These are the best shotguns to hunt, shoot trap and skeet, and for self-defense. A good shotgun is a great investment that lasts a lifetime. We discuss a selection of gauges, action types, stock materials, chokes and more. Worth Firearms is your source for firearms purchases in the DFW/North Texas area. Shop our site to find your next shotgun!

Be warned – we are huge fans of Remington – we feel they’re the most affordable option in some of these categories. However – we could always try new brands! E-mail us about your favorite brand and we’ll check them out!

Some of the shotguns may require a tax stamp and additional background with the ATF. We will not be discussing current firearms policy in this article. Your local FFL/gun dealer will help you navigate the red tape when you purchase your next firearm.

Popular Shotguns

Light Recoil? Hard Recoil?

I could explain (rather unscientifically) how recoil occurs but I think it’s best to describe recoil for the layman here. Recoil is commonly referred to as the “kick” from the firing of a shotgun (also occurs in pistols and rifles). Many feel the kick is measured by the gauge or “caliber” of the ammunition used in the shotgun.

Read: Browning Arms Company Catalogue

While the higher gauges could cause a smaller shotgun blast, I feel the best indicator of recoil is the guns weight. I usually shoot skeet with a 12 gauge 1187 semi-automatic shotgun. My friend uses an over/under hunting shotgun in 16 gauge. Believe it or not, the 16 gauge kicked harder. How could my 12 gauge have a light recoil compared to the 16 gauge? The gun was nearly 1/2 the weight of mine. Its kick had almost no absorption through the weight of the shotgun – the energy needed transfer to somewhere. So it chose my shoulder.

Most hunters love the smell of that spent shell ...

Is my friend’s 16 gauge easier to carry into the woods? Faster to maneuver? Most certainly – but I wouldn’t want to play 3 rounds of skeet with it.

A sawed-off shotgun will kick more than any other type of shotgun. The characteristics of which is that it has a shorter barrel and a shortened or absent stock. With these factors in mind, a sawed-off shotgun will certainly kick more than one that is shoulder fired.

Sawed-off shotguns

Best Shotgun By Use

Below are our recommendations for shotguns for each use. Some are semi autos, over/under, and pump. It is best to figure out your local laws that govern: which shotguns can you own, which shotguns can you hunt with (small game and fowl), and which ammo is permitted in your area.


Which hunting do you plan to do? Turkey? Fowl? Deer? Small game? Many hunters have a lot to consider when it comes to their ammunition and round counts while hunting. Some states want to give birds a fighting chance during hunts – this causes states to enact loaded ammunition limits. Local laws state that a hunter cannot have more than 3 rounds in the chamber for certain animals.

To do this, many shotgun models have methods of limiting ammunition allowed in a shotgun. For instance, an over/under shotgun will only allow 2 shells at any given time. Pump action and semi-automatic shotguns have their means to limiting rounds as well.

A friend of ours purchased her first pump action shotgun. We took it to the range to teach her how to shoot it but were surprised when it only allowed three rounds (shells) loaded at a time. We took the shotgun apart and found a dowel rod inside it, limiting how much could be loaded.

870 12 Gauge Pump Shotgun

I personally enjoy over/under shotguns. They seem classy, like I’m sipping fine wine by carrying one over my shoulder. However, I’d prefer a pump action shotgun in its place for a hunt.


We recently purchased a Beretta 1301 Tactical. It’s a gret shotgun. I’ve only ever shot shotguns for trap/skeet. Shooting this feels powerful. The rounds cycle through quickly – and it’s easy to manipulate.

Watching some of the tactical trainers out there – they highlight these firearms and great for tactical applications. But also great if you’re in a survival situation in the woods, on the run, etc. It could be used as a hunting firearm to wild game while also blasting a hole in any jerk that tries to assault you or your family.


Texas is not well known for its public land for hunting. We have many areas for hunting, but they’re on private land. These are commonly referred to as hunting leases. And boy oh boy – are they expensive to use.

One sport that was always fun to shoot was skeet and trap. I enjoy shooting trap – it was a fun use of my marksmanship abilities when I didn’t own a rifle or a pistol. I have a friend that I’d shoot trap with. I’d be great the first half of the semi-circle, then I’d forget all my fundamentals. He’d do the same except for the second half – he was on point.

Skeet Shooting – Okeechobee Shooting Sports

DFW has a few trap clubs with weekly competitions and events to promote responsible gun ownership and encourage competition.

There is one gun that I always come across when looking at my next trap shotgun. It’s the TriStar Arms shotguns. These guns are sexy but also complete workhorses in the sport. It features single and over/under barrel options, an adjustable cheek rest, and fiber optic sights.

Self Defense

In the self defense department, Remington has a vast line of available options. The 870 Side Folder features a folding stock for tight CQB situations and a pistol grip to keep control of your gun if you need to fire it.

Also available from Remington is their Model 870 Express Tactical Magpul for high risk situations, utilizing Magpul’s decades of experience in the tactical field – their proprietary stock and fore-end furniture to make the Model 870 feel like a dangerous weapon in the hands of the elite operator or home defender.

Shotgun for Sale

Worth Firearms is the gun dealer you want to place your next shotgun order. We can also assist in transfers between FFL’s and help guide you through your GunBroker or direct from manufacturer experience.

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