best shotgun for home defense

Best Shotgun For Home Defense: Top 9 Picks Reviewed In 2024

There are overwhelming shotgun options in the market today. Frankly, not all shotguns suit home defense applications because there are options for hunting and other purposes. That’s why it is important to choose right. After all, hunting shotguns are designed differently and can be more pricey.

Lucky for you, there’s no need to search for the best shotgun for home defense yourself since this guide has compiled the best shotguns that are highly reliable for the said application. Protect your home better than before. Let’s see the best home defense shotguns below.

Shotguns look highly intimidating, which makes them the ultimate home defender. Intruders will certainly think twice about doing bad when they see that homeowners have shotguns that can definitely defend themselves. Besides having a tough look that can shoo away intruders, shotguns are simple and easy to use with great accuracy advantage. That’s why there’s no wonder why they are well-known ideal home-defense guns. So, it is great for every homeowner to have the best shotgun for home defense. 

Ideally, home is everyone’s best place. This is the very reason it is highly important to have a weapon to trust for defense. The best enemies are criminals and home invaders, and it is a good thing that many studies prove that shotguns are intimidating enough to make them flee or surrender. If you are still not convinced that shotguns are worth investing in for home defense applications, there’s nothing to feel bothered about because this guide can surely help you realize that shotguns are really a great option for home defense. 

So, let’s roll. 

home defense shotgun

Why Shotguns Are a Great Option for Home Defense?

The primary reason why shotguns are a great option for home defense is that they suit well for the applications. In fact, they tend to be more accurate compared to other firearms, such as handguns and ARs. Since shotguns are built to be robust and easy to operate, they can surely function reliably under the worst conditions. 

Additionally, shotguns are fit for home defense situations thanks to their strengths. Here are the best strengths, which make them great: 

Intimidation Advantage 

One of the most obvious strengths of shotguns is them having the best intimidation advantage. Impressively, this strength is already considered a great power. Thanks to their intimidating looks, shotguns can make home intruders surrender or be apprehended with little or no resistance. 

Superior Stopping Power

Aside from their intimidation advantage, shotguns also boast superior stopping power. Ideally, they have a high chance of creating wounds and hitting vital areas. Very few home invaders and attackers remain standing after a single, well-placed hit. That’s why it is no surprise that many attackers flee more often when they know their prospective victim has a shotgun for home defense. 

Interruptible Reloads

Truth be told, some firearms tend to take time when it comes to reloading. While reloading only takes a moment, this can leave you defenseless in times of need. This is why home defense shotguns are go-to companions in protecting the home because they can be reloaded whenever you have a spare moment. Therefore, they won’t be incapable in terms of protection and security. 

Projectile Spread and Low Penetration 

Generally, home defense shotguns can produce basketball-sized wound patterns if shot only a few feet away. There is also a high chance that these firearms can even hit multiple targets with a single shot. Well, shotgun pellets do spread, which is considered a good tactical advantage at short range.  

In addition, shotguns mostly perform with low penetration. It is a great strength since they can have enough power to stop most attackers in a single shot but not too powerful to penetrate a home’s exterior wall. Thus, they are surely ideal for home defense applications. 

shotgun for home defense

9 Best Shotguns For Home Defense

There are overwhelming shotgun options in the market today. Frankly, not all shotguns suit home defense applications because there are options for hunting and other purposes. That’s why it is important to choose right. After all, hunting shotguns are designed differently and can be more pricey. 

Lucky for you, there’s no need to search for the best shotgun for home defense yourself since this guide has compiled the best shotguns that are highly reliable for the said application. Protect your home better than before. Let’s see the best home defense shotguns below. 

1. Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun

Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun

Starting the best shotgun for home defense list is the Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun. What makes it worth buying is that it is an ultra-reliable shotgun that is purposely designed to work best in law enforcement applications and home defense. As it is equipped with a protected front sight and a ghost ring rear sight, it ensures rapid target acquisition. Therefore, you will find it rare to fail when it comes to defending your home. Plus, it can withstand well in rugged environments, so failure and vulnerability are not part of it. 

In terms of construction, this home defense shotgun is made from corrosion-proof polymer over-molded on a skeleton framework. This framework forms a single-piece receiver and buttstock that have unsurpassed strength and weather resistance. Additionally, it has all metal parts protected by a non-glare, anti-corrosive finish. All in all, its construction really hints that it has adequate durability and toughness that unquestionably hold up to rugged environments and use. 

Moreover, this tactical pump-action shotgun features a short barrel and a fixed cylinder choke, making it ideal for fast work at close range. It also comes with a polymer forend that pushes a rotary-head bolt back with dual-action bars. Meanwhile, the included aggressive ribbing offers a secure hold while cycling the action for easier operation. Of course, it will not make you defenseless during times of need because it has a magazine disconnect button on the bottom of the forend. This feature allows quick chamber unloading and the fast load of another round via the ejection port. 

Definitely, this shotgun for home defense is built with fast operation and disassembly. With its quality, it can perform well and handles all 2-3/4″, 3″, and 3-1/2″ ammunition. What makes it more worth it is being equipped with integrated sling attachments and a recoil pad. There is great value for money. From having exceptional ergonomics, reliable performance, durability, quality, and ease of use, it will be comfortable to have this shotgun as a companion in protecting your home against attackers. 

2. Winchester SXP Extreme Defender FDE Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun

Winchester SXP Extreme Defender FDE Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun

Sporting great looks that hint it is well-built with functional features, the Winchester SXP Extreme Defender FDE Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun is purposely designed to work well at home defense applications and tactical duties. Much more amazing, it also fits seasoned shooters. With this purpose, you will not be surprised to know that it has everything to intimidate home attackers and intruders. Absolutely, it is a stellar and stunning shotgun that can get the job done. 

Moreover, this shotgun boasts smooth and fast firing, which is good for superior home defense and tactical performance. Features like the rotary bolt and inertia-assisted action make sure of rapid follow-up shots, so there will be a lesser chance that the attackers can do bad to your home and loved ones. You can count on its shooting performance and intimidating looks so you can have peace of mind. That sounds like great perks, right? 

Like other best home defense shotguns, this one is easy and solid to operate. The four massive lugs on the bolt deliver incredible strength with a solid lockup, while the dual steel slide bars effectively eliminate twisting and binding when cycling the action. Thanks to this operation, this shotgun is absolutely a firearm to trust for ultimate home defense and protection. There’s nothing to hesitate about when it comes to being well-prepared against home intruders.  

Typically, home attackers work at night. Good thing this pump-action shotgun is designed with a non-glare, FDE finish that does not catch any attention. In fact, it won’t give your position away at night so that you can strategize to defend your home. You can even surprise an attacker if you are fully ready. The heat shield, on the flip side, is added to fully protect your hands from burns during the confusion of a home defense scenario. Therefore, you can focus on what’s important, your defense. 

While this Winchester SXP Extreme Defender FDE Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun doesn’t cost much, it is amazingly jam-packed with functional features that improve reliability and performance. For instance, it comes with a Door Breacher choke that permits you to go on the offensive and blast through door locks if an emergency happens. Therefore, you will succeed on the defense. Ultimately, it is also equipped with a combined blade front sight and ghost ring rear sight that ensure rapid target acquisition. 

In terms of customization, this shotgun incorporates a top-mounted 1913 Picatinny rail together with two side-mounted rails that allow you to attach aftermarket flashlights, optics, and other rail-mounted accessories. You can customize this how you want to fit its performance according to the level of home defense you need. The 2 interchangeable comb pieces and two .25″ spacers serve as a custom fit booster, enhancing handling and versatility. Besides that, you can also be impressed it has an Inflex Technology recoil pad that effectively mitigates recoil. 

Jam-packed with every functional feature that boosts reliability and quality, this tactical pump-action shotgun has a decent price. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with choosing this one as you count on it for a solid defense. 

3. Remington Model 870 Express Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun

Remington Model 870 Express Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun

Searching for a versatile shotgun that you can use besides home defense applications? If that’s the case, the Remington Model 870 Express Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun fits the bill. Given that it has the most proven firearm designs in history, it works well with tactical shooting and hunting. More than that, it is a versatile shotgun that will cost you much more than other high-quality shotguns. So if you want to gear up yourself with a reliable firearm you can use for different applications, this is the obvious choice. 

When it comes to construction, this shotgun features an 18-1/2″ barrel with a fixed cylinder choke. This barrel provides optimum performance with buckshot and slugs at close range, so it really suits home defense use. Specifically built with a receiver milled from a solid billet of steel that adds maximum strength to the firearm, it does not look and feel cheap at all. The twin action bars effectively prevent binding and twisting while cycling the action for better operation. Another highlight that you will like is that it boasts great pointing characteristics. 

Moreover, this Remington Model 870 is complete with virtually indestructible black synthetic stock and fore-end that are practically impervious to water and damage. It also has a non-reflective matte black, bead-blasted finish on the receiver and barrel. If you are thinking of hunting with this shotgun, you don’t have to feel bothered when carrying it. With its sling swivel studs, you can attach a sling for free-hand carry. It will be convenient to make it your hunting companion as it is not that heavy at 7.5 lbs.

One thing is certain with this shotgun—Remington put everything in this Model 870 Express Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun, including a highly durable rubber recoil pad that dampens the amount of recoil. The pad effectively helps to stay focused on the target for fast follow-up shots. This is a great advantage for home defense and hunting. Overall, this is a top-notch, versatile shotgun, perfect if you don’t have much of a budget. It is a solid firearm with smooth performance that you will be thrilled to experience. 

4. CZ 612 Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun

CZ 612 Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun

The CZ 612 Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun is the ideal lightweight and budget-friendly choice you can find in the market. While it is not that fancy compared to other more pricey home defense shotguns, you can still trust that it can get the job done. You can still count on this shotgun when it comes to strengthening the defense and protection of your home. Basically, it still has great value for money.  

This firearm is intentionally built as a no-nonsense 12-gauge shotgun that is always ready for several applications besides home defense. These include shooting clays and hunting birds. With its 18.5″ barrel, it can produce smooth shots for good performance that can help you with your intention. To be specific, it is equipped with a cylinder-bore barrel that delivers tight, uniform shot patterns downrange. Combined with great shooting skills, you can be impressed with this. 

Even though this CZ 612 Home Defense Shotgun is in the budget-friendly range by shotgun standards, it will not disappoint you with its construction and performance. In fact, it is designed with a strong, synthetic stock for easy handling. Together with the easy-to-use cross-bolt safety feature, it can be the perfect shotgun for its purpose. It appears to be well-made that shoots greatly at a bargain price. 

5. Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun

Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun

Rugged, reliable, and highly functional. These words define the Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun. That’s why it makes a superb all-purpose shotgun that is great for home defense, informal sporting clays, deer and waterfowl hunting, and many more. While there’s that versatility, reliable function, and durability, the brand still keeps it at a reasonable price. So this has been a solid choice for countless shooters and homeowners. 

Moreover, this shotgun model incorporates dual extractors that take a reliable grip on the cartridge’s rim, an anti-jam shell elevator, and dual action bars to ensure reliable action cycling without binding or twisting. The bolt locks into a barrel extension, on the other hand, ensures the ultimate solid steel-to-steel lock-up. More than that, this shotgun is a beginner-friendly firearm because of its streamline aluminum receiver that keeps the weight down and well-balanced. Thus, it is easy to use, even for beginners. 

One of the biggest edges of this Mossberg 500 shotgun is its ambidextrous, top-mounted, and highly visible safety feature. Besides that, the feature is also convenient to reach without putting much effort into operating it. This significantly reduces the chances of an accident in handling it. Well, it is a shotgun, which is basically a firearm that is bigger than other guns, so it makes sense that there is still fear about mishandling it. So the safety feature is a really nice addition. 

Although this is an all-purpose shotgun, it only has a simplistic design. It has a synthetic stock model featuring a vent-ribbed barrel with a matte-blued finish, twin bead sights, and sling swivel studs. While a simple design sounds not too impressive, that’s not the case. In fact, the simplistic design is the one that makes fieldstripping easy. Simply tap out the single pin for easy maintenance and cleaning. Interestingly, the barrels are changeable, and it accepts a wide array of aftermarket accessories. 

All in all, the Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun is an all-purpose and customizable shotgun that is worth buying if you want an all-in-one firearm that you can count on for solid home defense and other shooting purposes. 

6. Savage Stevens 320 Security Thumbhole Pump-Action Shotgun

Savage Stevens 320 Security Thumbhole Pump-Action Shotgun

Featuring a TrueTimber Strata synthetic stock, the Savage Stevens 320 Security Thumbhole Pump-Action Shotgun is not just designed with fantastic looks. In fact, it is intentionally engineered for supreme tactical readiness for most life-threatening situations. This proves that it is a trustworthy firearm that you can truly rely on to defend your home and protect the lives inside it against intruders. 

Thanks to its 18.5″ barrel length and 7 lbs weight, there will be no trouble in swinging it easily in tight quarters. It will never give you problems during times of need, so that you can secure a solid defense. Meanwhile, the included ghost ring sights are sure to be a great feature since the sights bring a rapid target acquisition advantage. With this advantage, it will be more manageable during fast-paced, life-threatening situations. 

Moreover, other highlights of this home defense shotgun include smooth pump action, proven rotary bolt, and dual slide bars that make its performance better than other shotguns. The bottom-loading tube magazine, on the other hand, features a 5+1 capacity that is typically more than enough to defend a home. If you are thinking of bringing it outdoors, you can simply attach a sling for hands-free carry. 

With everything that the Savage Stevens 320 Security Thumbhole Pump-Action Shotgun has to offer and how it is built, there’s nothing to doubt about its intimidation and power. Therefore, it makes another great home defense shotgun worth buying to be prepared for the most life-threatening situations. 

7. Rock Island All Generations Pump-Action Shotgun

Rock Island All Generations Pump-Action Shotgun

What makes the Rock Island All Generations Pump-Action Shotgun one of the best options in the market today is it proves that you don’t need to hesitate to get a shotgun for home defense because it will not cost you much. Another exciting part about that is it is ideal for almost all situations and shooters. Absolutely, it is the most selling point of this shotgun. 

While this versatile shotgun is in the budget-friendly price range, you can still expect that it has to offer no less than other pricey shotguns. For starters, it boasts a high-quality patent-pending AG stock that features spacers and an adjustable cheekpiece. This design is proven to comfortably fit a variety of people and shooters. Combined with a patent-pending forend with exceptional ergonomics, this shotgun has taken comfort and handling to new heights. 

Moreover, another highlight of this pump shotgun is its lightweight aluminum receiver and a smooth-bore, contoured barrel with 3 choke tubes. That’s why there won’t be any hassle and stress to bring it outdoors to use for other shooting applications. Besides, it is created with an anodized finish that delivers corrosion-resistant durability. With that said, you can look forward to it being a long-time companion. Really, you will not think that it is cheap. 

8. Henry Lever Action X Shotgun

Henry Lever Action X Shotgun

Compared to other home defense shotguns on the list, the Henry Lever Action X Shotgun is more on the pricey side. Well, there’s no need to be intimidated by its cost since it excels at fast-shot, close-range shooting scenarios, making it a perfect choice for home defense and small-game hunting adventures. Ideally, it is an easy-handling firearm, so it might not be too much for beginners or homeowners to use. 

In terms of build, this lever-action shotgun model is equipped with a side loading gate on the receiver, promoting a speed loading of 2-1/2″ shells into the removable tube magazine. Also, it unloads quickly by simply cycling the action to empty the chamber and remove the tube magazine. It has a simple operation that will never make you defenseless during life-threatening situations. Trust that it will give you the best value for your money. 

Since this lever-action shotgun is also suitable for small-game hunting, it makes sense that it incorporates features that are helpful to the application. For starters, it comes with a bright fiber-optic front sight, which helps with rapid target aiming. Also, you can mount your choice of optics to the drilled and tapped receiver. It is made compatible with Weaver-style scope mounts. No worries about taking it to hunt since it is made of lightweight, rugged synthetic furniture. Thus, it is not hard to use.  

Moreover, this Henry Lever Action X Shotgun is equipped with a 19.8″ smooth-bore, blued-steel barrel with an internally threaded muzzle that can accept Invector-style choke tubes; one full choke tube is already included in the package. On the other hand, the large loop lever boosts rapid-cocking, sure-fire control. You will also be impressed that it is jam-packed with functional features, including a solid rubber recoil pad, transfer-bar safety, Picatinny rail, in-line sling swivel studs, and M-Lok accessory slots on the fore stock. 

What’s great about this lever-action shotgun is that it proves that you will never be disappointed with investing your money. It follows the brand’s high standard, so you can trust that you won’t go wrong with choosing this sleek, well-balanced, quick-action, and really fun-to-shoot shotgun. 

9. Savage Stevens 320 Security Pump-Action Shotgun

Savage Stevens 320 Security Pump-Action Shotgun

The Savage Stevens 320 Security Pump-Action Shotgun is a firearm that boasts serious firepower for superior stopping power. No wonder it is one of the ultimate go-to shotguns for home defense, tactical applications, and more. While this comes with serious firepower, it interestingly has easy operation and a lightweight structure. That’s why there is no question that it is ideal for homeowners to use. 

Additionally, this pump-action Stevens 320 shotgun is made with a black synthetic stock featuring a matching pistol grip. The structure is obviously meant to have great looks. What’s amazing about it is that it also promotes better handling of solid defense. Expect no issues and stress with using it to intimidate and shoo away home intruders. After all, its strong looks can already be enough to protect your home without needing to fire shots. 

If ever you need to fire, you can expect serious and fast shots. Typically, there are issues when firing is fast and furious, and one of them includes the barrel heating up. Good thing there’s nothing to feel bothered about since this shotgun incorporates a heat shield for your hands’ protection. Also, you can always wear gloves to eliminate any chance of hurting your hands because of heat. Meanwhile, the 1-piece rail permits you to add a shooting accessory of your choice. 

You will surely like this pump-action shotgun for tactical applications and hunting because it is made with a chrome alloy steel barrel that comes with a fixed-cylinder choke that keeps the shooting pattern uniform for more shooting accuracy. Additional features are included, such as a rotary bolt, bead sights, dual sidebars, steel receiver with side eject, and bottom-loading tube magazine. Therefore, it has great value for money. 

With its high value in performance, it is the best shotgun you can literally take anywhere. Fun to shoot and easy to handle, it is hard to find an excuse for not getting it since it has a fantastic low price. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions frequently asked about the shotgun for home defense and other relevant topics. Check them out below to learn more. 

What is the best length of shotgun for home defense?

The standard length of the barrel for shotguns is 18 inches. While there is a standard, it is well-known that shotguns with a barrel shorter than the standard length are quite advantageous. On the flip side, those with longer barrels can be a hindrance for home defense situations but better for ammo. Therefore, the best lengths are 18-20 inches.

What are the disadvantages of a shotgun?

Shotguns are not perfect. So it is no wonder they also have their fair share of disadvantages. Some of these include low ammo capacity, difficulty in maneuvering indoors due to their bigger size, and slow ability to engage multiple targets. Despite these disadvantages, shotguns are still among the ultimate firearms fitted for home defense applications and other uses, such as hunting and tactical shooting. 

Is it worth owning a shotgun?

While shotguns are not perfectly designed, it is still undeniable that it is worth it to own one. Shotguns are also versatile, easy to shoot, and customizable, making them ideal for home defense applications. Other reasons why shotguns are among the best options for firearms are that they are affordable, reliable, and ideal for recreational use. 

Can a shotgun damage your hearing?

Truth be told, shotguns can produce a loud noise, and constant exposure to that can surely lead to problems with hearing. The negative consequences are much more severe if you will not wear hearing protection.

Are shotguns good at long range?

Generally, shotguns are better at close-range shooting scenarios. This explains why shotguns are a great companion for home defense applications. Needless to say, shotguns are still good at long range with a good level of stopping power. 

Are pump shotguns more reliable?

Typically, it is a talent if you can mess up a pump-action shotgun since this type of a shotgun is easy to use. In addition, pump-action shotguns are more affordable. Even with their lower price range, they tend to be more reliable because of their ease of use and power. Among the best pump-action shotguns include Savage Stevens 320 Security Pump-Action Shotgun and Rock Island All Generations Pump-Action Shotgun

Are shotguns better than pistols for home defense?

Among the top firearm options for home defense applications are shotguns and pistols. Hence, these two are closely compared. It is quite obvious that they have a fair share of advantages and flaws. For instance, pistols have an advantage when it comes to capacity and maneuverability because of their compact size. But, they can be challenging in accuracy. 

On the other hand, shotguns are better for having top-notch accuracy and having the edge over pistols in terms of multiple projectiles. There’s no need to aim because the pellets spread out for a better stopping power. Ultimately, these firearms are great, so everything boils down to personal preferences and budget. 

Should I clean my shotgun after every use?

Ideally, you should lightly clean your gun after each use and deep clean it periodically or after several consistent uses. Aside from cleaning, you should know that properly storing your shotgun is also part of your responsibility as the owner. Proper storage is a good strategy to keep your firearm within reach while keeping it away from unauthorized people.

Where to buy the best shotgun for home defense online?

Cabela’s and Palmetto State Armory are the go-to online sites you can visit to buy the best shotgun for home security without feeling like spending too much. These sites offer the best shotguns that have great value for money. So there’s no need to look at suspicious sites. 


Final Thoughts 

Now that you have discovered some of the best shotguns for home defense in the market today, the question changes to how to pick the right one. Well, the list above really consists of the best options you can have, so you will never go wrong choosing any of them. But the best trick to find the most suited shotgun for you is picking one based on your personal preferences and needs, which includes your budget. 

For instance, you can choose the Winchester SXP Extreme Defender FDE Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun if you want a well-built home defense shotgun, and you can depend on reliability and quality. The Remington Model 870 Express Home Defense Pump-Action Shotgun is a go-to choice if you want a shotgun that you can use besides home defense applications. 

On the other hand, the Rock Island All Generations Pump-Action Shotgun is an amazing shotgun you can buy without costing you much. Surely, the shotgun options above are great so feel free to buy one that fits your needs, preferences, and budget. Hopefully, you find this review guide helpful, as it is intentionally made to help find the best shotguns for home defense. 

For more guides and reviews like this, explore the Survival Gear Shack website

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