Shotgun for hunting, for and against
Now the shelves of hunting stores are literally inundated with a variety of shooting systems. Among them, a large share is occupied by pump-action weapons of domestic and foreign production. Meanwhile, our hunters with great distrust look at such systems, considering them more suitable for self-defense, rather than hunting. Let's try to figure out whether the pump-gun is really unsuitable for hunting, or it’s just conservatism and unwillingness to take on new things.
A bit of history
Contrary to popular belief, the pump-action shotgun was created as a hunting weapon, not a military weapon. It is officially considered that for the first time the system of a "sliding shutter" was used by the designer Elliot on the rifles of the "Colt" company in 1900. Meanwhile, it is known for certain that twenty years before this, Winchester had already produced a weapon with a similar reloading mechanism in the form of a small-caliber carbine and a smooth-bore hunting rifle. Only during the First World War, the pump-action shotgun went to serve in the army as an effective means of close combat in a trench war.Since then, the popularity of such weapons is only growing, and if in our market it is relatively new, then in the rest of the world they have been successfully used for more than a hundred years.
Drawbacks of hunting
What are the “flaws” that domestic hunters endowed the pump-action shotgun? First, it is the inability to make the next accurate shot at once. And the reason for that reloading for the forearm, which knocks down the scope and takes time. Secondly, it is difficult and long to change, if necessary, the type of cartridge. What in certain conditions makes the shot a necessary charge in general impossible. Thirdly, the pump-action shotgun is, as a rule, too heavy for running hunting, besides it is difficult to maintain and demanding care. And finally, it is believed that if the hunter could not hit the target with two shots, then further shooting "on the squares" can give nothing but shame and the expense of ammunition. As the cowboys used to say: "... there was not enough five in the drum, and not enough fifty ...".
Pros and cons
Well, the shortcomings are serious, but do they really have a place?!? Of course, juggling the forearm takes time, but then it’s impossible to make an aiming second shot immediately from a double-barreled gun. Powerful recoil of the twelfth caliber in any case will require re-targeting.And as practice of bench shooting shows, with a certain skill, the shooters from a pump-action rifle fire as quickly and accurately as from an “automatic rifle” or a double-barreled gun. The technique of holding the forearm “under pressure” allows you to recharge the “pump” instantly, practically without effort, without being distracted from the goal. As for the "impossibility" of replacing the type of cartridge, it is often just a prejudice, because most pump-action rifles allow you to do this by simply sending the desired cartridge into the chamber through the open gate. Of course, the goal must be hit with one shot, but who says that the ability to make the third or fourth shot without reloading the gun is superfluous. Hunting is an unpredictable thing, and it’s better to always have an “extra”, unused shot than to be in a critical situation without it.
The pump gun still has significant drawbacks. It is really heavy and complex compared to a double-barreled gun, and also much more expensive. However, its capabilities are much more, and most importantly, it is a truly universal weapon. Choose according to your ideas and conditions of use and do not pay attention to the biased opinions of conservatives.