Top Shotguns For Home Defense

What are the best shotguns for home defense?

I absolutely believe that a shotgun is the best gun for home defense for 95% of you. They are easy to use, whicfh is important for homeowners that don’t spend all day obsessing over firearms training and running drills. And they work.

When it comes to close-quarters defense, a shotgun’s spread pattern increases the chance of stopping an intruder with a single shot, which can be critical in high-stress situations. Additionally, shotguns offer versatile ammunition choices, from birdshot to buckshot and slugs, allowing for different levels of stopping power and penetration through your drywall.

It is pure Fudd Lore that the greatest home defense is the sound of a pump action shotgun slide racking, but there is some truth to the fact that the bravest home invader will reassess their life choice when they’re staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun.

But which one do I recommend? As always it’s a little complicated and depends on your budget and priorities in life. That’s why we have options.

Benelli M4 Tactical, is this the best shotgun for home defense?

1. Benelli M4

  • Price: $1,899.99

The Benelli M4, is simply the best semi-automatic shotgun for home defense, if you can deal with the price tag. Its reputation for reliability is bolstered by its use by the United States Marine Corps, which has tested this tactical shotgun to destruction, so you don’t have to.

The M4 utilizes a unique auto-regulating gas-operated (ARGO) system, which is built for supreme reliability in the worst conditions, and minimal maintenance. With a 5+1 round capacity and an 18.5-inch barrel, the shotgun is well-suited for close-quarter situations where quick response is critical. The Benelli M4 also offers an ergonomic design with a pistol grip stock, making it comfortable to hold and shoot. It’s easy of use, has battle-proven durability and is the number one choice for homeowners seeking the best shotgun for home defense in 2024.

If you want to go full tacti-cool, the Benelli M1014 with the adjustable stock gives it that little extra badassery.

Remington 870 Tactical Express

2. Remington 870 Express

  • Price: $429.99

The Remington 870 earns the runner-up spot in our list with its legendary status and robust construction. As one of the most widely used pump-action shotguns in the world, the 870’s design has been field-tested for decades, and is a battle proven tactical shotgun, at least in Law Enforcement circles. The shotgun has a solid steel receiver, making it extremely durable, and it’s known for its smooth action and strong lock-up of the bolt.

With a standard 4+1 capacity, the Remington 870 provides a balance between firepower and manageability. The ease of customization is another strong point, offering owners the option to modify the shotgun with a range of aftermarket parts to suit their specific home defense needs. Its classic design, combined with a reputation for dependability, makes the Remington 870 a top choice for home protection.

Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol. A great shotgun for the home

3. Beretta A300 Ultima

  • Price: $1,099.99

Securing the third spot is the Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol, a semi-automatic shotgun known for its fast cycling time and ease of handling. The A300 Ultima tactical shotgun is engineered to be nimble and user-friendly, with a compact design that makes it ideal for maneuvering in close quarters. Its Blink gas operating system allows it to deliver rapid shots, which can be crucial in a defensive situation.

With a barrel length of 19.1 inches and an enlarged charging handle and bolt release, the Beretta 1301 semi-auto shotguns are designed for quick and easy operation under pressure. The shotgun also features a stock that’s adjustable for length of pull, ensuring a comfortable fit for shooters of various sizes. Its reliability and user-centric design make the Beretta A300 Ultima is a top contender for anyone looking for a high-quality semi-automatic shotgun for home defense.

You can spend a little more and go with the Beretta 1301 Tactical shotguns, but this is such great value that the flagship is actually hard to justify these days.

Mossberg 500 Persuader shotgun chambered in 20 gauge.

4. Mossberg 500

  • Price: $529.99

The Mossberg 500 claims the fourth position in our home defense shotgun rankings. Its reputation is built on versatility and ruggedness, making it a staple in the home defense category. This pump-action workhorse has a 5+1 capacity, and the ability to cycle different types of ammunition reliably is a significant advantage. The Mossberg 500’s ambidextrous safety is conveniently located on the top rear of the receiver, which is easily accessible for left handed shooters too.

One of the standout features of these tactrical shotguns is the way you can tailor it to pretty much any task. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of, ummm, shotguns. A wide range of aftermarket accessories allows owners to tailor the shotgun to their specific preferences. The Mossberg 500 also has a ventilated rib, giving it a slight edge in aiming over typical home defense shotguns. Durable and trusted by law enforcement agencies and military units, the Mossberg 500 is a sound choice for those who value customization and proven performance.

Go for the classic ghost ring sights, or for a red dot sight up top if you really want to optimize your shotgun. It’s great for fast target acquisition.

Winchester SXP

5. Winchester SXP

  • Price: $329.99

The Winchester SXP takes the fifth spot on our list of top home defense shotguns for 2024, offering a blend of performance and value. This pump-action shotgun is renowned for its speed and reliability under stress. It is also a big game hunting favorite and you can get a solid turkey hunting version too.

It features a rotary bolt and inertia-assisted slide-action that can deliver rapid follow-up shots if necessary. The SXP’s 18-inch barrel makes it suitable for tight spaces, and the gun’s overall design is geared towards simplicity and ease of use. Owners appreciate its ergonomic stock and textured grip surfaces, which provide secure handling. The shotgun also comes with a hard chrome-plated chamber and bore, making it resistant to wear and corrosion—a plus for longevity. The Winchester SXP is a solid choice for those seeking a dependable and user-friendly shotgun for home defense without breaking the bank.

Do You Need a Short Barrel Shotgun?

When deciding on the best shotgun for your home defense, analyze your individual needs and circumstances. Consider the layout of your home, as tighter spaces may require a more compact firearm like a Mossberg 590 Shockwave pump gun or Remington Tac-14 semi auto shotgun. Both are awesome tactical shotguns at close range, and could potentially work as a concealed carry gun, but absolutely suck balls if you need to take a longer shot. And the recoil on the Mossberg pump action shotguns could do serious damage to a petite user.

You can also keep the full length barrel and still shorten the Overall Length of your gun if you opt for something like the Mossberg 500 tactical shotguns. In Flex mode, you get a pistol grip, but no stock. That makes for a compact gun that can sweep rooms and stairwells pretty damned well, without losing long range. With a red dot sight on top, this is a great gun that is almost as accurate as a shotgun with a stock, but again you pay a price with recoil with just a pistol grip.

So think about who is going to use it; the level of experience you have with firearms; and think about the type of threats you are most likely to encounter. Is this purely for home invasion defense in a compact apartment? Then a short barrel with birds head grip could be the answer. If you need to deal with predators with four legs on your property, you need a proper stock, longer barrel and potentially more 12 gauge shells.

This assessment will help determine barrel length, soft shooting semi auto shotgun vs recoil heavy pump shotguns, slugs vs buckshot and a few other critical; choices. Also, think about local laws and regulations, as these will affect both the type of shotgun you can legally own.

Ultimately, your home defense shotgun should provide a balance of power, reliability, and manageability tailored to your specific needs. Whichever one you get, make sure you practice and you’re comfortable.

Other Left Field Choices

The firearms world has evolved, and now you can get a solid selection of high capacity shotguns that don’t fit the traditional mold. You want an AR-12 shotgun? Not a problem. You want a high capacity shotgun in bullpup form? The Kel Tec KSG is waiting for you.

You can get shotguns with a detachable box magazine, which solves the capacity issue quite nicely. And there are other tricks that turn the old school conventional shotgun into a total close quarters combat weapon of war.

We won’t go too deep in to these for now, but if you want something a little different then check these posts out and see what grabs you:

Consider a Smaller Gauge Shotgun

Our mind automatically goes to the trusty 12 gauge when we think about shotguns. And arguably it should, because that’s the most stopping power you can get. But if your whole family needs to rely on this gun, and not everybody has big man hands, you might want to think about a 20 gauge or 28 gauge shotgun.

They kick less, are less intimidating and will do the job most of the time. So if anybody is struggling with the pure power of a shotgun, then this is an option. You should try famously soft shooting shotguns like the Winchester SXP semi auto as well, at the range if you can, but don’t forget there are lesser powered shotguns that can still be devastating with the right buckshot or slugs.

There are even 410 gauge revolvers, if you want to get really weird, or you really want a concealed carry shotgun.


  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

    View all posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top