home defense shotgun on house porch

When Protection is Paramount | Best Home Defense Shotguns

A shotgun is a popular choice for home defense, as the multiple pellets fired from the barrel spread out and provide tremendous stopping power.

After comparing some of the best home defense shotguns, I came up with a list of suggestions (more on that soon!)

Finding the best ones involved looking at various features, including the type, gauge, capacity, pull length, and price.

woman practicing shooting home defense shotgun

Hopefully, you never have a situation where you would need to defend yourself and your loved ones in your home, but if so, you want to have a shotgun that you can operate effectively.

While you have many shotguns to choose from, the Mossberg 590A1 is the best overall choice.

The Mossberg 590A1 is a pump-action tactical shotgun with a capacity of six rounds plus one in the chamber. It stands out as the only shotgun to pass the Mil-Spec 3443E test, making it the most reliable option. 3,000 buckshot rounds were fired through the weapon without any part breakages.

Yet, the Mossberg 590A1 may not be the best fit for everyone. Some people may prefer a shotgun without a pistol grip or a semi-automatic shotgun instead of a pump-action one. 

You may also prefer the best budget shotgun. Each option has distinct advantages that may better match your needs. 

Best Shotguns For Home Defense (List)

Keep reading to explore the top picks for best home defense shotguns and learn more about the features to look for when comparing choices.

1. Best Overall – Mossberg 590A1 

mossberg 5901A1 tactical pump shotgun

The Mossberg 590A1 is pump-action, has a removeable stock, and can accept various types of scopes/optics.

The Mossberg 590A1 offers several advantages that should appeal to anyone looking for a shotgun for home defense.

First, it’s a pump-action shotgun, which is recommended for first-time shotgun buyers. Pump-action shotguns are traditionally more reliable compared to semi-automatic shotguns, as they contain fewer moving parts.



The 590A1 is also the only shotgun to pass the military’s reliability test. If you keep the shotgun well-maintained, you should never need to worry about it jamming. On the odd chance that the gun malfunctions, you can cycle to the next round and fire as normal. 

The Mossberg 590A1 is a 12-gauge shotgun with a 6+1 capacity. It has a barrel length of 18.5 inches and a length of pull (LOP) of 13.9-inches. It comes equipped with a pistol grip and a stock for increased maneuverability and less recoil.



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As with most of the top shotguns, the Mossberg 590A1 comes with standard iron sights but supports a wide range of aftermarket sights and accessories. You can add optics or scopes that use Picatinny rails.

The 590A1 is also a popular choice with the military and law enforcement agencies around the country. It is a durable, heavy-duty shotgun and is available at a reasonable price. (The following Mossberg 590A1 video review from Hickok45 offers a detailed look at the shotgun’s parts and performance.)

Pros

  • The pump-action design is highly reliable
  • Supports a wide range of optics and scopes
  • Includes a comfortable pistol grip and removable stock

Cons 

  • The safety is on top of the receiver, which some people may find awkward



2. Best Semi-Automatic Shotgun – Benelli M2

benelli M2 Field Semi-Auto Shotgun

The M2 from Benelli is a semi-automatic with good accuracy, due to the 26-inch barrel.

The Benelli M2 is a semi-automatic shotgun. While most semi-auto shotguns use a gas-powered system, the M2 uses an inertia-driven system for smooth, reliable action.

It includes just three parts, resulting in increased reliability compared to other semi-autos.

As with most of the recommendations, the Benelli M2 is a 12-gauge shotgun. It also features a barrel length of 26 inches. The long barrel helps deliver increased accuracy.

You can also choose from a pistol grip with a stock or a standard stock. Other options include a ghost ring or standard open rifle sights.



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The ghost ring has a small, circular aperture that lines up with the post on the front of the shotgun. If you are not an experienced marksman, you may find that the ghost ring allows you to quickly line up your shot.

The Outdoor Limits YouTube channel provides an in-depth look at the Benelli M2 in a video review of the shotgun. Overall, this is one of the most reliable semi-automatic shotguns on the market. However, it also comes with a high price tag that may put off some buyers.

Pros

  • Faster firing speed compared to pump-action shotguns
  • One of the most reliable semi-automatic shotguns
  • Available with a pistol grip or a standard stock

Cons 

  • One of the most expensive options 


3. Best Compact Shotgun – Kel-Tec KSG Shotgun

Kel-Tec KSG Pump Shotgun

The Kel-Tec KSG has a pump behind the trigger, giving it a unique look and compact size.

The Kel-Tec KSG does not resemble the earlier recommendations due to its compact design. It has an 18.5-inch barrel, which is the same length used in most other shotguns. However, the overall length is just over 26 inches.

The KSG is also a bullpup shotgun. Instead of a manual pump in front of the trigger, the pump is behind the trigger, which allows for a more compact size. 






The Kel-Tec KSG also offers a larger capacity compared to other options. The total capacity is 14+1 when using dual magazine tubes. It also has a pistol grip and a length of pull (LOP) of just 13 inches. 

Kel-Tec is not the most recognizable manufacturer. The company mostly produces low-budget pistols. However, the KSG is a step up for the company and a reliable option for home defense. However, it is also one of the more costly choices. 

Check out the Kel-Tec KSG Shotgun video review from The Gunmeister for a closer look at the shotgun in action. 

Pros

  • Has a large capacity of 14+1 rounds
  • The compact design measures just 26.1 inches
  • Includes a pistol grip a short length of pull

Cons 

  • Relatively expensive shotgun



4. Best Budget Shotgun – Mossberg Maverick 88 

Mossberg Maverick 88 Security Pump-Action Shotgun

If you’re looking for a good home defense shotgun on a budget, the Mossberg Maverick 88 fits the bill.

The Maverick 88 is another pump-action shotgun from Mossberg. It is also one of the most affordable shotguns available. 

The Mossberg Maverick 88 uses 12-gauge rounds and has a capacity of 7 rounds plus one in the chamber. It is also available with a pistol grip or a standard stock. With the standard stock, the gun measures 41 inches long.

The length of pull is 14.5-inches, which may be a little long for some users. However, if you have larger hands or longer arms, you may find it more comfortable compared to some of the other options.



The safety on the Maverick 88 is in front of the trigger instead of on top of the receiver. If you choose to use a standard stock instead of a pistol grip, the placement of the safety may be a little awkward.

As you can see from this Maverick 88 review from TFB TV on YouTube, the Maverick 88 is a surprisingly dependable shotgun for its price. You can also accessorize it as necessary to meet your needs, such as adding a scope or different sights.

Pros

  • One of the most affordable shotguns from a reliable manufacturer
  • Available with a pistol grip or a standard stock
  • Compatible with parts and accessories designed for the Mossberg 500

Cons 

  • The safety is in front of the trigger 



Home Defense Shotgun Buyer’s Guide

Some of the main factors to consider when shopping for a shotgun for self-defense include:

  • Pump action vs. semi-automatic action
  • The gauge of the shotgun barrel
  • Pistol grip vs. standard stock
  • Length of pull and overall size

The capacity, sights, and aesthetics are less vital when comparing shotguns. Most options have a capacity of five or six rounds, which is all you need for home defense with a shotgun.

Most shotguns also come equipped with standard iron sights and support scopes and optics using Picatinny rails or Weaver rails.

Below is a closer look at the rest of the considerations…




Pump Action vs. Semi-Automatic

Shotguns use different types of action to eject and load rounds. The two most common options are pump-action and semi-automatic. Pump-action shotguns use a manual pump to eject and reload. 

The pump-action design is a common choice due to its reliability. It requires fewer parts compared to a semi-automatic design and is less susceptible to jamming and malfunctions.


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Semi-automatic shotguns include more parts, resulting in higher costs. However, the top semi-auto shotguns are often as reliable as cheaper pump-action models. 

The best semi-automatic shotguns use gas to cycle the action. The gas-operated action ejects the used shell and loads the next one without requiring you to manually pump the gun. You get greater firing speed and less recoil.

For a more nuanced comparison of pump versus semi-automatic shotguns, watch the following discussion and demonstration video. It clearly explains the pros and cons of both choices.



The Gauge of the Shotgun Barrel

The gauge of the shotgun barrel determines the size of the shots that it uses. The gauge measures the inside diameter of the barrel and typically ranges from 10-gauge to 28-gauge.

A smaller gauge has a larger diameter, which means that it uses larger shots. For example, a 12-gauge shotgun uses larger shots compared to a 20-gauge shotgun. 

The 12-gauge shot is the most common recommendation for home defense. However, a 20-gauge shotgun still offers enough power to stop an intruder in his tracks. It also offers less recoil. 

Yet, the top recommendations are mostly 12-gauge shotguns. A 12-gauge shot offers a wider spread at longer distances and the ammo is often cheaper.



Pistol Grip vs. Standard Stock

Shotguns traditionally feature a straight grip with a long shoulder stock. The traditional shotgun stock absorbs more recoil and offers easier access to the underside of the gun. You may find that the traditional design feels more comfortable when firing a 10-gauge or 12-gauge shotgun.

The pistol grip is often recommended for beginners, as you can handle the shotgun with one hand. It also feels more like holding a tactical rifle, which may appeal to those that are used to firing rifles. 

Length of Pull and Overall Size

The length of pull (LOP) is the distance from the butt of the gunstock to the trigger. The typical LOP on a shotgun is 13 to 15 inches. The standard length is 13.5 inches. 

The LOP should match your size. If you have longer arms, you may feel more comfortable with a longer LOP. A shorter length requires you to bring your shoulders up in an awkward position. 



Final Thoughts On The Best Shotguns For Home Defense 

When it comes to choosing the best home defense shotguns, the Mossberg 590A1 is the clear winner. It is relatively affordable and incredibly reliable. It has a pistol grip and a pump-action design, which are two features that are often recommended for those that have never owned shotguns before.

home defense shotgun home image

In the unfortunate scenario where you have to defend your home, hopefully this article has provided you with detailed and helpful information to guide you in your selection of a home defense shotgun.

The Benelli M2 is a top option for those that want a semi-automatic shotgun. However, it is also one of the most expensive choices.



The Maverick 88 is the best budget choice. It costs a fraction of the other shotguns, but still offers dependable performance. The Kel-Tec KSG is great for those that want something more compact, as it only measures about 26 inches in length.

Click on one of the links to check the current prices on the best home defense shotguns.

buzz centris folding e-bike

What’s All The Buzz about? [BUZZ Centris Folding E-Bike Review]

Looking for a fat tire e-bike to do some off-road riding?

And how about one that folds up as well? [Bonus!]

Well, in that case, let’s take a look at the Buzz Centris FAT Tire E-Bike!

buzz-centris-folding-e-bike-1
The Buzz Centris fat-tire folding e-bike

This Buzz Centris model launched in January 2022 and is the newest edition of Buzz’s FAT e-bikes. But, before we dive into all the features of the Buzz Centris, let’s tell you a little bit about Buzz…

About Buzz Bicycles

The Buzz Bikes team believes that the freedom of riding should be fun and accessible for riders of all skill levels, regardless of what outdoor adventure you may be on, so that you can “buzz” through life!

buzz bikes ohio

Buzz e-bikes are designed in Dayton, Ohio by passionate team of bike enthusiasts who have a goal of delivering ultimate transportation solutions at a great value.

The unboxing of the Buzz Centris Folding E-Bike

Right out of the box, one of the positive features of the Buzz Centris is how easy it is to put together.

Buzz Centris folded up 1

So, here is a look at the Buzz Centris in its folded position. And, this is really pretty much what it looked like right out of the box, less the foam padding and packaging that we removed.

Once we took it out of the box and took the safety packaging/padding off, it literally took less than 60 seconds to put the whole bike together and have ride ready.

buzz centris folded up 2

The Centris folds up nicely, making it much more compact. so, if you’re going to put it in the back of a truck, inside a vehicle or an RV, it definitely makes storage a lot easier.

Now, the Centris does weigh 67 pounds, so it’s not exactly light. But, because it folds up so well, you can store in some tighter spaces and take it with you if you’re going to be on the road.

man assembling buzz ebike wearing N1 Outdoors shirt

The Centris was super simple to assemble. We didn’t even have to really look at the manual very long to figure any of that out.




Key Features Of The Centris

So, let’s take a look at the key features of the Buzz Centris…

Tires, suspension, motor and brakes

The tires of the Centris are fat (4 inches fat, to be exact!).

buzz centris 4-inch tires

The Centris has 4″ wide tires, which are great for trail riding and on various types of surfaces.

The Centris also has front fork suspension which aims to be helpful when riding in off-road situations and more rugged terrain than your typical road ride. It’s even a great option for if you’re hunting on public lands where gas-powered vehicles are not allowed.

buzz centris front fork suspension

The front fork suspension gives extra shock absorbency to off-road terrains.

It has a 16” step-over height. It sports a 500-watt peak level rear hub motor.

buzz centris rear hub motor

Here’s a look at the rear hub motor of the the Centris.

It has 5 levels of power assist and a 6-speed Shimano Tourney Derailleur that provides precision shifting.

gear shifter on buzz centris

Here’s a look at the handle bar gear shifter.




shimano tourney derailleur on buzz centris e bike

Here’s a look at the Shimano Tourney Derailleur.



disc brakes on buzz centris

The Centris has front and rear disc brakes.



Electronics

The Centris has a thumb throttle for non-pedaling power. So, if you decide you need a breather during your ride, you can use the thumb throttle and it will take over and you will be riding all-electric.

buzz centris thumb throttle

Once pedaling has begun, the thumb throttle can be engaged and the bike will run strictly off electric power (no pedaling!)

Buzz claims that the Centris can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour when not pedaling.



Now, you should take into account that the 20 MPH number is assuming a flat riding surface and also depends on the terrain you are riding (smooth, rough, etc) as well as the weight of the rider. (We’ll provide the results of our findings in this area a little later on in this review).

front basket rack of buzz centris

Front basket rack…

It also has front and rear racks for carrying things… like maybe a big buck or a big bass! (Well, maybe not, but you could carry a duffle bag or a backpack or utility pack in the basket!)

buzz centris rear rack

… and the rear rackk.

The Centris also has an LCD screen that displays your speed, battery life, and the electronic pedal assist level.

buzz centris electronic controller

The controller shows the speed assist level as well as the current battery charge, mph and odometer readings.

It also has an adjustable seat height.

buzz centris adjustable seat

The seat of the Centris has multiple adjustments.

It’s got a removable lock-in battery with battery cover, and inside is a 48-volt rechargeable battery, that according to Buzz, will give you up to 40 miles per charge and recharge within 2-6 hours.

Again, you want to keep in mind that these are estimates and they are going to be based on things like rider weight and also the type of terrain that you’re riding on.

buzz centris rear rack

The Centris’ battery is 48-volts and locks in place.

Another neat feature is that is also has a headlight.

buzz centris headlight

The headlight is easily assembled and is controlled by the LCD screen display buttons.



Warranty of the Buzz Centris

The Buzz Centris sports a 2-year limited warranty on the electronics and it has a 10-year warranty on the aluminum frame. And, the Centris is UL-tested.

buzz centris bell

And one very, very important feature… a powerful little bell (OK, so we’re not huge fans of the bell, but it is mandatory in some states.)

You can get the Buzz Centris fat-rie E-Bike, with all its features, for $1199, which includes free shipping to your doorstep!



Test Ride

We got the Centris charged up and ready to go. Then, it was time for the fun part… we took it for a spin!

What we learned

After a 3-mile test ride we can tell you… the Buzz Centris is a ton of fun!

We rode it on a flat surface to test the speed and then went straight into the woods and rode trails that had both inclines and declines.

buzz centris riding on the road

The Buzz Centris, with a 180-lb rider, reached a top-speed of 20.1 mph while using only the controller (no pedaling).

Over the course of the 3-mile ride, the battery stayed on the fully charged indicator! So, the battery life seems to do very well.

riding buzz centris in the woods

We rode the Centris off-road through wooded trails and it did well.

We also did a speed test on the road to see if it would in fact go 20 miles per hour, as the specs stated.

It actually reached a top speed of 20.1 miles per hour, using only the all-electric thumb throttle (no pedaling)! So, the top speed of 20 mph is as advertised!



Improvements

The one thing that we’d like to see improved would be the suspension. During the off-road trail riding, the suspension bottomed out pretty hard a few times as I went over some rougher parts of the trail.




Final Thoughts on the Buzz Centris

All in all, the Buzz Centris is a great ride. And man, what a ton of fun!

And, it was actually pretty actually quiet. The motor does make just a little bit of noise, but nothing real significant.

So, if you’re looking for an electric folding bicycle to enjoy in the woods and on off-road trails, this is a great option for the money!

We are excited to get to do some more testing of the Buzz Centris fat tire electric bike. We hope you enjoyed the review. Ride safely!

hiking boots at foot of mountain

Guys, Get On The Trail! | Best Hiking Boots For Men

Getting away from civilization and hiking is a fantastic way to experience the natural world.

Even hiking in concrete jungles can let you experience it in a unique way.

The most important tool necessary for making these experiences happen is your set of hiking boots.

man hiking in the mountains

There’s too much beautiful country to explore without making sure your feet are in a great set of hiking boots. Let’s check out a list of some of the best hiking boots for men!

Hiking boots are engineered to maximize the support and comfort your feet have when walking for a long time at once.

Best Hiking Boots For Men List

Normal sneakers and athletic shoes are not engineered for this type of travel, so specify your approach with a nice pair of hiking boots.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best hiking boots for men!

Merrell Moab 2

Merrell Moab 2

The Moab II by Merrell is a hiking boot that provides durability and comfort for the budget conscious.

First up is the Merrell Moab 2.

Merrell is a brand that boomed in popularity in recent years, so going with the Moab 2 is a steady choice. This is a super affordable boot that is great for those on a budget. In some cases, this boot will be half the price of a competitor.



This is a wide-fit boot, so if you have a narrow foot, this may be a bit too clunky for you.

The materials are durable and comfortable to provide a nice user experience for those who fit in them well.

There is also a low Moab model for those who do not want a higher boot.

A unique factor of the Moab is the wearability right out of the box. While many hiking boots require a few hours in them to fully break them in, Moabs are known to be very comfortable without much of that required break-in period.


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Salomon Quest 4

Salomon Quest 4 hiking boots for men

Although a bit heavy, the Salomon Quest 4 can tackle long treks with the best hiking boots in the industry.

One of the more expensive options on this list is the Salomon Quest 4.

They are built to last, so if your are a serial hiker, this may be the boot for you!

Salomon is an industry leader, and the boats by this company are top notch. The Quest 4 is for serious hikers that will tackle a lot of miles. However, if you’re just going to be taking one or two hiking trips, you might not feel you are getting your money’s worth out of these.


The Quest 4 is an overall great boot, because it is super durable and supportive of the ankle. It is a high boot that secures everything in place. They are a bit heavy, but this is also what helps them last so long.

This is a boot for long trips in rugged terrain. Even though you have to deal with that extra weight, you will be protected against the elements in a better way.


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Keen Targhee II

Keen Targhee II hiking boot for men

The Keen Targhee II gives good support to the ankle area and great waterproofing.

Similarly to Salomon, Keen is a mainstay brand in the outdoor footwear industry. Keen also makes work and leisure shoes, but the hiking boots are pillars of the brand and the market.

The overall best Keen boot for the price is the Targhee II. This is an excellent budget pair that still carries the weight of a top brand along with it.

The most common Targhee II is a mid boot, so it provides intermediate support to the ankle area. If you want an extra level of support, the mid option may not be the way to go.



This is also a waterproof hiking boot, so it adds an extra layer of protection as Keen products have great waterproofing.

Overall, the Targhee is very affordable and durable. It faults a little in rough terrain as it lacks a beefed up structure like some of the other options.

But, if you are a casual hiker, this is a great boot.


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Hoka One One Anacapa GTX

Hoka One Anacapa mens hiking boots

The Anacapa GTX is not only waterproof, but it comes in “untraditional” hiking boot colors.

One of the newer brands breaking into the scene in the West is Hoka.

Hoka is primarily a running shoes brand, but its recent offerings in the hiking space are of really good quality.

This brings us to the Anacapa.

The Anacapa is a hybrid boot in the sense that it brings the comfortability that a running shoe provides. This includes great padding and support to the heel and foot.



This is technically a “mid” boot, but it is quite high and provides really good ankle support. It is also waterproof thanks to Gore-Tex technology.

The main downside for some people is the look. This is not a traditional hiking boot and utilizes more color and an outward design.

So, if you want a little color in your hiking life, the Anacapa is an excellent option.



Timberland Chocorua Trail

Timberland Chocorua Trail Mens hiking boot

The Timberland Chocurua Trail leather hiking boot is built to last and sports waterproof leather.

Although Timberland has become a major fashion brand in recent years, thanks to their iconic yellow boots, this company still makes great hiking boots. The Chocorua Trail boot is one of the best hiking boots under Timberland’s umbrella.



This is an affordable boot that is made to last a long time. This is a leather boot, so it will take a bit longer to break in. However, the leather is waterproof, which is a nice perk.

If you are cool with hiking in these before your trip to break them in and are taking on pretty basic terrain, the Timberland Chocorua Trail is for you.



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Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 Gore-Tex

Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 Gore-Tex Mens hiking boot

The Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 Gore-Tex hiking boot is lightweight, waterproof and breaks in quickly.



Salomon makes another appearance with the X Ultra Mid 4. This is a modern boot that is very lightweight and waterproof, thanks to Gore-Tex. This is a synthetic boot that breaks in very quickly.

The mid height provides decent support to the ankle, but if you need something more reinforced, Salomon has plenty of high-cut options.

This option is quite a bit cheaper than the Quest 4 that is also on this list. The midsole is not as beefy and focuses on being lightweight while capable of handling a majority of the terrain.



One unique aspect of the X Ultra Mid 4 is the ActiveSupport strap that keeps your foot and laces in place while walking. This strap is attached to the boot and connects with the middle of the laces.

So, when hiking or navigating off-trail terrain, this keeps your foot in a good position and your laces tight.

Overall, if you want something lightweight but still with good backbone, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 is calling your name.


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Final Thoughts On Best Men’s Hiking Boots

hiker sitting overlooking lake

Even feet in great hiking boots need to take a break so the mind can soak up the beauty and vastness of creation...

Ok guys, we hope this list has provided you with some helpful information on which hiking boots you should purchase.

Be sure to consider your terrain, frequency of hiking activity and conditions of your target destination.

Now, get out there and explore!