Shotguns are one of the handiest weapons you can get.  A dependable shotgun is effective for clay sports, training, hunting, and home defense. They belong to the adaptable guns available. Experts say that if they are to choose one gun, they’d choose a shotgun. However, shotguns have many types, separated by action and gauge. And because this article is for beginners, we will try to keep it straightforward and we’ll explain the different shotgun types on the market and where they function best.

The Pump Shotgun

This is likely the most typical type of shotgun you will find. A lot of first-time buyers of shotguns choose this because it is easy to use, versatile, reliable, and inexpensive. This type of shotgun works by first pushing shells into the magazine tube – which commonly runs underneath and aligned to the barrel – then place a shell by pulling the fore-end or pump handle towards their body. Then the fore-end should be pushed back into position to chamber the shell. As the shooter repeats this action to fire another shot, an empty shell is thrown out of the shotgun each time and replaced by a new shell.

This hand-operated action is reliable compared to the mechanical. Provided the shooter correctly applies the action, the gun will likely cycle without screwing up. The dependability of pump shotguns makes them functional for many jobs, like home defense, bird hunting, and tactical use. Their major downside is that you can only fire as fast as you can actuate the pump, making follow-up shots gradual compared to other shotgun types.

One of the popular pump shotguns with positive reviews is the Daisy Model 25 Pump Gun with a 4.5-star rating on the internet. It features a .177 caliber, trigger lock safety, and smooth bore steel barrel.

The Semi-automatic Shotgun

Due to their increased safety and being easy to use, the semiautomatic shotgun has become popular. The semi-automatic shotgun automatically ejects and reloads from the magazine, recoils on the bolt, and discharges the bolt forward. The shotgun will fire every trigger pull continuously until the magazine tube is drained.

Semi-automatic shotguns provide high magazine capacity and fast follow-up shots, but more expensive compared to pump-action types. Also, there are models that are fussier on the type of ammo they can cycle because the action cycle depends on the gas discharged from the shot. Limited gas can cause the gun to fail to eject or get jammed. It is also important to keep this gun clean to maintain reliability.

The Over/Under Shotgun

The greatest advantage to the newest double-barrel shotgun is the capacity to use various sized chokes in every barrel. Chokes are the narrowed portion of the shotgun bore, serving to adjust the form of your shot to reach a target at different ranges, with more or less shot. Follow-up shots are snappy with a double-barrel too, but because this is a breech-loading gun with only two barrels, you only score two shots before reloading.

Over and under configuration are more common with double barrels, compared to the old side by side configuration. In terms of operation, they are very alike. Although this shotgun is not great for home defense because of the capacity of ammo, this is your best choice for trap shooting.

The Single-Shot Shotgun

The absolutely reliable and accurate single-shot models are sold by manufacturers for less, making them a great buy. The distinct disadvantage to a single-shot, breech-loading shotgun is that you only get one shot. This time you have to open the breech of the gun manually, eject the shell, and reload a fresh shell with your hands. This is obviously not ideal for self-defense because it takes time to eject and reload. But this shotgun is perfect for hunting.

The Bolt-Action Shotgun 

A bolt-action shotgun is a viable option for states that allow only shotguns for hunting. A lot of models are built with threaded barrels designed for shooting longer ranges with higher accuracy. The bolt-action type works fine for this job, but won’t do well for most jobs. The slower bolt-action and threaded barrel make it designed only for one purpose.

The Shotgun Gauge

Another thing to consider is the shotgun gauge or the shotgun bore. The lower the gauge value, the larger the barrel. Gauges come in different sizes but the most common you will find on the market today are .410, which can be a 12-gauge, 20-gauge, and 68-gauge.  The 12-gauge shotguns are ideal for game hunting and for those who don’t mind the gun’s recoil. The 12-gauge is the most typical for most jobs and supports most types of ammunition. For hunters who want lesser recoil, the 20-gauge is a good option. Operating a 12-gauge the entire day can be stressful on your shoulder while the 20-gauge will save you from an injury and can still get the job done. Additionally, you may also want to check the size of the gun and if it fits you. It is important that you can comfortably operate the gun.

Owning equipment such as these also couples with responsibility as misuse could post a harmful effect on others. As such, it is very important to have a gun safe. To guide you with the best gun safe, you can check out our gun safe reviews page.