There are few sexier weapons than the semi-automatic Tactical shotgun.
Why? Because it’s a weapon of war.
It’s not a hunter, it’s not a gatherer.
The semi-automatic shotgun has lethal intent and is destined for a gunfight, which makes it a great home defense solution if the need ever arises.
They are big, bold and they bring the shock and awe.
Watch the shotgun scene in John Wick 2. Then watch it again. It’s epic and made me start shopping for Benelli M4s. Maybe I am gullible after all…
Shotgun Mag Capacity is a Problem
Of course, even the best semi-automatic shotguns always face that one big problem: capacity.
There are a couple of novel solutions to that dilemma on this list. But even with limited shells, they’re still absolute beasts for home defense.
Modern slugs give you real options to traditional buckshot and we think these are some of the best guns on the open market.
So, here are our favorite semi-automatic shotguns for sale in 2020.
1. Kalashnikov Komrad 12.5
- Price: $975.00
- Barrel: 12.5 inch
- Total Length: 31.5 inch
- Weight: 7.85lb
- Capacity: 5+1
The Kalashnikov Komrad AK pistol shotgun is just the runaway winner here. How could it not win this thing? It’s epic!
This will send the purists into a total meltdown, but seriously we’re waiting for the debate. This is the number 1 semi-automatic tactical shotgun in the world and it might just be the best defensive shotgun for sale in 2020.
AK Layout, Short Barrel Monster
It’s an AK
Then there are the mags, which you can upgrade to 10-round options if you are that way inclined. I am. You can also slot in just about any Saiga mag, including the 50-round drum magazines we all know and love.
Alternative to AR Pistol For Home Defense
This is a seriously flexible and potent weapon that is a Close Quarters Combat megastar, and the box magazine shotgun concept means you can switch between buckshot and slugs to give the gun totally different characters and totally different ranges.
Pick your 12 gauge ammo with care and you’ve got the ultimate bedside weapon, bear defense, just about anything you want in the end. It’s almost a concealed carry pistol that packs buckshot. Think about that…
Your New Favorite Firearm?
The Kalashnikov Komrad shotgun for sale is a serious weapon that could displace some of the favorites in your gun safe.
You get tri-rails for tactical gear, a solid SB Tactical SBA3 pistol brace that you normally see on an AR pistol and that pistol grip up front are just special for a gun in this class. Parts & accessories slide right on.
That removable vertical forward grip that you know is cooler than it should be, but could also cause complications in certain states. A tri-rail forend grip includes two side rail optics mounts and your standard Saiga accessories will fit pretty much everywhere.
Short Barrel Creates CQB Carnage
The short barrel turns serious buckshot into pure evil at close quarters, while slugs will be effective at anything like personal defense distances.
You will lose some range that you’ll get with the 18.5-inch barrel version. That’s inevitable, but you get an awful lot in return. It’s easily the best tac shotgun on this list and we’re waiting for the Benelli and Mossberg fans and the healthy debate we know is on the way.
This is the next generation shotgun and
2. Benelli M4 Tactical (M1014)
- Price: $1,899
- Barrel: 18.5 inches
- Total length: 40 inches
- Weight: 7.8lb
- Capacity: 5+1/ 7+1 with extension tube.
On a technical level, we don’t think the Benelli M4 actually belongs here, this high up the list, anymore. There are simply better, more tactical options.
So if you’re looking for pure performance, keep scrolling down for added capacity and fast reloads.
If you want the benchmark, though, the tried and trusted tech that is also an absolute work of lethal art, then the Benelli M4 is still the daddy. So there’s a certain respect for tradition that has gone into this list, as well as just an objective look at the firepower.
Why is Benelli a Legend?
Prestige, heritage, military connections, engineering prowess and a couple of other things came into the mix to help carry the Benelli M4 over the line. I’m not going to lie, John Wick helps a bit too.
Not that they give a single shit, but it feels like we’re throwing Benelli a bone here. But there is still a lot to love about a Benelli shotgun.
Engineering Excellence and Military History
This is a sublime handling shotgun that feels tight as a drum in terms of tolerances and yet butter smooth in terms of the action. It’s a work of wonder and to shoot a Benelli M4 is to love one.
It is the pistol grip that the Navy SEALs hold in the heat of the action. That does count for something.
The military endorsement is cool and the Benelli M4 has been proven to be one of the most reliable semi-automatic shotguns in the known world. Along with cockroaches, these guns will survive the Apocalypse.
That’s why it’s popular. That and the perfect engineering that means a failure to feed is 100% down to your cheap ass buying knockoff shells.
Everything, from loading it through to emptying all 8 rounds of heavyweight buckshot into a target, is a chance to play with pure precision engineering. You can feel it in every part.
There are pump action shotgun options at Benelli, too, for less money. But these more advanced guns are the ones we’d go for if you can.
The self-cleaning, Auto Regulating Gas Operated ARGO piston is just stellar, you can strip it in the field in seconds, thanks to the SOCOM requirements, and it’s up there with the best of them in terms of accuracy. That’s not as big a thing with a shotgun as it is with a sniper rifle, but it still matters.
John Wick’s Benelli has been mildly breathed on by Taran Tactical Innovations. So he got an extended charging handle, better loading access, better grips and a simple Matchwarez clip that held a shell right by the charging handle. Smart…
You will need the mag extension tube, in fact if you’re going tactical then I have assumed you would. But it’s still 7+1 and that makes me nervous. You’d need a sidearm, or an AR pistol as a back-up. Unless you’re super awesome with quad loading, of course…
Either way, get the Taran Tactical Innovations charging handle, Accuguide and bolt release from the parts, accessories and upgrades store. They won’t quite turn you into John Wick, but they’ll make semiautomatic shotguns easier to reload on the move and possibly brave quad loading. There are other options and lots of Benelli parts & accessories here.
Of course, the elephant in the room with the Benelli M4 is always going to be capacity.
I fully expect to see a magazine on the next gen, or a separate shotgun. When we get mag-fed Benelli shotguns then I think we’ll have the best home defense shotgun in the world by a comfortable margin.
Until then, the Benelli M4 is still one of the top
3. Remington Versa Max Competition Tactical
- Price: $1,469.99
- Barrel: 22 inch
- Total Length: 44 inch
- Weight: 8lb
- Capacity: 10+1
The Remington Versa Max Competition Tactical is a beast of a long barrel shotgun that has slowly evolved to meet the needs of the 3 Gun competition shooting crowd.
The end result is a devastatingly accurate shotgun that cycles as fast as anything this side of a custom gun.
It has become an icon in the competitive shooting sports and people take the Remington Versa Max turkey shooting, 3 Gun competition shooting and a lot more besides.
The Remington Versa Max Tactical in all its forms is also a joy to shoot and you’re going to just love this shotgun. It’s worth every cent when it’s in your hands.
Tube Magazine Extension vs Box Magazine Shotgun
You don’t get a box magazine shotgun here, just a long tube magazine with a two-round carbon-fiber extension that gives the Remington Versa Max Competition Tactical a more than respectable 10+1 rounds without really resorting to any tricks.
You get a lightweight forged aluminum receiver, Cerakote finished, and a nickel-plated barrel and internal components.
The recoil reducing Supercell pad is a useful addition, but shotgun aficionados will tell you that it comes a long way behind the incredible reset speed and cycle speed of this shotgun. That’s the USP here.
The Remington Versa Max Competition Tactical is hella accurate, hella fun and it might just be your personal favorite after you take it out in the field.
3. Kalashnikov KS-12T Shotgun
- Price: $799.99
- Caliber: 12 Gauge
- Barrel: 18.25 inch
- Total Length: 38 inch
- Weight: 8.86lb
- Capacity: 10+1
Kalashnikov shotguns couldn’t be found for a while, thanks to an import ban. But Kalashnikov USA looks to have side-stepped that particular hurdle and now, finally, you can buy the Kalashnikov KS-12T shotgun right now from a number of online gunbrokers.
It’s an update on the classic semi-auto shotguns’ AK-47 design, with a collapsible AR-15 style stock, proper pistol grip and Picatinny rails giving a quad rail
It comes loaded with 10 rounds and you can pop out a mag and start firing again in under half a second. Inevitably, it’s a gas-operated system.
High Capacity Mags? No Problem
You can also use Saiga mags and drums, which opens up an arsenal of high-capacity shotgun options for you and turn this into an absolute home defense weapon.
Technically, we think this is the best shotgun here. Organize this list price low to high and it’s also one of the cheapest. Which counts for a lot. We just loved the snub nose pistol version more.
4. Tavor TS-12
- Price: $1249.99
- Barrel: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 28.75 inches
- Weight: 8.85lb
- Capacity: 15+1
We love the Tavor TS-12, and now, seriously, you can buy one. We thought it was never coming too, but you can.
It’s an evil looking shotgun isn’t it? And while some of you will be seriously questioning my sanity, and maybe my parentage, in its own way this is tactical as f**k.
High Capacity Shotgun With 25 Rounds
You get 15 shells, five in each of three tubes. Rotate the tube, the next shell finds its way to the chamber and you’re ready to go again. With mini-shells, which might work, you could have up to 25 rounds on tap.
It makes the Tavor one of our favorite high-capacity shotguns out there.
You’re basically done when it’s out of ammo, is the only issue. That mag is fixed in place and can’t be switched out for a full one. There is a loading tube at the rear and you can load one and fire. But basically once you’ve let loose with those 25 rounds, you’ve got an issue.
But when was the last time you actually did need more than 25 shells for a self-defense situation? It has never happened to me…
Law Enforcement Officers and military will likely stay away from the Tavor TS-12 because it’s a relative dead weight after the first onslaught and the complexity of the operating system should make you a little nervous.
Fun, More Than a First Line of Defense
It’s probably not the first port of call for a home defense shotgun because there are so many moving parts.
Now the actual technology behind this is not rocket science, but every layer of complexity tends to tug at reliability and it seems inevitable that you’re going to have to go at the Tavor TS-12 with the gunsmithing tools.
There are better options here for a defensive shotgun then. But as a fun gun, a piece of operating system engineering to enjoy, it’s spectacular. I mean look at that pistol grip and trigger mechanism…
The barrel is 18.5 inches long and it comes with a full Picatinny rail for a sight or even a scope. You could load up one tube with buckshot, another with slugs and the third with, well, whatever you like.
The stock gets a rubber recoil pad and it all lookslike it will be awesome, if we can buy the gun online at a gun broker.
Does the Tavor TS-12 Work?
We don’t know how accurate it is yet, but IWI make solid gear and there’s no reason to suggest you couldn’t use this as hunting shotgun or for a field sport weapon if you’re that way inclined.
This shotgun is also destined to star in a lot of movies in the years ahead. We’re just glad it’s finally here. Buy your own 12 Gauge gunporn lunacy now.
5. John Wick Benelli M2 Ultimate 3-Gun
- Price: $3,043.99
- Barrel: 21 inch
- Total Length: 42.5 inch
- Weight: 7.8lb
Regular readers know that super assassin John Wick has a special place in our hearts. If you’re the same, or you’re seriously into 3-Gun competition, then do we have the semi auto shotgun for you.
This is one of the coolest movie tie-ins we have seen for a while and it sure beats the hell out of a Jurassic Park lunchbox. But it is kind of a dark commentary on where we’re going as a species that you can buy a shotgun endorsed by your favorite Hollywood hitman.
I mean I dunno. It feels wrong.
But the gun itself is amazing. It’s no basic hunting shotgun. So there’s that…
Ground-Up Rebuild of the Benelli M2
The whole Catacombs scene from John Wick 2 and the scene in The Continental hotel are really eulogies to 3 Gun shooting. That makes sense, as its Taran Butler’s speciality and the art that Keanu Reeves has trained in for years.
Butler trained Reeves for the first film and it’s a relationship that has resulted in this and several other tuner packages for the world’s best guns. You can buy a John Wick STI 2011, a John Wick Glock 34, Glock 26 and a 9mm Sig Sauer Rifle. It’s kinda weird, but it works…
Check Out All The John Wick Guns
For more of John Wick’s unique brand of fun, check out these posts.
The trigger is 3lb lighter than stock, the receiver is machined and polished for faster loading and the barrel and extractor have both been polished. Technically that’s for reliability, but the Benelli M2 really didn’t need much help in that department.
The oversized charging handle and safety, together with custom stippling, help with the handling. Everything is polished and that butter smooth receiver helps with the quad loading.
Matchwarez Clip Saved John Wick
This one doesn’t have the Matchwarez clip that holds one more round like the Benelli M4 in John Wick 2, but it’s an impressive gun nonetheless.
This is the Benelli M2 Tactical taken to its illogical extreme. It could kind of do with a pistol grip, but they are available.
Does that justify the price tag? Yes. No. I’m not sure. It’s your money and this is the best of the best. For some, that will be enough. For others, that John Wick seal of approval might swing the balance.
Others still might just want a Benelli M2 Tactical and a lot of money left over…
6. FN SLP Tactical
- Price: $1,179
- Barrel: 18 inch
- Total Length: 38.75 inch
- Weight: 7.7lb
- Capacity: 6+1 rounds
The Benelli is the safe option for the best shotgun. It’s the King of shotgun culture and deserves its due respect here. But just a few minor features give the Benelli the edge in technical terms and the FN shotgun is significantly cheaper.
If price is a concern but you still want a premium shotgun, this is the one you should probably buy.
Also, if you want an FN that doesn’t cost the Earth, then it’s this or the very solid FN509 handgun that features on our list of top Glock alternatives.
Benelli M4 vs FN SLP Tactical
The forums are alive with the debate and while the general consensus is that the Benelli M4 is a slightly better shotgun in terms of packaging and durability, the FN is every bit as good in every other area. Shotgun fanatics generally have both and still have a hard time choosing between them.
Long story short, if you get the FN and save a butt ton of money then you will probably never regret the decision.
The only time you might is when you’re switching out the pistons for 3 inch Magnum loads, when the Benelli just eats anything and everything. That aside, you will find more similiarities than differences between these two top class firearms.
The FN has an active valve gas operated system, a two-piece bolt, a bolt release button on the receiver and a high-profile rear sight that still leaves space for a red dot. FN is another to leave the inertia-driven systems to the niche players.
It’s also prettier than the Benelli, if that counts for anything in your eyes.
The FN P-12 pump action shotguns are a cheaper option. But then a pump shotgun is another thing entirely.
7. Fostech Origin 12
- Price: $2,900
- Capacity: 10+1/30+1 Round drum optional
- Barrel: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 36.25 inch
- Weight: 9.2lb
It looks crazy, the price is crazy and the back story is crazy. But everybody that has shot the Fostech Origin 12 comes away saying the same thing. This gun is the real deal.
This is another gun that started life in movie games, in the Warface franchise. Now it has crossed the divide, it’s real and you can buy one.
You can choose the longer shotgun or a shorter AR-pistol type layout, or AK pistol if we’re being precise.
The Fostech is heavy, but it’s a beast of a weapon and apparently you just can’t get ahead of it in terms of the cycling speed. That’s impressive and this guy thinks it’s the world’s fastest shotgun…
The gun is too heavy for competition. So really it’s just a bad to the bone shotgun system for home defense and having fun. That’s OK too.
8. Stoeger Industries 3000 M3K
- Price: $684.99
- Barrel: 24 inch
- Total: 48 inch
- Weight: 7.3lb
- Capacity: 10+1
The Stoeger Industries 3000 M3K is a cheap Remington Versa Max and Benelli M2 rival that is an ideal 3 Gun shotgun starter pack.
The Stoeger Industries M3K competition shotgun is visibly cheaper than the Benelli M2 and Remington Versa Max. But then that’s the point, it is a lot cheaper. Less than $700, in fact.
Stoeger has carved a formidable reputation as a budget pump action shotgun manufacturer and its more advanced guns do the business too.
Premium Touches at Mass Market Price
The Stoeger M3K 12 gauge shotgun comes with an extended bolt release, a beveled loading port and a 10+1 capacity thanks to that long magazine tube and barrel. It’s drilled and tapped for a Weaver optic rail, it’s super fast to reload and this really is a proper competition shotgun for not that much money.
A 24 inch barrel does mean that it’s more of a hunting sniper shotgun, rather than a personal defense weapon.
But load up on some evil slugs and this could be a beast of a hog hunter. Break out the shot and you can take down turkeys with this shotgun all day long, and then you can enter a 3 Gun competition with it.
This is a big capacity sporting shotgun. But it’s a properly versatile shotgun too, and we think you might like it. Stoeger does some solid pump shotgun offerings too.
9. Mossberg 930 Tactical SPX
- Price: $729.99
- Barrel: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 39 inches
- Weight: 7.75lb
- Capacity: 8+1
If you’re on a budget, this is the best of the traditional tac semiautomatic shotguns with the pistol grip and proper stock. It’s a bargain in this company.
Here the Mossberg 930 SPX comes with a full length stock, ghost ring sights at the rear and an M16 fiber optic front sight. Aside from that, 8+1 is a solid capacity and actually gives it the edge over far more expensive offerings.
Clearly, the fit and finish isn’t quite a match for the Benelli M4 and that’s why it costs half as much. Mossberg will do you a pump shotgun even cheaper.
Mossberg does have a stellar reputation for reliability and law enforcement officers all round the country rely on a Mossberg 930 Tactical SPX as their duty shotgun.
10. Panzer Arms BP-12
- Price: $421.99
- Barrel: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 39.75 inch
- Weight: 8.12lb
The Panzer Arms bullpup shotgun is pretty deep into gimmick territory if you want to take the cynical approach.
It’s a mag-fed shotgun in a basic bullpup without some of the more important features if you’re being kind and that makes it a pretty good start as semi-auto shotguns go. There is no walnut stock, sadly, and you get a stock black polymer finish. But you do get a meaty pistol grip.
Mag Fed Semi Auto Shotgun For $400
Look through a more charitable lens, though, and it’s a solid mag-fed shotgun, which will feel right in the hands for just about everybody, for less than $400. What more do we really need from our semi-auto shotguns?
Panzer Arms has an AR style shotgun on sale, too. The Turkish firearms manufacturer is making a name for itself with solid feedback and great user reviews on online gun stores.
These semi-auto shotguns that resemble a Colt M4 AR-15 and that is hardly a new idea, but it really does work here as a functional semiautomatic shotgun for everything from home defense to shotgun hunting.
I would love to see someone pull these kind of semi-auto shotguns out at a field sport event too. The fold down sights could easily be switched out for a red dot. Then you’ve really got something here.
11. EAA MKA 1919 Match Style
- Price: $479.99
- Caliber: 12 Gauge ammo
- Barrel: 20 inch
- Total: 39.5 inch
- Capacity: 5+1
EAA has won our hearts and minds with the Tanfoglio line of pistols and they’ve managed to find another winner here. This is an AR style shotgun that doesn’t look stupid, like at all.
EAA is also confident in this gun’s abilities. The company is marketing this semiautomatic shotgun with a 20 inch barrel as a cut price competition semi auto shotgun. Is it? Time will tell…
It has a 20 inch barrel, a synthetic stock and you can adjust the choke at the end of that faux MLOK handguard.
If you’re looking for an AR type shotgun, this might be the best. At this price, anyway.
12. Remington V3 TAC-13
- Price: $422.99
- Barrel: 13 inch
- Total Length: 26.5 inch
- Weight: 6lb
- Capacity: 5+1
The Remington V3 TAC-13 is very different. It’s compact, with a bird’s head grip that could actually give it the edge in a home or personal defense situation.
This is basically a legal sawn-off shotgun, which is kind of devastating when you think about it. It slips past the NFA regulations and the length means it can slip into inconspicuous places in a vehicle, or even a holdall. I generally don’t live that way, but you do you man.
Of course it looks a little like the 12 gauge pump action shotgun, the Remington TAC-13, it’s bound to. The main thing is this snubnose shotgun fires 5+1 rounds, so yep that’s 6, before you need to reload.
CQB Not a Sniper
This shotgun is absolutely designed for close quarters combat and it’s easy to imagine swinging this thing round the house. What you lose in absolute accuracy, you gain in terms of flexibility of taking your shot and getting it off in the first place.
A short barrel inevitably means capacity isn’t all that great, but this is an awesome gun, and with Remington’s 870 DM on the market right now, Remington just need to find a way to marry the mag concept to the shorter V3 chassis. That shouldn’t be an impossible task…
Soon we should have a mag-fed Remington V3 TAC-13, but not yet. Right now Remington has officially dropped this model. But we think it will be back in some form.
It’s a beast of a shotgun and better than the equivalent 12 gauge pump action shotguns. As a truck gun, or even part of a home defense solution, then it’s got a lot of pluses.
13. Beretta 1301 Tactical Marine
- Price: $1,198.99
- Barrel: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 37.79 inches
- Weight: 6.3lb
- Capacity: 5+1
This is probably the prettiest 12 gauge shotgun here, but we tend to want a little more from semi auto shotguns than a fresh look.
This is the Tactical Marine, which offers a synthetic stock and contrasting stainless steel chassis. That bit is cool, and the profile of the gun just works.
But does the gun work? That’s the real question and I have capacity anxiety just looking at the number of shells you start out with. I won’t carry a revolver because six shots isn’t enough. Well…
It’s too few shells and it drops the Beretta down the order. That’s a shame, because it is a really pretty gun and the cycling speed is intense. But with that capacity, you might as well have a 12 gauge pump action shotgun and a mag, or any other high capacity solution.
14. Benelli Vinci Tactical
- Price: $1,199.99
- Barrel: 18 inch
- Total Length: 40 inches
- Weight: 7.2lb
- Capacity: 4+1
The Benelli Vinci is a budget shotgun that obviously is the
If the badge matters then you already know you want the entry-level Benelli more than a similarly or perhaps better equipped Mossberg or Remington. So yeah, there’s that.
But look at that capacity. 4+1. it gives me nightmares…
The Badge Counts, We Know
Some people just want to buy a Benelli shotgun online and can’t afford the M4, and that’s fine with us too. The prestige, the heritage and the perceived quality of the military shotgun of choice
If this is the 12 gauge shotgun of your dreams, then go for it and order
Overmolded polymer sits on a steel frame and gives a
All the important stuff for a basic shotgun is here and you do get the Benelli name as well. I hope that counts for something when you run out of shells.
If money is the main thing in your life, but you still want a Benelli, then check out the 12 gauge pump action shotgun line, including the Benelli Super Nova. That costs around $500.
15. Rock Island Armory VR60
- Price: $402.99
- Barrel: 20 inch
- Total Length: 39 inch
- Weight: 7.4lb
This is quite clearly a rebranded Armscor. Rock Island Armory hasn’t even changed the name of the VR60 and this is really a slightly more Colt M4 looking version.
That’s fine, as this is a solid addition to the list.
We prefer the slightly more high-quality EAA version, but there really isn’t much in it and you might like the homage to the old-school Colts with the carry handle up top and a vague profile that fits the American hero.
Colt Tribute Act Counts in Its Favor?
That might be enough to swing it in favor of this shotgun for sale. The 5+1 OEM mag switches out for the same high-capacity magazine that works in the Armscor. You get a proper adjustable choke tubes in the clumsy handguard, with an adjustable choke to accommodate different loads.
It’s a stock black finish, with a hard anodized coating, and it feels basically like an AR-15 with a fixed stock. That’s the point, and people that don’t spend too much time with a shotgun in their hand might prefer the familiar shooting technique that comes with an AR-15 style shotgun. Certainly for home defense.
Gas System Hiding in the Handguard
The Rock Island Armory shotgun offers a simple gas operated system that is packaged with the shotgun return spring, around the support tube that runs beneath that long rifled barrel. It’s all contained within that suspiciously chunky black polymer handguard.
The user reviews on the gun broker sites are pretty stellar and the potential for 20 rounds of pure carnage between reloads does make the Rock Island Armory VR60 shotgun an attractive option. If you prefer an AR-15 over a traditional shotgun, then this might be the shotgun you never knew you needed.
16. Mossberg 930 JM Pro Series
- Price: $649.99
- Barrel: 24 inch
- Weight: 7.75lb
- Capacity: 9+1
We went with the stock Mossberg, but then we included everybody else’s 3 Gun Competition shotgun and the Mossberg 930 JM Pro is cheaper than all of them.
So if you want a really basic competitive shotgun to get started in 3-Gun, or you just like the mods and want to use your 12 gauge target shooter to blast turkeys, well it’s yours. Do what makes you happy.
Mossberg makes excellent 12 gauge pump action shotguns, too. But this is an underrated starter gun for competition or all-round field sports. It even handles home defense if you can handle the barrel.
17. Armscor VR80-A Tactical
- Price: $679.99
- Barrel: 20 inch
- Total Length: 40 inch
- Weight: 8.27lb
- Capacity: 19+1
If you go the whole nine yards and order the 19-round magazine, then this is the best AR-15 style shotgun for sale, hands down.
The faux collapsible stock grates on some people, but there’s no doubting this is a highly effective shotgun. Is it one of the best 12 gauge semi-automatic shotguns for sale?
If you can get past the dubious heritage, then this gun has almost as much to offer as the AK-based Kalashnikov for much less money. It’s not the best gun here, but it could be good enough.
The high capacity magazine offers a ridiculous amount of bang for your buck. Load up with slugs and you have a 20 inch barrel and serious range on offer, as well as the ability to unload that mag with frightening speed.
20 Rounds of 12 Gauge Mayhem
There isn’t much left standing after 20 slugs, or 20 rounds of buckshot to be fair. So this is a potent defensive shotgun, although it is a little on the long side for inside the house. You could easily use it in a field sport, though, if just to annoy the traditionalists and their walnut stock options.
3-Gun competition shooters tend to love these unconventional layouts and the mag fed shotguns are slowly taking over from traditional shotguns in the field. They’re faster, they’re reliable these days and they’re 100% tactical.
Shotgun purists aren’t happy, but these are the hard to swallow pills. These modern shotguns, with a Modern Sporting Rifle layout, really do make a strong case. You’ve got space for fiber optic sights or a red dot, but even the iron sights on these guns are better than shotgun ghost ring sights, admit it…
Come at me with your inertia driven gun. Go on.
18. SRM Arms M1228
- Price: $1,799
- Barrel: 18.5
- Total Length: 33.75 inch
- Capacity: 28+1 rounds
No, seriously, 28+1 12-gauge shotgun rounds, with a slight catch. It’s a novel approach to the best tactical shotgun, but you have to say it ticks most the boxes.
This gun is built around the Aguila mini-shell shotgun ammo, so it doesn’t carry that many 3 inch slugs. That’s a limitation, we’re not going to lie.
But the payoff is that you get 28+1 rounds in those four-tubes, seven in each tube in that clever rotary magazine. So you keep hold of the pistol grip stock and you should be able to obliterate anything that was basically in front of you.
Multiple Tube Mag, Similar to Tavor
Twist the tube and the semi-automatic shotgun loads the next round automatically. That’s remarkably similar to the Tavor TS-12 that may turn out to be the better option in the long run, but this is a mag you can switch out.
Changing the magazine on the SRM Arms M1228 isn’t quite like dropping a mag from a box-magazine fed shotgun and slotting another home. But it isn’t that painful.
This video features the 16+1 round version for full-sized shotgun shells and it shows that this is a workable system for a high-capacity shotgun pumping out 12 gauge ammunition.
Watch the video in full for awesome insights into the rate of fire and the sheer destructive capability of this weapon of war. It isn’t great for a field spot, but for close quarters combat then it absolutely rocks.
With 28+1 minishells, this thing is basically beyond AR-15 capacity with fricking shotgun shells, slugs and whatever else you want to throw at this particular situation.
You could turn each tube into a different option, from slugs through to non-lethal options, which makes it an intriguing option for law enforcement officers and people that just like blowing the shit out of stuff.
The rate of fire on this semi-automatic shotgun is pretty amazing and it’s a fun firearm that can give you a completely different vibe.
19. AA-12 Sledgehammer
- Price: $3,250
- Barrel length: 18.5 inches
- Total length: 38 inches
- Weight: 10.5lb
- Capacity: 20-round drum mag
Update: There were stories of seizures by the ATF due to markings that weren’t compliant back in August and we haven’t seen these new arrivals on sale since. So maybe let them get that stuff sorted before you buy one…
Purists might be up in arms, but this is the best tactical shotgun taken to the next level and believe it or not it has been with us for 45 years. Seriously, we have been waiting that long for the civilian version of military hardware that made its debut in 1972.
If you could buy one on the open market, it might really be the winner, because this really is an assault shotgun in the true sense of the words. It’s a high price, high spec shotgun you want in your life. But you can’t have it…
Check out the fully automatic version. It really is a thing of beauty and the lack of felt recoil really does have to be seen to be believed. It’s softer than an AR-15 and semi-automatic shotguns like this have a future.
Gas Operated System Kills Recoil Dead
That was a fully automatic option that was a revelation due to the sheer lack of recoil. Essentially, the gas system absorbed 80% of the recoil, a recoil spring accounted for 10% more and the general consensus is that the AA-12 offers about 10% of the recoil of a standard 12 Gauge round.
It has taken forever to get this version and now it looks like the ATF may have taken arguably the best gun away from us forever.
It’s a closed-bolt design, unlike the open bolt automatic version that owes much to the basic machine gun architecture.
While the gun hasn’t been available to buy, it has become a video game and movie star, which isn’t too surprising considering the insane firepower on offer here.
20 rounds from the drum mag or 8 from a box mag mean this simple gun offers AR-functionality with 12 gauge stopping power.
Sounds good doesn’t it? Maybe too good to be true. But if the Sledgehammer ever gets past this, then it could easily be the top semi-automatic shotgun for home defense. We may end up with some weird 12 gauge pump action shotgun tribute act at the end of all this though.
20. MOLOT Vepr 12
- Price: $699.99
- Barrel length: 19 inch
- Total Length: 38.5 inches
- Weight: 8.5lb
On a purely technical level, and this is going to cause me some problems with the purists, this is right up there with the best of them.
But actually buying one seems to be a lost cause right now, unless you’re willing to look at used guns or find a mint in box example at a gun show.
An Executive Order banned the import of Kalashnikov Concern products, for a while, which meant this was the best way to get an AK shotgun. These were the definitive shotguns for connoisseurs for some time.
Kalashnikov USA has fixed that issue and normal service has been resumed, but the Molot Vepr shotgun seems caught in that web. This is basically a banned firearm right now, although there must be a way round that…
What Isn’t Tactical About This Shotgun?
Seriously, show me what about the Vepr 12 is not ‘tactical’ enough. You might not consider it a traditional tactical shotgun, but give me the one criteria you think really rules it out?
It’s heavier than the streamlined Benelli, sure, and that does count. But it comes with a full AK-style layout, including a folding stock that turns this into an AK shockwave with a longer barrel.
If you can’t handle this weapon, that’s on you.
The lower receiver evolved from the RKG Light Machine Gun receiver and this is military to its core. You can also fit aftermarket furniture to change the look and feel of your gun, right down to a bi-pod.
Big Mags Switch Out Fast
Load it up with 8-round magazines, switch them out and start firing again in less than half a second. You don’t need crazy reloading skills with this shotgun, just the basic ability to switch a mag. You don’t even really need to do that if you start with a 20-round drum mag.
Yes, you can get them.
That’s the insane tactical advantage that the Vepr 12 will always have over greats like the Benelli M4 and the lesser known FN.
You can’t take it away, it’s a game-changing evolution and I am absolutely sure that box magazine-fed shotguns are the future.
Vepr 12 Shotgun Is a Stealth Shotgun, Kind Of…
It looks like a traditional Kalashnikov and a typical bystander wouldn’t even know it was a semi-automatic shotgun at all. That’s not really a tactical advantage, but it is sort of fun.
The Vepr 12 comes with an added dimension. If you switch out buckshot for slugs then you can seriously nail targets up to 200 yards, even though the effective range is only listed at half that. This guy did it…
Sniper or Close Quarters Lunatic
What does that mean? It means you can have a Deadpool-style ammo bag that changes your Vepr 12 completely, depending on the distance. You can light up the local vicinity with a maelstrom of buckshot, or you can take aim at AR-15 distances.
It also means you can hunt with it and it’s a proper home defense tool.
Seriously, what’s not to love about this semi auto shotgun?
Put a reflex sight up top and you’ve got an absolute weapon on your hands. In almost every scenario, the Vepr 12 has the Benelli’s number. Any pump action shotgun too, to be honest.
It doesn’t have the heritage, the prestige or the premium feel, and there’s a perceived reliability advantage for the Benelli. But if I was going into a warzone and could take only one shotgun, it
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Have a look at some of these posts for the best of the best, new arrivals, and the cheapest of the cheap. We do that sometimes too, but they’re still the best cheap guns and home defense options we can find…
- 12 Cheap $500 AR-15s That Will Rock Your World
- 25 of the best 45 ACP Concealed Carry Pistols For Sale in 2020
- 21 Best 9mm Sub-Compact guns for CCW
- 20 Best $2000 1911s on sale. High price, high spec guns.
- Cheap rifles, bolt action rifles, shotguns or a cheap MSR
Buy Shotgun parts, accessories and spares
If you’re looking to buy choke tubes, a case for side-by-side shotgun or even gun safes for your semiautomatic shotgun and gun parts, we can help.
Ear protection, gun cleaning supplies, black powder guns and game calls. We got em all. Or one of your partners does. Gun cleaning supplies are dull, but they’re important, we should cover them more…
Check out these quick links for gun parts, semiautomatic shotgun spares, black powder guns, semiautomatic shotguns, parts, accessories, optics,a pistol grip and lots more.
- Brownells – Gun Parts, spares, accessories and spares for your semiutomatic shotgun. Gun storage too.
- Guns.com: Shotguns, semi, semiautomatic shotguns,
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- Euro Optic – Specialist shotguns like the Benelli Montefeltro, inertia driven shotguns and battle guns.
- Sportsman’s Guide – Shotguns, pump action, shotguns, semi-auto
- Sportsman’s Warehouse – Optics & accessories for semi-auto shotguns and other guns. Hunting accessories, game calls and camping gear too.