My Picks for the The 5 Best Home Defense Shotguns

The author believes every home defense shotgun should be equipped with a light (Warren Wilson for TTAG)

There are plenty of articles on the “best” of this or that. Those pieces are usually written on specs alone rather than actual experience. In this case, my picks of the best home defense shotguns are based on and limited to my personal experience or that of trusted colleagues.

The Essentials

Some common attributes of a good choice in a shotgun for home defense are portability, reliability and the ability to add a light. On the topic of lights, if yours doesn’t have a length of Picatinny rail, there are light mounts available for every shotgun mentioned here.

By portability, I don’t just mean it should be a lightweight. The shotgun should be easy to negotiate in relatively close quarters. That’s why a 30-inch barreled duck gun might not be the best candidate for this role. And that’s why ~18.5-inch barrel length tactical shotguns are ideal and very much fit the bill.

Reliability means the gun functions perfectly in your hands with your chosen defensive load. A home defense situation isn’t the time to discover that the gun you’re using to protect yourself or your family may not go bang.

On a side note, it seems that a lot of people are overly-concerned about the sights on their HD shotgun.  Ghost ring sights are great, but not necessarily mandatory for self-defense in the home. I generally prefer rifle sights, but do just fine with a traditional bead front sight at across-the-room distances. Choose what works best for you.

After much consideration and a lot of lead down range, here are my picks for the 5(+) best shotguns for home defense.

The author’s Remington 870 (Warren Wilson for TTAG)

Remington 870

The Remington 870 in all its variations is one of the most popular pump shotguns in American history. I would wager that about 60% of the law enforcement market is owned by the venerable 870.

There’s an economical version of the 870 which is perfect for home defense, coincidentally named, the 870 Hardwood Home Defense. This un-bedazzled, wooden-stocked boomer’s street price is well under four bills.

For a few bucks more, it can be purchased with a six-shot magazine. That’s a lot of protection for the money.

Mossberg 590 Tactical (courtesy mossberg.com)

Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590

As is the case with Remington, Mossberg holds a large percentage of the law enforcement pump shotgun market. The Mossberg 500, 590 and 590A1 are somewhere between decent and excellent choices for defense; respectively.

The 590 has an upgraded magazine tube which allows for additional capacity. The Mossberg 590A1 is even better with a heavier barrel, metal trigger assembly and metal safety.  For even slightly higher expenditure, the home defender can have a magazine capacity of ten rounds with Mossberg’s 590M. The M uses a detachable box magazine. Of course, mo’ capacity means mo’ weight. You’ll have to decide for yourself between portability and capacity.

On the other end of the fiscal spectrum, Mossberg offers a budget-friendly shotgun in their Maverick 88 line.  These guns can be found for just over 200 bucks and have the option of an eight-round capacity.

The Maverick is essentially a Mossberg 500 Tactical without any accouterments like sling swivels. The synthetic stock won’t stir any feelings of nostalgia. The sight is a basic bead. While I haven’t seen any reliability issues with Mavericks, I also haven’t seen any of them put through a rigorous three hundred-round shooting school session. I wouldn’t expect them to be as durable as their costlier brethren and neither should you. Still, if money is tight, a Maverick might be just what you’re looking for.

One note on the Mossberg’s tang-mounted safety. It’s not wise to purchase a pistol grip-equipped shotgun with a tang safety. Engaging or disengaging the safety on a Mossberg requires the user to abandon their strong hand grip. Stick with traditional stocks when it comes to Mossbergs.

courtesy mossberg.com

Mossberg 930

Worried about short-stroking your pump gun? Among the most budget-friendly semi-automatic shotguns is the Mossberg 930 series. Street price for 930s are generally just over $500 and well worth their price.

These shotguns have what I believe to be one of the lightest recoil impulses of all semi-auto shotguns. They also, however, don’t feed light birdshot loads well until broken in. Buckshot and slugs of any power do just fine.

Benelli M2 Tactical courtesy benelli.com

Benelli M2/M4

Cycling with low brass shells is always a concern with semi-auto shotguns. This is an area where the Benelli M1 and M2 models differed. The now-discontinued M1 was somewhat finicky with lighter loads due to some technical stuff you don’t care about.

My 1999 model M1 will cycle anything all the way down to heavier birdshot. However, it does not like the combination of light loads (including buckshot) and an affixed light. It also does not function 100% with a cartridge holder like the Tacstar Side Saddle mounted to the receiver. Benelli’s M2 isn’t at all finicky. I highly recommend it for defensive use.

courtesy Beretta.com

Beretta 1301 Tactical

Beretta has always made great shotguns. The newish model 1301 is one of their best yet. Many dyed-in-the-wool pump gun types are reconsidering their stance on autos with this new offering.

This uber-quick-cycling shotgun uses Beretta’s patented BLINK system which allows for less recoil and fouling than similar platforms. Many including this guy believe the Beretta 1301 is the future of semi-automatic shotguns.

The Most Important Accessory

I mentioned some features that should be common among home defense shotguns. Here’s the final and most important feature: a well-versed and well-rehearsed owner. Too many homeowners default to a shotgun for defense out of a sense of comfort. Many folks erroneously believe they will be able to use it well under extreme stress without any practice.

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me their home defense plan was to point their bird hunting shotgun down the hallway and squeeze off errant blasts, I’d have a bunch of nickels.

Whether you prefer semi-automatic or pump action shotguns as your choice of boarder repellent, take it to the range and shoot your chosen defensive load in it. Know the pattern your gun/load combination produces from a cylinder choke at short home defense distances. And and learn to properly aim quickly and effectively.

Hardware is a critical, but it’s only part of the equation. Keeping your software current and virus-free is just as important.

comments

  1. All of THESE look like they have at least 18.5″ barrels! Which might be rather cumbersome in Older Homes with Narrow Hall spacing. And if you’re Handicapped that would be a “CON” more than being a “PRO” if your using Crutches or a Wheelchair…

    1. avatar L says:

      The 18.5″ barrels are the unfortunate consequence of retarded laws. Shotguns are still great choices though. If you want maximum maneuverability then the pistol is the way to go.

      Anyway, my opinion on the ‘vick 88 since I’ve got one: you can’t beat shotgun for $200 so for the budget it’s a great HD gun. Here’s the thing though, as the author said it is barebones and lacking attachment points. Personally I think a light is nearly mandatory for a HD gun (mine has one). If you think the same and all you have is a little over $200, the G2C is in the same price range and has a rail from the factory for a light. You can find some for low price these days too.

      1. I’m “Handicapped” and use a Crye Six12 Bullpup Shotgun…

        (http://six12.com/)

        1. avatar Trollolol says:

          You use a shotgun that hasn’t been released yet? Amazing

      2. avatar Joel says:

        I have an 88. I used electrical tape to attach my light. Work’s great. Matches my budget. 😉

        1. avatar Terrence Banbury says:

          Very much on point, man! Well said.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      The Mossberg ‘Shockwave’ :

      Mossberg

      1. Crye SIX12 Revolver Bullpup Shotgun! Can also be gotten in Modular like the M203 37mm, and used on any AR-15 type rifle with Underslung Mountings…

        1. avatar Prudiikal says:

          would rather have my ksg. the crye six isn’t bad, but i would rather have 15 rounds instead of six that im still able to fire rapidly.

        2. The only problem I have with “KSG” is that Kel-Tec makes it. Which usually means Limited Production Times and being on a Waiting List…

        3. avatar Trollolol says:

          Yeah its a cool gun, but it hasn’t been released yet, and the website you link too says exactly that.

        4. avatar Robert Fory says:

          Six12 was at shotshow 2017. Not that I will be buying an $1800 shotgun.

        5. Where specifically in my comment did I say that I owned the Same Model as that that was posted in the Website. I have a Modular Crye SIX12, which can be equipped with an Attachable Polymer Stock. Crye has be SELLING the SIX12 since at least 2014…

        6. avatar Trollolol says:

          No it’s not, you’re lying.

        7. @ Trollolol.

          Next time look it up yourself, or are just too “F^&#ing” Lazy…

          (https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/01/17/crye-six12-update-shot-2017/)

        8. avatar Trollolol says:

          Yep and they missed the Q4 release in 2017 Q4. Not a single Crye shotgun has been sold on the open market.

          You’re a liar.

          Ask me how I know… Or better yet ask me the theme of this year’s Crye party…

        9. @ Trollolol.

          You are aware that Crye is under New Management now Right, “Vantage Arms”. But then again not, considering you don’t do your own Fact Checking…

        10. avatar Trollolol says:

          Caleb Crye owns both Vantage Arms and Crye, and that gun has never been sold to civilians and you’re a liar.

        11. I never claim to be a Civilian, in ANY of my Posting. If you can find out by reading any of my comments where I made such a claim, then you have something to Crow About…

        12. avatar Trollolol says:

          Lol so you are a commando whos handicap?

          The guns haven’t been sold. You are a liar. Pound sand.

          There could be a million ways to prove you own one but,you can’t cause you don’t.

          Lets just shoot an email to Crye real quick and find out some sales data?

        13. I don’t recall, that there’s a regulation within the US Government that an Law Enforcement Officer couldn’t be Disabled too…

        14. avatar Trollolol says:

          Leo’s are civilians you lying liar. You don’t have a six12 because they aren’t for sale.

        15. US Government has preferential treatment for Expatriated Military, including Disabled Veterans. Especially those with Law Enforcement knowledge. Disabilities take on many forms, including that of being Mobility Impaired. It’s hard to Fake Injury day-after-day when your not disabled, quite easy when you are disabled…

        16. avatar Trollolol says:

          None of that has anything to do with you lying about having a shotgun thats not on the market.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        It might be close to perfect for a house gun. Maybe a car gun, also. Range toy, for sure.

        mutter, mutter, friggin’ california mutter, mutter.

      3. avatar frank speak says:

        “Shockwave”…and the like… make the perfect choice…even a “Judge” [pistol?] should be in the mix!…

        1. avatar Artie says:

          Shockwave with Streamlight Tlr-2 HL G.

        2. avatar Marcia Mason says:

          When you think about home defense, consider the physical abilities of an older person, handicapped, or just a less athletic woman. The Judge is a heavy item, and the Rossi equivalent shotgun is heavier. I don’t recommend, and wouldn’t buy, for myself.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      right!…when it comes to shotguns…the shorter the better!….

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        …and the same thing applies to the shotgun shells…a little rubber plug and those minis work just fine…

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I’ve owned the plug for a year, finally found the minishells last week.

  2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Carried a Scatter Gun Technologies 870 because I was required to have a shotgun. Almost never deployed it. Always went to rifle. Sold it as soon as I retired. Shotguns are for shooting birds. Which I enjoy. Looking for a nice stack barrel in 20 now. Anyone got something they would let go of?

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Short barreled shotguns are ideal for shooting sh*tbirds. Fuggitaboudt doubles for home defense use. Buy your 870 back and be happy.

  3. avatar John Butler says:

    You’ve over looked the Winchester SXP Defender with an 18” barrel. I have a 20 gauge which is more appropriate for my wife to use.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      Honestly, for in home defense distances (assuming you don’t live in some huge mansion at least) ,a 20 gauge would suit 95% of everyone better.

  4. avatar Just some guy says:

    I think the best choice of shotgun for home defense is to not buy one and get something like an ar9 “pistol” or a cz scorpion and slap a light on that baby. Easier to control, actually useful with one hand. Way better capacity and easier on the ears

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      The noise from firing inside isn’t as bad as you would think in a FURNISHED home. Carpets,drapes and other soft surfaces soak up a bunch of it. A shoot house or empty tract house? Yeah, they suck.

    2. avatar Jim Perry says:

      I agree that a shotgun is not ideal for everybody. My go to is my Glock 20 with a Viridian laser/light combo. That being said, I also have an 870 Marine Magnum w/light, and that is my wife’s go to. She ain’t a pistol kind of gal.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      A shotgun. For when you live in CA.

    4. avatar burley says:

      A completely predictable list, with no surprises.
      Inside your own home and out, the 12 gauge is the winner takes all of close range defense caliber. George Ellifritz agrees with me and did his own thorough research:
      https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “Ghost ring sights are great, but not necessarily mandatory for self-defense in the home. I generally prefer rifle sights…”

    [Sigh]

    If you don’t shotgun, then don’t profess to teach people how to shotgun.

    If you’re a shotgunner, then you understand the beauty of using such a tool for defensive purposes. Eyes on the target (which is instinctive when faced with a threat), and let the gun point naturally. If you can use this technique to blast a flying bird or clay target fifty yards away, you can sure enough use it to neutralize a two-legged predator.

    If you’re not a shotgunner, you would seriously be better off with an AR-15.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Clay birds at 50 yards!? Wow! I want some of those loads the next time I go to my duck blind. Can you enlighten me?

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        Rifled slugs.

        The marksmanship is up to *you*… 😉

        1. avatar L says:

          Not only impressive, but also convenient if you’re not feeling too hungry one day and only feel like eating half a duck :thinking:.

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        I’ll use ATA trap shooting as an example.
        The shooter stands 16 to 27 yards behind the trap house.
        The targets are thrown from the trap house, away from the shooter, at a velocity of roughly 55 miles per hour or 27 yards per second.
        If a shooter fires from the 27 yard line, 1 second after the target is thrown (which is reasonable), the target will be roughly 50 yards away from the shooter at that point (depending on the angles).
        Shooting doubles trap, the second shot will likely be closer to 2 seconds after the target is thrown, and the distance much greater than 50 yards from the shooter.
        On a level trap field, the target flight distance should be around 50 yards from the trap house.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          The target loads used for trap typically contain 1 1/8 ounces of #7 1/2 shot and exit the barrel at 1,250 to 1,300 feet per second.

          Except for the guys who reload #6 shot into hulls marked #7 1/2.
          [Snicker]

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      it’s all about intimidation…from the appearance…to the sound a pump makes…even hung a laser on mine…all in the hopes you’ll never actually have to use it!…..

    3. avatar Trollolol says:

      I’m a shotgunner and ghost ring sights are great, but they are not necessary for home defense range. They are great for when the fight is outside of 5-10 yards, but inside the home it doesn’t make a difference.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    Eh I never shoot my Maverick88. I’d grab my handgun(s)1st. And my AR15 when I’m up to speed(light’s,sights and competence). I recognize it ain’t perfect…

  7. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    http://www.cdnn.com has Weatherby PA08 12 & 20 gage pump guns for $179.00, that’s a great deal on a nice Turkish made pump gun.

    1. avatar L says:

      So which is it? Nice? Or Turkish made?

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        You can’t have both ‘nice’ and ‘Turkish made’.

        1. avatar Salty says:

          Looooooolz winning! Soft, mystery metal. From terrorist who want to kill you. No thanks!

  8. avatar Mark says:

    1. SEMI AUTO: 1301 TACTICAL
    2. PUMP: 590A1

    that’s all you need. Current production 870 models are GARBAGE. If you get an 870, get an old police model.

  9. avatar Wally1 says:

    My personal opinion, stay away from a semi auto shotgun for home defense, have seen too many at the range have feed or extract issues. Any pump will do. Hard to beat a old 870 or mossy 500. In any gunfight, reliability is king. And why have a light, you know your house, they don’t. To me a light makes no sense other than making you a bright target. Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

    1. avatar L says:

      Have you ever taken a tac light and shone it at yourself in the mirror?

      1. avatar patrulje says:

        Yep, room clearing and came around the corner into a full length mirror, had to fall back and let someone lead until my vision cleared.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      something about that “ka-thunk” sound in the dark!….

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        you’re not supposed to drop it.

    3. avatar Dr. Doubltap says:

      Love my Ithaca model 37s! Have one with a stock and one with a pistol grip. Slam fire goodness…. Oh yes!

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I know my house, I’m not so sure about him since it might be my son. I could find out just by shooting and then turning on the lights, but I think I’d rather have a light. BUT!! As my son pointed out to me the other day, I have owned and carried around the world with me for near 40 years a system which turns on lights in every room at the press of a button which can also be present in every room. I’d bet a basic setup today wouldn’t cost $150. Gonna move? Take it with you. Goggle X-10 and bypass all the shit about home security systems until you get to lighting.

  10. avatar SkorpionFan says:

    Any opinions on putting recoil-reducing stocks on these pump home defense shotguns? The Blackhawk Knoxx SpecOps Gen III Stock claims to reduces felt recoil by up to 80% on a Mossberg 500 and a Remington 870.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Any opinions on putting recoil-reducing stocks on these pump home defense shotguns?”

      Hey, Dan Z. –

      A shotgun and heavy-caliber rifle recoil pad ‘shootout’ would be another *excellent* TTAG article, in my opinion…

    2. avatar BASHer says:

      I am presently running a Blackhawk Knoxx SpecOps Gen II on a Mossberg 500 at work. The gun has a ported barrel which is having some effect but between that, the recoil pad on the stock, and the stock itself your arms would get tired from keeping the barrel up shooting clays before your shoulder got sore. It makes a significant reduction in felt recoil and I recommend it.

      Three minor quibbles. 1. Forearm furniture took a fair amount of hand fitting with a dremel to before it could be used. 2. The part by the pistol grip is effectively over molded and makes reaching the slide release more difficult. 3. If you have a good cheek weld there is an annoying vibration when firing. Wrapping the stock with a thin layer of neoprene like a mouse pad remedies this.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      SkorpionFan,

      I don’t have any experience with the Blackhawk Knoxx SpecOps Gen III Stock so I cannot comment on that. I DO have experience with LimbSaver recoil pads on 20 gauge shotguns and I can tell you that they make a big, positive difference.

      In particular I purchased a youth model pump-action shotgun which means the butt stock (as it comes from the factory) is too short — that is until you add the LimbSaver recoil pad which increases the length-of-pull just right. That is a nice shooting platform.

      Pro-tip: youth model shotguns also come with shorter barrels which makes them perfect for home defense when you add a LimbSaver recoil pad.

    4. avatar Josh says:

      I have a Benelli SuperNova with the ComforTech stock and it makes a huge difference.

  11. avatar Yarbles says:

    I’ll take my AR-15 SBR (once again, stupid laws) any day over a shotgun for just about anything defense.

    With the right ammo and a suppressor, CAN’T BE BEATEN!

    1. Why not just mount a Swivel Gun with a 35mm Bore and loaded with a Canister Fragmentation Round attached to a Trip Wire between the Bedrooms and the Foyer. And let the County Coroner figure out what happened in the Failed Burglary attempt…

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I’ve just recently brought the .300 suppressed SBR out, and it ain’t for defense against the 2-legged critters which are rare around here. The coyotes are getting so they’re raising hell many mornings, and some neighbors have reported missing cats. So it’s handy, second floor shooting down with very expensive subsonics should work real fine if the opportunity presents itself.

  12. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I guessed 4/5 without reading the article.

    I still like an Ithaca.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      ditto.

  13. avatar Hannibal says:

    I remember when it was common knowledge that a shotgun was the best home defense tool. Now, while there’s probably nothing more intimidating than a racking shotgun, there are probably a lot of better general options.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Only argument I have is if you live in a state like CA. Where I live. We have mag limits and the best of the rifles for home defense, like the ar15, are pretty much neutered here.

      A shotgun makes a good house weapon under those conditions. Now if I lived some place that allowed it I would want some form of ebr with 30 round mag to back my shotgun up.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      depends what you’re up against…still the best solution to a quick resolution!…

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        …..and more prosecutor friendly….

  14. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Guys. Rifles. Rifles. Rifles. Always Rifles. If you need a rifle anything else is a poor substitute. Try it. See how it works for you.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      You have obviously never seen a 00 buck shotgun wound to the body at spitting distances (like within a home). Makes any rifle wound look like a scratch (aka a poor substitute).

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Yes I have. First deer I killed was a load of 00 buckshot. The pattern was about the size of my fist. He was close. Years later. Working homicides. Attending autopsies. Seen lots of shotgun wounds. Rifle. Rifle. Rifle. Always a rifle. Shotguns are for bird hunting.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          especially if the bad guy(s) are wearing body armor…some do, you know….

      2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Clark, just how many spitting distance shotgun wounds have you seen? I remember one where the victim was shot just in front of the ear and just below the sideburn. The brain hit the bedroom wall. The head reminded me of a deflated soccer ball. On the other hand, I worked a 7-08 verses head. There was no head. Just a stump. Rifle. Rifle. Rifle.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          It was a 16 gauge double. High brass bird shot. She had just smoked the last rock. Pissed him off.

        2. avatar Jon says:

          I’m not trying to split hairs here. You seem like you have significant experience with gunshot wounds. It seems that both cases you mentioned produced the desired effect, a very dead person. Some brain left vs no brain left still equals dead.

          However, a head wound is different than a center mass wound. While I’ve never seen close range medium caliber rifle head shots, I’ve seen a fair quantity of torso wounds at 50 yards or less with 7.62×51 as well as a few buckshot torso wounds at 20ft. I’d definitely choose the scattergun at distances less than 50ft, rifle for anything greater.

        3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Jon, that’s my point. You don’t always get to choose the circumstances. Rifles work well up close and at distance. Shotguns have very narrow window of usefulness. Shotguns are for dove, duck, quail and turkey. Rifle. Rifle. Rifle.

      3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Clark, sorry I dropped out for a minute. How many of those close range shotgun wounds did you say you had seen?

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Clark, it’s awfully quite out there. We are all waiting to hear about all those close range shotgun wounds you have seen. Maybe you can come to Tallahassee. We could compare all of those you’ve seen to the autopsies I’ve attended. Grab a bite and a beer after. Autopsies always make me hungry. Or, maybe you should sit back in your recliner. Rifle. Rifle. Rifle. Anything else is a poor substitute.

  15. avatar The Grey Man says:

    I have a 30 year old Winchester 1300 Defender in 12 gauge with a Streamlight… Smooth as silk with PDX1’s…. That oughta do it!!!

  16. avatar GS650G says:

    I have 0 problems with my M1. Maybe yours had an issue unique to it.

  17. avatar Richard Cutie says:

    I know that none of the gun guys give this shotgun much credit but I am very pleased with the Mossberg SA 20 Tactical 20guage. It’s semi auto with ghost ring sites and top rail and tri rail on foregrip. It’s very reliable and very handy and my wife can handle it without fear or problems. Just my opinion. Best Regards

  18. avatar Rimfire says:

    Agree with the Winchester and even the Weatherby choices by the readers! Great guns and good values!.

    1. avatar John Butler says:

      Yup! You can’t beat the Winchester SXP Defender short-barreled 20 gauge as my wife can handle too.

  19. The C-More Sys M26 Straight Pull Action Short-Shorty is also a nice Compact Shotgun with 5 round Magazine, but a bit pricey starting at ~$1,600.00…

    (https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/02/16/the-c-more-m26-may-be-available-to-civilians/)

  20. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

    I wouldn’t expect them to be as durable as their costlier brethren and neither should you.

    Unless you’ve owned one for 20 years and have put thousands of shells through it in that time, like I have. It’s quite literally a 500 with fewer bells and whistles; why would you expect it be any less durable?

  21. avatar Widdler says:

    With no budget, whatever you want. On a budget, Mav 88 will do just fine. Get it for $200 and shoot the hell out of it, then decide if you want to add goodies or not. Even fully tac’d out I think your still In it less than the benelli or beretta, the “B” stands for BUCK$$$

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      those last two are for those with “big bucks budgets”…like the federal reserve…when I worked for the army the mossberg worked just fine…with or without the pistol grip…

  22. avatar Web1350 says:

    My choice would be a Standard DP-12. I didn’t expect it to be listed because it isn’t well-known and a little pricey, but it’ll handle an entire mob should they break in. Once you run out of the 16-18 rounds out of this double barrel pump, stiletto choke extensions can take over should you have them on

    1. avatar Trollolol says:

      I’m not sure how the gun runs now, but when the DP-12 was released it was garbage with lots of issues. Additionally, its a big heavy gun that loses a lot of the strengths of the shotgun due to it’s weight.

      1. avatar Web1350 says:

        I never heard that. Mine is fine. As you said, it is heavy but it allows you to stay on target and it’s not something I plan on using outside of the home except maybe to crack off a few at the range.

      2. avatar Web1350 says:

        As I said before, I have never heard of any complaints of the weapon being garbage. But, to be sure, I have since checked several websites as well as reviews from different individuals and found that NOT TO BE THE CASE!!! In fact, each of them had positive comments. Any negative comments usually referred to its weight, which I alluded to in my initial post, and getting used to firing both barrels before pumping in the next two rounds. If you did read somewhere, that this weapon is garbage, I’d like to read it. It would be my thought that it is just like any review of any product, you can’t make everybody happy and theres always someone that likes to complain about something

        1. avatar Trollolol says:

          The shop I work at sold 2 of the 4 we had and they were both brought in by the customers complaining of constant failures to cycle and the pump hanging up as well as failures to eject. We sent those back for repair and then took the other two out to the range and had similar issues. They seem to only run when manhandled with real force and they had to be run perfectly horizontal if you lowered the muzzle the gun failed to feed.

          Eventually, we received the 4 back in good working order but stopped carrying them after that.

        2. avatar Web1350 says:

          Sounds like maybe a bad “run” at the factory. I know some pumps like to be racked somewhat roughly but that’s obviously unacceptable. That’s the first and only time I’ve heard of problems. One, here and there, isn’t uncommon, but 2 of 4 is really odd

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Web, you miscounted, his testimony was *4* out of 4.

        4. avatar Web1350 says:

          As I said, must be been a bad run because I’ve never heard of any problems outside of what would be considered normal. Zero!!!

      3. avatar Michael says:

        Last I heard the DP-12 was selling for around $1099.99, and that was as of December 2018…

        1. avatar John McDonald says:

          When I first got my KSG I gave it a thorough cleaning and oiling, including the feed tubes, which had a bunch of gunk on the inside walls. I also replaced the plastic followers with stainless ones, since I’d heard the plastic ones could be a problem. I then spent a couple of hours practicing loading and feeding using 12ga snap caps. Since then I’ve put close to 1000 rounds through it with no FTFs.

        2. avatar Michael says:

          “Standard” who manufactures the DP-12 for “Cheaper Than Dirt”, also produces a Short-Shorty with a detachable Magazine for around $699.00 called the SKO Mini, which has an 14.75 inch barrel…

        3. avatar Salty says:

          Standard customer service sucks. And csspecs seems to think that Turkish mag design is subject to rim lock. Veprs n Saigas for me thanks!!

        4. avatar Michael says:

          All I need to do is purchase the weapon! Any modifications or part replacements I can do myself…

  23. avatar Ted Shaver says:

    Maverick model 88 made by mossberg

    1. avatar 22winmag says:

      In Mexico

      1. avatar Widdler says:

        And assembled in texas. Yeah there’s a lot going on there, but it works.

  24. avatar Burner says:

    Vepr/saiga 12 running buckshot is an unstoppable force

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ….it’s a piece of pipe!…all that matters is if it works….

  25. avatar Derfel Cadarn says:

    A home defense weapon has THREE requirements to be the best 1)You have it 2)It goes off every time the trigger is pulled and lastly 3) You shoot it well.. All other considerations are personal choices. Firearms regardless of what the bloviating “experts” babble on about are not one size fits all. The true stopping power of any firearm is contingent upon a well.placed shot. Better three hits with a 22 than amiss with any other caliber.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      Very good advice.
      Numbers 2 and 3 require time at the range. Simply being t here, while important, does no good if you don’t know how to use it.
      No matter what you choose – rifle, pistol, shotgun – it’s gonna be useless if you try to use it and it just goes *click* when you expected it to go *BANG*. Range time is a must.
      Practice does more than just familiarizing you with the controls. It also give you ‘muscle memory’ so that when the adrenaline is flowing, you still know how to use the gun you choose.
      My choice is a Mossberg 500 in 20″ barrel length. It simply does not malfunction, and I manage to never short-stroke it. Range time does get more expensive than shooting a 9mm pistol (per shot – I shoot the 9 a lot more than the 500), but it’s also far more effective at HD distances. Thankfully, I’ve only had to use it once in that role, but no shots were fired.

  26. avatar 22winmag says:

    Norinco sawn-off.

    Repeat after me: sawn-off, not sawed-off!

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      No…..its a sawed-off ahotgun.

      You can’t stop the tide.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Made in China is better than made in Mexico?

  27. avatar UncleK says:

    The one drawback with shotguns is, it takes 2 hands to operate it.

  28. avatar Forrestt C. says:

    Picked up a Stevens 320 for less then 2 bills. Handled better than the 870 sitting next to it on the shelf. Don’t care if it’s Chinese, it does what it’s supposed to. Kicks a bit, but that’s just part of the fun…

  29. avatar John McDonald says:

    +1 for the Kel-Tec KSG. One significant advantage for home defense is its switchable feed tubes. If you live in a state where you’re more likely to go to jail for shooting an intruder than the intruder is you can load one tube with rubber buckshot and the other with lead buckshot. If a couple of rounds of rubber don’t deter them you can switch to lead and you might have a better case for ‘I tried non-lethal but they still kept coming’.

  30. avatar J. Justiss says:

    No doubt that modern options are superior for the task described here. However, I am fully satisfied with my Granddad’s 1923 year production Model 12 with number 4 buckshot. Racking the slide on her is very intimidating all by itself.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I would hate to see a family heirloom, or any model 12, go into a police evidence locker.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        While I appreciate the concept, if I ever planned to actually use a defensive weapon, my choices would essentially ALL change. Most everything I own is for fun with an understood “oh, shit” possibility. When it’s needed, if you wish to consider its value, then it’s not needed.

  31. avatar Jeff says:

    Now go find me one that comes from the factory with an 18-20″ barrel and screw-in chokes that doesn’t cost over a grand.

  32. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Since the title is about home defense shotguns. Then I suggest the Taurus Judge revolver. 410 caliber five rounds. A variety of loads available. Or the Smith & Wesson Governor revolver, also in 410 but six rounds available.

    The short distances inside a house and narrow hallways make having a hand-shotgun, I think a good tactical choice.

    Most shotgun tube magazines are five or six rounds. So having a governor or a judge you’re not losing in ammunition capacity by comparison.

    It takes two hands and you have to be standing in order to operate a shotgun.
    That’s not the case with a judge or a governor.
    This makes it a lot easier to hide in a closet with a gun if that’s what you’re going to do, when your home is invaded.

    I’ve seen the sheetrock tests done using 410 caliber weapons. They leave a very nice 2 inch plus size diameter hole in the walls. That will stop any home invader, DRT.

    The governor is about $599. You can buy a judge for less than half of that.

  33. avatar Marcia Mason says:

    This article is missing some valuable information. Users will not all be surly men. The weight of the gun should be mentioned, the trigger pull, length of stroke of the pump, if it’s available in a youth version for shorter-armed people, recoil delivery, & price. Folks won’t pay high dollar for a home defense weapon that just has to work.
    To this list, please add the Winchester Defender (pump) and it’s variants, it is very light and has a crisp trigger, comes in Youth size, and is very affordable. Bug ugly but it delivers.
    The Benelli m2/m3/m4 is miserable heavy and expensive. So are the Mossberg 500/590 series. Hettie Lange from NCIS called it “a bitch.”

  34. avatar Icabod says:

    Who here would meet a home invasion with an empty chamber? The tag about the “sound of a pumping shotgun” shows gross ignorance. Imagine, you get ready to rack a round into the chamber and realize the bad guy got to you first. When to chamber a round, you announce both your location and weapon.
    How about some editing?

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email