Do you still use the same hunting shotgun as you did decades ago? While a rusty, old piece could scare off a few crows, they can no longer take down larger prey.
Here are some of the best hunting shotguns to consider if you want to upgrade!
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Top 10 Best Hunting Shotguns for Hunters of All Levels
1. Mossberg 940 JM Pro Shotgun
Mossberg made the 940 JM Pro Shotgun in honor of world champion competition shooter Jerry Miculek, hence the JM. Its streamlined mechanism made of world-class materials guarantees an excellent shooting experience. Bring this piece to any shooting competition or hunting trip.
When it comes to accuracy, the 940 JM Pro Shotgun needs little to no modification. The 24″ barrel on this piece allows you to make accurate shot placements even with factory-produced ammo. Take this piece straight to the field right off the bat!
The 940 JM Pro Shotgun cycles through multiple shots flawlessly, features a flexible synthetic shoulder stock, and boasts a durable aluminum housing. Perhaps its only issue is that it doesn’t offer as many modification options as other race guns.
This piece does not lag in the reliability department. It has a rugged, heavy-duty frame that can withstand everyday bumps, dents, and drops.
Also, don’t worry too much about shooting maintenance. You will only have to clean the barrel once every 600 rounds to maintain peak accuracy.
2. CZ Redhead Premier
When it comes to usability, very few shotguns compare with the CZ Redhead Premier. This over/under shotgun offers excellent shootability and parts accessibility, plus local governments do not have such strict regulations on these pieces.
Over/under shotguns do not need sights for accurate shot placement. However, keep in mind that their accuracy substantially declines after a few hundred yards.
The CZ Redhead Premier measures around 46 inches and weighs only 8 pounds, so you can easily use these for long, time-consuming hunting trips.
This piece smoothly cycles between shots and can bust out hundreds of rounds without a single malfunction.
3. Franchi Affinity Semiautomatic Shotgun
The Franchi Affinity Semiautomatic Shotgun is a compact, responsive semiautomatic shotgun. You can use it for various hunting applications, from taking down small rabbits to stopping coyotes in their tracks.
It has a smooth follow-up shooting mechanism that lets you go through multiple rounds seamlessly.
Thanks to its tight factory-produced recoil spring, the Franchi Affinity Semiautomatic Shotgun has a trimmed, less bulky forend.
This piece boasts a compact frame that only weighs around six pounds. You can go hunting for hours on end without worrying about your arms cramping up.
4. CZ 1012 12 Gauge Hunting Shotgun
The first thing that any shooter might notice on the CZ 1012 12-Gauge Hunting Shotgun is its stunning design. It has strategically placed pieces lined with tasteful bronze highlights for a touch of class and elegance.
You can land accurate hundred-yard shots without needing additional sights or optics.
This piece goes beyond aesthetics. Its naturally grooved trigger, rounded forearm belly, accurately mounted optics offer a top-notch shooting experience.
The CZ 1012 12 Gauge Hunting Shotgun has a semiautomatic action mechanism modeled after the Bruno Civolani-designed inertia system. Since it utilizes only three main components—rotating bolt head, inertia spring, and bolt body—it requires little to zero ongoing maintenance.
5. Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus
Beretta made the A400 Xtreme Plus to elevate the average hunter’s shooting experience. Its entire mechanism was founded on purpose-built specs.
Its crisp trigger mechanism allows you to make accurate shots with ease even after several hours of shooting.
You can rely on the A400 Xtreme Plus for various shooting applications, from small-game hunting to long-range target shooting.
Since the piece has a light, compact frame (7 1/2 pounds), you can easily carry it around on long hunting trips without compromising arm stability.
6. Franchi Instinct L
You would be hard-pressed to find another over/under shotgun as affordable and accessible as the Franchi Instinct L. Its base model retails around $1,360.
The piece is quite dependable, but the barrel requires cleaning every few hundred rounds to maintain accuracy.
As long as you faithfully maintain and service the parts as scheduled, your Instinct L will continue to shoot like brand-new.
Considering the reasonable price tag and world-class shooting mechanism, Instinct L is definitely a suitable candidate for the best all-around hunting shotgun on the market.
7. Benelli Super Black Eagle 3
Take your bird hunting game to the next level. As its name suggests, the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 is a top contender of the best hunting shotgun to take down airborne prey.
No, the Super Black Eagle 3 is not inaccurate. Benelli confirmed that these pieces shoot high, so blot out flying targets with the muzzle instead of placing them between the sights.
Once you get past its unique shot placement, you’ll start to benefit from its excellent stopping power, reactive shooting mechanism, and compact frame.
The piece weighs only 8 pounds, so you can easily aim it at any angle you want.
8. Fabarm XLR5 Waterfowler Shotgun
The XLR5 Waterfowler Shotgun is another champion piece from the long-running shotgun manufacturer Fabarm. You can rest assured knowing that the manufacturer has had more than a century to perfect their firearms.
If you clean the barrels every few hundred rounds, you can expect to land accurate shots every time.
Shooters will appreciate the smooth, seamless feeding. You can almost feel the rounds sliding down the piece’s barrel. Also, the recoil is pretty easy to handle. Even first-time shotgun users with minimal training can safely fire a few dozen shots.
Its compact frame, manageable recoil, and trimmed barrel length make for a convenient, bountiful small-game hunting trip.
9. Remington V3 TAC 13 Tactical Shotgun
The Remington V3 TAC 13 Tactical Shotgun features a unique mechanism different from other compact shotguns. Since its receiver and gas block are positioned closely, this piece didn’t need a total overhaul despite the compact frame.
You can land hundred-yard shots accurately as long as you routinely clean the barrel every few hundred rounds.
Rookies don’t have to worry about this piece’s recoil. Despite its impressive stopping power, it has a minimized kick that shooters of all levels can handle.
The Remington V3 TAC 13 Tactical Shotgun has a trimmed barrel of just around 13″, so you can easily maneuver it however you want.
10. Winchester SX4 Semi-Auto Hunting Shotgun
The Winchester SX4 Semi-Auto Hunting Shotgun is a light, compact shotgun ideal for small-game hunting.
Choose between barrel lengths of 24, 26, and 28 inches. We suggest using shorter options for easy maneuvering.
The SX4 Semi-Auto Hunting Shotgun might not have enough firepower to take down large prey like coyotes and wild boars.
Since the piece only weighs seven pounds, you can quickly shoot dozens of rounds without worrying about the recoil impact on your arms.
Check out this video by Best Outdoor Lab where they give us a visual demonstration of their top 10 best hunting shotguns:
These are just some of the best shotguns for hunting. We all have varying shooting needs and preferences, so feel free to explore other more suitable options. Use this guide as a starting point when comparison shopping.
Also, don’t base your decision on power alone. While a hard-hitting piece can take down larger prey like bears, deers, and musk oxen, not everyone can utilize its features. Always prioritize comfort and functionality over firepower.
Have you used any of these pieces for hunting before? Share your thoughts on the best hunting shotguns available on the market!
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