Whenever we’re asked to review firearms, we try to stick with the basics: performance, reliability, and safety. A close fourth is price point – because let’s be honest, unless you use it all the time you’re not going to want to sink $2,000 on a shotgun. And if you are one of those people who goes duck hunting with a country club – these 5 shotguns below will be the instruments of war that bring the aww back in awesome.
SPECIAL NOTE: Don’t worry folks — we got MORE TACTICAL SHOTGUN options coming your way! Due to popular demand, we’re continuing to show you the very best tactical shotguns out on the market. Never fear and check back often!
For this list, we’re just focusing on 12 gauge tactical shotguns. Most of these are offered in smaller gauges (20, 410) but it’s up to you to determine availability in your area.
Tactical Shotgun #1: Saiga-12
The Saiga-12 manufactured by Izhmash is perhaps one of the most brutal semi-automatic shotguns to date. Using the same configuration and lower receiver as the AK-47, it can be chambered in anything from 12 gauge to 410. Magazine capacity is generally limited. In the 12 gauge model, it comes with a capacity to hold 5 shells, with magazines available which extend this to 10, 12, and even 25 (cannister).
PROS: Brutal semi-automatic action mixed with the versatility of 12 gauge double-ought or solid slug ammo. This is a ruthless close to medium range tactical shotgun.
CONS: The Saiga-12 can sometimes have issues feeding different shell sizes. It seems to prefer double-ought and similar — it doesn’t like alternating in between quail shot and solid slug.
Restrictions: Russia is presently a banned importer so the supply of Izhmash Saiga-12s is limited. Check out Century Arms for ancillaries.
Tactical Shotgun #2: Benelli M2 Tactical
This is a bank buster in terms of semi-automatic capabilities but absolute sleuth in terms of price point. Benelli really put a lot of emphasis in recoil compensation in this model. With a shorter 18.5″ barrel, it’s definitely good for doorways and narrow corridors.
PROS: Recoil compensation, tactical size.
CONS: Limited magazine capacity, non-detachable magazine.
Tactical Shotgun #3: FN Herstal SLP Tactical
Fabrique Nationale offers a fantastic semi-automatic shotgun with 8 round internal capacity. This is ideal for people expecting to encounter a variety of dangerous circumstances.
PROS: If you have to pick just one shotgun for both tactical and sporting purposes – this is the ideal.
CONS: Longer barrel (22″).
Tactical Shotgun #4: Kel Tec KSG
Extremely high ammunition holding capacity – 14+1 – the Kel-Tec KSG shines when it comes to close range shotgun training.
PROS: Extreme close range and medium range capabilities – ideal for home-defense.
CONS: Absolutely worthless out in an open field. Definitely useless for hunting game.
Tactical Shotgun #5: Benelli Super Black Eagle II
This is more for the sportsmen turned Mad Max. The Benelli Super Black Eagle II is a semi-automatic shotgun with 3 rounds of capacity plus one in the chamber. For tactical situations, it has limited application but out in a woodland environment or wilderness – it’s ideal.
PROS: All terrain capabilities.
CONS: Limited ammunition capacity.
Tactical Shotgun #9: Kral Silver Eagle 12ga
The Silver Eagle is produced by a small Turkish firm but the golden egg for this semi-auto is its interchangeable barrels – 28″ and 20″. The 28″ is definitely great for the sportsman out in the wilderness but the 20″ is ideal for firing slugs and home-defense rounds. It’s a one size-fits-all approach to shotguns.
PROS: Good construction, reliable.
CONS: Not very well known.