Best Shotguns For Home Defense, Hunting, Doomsday Preppers & Survival

Best Shotguns For Preppers & Home Defense

For self defense and hunting, you cannot beat a shotgun for versatility in a single firearm. There are are a variety of shotguns that preppers should consider for a Doomsday scenario. Keep reading to see pictures, watch videos, and learn more about all of these outstanding shotguns.

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Why you might need one or more shotguns

Let's face it. The world is becoming more and more dangerous as terrorism spreads and violence seems to be on the rise. If someone kicks down your door or breaks in through a window and has intentions of hurting you and your family, probably the single best weapon to grab to defend yourself is a shotgun.

For one, if someone starts shooting at you with a pistol, and you are shooting back with a shotgun, you would have the upper hand as your chances of hitting the attacker would be much greater than theirs.

Also, lead bird shot pellets will not pass through multiple Sheetrock walls to the extent a pistol or rifle round will, so they are safer from the sense that there is less of a chance of accidentally shooting a family member on the other side of the house through multiple walls when the attacker is between you and them.

Shotguns are also very versatile in that you have many choices in shot size including different sizes in bird shot, buckshot, slugs, and even rubber pellets. This makes any shotgun a great versatile hunting and home defense weapon. Most basic shotguns are also relatively inexpensive.

The Best Two Value Shotguns (click to expand)

The two best shotguns from a value perspective are the widely popular Remington Model 870 and Mossberg 500, both of which are available in a wide variety of choices. The most popular are the lowest cost versions that have a round capacity of 3+1. The Remington Model 870 and Mossberg 500 are both outstanding shotguns from a functional and durability perspective and you cannot go wrong having one or more of either on hand. The most basic difference is which safety mechanism do you prefer. Some people prefer the safety button near the trigger of the Remington, while others prefer the thumb slide safety of the Mossberg.

More Sophisticated Shotguns & Where To Buy (click to expand)

While the Remington Model 870 and Mossberg 500 are basic highly reliable shotguns are fantastic, this article takes a look at higher cost shotguns that have features that may appeal to a Doomsday prepper or gun enthusiast.

A hunter, gun enthusiast or prepper may want a more sophisticated shotgun from a tactical or durability perspective, one that holds more shells, and perhaps even to have the ability to easily convert their shotgun into a different weapon. Having a variety of different shotguns on hand for hunting and self defense is not a bad idea as long as you properly secure, store, and train with all of your firearms.

Some of the shotguns below can be found new at outdoor retail stores such as the Sportsman's Guide, Palmeto State Armory, Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops. Others might be found new or used in gun shops, at gun shows, or online gun shops (like budsgunshop.com), or gun trading sites (like gunsamerica.com).

There is a section at the bottom of this article that includes pictures of some combat shotguns at least one of which may be illegal (a fully automatic shotgun) and/or difficult to find, but they will give you an idea of some other shotgun designs that may be appealing to a gun enthusiast or Doomsday prepper.

Our Top Picks for the Best Shotguns for Doomsday Preppers when SHTF

The following are our top picks for shotguns that preppers may want to have and train with before a possible Doomsday scenario and long term survival situation might occur.

1. UTAS UTS-15 Pump-Action Tactical Shotgun

The UTAS UTS-15 Pump-Action Tactical Shotgun

The UTAS UTS-15 has a Bullpup design with the pistol grip and trigger located forward of the barrel breech and action assembly. This allows for the same barrel length as a traditional shotgun but shortens the overall length of the weapon.

More UTAS UTS-15 Features (click to expand)

There are dual 7-round magazines with an automatic alternating or selectable feed that is set above the barrel to allow for easy access to the loading ports.

You can load different shell types into each tube and then use the selector switch to choose the ammo type to shoot next (i.e.: buckshot & slugs, buckshot & birdshot, birdshot & rubber pellets, etc.). The UTS-15 has snap open loading ports and retractable magazine followers. There is a long Integrated top mounted picatinny rail for a wide variety of iron and optical sights. The polymer receiver has an integrated spring loaded shell feeding device and there is a spring assisted pin ejector.

The UTS-15 includes built-in laser/light controls. Controls are on the right side of the grip including a button for controlling an optional light and laser assembly. The UTS-15 has a fiber reinforced slip-up stock/shell funnel and a fiber reinforced butt plate with one inch recoil pad. The construction includes a 4140 steel bolt body, precision machined and heat treated 4140 steel rotary bolt head with three locking lugs.

The UTS-15 has a Beretta-style threaded barrel for choke tubes allowing it to be adapted for any situation and a range of attachments. Quick detach sling swivel mounting points are included in three places as shown in the picture below. No tools are required to field strip the UTS-15 in 60 seconds. The UTS-15 is chambered to accept 2.5, 2.75 or 3 inch ammunition.

UTAS UTS-15 Specifications

  • Weight: 6.9 lb empty

  • Length: 28.3 in

  • Barrel length: 18.5 in

  • Caliber: 12 gauge

  • Action: Pump-action

Where to purchase

  • Palmeto State Armory carries the UTAS UTS-15 12 Gauge Tactical Shotgun.

  • BudsGunShop & GunsAmerica are two online sites that usually have the UTAS UTS-15, but gun stores, gun shows, and other online sites may also carry them.

The UTAS UTS-15 Pump-Action Tactical Shotgun

Video Review Of The UTAS UTS-15 Tactical Shotgun


2. Kel-Tec KSG Pump-Action Tactical Shotgun

Kel-Tec KSG Pump-Action Tactical Shotgun

The Kel-Tec KSG isa ideal for home-defense where you need to negotiate tight spaces. With a short 26.1" overall length and 18.5" cylinder-bore barrel, Kel-Tec KSG Pump-Action Tactical Shotgun is ideal for home-defense situations as it allows you to negotiate tight spaces such as narrow hallways, stairs and doorways in your home. Internal dual-tube magazine holds up to 12 rounds of 12-ga. 3" shotshells (six per tube). Reliably shoots shells 2-3/4" to 3". User-selectable feed lever is located behind the trigger guard so you can choose to feed from either the left or right tube. Synthetic stock and grips provide a secure hold. Cylinder-bore choke tube. Cross-bolt safety system. Includes sling and top and bottom Picatinny rails.

Kel-Tec KSG Specifications

  • Weight: 6.9 lb empty

  • Length: Short 26.1" overall length and 18.5" cylinder-bore barrel

  • Height: 7 in

  • Caliber: 12 gauge (2-3/4" or 3" shells)

  • Action: Pump action

  • Feed system: 7+7+1 (2-3/4") or 6+6+1 (3") dual-internal tube. Dual-tube magazine holds up to 12 rounds of 12-ga. 3" shotshells

  • Sights: Top and bottom Picatinny rails allows for the mounting of a wide variety of iron and optical sights and accessories.

Where to purchase

Video Review Of The Kel-Tec KSG


3. Beretta 1301 Tactical Semi-Auto Tactical Shotgun

Beretta 1301 Tactical Semi-Auto Shotgun

Beretta designed its 1301 Tactical model Semi-Auto Shotgun specifically for law enforcement and home defense. Right out of the box, the 1301 Tactical comes with features that will increase your odds of survival in a defensive situation.

More Beretta 1301 Features (click to expand)

The oversized charging handle makes sure it does not slip out of your hand, and an oversized crossbolt safety button, which reverses for lefties, ensures solid finger engagement. A large, serrated bolt release and enlarged loading port optimize rapid reloading.

The 1301 shoots especially fast—Beretta's rotating bolt design combined with the BLINK gas operating system make the 1301 one of the fastest cycling semi-automatic shotguns ever designed, capable of firing up to 4 shots in a second. Both the gas operating system and the generous recoil pad reduce felt recoil, allowing you to stay on target during rapid fire, while the aggressive checkering on the black synthetic stock provides a solid, non-slip grip under stressful conditions.

Shooters can adjust the length of pull, cast, and drop of the stock according to their size and preference. The 1301 Tactical also features a robust, protected sighting system that uses a ghost-ring, rear sight mounted on a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail, and an interchangeable front blade sight. The 1301 Semi-Auto Shotgun utilizes a fixed choke tube, optimized for tactical loads.

Beretta 1301 Specifications

  • Oversized crossbolt safety button

  • Optimized rapid reloading

  • BLINK gas operating system - capable of firing up to 4 shots in a second

  • Gas operating system and recoil pad reduce felt recoil

  • Non-slip grip

  • Protected sighting system uses a ghost-ring mounted on Picatinny rail

  • Interchangeable front blade sight

  • Fixed choke tube optimized for tactical loads

Where to purchase

Video Review Of The Beretta 1301 Tactical Semi-Auto Shotgun


4. Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun

Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun

The Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun is an ultra reliable, nearly indestructible defense tool that you can depend on for law enforcement or self defense.

More Benelli Nova Features (click to expand)

The Nova Tactical pump shotgun comes with ghost ring or open rifle sights, and a protected, front sight post that allow rapid sight acquisition, while holding up to rugged environments. The receiver comes drilled and tapped for a Weaver 423M base (not included), for the attachment of aftermarket tactical sights.

A short barrel and a fixed, cylinder choke are ideal for fast work at close range. Benelli constructs the Nova with corrosion-proof polymer over-molded on a skeleton framework to form single-piece receiver and buttstock for unsurpassed strength and weather resistance. All metal parts have a non-glare, anti-corrosive finish.

The polymer forearm pushes a rotary-head bolt back with dual-action bars. Aggressive ribbing on a contour-tapered forearm provides a secure hold while cycling the action under any circumstances.

A magazine disconnect button on the bottom of the forearm allows user to quickly unload the chamber without releasing another round from the magazine to quickly load another round via the ejection port.

The Nova utilizes a magazine cap that doubles as a tool for pushing out the single pin that holds the trigger assembly in place; the gun can be fieldstripped down to basic components in less than a minute. The Benelli 12 gauge Nova Pump-Action Shotgun handles all 2-3/4", 3", and 3-1/2" ammunition.

The gun comes with integrated sling attachments, and a recoil pad.

Benelli Nova Specifications

    • Ghost ring or open rifle sights

    • Protected, front sight post

    • Drilled and tapped receiver

    • Short cylinder choked barrel

    • 1-piece receiver and buttstock

    • Rotating bolt head

    • Dual-action bars

    • Magazine disconnect button

    • Simple field stripping

Where to purchase

Video Reviews Of The Benelli Nova Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun for Law Enforcement


5. Mossberg 590 Mariner Pump-Action Shotgun

Mossberg 590 Mariner Converts To A Pistol Grip Home Defense Shotgun

The Mossberg 590 Mariner Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun comes with a corrosion-resistant Marinecote finish, inside and out, to withstand the punishment of harsh saltwater environments.

More Mossberg 590 Mariner Features (click to expand)

This is an ideal self-defense shotgun to have in a boat or yacht as well as carrying in a vehicle that frequents humid coastal areas. The 590 Mariner also makes a practical, low-maintenance home defense shotgun and is one of the best firearms to carry while fishing or camping in bear country.

With the included pistol grip kit installed, the 590 Mariner is an extremely compact, fast-handling shotgun that stows in minimum space and deploys in an instant. The U.S. Military's choice of Model 590 pump shotgun for combat attests to the design's reliable function and durability.

The Model 590 utilizes dual action bars to prevent binding and twisting while cycling the action, and a single, large locking lug locks the bolt into the barrel extension, ensuring a solid steel bolt-to-barrel connection.

Dual extractors take a solid grip on the shell's rim for reliable extraction, and an anti-jam shell elevator ensures reliable feeding. Shooters can reach the top-mounted safety quickly with the thumb of either hand, making it naturally ambidextrous.

The Model 590's simplistic design makes field stripping easy by tapping out a single pin, and the magazine cap-nut removes for cleaning the spring, shell follower, and any debris in the mag tube. The 590 Mariner Tactical Pump-Action Shotgun comes with a synthetic buttstock and forearm, a durable recoil pad, and sling swivel studs.

The Model 590 cycles 2-3/4" and 3" shells interchangeably.

Mossberg 590 Mariner Specifications

    • Corrosion-resistant Marinecote finish

    • Synthetic buttstock and forearm

    • Includes pistol grip kit

    • Dual action bars

    • Dual extractors

    • Anti-jam shell elevator

    • Steel-to-steel bolt lock up

    • Ambidextrous, top-mounted safety

    • Recoil pad, and sling swivel studs

Where to purchase

  • Palmeto State Armory carries multiple versions of the Mossberg 590 including the Mossberg 590 Mariner.

  • Bass Pro Shops carries multiple versions of the Mossberg 590.

  • The Sportsman's Guide carries multiple versions of the Mossberg 590.

  • Check GunsAmerica, local gun stores, gun shows, and other online sites.

Video Side By Side Comparison Of The Remington 870 Marine Magnum And The Mossberg 590 Mariner


6. Remington Model 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum Pump-Action Shotgun

Remington Model 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum Pump-Action Shotgun

The Remington Model 870 Pump-Action Shotgun is one of the most proven firearm's designs in history. The 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum is a rugged workhorse, specifically made to resist corrosion from both fresh and saltwater.

More Remington Model 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum Features (click to expand)

The receiver and barrel, and all other metal parts are plated with Electroless nickel, and the black synthetic stock and fore-end are virtually indestructible, as well as impervious to water.

This is a great choice for a self-defense shotgun to have on a boat or a yacht, or to carry while fishing in bear country. The 18-1/2" barrel has a fixed cylinder choke for optimum performance with buckshot and slugs at close range. The extended magazine holds 6 rounds of either 2-3/4" or 3" shells, plus one in the chamber for a total of 7 rounds.

At the heart of the ultra reliable 870 Remington is a receiver milled from a solid billet of steel for maximum strength, and twin action bars that prevent binding and twisting while cycling the action. 870 pump shotguns have great pointing characteristics. They come to the shooter's shoulder and acquire targets instinctively.

The Remington 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum Pump-Action Shotgun comes with sling swivel studs that provide the quick attachment and detachment of a sling (included) to free the user's hands when occupied with other tasks. A durable, rubber recoil pad dampens recoil and helps shooter to stay on target for fast follow up shots.

Remington Model 870 Special Purpose Marine Magnum Specifications

  • Receiver, barrel, and all other metal parts are plated with Electroless nickel.

  • 18-1/2" barrel has cylinder choke

  • Twin action bars prevent binding and twisting

  • Durable, rubber recoil pad dampens recoil

Where to purchase


7. Saiga 12 Tactical Shotgun

Saiga 12 Shotgun With High Capacity Magazine

The Saiga 12 Tactical Shotgun is available in a wide range of configurations manufactured by the arms division of Izhmash, in Russia. Still available, but no more are being imported into the US. In response to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, U.S. President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13662 on July 16, 2014 blocking the importation of all Izhmash products, including Saiga shotguns and rifles.

Saiga 12 Specifications

  • Weight: 7.9 lb (Saiga-12, Saiga-12S) or 7.7 lb (Saiga-12K, Saiga-12S EXP-01)

  • Length: 45.1 in (Saiga-12), 41.7 in stock extended / 32.3 in stock folded (Saiga-12S), or 35.8 in stock extended / 26.4 in stock folded (Saiga-12K, Saiga-12S EXP-01)

  • Barrel length: 22.8 in (Saiga-12, Saiga-12S) or 16.9 in (Saiga-12K, Saiga-12S EXP-01)

  • Height: 7.5 in

  • Caliber: 12-gauge, 20-gauge, or .410-gauge

  • Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt

  • Feed system: Detachable magazine (2, 5, 8, and 10-round), or Detachable drum (12, 20 or 30-round)

Where to purchase

Saiga 12 Shotgun With High Capacity Drum

Video Review Of The Saiga 12 Tactical Shotgun


8. Mossberg FLEX 500 Realtree MAX-4 Pump-Action Shotgun

Mossberg FLEX 500 Realtree MAX-4 Pump-Action Shotgun

The Mossberg FLEX 500 Pump-Action Shotgun features Mossberg's TLS, Tool-less Locking System, that enables shooters to rapidly switch stocks, forends, and recoil pads, using a single receiver as the core component for wide array of shotgun configurations. Mixing optional FLEX accessories allows you to customize your Model 500 receiver into a specialized slug gun, waterfowl gun, home defense shotgun; and also change the LOP for varying statures.

More Mossberg FLEX 500 Features (click to expand)

The FLEX 500 uses standard Mossberg 500 barrels, giving you an endless choice of lengths, chokes, and sights. All FLEX TLS components mount and remove from the gun in seconds—without tools.

This Mossberg FLEX 500 pump shotgun in Realtree MAX-4 camo features a vent-ribbed, ported barrel with a mid bead and a fiber optic front sight; it includes a set of Accu Choke screw-in choke tubes (F, M, IC). An anti-refective finish on the barrel and receiver and magazine tube resists corrosion, whiling aiding you to stay concealed.

The stout recoil pad on the synthetic camo buttstock reduces recoil, and the synthetic forend provides a secure hold when cycling the action. Sling swivel studs are standard.

The ultra reliable Model 500 pump-action shotgun uses dual action bars, dual extractors, an anti-jam shell elevator, and a large locking lug for a solid steel-to-steel, bolt-to-barrel connection. Shooters can reach the top-mounted safety quickly with the thumb of either hand, making it naturally ambidextrous.

The modular FLEX 500 pump shotgun gives you versatility for most any shooting situation.

Mossberg FLEX 500 Specifications

  • TLS, Tool-less Locking System

  • Realtree MAX-4 camo stock and forend

  • Easily switches stocks, forends, and recoil pads

  • Allows customized Model 500 configurations

  • Vent-ribbed, ported barrel

  • Dual action bars and extractors

  • Anti-jam shell elevator

  • Steel-to-steel bolt lock up

  • 3 Accu Choke screw-in choke tubes

  • Ambidextrous, top-mounted safety

  • Recoil pad and sling swivel studs

Where to purchase

The Mossberg Flex 500 / 590 System Allows Quick Conversions Of Your Shotgun Into Specialized Uses

Video Review Of The Mossberg FLEX 500 Shotgun System


9. Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Pump-Action Extended Magazine Shotgun

Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Pump-Action Extended Magazine Shotgun

The Remington Model 870 Pump-Action Shotgun is one of the most proven firearm's designs in history. The 870 Express is a rugged, value-priced workhorse, making it one of the most useful tools that a shooter can own.

More Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Features (click to expand)

The versatile, no-nonsense 870 Express with Extended Magazine can be used for a home defense shotgun, a tactical shotgun, or a camp gun in bear country. The 18-1/2" barrel has a fixed cylinder choke for optimum performance with buckshot and slugs at close range.

The Extended Magazine holds 6 rounds of either 2-3/4" or 3" shells, plus one in the chamber for a total of 7 rounds. A myriad of aftermarket Remington 870 accessories enables owners to customize the 870 Express for specific purposes.

At the heart of the ultra reliable 870 Remington is a receiver milled from a solid billet of steel for maximum strength, and twin action bars that prevent binding and twisting while cycling the action. 870 pump shotguns have great pointing characteristics. They come to the shooter's shoulder and acquire targets instinctively.

The Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Pump-Action Shotgun comes with virtually indestructible black synthetic stock and fore-end that are impervious to water, and a non-reflective matte black, bead-blasted finish on the receiver and barrel.

Sling swivel studs provide the quick attachment of a sling to free the user's hands while carrying the gun. A durable, rubber recoil pad dampens recoil and helps shooter to stay on target for fast follow up shots.

Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Specifications

  • 18-1/2" barrel has fixed cylinder choke

  • Twin action bars prevent binding and twisting

  • Durable, rubber recoil pad dampens recoil

Where to purchase

Video Review Of The Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Pump-Action Extended Magazine Shotgun

How To Trade New & Used Firearms Online (click to expand)

Buying or selling firearms online is a lot easier than you think. You can do pretty much everything online, and you'll be in less direct contact with people versus standing in line at a gun store. You do have to pick up your firearm, but chances are there is an FFL closer to you than a gun store.

Guns.com is an FFL and is the easiest online place to buy or sell new and used handguns, rifles, shotguns, magazines, ammo, & accessories! They have the easiest online process and do all of the hard work for you including locating and verifying the license of the closest FFL to you.

Not going into too much detail, follow these easy steps at most online firearm stores:

1. Find the closest reputable FFL Dealers at a site like FFL Dealer Network. Call the FFL dealer and/or drive by their location to check them out.

2. Shop online for just about any gun made and comparison shop at stores such as Guns.com, Palmetto State Armory, GritrSports, Sportsman's Guide, Bass Pro Shops, or Cabela's. For example, stores like Palmetto State Armory have over 10,000 firearms online. Use filters and search functions to narrow your search. Firearms are in demand so you may want to filter by what is currently available.

3. All online gun stores will have basically the same steps/directions. Check out these simple online firearm purchasing instructions as outlined by Palmetto State Armory.

4. It's that easy. Make one trip to your FFL to pick up your new firearm.

For ammo, we really like Palmetto State Armory & GritrSports, but comparison shop for ammo just like you would for firearms and also check out Guns.com, Sportsman's Guide and Cabela's for ammo.

Recommended Accessories (click to expand)

Recoil Pads

  • Shooterpads Gel Filled Recoil Pads (Innovative solution to recoil energy absorption. One size fits all makes and models. The pad easily fits over the stock of a long rifle or shotgun without any tools or modifications to the weapon. Does not move when firing and can quickly be moved from gun to gun.)

Fiber Optic Sights

Shell Holders & Boxes

  • Mossy Oak Buttstock Shotgun Shell Holder (Shell holder slips securely over buttstock. Holds 5 shells.)

  • Mossy Oak Shotgun Shell Belt (Holds 25 shells and is adjustable to fit waists up to 52")

  • MTM 100 Round 12 Gauge Shotshell Dry Box (Popular with waterfowl hunters during the hunting season and a dry box to use in the off season, the Shotshell Dry Box holds up to 100 shotshells and has two removable trays. The lid has an O-Ring design for water resistant sealing for those wet days and is removable for less space used in the hunting blind. Can be locked.)

Carrying Case

Flashlight / Laser Mounts

Best Affordable Shooting Glasses

Best Electronic Earmuffs

  • Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff (These are exceptional shooting ear muffs for the money. With them on, sound is amplified 4x, so you can hear anyone sneaking up on you or if you are hunting, you can hear game that you are stalking! The moment you shoot, the loud bang turns off the amplification and your hearing is protected. If the batteries go dead, then these ear muffs behave as normal hearing protectors.)

  • 50 Pack - 12"x 18" Silhouette Splatter Target (Instantly See Your Shots Burst Bright Florescent Yellow Upon Impact!)

Shotgun Cleaning & Protection

Books

Hard To Find (Or Illegal) Tactical Combat Shotguns

NeoStead 2000

Pancor Jackhammer

KS-23 Tactical Shotgun

High Standard Model 10 Bullpup Semi-Automatic Shotgun

Heckler & Koch HK CAWS (10 Round, 12-Gauge, Ambidextrous Bullpup shotgun has semi-automatic and full-automatic modes)

Caution

Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web site is for information only. TopSurvivalPreps.com and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone using any items described on this web site including shotguns and other firearms. Please take proper care of your firearms, learn how to use them responsibly and train frequently. Understand the gun laws in your state and always properly secure your guns.


See Our Other Firearm Related Pages

For more information on firearms, ammo, and accessories for the typical American who is thankful for our 2nd Amendment rights, see our additional firearm related pages.


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