Unless you have recently won the lottery or simply have cash to burn, we tend to shop for good deals. This is especially true in the firearms arena. While there is no shortage of high-priced blasters, there are an equal number of guns that are a great buy. One of my favorite categories for this is shotguns. Join me as we take a look at some of the best shotguns for the money!
The Maverick 88 is a well-made gun from the shotgun cornerstone, Mossberg. It is very similar to their model 500 but has a crossbolt safety as opposed to a top mounted safety. In fact, Maverick 88 pump-action models are fully interchangeable with Mossberg 500 barrels (within gauge and capacity). The diverse selection of available accessory barrels allows shooters to adapt their Maverick 88 for multiple hunting or security purposes. The gun comes with dual extractors, twin action bars, positive steel to steel lockup, and an anti-jam elevator provide trouble free operation. You are able to get this in the $200.00 range. With the Mossberg name behind this gun it is an absolute bargain at the price.
The 870 is possibly one of the most popular shotguns of all time. It was introduced in a more budget friendly version in 1987 called the Express. Like all Model 870 shotguns, this workhorse features a receiver milled from a solid billet of steel for maximum strength and reliability. The twin action bars prevent binding and twisting so that you’ll always have the chance to get off a second shot. The gun has non-reflective black matte metalwork and a no-frills hardwood stock and fore end. Both the 12- and 20-gauge models are offered with your choice of a 26- or 28-inch vent-rib barrel with a Modified Rem Choke and single bead sight. This gun can be found in the low $300s and is a great gun for the money.
The Benelli Nova series embodies a modular design concept in a pump action shotgun. With the optional SteadyGrip stock, this 12-gauge shotgun can be transformed into a high-performance turkey gun or mount a fully rifled slug barrel for tack-driving accuracy on deer. It’s like having several Benelli shotguns in one. There’s even a barrel with rifle sights for home defense and the Nova Tactical fitted is with a ghost-ring rear sight. At the heart of this new pump gun is a lightweight steel skeleton framework over-molded with a high-tech polymer, making these shotguns super-light, super-strong and almost completely impervious to any weather condition. But it isn’t just tough on the outside. With its dual-action bars and two-lug rotary bolt head that locks up steel to steel inside the barrel, the Benelli Nova series is rock solid to the core. We are able to find these great shotguns consistently under $400 and I consider them one of the best bargains out there.
The SXP Defender is a versatile gun and can handle buckshot or rifled slugs efficiently through the fully chrome plated, 18″ fixed cylinder choked barrel (no constriction) for wide patterning. This open choke is also very accurate when using Foster-type slugs. It also has non-glare metal surfaces with a tough composite stock and forearm. Additional features include a five-shot magazine (plus one in the chamber), and a positive, deeply grooved forearm for control and stability. Whether it’s multi-gun competition or protecting your home and family, the Super X Pump Defender is the perfect choice. Its inertia-assisted action, six-shell total ammo capacity, durable composite stock and ribbed forearm give you an edge against any odds. While it may look basic, it is quite a bit of gun for less than $350!
This is a basic but functional pump shotgun that is a real bargain coming in as low as $289. Each P3000 Defense comes with a blade front sight, crossbolt safety, black synthetic stock and a fixed cylinder choke. These guns come with no frills, but they function reliably and at just under 6.5 pounds, they’re heavy enough to manage kick yet are maneuverable. Standard capacity for the P3000 Defense is 4+1, which isn’t huge, but good for the price. The P3000 is a solid option if you’re looking for an affordable shotgun for home defense.
While not technically a “shotgun” by ATF definition, I have included it here because technicalities aside, its’ a shotgun style weapon. The 590 Shockwave offers Mossberg pump-action reliability in a compact 14 inch-barreled package. This firearm incorporates all the features that have made Mossberg pump-actions the choice for millions worldwide. They include an ambidextrous safety, dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup and twin action bars. It also has a nice and smooth operating anti-jam elevator. Unique to the Shockwave, the Raptor bird’s head grip is designed to minimize recoil. In the minds of many it is very similar to a short barrel shotgun without the hassle of getting an ATF SOT tax stamp. We can find these guns in the mid $400s which is half of what you would pay if it were truly a short barrel shotgun.
The last model we will talk about comes to us from China via Interstate Arms. The well-known Chinese firearm manufacturer Norinco makes these reliable shooters and are obviously built after the popular Remington 870. While it is close to the Remington, it is not identical. Some aftermarket parts designed for the Remington may not work on the Interstate Arms gun. Regardless, the gun is well built and solid. It is a good choice as a rugged home-defense gun for those on a budget who aren’t able to buy name brand. The shotgun ships with ghost-ring sights, is machined with a solid-steel receiver and features machined components rather than MIM parts, like the extractor, ejector and trigger guard. I was able to find this shotgun at $189 while writing this article and consider it to be one of the best bargains in the shotgun market.
Another gun that takes its cue from another design is the Savage-Stevens 320 Security Pump. It is based on the popular Winchester Model 1300. It is an affordable, no-frills home-defense gun that can be found in a number of different configurations, depending on your preferences, all with minimal added cost. The basic model is equipped with a standard brass-bead front sight, pistol-grip stock and a five-round magazine tube. The gun is a bit bare bones with a hollow, polymer buttstock and a thin, rubber recoil pad. It has a standard cross-bolt safety located just in front of the trigger guard and has a 3-inch chamber which provides flexibility with different shotshell loads. This is another gun that can be found easily under $200 making it affordable for almost anyone.