Autoloading shotguns can be useful for hunting, defense, and a huge number of sports, so every shooter should considering adding one to their collection. The best autoloading shotgun will have high-quality mechanisms to ensure reliability, a decent level of recoil compensation, and good ergonomics to encourage comfortable shooting. Other details, such as caliber, should be chosen based on the weapon’s primary use. Many companies make autoloading shotguns, so there are plenty to choose from. We narrowed the choices down to ten based on their reliability, value, and ergonomics to make the choice a little bit easier.
10. Benelli Montefeltro
Benelli produces the Montefeltro in several configurations, so a wide range of shooters can find one that is sized appropriately for them. Left-handed models are available, which combines with that range to make this the best autoloading shotgun for left-handed shooters that want comfort. This model uses an inertia driven system for extra reliability and to ensure that the gun has a long lifespan with minimal maintenance. That makes for a balanced gun which is appropriate for the vast majority of shooters who do not want to purchase a truly expensive weapon.
9. Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen
Browning produces the Sweet Sixteen for shooters that want to use 16 gauge shells, which are fairly unusual. They offer an excellent blend of stopping power and relatively low recoil that make them perfect for hunting fowl, but still useful for most shooting sports. The downside to the gauge is that it can be hard to find the shells. Beyond offering a rare caliber, this shotgun benefits from being extremely light and easy to transport and from highly reliable components. Give it a try if you are willing to put in the effort to find appropriate ammo.
8. LSI Escort Supreme Magnum
|Manufacturer||Legacy Sports International|
The Escort Supreme Magnum from LSI is available is available in both true right-handed and left-handed configurations, which makes it a good budget gun for left-handed users. It is fairly reliable for its price due to its self-regulating gas piston, which is accompanied by a barrel that is proofed for steel shot for more durability. The glossy walnut stock makes it look particularly good, especially to people who prefer a classic appearance. The low price makes this good for new shooters. But left-handed users of all skill levels can appreciate it in that configuration.
7. TRI XT3 Tactical
The XT3 Tactical from TRI is an excellent choice for new shooters because it combines a low price with minimal recoil. The barrel is short and the entire gun is fairly light, so mall shooters can use it fairly easily. The gun is accurate enough for casual target shooting, and it will hold up well to rough use from a novice. It can also work as a hunting shotgun for very small game, but it lacks the power for most larger animals. Use this as a training weapon for young or small shooters. But look at other options for competitions of serious hunting.
6. Remington 11-87 Sportsman Field
The Model 11-87 is a balanced shotgun that can fill most roles adequately. The interior components are simple and reliable, so the average sportsman can clean and maintain the gun easily. The gun’s moderate dimensions and weight strike a good balance between ease of use, ergonomics, and recoil absorption to make it comfortable to shoot. People who have a particular interest only in one or two sports should get a more specialized gun. But this is a great choice for people who do a little bit of everything.
5. FN SLP MK 1
The SLP MK1 from FN is a simple shotgun that offers a consistently high level of performance. It stands out for its rapid action, which is adequate for some competitions, and for its durability. The adjustable rifle sights are also fairly good. On the other hand, this gun is more expensive than many other shotguns and is a little bit on the heavy side when it is fully loaded. People that are willing to invest in a quality weapon should consider it. But most new or casual shooters will want to look elsewhere and save some money.
4. Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical
The 930 Tactical from Mossberg is the best autoloading shotgun for defensive purposes. It has a much shorter barrel than most of the alternatives to make it easier to move in tight quarters, along with an unusually large ammo capacity. The compact design can make it feel unusual to those who are used to large weapons. But most shooters get used to it quickly. A Picatinny rail is present to hold accessories for those that like to customize their weapons, but it works well without any extra parts. Consider using this gun if you need a compact and powerful shotgun.
3. Stoeger M3500
The M3500 from Stoeger is the best autoloading shotgun for most shooters on a tight budget. It is highly reliable while still being several hundred dollars cheaper than most of the alternatives. It is primarily a hunting weapon, so it has plenty of power and a fiber-optic front sight to make it easy to aim as quickly as possible, even in poor lighting. The receiver is drilled and tapped to take a Weaver-style scope base if additional optics are needed. Use this shotgun if you want to balance cost and performance. Check out the best 12 gauge shotguns for your training purposes.
2. Beretta A300 Outlander
The A300 Outlander from Beretta is the best autoloading shotgun for shooters that value convenience. This disassembles into four major pieces for quick maintenance, and the process is simple enough for new shooters. The piston is self-cleaning to further cut down on maintenance time. The safety is reversible and the stock is fairly comfortable for most users. This model does suffer from low ammo capacity, but it holds enough shells to be useful for most sport and hunting applications. Use it if you want to minimize the time spent on maintaining your firearm.
1. Winchester Super X3 Black Shdaow
The Black Shadow from Winchester offers more features than most affordable shotguns. It includes a self-adjusting active valve that reduces recoil and helps the gun handle a variety of loads, along with vent ports to encourage clean operation. Adjustable spacers ensure that most people can use this model comfortably, which pairs well with the slip-resistant gripping surface. The downside is that this model needs more cleaning and maintenance than most. Although the trigger group does drop out to make that easier. It is the best autoloading shotgun for anyone who can keep up on the maintenance. You can check here for more 20 gauge shotguns.
Making The Right Choice
The best autoloading shotgun for a given sport will always be one that is dedicated to that role. But they all need to be reliable and comfortable to shoot. Fortunately, there are plenty of shotguns that meet that requirement, so you can find a great gun to fill any role. If you run into one that we missed, leave a comment about it so other people can take the chance to try it.