Are "tactical" shotguns really that much different than regular shotguns? Absolutely. Law enforcement and military organizations rely on tactical shotguns in critical situations – criminal apprehension, combat operations and similar scenarios – and they've also become more popular with regular citizens looking to add an extra measure of protection against home invasions.
Here's what separates tactical shotguns from typical shotguns, so you should consider these factors before you buy a tactical shotgun:
These are just a few characteristics that distinguish tactical firearms from other types of firearms. Many gun owners think the differences are slight, while others believe that tactical shotguns and rifles offer distinct advantages. The best way to find out is to test one for yourself at your local firing range. Tactical shotguns are more popular than ever, so finding one to test-fire shouldn't be too difficult.
The tactical shotgun's roots can be traced back to the 16th century with the invention of the blunderbuss by the Dutch. The blunderbuss was a muzzle-loading firearm with a short, large caliber barrel and flared muzzle. It was used with shot or other projectiles, adapted for military and defense use. The blunderbuss was used throughout the 18th century, and considered an early form of the tactical shotgun.
The US military would later perfect the loads used in these types of firearms using a smaller lead shot in combination with their larger bullets, a combination known as the "buck and ball.” Soldiers could appreciate this type of loading because they had a great chance of hitting the enemy. During the American Revolution, General George Washington encouraged troops to use the "buck and ball” because of the effectiveness and likelihood of a hit compared to traditional cap and ball rifles. They would go on to be used in the Alamo and in the Civil War by Union and Confederate Forces.
The development of the repeating pump-action tactical shotgun in the 1890s led to use by US Marines and would soon be favored by civilian police units and "riot" guns. The modern concept was later fully developed during World War I by the American Expeditionary Forces.
The "Trench Gun," as it was called, was a short-barreled pump-action shotgun loaded with 6 rounds containing antimony hardened 00 buckshot and equipped with a bayonet. By World War II, both pump-action and semi-auto shotguns were being used by all branches of the US military. Today, the tactical shotgun is widely used by military and law enforcement agencies around the globe.
The combat shotgun has evolved from its original role as a short range combat weapon into a wider role in modern times. With proper configuration, ammunition and training, the modern combat shotgun plays three roles:
Most experts will agree that the tactical shotgun is the best firearm for home defense when compared to a pistol and rifle. This theory is based on the fact that it's harder to miss an intended target with a tactical shotgun since they create a "pattern” of shot, rather than a single hole. At close quarters, even #6 or #7 shot loads will stop or disable an attacker, and 00 or 000 buckshot will fire the near equivalent of six to eight .380 pistol rounds, all delivered within a baseball sized pattern.
Just as important as pellet spread is the shotgun's accuracy and control.
Tactical shotguns, like any long gun, also gives us a much longer sight radius (the distance between the rear sight and the front sight), aiding in accuracy. Depending on the shot size and load type, most shotguns have less felt recoil and muzzle rise, which allows for faster, more accurate follow-up shots. Effective range of the tactical shotgun with standard buckshot is around 30-50 meters with a full rifle stock and around 10 meters when equipped with a pistol grip only. Tactical shotguns shooting slug rounds have a extended effective range of up to 100 meters; with that being said, the range also depends on the stock type and shotgun sights.
If you are currently looking to upgrade an existing shotgun or looking to purchase your first tactical shotgun, we recommend that you upgrade the sights to a ghost ring rear sight and a TruGlo front sight. Many modern tactical shotguns for sale will also feature a picatinny rail on the receiver, which will allow you to add a red dot scope for easier point shooting, giving you the ability to look at the target, not the front sight.
Today the pump-action tactical shotgun still remains the most popular and common shotgun for tactical applications. A pump-action shotgun requires the shooter to manually operate the action by pulling the forearm back toward the shooter. The rearward motion releases a shell from the tube magazine, which is located inside of the forearm. Shoving the forearm forward pushes a shell into the chamber and locks the chamber for firing. After you shoot, pulling the slide back pulls the empty shell from the chamber and the process starts all over again.
They are more mechanically reliable, highly customizable, and are the most economical compared to most other firearms. The pump-action also has the unforgettable menacing sound of the pump cycling the shotgun, which some believe can prevent or scare a would-be threat than actually firing the shotgun. Whether this is true or not, there is no question that the sound is universally recognized and feared. Just like a revolver, the pump-action tactical shotgun is simplistic and reliable, making it the first choice for many customers. It's the most practical and versatile option for the majority of tactical applications.
Most tactical pump-action shotguns for sale will range from $200-$700. The Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are by far the most popular, best-selling tactical pump-action shotguns on the market. Both models offer numerous variations and features to fit the needs and requirements for any application.
Since semi-auto shotguns have more moving parts, they are also more expensive than pump-action shotguns. Most tactical semi-automatic shotguns for sale will range from $600-$1500. Inertia systems can be found in Benelli, Franchi, Beretta and Stoeger shotguns, with the Remington 1100, Mossberg 590, FN SLP and Benelli M4 shotguns all being very popular among shooters.
Tactical shotguns are a worthy addition to any gun collection, since they offer superior accuracy and portability over traditional shotguns. Hinterland Outfitters is proud to offer one of the most extensive and affordable online tactical shotgun collections available anywhere. Our selection of tactical shotguns for sale includes well-known brands like Remington, Mossberg, Interstate Arms, Kel Tec, Molot, FN Herstal and many more.
When you buy a tactical shotgun or any product from Hinterland Outfitters, you can rely on:
We've redefined the online firearm shopping experience, offering exclusive financing options on our tactical shotguns for sale. With specials like 0% interest for 90 days and competitive terms, we're a preferred supplier of tactical shotguns for individual gun owners, law enforcement, the military and more.
Be sure to visit our entire online selection of hunting gear, gun parts, optic accessories, ammunition and more. If you have any questions about our tactical shotguns for sale, please call our customer service line at 877-446-8370, or visit our contact page to send us a secure message.