I had allot of issues with getting a pump to work, and it was a combination of washer setup, and angle pumping. I found that testing the pump against the hand is no set in stone indication its going to work on the beach. I made my own steel one in the end, which also works just as well with the Copper pipe. The issue I had was the washers where to tough, so couldn't tighten the washer up too much for getting a good seal, as once the oil started to wash out, it was hard to pump. I ended up making my own washers from silicon glue, put into a cut off piece of copper tubing, I now hardly need to oil it, and it dont have to be tight, its effortless. The technique I was using was over the cast, this was very hit n miss, and on a good day id get 50 or so lug, or a bad was more like 10. Now I pump between 6-9" away from the cast, and a very high angle, 80 or more degrees, and im going home with allot more lug in much less time. If your cutting the lug in half, move further away, and dont go so deep first pump, once you have them coming out your know what depth and distance they are coming out. Also pick the right sand, some sand is too dry, experiment.
Hope your washers work ok for you.