Shotguns are an incredible firearm. They are perfect for just about anything, from hunting any game, to military or home defense. There are hundreds of makes and models to choose from, so finding the best shotgun for your needs can be difficult. In this article we looked at the top 20 shotguns that are ideal for any situation.

Best Shotgun for Home Defense & Best Tactical Shotgun

Tactical shotguns are the ideal firearm for home defense as they are best at close range, and come in an array of styles and options. The best tactical shotguns will be simple to use, utilize the most practical defensive abilities, and be versatile enough to adapt to an array of situations.


Typically they use shorter barrel lengths, and are made from lightweight composite material. They will also have an intimidation factor beyond just making a deafening bang. Most have an aggressive look to them, can be equipped with aggressive parts, or they are pump action which deliver the unforgettable and ever heart stopping sound of racking a 12 gauge shell into the chamber.

Here’s a look at the top 5 tactical shotguns overall and for home defense.

1. Remington 870 Express Tactical​

The Remington 870 Express Tactical is a fantastic home defense shotgun. Of course the Remington 870 is a fantastic all around shotgun to begin with, but this specific model is simplistic, reliable, and can be easily customized. This makes a great home defense choice because you can easily add accessories such as lights or red dot sights , and it’s easy to clean and operate. This pump action shotgun is smooth and comfortable with an adjustable stock, ghost ring sights, and a magazine extension.

​That’s of course not to mention that the Remington 870 is one of the most produced and popular shotguns on the market with over ten million having been built. Whether it’s the aggressive looks, its powerfully solid design, the fact that it is essentially a combat gun, or for whatever other reason you choose the Express Tactical , you will not be disappointed. The 870 is also well suited for a pistol grip add on, versus its counterpart, Mossberg 590.

2. Mossberg 590 SP​

The Mossberg 590 SP is the tactical version of the second most popular shotgun in America, the Mossberg 500 which is undoubtedly one of the most dependable firearms to date. This is a very well built and rugged shotgun that was even adopted in 1987 by the Marines. It is super versatile, being excellent for home defense, combat, or even hunting. There are several versions and options to choose from with numerous after market accessories that you can add making it appealing to any kind of shooter.

​This pump shotgun is slightly more durable than the Remington 870 and will last you a lifetime. It aught too, especially since the Marine Corps still use it.

3. Catamount Fury II​

If you are looking for the most aggressively devastating and effective tactical shotgun at close range, then look no further than the Catamount Fury II. This is one heck of a tactical shotgun. Yes, it is a Chinese firearm, but trust me when I say this shotgun delivers. You may have to try out some different shells to find the one that works best with this firearm but it’s worth it.

This is an intimidating magazine fed, semi-auto shotgun that is easily customized and comes ready to be equipped with a battle ax. If that is not home-defense I don’t know what is. This is quick to shoot and great to handle, with a lightweight cut-out stock and an AK-47 like grip. It’s comfortable, intimidating, and just plain scary in up-close encounters as it can reload almost as fast as it can dispense ammunition into a target.

​Not too mention this is going to be one of the best budget tactical shotguns while taking into consideration all it offers.

4. Winchester SXP Marine Defender​

Although not quite as popular as the Remington 870, the Winchester SXP is designed after the Model 12 and 1200 which has been a staple shotgun for decades. It has been the go to choice for police, home defense, and even was used in the jungles during the Vietnam war . It is rugged, reliable, and best of all it is very affordable. At around $300.00 this is the best shotgun for the money.


The SXP also now comes with an array of upgraded features such as rail attaching accessories, and a variety of chokes. It also utilizes upgraded recoil reducing properties. Combine that with the shorter barrel length, the lightweight composite build, and the smooth pump action, this gun can be fired rapidly and accurately by just about anyone. It is a great choice for all types of shooters, and is absolutely fantastic for home defense.​

5. Saiga-12​

The Russian born and bred Saiga-12 is the most powerful and effective home defense weapon around. It is also one of the best for competition shooting. It is highly accurate and highly deadly. This is a box magazine fed, gas operated shotgun that has the rotating bolt design just like other Kalashnikov rifles such as the AK-47. It is traditionally fully automatic, but of course can be found in the legal semi-auto form as well. It is fairly easily operated and maintained, while being easily customized with an array of parts to choose from. This makes each Saiga-12 unique.

​Overall this is a very well built, very durable, and very rewarding shotgun. it has been designed by a very reliable Russian company that has consistently created great products.

​Although you can still find them, they are becoming more of a commodity among avid shooters. This is due to some bureaucratic nonsense and president initiating an executive order which has banned all importation of Russian Izhmash products, including the Saiga-12.

​*My personal opinion. Although the Saiga-12 is a great choice, due to the legalities around it I would suggest checking out the deadly AA-12 shotgun which is very similar, and even outranks the Saiga-12 in various aspects.

Overall Hunting

Most shotguns are designed for a specific use, or their versatility comes in so many forms, choosing a universal shotgun for hunting an array of game can actually be difficult. Of course this directly depends on how many different types of game your trying to hunt with one multipurpose shotgun.

Some things to look for are long term reliability, quality and typical lifetime (wood lasting longer with excessive wear and use), and how simplistic the overall mechanical design is. For those of you who like the idea of being able to hunt almost any game with one weapon, here are the top three universal hunting shotguns.

6. Remington 870​

After being introduced in the early 1950’s the remington 870 has become the most popular shotgun in the United States. It is extremely well built and utilized by professional shooters, police, military personnel, and hunters. With a multitude of gauge, barrel, stock and other options, this is a fantastic all around hunting shotgun. With the right barrel you can shoot bigger game with slugs or any kind of bird with a tight or wide pattern choke. This shotgun was designed to hunt a variety of game and be very accurate when shooting targets.

​This is a relatively inexpensive shotgun that will last you a lifetime if taken care of. It is built with grade A material whether you choose synthetic or wood. Purchase a Remington 870 and you will be one happy hunter.