After a couple detours to discuss waterfowl and big game ammunition, and then a trip to Africa, let’s return to our discussion of shotguns where we last took a beginning look at pump shotguns and the versatility of the slide action smoothbore.
Pump guns are found in many sizes, from the 10 gauge, all the way to the diminutive 410 bore. They are configured for use in hunting, clay target and 3 gun sports, and military- law enforcement applications. Their reliability and safety is known and respected throughout the firearms world.
For upland bird and waterfowl hunters, a 26, 28, or even a 30 inch barreled pump is an ideal choice. While my personal stock material choice is walnut or some other hardwood, a synthetic stock combined with new protective finishes on the gun’s metal parts makes for an almost indestructible gun. Even the most abusive and neglectful owner, or the harshest of weather conditions will have a hard time causing damage to these guns. One drawback to the synthetic stocks is the lightness of the buttstock can cause a very heavy weight-forward bias resulting in a gun lacks a neutral or balanced feel. Shorter barreled (18-24 inches) pumps are great in the turkey blinds. These compact and highly maneuverable guns aid there owners when the large wary birds are approaching.
The short barreled guns can be equipped with pistol grips, extended magazine tubes, fiber optic or night sights, tactical lights and rails; then voila, one has an effective, practical, personal and home defense gun. The solid ker-chunk, ker-chunk of a pump gun being racked for business is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds known to man, and in more than a few cases, it has caused a criminal to flee.
Pump shotguns are simple, solid, inexpensive, and versatile firearms that with a little TLC will reward their owners with a lifetime of shooting enjoyment. You can’t miss with a pump.
Next time we’ll look at autoloaders, until then, check out the Smoothbore Shooting School at www.guncoach.net.
Be safe and good shooting. Colonel Smoothbore