6 Best Home Defense Tactical Shotguns [2021]

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6 Best Home Defense Tactical Shotguns [2021]

We all want the most effective weapons possible when it comes to home defense. Our lives, our homes, and most importantly our families deserve the best protection. Though this is not the only reason. We are going to explain what is a tactical shotgun? and which are the preferred and best shotguns for home defense, and obviously our favorite ones with all points including prices.

12ga Shotgun Shells -

12ga Shotgun Shells

What is a Tactical Shotgun?

Did you know what separates a tactical shotgun from a traditional hunting shotgun?

Double Barreled Hunting Shotgun -

Double Barreled Hunting Shotgun

There are some different features that make a shotgun ‘tactical’:

18 – 20 Inch Barrel

This exact length of the barrel keeps the shotgun short and fast when used in urgency, like in case of sudden defense. The 18 inches is as short as you can go legally with a shotgun barrel. Moreover, it is enough to go without requiring a tax stamp or any federal registration.

Home Defense Shotguns – Semi-Auto or Pump Operation?

Shotguns have many variations, including pump-action, lever-action, semi-auto bolt action, and single or double barrels. The Pump and semi-auto actions are the only two types that are practical for home defense.

Good Set of Sights

There are many shotguns that come with a single bead at the end of the barrel which acts as a sight.  This type work for a lot of applications.

The Sling Mounts

A sling in the shotgun allows you to attach the weapon across your body.  Which allows you to keep the gun while you do other tasks with your hands, making it difficult for an attacker to strip you of your weapon.

Chambered in 12 or 20 Gauge

12 Gauge is the most famous combat shotgun caliber. Especially when it comes to semi-automatics guns. 12 gauge is a powerful and reliable option as well. It also makes the firearm heavier, larger, and recoils viciously. The 20 gauge is still a very potent round and is much friendlier for smaller people or beginners.

12 Gauge Speed Strips -

12 Gauge Speed Strips

The capacity of 4+1 Minimum

Shotguns use quite large shells, therefore most shotguns are limited in their capacity.  The capacity of 4 +1 will settle most encounters, however, preferably you are using more akin to 7+1 to give yourself that extra edge.

The Stock

Any shotgun needs a stock. The Pistol grip-only shotguns are good, fun, and pretty handy in some situations. However, the shoulder stock makes a shotgun much easier to hit the target accurately with more comfort.

What Can the Shotgun Do?

Why is a shotgun are known to be so effective?

The first thing is versatility, it is possible to fire the various projectiles from a shotgun. Also, from engaging anything from pests like possums to two-legged varmints, and even creatures big as bears.

Types of 12ga Shotgun Shells vs Bullets -

Types of 12ga Shotgun Shells vs Bullets

The shotguns have three primary loads:

The Birdshot

A load is filled with tiny pellets, they range between dozens to hundreds depending on the particular load used. It is designed to hunt down birds, clay pigeons, and other small games. However, these are not very effective for the home defense.

12ga Birdshot -

12ga Birdshot

The Buckshot

Buckshot is a load of larger pellets than the birdshot, they commonly range in caliber from .24 (No 4 Buckshot) to .36 (000 Buckshot).  Additionally, the number of pellets varies per load and caliber of the ball used.  Perfect for medium game and tactical applications.

The most common is 00 (“double aught:) buckshot, this is equivalent to 9 lead pellets with 9mm in diameter.

12ga 00 Buckshot -

12ga 00 Buckshot

The Slugs

Slugs are Solid projectiles, around 1 oz in weight.

The slugs are Often quite larger, heavier, and powerful.  They additionally allow you to extend your effective shotgun range.

12ga Slug -

12ga Slug

The Best Home Defense Tactical Shotguns

With all these factors in mind, let’s take a look at the top tactical shotguns available in the market.

1. Mossberg 500 Series – Recommended Home Defense Shotguns

If you want to have one of the longest-serving combats and police shotguns, the Mossberg 500 is the best choice for you.

Mossberg 500 -

Mossberg 500

The big difference from the Remington 870 (other popular pump-action shotgun) is the safety is on top of the receiver and accessible with your thumb.

Mossberg has built a big variety of different configurations for the 590A1 model. Which includes night sights or Ghost ring sights, collapsible or fixed stocks, and a capacity of up to 9 rounds. Regardless of the functionality you choose, you are getting one of the best pump action combat shotguns ever designed.

Mossberg-590a1 -


It is specifically built for the dangers involved in military life, the Mossberg 590A1 is a solid combat shotgun. You can also mount a bayonet to it as well, in case that floats your boat. As a pump-action shotgun, it can handle everything from powerful magnum loads to the lightest reduced recoil ammunition, and even less-lethal ammo types.

2. The Remington 870 – Recommended Home Defense Shotgun

Combined with the classical Remington 870 platform, with a classic hardwood stock and pump design that has lasted the test of time. The Remington 870 gives you 6+1 capacity with an 18.5-inch barrel for maneuverability. You get a front rifle sight, so it is suggested to add a nice adjustable rear sight.

Remington 870 -

Remington 870

The main difference from the Mossberg 500 above is that its safety is a button near the trigger.

The 870 design is so well known and so popular that there are tons of different accessories for it available.

This includes numerous different designs of sight saddles, lighting options, and even scope mounts for a red dot.

You can swap the barrel as well with any other 870 barrel without modification.

3. Benelli M4

Benelli M4 innovate and grow shotgun technology with every design.  What makes the M3 stand apart from other shotguns is its operating functionalities.

Benelli M4 shotgun - Ammogunshop

Benelli M4

The Benelli M4 can function as both a semi-auto shotgun and a pump-action shotgun with just a twist of a ring. It easily changes from semi-automatic to pump action to for handling lighter loads, or less-lethal ammunition.

The semi-auto mode reduces recoil and is known as one of the fastest cycling operations of any shotgun. As a Benelli you know it’s built to fight, and built tough enough to be a legacy weapon.

4. Hatsan Arms Escort Slugger

If you are looking for something that is affordable as well as super durable, then the Hatsan Escort series of shotguns may be for you.

Hatsan Arms Escort Slugger -

Hatsan Arms Escort Slugger

The Escort Slugger has two types it is either a 7+1 capacity and comes with a 20-inch barrel or 5 + 1 with an 18-inch barrel.

The thing that is important to mention here is that the low price is not because the shotgun is poorly made.  In fact, the Escort has a chrome-lined barrel and components made of metal. It is designed with durability with simplicity in mind, the Escort Slugger is built to work harder for you. The blade front sight is fixed, and they are large and easy to find in low light. However, isn’t as silky as a fiber sight. The sling studs mounted provide solid attachment points for various slings and tethers. Moreover, a soft rubber buttpad absorbs recoil and improves shooting comfort.

The pump actually passes the receiver when used.  The shotgun is available in both Marine-grade finish and standard between $300 to $450 dollars.

5. Maverick 88

Maverick 88 is essentially a clone of the Mossberg 500. It is made by Mossberg and the primary difference is that its safety in front of the trigger.

Maverick 88 Shotgun -

Maverick 88

Alone this fact cuts down the price and the 88 can be had for under $250 if you look around. However, because in the reality it is a 500, so it fits almost every kind of relevant upgrade. Also, the shotgun has a 7+1-round capacity featuring a bead sight and cylinder bore choke. Considered one of the best home defense shotguns as they are light weight and affordable.

6. Mossberg SPX 930

The Mossberg SPX 930 ($833) is the tactical derivative of the Mossberg 930 series.

The good thing about this Mossberg SPX 930 is that this shotgun is ready to rock and roll on the tactical shelf. Mossberg SPX 930 is also considered one of the most reliable semi-auto shotguns for home defense with affordable price.

Mossberg SPX 930 Shotgun -

Mossberg SPX 930

Model 930 SPX is topped with an amazing set of sling swivels, sights, 7 +1 capacity, and a rail for adjusting an optic.

Mossberg products are well known for their quality firearms and backed by an excellent warranty.  The 930 SPX is built like a tank, as the semi-auto action reduces recoil to a pleasant thump.


A tactical shotgun is a perfect weapon for home defense.

As the tactical shotguns give an absolute power a shoulder-fired weapon can have. On the other hand, if you go for the tactical shotguns, remember that like every weapon you need to train with it to be effective. A shotgun is only as good as the experienced shot gunner holding it.

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