The Rock Island Armory VRBP 100 is a magazine fed bullpup shotgun that is still relatively new to the market. It has alot of familiar features and ergonomics to other platforms on the market, yet it is in its own category altogether.
The pump-action shotgun is a longstanding design that has served all around the world, and will most likely continue to serve for decades to come, just like the 1911 pistol. However, the question is whether the pump-action shotgun still has the vigor it once had, or is it starting to lose it's relevance in the world?
If you ask people today what kind of shotgun you should get, as far as action the vast majority are going to recommend you to get a pump-action shotgun. One of the biggest reasons for this is because it is trusted to be completely reliable since it is on the operator to fully cycle the action. Positively yanking back on the action is easy to do under stress since we typically apply more pressure than necessary in response to the threat. Shotguns are known for their versatility and with that, you have all different types of loads, which are accompanied with a variety of powder charges. Anything from mouse fart charges to full powered 3" Magnum shoulder bruisers can be used. Unlike semi-auto shotguns, the pump action is not dependent on the gases being almost perfect in order to ensure reliable cycling. Also, feeding is typically not an issue as long as the shells being loaded are not minishells, like the ones sold by Aguila.
The one thing I think people are missing is that pump-action shotguns are not impervious to wear and reliability issues. I have had issues with my pump-action shotguns having weak extractors and ejectors. It is also an issue when the magazine springs get weak. Depending on how well you are taking care of your shotgun, they can last a long time. However, when you use your shotgun, you need to make sure you are cleaning it and replacing the parts that are worn. Do this and you will have a perfectly functional shotgun.
The pump-action has a functional advantage in the minds of some professionals and those looking to defend themselves. First of all, the control on the cycling of the action can be seen as a good way to control the shooter and prevent stress firing multiple shots. I mean, one stress shot is bad enough, I suppose the advantage here is that you can't do a mag dump without having enough time in between shots to evaluate the target and see if the threat has ceased or not. This helps you conserve your ammo, and keeps you accountable, in theory.
Although I do not buy that the pump action shotgun has an intimidation factor, it is said by many that simply cycling the action can stop a fight before it even starts. Personally, if it comes to having to use the shotgun, it is most likely not going to matter if there is a distinctive sound presented. The sound of a firearm being cycled is a pretty distinctive sound to begin with, so I feel that any firearm would defuse a situation if the saying is true. However, some people just really like the sound of a pump action shotgun being cycled. Personally, I like the sound, but not for the idea of it being intimidating.
The question I have been having in my own head lately is whether the pump-action is still relevant and superior today. We are seeing several good semi-automatic shotgun designs coming on the market lately. These designs are reliable, durable, have intuitive controls, and are lightweight. When you have all of these features available in one fast shooting package, what is there not to like? I think that perhaps semi-automatic shotguns are the obvious next step forward in shotgun evolution, as well as converting them to bullpup designs. Perhaps the pump-action will go the way of the double barreled shotgun and become a niche action type. In any case, I feel that the pump-action is still relevant and useful, despite it being and old and classic action design.
I will just say right away that the double action/single action, or DA/SA is my favorite trigger system to work with all around. I feel that this trigger system offers more to all users than any other system. No trigger system is going to be perfect, but this system comes pretty close for me. After learning how to use it and practicing a bit, the DA/SA became my favorite.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.