Types of Winchester shotguns include break barrel, pump action and autoloader shotguns. Throughout its history, Winchester Repeating Arms has produced many different shotguns in various gauges, but almost all of them fall into one of these three categories.
Break-barrel-style shotguns are most commonly seen in either single- or double-barrel configurations. Break barrels get their name from the way they are loaded with ammunition. The entire barrel of the shotgun pivots away from the rest of the gun to provide access to the shell chamber. Shells are loaded and the barrel is shut and locked back into place.
Pump-action shotguns typically have a storage tube that runs underneath the barrel. The tube is loaded with shells one at a time until it is full. There is a handle that runs along the tube underneath the barrel. When this handle is pulled back and pushed forward again, it loads a shotgun shell into the chamber of the gun. This pumping movement to load a round into the chamber is the reason these shotguns are referred to as pump action.
Most autoloader shotguns are similar to pump-action shotguns in the way they are initially filled with rounds. However, because the gun feeds a new round into the chamber automatically, there is no need to pump the gun between shots. Just like break barrels and pump actions, autoloaders are named for the way shotgun shells are loaded into the firing chamber of the gun.