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The Best Home Defense Shotguns for Women

Our Recommended Shotguns for Women

Home defense will and should always be a concern for homeowners. As the latest statistics show, home burglary is relatively common and happens more often than you think. Just how common? Approximately 2.5 million burglaries occur each year, 66% of which are home break-ins. Disturbingly, the number of male violent crime victims in the U.S. has decreased since 2005, but the number of female victims has been increasing. This is a concerning statistic, especially for women who may live alone. How can women protect themselves in their homes?


Shotguns have been a long-time preference for home defense. Especially for women, shotguns are popular because of their efficiency and effectiveness. 


Let’s take a look at what factors women should look for when purchasing a shotgun:

 The Best Home Defense Shotguns for Women

The Perfect Shotgun for Women




Overall, women tend to be smaller than men, so the shotgun design is fundamental. A woman may be of the same height and reach as a man but usually has a more petite frame. Things like neck length, cheekbone placement, and muscle mass contribute to how accurate the shooter can be. A proper design is so important that according to the National Rifle Association, about 50 percent of the ability to shoot flying targets is dependent on a good shotgun fit.


This means that some shotguns that work well for men aren’t particularly suitable for women in terms of handling and comfort. Factors like comfortable recoil make a huge difference. Things like the gun’s pitch and angle of contact between the butt of the weapon and the shoulder make a difference because they will ensure the recoil pressure distributes evenly. Women should look for a compact design and a good fit overall. According to Rod Stumbo, an expert in Ohio on shotgun fitting, “On a scale of one to 10, fit is a 10 when it comes to successful shotgun shooting.”




In addition to a good design, your shotgun should be comfortable. In addition to size and stature, even hand size can make a difference. Since women usually have smaller hand sizes than men, shotguns with a slim profile in the grip will probe easier to shoot than standard options.  Since most guns are created to fit the average male shooter, it’s important to compare options to find the right fit. 


When the weapon does not fit, the experience can cause more pain for the shooter than it’s worth! 




Unlike the term “caliber” used for handguns and rifles, “gauge” describes shotguns. The higher the gauge, the smaller the barrel number. Generally, the 20 gauge is better for women for home defense. It’s easier to handle, has less recoil, and will provide the necessary power. 




It’s crucial to find the correct weight that you can handle. What good is a weapon that you cannot carry comfortably?  If you’re in a home defense situation, you will want to be able to maneuver your firearm easily.


Again, a lightweight 20 gauge is the most common choice for women. 




Regarding the length of a shotgun – size matters! The length of a shotgun barrel ranges between 18 inches and 28 inches. A long shotgun barrel is more difficult to manage around corners and through a dark house. The 18-inch barrel makes more sense for home defense.


The length of a shotgun pull matters too. This is the distance from the gun butt to the trigger. If the size of the gun is not suitable for your body, it’s going to be less accurate in a pinch situation. It will be difficult for you to control, which will defeat the purpose. 


Here’s a money-saving idea: consider purchasing a youth-sized gun because it has a shorter stock and is usually less expensive. 




The huge ammunition selection can leave homeowners confused about what to use in their self-defense weapons. These types of firearms are highly flexible and can shoot ammo that can simultaneously fire thousands of tiny pellets or a single massive projectile. (and hit everything in between)


Ammunition is measured in gauge and comes in various types, sizes, and power. Educate yourself on the basic types of ammunition before deciding which style you’d like to start with. Keep in mind that the ammo should match the gauge. If you’re interested in reducing the lethality of a shot, you can begin with birdshot. It lacks deep penetration but can leave surface wounds that can be pretty painful! 


If you’re looking for something more serious, given the engagement statistics at distances less than 15 feet away, we recommend using buckshot for home defense.


Our Recommendation for Home Defense Shotguns for Women


The good thing is, you don’t have to break the bank to find a good shotgun! To review our best picks for women that are priced under $1000, be sure to visit this post


However, we’ve updated our list with some new picks for 2022, so take a look and let us know if you have any questions!


Stevens 320 Security 22439

The Stevens 320 Security Pump Action Shotgun is an excellent option for a home defense shotgun. It is low cost and hard working. Stevens 320 Stevens, Pump Action Shotgun, 20 Gauge, 3″ Chamber, 18.5″ Barrel, Black Finish, Pistol Grip with Full Stock, Ghost Ring Sight, and 5Rd, Right Hand.


Mossberg SA-20 Tactical with Pistol Grip 75780

Mossberg SA-20 Tactical with Pistol Grip 75780

This soft shooting shotgun features a full-length stock with a pistol grip, top rail, a magazine tube accessory tri-rail extension, and an Easy Load Elevator. This gun is another great option for home defense.



 Mossberg MII SIL RES OU 12M:28MC SYN FO

This shotgun is a well-rounded, value-priced shotgun perfect for home defense.


Winchester Repeating Arms SXP Long Beard 512352390

Winchester Repeating Arms SXP Long Beard 512352390

This gun’s synthetic pistol grip stock with textured gripping gives your hands a sure non-slip grip. This gun comes with black chrome protection on the bolt, and other components last longer than traditional bluing – inflex technology recoil pad directs felt recoil down and away from your cheek to reduce flinch and fatigue.

Winchester Repeating Arms SXP Marine Defender 512328395


Winchester Repeating Arms SXP Marine Defender 512328395

Easy to pack and carry, it efficiently handles buckshot or rifled slugs through the matte chrome-plated, 18″ barrel with a cylinder choke for wide patterning. This shotgun is a solid option for home defense.


Rock Island PA12H18

Rock Island PA12H18

Length and weight make this an excellent all-around home defense shotgun.


Stevens 320 Field Youth 22561

Stevens 320 Field Youth 22561

The pump shotgun is sized for smaller framed shooters and offers smooth cycling, thanks to a proven rotary bolt and dual slide-bars. This shotgun is perfect for women with smaller frames as it’s also intended for young hunters.


Mossberg 75793

Mossberg 75793

Mossberg’s SA-20 uses a smooth cycling, gas-operated system for a lightweight, soft-shooting 20 gauge shotgun perfect for hunting, target shooting, and home defense. 

TriStar TriStar Cobra III Youth 23156

TriStar TriStar Cobra III Youth 23156

The Cobra III Field is a 3″ Pump action shotgun that allows you to shoot light target loads to heavy waterfowl loads. It features a removable choke system that uses Beretta/Benelli Mobil Threads, and includes three choke tubes (IC, M, F), choke box, and wrench. The Cobra III Field also is highly durable. Although it’s geared toward hunting, this option is excellent for home defense as well.


TriStar Cobra III Tactical 23160

TriStar Cobra III Tactical 23160

This shotgun is reliable, hardworking and functional. If you are looking for an affordable, reliable, and practical home defense shotgun then take a look at the TriStar Cobra III Tactical pump action shotgun. The Cobra III Tactical offers many of the features you expect from any top of the line home defense shotgun, but for a fraction of the price.


TriStar Cobra III Force 23162


3” pump action shotgun allows you to shoot light target loads to heavy buckshot loads.This gun is spring loaded with fast cycling. A great option for home defense.


European American Armory EAA CHURCHILL 20M/28B PUMP BLK

 European American Armory EAA CHURCHILL 20M:28B PUMP BLK

These European shotguns are defense-oriented scatterguns are offered in both a semi-automatic version and a pump-action model. Both offer a pistol-grip stock, “breacher” muzzle device and an EAA house-brand red-dot sight, which helps with accuracy and efficiency. An affordable option for anyone looking for a home defense shotgun.


European American Armory EAA CHURCHILL 12M/28B PUMP MC

 European American Armory EAA CHURCHILL 12M:28B PUMP MC

This shotgun is a larger version of the above and an affordable option for home defense.



Suppose you are considering a shotgun for home defense, or you already have one. If this is the case, we strongly encourage you to attend a class offering education on personal protection inside the home and outside the home. Our experienced NRA and USCCA certified instructor, Kevin Flowers, teaches our classes. 


Learn more about our Classes, or visit our Shop for your home protection needs!

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