12 Best Semi Auto Shotgun for Hunting

The best semi auto shotgun is one that works with the power, action, and force you expect. It also must provide the type of high-quality design and construction you can count on for reliability and durability. When using one for the first time, traditional shotgun owners quickly understand why it is easy to fall in love with a semi-auto. Their fast firepower and reduction in recoil make a good semi-automatic shotgun a prize to own.

Not all shotguns are created equal and, in fact, many people prefer semi-automatic shotguns. Commonly called semi-autos, these shotguns are not known to be as reliable as the standard pump-action models, but their reduced recoil and fast rate of fire make them coveted firearms for many hunters.

The best semi auto shotguns can be used for a variety of purposes. While gun enthusiasts may have a number of shotguns at home, the best semi auto shotguns are both portable and powerful. Commonly, a full-size shotgun is used for personal defense and security, but there are many other reasons gun owners keep a semi-auto shotgun in their arsenal. These can include hunting, law enforcement, target practice, and much more. Many of these guns can fire ammunition of all types, including shells, buckshot, rubber, sandbag shells, and slug shells.

One of the most common reasons gun owners purchase one of the best semi auto shotguns is for hunting. Unlike traditional pump-action models, these shotguns are designed to provide more rapid-fire action. Because of their power, these shotguns are uniquely powerful hunting tools due to their semi-automatic firing action and explosive power.

A shotgun is well known to be a powerful, proven choice for a firearm. However, if you have never shot one, you may not realize just how much of a punch one really packs when fired. Firing a traditional pump-action shotgun at a gun range will offer you the opportunity to shoot this type of gun. Then, you may fall in love with the deep shoulder position, pure power, and range of ammunition choices you get with a shotgun and decide to try a semi-automatic model. A semi-auto shotgun offers the power you love in a shotgun without the tiring pump action.

Product FAQ

Hunting Shotguns

Image by Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay

If you have never held or fired a shotgun of any type, you may wonder what it is like to fire rounds from a semi-automatic shotgun. Here are our responses to some of the most common questions we hear about the best semi auto shotguns.

Can I Shoot with One Hand?

Does a Semi-Automatic Shotgun Kick?

Do Semi-Autos Have a Faster Rate of Fire?

Will I Be Able to Use a Semi-Automatic Shotgun?

How Do Shotguns Work? 

Can I Afford a Semi-Auto Shotgun?

How We Reviewed the Best Semi Auto Shotgun Choices

Shotgun

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

After analyzing numerous customer reviews across the web, the following products were reviewed based on these parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty.

NOTE: It is important to realize that even though these were found to be the best semi auto shotgun products on the market, the price will probably play a big part in your final buying choice. Overall, the prices for the best semi auto shotguns vary wildly, leaving some higher-priced models and lower-priced models in surprising ranges upon evaluation.​

What We Reviewed

  • Browning A5
  • Benelli M4
  • Stoeger 3500
  • Remington Versa Max Competition
  • Beretta 1301 Tactical
  • FNH SLP Mark 1
  • Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical
  • Mossberg 930 JM Pro
  • Weatherby SA-08 Deluxe
  • Stoeger M3500
  • Beretta TX4 Storm
  • Beretta A300 Outlander

This A5 hunter was originally designed by John Browning. Today, this auto-5, 12 gauge, 4+1-round, semi-automatic shotgun features a 30” barrel and fixed magazine for a balanced and lightweight shot. You can truly take your experience back to the old days of classic hunting with this Browning A5. Its maker touts this model as the most reliable, fastest-cycling, best-performing, and softest-shooting recoil-operated (yes, recoil-operated!) autoloader available.

PROS

  • Versatile, fast-cycling, and recoil-operated
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy receiver
  • Kinematic drive system
  • Inflex II technology recoil pad

CONS

  • Basic design
  • Made for heavy loads
  • Considerable likelihood of jamming

Where to Buy

Cabela's

The Benelli M4 tactical weapon was first made for the U.S. Marine Corps and now you can have it for home defense. You may choose this weapon for its unique auto-regulating, gas-operated (A.R.G.O.) system, which was developed exclusively by Benelli engineers.

PROS

  • ARGO system
  • Ultra-large round capacity

CONS

  • Significant likelihood of jamming
  • May be too complicated for beginners

Where to Buy

Benelli USA

This Stoeger​​ shotgun features a red-bar, fiber-optic sight for outstanding target precision. You can use this shotgun to hit your mark even in low-light conditions. From dusk until dawn, you can trust the Stoeger 3500's famed inertia-driven operating system for a sure shot every time.

PROS

  • Cycles reliably
  • Strong performance & reliability
  • Inertia-driven operating system

CONS

  • High risk of jamming
  • May clog with birdshot

Where to Buy

Cabela's

Exclusive Versa Max technology is said to set a new standard for reliability and make the Remington Versa Max Competition unlike any other gun on the market. Tested in extreme situations, the Remington Versa Max Competition gun is ready for action. Made with a tubular magazine, it cycles 12-gauge loads consistently. Tested over thousands of rounds, this gun has proven its endurance. It also features a compact action system that automatically shifts the balance of the gun for lightning-fast handling.

PROS

  • Known for reliability
  • Low-maintenance design and build
  • Offers the ultimate in consistent performance
  • Easy to handle

CONS

  • Spring-loaded clip inside the receiver
  • Safety is inconveniently placed

Where to Buy

Remington

This is a shotgun model most commonly used by law enforcement and for home defense. Engineered with cutting-edge technology, it is easy to use and known to be ultra-reliable.

PROS

  • Easy to customize
  • Ultra-fast shooting
  • Cycles at least 36% faster than a typical shotgun

CONS

  • May have trouble cycling low-power ammo
  • Needs regular cleaning and maintenance

Where to Buy

Beretta USA

With over 100 years of autoloading shotgun engineering experience, FNH made the SLP Mark 1 for commercial, military and law enforcement use. Featuring ultra-reliable gas operation, this semiautomatic shotgun includes a matte black aircraft-grade alloy receiver, fully adjustable rifle sights, an extended magazine tube, and a durable synthetic stock.

PROS

  • Gas-operated autoloader
  • Interchangeable recoil pads
  • Fully adjustable sights

CONS

  • Heavier design
  • High risk of jamming
  • May clog with birdshot

Where to Buy

FNAmerica

Made with a self-regulating gas system for stability, the Mossberg 930 SPX shotgun also includes an autoloader. This feature aids in recoil reduction to eliminate stress on critical components. Your 930 autoloader will chamber 2.75-inch or 3-inch, 12-gauge shells with ease. Every Mossberg 930 includes a set of specially designed spacers for quick adjustment of the horizontal and vertical angles of the stock so that you can get a custom fit for every shot.

PROS

  • Gas system vents
  • Quick-empty magazine release button
  • Ghost ring sights
  • Magazine extension

CONS

  • Prone to jamming
  • May be too complex for beginners

Where to Buy

Mossberg

This competitive shotgun offers a shorter fore-end than most other barrel guns. It is made with a fiber optic front sight, and the stock and receiver feature a Kryptek Typhon pattern. This Mossberg firearm includes an oversized bolt handle and release, along with adjustable over-travel.

PROS

  • Accu-Set chokes
  • Extended magazine tube
  • Fast-cycling gas system

CONS

  • Prone to jamming
  • May be too complex for beginners

Where to Buy

Mossberg

This semi-automatic shotgun is equipped with a vent-rib barrel that features chrome lining and a 26-inch length. it has a 3-inch chamber, a Briley choke system, a walnut stock with a high-gloss finish, and an aluminum receiver with a blued finish.

PROS

  • Drop-out trigger system for easy cleaning
  • Dual-valve gas system
  • Push-button safety

CONS

  • Increased likelihood of jamming
  • May be complex for beginners to use

Where to Buy

Weatherby

This weapon features a red-bar, fiber-optic sight for a semi-automatic shotgun blast that delivers target precision. You can anticipate using this shotgun to hit your mark even in low light, and the famous inertia-driven operating system helps ensure a precise shot every time.

PROS

  • Cycles reliably
  • Excellent overall performance & reliability
  • Inertia-driven operating system for precision

CONS

  • Action springs may fail
  • Jams on shell eject are fairly common

As part of an exclusive line of defense weapons, this lightweight Beretta is gas-operated and semiautomatic. The 18” barrel's design is based on the A400 line of shotguns made just for hunting. However, recently this new version was born to fairly wide acclaim.

PROS

  • A solid autoloading home defense gun
  • A recoil-reducing stock add-on is available
  • Comfortable to hold & shoot
  • Ranges from low- to high-pressure rounds

CONS

  • Fair probability of jamming
  • May have trouble cycling low-power ammo

Beretta A300 Outlander

Representing one of the best values in a semiautomatic shotgun, the Beretta A300 Outlander is a gas-operated firearm. The popularity of this gun is based on its unbeatable performance as well as outstanding value. "Durable, lightweight and tough" is a great description of the Beretta A300 Outlander.

PROS

  • Reversible safety button
  • 28-inch MobilChoke barrel
  • Semi-automatic action with a 2-round capacity

CONS

  • Significant likelihood of jamming
  • May have trouble cycling low-power ammo

Where to Buy

Beretta USA

The Verdict

Hunting Shotgun

Image by Konchai Klangkanasub from Pixabay

As a modern twist on the traditional pump shotgun, semiautomatic shotguns are made a little differently. The "Godfather" of modern shotguns, the Browning Auto-5, is the gun known for revolutionizing the world of hunting. Today, there are new versions available, including the Browning A5, along with other top-rated shotguns. We hope that you will use this list of the 12 best semi auto shotguns to help you shop in person or online for a new firearm that suits your needs. This is just a small sample of what the world of hunting guns has to offer.

Are you ready to shop for a new shotgun? Use this list of the best semi auto shotguns on the market to aid in that quest. After taking the time to analyze them based on the most effective parameters to deliver the reliable results, we came up with this guide. Please, feel free to get excited about the exciting selection of the best semi auto shotguns available now. We did!

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