Slide- or pump-action shotguns have been around for over 160 years. The first patent for such a design was issued in Great Britain in 1854. Scatterguns have been popular for “social purposes” in the United States since the frontier days, when lawmen regularly carried smoothbore double guns in pursuit of the “bad guys.” In the later part of the 19th century, lever actions and then pump-action shotguns came onto the scene.
- RELATED STORY: Double Trouble – 16 Versatile Double Barrel Shotguns
One of the first successful versions was the Winchester Model 1893—invented by John Moses Browning—which was later improved to become the Model 1897. This rugged, exposed-hammer pump action was produced for 60 years. Marlin followed suit in 1898, Stevens in 1909, Remington in 1910 and Ithaca in 1937. Pump guns were popular back then because they are mechanically operated by the physical force of the user—an important factor in the days of paper-hulled shotshells.
Even though semi-automatic shotguns have made big inroads in the LE market in the past several decades, the ever-reliable pump action still tops the list for many American and foreign agencies. There’s definitely something to be said about the intimidating, universally recognizable sound of a shell being pumped into the chamber. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most popular pump-action shotguns in law enforcement, security and self-defense configurations today.
- RELATED STORY: 12 Last-Ditch Backup Pistols For Law Enforcement
For more information on the pump-action shotguns featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
Harrington & Richardson
Ithaca Gun Company
Legacy Sports International
This article was originally published in ‘Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement’ December/January 2017. For information on how to subscribe, please email subscriptions@