So you’re thinking about getting a shotgun? A lot of thought and consideration goes into choosing the perfect firearm. One of the more pressing issues is how much does a shotgun weigh? This post gives real-world shotgun weight examples and factors that influence that number.
So, how much does a shotgun weigh? Unloaded shotguns weigh somewhere between 6 and 8 pounds, on average. Shotgun weight varies with make, model and type, so let’s take a look at real-world weight data on the most popular shotguns on the market today:
Make & Model
Unloaded Weight (lbs)
Mossberg 500 (12 gauge)
Remington 870 Express Tactical
Remington Versa Max Tactical
Winchester SXP Defender
Browning Citori CX
Rossi Single Shot
Mossberg 500 Home Security
Henry Lever Action Shotgun
Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam All Purpose
Remington 870 Express
Remington 870 Express Tactical Pump Shotgun
Mossberg 590A1 Speedfeed
Benelli M2 Tactical
Beretta TX4 Storm
There are a number of factors that go into determining shotgun weight. For example, fiberglass stocks, barrels, and receivers all have a weight impact on the actual weight of a shotgun. Additionally, the overall length of the shotgun will impact the weight of the shotgun.
If you’re considering a shotgun as a home defense weapon, you’ll definitely want to know the weapon is something you can handle. Most shotguns used for home defense fall into the same weight range with little variance. Some of the most commonly purchased home defense shotguns and their weights:
Mossberg 500 (12 gauge) – weighs around 7lbs 8oz
Remington 870 Express Tactical – also around 7lbs 8oz
Remington Versa Max Tactical – again, around 7lbs 8oz
Benelli M4 – weighs right around 8lbs 7oz
There are a couple that come in on the lighter end and may be preferable to someone who doesn’t want to sling around a heavier weapon. If that’s you, you may want to check out:
Winchester SXP Defender – weighing in at about 6lbs 8oz
Maverick 88 – weighing in right around 7lbs
There isn’t a dramatic weight difference with the last two, but even a slightly lighter weapon could be more attractive when the seconds count.
A lighter gun may mean that it’s easier to maneuver and acquire the target more quickly, which is extremely important when faced with an intruder.
While you would think users would be seeking a lightweight shotgun for home defense, overall, most users don’t really consider weight as a factor when choosing a home defense shotgun.
It can be helpful to try out a few different makes and models and find the one that is most comfortable to handle, regardless of weight.
Trap Shooting Shotgun Weight Examples
You’ll find that shotguns used for clay and trap shooting tend to fall in a more variable weight range. Trap shooting shotguns tend to be on the heavier end, weighing anywhere from 7lbs to just over 8lbs. Popular trap shooting shotguns:
Remington 1100 – weighs about 8lbs
Browning Citori CX – weighs in at around 8lbs 3oz
Beretta A300 – weighs around 7lbs 10oz
As you can see, most fall in the range of high 7lbs to 8lbs. The reason they tend to be heavier than your average shotgun is to absorb recoil, which could affect the shooter’s ability to hit their target.
Heavier guns are easier to control and it helps the shooter be able to swing and transition more smoothly. Trap shooting shotguns also tend to weigh more to account for the longer barrel, which adds weight to the gun.
.410 Shotgun Weight Examples
A .410 shotgun is one of the smallest caliber shotguns available. They are best for hunting small game as well as pest control around the home.
This specific size shotgun is not usually selected for home defense because it holds smaller pellets and does not have as much power as other shotguns.
Rossi Single Shot – about 4lbs
Mossberg 500 Home Security – around 6lbs 8oz
Henry Lever Action Shotgun – around 7lbs 5oz
Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam All Purpose – around 5lbs
Remington 870 Express – around 7lbs
You can see that 410 shotguns come in a variety of weights with the Rossi Single Shot being the lightest. While you do see some extremely light guns on this list, generally, 410 shotguns seem to be around a pound lighter than most other shotguns.
Pump Action Shotgun Weight Examples
Thanks to Hollywood, the pump-action shotgun is the shotgun people are most familiar with. Pump-action shotguns are popular because they can be loaded quickly and are accurate and reliable. This makes them an excellent choice for both hunting and home defense.
There’s not a large variation of weight in this group. Most pump-action shotguns seem to weigh about the same as a clay or skeet shooting gun.
Semi-Automatic Shotgun Weight Examples
A great choice for hunting and home defense would be a semi-automatic shotgun.
The advantage to these shotguns is they don’t need to be manually reloaded and then repositioned. The shotgun can remain on its target and fire each time the shooter pulls the trigger.
Benelli M2 Tactical Semi-automatic Shotgun – weighs about 7.3lbs
Mossberg930 Tactical – weighs about 7.75lbs
Browning A5 – weighs around 7lbs
Beretta TX4 Storm Semi-automatic – weighs around 6.5lbs
As you can see, most of the semi-automatic shotguns weigh about the same as any other shotgun, with one or two exceptions. You can find some lighter weight semi-automatic shotguns, but be aware that the price tag may be a bit higher.
Shotgun Weight Conclusion
The answer to how much a shotgun weighs is it varies, but seems to be in the range of six pounds to eight pounds on average. These figures are based on unloaded weapons.
However, the average weight of a shotgun shell is a few ounces so we’re not talking about a life changing weight discrepancy once it’s loaded.
If you’re looking to participate in clay or trap shooting, you can expect your shotgun to be on the heavier side.
If you’re very concerned about the added weight after you’ve loaded your weapon, the 410 shotgun has the smallest and “lightest” ammunition. Otherwise, it’s all about what feels good and is comfortable for you.
Oh, and for fun…
How Much Does a Shotgun Weigh in Kg?
A typical shotgun weighs between 2.5 to 3.5 kg. The weight can vary based on the make, model, and materials used in construction, affecting its handling and performance.
How Much Does a 12g Shotgun Weigh?
12-gauge shotguns typically weigh around 3.0 to 3.5 kg. They are designed to balance stability and maneuverability, ensuring effectiveness in various shooting scenarios.
How Heavy Is a 20 Gauge Shotgun?
20-gauge shotguns are generally lighter, weighing approximately 2.5 to 3.0 kg. This reduced weight makes them more manageable, particularly for beginners or smaller-framed individuals.
What Is a Good Weight for a 12 Gauge Shotgun?
A good weight for a 12-gauge shotgun is around 3.0 to 3.5 kg, balancing stability during firing and ease of handling, ensuring both accuracy and comfort for the shooter.