Top 7 Best Tactical Shotgun Options on the Market
Shotguns are some of the best weapon choices out there for home defense. They’re easy to use, ammo is readily available, and the firepower makes sure you don’t miss your target when it counts.
Tactical shotguns are even better in terms of functionality. Built for comfort, convenience, and improved accuracy, they make home defense even easier. Because they’re so handy, there is plenty of variety out there.
If you’re looking to buy a shotgun and more specifically a tactical one, you have a lot of options to consider. Today we’ll take a look at seven of the best ones. But how do we determine our selections?
Rating Tactical Shotguns: What is Our Scale?
For this review, we’ll be looking at the best tactical shotgun options on the market. Each entry on our list will get a rating on a scale of 1-5.
We won’t go into half-points for the sake of simplicity, and we’ll also base all our decisions on the same criteria. What do people look for when it comes to a tactical shotgun? Sure they want that stopping power exclusive to a boom stick, but they also look for features that improve usability.
For example, models with better balance and less weight can be extremely helpful. The same can be said for better sights, smoother components, improved grips, and padded stocks. Any time a gun has features like this, they can expect it to factor into the ratings.
We’ll also consider the price of these guns in relation to their features to see if buyers are getting good value for their money. Brand names will factor in too, but not as much as the features themselves.
Finally, we’ll look at buyer feedback. When it comes to how a gun performs, there is no better way to gauge it than by the feedback the gun has achieved from the people who’ve used it.
While subjectivity comes into play in gun choices, we can rate the features and value along with the feedback to pick some of the market’s top options. Let’s go!
7 Best Tactical Shotguns: Which Ones Made Our List?
MOSSBERG - 500 TACTICAL 20IN 12 GAUGE BLUE BLACK SYNTHETIC GHOST RING 8+1RD
Widely revered as one of the best, if not the best tactical shotguns on the market, this one leads our list for good reason. It has it all – the name, the features, and the value. Everything necessary to make a good tactical shotgun you can find here.
For a price that usually falls somewhere between $350 and $400, this shotgun from Mossberg comes with a comfortable, ambidextrous design and long barrel. The full 20-inches is due in part to the extended magazine tube and twin action bars.
This design also comes with a bead sight, heat shield, and synthetic stock. All the great accessories you’d need in a value-based tactical shotgun are here. There is even room for modifications – you can add a flashlight and sling to completely deck out this nearly perfect shotgun.
The barrel is short enough to offer big power and still be legal throughout all 50 US states. It is durable and well balanced, designed to soak up kick back effectively. While the heat shield may not be necessary, so you could technically be paying for more than you need, you can still get a lot of value from this weapon and use it comfortably whether you’re left-handed or right-handed.
There are a lot more customization options around, but this is a great gun from Mossberg just the way it is. When you’re in the market for a tactical shotgun that gives you more for your money and has been proven, you can’t go wrong with the Mossberg 500 Tactical.
BENELLI U.S.A. - M4 18.5IN 12 GAUGE MATTE BLACK 4+1RD
Another classic tactical shotgun, this one was originally made for the toughest conditions there are. It was built for the US Marine Corps back in 1998. Though a young gun, it comes from a well-known name and has quickly gained a sizable following during its short lifespan.
This gun’s claim to fame is its speed. It is one of the quickest semi-auto shotguns you’ll find. For those who have a high level of familiarity with this gun, and have it serviced properly, it is almost possible to fire it like a full-auto weapon.
With extended magazine tubes, a comfortable pistol-grip stock, two-stage trigger, and coating that stops corrosion, this weapon is fully set up and makes for a great buy without any accessories. However, due to its popularity, it is also highly customizable.
The weapon goes for about $1800 and it is one of the more expensive semi-auto shotguns. While that means it can’t be a lock for the top spot, its features alone put it high up on the list. While it is a little heavy, that helps with the balance.
This weapon may be expensive, and it does require more maintenance than other tactical shotguns. But it is a shot shooter, cycles any ammo quickly, and is reliable. That means its pros easily outweigh its cons.
MOSSBERG - 590A1 MIL SPEC 18.5IN 12 GA PARKERIZED BLACK GHOST RING 6+1RD
The Mossberg 590 was a fine gun – but it needed a few tweaks. Or at least that’s what the Marine Corps said – though their opinion likely carries as much weight as anyone’s when it comes to the discussion of firearms.
Through their careful decisions, a new Mossberg classic was crafted. The 590A1 is a weapon built for defense at home, in the jungle, in the desert, and in virtually any type of combat situation or environment one could think of. At a weight of seven pounds and with an 18.5-inch barrel length, it is a bigger gun. It also has a heavily-walled barrel and a metal trigger guard.
This weapon’s obvious standout feature is its durability. While you expect this quality in a tactical shotgun, and most good ones have it, the Mossberg 590A1 blows rivals out of the water in this category. A little extra weight is the trade off, but the accessories are another positive.
You get a picatinny rail perfect for mounting a scope or red dot sight. The gun may be expensive, going for a price of $500+ on some listings. This is due to the military-style features, which mean it may be a case of civilians paying for more than they truly need.
While the extra features and big price tag may be negatives, this gun still ranks very high on our list for good reason.
REMINGTON - 870 EXPRESS 18IN 12 GAUGE BLUE 6+1RD
Here we come up on a gun that has two great things going for it immediately – the first being its very reasonable $350 price tag. But it also has about a century of history behind it, which also bodes well in the reliability category.
This shotgun was one of the first to feature double-action bars, making it more reliable than a lot of its counterparts throughout the years. It also makes it a trendsetter in many ways, showing that the creators had a winning formula they’ve slowly expanded on.
Military groups and special ops forces use the shotgun was well – it is designed to offer great balance and plenty of options for upgrades. The Express remains one of the most cost-efficient options to get a tactical shotgun in your home.
It isn’t all positive – this model isn’t exactly as easy to clean as some modern options. While that and its floating loading gate are attributed to its classic design, the pros outweigh the cons.
Another entry on our list that hovers right around a perfect score, this weapon’s combination of value and balance make it an easy choice for one of the best tactical shotguns ever.
FN - SLP STANDARD 18IN 12 GAUGE MATTE BLUE 6+1RD
FN is a name that was always going to be on our list. They could make any list of top guns – with so many successful handguns, rifles, and shotguns, their weapons are popular for both combat and civilian use.
This weapon shows how FN can make firearms with the perfect formula – functionality and durability together means smooth action even in intense combat situations. And for those who will only use it at home, that just makes it that much more dependable.
It can cycle various types of ammo smoothly – if you can fit it in the chamber, you can fire it. It is also fast for a tactical shotgun, allowing users to enjoy a rare balance of power and speed not present in some other models.
It is a little on the heavy side, and the price tag is hefty as well. The cost of approximately $1200 does stop it from scoring higher, but the features give it a firm spot in our top seven.
Durability, reliability, and proven design – that’s what you get with the FN SLP. You can keep your home safe with this weapon, though it could hurt your bank account.
REMINGTON - 870 TAC-14 20 GAUGE 14" M-LOK 4+1 WITH $25 GIFT CARD
Remington’s 870 is so good it makes our list twice. And while this standard variant ranks a few spots lower than its Express counterpart, it still has the features to stand out as a good gun in its own right.
As mentioned on the previous model, the Remington 870 series was built for balance. Improved weight distribution throughout the weapon means it is easier to hold, less painful to fire, and simpler to transport when you’re heading out to the gun range or hunting field.
The 14-inch barrel accounts for just over half the 26.4-inch length, and that means, coupled with the steel construction, you’re getting a weapon that won’t feel like its fighting to get out of your hands after a shot.
You can also enjoy a reinforced polymer stock for superior shooting comfort. You can add your own accessories, or just make do with the ones included – which includes a bead front sight, a favorite choice of many gun owners.
At less than $350 on many listings, this is another example of how cost-efficient Remington can be with their shotguns. While the round capacity may be limited when compared to other models, that’s the only major flaw.
This weapon is comfortable, great to look at, and highly durable. Combine this with its impressive price tag, and that is a winning combination.
KEL-TEC - KSG 12 GA 18.5" 12+1 PUMP
The KSG may be overkill to some, but it is a finely tuned tactical shotgun that deserves a spot on any best list.
The unique appearance contributes to its popularity and also allows it to stick out. Combined with its smooth pump, it makes for a perfect combination of looks and functionality.
The pump is so smooth, it can even use two different types of ammo and have little difficulty. The weapon is built to be durable and has a strong construction, perfect for outdoor use.
The cost of $800+ is a little steep, and there is always a chance the unorthodox pumping mechanism could produce a low probability of jamming. But aside from those drawbacks, this is a solid gun.
The KSG remains one of the most versatile and reliable tactical shotguns on the market. It’s also one of the best to look at!
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Perfect Tactical Shotgun
When you’re looking for the best tactical shotgun, you have plenty of options. And while everyone has their own preferences, you should always look for a couple things – value, balance, and reliability.
Lower-cost tactical shotguns can usually perform as good if not better than their more expensive counterparts in home defense or shooting ranges. You’ll only need to shell out more if you really need the extra firepower and functionality – which usually means you wear fatigues or a badge.
You should also look for good weight balance to help ensure the weapon is easy to handle and fire. Finally, look for reliable guns that don’t jam and come from great manufactures.
When we think of tactical shotguns, there are a lot of options – and any one on this list is a great place to start when you want the best tactical shotgun.