Best Home Defense Shotguns 2020 [Pump & Semi]

Coronavirus outbreak, national protests, unemployment, and political tsunami have hit our country hard in 2020.

Amidst all of this and massive uncertainties people face, you might be considering buying a firearm to protect your families, friends, and local businesses.

In this firearm buyer's guide, let's take a look at the best defensive shotgun you can buy in 2020.

Whether you're a new gun buyer or an experienced person helping others making purchase decisions, this guide is for you.

Just remember! A shotgun has a lot more recoil than a pistol or rifle unless you really want it we highly recommend other options.

Secondly, getting a gun ISN'T enough to keep you safe, and you also need to have the right mindset and additional training to be an effective protector for anyone around you.

Let's check it out.

Best Home Defense Shotguns

This is not about buying the most fancy stuff, but it is about getting the most effective guns to keep you and your family and friends safe.

chris costa with pump shotgun

Pump Shotgun

The pump shotgun is the most reliable compared to semi-auto and box fed systems and racking of the forend to cycle through each shot is more reliable than a semi-auto.

Remington 870

Remington 870 12GA pump shotgun

Why everyone should get this over others - The 870 has been around the longest and it's one of the most popular 12 Gauge pump shotgun in America.

Most popular & widely used - Civilians, hunters, law enforcement and the military all favor the 870 for different types of applications.

There are many different models available and if you had to pick one among all other options if there is a 870 still available on the shelf… GET IT!

For home defenders, 18" or shorter barrel is recommended (NFA rules applies).

  • Gauge - 5+1
  • Barrel Length - 18.5"
  • Receiver - Steel
  • Choke - Cylinder Choke
  • Stock - Full rifle stock or pistol grip
  • Weight - 7.5 lbs
pump shotgun

Referenced Luckygunner

Steel construction built to last - Unlike other aluminum body shotguns, the 870 receiver is built with a single block of steel for impeccable strength to last a lifetime.

Defensive ammo ready - 12GA barrel is extremely versatile for various ammo types, incredibly flexible when you need to change among birdshot, OO buckshot, and slug.

Multiple variants available - Different models for different usage, defensive 870 features ghost ring sight to get on target fast

Reliable pump action - Reliability is the key for a great home shotgun, guaranteed no-fail system with the twin action bars to ensure smooth & non binding action

Mossberg 500 FLEX pump shotgun

Same as Remington 870, but slightly different ergonomics and feel - If 870 isnt availabe on the shelf, then look out for a Mossberg 500 pump shotguns.

Mossberg 500 FLEX is another reliable 12GA shotgun mainly for civilians, hunters, and law enforcement agencies.

  • Gauge - 5+1
  • Barrel Length - 18.5"
  • Receiver - Aluminum
  • Choke - Accu-Set
  • Stock - Fixed rifle stock, Adjustable tactical & pistol grip
  • Weight - 7.5 lbs

FLEX Tool-Less Locking System - Legendary 500 pump action with the ability to change hunting and tactical accessories on the go, including pistol grips, butt-stocks, barrels, forends and recoil pads

Improved ergonomics - Shotgun ergonomics is important to the shooter, enhanced trigger safety location and forend latch keeps the shooter's trigger finger ready at all times without breaking the firing control grip

Cycles every shot without fail - A gun that jams is no good during stressful times, Increase durability with Mossberg's dual extractor design to positively eject every shell out of the gun after each shot & leave your threat no time to get the upper hand over you

Ready for light accessories - Adding tactical capabilities to your weapon can help you avoid lethal encounters, Add a shotgun weapon light to the forend using Picatinny M1913 rail sections, to positively identify or blind targets in low light conditions.

mossberg 590a1 tactical 12GA

Referenced Lucky Gunner

The next best home defense 12GA - The 590A1 is selected by the US military after passing multiple Mil-Spec test, and it is the duty weapon choice worldwide.

What's different from other Mossberg models are the low profile ghost ring sights that are ready for combat, which is so much easier to aim than a hunting sight.

Other than that, the gun is very similar to the Mossberg 500, and it's made with the aluminum receiver that's much lighter to carry.

  • Gauge - 8+1
  • Barrel Length - 18.5" Heavy walled
  • Receiver - Aluminum
  • Choke - Cylinder Bore
  • Stock - Fixed rifle stock, Adjustable tactical & pistol grip
  • Weight - 7 - 7.5 lbs

Semi Auto 12GA Shotguns

benelli m4 shooting range slug

Semi auto 12GA auto reloads the next shot without the need to pump the forend.

It's common for fast action shooting that has tighter requirements for ammo type and smoothing of the internals to work flawlessly.

Benelli M4 Tactical (M1014)


Referenced USMC

  • Gauge - 5+1
  • Barrel Length - 18.5"
  • Receiver - Aluminum
  • Choke - Standard choke tubes IC, M, IM, F.
  • Stock - Adjustable 6 positions
  • Weight - 7.8 lbs

Why we choose this one as the best - This Italian classic gas operated 12GA shotgun that's extremely reliable when using high recoil loads, and any personal defense slug or buckshot will absolutely cycle. (Just not low recoil birdshots)

Trust me, it's hard to find another 100% reliable gun like this on the market even in 2020.

It's also the breach shotgun for USMC. If you're interested in a semi auto combat shotgun, the Benelli M4 is the one to buy.

Proven in the field by USMC - It meets US military requirements that feature full tactical ghost ring sights ready for combat, the exceptional reliability is proven in the field on the top of using the mil-spec anti-corrosive coating

ARGO system that keeps you in the fight - The Auto Regulating Gas Operated system with a self-cleaning piston-driven is a proven design, Reduces gun weight without any connecting linkage under the forend & reduces carbon fouling to keep the gun shooting without fail.

Optic ready - Mounting a red dot to a shotgun is more and more popular than ever, increase precision and get on target fast with a red dot mounted on the built-in Picatinny rail right out of the box without any additional accessories

mossberg 930 spx tactical

The 930 12 GA platform is the most affordable version of the Benelli M4. For people who want the M4 but on a budget, the Mossberg 930 is the pick.

It is a proven shotgun with plenty of great features right out of the box, ready to rock.

  • Gauge - 7+1
  • Barrel Length - 18.5"
  • Receiver - Aluminum
  • Choke - Cylinder Bore
  • Stock - Synthetic
  • Weight - 7.5 lbs

Enlarged charging handle - Positive gripping of the charging handle is important when wearing gloves or with a slippery hand, The oversized charging handle ensures a sure grip when operating it

Optic Ready - Just like most combat-ready shotguns on the market today, they're ready to accept any red dot sight right out of the box, and provide quick target acquisition to get on target fast

Full length magazine tube - Maxed out ammo capacity 7+1 right out of the box without any aftermarket add-on, the increased magazine tube length holds 2 extra rounds that costs other shotguns ~$200 to add after purchase.

beretta 1301 tactical LTT

Referenced Mrgunsngear (Features Beretta 1301 LTT Model)

The Beretta 1301 is a gas-operated semi-auto shotgun that is super lightweight compared to the ones mentioned above. There are 8 variants available to civilians, and the gun features tons of great stuff right out of the box that other home defense combat 12 GA shotguns don't have.

When comparing this to the Benelli M4, the M4 is heavy and absorb more recoil, and the 1301 is light and it has heavier felt recoil.

If you want something right of the box ready to go without a bunch of aftermarket upgrades, this is the one to get!

LLT 1301 shotgun

Referenced Luckygunner

  • Gauge - 7+1
  • Barrel Length - 18.5"
  • Receiver - Aluminum
  • Choke - Fixed Cylinder Bore
  • Stock - Synthetic
  • Weight - 6.4 lbs

Enlarged Core Control Surfaces - A gun with great ergonomics helps the shooter manipulate the weapon better during stress, enlarged charging handle, bolt release and safety button gives the shooter positive contact even under stress, wearing gloves or sweaty hands

High-End Exclusive Steelium Barrel - A high-quality barrel offer the best ballistic performance for a shotgun, the improved Beretta barrel with OPTIMA BORE HP geometry ensures a consistent and uniform shot group.

Cycles 36% Faster than others - How fast you can shoot off rounds gives the shooter the advantage in combat and competition, the rotating bolt head system and the integrated BLINK gas system reduces the amount of gas that comes back into the action to keep this gun working flawlessly and fast

Which is The Best Pistol Grip Or Stock?

When you have to make the choice between a pistol grip shotgun vs a shotgun with stock, it's all based on picking the preferred ergonomics that's right for you.

Pistol Grip


  • Better leverage
  • Rifle-like feel
  • More comfortable 
  • Much easier one-handed control
  • Usually paired with adjustable stock


  • Not comfortable for clay shooting or hunting
  • Sometimes it can't fit in a regular rifle bag 

Traditional Stock


  • Most common
  • Keeps the firing hand close to and aligned along the line of the bore
  • So much faster and easier when aiming the gun
  • Great for clay shooting and hunting
  • Recommended for home defense
  • Feels easier to operate the safety switch


  • Can't adjust stock length of pull
  • Feels a bit too long for a defensive shotgun