The best semi auto shotgun may not be as reliable as a slide action (pump) shotgun, but it is safe enough to serve a homeowner who needs to defend their family and their property. In addition, it can be an excellent choice for a sports person who needs to hunt or just shoot targets. These auto shotguns have been in the market for an extended period, and they are the first choice for many people thanks to their reduced recoil, ease of use, light weight and ease of maintenance.
The following list has been compiled based on the firearms’ versatility (most are multipurpose shotguns), special features, weight, balance, finish, user reviews and price-quality ratio.
10. Beretta AL391
|Barrel Length||24”, 26”, 28”, 30”, 32”|
|Price Range||$700 – $900|
The AL391 often takes the place of sports gun, but in the recent past, the auto shotgun has become a staple for home protection as well. It features a slim fore-end and an aluminum receiver, which significantly reduces its weight. In addition, it features a magazine plug to adjust rounds and a magazine cut-off to replace chambered shells. Due to its self-compensating recoil systems, which runs on gas, it’s one of the best semi auto shotguns under $1,000.
The AL391 comes in three models, all of which share basic features. Seeing that the shotgun was originally designed for sports, it’s easy to use.
9. Mossberg 935 Magnum
|Price Range||$800 – $850|
The 935 is a great shotgun with magnum loads. It boasts high-rate down-range performance, dual vent system, and over-bored barrels. In addition, the relatively small shotgun has a 3.5 stopping power operation and a quick magazine release button. That means it’s easy to use in a dire situation. The Mossberg semi auto shotgun has a stock drop spacer and a drilled, tapped receiver.
These features enhance improved sightliness, reduced pellet deformation, ease of use in low light environments and great flexibility making this the best semi auto shotgun for the price.
8. Remington 1100
|Gauge||12 or 20|
|Barrel Length||18” to 30”|
|Price Range||$950 – $1,200|
This gas-operated shotgun is popular in sports, but it has featured changes in weight, reliability, and recoil. Now, it’s an excellent home defense shotgun. The gun, first introduced in 1963, features sleek lines that make it easy to handle and use. Featuring plastic shotshells and old version paper shells does not stop this weapon from being the best semi auto shotgun. It comes with a self-compensating design and a carrier release on the underside.
Additionally, it has an adjustable carbon fiber stock and a shell catcher. With only a few days of training, anyone can use this gun.
7. Winchester Super X3
|Price Range||$930 – $970|
The SX3 offers a light and balanced feel. This due to the recoil spring and the alloy magazine tube which reduce weight by up to 0.5 pounds. Besides great usability, the semi automatic shotgun features chrome plated chamber that enhances durability. Some of its special features include synthetic stock for the best grip and a self-adjusting system which adjusts loads while minimizing felt recoil.
The Winchester shotgun features black-bored technology for finest shot patterns. Availability of parts and accessories, flexibility and ease of use gives this semi-automatic shotgun an edge over others in the market. Additionally, the inflex recoil pad reduces recoil which makes it a good shotgun for home defense and beginners.
6. Franchi 720
|Barrel Length||24”, 26”, 28”|
|Weight||5.8 lbs, 6lbs, 6.1 lbs|
|Price Range||$600 – $750|
Franchi has been in the semi-automatic shotgun industry since 1868 as reflected in the high-rate quality of the 720. This 20 gauge semi auto shotgun comes with a gas operated system which drives bolt backward during firing. Key features include a Twin Shock Absorber which reduces recoil by spreading the energy produced over shooter’s shoulder. That makes it one of the best shotguns for all users. Additionally, it has an alloy steel receiver to reduce weight and a synthetic stock for good grip.
This automatic shotgun comes handy for home defense, hunting, and other sports. Complete newbies will learn to use it in a few days of training.
5. Browning Gold
|Barrel Length||26”, 28”|
|Weight||6 lbs, 7 lbs|
|Price Range||$1,050 – $1,200|
This semi automatic shotgun comes with an exquisite finish that warrants it the name gold. The checkering on the handle and fore-end gives it a light feel and comfortable grip. Its “Invector Plus” tubes enhance great shot patterns. It features self-adjusting gas system and trigger-guard safety. It’s an excellent 20 gauge semi auto shotgun for soft shots. In addition, the mild recoil makes it great for those not accustomed to the weight and force.
This shotgun is easy to use and comes with reduced noise, making it a great sports firearm.
4. Benelli Super Black Eagle
|Price Range||$1,450 – $1,550|
Benelli has set the standard for all other shotguns. The SBE semi-automatic shotgun series is capable of firing 2-3/4 inches, 3 inches, and 3-1/2 inches shells without the need for adjustments. It comes with great features such a comfort tech system to reduce recoil, Air-Touch grip with a checkered pattern, and a fiber optic front bar. In addition, you can take advantage of the heavy trigger guard that accommodates even gloved fingers.
The Benelli shotgun has an inertia driven system for stability. Even more, they have left-hand models available with left-shoulder recoil pads. This semi auto shotgun is easy to use, offers reliability and comes affordable.
|Barrel Length||16.9”, 22.8”|
|Price Range||$700 – $ 1,100|
Named after the saiga antelope, this high capacity shotgun comes in a horde of configurations, making it the best semi auto shotgun for sporting activities. It is a gas operated gun that incorporates several features missing in other shotguns. These include a Picatinny rail atop the receiver for optics, muzzle brake, and push button for easy magazine release.
Though the Saiga-12 shotgun has been around since 1997, new models come with great features for sports people. Furthermore, they are easy to use.
|Manufacturer||Morot Oluzhie Ltd.|
|Price Range||$800 – $900|
Vepr-12 is a detachable magazine shotgun that has been in production since 2003. The gun comes with a stamped steel receiver made for durability. A safety catch and a bolt release mechanism keep the user safe and make it easy to use. Some models feature a folding stock while others have a fixed stock.
Though the shotgun was originally for military use, nowadays it is more popular for sporting activities such as hunting. It’s possibly the best 12 gauge shotgun for home defense, making it highly versatile.
1. Akdal MKA 1919
|Price Range||$400 – $550|
This is a lightweight shotgun that comes handy in sports activities and home defense. It is easy to handle and shoots quickly. In addition, it is one of the best magnum-fed shotguns with features such as two mags and three internal choke tubes. In addition, it has impact resistant polymer on stock, pistol grip, and lower receiver.
The MKA 1919 is the best semi auto shotgun under 500 you can find. for the price, it also comes with an easily removable barrel for swift cleaning, and easy AR controls. That includes bolt release, return spring, safety, and changing handle. Even beginners can operate this gun with ease. It’s the best semi auto shotgun for the money.
Making The Right Choice
Choosing the best semi auto shotgun can be a daunting task, especially when one has never owned one before. Nevertheless, a simple research will show which guns to buy based on their functionality, affordability and special features. However, if you don’t want to limit yourself to semi automatics, check out our comprehensive list of the top shotguns for home defense.