We recently did an article about the 8 Best Defensive Shotguns Under $1,000. Now the shotguns over $1,000 get their turn. You would think that any shotgun over $1,000 should be able to make this list. Really though, some are just better suited out of the box than others. Hide your credit card, this one might hurt.
Beretta 1301 (Model #J131TT18C)
This is the current hotness in semiauto shotguns. At least according to the internet. It is the shotgun that many of the defensive shotgun trainers out there are pointing people towards. It is light, has a nice length of pull right out of the box, good sights, good capacity with the current generation guns, and is super reliable. There is a relatively strong aftermarket for these guns too. More than what can be said for another shotgun manufacturer whose name starts with a B. Just be sure to stick with the latest gen 1301s. Some of the earlier guns did have some odd quirks that had to be addressed before being 100% good to go.
Benelli M4 (Model #11701)
Let’s be honest, this is the OG tactical shotgun that everyone who grew up playing Counter Strike wants to own. It is also the gun with the name recognition, and it costs some money because of it. This is actually one of the most expensive choices on our list, hovering around that $2,000 line. It is a design that has stood the test of time, though, and maybe that reputation is well-earned.
Benelli M2 (Model #11029)
While it doesn’t have the street cred of its Benelli brother, the M4, the M2, is a respectable option. Where the M4 is a gas gun, the M2 is an inertia gun. The shooting characteristics will be a little different, and it will be more susceptible to changes in the gun or ammunition, causing reliability issues. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good gun, though, just that the end user needs to know what they are doing. For about a grand less than an M4, if you absolutely have to have a Benelli but can’t spend M4 money, this is a good option.
Vang Comp 590S (Model #602)
If you aren’t familiar with Vang Comp, you really should be. Vang is putting out some of the best pump guns that can be built. In the past, Vang built to order, but now they are building batches of guns as well as custom orders. That means that if you want to just watch their stock for when a new batch is released and snipe one real quick, that is an option. The standout in their batch guns is the 602 model. It is built on a 590S, so it can run the short shotgun shells out of the box. With the wizardry Vang does on shotgun barrels, it could make those shorty shells real contenders. Plus, all the other Vang goodness that goes on under the hood.
Wilson Combat 870 Professional
I don’t know that I would put Wilson Combat in the same league as Vang, but I would put them really close. I have actually spent quite a bit of time behind a Wilson Combat shotgun. They are well-built and probably the smoothest pump guns I have shot. Let’s be honest, if you are going to drop over a grand on a shotgun, you might as well also spend the extra $200 for it to be a short-barreled shotgun. Have no fear, Wilson Combat has that covered with their Professional model shotgun. Out of the box, it has pretty much all you would need.
We are cutting this list off at 5. We don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s appointment at the bankruptcy court. For you heavy hitters out there, you won’t go wrong with any of these guns. One of these days, maybe I will be able to check them all off of my own list.