best shotgun for home defense

Best Shotgun For Home Defense 2023

As witnessed with every passing day, modern life has evolved to become unsafe even in the most civilized of countries. Calamities, viruses, riots, and natural disasters have all created room for certain opportunistic individuals to grow and take advantage of such situations to harm or harass others for materialistic gain.

Although the concepts of self-defense and personal protection are not something new for the American citizen but due to the ever-evolving dangers of modern society and criminal elements there is a need for most citizens to keep firearms at their homes in hidden gun storage for protection of themselves and their beloved families.

Those who take this responsibility seriously will do anything and everything to guarantee the safety of their family members. Of all the weapons available in the market, nothing is more iconic and relatable than a shotgun. As all the popular movies have rightly imprinted in our minds, “Shotguns are the go to home defense guns”.

Smoke escaping from the barrel of a shotgun.

We have compiled a comprehensive insight into the best shotgun for home defense in 2023 for you to place in your gun concealment shelf or shelf gun safe at your home and use when required.


A thought must cross every reader's mind that there needs to be a solid reason for us to suggest keeping a shotgun in your hidden gun safe for home defense. Shotguns have a few defining characteristics that make them the perfect weapon for personal protection and they are:


Shotguns have the honor of being considered amongst the most versatile of all weapons. The same tactical shotgun used for home defense can be used for hunting, skeet shooting or riot control, or CQB depending on the user’s preference.


The main reason shotguns are preferred for a home defense weapon is the power delivered by each round upon impact. A well-targeted shot can stop any man or animal dead in its tracks or at least cause sufficient damage to considerably reduce the amount of threat it poses. So, instead of having an AR wall mount, consider having one for your shotgun at the most critical location of your house.


Although Shotguns do require a certain level of accuracy to be optimally effective, the amount of accuracy required in comparison to say AR-15 or a pistol is considerably less. Anyone with a little knowledge of its operation can use the shotgun and be effective in stopping the intruder because the shot spreads over a wider area.


The customizability of the gauge rounds is a feature that makes the shotguns unique and versatile. You have the option to choose from non-lethal rounds to incapacitate or use lethal gauges and slugs to exterminate the intruder entirely.


Not everyone is a gun enthusiast or a gun fanatic, so the perfect home defense weapon needs to be reliable and easy to use for the layman at a moment’s notice. Shotguns have the best ease-of-use design and operating principles of all weapons. They tend towards being reliable in every shot due to fewer moving parts than rifles.


Now that you have decided to buy a shotgun, let’s go over the process of choosing the best one for you that fulfills the requirements of home defense and fits well in your hidden gun storage.


Although there are multitudes of shotgun actions namely, pump-action, semi-automatic, lever-action, and break-action, the two main types of shotgun for home defense that sell the most are pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns.


Pump action types are the OG shotguns and are the go-to recommendation by many weapons experts for home defense. They are called pump-action because the fore end of the shotgun needs to be pumped back after every shot to extract the fired cartridge and introduce a new shell into the chamber.

The main benefits of this type are its affordability, reliability of action, and the ability to shoot multiple types of shotgun shells.

The cons of this type are the increased recoil when compared to semi-auto shotguns, the increased probability of injury due to pinching of hand skin because of improper hand placement, and the learning  curve of using the pump action.


These are the newer types of shotguns that have yet to overcome the popularity of pump-action shotguns in mainstream media. They are operated much like any other rifle and do not have the pump-action learning curve.

The main benefit of this type is the increased rate of fire as compared to the pump action in the hands of a novice user. They have lower recoil in comparison with pump-action shotguns and have proven to be reliable despite repeated usage.

The drawbacks of this type are the costly price, specific ammo requirements, and the complexity of disassembly and maintenance. 

ar 15 locking wall mount


We have compiled the best shotguns from the plethora of choices available. The reason for choosing these guns are their reliability, ease of use, and the level of defense they offer to homeowners.


There was no doubt that the pump-action Remington 870 would make our list. It has sold like hotcakes since its inception and that is because of the reliability and the versatility it offers. Made from state-of-the-art steel, it comes in a variety of barrel sizes ranging from 18 to 30. Their Special Purpose Marine Magnum model is one of the best 12 gauge shotguns for home defense purposes. It can hold up to six rounds giving you six chances of bringing down your target, and that is still more than you’ll need.

Remington 870 - Best shotgun for home defense in 2023
Photo courtesy of Remington

Affordability and reliability are the characteristics that the fine people at Mossberg use to sell you the Maverick 88. And these claims have been justified by their vast satisfied customer base. The Maverick 88 is a 6 and 8-shot home defense and hunting pump-action shotgun that is highly customizable and can be used for a variety of defense situations. The Mossberg Maverick 88 can be aptly called the best bang-for-buck shotgun.

mossberg best shotgun for home defense
Photo courtesy of Mossberg


The Benelli M4 is a semi-automatic, auto regulating gas operated shotgun that rivals the pump-action shotguns in our lists. Being the standard shotgun for the US Marines you can very well gauge the capability and performance of this shotgun. The pistol-grip stock, 5+1 shell capacity, and other customizability options make it a good fit for homeowners. It is manufactured using state-of-the-art technologies and MILSPEC materials making it reliable and a force to be reckoned with.

Benelli M4 - best shotgun for home defense
Photo courtesy of Benelli


The Beretta 1301, the semi-automatic tactical shotgun is a technological marvel. This gas-operated shotgun offers ease of use with reliability that lasts the test of time. The compact size of 18.5” makes it ergonomically compatible with most users and makes it ideal for home defense as it is made for navigating tight spaces while maintaining tactical readiness. The size makes it perfect to be stored on a hidden gun shelf or a tactical wall. There could not be a better shotgun to choose for home defense which also goes well with gun concealment home decor.

beretta shotgun for home defense
Photo courtesy of Beretta


This semi-automatic gas-operated shotgun from Turkey brings the fun back into shotgun shooting. This 31/2” shotgun has a chrome lined barrel along with swappable piston rings making it capable of shooting lighter and heavy loads depending upon the situation. Some other noteworthy features are the magazine cut-off action, 5-round magazine and 4 Beretta Mobil chokes. Apart from being a formidable home defense shotgun, it can also be used for hunting.

Is the Tristar Viper Max the best shotgun for home defense?
Photo courtesy of Tristar


As with every weapon, due to the variety of options choosing one becomes an arduous task but you can never go wrong with choosing one from our list as all of these shotguns are among the best of their kind and offer unparalleled home protection and peace of mind.

At Timber Vaults, we offer a variety of tactical shelves to hide firearms such as shotguns and rifles. Find out more about our hidden gun shelf for shotgun below.