Winner: G-Force GFPG3 Shotgun
With 4 round capacity, three-inch chamber, and barrel length of 20 inches, it’s pretty standard for a basic shotgun and the simplest thing you need to defend your home.
The best thing about this shotgun was how it felt during operation and handling, and whether it’s your first shotgun or you’ve owned many before this, having something so easy to operate is a major bonus.
There are lots of parts that come together to make the GFPG3 ergonomically correct including the pistol grip and recoil pad, so it’s a breeze to work with, and these features further add to its accuracy as well.
As far as price goes, this is one of the best in terms of what you get from its performance, and if you’re only buying a gun for home defense you don’t need all of the bells and whistles.
The tube-fed pump-action shotgun has been built tough and has twin action bars so it’s reliable and cycles without a fuss, which is exactly what you want when you have to think and act quickly.
As the G-Force brand isn’t that common in the US, some people felt a little uneasy about putting their faith in it.
Not only is it hard to find information about the gun’s background but you might also struggle to make contact with the manufacturer and sourcing parts and accessories as needed, so keep this in mind when choosing your next shotgun.
Although cheap, there are downsides to going with an unknown like this, even if it’s got a lot of rave reviews.
Another negative that people mentioned was that the G-Force didn’t work with 2 ¾ inch shells, so don’t attempt to cycle them through.
Those that had already attempted this found that everyone one of them got jammed which only caused more problems.
You’ll need to stick to the 3” shells recommended by the manufacturer which can limit you somewhat in the ammunition you’re able to use.
If you’re looking for dependability and ease of use in a home defense weapon, regardless of your skills as a shooter, you won’t find a better deal than the G-Force GFPG3 Shotgun.
Although there’s no official word on a warranty, you can feel right away that it’s built with solid Turkish engineering, and costs a lot less than the competition.
This pump-action has all of the basics you need even if it’s missing some of the finer details, and you can be guaranteed it’ll be ready for action in a pinch.
- Caliber: 12 gauge
- Capacity: 4
- Weight: 7lbs
- Ergonomic pistol grip
- Fixed polymer stock
- Easy to operate
- Doesn’t work with 2 ¾ inch shells
Runner Up: EAA Churchill
This powerful shotgun weighs 6.4lbs with an overall barrel length of 18.5 inches so it’s pretty easy to maneuver and it comes with a pistol-grip design so you get greater control over every shot.
The best thing about this gun comes in how easy it is to maneuver, and that’s thanks to features like the aforementioned pistol grip and ergonomically designed stock.
Even if you’ve never fired a shotgun before and are feeling hesitant about learning the ropes, you’ll feel right at home the second you get the EAA Churchill in your hands.
Customers also loved that their Churchill was accurate in all kinds of scenarios and that it had a consistently great shot pattern, even when they didn’t have a lot of time to act.
When you’re dealing with an intruder you want something that’s going to be dependable and fast-acting, and this gun can deliver on both of those fronts.
Considering the performance for price, it makes this firearm even more enviable and a nifty little piece for a bargain.
On the downside, some people had issues with their Churchill jamming when they’re trying to feed the ammunition in, with a rate of about one in five times that this occurred.
Half of these cases were complete jamming of the magazine tube and others occurred when it would double feed, so be prepared to work through these issues if your gun is one of the unlucky ones.
Another negative of the EAA Churchill wasn’t as bad as the jamming, but still a letdown regardless, and it had to do with the optics.
According to reviews, this shotgun only comes with bead sights which aren’t really up to the task and ended up being more distracting than anything.
There’s a more expensive option that has a hooded front sight and rear sight, so if you can swing some extra dollars, it’s the better choice, otherwise, you can add your own optics with a rail adapter.
The EAA Churchill has everything you could ask for in a tactical home defense shotgun and it couldn’t be easier to operate.
As long as your weapon isn’t one of the unfortunates that suffer from jamming, there’s not much you can find wrong with it.
The EAA Churchill is a 12 gauge that’s terrifying enough to scare anyone away and give you absolute confidence you can defend your home.
- Caliber: 12 gauge
- Capacity: 5
- Weight: 6.4lbs
- Easy to maneuver
- Good for beginners
- High accuracy
- Prone to jamming while reloading
Alternative: Rock Island VPRA40
The VPRA40 has lots of extras that are amazing considering its price, like a heat shield, ventilated recoil pad, and magazine that’s interchangeable with the rest of the RIA VR series of shotguns.
What makes this one of the best 12 gauge shotgun for home defense options is that it’s completely versatile in the type of ammunition it can fire successfully so you have a lot of options.
According to previous users, you can use slugs, buckshot, and target loads in this with amazing results every time, and with total comfort for the shooter as well.
The recoil on this gun is exceptionally low which is good to know, as some people are turned off from 12 gauges because of their kickback.
This features alone makes it a contender for the best shotgun for a woman for self defense if you’re looking for something easy to use and without the harsh kickback that so many of these firearms come with.
The low recoil can be attributed to the widened comb and ventilated recoil pad that comes as standard with the gun.
If you’ve ever used a pump-action before, there’s a good chance you’ll find the Rock Island confusing.
Their unique construction means the bolt is found on the right side of the receiver and it needs to be pushed down for it to open the action.
This is a bit of a letdown and seems to cause extra work without any real motive, and traditional pump-action users might find it too frustrating to bother with.
Another downside of the VRPA40 is its fit and finish, and although this is to be expected with a capable shotgun in this price range, it would have been nice to see some attention to detail being paid.
Some users noted that there were soldering marks on certain parts, like where the lug and barrel join, which detracted from the overall finish of the shotgun.
The Rock Island VRPA40 is the long-awaited pump action addition to their lineup and just as reasonably priced like the rest of them.
Aside from some minor issues and unique design choices, this is a powerful shotgun for home defense while still managing to be gentle enough for all kinds of shooters to operate.
This isn’t the best choice for beginners as those with some experience will get the best out of it, but it’s exactly the type of gun you want to protect your home.
- Caliber: 12 gauge
- Capacity: 6
- Weight: 7lbs
- Low recoil
- Can use different amunition types
- Standardized magazine
- Awkward bolt placement
Alternative: Black Aces Tactical Pro Series X
The fit and finish of this gun are spectacular, made with Nickel Marine and included front and rear sights, as well as a carrying case to keep it all together.
The coolest thing about the Black Aces Tactical Pro Series X is that it comes with so many extras that let you use the gun however you choose.
Included with the firearm itself is an additional magazine and three separate chokes that can be swapped out easily.
The three chokes include an open, modified, and full style, and easily differentiate them by looking at the choke end.
The size of this makes it a great option for home defense as it means you can move quickly and easily around your property without the gun feeling too bulky.
The barrel length being 18.5 inches might not seem like much of a difference but when you’re trying to peer around a corner, you’ll be grateful that you lost a couple of inches from its length.
On the downside, the shorter barrel length may have some impact on its velocity, and for that reason, you don’t want to attempt any long-range shots with it.
As a home defense shotgun, this probably isn’t likely, but as it’s classed in the compact shotgun category, it may not be what you’re looking for.
Another negative worth noting is the price, as this is easily one of the more expensive shotguns we’ve reviewed. Unless you’re super into the extra bits and pieces or are loyal to the Black Aces brand, you might not find it worthwhile.
Although they have a solid reputation and it’s obvious that the gun has been well made, you could save a couple of hundred dollars going with something else, and get just as much power and accuracy from it.
The Black Aces Tactical Pro Series X Pump Action Shotgun is an expensive option but made with the quality and durability that afford it this price tag.
For someone wanting a simple shotgun for home defense, it may be too much, but if you appreciate a well-made firearm that includes everything you need to customize it to your liking, you’ll be happy spending the extra cash.
- Caliber: 12 gauge
- Capacity: 4+1
- Weight: 10lbs
- Spectacular fit and finish
- Comes with various attachments
- Short range
Alternative: LKCI OMEGA
The Omega comes with a synthetic stock and black chrome finish, holds 4+1 rounds, and weighs just 6.17lbs, making it one of the smaller but still powerful pump actions on the market today.
What customers liked most about this shotgun from LKCI was its price, offering a much simpler way to get an entry-level home defense tool.
There’s nothing too fancy about this gun and it fires easily and without much of a learning curve needed, proving that there’s no need to spend more than a couple hundred dollars to get something effective.
According to the positive reviews, Omega is a breeze to handle and was especially easy for those who’d never fired a shotgun before.
Although it’s a full-sized shotgun, it only weighs a little over 6lbs, so even if you have less strength or an injury you’re dealing with, you’ll find it one of the easier ones to handle.
The fore-end of the gun is ribbed so it’s easy to get a grip on as well, and means aiming accurately takes a lot less effort.
The biggest letdown here is that there’s no rail attachment to be found on the Omega which means you need to go elsewhere if you want one added.
For a cheaper shotgun, it’s not that disappointing but if your vision for a home defense weapon included the ability to add optics and other accessories, you’ll want to upgrade to something that makes it easier.
Another issue with this gun is that because the brand is still relatively unknown in the US when you compare it to heavy hitters like Black Aces or Rock Island, so getting replacements parts or aftermarket accessories can be tough.
This is a better fit for someone looking for something simple and reliable to keep on standby at home, and not the type of firearm that you’ll deck out with all the latest bells and whistles.
The Omega from LKCI might be one of the lesser-known guns out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good fit for your home defense strategy.
This simple gun is missing some of the flashier features and accessories but it’s easy to handle for beginners and affordable for every budget.
If you only need something basic to defend your home, the LKCI Omega is a pump-action 12 gauge that you can rely on.
- Caliber: 12 gauge
- Capacity: 4+1
- Weight: 6.17lbs
- Black chrome finish
- Easy to handle
- No rail attachment
Home Defense Shotgun FAQs
There’s nothing as powerful as a carefully aimed shotgun when it comes to defending the home, but learning a little more about them and why they’re so effective will help you choose the right one.
We’ve answered some FAQs on the subject of shotguns that will give you the knowledge needed to make the decision when the time comes.
What Shotgun Gauge Is Best For Home Defense?
The 12-gauge shotgun is considered the absolute when it comes to home defense because it’s suitable for this size of target and powerful enough to stop an intruder in their tracks.
There are downsides to 12 gauge though, including more recoil and a heftier size, but the pros usually outweigh the cons.
Why Is Shotgun Best For Home Defense?
A quality shotgun is the best choice for home defense because it’s able to cast a wide shot pattern that doesn’t always have to be accurate to hit the mark.
The power behind a standard 12-gauge shotgun is easily enough to take down an unwanted visitor to the home and even with minimal experience, it can be fired effectively.
Should I Keep Home Defense Shotgun Loaded?
A shotgun should never be stored loaded as there are a number of risks present with this practice, including the gun ending up in the wrong hands and being fired or it falling over and misfiring.
It doesn’t take much time to load a shotgun when you need it, especially if you keep the ammunition stored nearby in a separate safe or cabinet. Therefore, the safest practice is to always keep your shotgun unloaded when it’s not in use.
Why Are Shotguns So Deadly?
A shotgun can be a deadly weapon when used with the right ammunition and a skilled operator, as with any type of firearm. However, one with a lower gauge and a thicker shell will be more powerful.
This is because these types of shells can hold more of the shot inside which can spread further and have more of an impact when it hits the target.
The Best Shot at Home Defense
The shotgun is highly regarded for its payload per trigger pull and it’s this benefit alone that makes it a great home defense weapon and an integral part of any home defense strategy.
With any of our recommendations, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re ready for anything that comes your way, even if you hope you never have to use it.