The 5 Best Tactical Shotguns For Home Defense

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The Very Best Tactical Shotguns For Home Defense

I love my guns, but at the end of the day, there are very few that really matter to me. The AR-15s, AK-47s, and other “fun guns” are great, but don’t serve much of a purpose to me. However, if you want to talk about a weapon that does serve an essential purpose to me, it would be my home defense shotgun.

I have owned and tried more tactical-style shotguns than I can remember. This is one firearm that I don’t mind spending extra money on, or doing a ton of testing until I find the perfect one.

In my opinion, a shotgun is absolutely necessary for home defense. However, in order to be a viable option for home defense, I think a few criteria must be met.

First and foremost, the shotgun must be reliable. In a home defense situation, being able to count on the weapon is absolutely paramount. There is no way around that.

Second, a fast cycle rate is important to me. It gives me some peace of mind that I am able to re-engage the target if necessary. A commonly held opinion is that semiautomatic shotguns are not as reliable as pump action shotguns. In my opinion, this is both true and not true. There are more internal parts that can go wrong, but there are plenty of quality, reliable semiautomatic shotguns available.

Third, the sights must be good, or must have an easy way to mount my own sights if I choose to do so. Generally speaking, I prefer to put my own sight on it, as it’s probably going to be a sight I can easily see at night.

You Don’t Need A Firearms License For This Weapon!

Last, I generally prefer a shotgun with a pistol grip. My opinion is that these are more mobile and controlled, although it’s not a necessity. I know that not everyone will agree with me on that, but in my personal experience, I have found them to be more mobile.

So, here is a list of some of my favorite home defense shotguns. All of these are 12-gauge shotguns that I would load with Winchester PDX Defender shells.

1. Benelli M4 Tactical

It feels wrong putting a semiautomatic shotgun first on my list, but once you’ve used this one, you will understand why. Although it does have a pretty steep price tag, this is an absolutely awesome weapon that meets all of my criteria. It has a 5+1 magazine capacity, and weighs in at 7.8 pounds.

The weapon is extremely reliable, as I haven’t had any issues with cycling any different shells. It also cycles extremely fast. The sights that come on it are decent, and they are fully adjustable. You can also get tritium inserts for the standard sights, which will make them easier to see at night. However, it also has a Picatinny rail system, so you can mount your own sights to it if easily.

If you like the sound of this one, but are a little afraid of the pricetag, the Benelli M2 is another good option that is less expensive.

2. Mossberg Model 500 Tactical – SPX

This pump action shotgun from Mossberg is a beast. Similar to the Benelli M4, it has a pistol grip and a 5+1 capacity. However, this one is a pump-action, which many will find enjoyable. Some folks will tell you that simply pumping the action on a shotgun is enough to scare off a would-be intruder.

This shotgun also has some good standard sights. It has a fiber optic front sight, which allows for excellent visibility. Just like the M4 though, it also has a Picatinny rail if you want to mount your own sight.

The pistol grip and pump are ergonomic, and allow for plenty of grip and control. The stock of this one is fully adjustable, which is an advantage over the M4. It is also a little bit lighter than the M4.

As far as pump-action shotguns go, this one is my favorite. It is comfortable to hold and shoot, it is reliable, and the price is reasonable.

3. Remington 870 Express Synthetic Tactical 7 Round

I have written before about how much I love the Remington 870. In my opinion, it is the best shotgun on the market. They are extremely reliable and will last forever. The only reason that this one isn’t higher on my list is because it doesn’t have a pistol grip.

This pump action from Remington has a 6+1 capacity and weighs 7.5 pounds. It is extremely sturdy, and the action will work every single time for years and years.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t crazy about the single bead sight on this one, and it doesn’t have the Picatinny rail. The sights aren’t awful; it just took some time getting used to them.

4. Mossberg 930 Tactical – 8 Shot SPX

I’m generally not a huge Mossberg fan, but their home defense offerings are awesome. The 930 Tactical is a semiautomatic shotgun, and the 8-Shot SPX version has a pistol grip as well as an 8-shell capacity. This extra shell could make a huge difference. It weighs in at 7.75 pounds.

When I shot this shotgun, I thought it was pretty smooth and enjoyable to shoot. However, I definitely don’t think that this action is as smooth as the Benelli. While it never gave me a reason to be concerned, I still think it’s worth mentioning.

Just like the other Mossberg shotgun, this one has excellent sights, and also has a Picatinny rail. While the stock isn’t adjustable like we saw on the 500 Tactical, this weapon is still pretty comfortable to carry and maneuver with. I would feel more than comfortable with this weapon for defending my home, especially when considering that it’s available at a reasonable price.

5. Benelli SuperNova Tactical Pump

Last on our list is a pump-action shotgun from Benelli. This one has a 6-shell capacity and weighs 7.6 pounds. It has a stock and pistol grip that is very similar to the M4.

The action of this shotgun is silky smooth and it has very little recoil compared to its competition. If you have ever fired a Benelli pump action, you know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.

The sights on this one are good, but unfortunately there isn’t a Picatinny rail. You can have either open rifle sights or a ring style sight. Just like the M4, there are optional tritium inserts for the sights.

Overall, this is an excellent quality pump action that is extremely affordably priced. It would do great for a home defense shotgun, especially considering the pistol grip.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below: 

The One Shotgun That Passed The U.S. Military’s Torture Test

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The One Shotgun That Passed The U.S. Military’s Torture Test

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If the average gun owner is asked what the most important weapon to own for home defense is, the answer often is the 12-gauge shotgun. Yes, some will say go with a pistol and others will prefer a semi-automatic rifle, but the 12 gauge is probably the most commonly recommended firearm for home defense.

There’s good reason for that. Twelve gauge 00 buckshot or any other kind of defensive load is devastating at close range and will incapacitate the attacker, likely with only a single shot. The pump-action shotgun itself is a very rugged, reliable and simple weapon that practically anybody can pick up and quickly learn how to use.

Many will claim that the pump-action design is now outdated in the age of automatic rifles such as the AR-15 or AK-47, and indeed, there are some very high-quality semi-automatic shotguns out there. That said, semi-auto shotguns (at least the quality ones) almost always tend to be more expensive than pump actions, and they also can be just a little more finicky with certain types of ammo. For those reasons, the pump action is still an excellent defensive weapon even in the 21st century and likely will continue to be for many years to come.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

The next question then is: What is the absolute best 12-gauge pump-action shotgun for home defense? Well, if you knew that there was only one pump shotgun that has passed the U.S. military’s brutal and unforgiving torture test, you would probably agree that that shotgun would be a top contender, right?

The specific shotgun is the Mossberg 590A1, a further development of the hugely successful Mossberg 500 and 590 series of shotguns. The 590A1 incorporates all of the same features of the 590 and then makes several improvements of its own. The overall weapon itself is insanely rugged and durable.

Why It’s So Rugged

First of all, let’s become familiar with how the Mossberg 500 series of shotguns work. The 500/590 is a very basic pump shotgun that features a polymer safety, trigger guard, and blued barrels (that are easily interchangeable). The safeties of Mossberg 500s are ambidextrous and located behind the receiver, while the slide release lever is located behind the trigger guard for convenience.

Right off the bat, the 590A1 uses more durable materials than the 500 and 590. All of the parts of the gun are constructed out of aluminum (trigger guard, safety, slide release lever, etc.). Furthermore, the 590A1 also uses a heavier durable barrel that is intended to better take abuse, as well.

The overall finish of the 590A1 is parkerized, which is rust- and corrosion-resistant in contrast to the standard bluing of the 500 or 590 that will require constant care and attention. In other words, the 590A1 is a shotgun you can take out in wet environments and not have to worry as much about.

Granted, 500 and 590 models called the Mariner are made in a corrosion-resistant stainless steel finish (called Marinecote), but these specific models tend to be significantly more expensive.

Additional notable features of the 590A1 includes a bayonet lug on the front for mounting an M7 bayonet. The 590A1 also incorporates a swivel mount on the stock for easily adding a sling. In contrast to this, you generally have to add the swivels yourself to the 500 or 590, which, of course, increases the amount of money you have to spend. The 590A1 will have a 6+1, 7+1, or 8+1 capacity, depending on the model that you get.

All in all, the 590A1 is essentially the ultimate pump-action combat shotgun and a superb choice for home defense or personal protection. The Remington 870 is also a great shotgun, no doubt, but keep in mind it was the 590A1 that passed the military’s torture test, which says a lot about its capabilities and quality.

Do you own a 590A1? What is your favorite pump-action shotgun? Share your tips in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

Brass Shells for my Black Powder DB Shotgun.

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My youngest son bought me two boxes of brass shells for my black powder 12 gauge, so I have some hand loading to do.
Bring on the Zombies 😊 

No loader required, I can load these brass shells in just the same way as I load my muzzle-loading guns. The only difference is that I also need primers for the shells. More on this when I start reloading.

The Five 12-Gauge Loads Every Homesteader Should Own

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The Five 12-Gauge Loads Every Homesteader Should Own

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The 12-gauge shotgun is one of the most common, most versatile firearms a person can own. The right shotgun can be used for everything from survival hunting to protecting the garden from critters to home defense.

The wide variety of ammo, ranging from powerful slugs to lightweight small game loads, is what makes this weapon so useful, and it should be in the arsenal of any homesteader or survivalist. But having the gun is only half the battle; you need to have the right ammo, and more importantly, the right assortment of ammo. With these five best loads, you will be ready for anything that happens on the homestead.

1. Slugs

Perhaps one of the most fearsome loads you can shoot from a shotgun, heavy slugs turn your shotgun into an oversized smoothbore musket. If you have a rifled slug barrel, you gain increased accuracy and a slight increase in range. Even with a regular smooth barrel, you can reliably take shots out to 75 yards or so. There are a great many slugs, ranging from the traditional rifled slug — contrary to popular opinion, the rifling doesn’t aid in accuracy, but merely helps size the slug through various choke sizes — to fancy copper and polymer creations. (Don’t shoot slugs through very tight chokes, because it decreases accuracy and can in rare instances blow up your gun.) One-ounce rifled slugs will do nearly all you want to do. The shotgun is a simple weapon; keep your ammo simple as well.

2. 00 buck

Packing roughly nine .33 caliber pellets into a shell (more with long magnum loads), this is the workhorse of self-defense and hunting ammo. Suitable as the name implies for deer hunting, and absolutely brutal in combat and self-defense, 2 ¾-inch 00 buck is a standard military and police load, as well as a go-to round for home defense.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

While not some magical burst of all-destroying lead, the 00 buck load will drop almost any game animal in the Lower 48 and pretty much any two-legged predator in its tracks. The smart homesteader will keep this close at hand for big game hunting and personal protection.

3. #4 buckshot

Used in the Vietnam War by the Navy Seals and others for its impressive ability to cut through heavy foliage and still drop a target, this is somewhat obscure but highly effective round. Delivering about 27 .24 caliber pellets, this cloud of high velocity lead is proven for home defense or hunting. This is my go-to choice for home defense, because I live in a close urban area, and I’d rather have smaller pellets than larger ones punching through my walls in case of a miss or near miss. Either way, my way of thinking is if it was good enough for the jungles of Vietnam, it’s good enough for the jungles of urban America. Shoot a couple of boxes and see if you aren’t convinced, as well.

4. Birdshot

There are several sizes, and you should probably have some of each. Use the smaller stuff on smaller game and the larger stuff when you need some reach-out-and-touch something. Ranging from the smaller #6 to the somewhat larger #8, birdshot is cheap, reliable and effective. As a bonus, it’s great for casual target shooting, teaching people how to shoot, and practicing with clay pigeons.

5. Non-toxic shot

In most places it is illegal to hunt migratory waterfowl with lead shot, and non-toxic shot is the next-best thing. Responsible hunters know that using non-toxic shot when hunting aids conservation and protects the wildlife we all enjoy. While it can be a bit more expensive than traditional lead shot, non-toxic shot is a must-have round if you hunt duck or geese, or simply want to stop filling your favorite hunting areas with toxic to wildlife lead. We are stewards of nature and owe it to ourselves and our children to hunt responsibly and ethically. Put some non-toxic shot aside, even if you aren’t required to use it. The land you keep clean may be your own.

Final Thoughts

My home-defense shotgun is loaded with #4 buckshot, and I’ve got ammo cans stuffed full of all sorts of 12-gauge ammo. It’s a mass-produced commodity and I’m not shy about grabbing boxes and cases when they turn up cheap. It is easy to put together the right collection of 12-gauge shells for your needs, and at a fairly low cost. Even heavy slugs and 00 buckshot can be had for less than a dollar a round, and if you handload, even cheaper. Having a 12 gauge is like owning five or six different guns, and all you have to do is change the load you are shooting. Much ink has been spilled over the notion of the “one universal gun” that can do everything, and I’d have to say based off of just these five simple types of shells, the 12-gauge shotgun isn’t too far from that mark.

Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.