The show-stopping shotgun has long been a staple of home defense. The shotgun offers the most lead possible per trigger pull for a shoulder-fired firearm. They are brutal at close range, and that’s one of the main reasons the shotgun is so popular for home defense. With so many different shotguns out there, we wanted to provide you with 5 of the best home defense shotguns.  

Mossberg 590A1  

The Mossberg 590A1 lives a beastly life in service with every branch of the United States military and in the hands of hundreds of police forces. This is Mossberg’s premier combat shotgun and has proven itself time and time again as a word-class pump-action shotgun. The 590A1 features a thick-walled barrel that’s 18 to 20 inches long, a metal trigger group, and a ruggedly reliable pump action system.  

  The 590A1’s competency is never questioned and shouldn’t be. The gun has proven to be a very reliable weapon, and this is partly due to the dual extractors in the 590’s design. The skeletonized shell elevator is designed specifically to limit jams and ensure they are easy to clear. Add in the  fact the gun is almost entirely user-serviceable, and you get a weapon that can last generations.  

Benelli M4 

The Benelli M4 reigns as the king of combat shotguns. It features Benelli’s ARGO gas system that uses dual gas pistons to accentuate the bolt and cycle the weapon. This gas-powered design is unlike most others and ensures reliability in the most ferocious and brutal conditions. The Benelli M4 offers a semi-automatic action for softer recoil and faster follow-up shots for home defense. 

    The gas operation ensures complete reliability regardless of weapon accessories, and you can customize the weapon with lights, optics, and more without risking reliability. The Benelli M4 is one of the few semi-auto shotguns that is not ammo picky, and it doesn’t require heavy maintenance to function. This controllable and faster cycling firearm is a fearsome force of firepower for home defense.   

Remington 870  

The Remington 870 is a classic pump-action shotgun that’s been putting down bad guys for generations. The 870 features a refined action powered by twin action bars to ensure slop free operation. The 870 also uses a robust steel receiver and comes in numerous variants, including various tactical models perfect for home defense.      The pump-action design is one that feels like it should be on a more expensive gun.

 It’s one of the tightest and smoothest pump-action designs. It’s like the pump slides on ball bearings. The ole 870 is a high-quality pump-action shotgun often available at a price that’s tough to beat.  

KelTec KS7  

Shotguns being called into a home defense role are best when they are short and light. The KS7 and its bullpup design ensures you can’t get shorter than it. At only 26.1 inches long, the KS7 is a mighty mouse of a shotgun. It holds seven rounds of 2.75-inch shells and delivers unbeatable maneuverability for inside the home.  

   The KS7 is a pump-action design that looks like it stepped out of the future. The ergonomics are excellent and on point for such an odd design. The KS7’s defiance of convention works well, and the gun’s high capacity coupled with its small size, makes it mighty efficient for defending your fortress.  

Rock Island Armory VRPA40 

Another oddball is the VRPA40. This magazine fed pump action shotgun looks and handles like a standard pump-action, but accommodates a box magazine. This makes reloading a breeze and allows you to carry a good bit more ammo than your standard tube-fed design. The VRPA40 has magazines available in various capacities ranging from 3 to 19 rounds.    

 Nineteen rounds is a lot of 12 gauge, and the 9 round magazine seems to be the sweet spot between capacity and weight. The VRPA40 is equipped with high visibility ghost right sights, an optics rail, and it utilizes Beretta/Benelli chokes. The gun is surprisingly ergonomic and easy to use, and while odd, the appeal of a magazine-fed 12 gauge can’t be denied.  

The Home Defense Shotgun

Having a shotgun is only one part of the equation; however, it’s a pretty important part. The guns listed above will get you a big checkmark on your list of must-haves. Following that is ammo, proper training, a white light, and a good home defense plan. Having a guitar doesn’t make you a musician, and having a gun doesn’t make you armed. 

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