Prepping with guns: 5 Best shotguns for home defense
By Edsel Cook // Oct 06, 2019

The versatility of shotguns makes them a good option for preppers in need of a gun, be it for self-defense or hunting. Here are five of the best shotgun models based on reliability and ease of use for new and veteran users. (h/t to


Mossberg 590A1

The first option is the Mossberg 590A1. It is a heavy shotgun that sees considerable use in the military and law enforcement.

The 590A1 emphasizes ruggedness instead of refinement. It is a reliable and durable weapon.

Factory-issue units come with an ambidextrous safety on the tang, adjustable ghost ring sights with excellent visibility, and a lug for a bayonet.

Its cycling action will not win any awards for smoothness, but it will cycle no matter what happens to it.

The 590A1 is all but indestructible. It will survive rough firing schedules, various ammunition, and harsh weather.

Finally, the price tag is modest, making it attractive for budget preppers. (Related: When faced with a conflict, here are the first things you should do.)

Remington 870P and Beretta 1301

Next is the Remington 870P, a member of the iconic 870 series of pump-action shotguns. Millions of these guns exist around the world, and 870s make up a good chunk of the firearms in the U.S.

The 870 is a long-standing favorite for its action, ruggedness, and reliability. It also enjoys a wide array of variants and customization options. Rails, storage for extra ammo, a folding stock, an optical sight, and a flashlight are just some of the available options for customizing an 870.

The 870P is the Police model of the 870 series. Built for rigorous specifications set by law enforcers, it will serve a prepper well.

Another choice is the Wingmaster. The sporting version of the 870P, it has higher quality and reliability than the Express and Tactical ones.

The third option comes from Beretta. Their 1301 Tactical shotgun is the newest addition to a long line of weapons.

A gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun, the 1301 model is lightweight and cycles quickly. It is also easy to shoot and a dependable weapon with excellent sights and well-placed controls. Like the 870P, the Beretta 1301 has plenty of accessories, custom parts, and factory support.

Its main weakness involves its stock shell release. Set on the right side of the receiver, it releases a shell from the mag tube into the action. It is rather easy to hit the stock shell release. Thus, a careless user may accidentally tie up the gun during use.

Benelli M4 and Winchester 1300

Number four on the recommended list is the Benelli M4. Like the Mossberg 590A1, it is a military-issue shotgun, and like the Beretta 870P, it is a gas-operated weapon.

The M4 makes a strong claim to the title of the world's most durable and rugged semi-automatic shotgun. The gas system doesn't need to make any adjustments for different loads.

Users will appreciate its ability to fire almost any shell with barely any trouble. They will also like its sights and its easy-to-use engineering.

The capabilities of the M4 come with an appropriate price tag. Costing around $1,800, it is the most expensive choice on the list.

The Winchester 1300 takes up the last slot of the recommendations. It is a pump-action shotgun that cycles quickly and smoothly, especially when compared to the Mossberg and Remington. A skilled 1300 user can match the rate of fire of semi-automatic shotguns.

The 1300 model is no longer in production. However, it still appears in sporting good shops and pawnshops.

Further, there are plenty of spare parts available. And while the Winchester 1300 doesn't have as many options and accessories as the Mossberg or Remington, it may carry extra ammo, lights, slings, and other gear for self-defense shotguns.

For more recommendations on the best survival gear for budget preppers, visit

Sources include:

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