One-Handed Shotgun Pump

Chambering a shotgun as done by the Rule of Cool. After firing, the wielder lets go of the trigger and holds the gun vertically by the forward grip in his other hand. He then jerks the gun sharply upward, letting its inertia and weight work the pump, then levels the gun and fires again. A variation involves a lever-action rifle, where the character does something similar but holds on to the lever only, letting the gun's recoil and weight cause the handle to pull itself.

Alternatively, it can be done prior to a fire fight, as part of a Lock and Load montage.

As seen in this shotgun tutorial video, attempting this in real life is possible, but inefficient. It also puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the gun's moving parts, and is unsafe, as a considerable amount of force is required to rack the slide. It's very possible to lose your grip and send a now-loaded firearm flying across the room.

Related to Gun Twirling, Unorthodox Reload and a subtrope of Dramatic Gun Cock. See also Gangsta Style for a similar Rule of Cool way to handle pistols.


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  • The giant hand at the end of episode 5 of FLCL reloaded its giant shotgun one-handed.

  • The Real Trailer, Fake Movie for Hobo with a Shotgun ends with a bloody, naked hobo pumping his shotgun this way.
  • Cheech Marin's priest character in Machete does this with two shotguns simultaneously.
  • The Hong Kong film Tiger on the Beat features an... elaborate version of this; Chow Yun-fat's character, Sergeant Francis Li, attaches a string to his shotgun's pump handle and trigger, so he can fire it from cover, in what can best be described as a shotgun yo-yo.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme does this a few times in Hard Target during the climactic battle inside an old warehouse.
  • In True Grit, John Wayne spins his lever-action shotguns to reload them on horseback.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    • While the T-800 is riding his motorcycle and chasing John and the T-1000, he spins his 1887 Winchester (lever-action) to reload it. Justified in-universe by the T-800 having metal "bones" in his fingers that can withstand the stress of this action. The prop in question had an enlarged loop on the lever, and a lighter aluminum barrel, allowing the trick to be pulled off without Arnold breaking his fingers. At one point, he mistakenly flipcocked the non-prop shotgun and almost did break his fingers.
    • Sarah Connor does it at the end when shooting the T-1000 in the foundry; justified in that her left arm is wounded. Doubly justified in that Linda Hamilton spent a lot of time working out in preparation for this role, and wanted to show off her newfound skill.
  • Rick O'Connel does this in The Mummy (1999). It's not even during a battle, he's just getting the gun ready stating, "I believe in being prepared."
  • Ira, Harry and Wayne do this after killing one of the aliens in Evolution. No practical reason, just to look badass.
  • The protagonist of The Rundown does this by way of necessity in the climax, given as he's managing to dual wield two pump-action shotguns.
  • Done in Max Payne for no reason at all, other than to look cool. In the commentary, the director and producer even praise Mark Walhberg for making it look cool.
  • Parodied in Scary Movie 3, where Anthony Anderson's character does this with his shovel... and somehow ejects a spent shell.
  • Also spoofed in Hot Shots! Part Deux, where Ramada's attempt to do this causes the shotgun to slip off its grip and knock out a terrorist. She then tosses the now-useless grip at another terrorist and knocks him out, too.
  • Played straight but justified in Splinter. Dennis was infected by one of the black spines early in the movie, and he had to cut off his arm to stop it from consuming him entirely. He's only got one arm to work the pump, and he can't stop to brace it against anything.
  • Also justified in Shoot 'em Up as Clive Owen is carrying a baby in the other hand.
  • In Equilibrium , Preston manages a variant of this with two shotguns at once while holding the pistol grip rather than the pump. According the DVD commentary, Christian Bale actually pulled this off himself unaided.

    Live Action Television 
  • Fiona does this in the season 2 finale of Burn Notice.
  • Happens a couple of times in Supernatural, although the boys tend to maintain proper firearms discipline. Usually averted, in that they're often just using double-barreled or lever-action shotguns and pumping is not a factor, but Sam seems to prefer a sawed-off Ithaca 37 (although it's often being used to prop up the lid of the Impala's weapons compartment) in later seasons, so it does happen from time to time.
  • Chin of Hawaii Five-0 pulls this off in episode 4 of the first season when going to apprehend an escaped convict.
  • Done by a mook in a bar in 'Due South'.

    Video Games 
  • Soldiers equipped with a shotgun in XCOM: Enemy Unknown do this after each shot. They'll even do it with a scatter laser or an Alloy gun (A rail gun that fires a bunch of alien metal slivers).
    • Strangely, though, the sound that plays is that of a shotgun being pumped twice.
  • Marathon features a double barreled Sawed-Off Shotgun with an Unorthodox Reload via Gun Twirling. This allows the Security Officer to dual wield shotguns and reload with no problems. The manual lampshades this by saying that the in-universe mechanics would be too complicated to understand.
  • The Movies gives this as an option in a shotgun firing scene.
  • The Engineer from Team Fortress 2 does this with 2 shotguns in the "Mann vs Machine" Trailer.
  • In The Punisher the protagonist does this whenever he's wielding a shotgun in one hand and another weapon in the other. Guns Akimbo shotguns is possible making this look awesome, especially with alternating shots.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the player does this when reloading the Hunting Shotgun while in third-person mode.
  • Possible (but hard!) if the player decides to dual-wield shotguns in the arcade version of House of the Dead 3.
  • The Resident Evil remake for GameCube has a battle with a giant snake after Jill finds Richard bitten by said snake. If Jill can find some serum to tend to his wound, he'll rest for a while and then charge in when Jill meets the snake. When he does, he pumps his shotgun with one hand, owing to the fact that his other arm is still seriously wounded.
  • In Sengoku Basara 3, Saika Magoichi does the Terminator flipcock reload after a charged shot from the shotgun. It counts as a melee attack if enemies get close enough to you.
  • Warframes Marelok lever-action pistol is pumped like the Terminator's winchester; by spinning the weapon about the lever one handed. The Grinlok lever rifle, however, is pumped in a normal manner.

    Web Original 
  • North does this, then throws the gun to South, who shoots in season 9 of Red vs. Blue. It makes sense, though—he's wearing power armor that greatly enhances his strength and the gun was picked up from someone killed earlier, anyway (so he doesn't care if it ends up in bad condition).
    • Wash also tries this in season 8 and again it does make sense. First, he was hanging on to a moving car and had a rifle in his other hand, so he only had one hand free to attempt a reload. Second, the shotgun in question belonged to Sarge, so much like the above, he wouldn't care much if he damaged it.

    Real Life 
  • FBI Special Agent Edmundo Morales Jr. was forced to do this during the infamous Miami Massacre, after his left forearm was severely wounded.