Best Shotguns on a Budget

Best Shotguns on a Budget (Under $500 or Less)

At short ranges, there is no other category of personal firearms that can match the lethality, effectiveness, and stopping power of a shotgun. This is why, among many Americans, the shotgun is a favored weapon for use in home-defense, fast target shooting, and hunting small games. 

Better yet, because of their usually simple yet reliable construction, you don’t have to break the bank to buy a good one. As a matter of fact, there are lots of incredible options out there in the market that you can purchase for half a grand or less. Here is our list of best shotguns on a budget

Remington 870 Express 

Time-tested, simple in design and ultra-dependable, the Remington 870 series of shotguns has been among the most popular of firearms sold in the U.S and the rest of the world. The Express variant is the affordable of the series, easily purchasable from any store at under $500. 

While it may not carry any of the bells or whistles featured on many of its more modern counterparts, with the vast range of aftermarket accessories available, there is literally an unlimited number of configuration options available at your disposal. 

Highly rugged and reliable, this is a shotgun that is meant to last with you for a lifetime. For many gun owners, the 870 is usually their first as well as the last choice when it comes to owning a shotgun. 

You cannot go wrong with your purchase of an 870 – there is a reason why the gun has continued to enjoy high sales year after year for the last 7 decades. 

Mossberg 500 APF

Take a Remington 870 and give it a meaner attitude and you get yourself the Mossberg 500 Series. Similar to the 870, the 500 is a pump-action multi-purpose shotgun that is simple, reliable, and downright deadly. First entering the market in the 1960s, the Mossberg 500 has gone through several tweaks and refinements to today becoming a weapon that is loved by any shooter that gets to wield it – beginners and veterans alike. 

There are hundreds of variations you can choose from, many of whom fall under $500. However, if we had to pick one as a general recommendation, it would be Mossberg 500 All Purpose Field, featuring ambidextrous operation, bead sight, and twin action bars.  

As with the 870 Express, the Mossberg 500 APF also boasts a massive line of aftermarket accessories that can help you customize and create a shotgun completely specific to your unique preferences.  

Benelli Nova (Hunting) 

Coming from Italy, the Benelli Nova is, without a doubt, a breathtakingly beautiful weapon. However, those looks aren’t simply for show. Its design is meant to maximize its ergonomic performance, providing the wielder with a comfortable yet secure grip on the weapon. 

As with any Benelli weapon, the Nova is lauded for its legendary durability, being virtually impervious to the effects of the outdoor elements. This is a gun you can trust to not fail you regardless of the abuse you place it through.  

A key highlight of the gun’s design is its one-piece receiver and buttstock. Made from steel reinforced polymer, this innovative feature helps cut weight while further enhancing its overall toughness. 

Weatherby SA-08

One may be hard-pressed to find a semi-auto shotgun under $500 that can match the dependability of a pump-action counterpart, but the SA-08 is a strong exception. While not as popular as some of the other mentions here on this list, for those who have come to own it, they would hardly replace it for any other 

Weighing in just 6 lbs., this shotgun is distinctly lightweight. In addition, with its duel-value gas-operated system, the recoil is relatively gentle. The aesthetic of the firearm is also an aspect that a lot of gun enthusiasts could appreciate.  

Overall, it’s a semi-auto with a very smooth and reliable operation that is fun to shoot but also durable enough to continue functioning perfectly even in the harshest of environments. If you are looking for a great semi-auto on a budget, the SA-08 is definitely worth your consideration. 

Parting Shots 

Regardless of what your specific needs are with a shotgun, all of the ones we have mentioned here are versatile enough to be useful for any situation. If you have any recommendations of your own on the topic of best shotguns on a budget, be sure to share it with us in the comments below, and we might just officially add them to the list. Shopping for shotgun ammo? Browse our quality selection by clicking here.