How Much is a Shotgun? Definitive 2023 Guide

How Much Is A Shotgun
Alfred Mendoza

The number of gun sales surged these past few months despite the ongoing pandemic. Among the 40% increase in sales are shotguns which have become a weapon of choice for home defense and hunting. 

That is why we wonder, how much is a shotgun?

Shotguns have a smooth bore designed to shoot flying objects at a closer distance. Unlike the rifled bore of handguns and rifles, choke tubes are added to the shotgun to increase their range accuracy. Shooters can install a ported barrel and choke tubes to minimize recoil.

Shotguns are ideal as home defense guns along with rifles. The two firearms are often mistaken for the other, but the main difference is the projectile of their shots.

We list down below different shotguns and how much you have to pay for each.


Different Types & Their Average Cost

Different Types & Their Average Cost

Lever-Action Shotgun

A lever-action falls under the repeating action guns. Designed by John Browning in the late 19th century, the popularity of this gun can be attributed primarily to the brand’s name. While mostly used by the hunting community and shooting competitions, it falls short in favor of the military. 

The lever is underneath the trigger, and it sometimes acts as a trigger guard. To unload empty shells, you have to pull the lever downward and swing it forward. Due to this, the military finds it inadequate to use this gun in their prone position. But, how many shells can a shotgun load?

There are only a few that sell these firearms nowadays. That’s why you will have to spend at least $1000 to purchase one.

Break-Action Shotgun

Break-action shotguns are famous among hunters. One of the reasons is the foldable structure that makes it easy to carry around. You can change the ammunition at the hinge if you break-open the gun, hence the name of break-action.

This type of gun has a limited shell capacity where you have to reload every one or two shots manually. The variants of break-action shotguns are the single-barrel shotgun and the double-barrel shotgun. The double-barrel comes in two forms: side-by-side and over-and-under.

The single-barrel shotgun is around $170 up to $550. And the double-barrel shotgun costs around $500 to $600.

Break-Action Shotgun

Semi-Automatic Shotgun

The semi-automatic is another successful design from John Browning during the early 1900s. This weapon is among the top choice for military personnel during wars. Over a decade later, various models have become, such as the Remington 1100 and Benelli Super Black Eagle. 

Its popularity among shooters is due to its mechanical ability to reload after every shot. But due to its complicated structure, it is inclined to plug up over the years.

A tactical semi-automatic like the Benelli M4, around $2000, is famous in the military. But no worries, there is a semi-automatic available at a much lower price, up to $420. Learn how to load a shotgun, here

Pump-Action Shotgun

Pump-action shotguns are one of the easiest to operate on this list. It allows the shooter to unload a spent shell while having all their attention on the target. It becomes one of the top firearms to have for home defense. 

Usually, pump-action shotguns have a tubular magazine located below the barrel. It holds at least five rounds of ammunition if enhanced. Once spent, you can slide the forestock back and forth to unload.

Among the most popular pump-action shotgun is the Remington 870. It has a price of an average of $350. Other models of this gun are available at a range between $200 to $800.

Bolt-Action Shotgun

Based on our research, this shotgun is a rare type. First introduced in the 1900s, this type is often associated with a rifle. Along with semi-auto, pump-action, and lever-action, it is under the category of repeating action shotguns.

This type of firearm has a bolt that secures the chamber. After a shot, you have to turn the bolt handle to release the spent shells. It can carry up to 10 rounds.

While testing it out, we find it slow to unload after every shot because of the gun’s structure. We keep clicking on the safety while pulling on the bolt handle. The average price for this gun is $300.

Bolt-Action Shotgun

Single Shot Shotgun

Our team considered this gun as a beginner’s choice. Originally intended for hunting birds, modern models of guns have overshadowed it. The open-action of this gun makes it a safe choice for new shooters.

The structure resembles that of the break-action shotguns. By opening the action at the breech, you can load single ammo at a time. The strong recoil is the only drawback we find, but regular dry-firing practice can solve this case.

This gun is available at a much lower price than the other types of shotguns on this list. You can purchase this one for around $200 or lower.

Also Read:

How Much Are Used Shotguns?

A used shotgun is commonly more cost-effective than brand new ones. Some online gun shops offer guns at a dirt-cheap price, but be wary of that.  

One buying idea we can give you is to frequent your local gun shop. They usually have a stock of used shotguns that you can choose from. And you might be able to strike a deal for a more reasonable price. 

Your local gun shop may also have an extra stock of ammunition and other accessories that you will need. And who knows if you can get a good deal for your next gun?

What Affects Its Pricing

What Affects Its Pricing


Gauge measures the barrel’s diameter, and the most common sizes are 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and 16 gauge. The smaller barrel, the larger the number of the gauge, and vice versa. For example, the 20 gauge has a smaller bore size than that of the 12 gauge. [1]

Almost half of the shotgun owners in the United States have a 12 gauge. Due to this demand, the 12 gauge is a lot cheaper than the other sizes. 


The ammunition of the shotguns depends on what your target is. There are three types of ammunition that you can have. They are the birdshot, buckshot, and slugs.

The birdshot is common in a 20 gauge, while buckshot and slugs are for 12 gauge. For the same reason mentioned above, the 12 gauge that uses buckshot and slugs makes it cheaper among the other sizes. 


Like the Browning that has been in the market for centuries, some brands have an established reputation. Because of the proven quality, many in the hunting and shooting game community would desire a certain brand for a shotgun. 

That makes them more expensive than the other one. But rest assured that these models are durable for long use.


The cheapest shotgun costs around $150. There are single-shot and break-action shotguns available on this range. And if you’re looking for a repeating firearm, the pump-action is the cheapest type.

The most expensive shotgun is roughly $700,000. It is the Peter Hofer Sidelock, a side-by-side type of shotgun. The delivery can take a few years because of the delicate design and materials used.

So, How Much Is A Shotgun, On Average?

Shotguns, on average, have prices that start from $150 to $30,000, set aside the specially made ones. For beginners, a break-action is the safest due to its limited capacity on ammo. The semi-auto for military use and the other repeating action shotguns for competition and hunting is a good idea.

You can buy them at a local gun store or online shop. A background check is necessary on any firearms purchase. 

Based on our experience, it is a better choice to purchase from a local gun shop. We are more inclined to dry-fire a gun before buying.



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