By SoarEagle on Apr 21, 2021

Best Home Defense Shotguns 2021

Hey guys!

The team at GunCritic is wondering, what do you consider the best home defense shotgun? To that end, we'd like you to vote on the poll below. Feel free to let us know in the comments how you feel about the list and if we should add your favorite!

Obviously, the shotgun is incredibly versatile. In a home defense situation a shotgun can be preferrable for a few reasons:

For one, the firepower. Pisols, while easier to wield generally lack the stopping power of longer guns. Not to mention that aiming a pistol with all that adrenaline can be incredibly difficult. With buck shot, the general vicinity of an intruder is probably just fine.

Two, with a shotgun there is less risk of over penetration. In the unfortunate event that you're firing a weapon in your home, you need to know that your shots will not travel further than their target. While there's still some risk of over penetration with a shotgun, it's more manageable.

Three, it takes less skill to hit a target with a shotgun blast. When your area of effect is greater, your aim matters less in tense moments.

Fourth, but certainly not finally, shotguns and shotgun shells are relatively cheap. That allows even the most budget minded home defense advocate to procure a great option and practice at the range without spending serious cash.

Mossberg 500
1. Mossberg 500
Guncritic Certified 95%


Mossberg 500 is a series of pump action shotguns manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons. The 500 series comprises widely varying models of hammerless repeaters, all of which share the same basic receiver and action, but differ in bore size, barrel length, choke options, magazine capacity, stock and forearm materials. Model numbers included in the 500 series are the 500, 505, 510, 535, and 590. The Revelation 310 and the New Haven 600 were also variations of the 500 series produced by Mossberg under different names. Introduced in 1960, all model 500s are based on the same basic concept designed by Carl Benson. Originally using a single action bar that was known to bind and even break, this was changed to dual action bars in 1970, following the expiration of Remington's patent on the double action bar design. A single large locking lug is used to secure the breech. The magazine tube is located below the barrel, and is screwed into the receiver. The slide release is located to the left rear of the trigger guard, and the safety is located on the upper rear of the receiver (often called a "tang safety").

Winchester SXP Defender
2. Winchester SXP Defender
Guncritic Certified 75%


Easy to pack and carry, handling buckshot or rifled slugs efficiently through the fully chrome plated, 18" fixed cylinder choked barrel (no constriction) for wide patterning. This open choke is also very accurate when using Foster-type slugs. It also has non-glare metal surfaces with a tough composite stock and forearm. Additional features include a five-shot magazine (plus one in the chamber), and a positive, deeply grooved forearm for control and stability. Whether it's multi-gun competition or protecting your home and family, the Super X Pump Defender is the perfect choice. Its inertia-assisted action, six-shell total ammo capacity, durable composite stock and ribbed forearm give you an edge against any odds.

Benelli M4 Tactical
3. Benelli M4 Tactical
Guncritic Certified 96%


The Benelli M4 is a semi-automatic shotgun produced by Italian firearm manufacturer Benelli Armi SpA, and the last of the "Benelli Super 90" series of semi-automatic shotguns. The M4 uses a proprietary action design called the "auto-regulating gas-operated" (ARGO) system, which was created specifically for the weapon. The weapon was designed in 1998, and was adopted by the armed forces of Italy, the United States, United Kingdom, among others, and has been used in a variety of conflicts, leading up to the present day.

Mossberg 590A1
4. Mossberg 590A1
Guncritic Certified 94%


MOSSBERG & SONS Model 590 Law Enforcement Pump Shotgun Mossberg Parkerized 12 Ga. Law Enforcement w/20" Barrel/Ghost Ring Sights The Mossberg 590 shotgun is the pump action shotgun you can count on. They have the credentials and track record to prove it. The Mossberg military 590 model is the only pump action shotguns ever to pass all stringent U.S. Military MilSpec-3443 standards. Featuring parkerized finish, entended magazine, 3" chamber and thumb safety. SPECIFICATIONS: Mfg Item Num: 51668 Category: FIREARMS - SHOTGUNS Action :Pump Gauge :12 GA Barrel Length :20" Capacity :8 + 1 Chamber :3" Length :41 1/2" Weight :7 lbs Drop :1 1/2" @ Comb & 2 1/8" @ Heel Stock :Black Synthetic Finish :Parkerized

Remington Versa Max Tactical
5. Remington Versa Max Tactical
Guncritic Certified 94%


No task is too demanding and no challenge is too intense with our rugged, ultra-dependable and ever-expanding selection of tactical shotguns. Remington's lineup keeps growing to serve the needs of law enforcement, the military, competitive shooters and people defending their homes and loved ones. The centerpiece is the VERSA MAX Tactical. The pinnacle of autoloader reliability is now available customized with a picatinny rail, foward barrel-clamp side rails and an extended magazine. When you're in the most demanding environments and every second counts, Remington's tactical shotguns give you the confidence and firepower to get the job done.

Remington 870
6. Remington 870
Guncritic Certified 91%


Remington 870 Shotgun The Remington 870 has earned legendary status among gun aficionados. This is the perfect hunting gun, and there’s no question about that. The Remington 870 is arguably the very best pump-action shotgun that money can buy. I bet your dad or your grandpa has one in his collection. You can compare the Mossberg 500 and any other pump-action shotgun on the market with the Remington 870, and it is most likely going to come out on top. Although the Remington 870 has been around since the 1950s, it is still considered in style today. About five different versions of the 870 have been released over the years. The dimensions of the Remington 870 are 46.5 inches by 26 inches. The shotgun has an 18-inch barrel. Some versions have a 20-inch barrel. Although it looks massive, the 870 weighs just over 7 pounds, so you can carry it around conveniently. The Remington is not only used by hunters but also by law enforcement officers across the world. Some people also use this shotgun for home defense. The stock and foregrip of the classic Remington 870 are made of beautiful hardwood, but there are some versions with plastic stock and foregrip. As indicated above, this is a chambered, 12 gauge shotgun. There is also a 20 gauge version. The standard Remington magazine can hold 4+1. There is a magazine extension available for this shotgun, which increases its capacity to 6+1. The newest version of this shotgun, the Remington 870 DM, has a detachable box magazine. This will be the very first shotgun with a removable magazine. The magazine can hold up to 6 rounds. The Remington 870 is designed for 3-inch shells. Some versions of the 870 work with 2.75-inch and 3.5-inch shells. The comb is large enough to rest your cheek on it while you aim. This goes a long way to improve your precision. Some versions of the 870 have a single bead sight. One of the reasons we love the Remington 870 is its excellent design. When you have this shotgun in your hand, you can tell that this is a high-quality weapon. It is easy to hold in a grip, and the action is super smooth. It surprisingly doesn’t have a huge kick. One of the reasons for this is that the butt pad absorbs some of the shock. The Remington 870 comes with a crossbar safety, a trigger guard, and a safety switch. It is easy to take the Remington 870 apart when you want to clean it. All the parts come together easily. The gun tends to work just fine, even if it is not cleaned frequently. However, it is always advisable to maintain your firearms by cleaning and oiling them time-to-time. There are various accessories for the Remington that can improve your accuracy and general experience with this shotgun. The Remington 870 shotgun is a weapon that has stood the test of time; this shotgun is a key part of America's gun history. It is not only durable, but is also very affordable, feels comfortable to use, and is reliable.

Maverick Arms Model 88
7. Maverick Arms Model 88
Guncritic Certified 97%


The Mossberg® Maverick® 88 12 Gauge All-Purpose Pump-Action Shotgun features dual extractors, twin action bars, positive steel-to-steel lockup and an antijam elevator for smooth, reliable performance that won't let you down. The shotgun features a black synthetic stock and forearm for durability and a 6-round magazine capacity with 2-3/4" shells and a 5-round capacity with 3" shells. Bead sights help promote accurate aiming, and only 1 pin needs to be removed to field strip for easy maintenance.

Mossberg Model 500 SPX
8. Mossberg Model 500 SPX
Guncritic Certified 89%


About MS51523 Mossberg 500 SPX Shotgun 12/18.5CB Ghost Ring,Fiber Optic Product Specifications UPC Code: 015813515238 Manufacturer: Mossberg Model: 500 Action: Pump Caliber: 12Ga 3" Barrel Length: 18.5" Finish/Color: Matte Blue Grips/Stock: Synthetic Adjustable Hand: Right Hand Type of Barrel: Cylinder Chamber: 3" Chokes: Cylinder Capacity: 6Rd Sights: Ghost Ring - Fiber Optic Front Manufacturer Part #: 51523 UPC Code: 015813515238

Guncritic Certified 100%


KEL TEC KEL KSG Tactical 12 Gauge 2.75 Inch 13.7 Inch Barrel Picatinny Rail Dual Magazine Tubes Black Finish 10 Rounds - All NFA Rules Apply KSG Tactical Designed and geared toward Military and Law Enforcement. Shortened overall length allows ease of use during CQB or active shooter scenarios. Internal dual tube magazines holds five rounds each of 12 gauge 2.75 inch shotshells. Pump action feeds from either the left or right tube. Feed side is manually selected by a lever located behind the trigger guard. Cross bolt style safety. Top picatinny rail. Soft rubber buttpad. Weighs 6.2 pounds. Overall length is 21.4 inches. All NFA rules apply. Barrel Length 13.7 Caliber-Gauge 12 GA. Capacity 10 Chamber Inch 2 3/4 Finish Black Specific Gauge 12 Tactical Tactical

Beretta 1301 Tactical
10. Beretta 1301 Tactical
Guncritic Certified 100%


The new Beretta 1301 Tactical shotgun features enlarged controls, a cold hammer-forged, back-bored barrel, and Beretta's integrated BLINK gas operatin g system with a cross tube gas piston that allows for 36% faster cycling than its competition.

11. JTS M12AKT1
Guncritic Certified 0%


Semi-Auto AK-style 12 GA shotgun, chambers 2 ¾” and 3” shells, Aluminum forearm, Picatinny rail, 4-position gas system, Chrome lined barrel, two 5 round magazines, Fits Rem Choke tubes.

Panzer Arms BP-12
12. Panzer Arms BP-12
Guncritic Certified 0%


Panzer Arms BP-12 Bullpup Shotgun 12ga, is the newest shotgun offered by Panzer Arms of Turkey. It is very similar to the Panzer Arms AR-12, and the controls are completely ambidextrous. The BP-12 comes with two 5 round magazines, removable angled forward grip, flip up sights, and a cleaning kit. There are picatinny rails along the top of the receiver and on the sides and bottom of the handguard. To allow for easy mounting of optics or accessories. This bullpup shotgun has a top AR-15 style charging handle to accommodate both left and right handed shooters. It also has a side charging handle for right handed shooters.

Standard Manufacturing DP-12
13. Standard Manufacturing DP-12
Guncritic Certified 95%


Product Description Standard Manufacturing Company, DP-12, Pump, 12Gauge, 3" Chamber, 18.875" Double Barrel, 10Rd, Black Finish Product Specifications UPC Code: 854581007169 Manufacturer: Standard Manufacturing Company Manufacturer Part #: DP-12CA Model: DP-12 Action: Pump Caliber: 12Ga 3" Barrel Length: 18.875" Finish/Color: Black Grips/Stock: Fixed Capacity: 10Rd

Ithaca M37 Home Defense
14. Ithaca M37 Home Defense
Guncritic Certified 0%


Pump Action 12 Gauge 18" Barrel 5 Round Capacity Synthetic Stock Breacher

Mossberg 590 Shockwave
15. Mossberg 590 Shockwave
Guncritic Certified 98%


The Shockwave Raptor bird’s head pistol grip is uniquely shaped to minimize felt recoil. Includes all the features that have made Mossberg pump-action the choice for millions worldwide: ambidextrous safety, dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, and a smooth operating anti-jam elevator.