It seems there is a growing trend in America to use tactical shotguns for hunting. With all the recent debates about gun control and fears of mass shootings, people want to protect their families while staying true to their hunting roots.
But, as much as we are concerned about getting a home defense tactical shotgun, can we actually use it for hunting or gaming in the woods?
Shotguns are a great tool for home defense; they are powerful, maneuverable, accurate, and can shoot fast. But can you use a shotgun for hunting, or is it just too different from your typical rifle or handgun? Most shotguns are designed for one thing: to spread shots over a wide range at close range.
They are not the best tools for taking down deer, and they are not the best tools for shooting clay pigeons. However, if an intruder came into your home, you wouldn’t try to stop him with your hunting rifle.
Instead, you would use the shotgun. If you are going to hunt big game with a shotgun, you will have to put in a lot of work to determine the range of your shot.
Can you use a home defense shotgun for hunting?
The shotgun is the quintessential close combat weapon. It can be used for home defense and is often chosen for that purpose. Therefore, it is not uncommon to wonder if a shotgun is suitable for hunting. The shotgun is certainly a viable hunting option.
They are designed to be used for short-range shooting, and the spread of the shot allows them to be used on a smaller game than any other weapon.
The shooter relies on the spread of the shot to kill the game animal, which must be taken into account.
It is not uncommon for people to have a shotgun in their home for home defense and use the same weapon for hunting.
The shotgun is very effective when the range or distance of the shot is closer, say 10 yards. However, the shotgun cannot do much at longer distances, which is also due to your aiming and shooting skills.
The best way to judge a gun’s suitability for hunting is to determine how hunters use it.
For some reason, this principle hasn’t translated to the world of tactical shotguns, where many shooters consider their favorite home defense weapon a poor choice for the trail.
Of course, a tactical shotgun is not the first choice for every hunter, but a smart user can customize their tactical shotgun to be more powerful than they might think.
Why may a Tactical Shotgun be what you need?
At first glance, it may seem like there’s little difference between a hunting shotgun and a tactical shotgun. But as with most things in life, while the basics are the same, the devil is in the details.
A tactical shotgun is designed for a particular purpose: to provide devastating firepower to a group of soldiers on the battlefield.
This means that a tactical shotgun can be operated by people with little or no experience with firearms. In addition, a tactical shotgun must be durable enough to withstand the stresses of combat, and in some cases, it must be usable for years before it needs to be overhauled and rebuilt.
Finally, a tactical shotgun should also be powerful enough to break down doors and clear a path for the team.
What is the difference between a tactical shotgun and a regular shotgun?
The most striking difference between a shotgun and a tactical shotgun is the barrel length. A tactical shotgun usually has a shorter barrel, making it lighter and more maneuverable when used indoors and in vehicles.
It can be difficult to move a long rifle inside a building. According to federal law in the United States, the minimum barrel length for a shotgun is 18 inches, and the minimum overall length is 26 inches.
In order to have the most maneuverability feasible, you should aim to go as near as possible to these minimums. As a result, shotguns have longer barrels, typically ranging from 24″ to 30″ in length.
Best Tactical Shotgun for Hunting
So, you want a shotgun for hunting. Okay. But now you have to decide between a pump-action, a semi-auto, and a bolt-action shotgun.
The first thing you want to do before you buy a new shotgun is thinking about the type of animals you want to hunt because the type of gun you use to shoot quail may be different than the one you use to kill waterfowl.
Then you need to figure out what barrel length to weight ratio is ideal for what you want to do. Then you need to decide on the caliber size you want.
Although shotgun platforms have been around for a long time, the most modern tactical shotguns are identical. The differences lie in the features that manufacturers put into them. So, which tactical shotgun should you get for hunting?
1. Mossberg 500 Turkey Shotgun
The Mossberg 500 Turkey shotgun is one of the go-to shotguns for turkey hunters around the country. The dual extractors ensure each bowl is properly fed into the chamber and extracted after firing.
In addition, the double-action bars prevent the metal rails on the pump-action from ever twisting or breaking during your machining cycle.
The anti-jam elevator helps the dual extractors to feed the bowl into the chamber. Turkey’s Mossberg 500 shotgun is also the lightest, has the shortest barrel, and has the shortest pulling power of any other shotgun on this list.
With a total of 6 rounds and a fiber optic front sight, you can hunt comfortably in low light at dawn or dusk without any problem of clarity.
Why should I buy the Mossberg Turkey Shotgun?
The Mossberg Turkey shotgun is lightweight, durable, reliable, and affordable for all levels of a turkey hunter. One of the most underrated features on a Mossberg that other companies don’t always have is the two-hand safety lever on the receiver.
This allows quick and easy access to safety without taking your hand out of the proper shooting position. As anyone who has been turkey hunting can tell you, a split second can determine whether or not you go home with a bird.
The Mossberg 500 Turkey is designed specifically for turkey hunting and is affordable enough for all hunters.
2. Mossberg 535 Combo Turkey / Deer Shotgun
As a result of its 3.5″ magnum barrels, the Mossberg 535 Combo is an excellent choice for both turkey and deer hunting versatility. Additionally, the Mossberg 535 is equipped with a number of cheek risers that can be used for a range of shooting postures and purposes.
The 535 comes with a very thick and soft recoil pad to reduce the felt recoil of the more powerful 3.5 3.5 Magnum shells.
It is also built with a rail system on the top of the receiver to add a scope or optic to replace the fiber optic if you are more comfortable with a red dot over a traditional sight.
This shotgun is one of the most versatile shotguns, with the ability to hunt turkey, deer, coyotes, waterfowl, and even a wild hog if you use a magnum slug.
Why should I buy the Mossberg 535 Combo?
The Mossberg 535 comes with 3 separate runs for specific animals: the turkey run, the field run (deer), and the 28″ bird run. For just over $500 with Mossberg’s accuracy and features is never a bad buy.
Personally, I wouldn’t say I like hunting deer with a shotgun, but if I did, the Mossberg 535 would be one I would consider for its added versatility with turkey and waterfowl hunting.
3. Benelli Nova Shotgun
The Benelli Supernova is built around the ComforTech recoil reduction system and steel skeletal frame with an over-molded polymer. This skeletal frame and chevron recoil reduction system reduces the weight to approximately 8 lbs.
In addition, it allows the rifle to withstand the bumps and scrapes of hiking through dense woods or rocky mountains.
The Supernova is built with an enlarged trigger guard for use in the winter months when gloves are required. It is 30% larger than most competitors and fits most winter gloves for winter duck or goose hunting.
In addition, the ComforTech stock and super soft cheek pad reduce perceived recoil by up to 48% and muzzle rise by 15%.
The Supernova is divided into 2.75, 3 “, or 3.5 ” to accommodate magnum scales. However, with Benelli, I always recommend using at least the 3 ” scales to avoid snagging in the loading port.
Why should I buy the Benelli Supernova?
The Benelli Supernova is a great shotgun with nearly 50% recoil and a simple design to ensure reliability. It comes with 3 chokes (IC, M, Full) for versatility when hunting waterfowl (IC, M) or turkey (Full).
I love the 2 lugs rotary bolt that provides consistent contact and power for the heavy 3 ” cartridges.
If you use a slug cartridge, the Supernova fires a magnum capable of hunting any bird and even a whitetail deer. It’s built to withstand the weather for hunting in swamps, spring rains, or November snow in the mountains.
Unfortunately, with a price tag of $600, there aren’t many Benellis with the capabilities and versatility of the Supernova.