A pump shotgun is like your old hunting truck. It might not be fancy. It might not have a lot of frills. But when you turn the key, it always gets the job done.
That’s why many hunters have chosen a pump shotgun as their first shotgun, and it’s why many have chosen one as their last shotgun. A pump is simple, reliable, holds more shells than a break-action and can be had at a reasonable price.
On the subject of price, you could pay a lot of money for a pump with glossy walnut and gold inlay. But that’s sort of like putting chrome rims on your johnboat trailer. A pump, rather, should be used and abused. Yes, you get a lot for your money when you buy a pump shotgun. To give you a better idea of just how much you can get, we put together this list of the best pump shotguns for less than $500. Many of these guns can also be purchased used for hundreds less, but if you’re headed to the local gun shop, here’s what five Benjamins will get you.