There is no shortage of quality shotguns to choose from these days, which makes whittling down the list to 5 a real chore. However, that is what we did when we created this list of the Top 5 Ready for Action Shotguns of 2018. These are not necessarily the newest or the most popular, but they are all worthy of selection to defend the castle when the wolf comes to your door.
The Modern Shotgun
The British invented the pump-action shotgun in the mid 1800s, but semi-autos have certainly earned the spotlight when it comes to shotguns for defense or offense. Models such as the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 have reached legendary status thanks to a strong service record of law enforcement, military, and civilian engagements. The pump action’s success stories are often attributed to skilled operators. That is fine for those who train regularly with the weapon. Semi-automatic shotguns, on the other hand, have often been decried as less reliable do to the reliance on certain moving parts, gas systems etc. Perhaps there was merit to that argument in the past, but today we need look no further than modern competition shotguns, the Benelli M4 used by the military and a few thumpers such as those offered by Molot, Kel-Tec, UTAS, and others to realize semi-automatic shotgun are not a ‘backseat’ choice.
Here are the top 5, ready for action shotguns.
Molot Vepr 12 Gauge
This semi-auto shotgun is imported in its original configuration directly from the Molot factory in Russia. The Vepr 12 is a semi-automatic shotgun designed for self-defense, hunting, and 3-gun competitions. Based on the RPK standard, the Vepr 12 shares the same legendary characteristics of extreme reliability in harsh conditions as the RPK.
The fire control group allows for semi-automatic shooting and the safety is an improved version of the standard AK safety selector (No ambi safety; no one-finger operation). Additional features include: The ability to insert magazines straight into the magazine well (AR style) without the need to cant the magazine (AK style); RPK style Windage adjustable rear sights; Windage and elevation adjustable front sights integrated to the gas block; Picatinny rail on top cover (no side scope rail); Removable thread protector; and chrome lined chamber, barrel, gas block, and bolt carrier operation rod for increased corrosion and wear resistance.
Polymer lower handguard and upper handguard, wood 1-piece thumbhole with sling loop, competition magazine well, factory 5-round magazine, RPK style windage adjustable rear sight, hinged dust cover with a Picatinny rail, original AK enhanced safety lever (single finger operation), factory chrome lined barrel, chamber, receiver shaft, and gas chamber, factory last round bolt hold open, factory threaded barrel, factory machined bolt assembly, and gas blocks.
VEPR 12 is shipped with one 5-round magazine.
Chamber: 3” / 76 mm
Total Length: 42 in / 1070 mm
Barrel Length: 19 in / 483 mm
Weight w/o Magazine: 9.7 lbs / 4.4 kg
Magazine: Removable box 5 rounds
Shop now! $859
Looking for an Arsenal SGL 12-94 Law Enforcement Variation Saiga 12 shotgun? Now you can have a Saiga shotgun with the same fit and finish as the SGL21 and 31 series rifles. The 922r compliant parts are MIL-SPEC. There is a Warsaw Pact-length folding buttstock, pistol grip, and trigger group. Features include a tactical rail with RPK-style handguard that uses the same lower handguard ribbed technology as othe RPK series that provides advanced cooling. The pre-configured, magazine-fed shotgun system combines Adaptive Tactical’s state-of-the-art 10-round Rotary magazine with the Maverick 88 security model shotgun. Its lightning-fast reload action cycles 12 gauge rounds consistently, and reliably, for the ultimate in performance for defense, range or competition.
- Rapid reloads and increased ammunition capacity
- Improved firearm versatility and performance
- Durable polymer and alloy construction
- Guaranteed reliable feeding
- 10 round Rotary magazine
- Elite Wraptor Forend with 3 rails, heat shield and sight tunnel
- Adjustable EX Performance M4-style stock with pistol grip features custom length-of-pull for proper fit and improved performance
- Compatible with 12 gauge – 2.75″ ammunition
- Ambidextrous design
- Made in the U.S.A.
Shop now! $599-$649
Kel-Tec KSG 25
The KSG-25 is no ordinary KSG. Its extended dual tube magazines holds 20 3-inch, 12 gauge shells (plus one in the chamber), with the flexibility of switching between various projectiles. A patented downward ejection system makes it truly ambidextrous, while its 38-inch overall length, and 30.5-inch cylinder bore barrel still makes it more compact than a traditional shotgun holding a fraction of the number of shells.
|Caliber||12 ga. 3”|
|Weight Unloaded||9.25 pounds|
|Magazine Capacity||10+10 (3” shells)|
|Overall Length||38 inches|
|Barrel Length||30.5 inches|
|Trigger Pull||5 pounds|
Shop now! $990
The UTAS UTS-15 is a bullpup 12 gauge pump-action shotgun with two 7-round magazine tubes that can feed in an alternating or selecting pattern. The UTS-15 has a 28.3” overall length with an 18.5” barrel, chambered for 2 ½-, 2 ¾-, and 3-inch magnum ammunition. Constructed primarily of fiber reinforced injection molded polymer, the UTS-15 weighs 6.9 lbs. Additionally, there is a top mounted picatinny rail for the mounting of a wide variety of both iron and optical sights, coupled with Beretta style barrel threading for choke tubes. Other features include:
- Windage adjustable rear sight with flip up large aperture peep or big game V. Elevation
adjustable front sight.*
- Technical polymer receiver with integrated spring loaded shell feding device and quick
removable fire control housing containing the hammer, sear and disconnector.
- Spring assisted pin ejector.
- Fiber reinforced flip up stock / shell funnel.
- Fiber reinforced butt plate with 1”, 8 durometer (A scale) energy absorbing recoil pad.
- 4140 steel bolt body, precision machined and heat treated 4140 steel rotary bolt heat with
three locking lugs.
- Precision machined and heat treated 4140 barrel extension with three locking lug mortises.*
- Precision machined 4140 steel barrel with muzzle threaded to accept Beretta style chokes.
- Precision machined 4140 steel flash suppressor with strike bezel and full length knurling.*
- Internally mounted point-and-shoot high intensity lens focused LED spotlight and full
adjustable laser sight, push button operated.*
- Forward, rear and mid-point quick detachable sling swivel mointing points. Mil Spec quick
- Matt black non-glare textured finish on all polymer parts.
- Matt black chrome or black oxide on all steel parts.
- Matt black non-glare anodizing on all aluminum parts.
- Overall length 28.3”.
- Weight 6.9 lbs.
- No tools required field stripping in 45 seconds.
Buy it now! $1,099
Sure, the Mossberg 500 is the classic choice, but there are other modern choices that can be had a bargain (compared to the the previous offerings on this roundup), yet still bring all of the quality and reliability of a trusty 500. With credentials that were hard earned over decades of military and law enforcement use, Mossberg’s 590 shotgun honors the line as a perfect choice for your personal and home defense needs.
Features include: Dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator ensure smooth operation. The top-mounted safety provides ambidextrous operation ability. Additional special features offer an enhance suitability for low and no-light conditions including, tri-railed forends to facilitate accessory lights and lasers and adjustable stocks for rapid adjustment of length of pull.
Mossberg 590 Tactical
|Barrel Finish||Matte Blued|
|Stock Finish||Synthetic (Black)|
Shop now! $455
Do you have a favorite shotgun for home defense? Did it make our list of Top 5 Ready for Action Shotguns? Share your choice in the comment section.
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