Tracing its roots back to the respected and venerable Mossberg 500, the 590A1 keeps the core of what makes the 500-series of shotguns so great and makes it even better. The U.S. military put out a request for a more durable pump-action shotgun that could stand up to the rigors of hard field use, and the 590A1 was born. Mossberg responded by adding a tough parkerized finish, all metal trigger guard, thick-walled barrel, and stronger internals. It is an intuitive and easy to use pump-gun, but it is a bit on the heavy side due to the aforementioned features. The extra weight helps tame the harsh recoil of the 12 gauge round, making the shooting experience a little more pleasant. The ambidextrous tang safety makes the gun easy for all users to operate the gun. Its wide aftermarket also allows you to tailor the gun to your specific wants and needs. While the 590A1 isn’t the smoothest or lightest shotgun out there, it is an absolute tank, and you’d be hard pressed to find any firearm that will last as long and take as much punishment.
“The Benelli M3 is my favorite shotgun of all time. It might be the most capable and versatile shotgun on the market. And it’s one of the rare convertible shotguns. A convertible shotgun is one that allows the user to swap between a semi-automatic action and a pump action. The benefit of the M3’s system is that you can use any shotgun round on the market. The pump-action mode allows it to cycle low recoiling rounds that won’t cycle in a semi-auto action.” — Travis Pike
The Benelli Montefeltro is built to be a dual-purpose shotgun that is equally at home at the range or in the field. The slim fore-end and lightweight anodized receiver make for a very printable and fast-handling gun. At its core, the Montefeltro uses Benelli’s proven and reliable inertia-driven system to provide users with a clean-and-soft shooting, reliable semi-auto experience. Available in both 12 and 20-gauge and with compact options and varying barrel lengths available, there is a Montefeltro out there for just about everyone.
The Mossberg 500 has withstood the test of time and is the gold standard when it comes to pump-action shotguns for the everyman. They are reliable, easy to maintain, versatile, have a huge aftermarket, and are extremely affordable. It is likely the most popular shotgun in the United States, and for a good reason.
The Beretta 1301 is the company’s flagship tactical shotgun. This gas-operated shotgun is fast, slick, has oversized and easy-to-use controls, and has plenty of aftermarket support. If you are looking for a reliable, combat-capable semi-auto shotgun, the Beretta 1301 has you covered.
Johnny B says “Benelli’s M4 is what we would call a good Italian auto shotgun. It’s the best combat shotgun on the market and would do phenomenal in a home defense setup or tactical arena. This autoloader looks great, runs smooth, brings that cool factor we all like from our guns. Most importantly, you can trust your life to it.” This 12-gauge shotgun is a fast-shooting, smooth semi-auto model. Featuring an 18.5-inch barrel, it measures 40 inches in total length with a weight of 7.8 pounds. It offers up a 14.75-inch length-of-pull. Drilled and tapped, you can throw an optic on it and rock and roll.
The Mossberg Maverick 88 is the true everyman’s shotgun. It is affordable, reliable, durable, and is built on the design of one of the most proven shotguns in the world. This is the ultimate bang for your buck in the shotgun world and possibly one of the best deals in the firearms world as a whole.
Usually coming in at under $400, the Mossberg 500 Field/Security pump-action shotgun is one of the most versatile guns you can buy for the money. This gun comes with two barrels, a 28-inch field barrel with interchangeable choke tubes and an 18.5-inch security barrel with a fixed choke. Having both barrels allows you to have a do-all gun that can cover anything from hunting to sporting to home defense. Mossberg makes the barrel change process simple and easy, with a single screw making the barrel swap a 60-second affair that takes no tools. The ambidextrous tang safety makes this gun intuitive for most users, but the rest of the gun is pretty standard fare when it comes to ergonomics. The Mossberg 500 has been the gold standard for basic shotguns since the 60s, and it has the aftermarket to prove that. If you need a shotgun to cover all the bases, this is it.