A pump-action (or slide-action) shotgun is one of the fastest firing variants of shotguns. Its fire action operating mechanism is characterized by a movable forend that is manually slid backward and forward for cartridge ejection and chamber loading.
The first slide-action shotgun was patented in the 1850’s. Interestingly enough, some older pump-action shotguns are faster than modern semi-auto shotguns because they lacked a trigger disconnector. This allowed the operator to hold the trigger down and fire rounds as fast the pump-action could be cycled.
This aggressive technique is called “slamfiring” and was first used in the trench warfare of WW1. Today, proficient shooters can easily fire a pump-action faster than a semi-automatic. Generally speaking, pump-action shotguns have short cycling times and can be fired faster than almost any other type of shotgun (e.g. lever, break-action). They also allow the shooter to use rounds of varying power unlike a gas or recoil operated system that may fail to cycle specific types of rounds.
Pump-actions are ambidextrous, comfortable, and feel intuitive thus making them easy to operate in any firing position. They are hugely popular for a variety of uses such as hunting, sport shooting, self-defense, law enforcement, and military combat.
Mossberg Model 500 Centennial Limited Edition
This proudly American favorite is built as rugged and dependable as they get. The Centennial Limited edition represents the 100 years that Mossberg International has been manufacturing high-quality firearms.
It has a finely checkered high-gloss walnut stock finish, a beautiful blued 28” barrel, and a nickel finished receiver. It is essentially a special edition of the Mossberg 500 Hunting family of pump-action shotguns.
The 500 series represents some of the most versatile and reliable shotguns on the market. Its innovative tool-less locking system allows for a remarkably adaptable platform that accommodates every kind of user application from military to household. The system consists of a series of connectors that allow users to easily switch stocks, forends, recoil pads, and various accessories to create amazing cross-platform flexibility.
Other features include dual extractors, twin action bars, an anti-jam elevator, and a top-mounted safety. This special 12 gauge edition has an overall length of 47.5” and weighs 7.5 lb.
Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag – All-Purpose Field
This awesome firearm is part of the 835 hunting family and features the world’s first 3.5” chamber designed in a pump-action shotgun allowing the user to unload the most powerful winchester shells.
The 835 has a specially overbored barrel to 10 gauge dimensions that creates exceptionally dense, uniform shot patterns. A reduced felt recoil and muzzle jump allows the shooter to fire quick and accurate follow-up shots. This All-Purpose Field variant has a “Mossy Oak New Bottomland” camouflage finish and a synthetic stock.
It is a rugged piece of work that is ideal for hunting deer, turkey, and waterfowl. Additional specs: 12 Gauge with a round capacity of 5+1, front fiber optic sight, overall length of 46.75”, barrel length of 26”, and weighs 7.5 lbs.
Winchester SXP Waterfowl Hunter – Moss Oaks Shadow Grass Blades
The Winchester SXP (Super-X Pump) is one of the fastest pump-action shotguns in the world and a highly popular choice among speed clay shooters and upland bird hunters.
I actually have one of these sitting in my firearm safe.
The inertia-assisted slide-action, found in all SXP variants, allows the user to fire three shots in half a second. This incredible performance feature means the SXP is one of the fastest shotguns for follow-up firing that you will find, if not the fastest. A unique rotatory bolt action allows the shooter to reload with virtually no delay after shooting. The Winchester SXP is also extremely reliable – a result of over 50 years of perfecting firearm designs.
It is revered for being easy to point and shoot because of its light weight and superbly center-balanced design. These features make this SXP variant perfect for waterfowl hunting. It is back-bored (with Invector-Plus choke tube system) for optimally consistent shot patterns with a hard chrome barrel/chamber, TRUGLO front fiber optic sight, and Moss Oaks Shadow Grass blades camouflage (a favorite pattern with top waterfowlers). 3” and 3 ½” chamber for loading magnums capable of downing long-range fowl with ease. Synthetic stock with textured, non-slip grip surfaces.
Browning BPS Field Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades
For those preparing for hunting season, this full-coverage camouflage bad boy is the bane of waterfowls everywhere. The Browning BPS pump-action field shotgun is ideal for the marshes.
The 2020 edition comes with a brand new stock and forearm design for superior grip and feel, a larger trigger guard, an Invector-Plus choke system, and Inflex recoil pad system for trigger pull flexibility.
Many pump-action shotguns are designed for novice shooters. This new BPS is designed for everyone including the most serious and extreme waterfowlers. It has been favored by seasoned veterans for over 50 years because of its exceptional quality, reliability and durability.
The floating rib design prevents point of impact shifting due to overheated barrels. A bottom ejection expends shells down and out of sight. This model is available in 20 Gauge, with a 26” barrel and 3” chamber.
Pump Action Shotguns – Conclusion
Pump-action shotguns and their predecessors have been around for over 150 years. Check the best ammo reviewed here. They began seeing widespread use by hunters, sport shooters, and backcountry folk simply needing a simple and powerful firearm for self-defense.
Ultimately, pump-action shotguns began to evolve to serve many uses by law enforcement and military units worldwide. They are highly respected for being easy to aim and quick to fire. Major technological advancements in operating cycle mechanisms, trigger suppression systems, and overall component designs have greatly increased the speed and accuracy of pump-action shotguns.
This has positioned the firearm as a premier option for hunters, speed shooters, and law enforcement (Similar to HK guns).