The first U.S. patent for a pump-action shotgun was filed in 1882, and in the nearly century and a half since, pump actions have emerged as the clear favorite among American shooters.
The pump-action has some distinct advantages over other common shotgun types. Unlike some semi-automatic or autoloading shotguns, pump actions can reliably cycle any variety of ammunition, from the light target loads to the heaviest buckshot. Pumps are also less prone to jamming than many semi-automatic shotguns and can typically be loaded with two to three times as many shells as double-barrel break-action guns.
Pump actions are also affordable. Americans can buy a reputable make and model pump gun for only a few hundred dollars, while autoloaders and break actions of comparable quality often sell for much more. Reliable, versatile, and inexpensive, millions of Americans choose pump shotguns for hunting, recreational shooting, and home defense.
Pump actions are not only popular among the civilian population, but have also found a market with military and law enforcement personnel. First deployed in combat in the trenches of World War I, pump shotguns are still widely used by the U.S. military and are carried in police patrol cars across the country. (Here is a look at every firearm currently used by the U.S. military.)
While as a category, pump actions are the best-selling shotgun in the United States, some models are more popular than others. Using a report from Gungenius, which compiled sales data from Gunbroker.com, an online firearm marketplace, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 most popular pump-action shotguns in America. Guns are ranked on 2022 online sales, though exact sales numbers were not provided.
A testament to the popularity of pump-action guns, five of the 10 shotguns on this list also rank among the 10 best-selling shotguns of any type. These models include two of the most popular firearms ever made – the Remington 870, which has sold over 11 million units in its lifetime, and the Mossberg 500, which has sold over 12 million units. (Here is a look at the world’s 50 most popular guns.)
It is important to note that this list was compiled using online gun sales only. Unlike most items purchased online, firearms are generally not shipped directly to the buyer’s door. Typically, the process requires buyers to have their firearm shipped to a Federally Licensed Firearm dealer – usually a local gun store – which will then run a background check before transferring the gun to the customer. Still, as is the case with online shopping in general, the convenience and inventory offered by online retailers is a major draw for gun buyers.
Click here to see America’s 10 best-selling pump-action shotguns.
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