If you are thinking of buying a tactical shotgun for home defense, you really need to get the best and most suitable weapon you can afford. Let’s face it, there is no point in pussy-footing around – you want that bad guy down and down quick.
Certainly I have heard the argument that simply racking a pump action is enough to scare an intruder anyway, but that is simply not the case. He’s probably expecting you to be armed when he breaks in, and all that does is confirming his suspicions.
In any event, as a firearm expert once said, the only time intruder should hear that is after you’ve fired the first shot. If someone is breaking into my home, I don’t want to take any chances. I want something that I KNOW is going to do the job, not keep my fingers crossed that I “might” scare him. In any case, he might well be armed too.
There are a lot of guns to choose from out there, but there are certain criteria that we should stick to.
Not the least of these is barrel length and maneuverability are key here. You need something with a barrel that’s short enough to swing around in a small space. You are not out hunting deer. If you can’t get the barrel through the doorway quickly, you can be in a lot of trouble. So you really need something 20″ or less. Most of the home defense shotguns are this kind of length anyway, but it is a point to bear in mind.
Next, for a tactical home defense shotgun you want a pump action or semi-auto. Why? Because they are easy to load and easy to use. And they hold more than two shells. This is extremely important; suppose it isn’t a bad guy breaking into your home, suppose it’s two bad guys?
You want a gun that has a stock. Sure, there are fans of the pistol grip, and in a very small apartment it might be an option that’s better than nothing at all, but only just. With a pistol grip, you just don’t have the same degree of accuracy that you have with a stock, or if you’re still using sights then you might just need a visit to the dentist afterwards. The stock of a shotgun is there to ensure that you remain in control and hit your target accurately.
You also want a shotgun that holds multiple rounds. As mentioned above, it might just be two bad guys breaking into your home; it could even be more. You need to be sure that you’ve got enough shots to deal with any situation that might arise. If you had three intruders and only two shots and you were spot on target both times, you still have a problem. Let’s have as many rounds as possible.
So what are the ten best tactical home defense shotguns? Before we dive into the list, we strongly suggest you watch the video below, even if you think you already know a lot about tactical shotgun. Well, think again! Click the play button below and enjoy the greatest training course FOR FREE! By “greatest”, we mean it!
Remington 870 Express Tactical, Pump, 12 Gauge, 18.5″ Barrel, 8+1 Rounds – 634063, Pump Action at Sportsman’s Guide
#1. Remington 870 Express Tactical
It’s an old favorite, but it’s a favorite for a reason. It is tried and tested in many a bad situation.
The 870 tactical is a 12 gauge and has an 18.5″ barrel and pump action with a capacity of 6 (+1). Not that it matters much for home defense purposes, but it has Cerakote weather resistant coating. It has a fully adjustable XS Ghost ring sight rain with a removable white bead front sight. SuperCell pad reduces the felt recoil by more than 50%. Yes, it costs a few dollars more, but then it’s a Remington.
#2. Mossberg 500 SPX
Mossberg 500 SPX is very dependable and well designed. Great for home defense or recreation. For the money can’t get any better. It’s very simple to clean. The telescoping stock is a little wobbly when extended all the way, but that’s no problem at all. A tremendous amount of aftermarket options are available as well. If you’re considering purchasing one of these firearms, you wont be disappointed.Check the Price on Sportsman’s Guide
#3. Mossberg 930 SPX
This 12 gauge sports an 18.5″ barrel with a capacity of 7 (+1). It’s a bit more pricey being a semi-auto, but the beauty of that is that you just put the shells in and keep firing until you run out. In addition, it has a rail on top so you can fit a scope or a red dot or holographic sight. Useful if you look out of the window and see the bad guy coming from a distance.Check the Price on Sportsman’s Guide
#4. Benelli M4
Probably the granddaddy of shotguns, this is the same one used by the Marines. It’s a 12 gauge with a barrel length of 18.5″ and is a semi-auto. It comes with ghost ring sights. Capacity is 5 (+1), and as the man said, it’s designed to work the first time and every time which is important when it comes to home defense, and there’s no time to play around.
#5. Saiga 12 – SGL12-07
This Russian built model is a 12 gauge and is another semi-auto with a detachable magazine holding 5 rounds. It comes with the bolt hold open feature, which allows for quicker changing of magazines. Barrel length is 19″ and it weighs in at 6.85 lbs.
#6. Mossberg 590A1.
This is a 12 gauge with a barrel length at our maximum of 20″. An affordable pump action with ghost ring sights and a whopping 9 rounds. Should be enough to deal with most intruders.
#7. Interstate Arms 12 Gauge Defender
Another pump action model that has a barrel length of 18.5 ” and a capacity of 5 (+1). It also has ghost ring sights, but the big thing with this is that it is cheap. An inexpensive way to defend your family.
#8. Mossberg Maverick 88 Security
This is another inexpensive way to defend your home. Maverick is part of Mossberg, so you know it’s going to be quality. It’s another 12 gauge pump action but doesn’t have ghost ring sights. What it does have is a 7 (+1) capacity.
Check the Price on Sportsman's Guide
#9. Interstate Arms Hawk Model 982
Another pump action 12 gauge with a 3″ chamber. It has an adjustable ghost ring sight and an 18.5″ barrel. It’s fitted with a polymer stock with recoil pad and has a capacity of 5 rounds.
Check the Price on Sportsman's Guide
#10. Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical DISCONTINUED
This is a pump action with an 18.5″ barrel and a capacity of 4 (+1). It has a top rail for optics, forend rails for lighting accessories and a ported, extended Rem Choke. Capable of blowing a hole through your own front door.
BONUS: Your Mind!
Two things you really need to be absolutely sure about. 1. The first is that you are fully prepared if the worst should happen. You need to think where you will keep the weapon so that it is to hand if you ever need it. 2. You also need to make sure that if push comes to shove you will use it. There’s precious little point in owning a tactical shotgun for home defense if you stop to worry about using it when faced with an intruder.
Update your mind with Best Shotgun Techniques And Tactics
Get yourself into the mindset where you know that you WILL shoot to kill if you have to. But I’m totally aware that there are lots of people have little exposure to this aspect, so even if you get the best home defense shotgun, for the sake of your family and the ones that you care, make sure you check out this information about tactical shotgun. Your whole family’s safety is counting on you now.
Thanks to everyone who read this far, I appreciate your time. If I’ve missed out your own personal favorite, or you have some insights to share with the rest of community, please leave your comments below.
Enjoyed the video; simply confirmed what I either knew or suspected. I have a Rem 887 tactical 12 ga. and here’s some interesting FYI. I originally had the full length 4+1 887 and sold it to a friend in order to get the 18.5 6+1. Turned out it had a defective bbl…..would not extract expended shells, but would simply jam every time I racked the slide. It didn’t matter what of several loads I tried. Incidentally, it also had a wavy, crooked shroud which I hadn’t noticed when I bought it (my bad). I called Remington Service Dept and explained the problem, mentioning the shroud and offset front sight as an afterthought. I was then asked for my name, address, and serial number of the firearm. I was then sent a replacement bbl (included another front sight and doorbuster choke) at zero cost to me. Have since installed it. Works like a charm. Thank you Remington.
thanks for your comment here
Could you share with the audience about what you either knew or suspected when you watching the video?
And what do you think of our site and what other info you want to know?
Hello, I know I’m late to the party here so to speak but just in case my humble input may be of service to someone else…I bought twp Remington 1187’s roughly 5-6 years ago, cleaned them and subsequently went to the range with family for that much anticipated first shot out of a new gun…I pull the trigger and bingo right on target…I notice, however, that I hear no extracted shell hit the ground and of course the gun falied to cycle…O proceed to repeat same process with second gun with the disappointing same failed outcome. Long story short, Remington shotguns have an infamous history of shipping shotguns with inexact chamber tolerances requiring 1) a very good polishing of the chamber with a drill/steel wool or 2) return to Remington for the same. Happy Holidays To All!
I am confined to a wheelchair from being run over by some fool in an SUV while on my new Buell XB9SX, My choice for a home defense weapon is the Mossberg 500 series with the 20 inch barrel and the nine round magazine. To modify the shotgun for my situation, I installed a Tapco M4 collapsible stock with pistol grip included, a heat shield, ghost ring sights and a laser sight. The pistol grip and laser allow me to shoot from the hip, along with having a weapon short enough to get through the house in a hurry (chasing bad people.) I also have a Charter Arms Detective Special in .38 Special that makes a fine companion for the Mossberg. All your comments in every presentation I have seen so far make perfect sense. You obviously have been there.
Hi Matt, thanks for you comment.
I’m very happy to know that you customize shotgun the way for your situation. Actually, I’m about to write some posts about how to choose the accessories for shotgun. You really give me some idea that people may like what I’ll publish here. Quite encouraging.
I wish you all is well, keep smiling and cheers! =)
I totally agree with you Matt, the Mossberg 500 is my home defense weapon as well and its California Legal! …for those of you who live here as well.
I enjoyed reading your article David. thanks
Thanks for the video James. Great info! Just looking for a tactical shotgun and happened on this site. More break ins in my part of the country so thought I would take an extra precaution. I have a double barrel 12 loaded with #1 buck but have decided to go tactical. Thanks!
I would have 5nately included the Benelli M400, 12 guage auto. This has been the the choice of the USMC for at least two decades for a battle shotgun. I can attest to its reliability and ease of use especially with Slug, breach and double
Great list. Thinking about investing in a tactical shotgun. Thanks.
ive recently acquired a weatherby SA-459, has anyone had any experience w one and if so, what do you think, overall I like the shotgun its light weight and fires nicely, maneuverability in tactical type situations is easy, but occasionally it doesn’t cycle properly and I will have to manually eject the spent shell
I see that your # 1 pick for HD shotgun is the Remington 870 Express Tactical. I purchased one about a year ago because of it’s supposedly great reputation for reliability. Well, there is something your readers should know. Remington should be ashamed of themselves for putting a cheap ass orange plastic follower in this gun and marketing as a tactical weapon. The follower hangs up in the tube and when that happens you might as well have a ball bat in your hands because the shells in the tube will not cycle. If you buy this gun the first thing you absolutely must do is replace that part with an after market metal follower, preferably one that does not reduce the tube capacity. Again, shame on Remington for going cheap on such a critical component. I hope their stock holders appreciate the $10 saved on each one sold.
I’m out with Remington, too. My Dad’s Rem. 700 30-06 was his hunting gun when the safeties were hazardous a couple decades ago, now my daughter’s 700 .243 had to be sent back for another recall on safeties. I’m all Browning or Ruger now for rifles, considering Mossberg for tac’ shotgun.
You all know what this website means don’t you?…Biden was actually right. “Get a shotgun!” Hate to admit it though.
I love your honest comment about stock holders. Most of the large companies will do exactly what you mentioned, and that’s to cut corners and save $$ for the stock holders. Just because a gun USED to have a great reputation, doesn’t mean it has the same quality now, just the name and some people that believe whatever the make/model, it’s still the best ever. We all know that’s not true…well, MOST of us know anyway. When you choose your weapon, try borrowing from friends if you don’t own one already, and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t. Don’t just buy a gun because “somebody said it was the best”, ’cause that’s a VERY bad decision. I’ve owned quite a few shotguns over the years, and for what I expected and what I got, the price, durability, ease of breakdown and cleaning….I’ll take a Mossberg 500 any day of the week. I have one now that’s a slug gun with iron sights and I plan on making that into a full assault weapon, and I have an old, but in GREAT shape, Revelation R310AB 12 gauge, made by Mossberg but sold through the old Western Auto Stores. That one I’m keeping as is, for hunting or for a backup HD weapon. I even have an old Ithaca M88 20 gauge single shot, but it’s a lever action.(?) I improvised a side saddle on it and added an elastic type as well, and it’s for slugs ONLY! It’s an odd gun, but it shoots well and it’s never missed what it was aimed at. The Remingtons get a lot of over hype in my opinion, but for myself, I have no interest in ’em, and your comment just convinced me to save my $$ and keep gettin’ the ol’ Mossy 500s. The safety is in a better and more logical location, and the slide release is in a better location as well. For HD or hunting, I think they have the best bang for the buck, period. (btw…screw the Remington stock holders!) For my plinking, I’ve got a Marlin/Glenfield .22 with the squirrels and oak leaves on it. Somebody had spray painted it 2 different shades of pink?, and the pawn shop couldn’t sell it, so when I asked about it, they said “make and offer”. I walked out with it for $15, and after investing about $30 more in it, it looks brand new and operates the same. “Aim small, miss small”
I have a Remington light 20ga 2 3/4″ chamber with slug barrel. I have a high scope mount with the ability to use iron sights below. I use this gun for brush work during the deer season. It is light, fast and deadly accurate with slugs at 50 yards. I have one problem. I would like to put a tactical stock and matching forearm on it. along with a magazine tube extension. I can find a black stock to fit, but no forearm. Ideally I would like to add a black adjustable stock, with black forearm. Or a camo stock with camo forearm. Also I don’t want the tube extension to exceed the end of the 20″ barrel.
I have searched the Internet but can’t find what I want. I would appreciate your help in finding the above.
want to know were can i buy mossberg 500Tactical Persuader
Lately I have heard of a lot of people choosing the Rem 870. I’ve played with the 870 and it is a nice shotgun, but I’m still going to hold onto my Mosaberg 500. I’ve been in the US Army for 8 yrs, and every unit I’ve been in has carried the 500 series shotgun (500, 590, & 590A1). The Mossberg it truely tested to mil standards and combat tested. Remington can’t say that about the 870. I have never had a jam nor feeding issue with the 500 with all ammo from birdshot, slug, and non-lethal.
Another added not: I do not trust the Remington tube extension. That is a cheat unrealizable solution to try and compete with Mossberg.
My shotgun: mossberg 500
– 20″ barrel with heat shield
– 20″ ammo tube
– Tactical 6 position collapsable stock
– 6 shell saddle holder
– Ghost ring front & rear sight
– tactical 2 point/quick adjust sling
Hello Bill: Which of the Mossberg 500 series would you recommend?
Hey, it says top ten shotguns, I only see three shotguns, where are the other seven. As far as I am concerned anyone who would deceive people like that doesn’t know shit about shotguns. Blow me.
If you would bother to read below the first 3, there is a note for you to “Share” on facebook and then it will show you the other 7.
Good article and passed it on to others. I checked out the list of 10 in shops and found 7 of them to put my hands on to get a feel. Decided on a Mossberg 590 and couldn’t be happier with my decision after some time with it at the range.
best video i have seen by far. Incredible! thanks for the lesson i will be practising, diligently, at our range.
I got the Mossberg Persuader with the 20″ barrel and 7+1 capacity. Now I kind of wish I’d got the one with the shorter barrel. You can get a second longer barrel for sport shooting for those. People sensitive to recoil should check out the Mossberg SPX.
Great video and course. One of the things I really liked was the instructors comment on safety. Of course safety has to be and is a critical aspect of any training but his comment on how it can become a rate limiting step or constraint is correct. I truly believe in the “train as you fight principle” and that safety is of paramount concern but all too often we fail to train as we actually practice and Raidon seems to have this in mind. Will be attending lone of their courses if at all possible.
Personally…. and this is just me but I prefer to go a bit overkill when it comes to protecting my family and myself. I have an older 18.5″ Remington 870, 3 AR15s one of which is an sbr. An AK47 and 3 pistols. I feel sorry for whatever dumb SOB tries to come to my home and do his deeds. I live in an area that as of lately I have learned is pretty riddled with drugs so I’m not taking any chances while trying to get my family into a better location. You probably think I’m paranoid but I think it better to be labeled a freak and be prepared than, a statistic and be dead.
Nah…you’re not paranoid. After I got shot and recovered, I never left the house with less than three pistols on me, a 9mm in a shoulder holster, either a .22 semi auto or a .45/410 derringer in my pocket, and a Taurus “hammerless” .38 in my ankle holster, and last but not least, a sawed off 12 ga. pump mounted in the trunk of my car. I wasn’t paranoid, I just wasn’t gonna be the victim again, or allow anyone else to be one if I could help it.
whats up with the mossberg maverick,i purchased the maverick with the 10 rd.drum mag and have a problem finding anyone really familiar with the weapon,i would like to hear your opinion on this gun as well as where i can purchase additional mags for it,thanks for your time.
I am a retired State Trooper and carried a Remington 870 shotgun for over 30 years and always thought that they were the best shotgun ever made, until I purchased a 870 Express Tactical. Right out of the box it would only fire one time and would not eject the shell. I can not believe that Remington would put out such a cheap shotgun that would not function right out of the box. I have since sold the gun and purchased another gun from a different manufacturer. Shame on you Remington for making such a BAD gun and ruining my feelings for what I thought was the BEST shotgun ever made.
Can someone explain to a newbie why someone would want a pump shotgun when there are great semi-autos like the Benelli? Is it because of price only? Or are there other tactical or performance-related advantages of having a pump? Thank you
No Benelli M2 Tactical???? Should be at number 2.
I just recently purchased the Winchester SXP extreme defender for HD. I have not had chance to shoot it yet and was wondering what your thoughts on this shotgun are. I guess I went with it for the price and that it advertises it to be the fastest pump action shotgun in the world.
My choice would be the Benelli Supernova. I love everything about this gun! But I recently acquired a NEF Pardner Pump 20 gauge in a swap deal that I have absolutely no idea what do to with. It’s a Chinese knockoff of the Remington 870 but I don’t know if it’s as trustworthy as an 870. Right now the Benelli stays by the bedside but I’d sure like to hear some convincing arguments for what I should do with the NEF.
The Rem 870 tactical shotgun was a poor pick. The trigger assembly is made of plastic. The gun is cheaply made like the Express version.
The Rem 870 Wingmaster with a slug barrel is what I have and is well made and I have no problem with it for 35 years……….use it mainly as a bear protection in Alaska while moose hunting.
don’t put a slug in it buy a damn rifle and he seamed knowledgeable but you don’t shorten the barrel to make it compact you shorten the barrel for more spread which lowers force per area but is still preferable in combat
I loved this article, but I’m seriously considering buying the UTAS UTS 15. I’ve seen videos and read several articles on it. Could I get a professional opinion from some real shotgun experts? Thanks in advance, Kenny