The pump action rifle was one of the earliest repeating rifles in America, right after the lever action. Over the decades, its popularity has waxed and waned, and at the moment, attention for this rifle is growing.

About Pump Action Rifles

While the details may vary from maker to maker, there are a few features similar across the board. One is the obvious slide pump under the barrel, which is used to cycle the cartridges through the chamber.

The pump action utilizes physics, allowing you to make chambering a new round part of the motion. As the recoil happens, the front hand holding the slide automatically moves back and forward, ejecting the spent cartridge.

These rifles have stocks available in both natural woods and synthetic materials, as you prefer. Browning and Remington centerfires sport double action bars and a front locking, rotating bolt. This means that you provide the movement to cycle through, rather than expanding gas like an automatic.

Advantages

For those who are already familiar with a pump action shotgun, there’s little that needs to be done to transition to the rifle. Neither hand has to move at any point, so once your grip is set you never have to change it.

In experienced hands, it is incredibly fast to shoot and can rival a semi-auto for speed. A pump action also takes advantage of the shooter’s natural movement. Pumps are ambidextrous, so there’s no adjustments or modifications necessary.

These rifles are available as both rimfire and centerfire, so whichever type you want, there is a good rifle available. Centerfires come in several calibers, including .243 Winchester, .280 Remington, and .308 Winchester.

From the right company, such as Remington, pump action rifles are very accurate, and with a scope can be even more so. Pumps are known to be reliable, rarely to never jamming, and when they do, it’s usually traced to the cartridge.

Disadvantages

The triggers can be a bit tricky on some brands, so check with your local firearms store first. Factory magazines usually have a 4-round capacity, but accessories are available that hold more.

There are rifles from some makers that have given pump actions a bad reputation, for being inaccurate or poorly made. This is where having a reliable and reputable dealer is essential, to help you sort out quality rifles from cheap knockoffs.

Home Defense

While it’s generally accepted that a shotgun is one of the best weapons for self-defense, a pump action rifle can also work. The rifle can be stored loaded, hammer down, and chamber empty. Keeping to standard gun storage safety, all you’d then have to do is take the rifle out and pump it to chamber a round.

The truth is that aesthetic and rumor keep these rifles from being as popular as they rightly should be. Fortunately, more people are examining and challenging these old beliefs and thoughts and bringing pump actions back into the light.

So you know what? Try a couple of these rifles out, so that the next time you see a pump action rifle for sale, you know what you’re getting.