15 Best 20 Gauge Shotguns – Jan 23

Mossberg 500 Persuader shotgun chambered in 20 gauge.

A light weight, low recoil shotgun that fires cheaper ammo and contains the madness just that little bit better is still in massive demand. So the best 20 gauge shotgun options are still seriously popular.

For basic hunting, turkey hunting, hunting small game, pest control and target shooting, a 20 gauge shotgun can be all the gun you need. It can even do home defense.

12 gauge is pretty industrial strength ammunition, whereas 20 gauge is a little more refined with a little less at the top end. That can be a good thing if you’re looking for a home defense shotgun that won’t overpenetrate and you just don’t like the 12 gauge kick.

What is the best 20 gauge shotgun for sale in 2023? Here are our picks.

Mossberg 500 Persuader shotgun chambered in 20 gauge.

1. Mossberg 500 Persuader

  • Price: $414.99
  • Gauge: 20 Gauge
  • Barrel: 20 inch
  • Action: Pump Action
  • Weight: 5.1lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

The Mossberg 500 Persuader is the classic pump action shotgun. It is lightweight, low profile and without any of the real tactical gear weighing it down.

Of course you can strip off the stock and add a pistol grip for the cut down Mossberg Cruiser that is a design icon in its own right, as well as a proper truck gun and home firearms stalwart.

There’s a 12 gauge version, obviously, but the 20 gauge is much less taxing to shoot. So if you are spending the whole day shooting targets at the range, you’ll really feel the difference.

Of course when you get into hunting there’s a lot to be said for the sledgehammer 12 gauge. But even then you don’t really need that much power for hunting turkey. It’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut honestly.

Now the Persuader is more of a tactical shotgun than a thoroughbred hunter. But the 500 Line has the 500 Field shotguns and specialist waterfowl hunters and turkey guns. For the full line, go here:


15 Best 20 Gauge Shotguns – Jan 23

2. Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

  • Price: $1,699.99
  • Gauge: 20 Gauge Shotgun
  • Barrel: 28 inch
  • Action: Semi Auto Shotgun
  • Weight: 7lb
  • Capacity: 3+1

The soft shooting Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 is a legend in waterfowl hunting circles and it is increasingly the well rounded hunting shotgun you can take anywhere. Is it the best semi auto shotgun for the field? It might well be.

That long barrel shotguns work well in the field and you can use your Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 for deer hunting and even dangerous predator hunting without any adjustment.

Now the inertia driven system does the work for you and you can adjust the choke to tailor your shots, but you don’t have to.

The Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 semi-auto shotgun will eat everything from light loads of birdshot and waterfowl loads through to 3.5 inch Magnum loads and slugs. Inertia guns are good like that.

Chokes Are a Science Lesson

Those Crio choke tubes have been cryogenically treated for enhanced strength through increased mass density. It’s quite the Physics lesson if you have the time to root it out.

There is an oversized bolt handle and safety, together with an enlarged trigger guard for gloved hands. Also, the entire stock is a recoil pad thanks to a split stock with a chevron pad system and a final recoil pad.

Now this semi-auto shotgun isn’t just for birds. The inertia operated Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 semi-automatic shotguns are the all-round outdoors, small game hunting through to big game hunting and sport shooting clays shotgun you’ve been looking for.

You can also get a black synthetic shotgun, or a variety of colors. Whgatever you choose, you might just have the best shotgun of 2023.

Or you could be looking for one of these:


Remington 870 Express 20 Gauge shotgun. Get one today.

3. Remington 870 Express Tactical

  • Price: $473.99
  • Barrel length: 28 inch
  • Action: Pump Action
  • Weight: 6lb
  • Capacity: 7+1

The Remington 870 Express is one of the best-selling shotguns in America and has been for about 70 years now.

Back in 1950, the Remington Model 870 took its public bow. By 1973, Remington had sold more than 2 million guns. By 1983 the Remington Model 870 had become the best selling shotgun in history. with 3 million units sold.

You can get a black synthetic tactical for home defense and close range work, or Field and outdoor version. It is pretty modular, the trigger group is solid and you can order a field and tactical combo pack, too, with switchable long barrel shotguns and tactical.

The length of pull is adjustable with some easy parts & accessories and there are upgrades galore.

Law enforcement loves the Remington 870 and any that don’t have a Mossberg in the patrol car have one of these. You can also get a .410 version. But that’s really for hunting small animals. Law Enforcement generally doesn’t carry those.


Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon. A 20 gauge over/under shotgun you need

4. Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon

  • Price: $2,499.99
  • Barrel: 30 inch
  • Action: Break Action
  • Weight: 6.9lb
  • Capacity: 2

The Beretta Silver Pigeon Sporting shotguns line bring a lot of Beretta premium shotgun features to the mass market.

That’s a relative term, as these are still expensive shotguns. But the over and under looks like a custom gun for off the shelf money and you know it would be your personal favorite before long.

You get that low profile receiver built around the legendary 686 action.

The Optima bore and choke tubes are also optimized to keep the balance right at the hinge pin.

Pros will tell you that helps the gun track naturally when you’re shooting clays or bird hunting.

You get floral engraving on the receiver that harks back to the old world English gunsmiths and European schools that followed. It’s select walnut furniture and a cold hammer forged barrel. It’s all good stuff then.

If you’re aiming at a sporting clay target, or something fleshier, this is a gun you could keep for life as a workhorse or a country club show pony. This is one of the best shotguns on the market.


Winchester SXP Long Beard turkey gun. A great 20 gauge pump action shotgun for the field.

5. Winchester SXP Long Beard

  • Price: $535.99
  • Barrel: 24 inch
  • Action: Pump Action
  • Weight: 6.9lb
  • Capacity: 4+1

The Winchester SXP is another one of those venerable pump action shotgun legends that comes as a tactical shotgun, field shotgun and this turkey shotgun.

In short there is a Winchester Super X Pump for every season and shell that Winchester produces.

With this model you get the InvectorPlus Extra Full Turkey Choke tube with a fluted body, knurled friction ring and camo front band.

The pistol grip is another obvious performance feature and there’s an adjustable height of comb and adjustable length of pull.

The gun is optimized for the Winchester Long Beard XR turkey shell and the main ambition is holding te shot together and producing tight 10 inch groups at 60 yards.

It sounds like a great hunting shotgun because it kind of is.


15 Best 20 Gauge Shotguns – Jan 23

6. CZ Sharp Tail

  • Price: $999.99
  • Barrel: 28 inch
  • Action: Break Action
  • Weight: 7.3lb
  • Capacity: 2

Eastern Europe is partial to a nice old school shotgun too, and it doesn’t get much more traditional than this side by side double barrel shotgun.

The action is new and replaces leaf springs with coil spring operated hammers and you get independent floating firing pins on your side by side. There is a single, selectable mechanical trigger, and you can slot a pistol grip home on this side by side if you’re out hunting turkeys.

For a full length side by side shotgun, this is a good price for this level of workmanship. That Turkish walnut stock and one piece CNC machined receiver is top quality and shotgun connoisseurs have a lot of good things to say about a CZ 12 gauge shotgun.

Turns out the Czech Republic was a farming community and they will always tend to produce similar solutions to the same problems. In this case, a quality shotgun with very few moving parts.

A long range side by side shotgun was more or less essential equipment on a farm for coyotes, wolves and bears. Now we have a 308 for taking care of the flock from a distance, but back in the day it was a shotgun or maybe a sword.


Mossberg 590M Shockwave in 20 gauge. A compact weapon for the home or perhaps the ultimate truck gun.

7. Mossberg 590 Shockwave

  • Price: $465.99
  • Barrel: 14 inch
  • Action: Pump Action
  • Weight: 4.9lb
  • Capacity: 6+1

This compact defensive shotgun is an ideal truck gun and it swings round stairwells and apartment doorways brilliantly too. It is almost a concealed carry shotgun, too.

The smaller 20 gauge shotgun makes a lot of sense for defensive duties and really isn’t much less powerful than the all conquering 12 gauge. It also packs a solid 6 shells into that magazine tube.

Performance features include dual extractors, steel to steel lockup, dual action bars. There’s a front bead sight and that legendary Shockwave Raptor Bird’s head grip.

It is the zombie apocalypse gun, a close range specialist and a home defense star in any gauge.


Benelli M2 Field shotgun. A 20 gauge outdoors shotgun you can use for skeet shooting, turkeys and lots more.

8. Benelli M2 Field

  • Price: $1,322.99
  • Barrel: 24 inch
  • Action: Semi-Auto shotgun
  • Weight: 5.7lb
  • Capacity: 3+1

This semi-automatic shotgun is a lightweight workhorse that can handle everything from target shooting to big game hunting, waterfowl hunting, turkey hunting and just about everything else.

The Gas Operated Benelli M4 is the semi-auto 12ga shotgun that the US Marine Corp takes into action, but most of us aren’t US Marines. So this inertia driven shotgun that is a much cheaper option is pretty much as good.

Feed the Benelli M2 semi autos everything from 2.75 inch birdshot through to the heaviest 3 inch Magnum loads. The best semi-auto shotgun will take them all without a complaint.

Naturally you can adjust the choke, but you’re largely controlling the spread and you don’t have to adjust anything for the different weight 20 gauge ammo with these inertia guns.

The 24 inch barrel keeps this shotgun light, portable and versatile for deer hunting and small game hunting, as well as fast moving birds. Sporting clays? No problem.

This magazine tube is limited, but then there’s no real reason to ask for more for most sporting shotguns.

You can opt for a 28 inch barrel, and a variety of camo finishes, as well as a smaller semi auto Tactical for home defense. Look here for all the options on these semi-autos.


15 Best 20 Gauge Shotguns – Jan 23

9. Savage Arms Stevens Security 320

  • Price: $247.99
  • Barrel: 18.5 inch
  • Action: Pump
  • Weight: 6.6lb
  • Capacity: 5+1

This entry level tactical shotgun comes with a pistol grip, a proper matte black polymer stock and a reasonably smooth pump action shotgun. All for less than $250 for a complete home defense shotgun.

You got a bead front sight, dual slide bars and basic pump action shotguns for home defense for a good price. Not many of these have a pistol grip and genuinely attacking layout. But well, this pump gun does.

Savage Arms is behind the Stevens Security 320 so the barrel and major working parts are all pretty solid and delivered to a price point.

Felt recoil management is limited to a basic pad but, again, did we mention it is cheap?


Benelli Ethos, an old world look and a modern sporting shotgun

10. Benelli Ethos

  • Price: $1,999.99
  • Barrel: 26 inch
  • Action: Semi-Auto
  • Weight: 5.5lb
  • Capacity: 4+1

The semi-auto Benelli Ethos is a semi-auto shotgun that was built for the great outdoors and combines traditional crafstmanship with modern shotgun technology.

So you get a AA-Grade Walnut stock and a scroll engraved receiver that harks back to the old days on the Benelli Ethos. You can see there’s a solid amount of adjustment for the length of pull with those modern looking spacers next to the old world stock.

You also get a massively practical 4+1 semi-auto shotgun with a long barrel that works for everything from turkey shooting to clay pigeons, upland game and even the odd deer. Felt recoil is next to nothing as well.

The Benelli Ethos is the field shotgun archetype, in terms of the look, but a modern sporting shotgun under the skin. In a pinch these semi-automatic shotguns can handle home defense as well.

It kinda works pretty well honestly and these semi autos are a much more efficient package than the old side by side double barrel shotgun.


Remington 870 Tac-14 pump action shotgun on sale now. Get this street leal cut down shotgun while you can.

11. Remington 870 Tac-14

  • Price: $464.99
  • Barrel: 14 inch
  • Action: Pump
  • Weight: 5.6lb
  • Capacity: 4+1

These are compact pump action shotguns that work great for home defense and could function as a concealed carry shotgun.

It’s a simple bird’s head grip that does mitigate recoil, minimal as it is, when you pull the trigger of this pump gun and work the slide action.

That could help you keep control in a home defense situation and that makes 20 Gauge better than 12 gauge. For you anyway…

Now you can’t have these shotguns with a 14 inch barrel that are technically firearms according to the NFA classification in every State in these beloved United States. But if you can, man they are fun to shoot and seriously practical.

There is a reason criminals love sawn off shotguns, and why they are banned we guess. This is about as close as you’re allowed to get and you should have one. For home defense and just because really.


Rock Island Armory All Gen Shotgun 20 gauge. A great shotgun at a cheap price.

12. Rock Island Armory All Generation Shotgun

  • Price: $253.99
  • Barrel: 26 inch
  • Action: Pump Action
  • Weight: 8.82lblb
  • Capacity: 5+1

The cheap guns manufacturer has done what it does best with a low price shotgun that ticks a lot of boxes.

The Rock Island Armory All Generation shotgun isn’t the prettiest pump action shotgun you’ll ever see. But it is a reliable slide action, simple and effective as a field shotgun.

You get a chunky recoil pad to reduce felt recoil when you pull the trigger and an adjustable comb, too, which you might use, sometimes, for skeet shooting. Or stalking animals through public lands.

RIA import great rifles, shotguns, pistols and more to the United States. Everything from Armscor in the Philippines is well put together, pretty reliable and, increasingly, fun to shoot.

Check out the RIA 12ga semi-auto shotguns and their immediate competition here.


Savage Arms Stevens 301 single shot turkey shotgun

13. Savage Arms 301 Single Shot Turkey Shotgun

  • Price: $211.99
  • Barrel: 26 inch
  • Action: Break Action
  • Weight: 6lb
  • Capacity: 1

This is a specialist tool built around the extortionately expensive TSS Turkey Loads.

You can remove the one piece rail and that is basically the only complication here. Well there’s a TruGlo fiber optic front sight at the end of that long carbon steel barrel.

It really is a specialist turkey hunter now. You need follow up shots for bird hunting and even sporting clays.

But it’s a cheap, relentlessly reliable shotgun that you can basically hose down when it comes to the maintenance. The few moving parts mean it also field strips in quick and easy fashion. This is not a complicated shotgun, is the takeaway.

It is set up with with an Extra Full choke to keep your pellet groups tight beyond 60 yards. That’s actually pretty cool and why lots of turkey hunters are willing to reload more often.

Elegance of a Single Shot

A rifle, shotgun or handgun with just one round is also inherently safer when it comes to firearms training with new shooters and it can be the best for youth training. Especially on public lands.

They can only lose control once before a reload, and there’s a natural chance to intervene. So if your kids are learning to shoot, there’s a lot to be said for a one shot firearm to begin with. Is it the best for youth firearms training? Maybe…

There is a purity to a single cartridge rifle, shotgun, whatever, too, that is hard to quantify, and yet does mean something.

It’s a light weight by definition, too, with no gas operated system or gas piston piling on the pounds, or even a tube magazine loaded with shells. In the real world, even that adds up.

This is easy for left handed shooters too. It’s one of the few guns that is truly ambidextrous at all times and a left handed person can shoot it just as easily as a rightie. But it’s truly awful for home defense…


15 Best 20 Gauge Shotguns – Jan 23

14. Benelli Nova

  • Price: $415.99
  • Barrel: 26 inch
  • Action: Pump Actions
  • Weight: 6.6lb
  • Capacity: 4+1

The Benelli Nova could easily feature much higher, bu other Benelli USA shotguns are up there instead.

On another day, this 20 gauge could just as easily be on the podium.

These pump actions come with an overmolded steel skeleton for rigidity and weather resistance at a reasonable price and weight, so the stock and receiver are a single unit.

Of course that means limited adjustment with the length of pull and comb. But that’s one of the prices you pay for a cheap Benelli and things like the trigger pull, felt recoil and sensory touch points are great.

There is a floating rib, the trigger guard is oversized for gloved hands and you get one of the most coveted brand names in the shotgun world with Benelli USA emblazoned on the side.

There’s a shorter Nova Tactical for home defense and you can check the whole line here:


Ithaca Model 37, one of the best youth shotguns and a trench gun in the wars.

15. Ithaca Model 37

  • Price: $1,099.99
  • Barrel: 18.5 inch
  • Action: Pump
  • Weight: 6.6lb
  • Capacity: 5+1

    The Ithaca Model 37 is one of those offbeat favorites in 12 and 20 gauge.

    Released in 1937 as a basically a homage to the Remington Model 17 and it got such good reviews that it became one of the standard issue shotguns for US troops.

    In 1942, the us government ordered more than 1,400 Ithaca Model 37 shotguns and a large number of field shotguns. The Vietnamese government ordered more than 20,000 and the Ithaca Model 37 has swept more trenches in more corners of the globe than you care to know

    With a bayonet up front and a ventilated hand guard for cooling, this was a real weapon of war. It was a quick and easy tool to raid an enemy trench and often the best option.

    A shotgun is easy to carry, it’s reliable and the spread means it can mow down multiple adversaries with one shot. You don’t have to work too hard to mitigayte recoil too. It got to the point where Germany wanted shotguns banned in war at one point.

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