|1. Mossberg 500||2. Mossberg 590A1||3. Remington 870|
If you are thinking about adding a home-defense solution to your armory, then it’s almost impossible to overlook the shotguns. They offer the perfect amount of balance, handling, capacity, and portability, which makes them a perfect protective module. They are more effective than most of the shotguns by a big margin.
However, not all the shotguns were made equally. There are several types of defense rifles available in the market, each of which features their own advantages and disadvantages. Thus, it becomes somewhat perplexing for an individual to decide on the best option among the pile.
In this write-up, you are going to learn about some crucial tips for acquiring one of the best home defense shotgun. You may also check out the review section of our personal recommendations and choose one among them. Also, don’t forget to go through the FAQ section to clear out all of your doubts.
Top 10 Best Home Defense Shotguns 2020
1. Mossberg 500 Home Defense Shotgun
The Mossberg 500 is considered being one of the most renowned models in the shotgun industry. They have manufactured it with aluminum material, which makes it lightweight and rust-free. The barrel is manufactured with steel for added durability.
The model comes with two extractors that are quite easy to alternate while using. The shell lifter of the gun has been placed in an upper position for making the shell loading procedure much easier.
The barrel of the product has a length of 18.5-inch and, thus, can contain around six shells. It features a tubular type magazine, which loads pretty quickly. The action system of the gun is manually operated, which makes it very safe to use.
The weight balancing of the gun seems to be considerably subtle. Due to its careful finish, you can handle, eject, or fire it pretty smoothly. The barrels are interchangeable.
And, there are a wide variety of aftermarket accessories, too, available with the product to enable you to customize it in your own way.
Another factor, which makes it one of the best home defense shotgun, is its top-tang safety.
They have positioned it near the rear section of the receiver. Therefore, it will be pretty easy to see. Its ambidextrous design makes it more convenient for you to reach it without having to move the trigger finger.
The rubber recoil of the product is available at its rear and offers average performance. Owing to the stock design of the gun, the firing will seem highly comfortable and manageable, especially to beginners.
The Mossberg 500 comes with a pistol grip and can be used or controlled through only one hand.
The design of the same is quite ergonomic and does not slip off in any circumstance.
- Durable yet lightweight
- Reliable design
- Customizable and interchangeable barrel
- Has a capacity of 6 shells
- Fixed synthetic stock for superior user convenience
- It is a bit expensive
2. Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde Shotgun
Like the 500 variant of Mossberg, the 590A1 model, too, packs a punch regarding reliability and toughness. It comes with a heavier barrel section made of steel material, which can capacitate up to eight shells at once.
The pump of the gun features a simplistic corncob structure that enables the user’s forward hand to grip it properly. The other parts of the model, such as trigger guard, slide release, safety feature of an aluminum build and deter rusting issues proficiently.
The parkerized finishing of the model offers superior corrosion resistance. Its muzzle tube cap is removable and, thus, can be cleaned with no hassles.
The gun comes with a sliding safety feature, which is situated at its top rear section. It offers a faster operation as you do not have to change the grip while using it.
One of the most appealing features of the product is its ghost ring rear sight. It is well-positioned, precise, and works perfectly for both defensive and hunting purposes.
Unlike other 12-gauge models, it comes with a thicker recoil pad, which mitigates most of the uncomfortable recoiling issues. If you use 00 bucks in the gun, then it can be quite overwhelming from the close range. But, it does not work properly on anything that is located around 25 yards away from you.
The placement of the tang safety of the gun is quite sublime and, therefore, can be used with both thumbs. Besides, it comes with a pistol grip, which is beginner-friendly and easy-to-use.
The polymer stock used in the model improves its overall accuracy and makes it ideal for home defense purposes. The overall design of the model is conventional yet user-friendly.
The bayonet guard, ventilated hand guard, and walnut furniture enhance its appearance by a mile. Also, it weighs only 7.25 lbs, which should be good enough for anyone to carry around.
- Easy-to-reach pump section
- Excellent tang safety placement
- Availability of ghost ring
- Formidable close-combat operation
- Capacious cartridge (eight shells)
- Too long pull length (13.87-inch)
3. Remington 870 Express Shotgun
When talking about the best home defense shotgun, the first name that comes to mind is Remington 870. It is well-designed, dependable, reasonably priced, and has everything that helps you in your endeavor.
For starters, the pump action of the model is reliable and smooth. You can use #4 buckshot, 00-buck ammo, and classic shotgun slugs in it. Also, it has a range of around 50 yards, which is seemingly better than 590A1.
The pump-action shotgun features an array of compliant accessories. Each of them is unique in their own accord and makes the job of customizing much easier.
It also comes with a Parkerized Walnut Stock, which offers a classic and corrosion-free outlook. The finish would also minimize tears and wears during prolonged usage.
It also features a trigger safety feature. The barrel of the model is sized at 20 inches, which can be held by almost everyone. However, the magazine of the product is fixed and cannot be customized.
The butt pad is considerably thicker than usual that offers comfort while taking shots.
It can also prevent the accidental slipping of the buttstock. Besides this, the thicker butt pad also reduces the impact of recoiling and offers more control over the gun while shooting.
There is an in-built action bar lock available in the model, which reduces unwanted jamming and makes pump transition much smoother.
The barrel of the model is interchangeable and customizable. Its optics are quite up-to-the-mark as well and offers a clear view of the target.
The model can capacitate around eight shells at once providing a decent amount of firepower during the time of your need.
Due to the excellent positioning of the magazine, it will not take you much time to reload it. However, the muzzle of the gun appears to be plain and requires an upgrade.
- Feature-rich yet affordable
- Robust and long-lasting build
- 8-round magazine
- High-end optical components
- Difficult to clean and maintain
- Misses out on semi-automatic variant
4. Mossberg 940 JM Pro
The Mossberg 940 JM Pro is a gas-operated, soft-recoiling model that offers excellent reliability in every aspect. Belonging from the family of autoloaders, the gun comes with around a dozen differentconfigurations hence, it is highly customizable.
The point of impact or aim of the model is accurate and offers precise targeting. Like its predecessors, the 930 model also features a 12-gauge design and has 3-inch chambers.
So, it can conveniently cater to both 2¾ and 3-inch ammunition. The magazine of the same is quite capacious and can contain ten shots.
The design of its loading port is quite ergonomic and enables you to quad-load it with no modification.
The positioning of the shell catch and elevator are well-design and can avert the common pinch-points effectively. Regarding functionality, the 940 JM Pro features a slimmer profile and comes with an ergonomic stock and forend.
For this reason, the gripping of the model seems to be flawless and comfortable for prolonged usage. The stock system proffers readymade adjustability for better dropping and casting.
There is a coveted HIVIZ TriComp fiber optic sight system available in the model that features nine different interchangeable LitePipes. They do feature three different coloring and shaping alternatives for offering varied height options.
Widely considered as one of the best home defense shotgun, the product comes with three extended chokes – Cylinder, Modified Cylinder, and Improved Cylinder.
These components do feature an engraving to help the users while selecting any one of them. The Mossberg 940 JM Pro is quite versatile and can operate with different shells seamlessly.
In some cases, the gas system releases excessive gas to help the gun function properly without suffering from undue distress. The receivers of the product are tapped and drilled; therefore, you can add or remove the optical sight quickly.
It also boasts a Stock Drop Spacer feature that allows you to drop the buttstock’s cast to fit the sight system correctly.
- Capacity of nine rounds
- Weighs only 7.5 lbs
- Fiber-optic front sight for a clearer view
- Durable semi-automatic build
- Availability of trigger safety
- Extra lengthy barrel
5. Henry Repeating Arms Lever Shotgun 410
For its sublime walnut build, the product weighs almost around seven pounds. However, owing to its careful and ergonomic design, it is highly maneuverable in every aspect.
The checkered pattern on the walnut construction makes it look quite appealing. The lever of the model feels pretty smooth, especially if you have dry-fired it a few times.
One of the best things about the model is that it does not make much noise while shooting. The recoiling issue is minimal in this aspect. Hence, the trigger pulling experience would be comfortable too.
The barrel of the shotgun can fit up to six shells if you can put one in its chamber. Make sure to use only 2½-inch bullets while using the product.
The sight of the Lever 410 is pretty minimalistic. But, it works well in the close-up operations. There is also a visible brass bead located in the front section of the gun for offering better aiming at the target.
It has a maximum shooting range of around 25 yards. Like other Henry models, this also features an invector-style full-choke module. It is compatible with various other choke options to work under your requirements. But, you cannot do the same with its magazine section, as they fix it.
They have built the model with an amalgamation of parkerized steel and walnut construction, which enhances both its looks and durability. It is customizable too, but if you are not thinking about long-range shooting, then you won’t need to do anything.
The only issue with the model is that its front section feels a little heavier than usual. But, if you have used a shotgun before in your life, then you will not have any issues with handling or manipulating it.
- Subtle design and looks
- Offers different customization modules
- Ergonomic grip
- Has a standard range
- Decent accuracy
- Heavy front section
- It is a bit pricey
6. Benelli M4
The M4 is a semi-automatic shotgun offered by Benelli that corrects all the often-discussed flaws perfectly. It comes with a self-regulating-gas system, which can function with a myriad of different shell options. They size the barrel of the model at 18.5 inches and can capacitate six bullets at once.
Like some of the best home defense shotgun, this one too, features a ghost ring sight and Picatinny Rail. So, you can also add an extra optic on it for a better view and aiming. The model also features the same gas piston as the AK-47 rifle. Thus, it proffers a rapid-fire response in the time of need.
The M4 shotgun features a subtle steel-made build, which makes it much more durable than the other seemingly affordable models. Besides, Benelli has also provided a corrosion-resistant coating on it to make it even more viable and long-lasting.
The model does not have any tight tolerance issues, such as lubrication sensitivity. There are three different stocks available, such as pistol grip stock, black synthetic stock, and a collapsible in the product.
Each of these modules is fixed and, therefore, cannot be customized at all. The charging handle, as well as the bolt release button of the gun, is situated on the right side, making it an ideal option for right-handed individuals.
The bolt release button is too small, which makes it difficult to find when needed. The loading port of the shotgun, conversely, is pretty sizable, making it much easier for you to load the tube.
Another minor issue about the model is that its safety function is located behind the trigger. Sometimes, it fails to do its job too.
- Offers faster cycling
- Excellent accuracy in close range
- Well-placed controls and loading points
- Has a lot of customizable options
- Does not make much noise
- Placement of the safety function could have been better
7. Benelli USA M1014
Benelli is known as the best manufacturer of shotguns across the globe. They manufacture products that boast of being used by the law enforcement and military of the USA.
It indicates the sheer dedication of the team and the quality of materials used to develop the shotgun. The Benelli M1014 has proven its reliability time and again.
You do not have to worry about its functionality while using it to defend your home. They equip the shotgun with a skeletonized buttstock. It also comes with cheek piece and a pistol grip.
With the integration of the ghost-ring sights, there will be no delay in acquiring targets. Also, the outer surface of the gun has an impressive mil-spec finish.
It serves to prevent reflection and enhances accuracy. For specifications, the gun is an absolute masterpiece. It has a barrel length of 18.5 inches, along with the overall length being 40 inches. The weight is around 8 pounds.
Along with the gun, they give the customers 5 shot shells. These shot shells are of 12 gauges, and the magazine capacity of the formidable weapon is five rounds.
Though the gun is expensive, its reliability outweighs the issue. The ARGO system is responsible for the magnificent autoloading feature. Perhaps, the most drastic change adopted for the product was the Auto Regulating Gas Operating (ARGO) system.
When you look at the configuration of the product, you will find it even more impressive. There are a total of four stock configurations. These include fixed straight stock, collapsing stock, the fixed stock that comes with a pistol grip, and fixed stock, that has the appearance of a collapsing stock.
The loading port of the gun is large. It does not have any of the clumsiness that is usually associated with tube shotguns. The loading of the gun with the tube is quite smooth. Apart from its competent functionality, the tactical semi-auto shotgun has a sleek black finish.
- Has an excellent accuracy
- Availability of various upgrades for customization
- Reliability attested by its use in the US military
- It is a bit expensive
- It is slightly difficult in closing the bolt
8. Stoeger Ind M3000
When it comes to building guns of the economical variety, no one does it better than Stoeger. The Turkish gun manufacturing firm combines the inertia driven system of the affiliate company, Benelli to release reliable shotguns in the market. And as a result, you get the best shotgun for home defense at a comparatively low price range.
The M3000 is a huge upgrade from its predecessor. There are numerous variations that are designed to suit every user. You just have to choose your requirements carefully.
The variations are mostly different finishes, weights, and barrel lengths. Perhaps, the most notable aspect is the receiver. It is now drilled and tapped so that accommodating a Weaver-based scope is easy.
The product also comes along with a shim kit. It enables the user in stock adjusting, according to his/her preferences.
The specifications of the M3000 make it even more desirable. It has a barrel length of 24 inches and the overall length being 48 inches. The weight of the gun is 7.3 lbs, with a chamber that has a length of 3 inches.
With the shorter tube, the product is a 12-gauge shotgun. The bolt and the barrel extension have been improved considerably. It is to ensure increased reliability.
The combination of the synthetic molded checkered stock and the forend is impressive. It attests to the firm grip of the shotgun.
In the end, there is a fiber-optic sight. The red bar sight is remarkable as it collects light from the surroundings. Due to its capacity to absorb light, you can easily have the best front sight in poor light conditions.
Another interesting aspect is the choke system.
The presence of a tapped barrel means that it is relatively easy to inter-change the choke on the run. Moreover, there are three options – full turkey, modified, and cylinder.
- Fast cycling owing to the inertia based mechanism
- Excellent versatility
- Can be cleaned with ease
- Quite economical
- Not compatible with larger loads
- Small bolt releasing button
9. Benelli USA M3 Convertible
Another highly sought-after gun from the acclaimed Benelli USA is the M3 convertible. It is distinctly apart from the M2 and the M4 models. With the release of the M3 convertible, the manufacture hopes to provide a solution to the gun owners that are often confused with different variants of shotguns.
The M3 convertible is basically the best of both worlds. It combines the most attractive features of the semi-automatic model and the pump-action model. Now you do not have to compromise speed for unique loads and vice versa.
Integrating both the semi-automatic and the pump-action mechanism was definitely not an easy feat. But, Benelli does that with ease. It is reflected in the shotgun’s performance.
Now, the specifications of the product are nothing short of amazing. It has a barrel length of 19.75 inches, and the overall length measures up to 45.6 inches. The magazine capacity is 5+1 rounds of this 12-gauge shotgun.
You know you cannot question the reliability of the product when it is used by militaries across the globe. Another major win for the M3 convertible is its compatibility with different shotgun rounds.
With the aid of the pump-action mode, you can attain low recoil. It also includes breaching rounds, less-lethal rounds, flare rounds, etc.
The tactical configuration of the shotgun includes a pistol grip and a stock. You will also get ghost ring sights. The versatility of the product is impressive.
You can switch between the two modes with ease. By clicking on the switch that is situated at the forward end, you can lock one mode and activate the other.
- Easy swapping between a pump-action and a semi-auto action
- Integrated with ghost-ring sights
- Equipped with the inertia driven system
- Extremely durable
- Increased recoil
- Falls on the expensive side of the scale
10. Henry Repeating Arms Side Gate 410
Henry Repeating Arms has been manufacturing firearms for decades. They have always released high-quality products and have gained a loyal customer base.
The Henry Side Gate shotgun is no exception. The massive upgrade of the Side Gate shotgun is the multiple loading method. It has the tube magazine that can be removed and the spring-loaded gate.
They design the different loading methods to ensure that the user can make the choice depending on the situation.
The spring gate is delicate and must handle with care. In case you drop it carelessly, it might bend or have a dent. But, there is no cause for worry as you can replace it easily.
With a barrel length of 19.8 inches, the overall length of the product ends up being 38.1 inches. It weighs around 7.09 pounds and has a magazine capacity of 5 rounds.
Though the gauge of the gun is .410, it does in no way affect the reliability of the lever action gun. Perhaps, the most noticeable aspect of the product is the brass receiver. The brass framed receiver is a sight to behold with a polished shine.
The front sight of the product is a white bead. They lock it, with the aid of a screw onto the barrel. The buckhorn rear sight is excellent in assisting in taking accurate shots at moving targets. Also, the receiver is tapped and drilled to aid in mounting the optics.
Another remarkable feature is the trademark transfer bar of the brand. The transfer bar prevents the hammer from further engagement unless they pull the trigger.
Also, the hammer is not too heavy and easy to handle.The ease with which the loading and unloading along with firing can do without a hitch attests to the excellent quality of the shotgun.
The well-designed forestock and buttstock of the side loading gate are rather impressive. No wonder it is credited as the best home defense shotgun.
If you are recoil sensitive, then the Henry Side Gate shotgun will pose no issue. There is only a slight recoil, and you can shoot the six rounds with little discomfort.
The rich walnut color and the magnificent engraving have earned a special mention. It matches the other accents of the gun incredibly well.
- More than one loading method
- Highly tensile brass receiver
- Front sight locked in the barrel
- Well-textured hammer
- Absence of the choke system
- Larger gauges could be favorable
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Home Defense Shotgun
Do you want to buy one of the best home defense shotguns? Then, picking something blindly will not help you in any way. You will need to know more about the specific features of the products and prepare a proper buying strategy.
The following pointers will help you out in your endeavor. Here are some factors you should take into consideration when choosing a gun for home defense:
The expression “gauge” refers to the diameter of the shotgun’s battle bore. The lower the number is, the wider the hole is going to be. Hence, it will require bigger and heavier ammunition, which might increase the power of kicks.
The gauges of a shotgun usually range between 8- to 32-gauge. Be sure to determine your physical capability before settling on an option. For home defense, a model of 12 gauge would be perfect for you.
2. Length Of The Barrel
The barrel length of the shotguns varies from one option to another. Some of them are ideal for home defense modules, while the others offer better responsiveness in the aspect of hunting.
For example, a barrel, which has a length of around 20-inch or less, should be perfect for protecting your house and family members. Remember, the smaller your shotgun’s barrel is, the easier it will be for you to move around narrow spaces.
3. Size Of The Stock
The size of the gun is just as important as anything else. While buying a shotgun for home defense, you will also need to determine if the size of its stock fits you or not.
If it is smaller than usual, then you will encounter more felt recoil that it should be. Conversely, if you have smaller stature but use a model that has a longer pull length, then you would not be able to shoot it.
So, when you are buying the gun, size it along with the smallest member of your family. This way, the others can use it too.
Choosing a lightweight model is definitely recommended for everyone. But, besides it, you should also check if its weight can soak up the recoil or not.
Otherwise, when you are shooting through it, you will more likely lose control and end up missing your target.
In most cases, burglaries or robberies occur during the nighttime. Thus, in this aspect, choosing a shotgun with a flashlight would make sense. Using a flashlight-integrated model can sometimes give away your location. But, it is worth the risk, as you can locate the danger right away.
Most of the best home defense shotguns come with a plethora of accessories and offer an array of customization options. This way, you can configure the model in your own way and make it easier to use.
Regarding capacity, a standard shotgun model capacitates around six shells at once. And, usually, you will not need more than that. But, if you are overly conscious and hate reloading, then choosing an 8-round model can be ideal for you.
8. Pistol vs. Stock Grip
The pistol grip is a popular option among most household owners, as you can hold it with a single hand. But, their stability and capabilities can sometimes be questionable. The stock grips, in this aspect, are better than the former, but you cannot operate them using one hand.
Different Types Of Shotgun Actions
The actions of the shotguns usually vary from one model to another. Thus, before making a purchase, it becomes very crucial for everyone to know about them in a proper manner.
1. Pump Action
The shotguns with this action employ a manually accentuated pump to re-cock, eject, and load a brand new round of shell. They are quite affordable and can be used for home defense as well.
2. Bolt Action
In these types of shotguns, a rod or a bolt stays attached to a spring. Thus, reload it, you will need to twist the bolt-based handle up and pull it back again after pushing the shells in. This procedure exposes the chamber entirely and cocks the whole mechanism. The bolt action system is complex and is not really popular in the market. They are slower than the pump-action.
3. Lever Action
To reload a lever action-modeled shotgun, you will need to push and pull the lever frequently, which can be quite hectic. We can find this particular module in the offerings of the Winchester brand.
4. Double Barrel And Single Barrel
The double-barrel models can capacitate only two shells at once. They are somewhat simplistic and lightweight. Most people use it for hunting and home defensive purposes. Besides, the single barrel models can hold only a single bullet and require frequent reloading. But, they are the most affordable options in the lot.
Boost Up The Security With The Best Home Defense Shotguns
For defending our home against those with malicious intent, nothing but the best will suffice. The best home defense shotgun comes with numerous remarkable features, including magazine capacity, loading finesse, and more.
You must be careful when going through the specifications to ensure that it fits your requirements the most. Moreover, we have also construed a list of the best shotguns that you can use for both hunting and defense purposes. Also, concentrate on the pros and cons before making the final decision.
Q1. Is Shotgun A Better Choice For Home Defense Than Other Firearms?
Yes, a shotgun is a better choice for home defense than other firearms. It is easy to conceal, quick at target acquisition, and it can be easily maneuvered in a dangerous situation.
Q2. What Are The Different Types Of Shotgun Based On The Action?
The different types of shotgun based on action are – Semi-automatic, break-action, and pump-action. They also use a break action as either a single barrel or double barrels.
Q3. Are Shotguns Safe To Use?
The safety of the shotguns depends on the users. You must follow the instructions given diligently. There are several manual safety features like button and tang safeties.
Q4. What Is The Ammunition Versatility For Shotguns?
The range of ammunition versatility for shotguns is impressive. There are three major types – slugs, buckshot, and birdshot.
Michael Castaneda is a 45-year old war veteran from Michigan with a deep interest in guns. After the war, Michael took a pledge to never touch a gun except for the purpose of self-defense. He created Machine Gun Books to guide people on self-defense and providing information on guns and accessories.