Let's see if I can get through a second draft of today's blogpost without being ZAPPED by BlogPress' nonsensical "features!" BTW, yes, I treid another app, Blogger, but amazingly, I couldn't figure out how to enter text into it. Call me crazy, but wouldn't you think that entering text should be easy in an app for blogging? Oh well, maybe it's just me.
anyhow, I wanted to talk about a note I received after I talked about my preference for pump shotguns over semiautos. The writer noted that he would give up his home defense semi, a new Mossberg, when I gave up semauto pistols and rifles.
I thought, darn, he has a good point, but so do I, so I thought I should expand on it a bit.
I totally agree that modern semitautos like the Mossberg are far more forgiving than their earlier brethren. I have an FNH semiauto that is a tank, and the new Berretta defense gun that I shot was amazing...we ran tube after tube of mixed lot ammo -- ultra light target loads, high brass field loads, buckshot of various flavors and LE slugs -- without a burp. In fact, if you were adamant about using a semi, the Beretta (http://www.beretta.com/Defence-Pistols-Carbines/Defence-Shotgun/Tx4-Storm/index.aspx?m=82&f=2&idv=46&idc=208&id=1275 ) would be my first choice.
However, this is in a home defense context. With a home defense gun, you're controlling the ammo (as my commenter said), etc. Let's think about this in a more macro context...a good pump, say an 870, will pretty much feed anything. Since I'm a competitor, I keep cases of light target loads around, plus some field loads, #00 buck and LE slugs for self-defense (my self-defense round of choice is Hornady TAPS buckshot) and some "exotics'" like short shells for various reasons. The exotics will choke my FNH and even a pump '97, but an 87 just digests it all.
Think abut a situation where ammo is in short supply or some types not even available...that can't happen, can it? Wait, t happened last year! If you've got to compromise on ammo availability, you can't beat a pump.
In the case of a really serious dislocation -- say the New Madrid Fault, upon which I've been sitting for the last couple of days -- goes Full Japan, the situation may well be ammo scrounging, and again a pump shines in this situation.
I can load a pump faster than a semi by single loading into the chamber, either cop-style up from the bottom or cowboy-style over the top. I admit that is largely a training function...as long as you keep the semi's tube filled, you're good to go. However, IDPA teaches us that sooner or later, you shoot the gun empty and you need to get it back in action fast. Single loading a pump keeps you in the fight until you get to cover and can load the tube, if necessary.
Finally, in both home defense and larger area-wide disasters, I'm a big proponent of the "lowest common denominator" for defense guns...that is, all the people in the house should be familiar with the manual of arms, including malfunction clearances, for all the standard defense gun in the house. Jam clearance on a semiauto shotgun isn't hard, but everyone who has access to the gun needs to be up to speed on it. Ditto for the pump, but a pump is so darn simple it might make more sense in a case where the Spousal Unit or older children aren't handing the gun on a regular basis...