Searching for the best home defense shotgun to keep you and your family safe? In today’s world, you can’t be too careful. Some people might think that jail time might keep predators from entering their home unwelcomed, but those people would be wrong. Luckily, for those of us who live in the good ol’ US of A, we have the 2nd amendment that guarantees us our rights to protect our families and homes with a legally purchased firearm.
Going to the store and picking up the first shotgun and sling you find for personal defense could be a huge mistake. The shotgun you’re looking for isn’t going to work in the field or the woods. You’re not hunting turkeys or deer. You’re protecting your home. That means that you have to have the right shotgun for the job.
Instead of spending hours at the gun shop comparing shotguns that you really have no clue about, with everything from a short barrel to the stopping power, we’ve put together an easy list of the weapon out there for you. You can thank us later when you don’t waste hundreds of dollars on the wrong shotgun for your home defense.
At a Glance: Our 6 Best Home Defense Tactical Shotgun
- Remington 870 Tac-14 DM (best product overall)
- Mossberg 590M 12-Gauge
- Winchester SXP Defender
- Benelli M2 Tactical
- Mossberg 930 Watchdog (best value)
- Remington Versa Max Tactical
Table of Contents
- Consider Your Setup
- Consider Your Capabilities
- A Few Guidelines
- TOP CHOICE: Remington 870 Tac-14 DM
- Our Top 6 Product Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Consider Your Setup
I’ve seen it way too often where people buy what they think is the best home defense shotgun for their home but fail to take their actual home into consideration. The best shotgun for your apartment will not be the best shotgun for a home on a couple of acres. Going in without knowing your surroundings and circumstances could be dangerous (and a waste of money).
Living in an apartment won’t require long-distance shooting to defend your territory. In fact, you’ll most likely be shooting at close range. Shotguns with massive range and large scopes won’t be necessary.
But if you live on an acreage where you might be defending your home from four-legged visitors as well as two-legged visitors, you need a shotgun with power. Your distance will be longer and your power will need to be stronger.
You need to know what you actually need first before going shopping.
Consider Your Capabilities
I can’t stress this one enough. The truth is that shooting a shotgun is hard for some people. There’s nothing wrong with that fact, but it’s a fact. If you’re small, less active or living your best years as a retiree, getting a high-powered shotgun will probably not work for you. You’ve got to find the best shotgun that you can easily use without hurting yourself.
Never shot a shotgun before? Do not buy without testing one out first! Sometimes, we think we’re stronger than we really are. And that’s pretty awesome to have that much faith in yourself, but let me be honest. The place to think you’re stronger than you really are is not with a shotgun. You can head to a shooting range and test out different options before committing. This way, you won’t hurt yourself or someone else (obviously someone who is not the intended target).
A Few Guidelines
Simple is Better
You remember those shotguns your grandpa had in his gun cabinet when you were growing up? Remember how easily he shot it and how simple it was to use? Go with that philosophy. I can tell you one thing: simple is always better when it comes to shotguns.
Gun advertisers have a funny way of making you think the opposite, trust me. But also trust me that, when push comes to shove, you do not want to rely on a shotgun that has too many bells and whistles (that you can’t even operate). Your grandpa had the right idea: the less fuss, the better the shot.
Pump vs. Semi-Automatic
Controversy has been swirling for a while when it comes to gun safety and gun laws. And, as you probably already know, gun users who use them responsibility are all for more safety. One of the biggest controversies in the media right now is manual vs. semi-automatic weapons.
When it comes to the best home defense shotgun for you, deciding between a pump shotgun and a semi-automatic shotgun really won’t be a controversy at all. You have to pick what works best for you, not what others think is best for you.
Pump shotguns are manually pumped to get the ammunition in the chamber. Once there, the shotgun is highly reliable and very powerful. Don’t want to worry about your intruder making it out the door? A pump might be your best option.
On the flip side, semi-automatic shotguns are lighter to hold, easier to fire, and simpler all around. The power behind a semi-automatic doesn’t necessarily decrease, but to say it has the same robust nature that a pump shotgun does is not really the truth.
Deciding between a pump and semi-automatic shotgun doesn’t have to be an all-day event. Decide what’s most important to you and go with that one. That’s all that matters—the person using the shotgun should have the last say.
Avoid Too Much Noise
When I say noise, I’m not talking about the shotgun’s actual noise. What I am talking about is the fancy accessories some gun manufacturers make you think you need. Having too many gadgets and accessories on your shotgun does one thing: decreases the reliability. If you’re just looking to protect your home, you don’t need the same gun you’d need in the woods to secure dinner for the night. When in doubt, go for the lightest option you can find! It’ll be easy to get working in urgent situations.
When Versatility is Too Much
We all like to get a good bang for our buck. It’s no secret that saving money is everyone’s favorite past time, especially when it comes to bigger purchases like a home defense shotgun. Sure, we’d all like to get a shotgun that could work to protect our home and put dinner on the table. And while that’s not always a bad thing, it might mean you lose some of the qualities you need in a home defense shotgun when you use one that’s not specifically designed for defending your home.
I like versatility as much as the next person, but I also know that having the right tool in my hand when the time comes to protect my home is my top priority. Some of our choices here will boast versatility because we believe that some home defense shotguns can work for you outside of that arena. But don’t get caught up in looking for one that can go outside with you to the duck blind and sit beside your bed at night all in the same day. It’s not necessary and could actually cause you more issues in the long run than you want to face.
TOP CHOICE: Remington 870 Tac-14 DM
You may have got an idea of what to look for in a shotgun, but now you gotta find one that fits you. Because I thought you’d rather spend your time doing something you enjoy rather than searching all over creation for the best home defense shotgun (with no clue where to start), I did the searching for you.
Our Top 6 Product Reviews
Remington 870 Tac-14 DM (Best Overall Product)
If you’re looking for a highly trusted name in the gun world, Remington is it. No other gun manufacturer creates guns like Remington. One of their best models on the market is the pump-action shotgun used for home defense. What you can’t do is go wrong with a Remington 870 Tac to keep you and your family safe.
- Reliable and safe construction
- A varied range of abilities
- Lightweight at only 7.5lbs.
- Shorter length compared to other brands (38.5 inches)
- Easy to use
- Detachable magazine
What is Everyone Saying about the Remington 870?
Customer reviews are in and the Remington holds true to its reputation. When it comes to finding the best home defense shotgun, Remington is the obvious choice. Customers particularly loved how easy it was to use and how simple the design was. While it is a pump-action shotgun, the power behind the punch is what counts. Some customers even said they liked using it for range shooting when they wanted to have a little fun. Change it up, add accessories or keep it exactly how it is—customers agree that defending your home has never been easier than with this home defense shotgun.
- Easy to use
- Great durability
- Simple and effective design
- Great value for the cost
- Quality design from a trusted manufacturer
- A tendency to jam shells in the chamber
- Not versatile in use—only ideal for home defense (barrel length is restricted to 18.5 inches)
The Remington 870 Tac is definitely a great choice for your home defense shotgun needs. Simple, effective, and easy to use.
Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars
Read our more detailed review on this Remington firearm.
After the Remington, Mossberg holds its own candle pretty nicely. Truth is most people who like a Remington like a Mossberg just as well. One thing that makes the Mossberg 590M 12-Gauge an exceptional choice for a home defense shotgun is its safety features. For home defense shotguns, you want to find something that’s lightweight and easy to use. Forget fancy tools and accessories. Go for something minimal and easy to use so that, if the time comes, you’re not left struggling to get your shotgun to work. The Mossberg 590M is a perfect solution to your home defense needs, especially when combined with good ammo.
- Lightweight at only 7.5lbs.
- Total length 39.5”
- 10-round magazine
- Pump-action shotgun
- Total round capacity = 10+1
- Anodized aluminum receiver
- Non-binding twin action bars
- Ambidextrous top-mounted safety
What Everyone is Saying about the Mossberg 590M
Customers who know how to work this powerhouse shotgun have nothing but the best compliments for the Mossberg. Putting a home defense (or any) shotgun in the wrong hands can produce deadly consequences and frustrating (and unnecessary) issues. Learn more about the Mossberg and how it operates and you won’t have another issue with feed or round firing at all. If you do experience feed issues or faulty construction, go back to where you bought it from and figure out the real problem. Customers who love the Mossberg 590M will tell you that if it’s not working, it’s probably the operator.
- Ambidextrous top-mounted safety
- Easy to use
- No extra accessories necessary
- Misfeeds can occur
- Length (can be a problem for smaller frames)
The Mossberg 590M 12-gauge is one the best home defense shotguns you can arm yourself with. Honestly, without knowing much about shotguns in general, you could operate a Mossberg 590M with ease and confidence. Knowing how to safely use your home defense shotgun could mean the difference between life or death. Don’t put that type of weight on a home defense shotgun that may or may not lean in your favor. The Mossberg 590M is a great choice to get you protected.
Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars
Check out our more detailed review on this shotgun.
Let’s talk cost efficiency, shall we? Everyone likes to save a buck here or there, right? Of course, I’m right! Money is money. But the place to skimp on your spending habits is not in the home defense shotgun department. What might sound like a good idea now, can easily turn into a deadly consequence later down the line. The good news? You can actually get a quality home defense shotgun that does exactly what you need it to do for a much lower cost than its counterparts. The Winchester SXP Defender (another really well-known gun brand for decades) costs only $339 and is top notch quality.
- Safety on the trigger guard
- Good grip with ribbed forend
- Ejects shells on its own
- Pump action
- 6-round magazine
- 12 or 20 gauge options
- Extremely lightweight at 6.5 lbs.
What Others are Saying about the Winchester SXP Defender
Knowing what others are saying about your new home defense shotgun possibility could save you hundreds of dollars (and possibly a life or two). What customers liked most about this home defense shotgun was it is ease of use and lightweight construction. If you’re searching for a shotgun that will protect you and your family, heavy shotguns are not your best option. Consider who’s going to be using it, and a heavier, more powerful shotgun could do more damage than good. Customers like that the Winchester SXP is lightweight, durable and extremely accurate.
- Extremely lightweight
- Cost efficient (without downgrading value)
- Easy to access safety
- Buckshot or rifled slugs will work
- Low impact kickback
- Low-round magazine
- Loading time
- Not intended for versatile use
You just can’t go wrong with a Winchester for your home defense shotgun desires. Trust me when I say that going lower on the price doesn’t have to mean going lower on the quality. You can (and do) get high-quality equipment that will protect you for a reasonable price.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Want top-of-the-line? The Benelli M2 Tactical Semi-automatic Shotgun is your bread and butter. The price tag is up there, but so is the performance. You do get what you pay for with this shotgun, that’s for sure. Instead of pumping your shells into the chamber each time, this semiautomatic shotgun will allow you to fire off rounds rapidly when protecting your home from intruders (human or furry). The gas-operated system (also known as ARGO in the gun world) gives you the capability to get off the rounds quickly and efficiently.
The fact that this shotgun comes with a handle option gives you peace of mind that you’re going to be using what is most comfortable for you. You can either choose a pistol grip for easier one-handed action or you can go with a full-length stock and no pistol grip. Truthfully, if you’re in the heat of the moment, the one-handed grip may be the best option for you. Know your needs and then determine which grip to go with.
- 2 grip options to choose from
- Ghost-ring sights for better accuracy
- 5’’ barrel
- Less likely to build up jam-causing grim in the barrel
- Semi-automatic operation
- 6-round magazine capacity
- 12 and 20gauge options available
What the People are Saying about Benelli M2 Tactical Shotguns?
Finding the best home defense shotgun does not mean finding the best shotgun period. Every shotgun is different and meets different needs. Sometimes, you will get lucky and find a shotgun that is versatile, but truthfully you want something geared towards protecting you if that’s really what you want to use it for. Customers have reported finding this shotgun to be very easy to use but may require the use of accessories or add-ons to give it the full effect. Protecting your home with a Benelli may not require much in the add-on department. Some of the things people want to see from a Benelli shotgun that this one doesn’t have is a larger charging handle and larger bolt release buttons. Both of these features may cause some people to experience delays during usage.
- 8lbs. (not the lightest but still relatively lightweight)
- 2 grip options
- Extended magazine available
- Very easy to maintain
- Very reliable
- Small charging handle and release buttons
- Not very easy to manipulate due to smaller features (see above)
- Great with heavy loads but not small loads
- Higher price tag
A Benelli M4 Tactical Semiautomatic is not really somewhere you can go wrong. It might be too high powered for some people—and that’s okay. Know your needs and find them. If Benelli isn’t the right fit for you because it requires a bit more knowledge and skill in the shooting department, you might want to use something with pump-action like the Benelli Nova. People who’ve used the Benelli say that it is an excellent choice for protecting your home, and if you’re skilled and practiced, the Benelli could be the next best thing since Wi-Fi in your house.
Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5 Stars
Mossberg 930 Watchdog (best value)
Coming in around $700, the Mossberg 930 Watchdog brings value and class to all things home defense. One of the best features for home defense is the 8-round magazine that allows you ease and comfort in knowing you’ll get the shot without having to reload. When it comes to home defense, the Watchdog will not fail you. The power, the ease and the straightforward design of the Mossberg 930 are exactly what you’re looking for.
- 8-round magazine
- Under 7lbs.
- 39 inches in length
- 12 or 20 gauge options
- Simple and easy to use
- Single bead sight
- Powerful punch
- Great value
What Everyone is Saying about the Mossberg 930 Watchdog
One of the biggest compliments owners of the Mossberg 930 give this home defense shotgun is its flawless operation. Buying a shotgun that jams up or doesn’t do what you need it to do when you need it done defeats the purpose of owning a gun. Protecting your home? You don’t have time to have issues, and everyone says that this shotgun will give you no issues. Other customers liked the fact that the gun was so affordable and easy to use. It meant they had peace of mind knowing they purchased a home defense shotgun that was practical for them.
- Great price for the quality
- Very easy to use
- Shortened length (only 39” total)
- Very lightweight (under 7lbs.)
- No rail for flashlight (but not necessary for proper function)
It’s obvious that you can’t go wrong with the Mossberg 930 Watchdog Semiautomatic Shotgun. If you want something that is reliable and quality build to keep you safe (without spending thousands of dollars unnecessarily), the Mossberg 930 is it. You won’t be sorry with your decision to go with this shotgun for your home protection.
Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars
If I had to pick the best home defense shotgun (without worrying about the price tag), the Remington Versa Max Tactical would be it. Splurging on the shotgun that will protect you and your family isn’t really all that terrible. The truth is that going with a Remington can never do you wrong in the long run. So, spending more now to get you a quality shotgun for your home defense needs might mean spending less later down the line. But what makes the Remington Versa Max so special is the VersaPort gas system that gives you on-time, reliable cycling each and every time. It’s a shotgun that is slightly on the large size, so it wouldn’t be great for smaller frames. But what makes it worth its weight is the sure-fire action it gives you with each and every shot.
- VersaPort gas system
- Corrosion-resistant construction
- Easy to clean
- Reduced recoil
- Versatile ammunition choices
- Cross-bolt safety
- 8-round magazine
- 2-round extension
- Oversized controls
What Everyone is Saying about the Remington Versa Max
If you want something that will protect your home and put dinner on the table, this shotgun is perfect. Hopefully, protecting your home will be less likely of an occurrence than going out into the field or on the water. However, if the time comes, having the Remington Versa Max will not disappoint. Customers who have the Remington Versa Max like the versatility, usability, and power this semiautomatic shotgun has. Even those with smaller frames say that they can use this shotgun with ease.
- Recoils nicely
- Very reliable
- Great safety features
- More expensive than other options
- Heavier and longer than other options
Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars
I really have to say that finding the real winner for the home defense shotgun roundup is easy. There are some really great options out there, and I’ve put them all here to give you easy access and help you waste less time searching. It’s obvious here, though, that we’ve got one real winner for this home defense shotgun roundup, and that is the Remington 870 Tac-14 DM. Seriously, you can’t go anywhere near wrong with this home defense shotgun. Stop wasting your time and eliminate the chance of wasting your hard-earned money, too. You’ve got the best of the best at your fingertips.
The Remington 870 Tac-14 DM is easy to use, works for almost any situation, has very few accessories and is light in weight. Remember when I said that simple is best. Well, Remington 870 Tac-14 DM is simple and effective.