Shotguns pack a huge amount of power into a small space, which makes them great defensive weapons. Most are acceptable weapons, but tactical firearms are ideal because they are designed for combat. The best tactical shotgun available will combine their natural power with a design that is easy to handle and highly reliable. A large ammo capacity and good ergonomics can also be a major advantage. There are a lot of models available that offer different features and balance those traits differently, so we looked through them to find ten good tactical shotguns based on their price, maneuverability and tactical efficiency.
10. Inland Manufacturing M37
The M37 from Inland Manufacturing is a replica of one of the first tactical shotguns that saw military use. It is among the most reliable shotguns, with an excellent military record for durability. It uses steel components rather than polymer, which helps it to stand up to abuse. The design is ambidextrous and easy to use, so it works just as well for new shooters as for experts. It is on the expensive end of the market, which is this gun’s main downside. It is great for people that value its history but still want a functional gun, but there are cheaper options for other shooters.
9. Charles Daly CA612 Tactical
The CA612 from Charles Daly is a fairly good starter shotgun for new shooters. It is more affordable than many, but still good enough to remain useful to more experienced marksmen. The gun does have a rail for accessories, so it can accept upgrades once the owner is ready for them. It uses an inertia-driven system to cut down on recoil, which is particularly useful because of the gun’s low weight. Consider using this shotgun if you are new to shooting or have a moderate level of experience.
8. SKO Shorty
The SKO Shorty has an unusual design that does not include a stock. That makes it one of the most compact tactical shotguns available, but it does make it harder to use. It can take several different detachable magazines, so the user can strike the right balance between ammo capacity and weight. The safety is ambidextrous and the controls follow the same pattern as the AR-15, so most people can get used to them fairly quickly. This is a great choice for people who are comfortable using a gun without a stock, but other shooters should get a different model.
7. Iver Johnson PAS12
The PAS12 is a budget gun from Turkey. The gun is extremely light, but that comes at the cost of heavier recoil than most of the more expensive guns. The gun’s pump mechanism makes it reasonably reliable in spite of its low price point, although this model does benefit from a little bit of breaking in at the range. The PAS12 is a great choice for people who want to minimize their costs or purchase a backup gun, but some shooters will want to invest more into their primary weapon.
6. Remington 870 DM Tactical
The DM Tactical is one of the few shotguns with a detachable magazine system, which enables rapid reloading. A tactical fore-end and a pistol grip give it decent ergonomics. The shotgun comes with ghost ring sights, but it also has a rail that can easily accept other optics at the owner’s discretion. It also comes with a supercell recoil pad, which works adequately and unexceptionally to make the gun more comfortable. You should consider this shotgun if you want the detachable magazine but look at other choices if that doesn’t appeal to you. You can check here some .420 Remington shotguns and other great 410 shotguns for home defense.
5. Benelli Vinci Tactical
The Vinci Tactical shotgun from Benelli is a small and light weapon. The gun uses an inertia-driven system to reduce muzzle rise after firing, which makes it possible to reacquire the target and fire again quickly. This model also offers excellent recoil reduction, which helps to keep the gun under control in spite of its small size and low weight. This model’s downside is its low ammo capacity, but it still has enough to be useful in an emergency. This is the best tactical shotgun if you need something simple but opt for something else if you expect to need more than a couple shots at once. You can look at our best shotguns for women list for more options.
4. Remington Versa Max Tactical
The Versa Max Tactical is a reliable semiautomatic shotgun with large controls that make it easy to operate while wearing gloves. It has a self-cleaning design that reduces the need for maintenance, which combines with plating on the inner components to ensure that the gun can survive rough environments. These features make it the best tactical shotgun for most rural environments, and it can also function fairly well as a hunting weapon. It is a little bit more expensive than most others, but it is a great choice for people who want their tactical shotgun to serve as a hunting weapon.
3. Kel-Tec KSG
The KSG from Kel-Tec stands out for its unusual magazine design. It uses dual tube magazines to hold a huge supply of ammo while keeping the gun’s dimensions compact. That design also makes it relatively easy to switch between different loads quickly. Empty shells eject away from the user’s field of view, which makes the design fully ambidextrous and the best tactical shotgun for left-handed users. This is also an excellent choice for anyone who wants a light and compact firearm or expects to need a lot of ammunition.
2. FN SLP MK1
The SLP MK 1 from FN is a durable and user-friendly choice, which makes it the best tactical shotgun for novices. The gun is fairly heavy, but not so much so that it is hard to use, and that weight combines with an excellent pad to reduce recoil. The gun has a heavy and durable construction that makes it resist most forms of damage, and the mechanisms work reliably in the field. Use it if you need a gun with low recoil that can take heavy abuse.
1. Kalashnikov KS-12
The KS-12 from Kalashnikov is an improvement on the Saiga-12, with many elements in common with the AK-47 rifle. The controls should be familiar to shooters who have used those weapons. The ergonomics are fairly good, with a pistol grip that makes it quick and comfortable to use. The gun is quite reliable when using high brass loads, but it suffers with low brass versions. It offers excellent accuracy within normal defensive ranges, even when using slugs. This is the best tactical shotgun for pure defense, but it won’t be a good fit for people who want to use it for target shooting as well.
Making The Right Choice
Wielding the best tactical shotgun you can find can make the difference between victory and defeat. Ideally, a shotgun should combine high reliability and stopping power with a maneuverable design and a decent reserve of ammunition. There are a lot of good choices out there, and you should feel free to mention any that we overlooked in the comment section so others can check them out.