Semi-automatic shotguns (aka autoloading) are among the fastest types of shotguns because they are able to fire a shell after every trigger pull without the operator needing to manually chamber a follow-up round or manually cycle a fire action mechanism (like a slide or lever).
You simply pull the trigger as fast as possible and let the shotgun unload shells with no remorse. This semi-automatic cycling mechanism is due to a gas, blowback, or recoil operation that loads and ejects shells one after another. Learn exactly how one works here.
Additionally, semi-automatic shotguns provide operating flexibility by including a pump-action firing mode. Many law enforcement and military units deploy the semi-automatic shotgun in the field (often modified with tactical improvements) because of the firearm’s superb efficiency, versatility, and firepower. They are also popular for hunting and target shooting.
Top Semi-Auto Shotguns Available on the Market
Mossberg International SA-20 Youth Bantam
The Mossberg SA-20 Youth is a great semi-automatic shotgun for serious novices or seasoned youth. It is a lightweight, low-recoil 20 gauge sporting autoloader that is a perfect fit for young wingshooters looking to hunt small game or shoot up clay targets.
It features a smooth gas-operated cycling system, a range of cylinder bore or interchangeable choke systems, and an optional Picatinny accessory rail. This soft-shooting autoloader has exceptional balance and easy-handling characteristics that will turn any youngster into a competent and effective shooter.
The SA-20 Youth is 20 gauge with a 24”, vent rib barrel with front bead sight, offers 5-round total capacity and is showcased in a black synthetic finish.
Even fits in some concealment flag models.
Beretta A300 Outlander 12 Gauge
The Beretta A300 is the latest and greatest model in the 300 series of gas-operated autoloading shotguns. It has been sold to millions of hunters and sportsmen around the globe who trust in the style and quality of Beretta firearms.
This is a durable and high-performing semi-automatic shotgun with great out-of-the-box value (one of the best values of any semi-auto). It has a 3” chamber, 28” Mobilchoke barrel and self-cleaning piston.
It also made the top rated shotguns list.
The A300 Outlander is light, tough and made from proprietary steel blends which are designed to handle heavy shooting loads. It will work as hard as you can use it — in the toughest field conditions — without compromising performance or shot quality. Moreover, it is very simple to maintain and represents Beretta’s philosophy of “easy, quick and tool-free.” You can disassemble it fast and clean it anywhere.
Put it back together and it will shoot just as clean as any other action type firearm. Its lightness and low-profile action allows it to effortlessly follow your aim as you point and shoot.
The A300 is regulated by a magazine reducer with a 2-shot capacity that restricts the firearm to only 3 rounds (1 in the chamber).
If you operate in a less restrictive hunting region you can remove the mag reducer and fire up to 4 shots with 2.75” cartridges or 3 shots with 3” cartridges.
Mossberg 930 Hunting/Field – Mossy Oak Bottomland 12 Gauge
The Mossberg 930 platform series offers a rugged reliability and ease of use that enables the shooter to engage in various field hunting situations like deer camping, turkey woods, duck blinds, and goose hunts.
It features a dual gas-vent system, quick-empty magazine release for quick unloading, drilled and tapped receiver, and stock drop spacer system (which adjusts the vertical angle of the stock to improve sightlines) for synthetic models.
This version has a perfect Mossy Oak Bottomland hunting camouflage finish. Overall, the Mossberg 930 delivers speed, durability, and reliability for a range of applications.
Easily customized and built out to be a completely custom shotgun.
Remington V3 Field Sport Waterfowl Pro
Remington shotguns have been setting the standard for innovation and reliability for decades and that is why they have been an iconic brand for Americans nationwide.
The Remington V3 Waterfowl Pro is part of the V3 Field Sport family of autoloading shotguns. The V3 series are some of the finest semi-automatic shotguns in the world and are designed and built in the USA.
The V3 Waterfowl Pro, like its sisters in the family, has been proven to be one of the softest recoiling autoloaders on the market with even force distribution across the recoil timeframe.
The patented Versaport gas-operated cycling system (which self-regulates gas pressure based on shell length) is celebrated for its cutting-edge technological innovation that offers uncompromising reliability, consistency, and super-soft recoil. The Waterfowl Pro has a sleek platform with superior pointability and athletic handling characteristics.
Lightweight 2.75” to powerful 3” magnum loads are cycled with consistent ease. The V3 Sport Waterfowl Pro is perfectly designed to accommodate any kind of hunting or shooting passion.
Semi-Automatic Shotguns – Conclusion
Semi-automatic shotguns, commonly known as autoloaders in the field, are versatile and reliable shotguns celebrated for their balance of power, consistency, and practicality.
They are routinely used in fields and waterways as well as the frontlines of law enforcement — acting as ideal hunting, shooting or self-defense firearms that deliver firepower where it is most needed.