The modern shotgun traces its roots back to “fowling pieces” of 16th century Europe. Unlike earlier designs, many modern shotguns are capable of firing multiple shots in quick succession and can handle a number of different projectile loads, typically either a spray of shot of varying sizes, or a single slug. Perhaps the most versatile type of firearm on the market, shotguns are popular for home defense, competitive shooting, and hunting wide range of game, including rabbits, squirrels, birds, and deer.
Though shotguns are not as popular as rifles and pistols in the United States, consumer demand for them is still high. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, licensed gun makers manufactured approximately 3 million shotguns in the United States from 2016 to 2020. Another 28.7 million shotguns were imported to the U.S. from 1986 to 2019. And according to sales data from the online firearm sales marketplace, Gunbroker.com, some models are especially popular.
Using a report from Gungenius, which uses data from Gunbroker.com, an online firearm sales marketplace, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 most popular shotguns in America. Shotgun models are ranked by 2022 sales reported by the online platform, though exact sales numbers were not provided.
Three shotguns on this list – the Mossberg 500, Mossberg 590, and Remington 870 – also ranked among the 22 best selling firearms of any type, including rifles, pistols, and shotguns, on Gunbroker.com in 2022. Though each of these guns was a top seller in 2022, the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 have been popular with with both civilian gun owners and law enforcement agencies, each selling over 10 million units since their introduction over half a century ago. Together, the companies producing the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 accounted for nearly 80% of all domestic shotgun manufacturing from 2016 to 2020, according to the ATF. (Here is a look at the most popular guns used by American police.)
Though some of the firearms on this list are semi-automatic and break action, pump is the most popular action type in the United States. Half of the shotguns on this list, including the four highest ranking, are pump action models. Generally less expensive than break action guns, and more reliable and easier to maintain than semi-automatics, pump action shotguns have several advantages over other common action types. (Here is a look at the 10 best-selling pump-action shotguns in America.)
Click here to see the shotguns Americans are buying the most.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.
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