Semi-Auto Shotgun Ascendancy

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Faster?
Yup. No matter how good the shooter is with a pump. Many big 3-gun matches also have a side match for shotguns. There is usually a low target count, so nobody has to reload. The buzzer goes off and you shoot the targets. No reloading, running, jumping or standing on one leg, and no tricky targets. Just stand there and shoot the shotgun. Pump guns never win. No matter what the guy at the gun shop says, semi-autos are simply faster.

Semi-autos will not shoot all ammo.
That was an issue with that bird gun I mentioned and a few others, but not with most guns today. Today’s best semi-automatic shotguns can digest a wide range of ammo from low-recoil to full-power without a problem. Shotguns with the inertia system pioneered by Benelli, or the multi-port gas systems like Remington used in its guns, will handle all ammo. Most of the newer gas guns will likewise eat any ammo they are fed.

Semi-autos jam.
They pretty much don’t anymore. At least, no more than other firearms. Pumps do, though. I shoot a pump shotgun a lot. (I never said I don’t like them.) When it counts, I will now and then inadvertently short stroke and jam it up.

It’s not just me. I have seen even the very best pump-shotgun shooters in the world short stroke their guns when trying to go fast. The simple fact is that operating a pump shotgun is a human function. When subjected to stress, humans do not beat well-designed machines, because machines are not subject to emotional stress.

I agree with all of these remarks.  I think that a commitment to pump action shotguns over semi-auto shotguns because you believe that semi-auto shotguns are less reliable is based on a false paradigm that may have been correct 50 years ago, but certainly isn’t now.

Specifically, he’s reviewing the latest Savage tactical shotgun, the Renegauge Security.  It appears to want to compete with the Beretta 1301.  I doubt that it can come up to the level of the 1301, but since Savage didn’t send me one to review, I have no way of knowing with certainty.

It’s a nice looking gun, and maybe I’ll get a chance to shoot one some day.


Comments

  1. On November 25, 2022 at 1:01 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Herschel Smith

    A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, sir!

    Re: “Shotguns with the inertia system pioneered by Benelli, or the multi-port gas systems like Remington used in its guns, will handle all ammo. Most of the newer gas guns will likewise eat any ammo they are fed.”

    I owned a Benelli Super Black Eagle about a decade ago, which I used mostly for sporting clays and skeet. I sold it to help finance something else, but now regret doing so, because it was a prime piece of hardware. Stupid move on my part. But if anyone is on the fence about them or the line of shotguns, they’re the real deal.

    Savage’s new line of shotguns, profiled in this month’s “American Rifleman,” looks dandy. The reviewer was impressed with the two models profiled, including the Renegade home defense gun, but there are also models the article didn’t profile.
    Savage makes high-quality firearms for reasonable prices and most Savage long-guns are more accurate than the people using them.

  2. On November 25, 2022 at 1:57 am, Dan said:

    I wouldn’t trust a semi auto shotgun till it’s run at least a couple hundred rounds through without a failure. Some are great….some are jamomatics.

  3. On November 25, 2022 at 7:21 am, Rocketguy said:

    One of my buddies recently purchased that Turkish knock-off of the Benelli M4. I cautioned him about some of the poor reviews but he figures it’s worth trying worth trying for the price. We’re going to pick up a variety of loads and go play…hopefully this weekend.

  4. On November 25, 2022 at 10:49 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Good to go out of the box: Beretta (gas operated gun), Benelli (inertial gun, which is owned by Beretta), and Browning.

    Anything else (including any American made semi-auto shotgun), test, test, test, test, test, to see what it will do.

    Because Beretta is a gas gun, it will have < recoil than Benelli. Choose wisely.

  5. On November 25, 2022 at 11:47 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    Anybody have opinions on the mossberg 930 12?

  6. On November 26, 2022 at 9:06 am, Arthur Sido said:

    The price point on the new Savage is an issue, maybe it is great but are you going to pay about the same for a Savage when you could get a 1301?

  7. On December 2, 2022 at 9:48 pm, SamlAdams said:

    Used a Browning A-5 for years…for everything. Can’t remember ever having a failure. Even with virtually never fiddling with the adjustment ring. Sporting clays loads, high brass pheasant loads, steel waterfowl loads. Even some slug and buckshot loads….because slugs and buckshot.

  8. On December 13, 2022 at 5:49 pm, Matt said:

    I have 2 mossberg 940. Both have been perfect. Have about 750 through one and about 500 the other. Are the Beretta or Benelli better quality? Im sure they are. I looked for a year for 1301. Only Benelli i found was a M4 the the pistol grip/LE stock. The thing is horrible to me. $2100 was the going price. I paid 1500 for both. I’ve shot everything from cheap 1145fps trap loads to slugs and buckshot.
    Knowing what I know now I’d buy the 930 and get the upgrade parts from OR3GUN. Shop around and you can get one for 525-600 and another 150 for upgrade parts.
    Matt

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You are currently reading "Semi-Auto Shotgun Ascendancy", entry #33256 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published November 24th, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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