get rounds off.

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and which one you choose depends solely on your individual needs.

Pump actions will shoot lighter loads that a semi-automatic might not be able to cycle, and they have a lower risk of malfunctioning due to fouling.

Semi-automatics, on the other hand, help lessen recoil, fire quicker and require less shooter movement for follow up shots.

Once you decide which one is best for you, you can find either pump or semi-automatic shotguns for sale quite easily.
Below we will describe both types of guns more in detail, so you can make a well-informed choice.

Pump Action

This type of shotgun requires the operator to manually cycle the action. Most of the problems you will come across with these shotguns will be the result of them failing to properly cycle the action. Among the advantages of using a pump action, the main one is price.

If you are on a tight budget, perhaps you should look into buying one of these guns, as you can find a good quality pump action at about three quarters the price of a semi-automatic. Also, pumps need less maintenance, and they usually operate better under poor weather conditions.

semi-automatic hunting rifle


In a semi-automatic gun, the firing cycle begins by removing the safety, placing your finger on the trigger, then pressing it. The round will fire, and the action will open, and the spent round will be extracted and ejected. As the action closes under the compressed tension of the recoil spring, the new round is raised by the shell lifter in line with the chamber. The bolt pushes the round into the chamber, and the weapon is ready for a follow-up shot when you release the trigger.

Among the overall advantages of a semi-automatic, the most important one is that of reduced recoil. This reduced recoil is due to cushioning of the operation. This results in the ability to fire more quickly and effectively. Another advantage is that you will never short stroke with this type of gun.

Pump action and semi-automatic shotguns operate very differently from each other, but they are both fast shooting guns, and they both enjoy a lot of popularity. Picking one kind over the other depends on the environment that they’ll be used in, as well as the shooter’s own preferences (when it comes to recoil, for example). For some people, the price can be the determining factor.

Hopefully, this guide will help you find the best option for you.