9 Must-Get Accessories for Your First Shotgun

Are you planning on buying a shotgun for the first time? If so, you’ll need to budget yourself to buy more items than just the shotgun. 

Many people who are new to buying firearms don’t anticipate all of the extra accessories they need to go with their new gun. And that’s okay. That’s why this article is here to help you out by explaining to you all of the items you’ll need to go with your shotgun. 

Here are the additional accessories you should plan on buying when you buy your first shotgun:

1. Eye and Ear Protection

Eye and Ear Protection

This should be a given, but it’s absolutely worth mentioning. Safety glasses or shooting goggles to protect your eyes from debris and spent shells. Ear protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, to guard against loud gunshots that a shotgun will generate. 

2. Ammunition

Here’s another given. A shotgun is one of the most versatile firearms because of its ammunition specifically. Buckshot can be used for home defense, birdshot for hunting or clay pigeon shooting, and slugs (solid projectiles) for big game hunting within moderate distances.

Purchase the ammunition you need as appropriate. 

3. Shotgun Case

Shotgun Case

Get a protective case or bag for storing and transporting your shotgun safely. I would get either a hard case or a soft case with compartments for storing ammunition and other accessories. 

4. Scabbard


If you have a tactical or home defense shotgun with a shorter barrel, an alternative option to a case would be to get a scabbard that you can sling over your back or shoulder. I’ve used these before and they are very handy to have. 

5. Targets

Just as there are many different ammunition types for shotguns, there are different types of targets you can get as well. I’d recommend that you try a variety, including: 

  • Steel Targets: AR500 steel targets are durable and suitable for shotgun shooting. These targets can withstand repeated hits and provide immediate auditory feedback when struck.
  • Reactive Targets: Reactive targets are designed to provide immediate feedback when hit. These can include targets that change color upon impact, splatter targets that burst with visible color, or targets with audible indicators, such as a satisfying “clang” when struck.
  • Clay Pigeons: Clay pigeons are perhaps the most well-known and widely used shotgun targets. Made of clay, these circular discs are launched into the air by a mechanical trap, and shooters attempt to break them with shotgun pellets. There are various types, including standard, midi, and mini clay pigeons.

6. Shooting Gloves

Gloves that are designed for shooting can provide comfort and grip, especially during extended shooting sessions. They can also protect your fingers from the sharp edges of a shotgun (such as the underside of the receiver when loading in new shells…I’ve sustained countless cuts and scrapes from reloading my Mossberg 500 alone).

7. Cleaning Equipment 

Cleaning Equipment 

Keep your shotgun well-lubricated with quality gun oil or lubricants to prevent corrosion and ensure smooth operation. I suggest you include the following in your shotgun cleaning kit:

  • Cleaning Rod: Get a sturdy and appropriately sized cleaning rod to pass cleaning patches through the barrel.
  • Bore Brushes: Get bore brushes of various sizes to match the gauge of your shotgun. Make sure they are compatible with your cleaning rod and can be attached.
  • Cleaning Patches: Go with cotton cleaning patches or patches made from other absorbent materials for applying solvents and removing fouling.
  • Gun Rag: Just a simple cloth rag to wipe down your shotgun after cleaning.
  • Gun Oil: This is the oil you will spray onto your bore brushes and the cleaning patches to wipe the carbon and debris from out of your shotgun. Personally, I recommend Rem Oil. 
  • Cotton Swabs: Trust me, cotton swabs (or Q-tips) are great for detailed cleaning in smaller areas.

8. Range Bag 

I highly recommend having a dedicated range bag to house your shooting equipment, ear and eye protection, ammunition, and cleaning equipment. It’s great for transportation and storage. 

9. Shell Carrier

Shell Carrier 

Purely optional, but a shell carrier is designed to be mounted to the side of your shotgun to hold spare shells. This facilitates faster reloading, but does extend the overall width of your shotgun as well.


Cleaning Equipment 

Besides yourself, if you happen to know anyone who is just getting into guns and who has recently bought their first shotgun, any of the above items could be a good idea for a gift for them as well. 

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