One of the members at Warriortalk asked this morning about semi-autos instead of pump actions when selecting a shotgun.
So here is my point of view - and I am certain the hate mail will begin shortly.
The semi auto has advantages, namely that the shooter doesn't have to manually operate the weapon...BUT when I have worked these in less than perfect situations, meaning the shooting position not fully established...cheek weld and shoulder mount not quite there...weapon unsupported like in moving or in quick unexpected engagements, I see them malfunction.
The only real malfunction of the pump action is a short-stroking of the action, or not working the pump for a sufficient distance to eject the spent shell and load another. That can be remedied in training. And if it does happen, the dead trigger will result in a quick more aggressive pumping action and a remedy of the problem much faster than clearing a problem in a semi auto.
The Beretta 1301 I have began exhibiting this. Its a great SGN...but not for everything. The Benelli can unload the chamber with a quick shake of the weapon...as if you fell, or hit something with the weapon. The Italians nearly gave birth on the spot when I showed them that with their Benelli. That is me in the lead image, in September 2000 shooting with the Benelli engineers and various Carabinieri shooters. So you could say I know a bit about this sort of thing.
This doesn't make the semi auto weapons useless, just not as useful to me.
Here is the salient point - weapons can be developed to give a competitive advantage, but fail in many real world situations because those situations are never seen in the game fields.
The 870 can simply be pumped...again...as one is accustomed to...if the shot does not fire. With a semi auto it is a bit more complex.