Millions of Americans are seeing the need to become responsibly armed. And the biggest reason given is for home defense. Many gun owners opt for a shotgun as home protection. What’s the best shotgun out there for home defense? Kevin Michalowski reviews two possible options: the Remington Model 870 and the Mossberg Model 500. Originally designed as bird hunting guns, they’re very versatile weapons platforms.

Home-Defense Option 1: Remington 870

The Remington 870 is a standard model, pump-action shotgun. It’s notable for its durability and performance. And Remington firearms are very easy to use. The controls on their home-defense shotguns are always the same. The 870 has a steel receiver and is built to military-grade specifications.

Remington 870 has rifle sights on the barrel, so you aim the same way: Point it downrange, establish your sight picture, put it on target and squeeze the trigger. The Remington also has dual action arms, meaning arms on both sides of the action to ensure positive action when pumping the gun. The magazine tube holds five rounds, and you can easily add an extension.

Model 870 Hardwood Home Defense Specs:

Capacity: 5+1
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Barrel length: 18.5 inches
Length of pull: 14 inches

Shotgun Option 2: Mossberg 500

The Mossberg 500 is also a standard model, pump-action shotgun. This home-defense shotgun has an aluminum receiver. So it’s a lighter gun, but as Kevin’s story in the video exhibits, still very durable.

Unlike the Remington, the Mossberg 500 has the safety on the tang. This works well for left- and right-handed shooters. But to get an extended magazine on the Mossberg 500, the magazine tube needs to be changed.

Model 500 FLEX All-Purpose Specs:

Capacity: 5+1
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Barrel length: 28 inches
Length of pull: 14.25 inches

Which Shotgun Is Best for Home Defense?

The best home-defense shotgun is the one you’re comfortable with. There is no definitive answer. But whichever gun you choose for home defense, be sure to train. And remember, you still have to aim a shotgun … or any gun used for self-defense. You are responsible for every projectile out of your firearm.