How To Choose The Right Shotgun? – The Best Guide For Beginner

There are many types of shotguns available in the market today. Even though this means that buyers will have more choices to choose from, it also makes you confused on how to choose the right shotgun that fits your demands most. If you are in this situation, then this article is for you! Do not miss the useful sharing below!


Type of Gauges And Shotgun Action

Before buying a private shotgun, you have to understand some basic information below.

Shotgun Gauge

The shotgun gauge is a fundamental concept that is familiar to shotgun users. In detail, it is the caliber of the shotgun barrel. Gauge is synonymous with the shell’s dimension that fits with each shotgun. 

We will provide a catalog of the six different shotgun gauges, which is listed from smallest to biggest size:

410 bore 

This is the first shotgun shell type that we want to recommend for you; it also is the smallest shell shotgun on this list. We can use it for defense purposes and some simple games. 

28 gauge 

It is a slight weight weapon usually used for hunting, especially for bird hunting in the highland. 

20 gauge 

It is almost the second most favored shotgun gauge in America due to the light load and low rebound when shooting. Particularly, it is becoming common amongst hunters.

16 gauge 

It is a slender shotgun shell-type widely utilized in the last century but no longer popular on today’s market.

12 gauge 

12 gauge is the most favored by users. It’s exceptionally suitable for hunting animals and defense.

Ten gauge

Ten gauges are one of the heaviest shotgun shells that we ever knew. Therefore, it’s not common when compared with other gauge types.

Shotgun Action

There are three kinds of shotgun action: double-barreled shotguns, pump-action, and semiautomatic.

Pump-action shotgun: 

With affordable, dependable, and simple use, the pump-action shotgun is one of the favorite shotgun action types with hunters and most other users.

Semi-Automatic shotgun: 

It allows you to make high-speed shots. However, this shotgun has two disadvantages: Its expensive price and reliability are in doubt. 

Double-barreled shotgun 

It’s a highly reliable and expensive weapon. Additionally, the double-barreled shotgun is quite fit for shooting skeet because of the limited number of shots.  

How To Choose The Right Shotgun?

After understanding some primary shotgun knowledge, we can jump to the way to choose the right shotgun now. Below are the main criteria to choose the shotgun which is right for you:

Choosing a Shotgun Based on Your Purpose of Use

For those who buy a shotgun for defense, a shotgun as a combination of the short barrel, pump-action, and 12 gauge is the best option.

In the case of waterfowl hunting, you can also buy a shotgun with 12 gauge. We strongly recommend a semi-automatic shotgun for waterfowl shooters apart from semiautomatic and pump-action based on the speed. 

If you want to hunt upland birds, 28 gauge is not a bad idea as it has a weight advantage and quickly shoots. But apart from it, you can also have different gauges to choose from, like 20 gauge and others.

If you want to make a deer hunting trip, we will gladly present a 12 gauge pump-action or 20 gauge, particularly if they incorporate a rifled barrel for the best effect.

When you are looking for trap and skeet shooting, don’t hesitate to choose a 12 gauge. To be specific, a shotgun that has the combination between the 12 gauge and longer double-barreled can drive you the best result for the dense and widespread.

A 20 gauge pump action shotgun is helpful enough for almost all of us for common shooting people. Due to its compact size compared to the 12 gauge but still trustworthy, we ensure that your shooting is becoming more pleasant.

Getting a Good Fit for The User Body

The next criteria to choose a shotgun is its size and weight. Please be mindful that you must ensure the shotgun’s weight, size, and recoil fit your body for ease of use.

Read more: Top 5 Best Tactical Shotgun Slings Reviews This Year

How Much Will You Pay for A Shotgun?

Each shotgun has a different price. Therefore, choosing the right shotgun also depends on how much you are willing to pay. You should prepare a suitable budget range to meet your necessities.

  • About $100 for a break-open single shotgun is fit for those who are shotgun begin users.
  • Between $200-$500 is a usual cost for a pump-action shotgun kind
  • If you want to have a semi-auto shotgun, your budget needs around $500-$1000.
  • You can get a great double-barreled shotgun if you are willing to spend above $1000.

New or Secondhand Shotgun – Which one for you?

Suppose you are wondering between buying a new shotgun or a secondhand one. We hope that some analysis below may be helpful for you.

#1. New gun:


  • Quality guaranteed by the manufacturer or importer 
  • Easily find spare accessories


  • Expensive  
  • Depreciate promptly

#2. Second-hand gun:


  • Affordable
  • Get a quality guarantee and legal by dealer


  • Hardly figure out spare parts.

Some Tips Before Buying The Shotgun

  • You should wear shooting clothes when buying a shotgun to make sure which will fit with your body when using. 
  • Keep all shotgun purchases that you made.
  • Public liability cover is surely encouraged.
  • Understanding all law and safety rule for shotgun user


Nowadays, more and more shotgun models are produced and sold on the market. Each type of shotgun has its unique characteristics, so it’s not easy to find out which one fits you. Through this article, we hope you can now answer the question “How to choose the right shotgun?” base on your shotgun use, purpose, budget, etc.

What do you think about our analysis on this topic? If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below!

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