Talk to me, Goose: what’s the most powerful shotgun? If you were to Google the most powerful shotguns, you are going to get a lot of op-eds. When it comes to guns, everyone has their own interests, likes, and needs out of the firearm. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with a more objective and barebones approach.
For you TL;DR readers, here’s a quick list of the most powerful shotguns:
- Remington 870
- Winchester Model 1897
- Browning Citori 725 Field
- Mossberg 590
- Benelli M2 Tactical
Suffice to say…it depends on who you ask. Opinions on the most powerful shotgun ever differ by the shooter and what they are using the shotgun for. And each shotgun has its own pros and cons (here’s how to choose the best shotgun for you) for people to be more partial to one over the other, and that’s fine. Nevertheless, here are our top picks for the most powerful shotguns for you to explore and find the best fit for you and your needs.
1. Versatile Power: Remington 870
When it comes to shotguns, most people–even those unfamiliar with guns– can usually name Remington right away.
And for good reason.
The Remington 870 is one of the most common shotguns in use today. What makes it so popular is its versatility.
This shotgun’s barrel can vary between 11 to 30 inches long, depending on what you want to use it for. Also, the magazine can hold up to ten shells, with calibers ranging from .410 up to a 12 gauge. It is due to this versatility that has made it one of the most common shotguns used by police, homeowners, marksmen, and military personnel alike.
And because it can be changed into a variety of configurations, it also can change the power that the Remington 870 can produce.
2. Historical Power: Winchester Model 1897
If you ever want a shotgun that can kick some serious butt, this would be the gun for you–you know, if it was still in production.
The Winchester Model 1897 was produced from 1897 (duh) to 1957, spanning an impressive 60 years.
It earned its nickname “Trench Gun” for its use in World War I by the Allied troops, because it was easy to maneuver in the tight confines of trenches, and could be modified to attach a bayonet to jab at encroaching Central Power soldiers. It was even used to shoot at grenades in air, as it was originally designed to shoot flying game like birds as a sporting shotgun.
Another thing that makes the Winchester Model 1897 one of the most fearsome shotguns is its ability to shoot downrange, and accurately, in roughly three seconds. It was so well-liked by the troops in WWI that it was used again by the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps branches in World War II, the Pihillipine-American War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict.
3. Hunting and Sporting Power: Browning Citori 725 Field
Now don’t let the price tag scare you away–this shotgun is well worth the money. You could even say it gives you the most bang for your buck (hah!).
It is a sleek over-under design, and the trigger is mechanical, which means that it will fire the second barrel even if the first one didn’t shoot.
What makes this one of the most powerful shotguns for hunting and sporting use is that it is lightweight, coming in just around 7 pounds.
For the more marksmanship inclined readers, this gun is definitely one to look into or save up for, as it does cost a pretty penny–may we suggest adding it to a wishlist or birthday list of sorts?
4. Contemporary Power: Mossberg 590
This is a military grade shotgun–literally. It was designed for use by the United States Armed Services, and was the only shotgun to pass their specifications and standards.
The Mossberg 590 shotgun is used for riot-type control, and was chosen for its endurance, effectiveness, and the ability to be roughed up and still shoot accurately.
Not to mention, the heavy duty of the gun itself is enough to make anyone think twice before getting on the business end of that barrel. Given that it is military grade, most barrels are around 18.5 inches long, but it can be modified to be shorter or longer.
The entire Mossberg 500 series is used by the military, most widely by the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Navy branches.
5. Shooter Friendly Power: Benelli M2 Tactical
It wouldn’t be a conversation about shotguns if a Benelli isn’t included. The Benelli M2 Tactical is perhaps one of the most user friendly shotguns on this list.
The pistol grip reduces the recoil, and when it comes to shotguns, lower recoil is nice.
It’s the chosen shotgun for many police forces around the United States, and one of the top choices for serious marksmanship competitors. This is because it can be outfitted with a range of sights, and can accommodate a lot of shot types.
Conclusion: Top 5 Most Powerful Shotguns
The Remington 870, Winchester Model 1897, Browning Citori 725 Field, Mossberg 590, Benelli M2 Tactical are widely considered to be the most powerful shotguns.
But remember, the true most powerful shotgun remains up to preference and intended use, depending entirely on the shooter (you).
The most important thing to remember is that a powerful weapon is useless if you can’t wield it–make sure that the gun fits you and that you are comfortable with it, rather than going for something that’s going to knock you off your feet (and not in a good way).
Be sure to explore all options before committing to a gun that just doesn’t feel right. You don’t want to write a check your body can’t cash, after all.