Before we continue our discussion about shotguns, I want to make a point about safety. A short while back I was at my trap and skeet club for a Sunday practice session, when a gentleman arrived with his two sons. The boys were about 9 and 12 years of age and quite enthusiastic about the opportunity to shoot some clay targets. Their Dad had equipped them with good hearing protection, in this case, ear muffs; but he failed to outfit them with any eye protection. PLEASE EVERYONE, DO NOT forget to take care of your eyes and ears!! Good safety glasses and ear plugs can be found of a couple of bucks. Buy them and use them.
Next in our line of shotgun types is the immensely popular pump or slide action gun. There are probably more pumps in use than any other type of shotgun. These are really the workhorses of the shotgun family. Variations of the guns are used for hunting, clay target shooting, cowboy action and 3 gun events, law enforcement, and even warfare. Some of the great guns of all time are pump shotguns and many were designed by the American genius, John M. Browning. Browning’s designs include the iconic external hammer fired Winchester Model 97, and the sleek and lively classic Ithaca Model 37. Today’s Browning BPS is a fine clone of the Ithaca. The Winchester models 12 and 48 are wonderful examples of America’s great gun making heritage.
Modern day pump guns include offerings from Mossberg, Benelli, Weatherby, Winchester, and a host of other shotgun makers. And of course, the most prolific pump shotgun of all time is the Remington Model 870. Most every shotgunner I know either had, has, or wants one of Remington’s classic slides.
Next week we’ll continue our pump gun review and with the waterfowl season fast approaching, take a quick peek at nontoxic shotshells.