The 3 Best Hunting Shotguns for the Adventurer on a Budget

Shotguns are a pretty popular choice for avid hunters. Unfortunately, some models can fetch a pretty penny. Maybe you love stalking your prey through the woods or quietly calling them in from a treestand but don’t have much money to drop on a new firearm. 

You’re in luck! The good news is that several low-cost shotgun options are still of excellent quality. You’ll drop plenty of bucks, turkey, and more on your next adventure with one of these affordable options.

Best Hunting Shotguns

Table of contents


1. Best Hunting Shotgun for Adaptability: Mossberg Maverick 88 ($245)

The Maverick 88 is an excellent pump-action hunting shotgun built to last. Mossberg has consistently put out high-quality products since it launched in 1919. You can take this firearm out on your next adventure into the woods expecting a trouble-free hunt with no operation issues. 

Mossberg is dedicated to updating and improving their designs, but they also know you don’t want to buy a new gun every time a significant upgrade hits the market. They’ve made the Maverick 88 fully interchangeable with compatible Mossberg 500 barrels so you can adjust as you see fit. 

At such a cheap price point, you can afford to adapt this weapon to your personal needs. You can drop plenty of games without breaking the bank with the Maverick 88. 

Specs
Gauge12
Chamber3 in
Capacity5+1
Barrel Length28 in
Barrel TypeVent Rib
SightDual Bead
Length of Pull TypeFixed
ChokeModified Tube
Length of Pull14.5 in
Length47.75 in
Weight7 lbs
Features
Twin Action BarsDual Extractors
Anti-Jam ElevatorPositive Steel to Steel Lockup
Best Hunting Shotguns

2. Best Shotgun That’s Lightweight: Savage 301 Turkey Single-Shot Shotgun ($199.99)

If you’re looking for something that isn’t too heavy while trekking through the woods, check out this lightweight hunting shotgun. It’s an incredibly affordable option if you want to hunt turkey or other small game. You can purchase a 20 gauge or .410 model at the same price. 

It comes with several extra features despite the low price. The firearm’s stock includes a recoil pad to reduce kickback and protect your shoulder. You also receive a removable accessory rail to attach an extra sight if you have one. 

Avid hunters note the Savage 301 has quite the range: at least 40 yards just with the .410 model. That’s pretty impressive, considering most similar guns can only shoot accurately up to about 25 yards. 

Specs
20 Gauge:
Barrel Length:26 in
Action:Single
Capacity:One
Chamber:3 in
Weight:6 lbs
.410 Bore:
Barrel Length:26 in
Action:Break Open or Single
Capacity:One
Chamber3 in
Weight:5 to 5.7 lbs
Features
Extra-Full ChokeOne-piece Accessory Rail
Rubber Recoil PadFront Bead Sight
Sling Swivel StudsNon-Reflective Matte Finnish

3. Lowest Price Best Hunting Shotgun: Yildiz .410 Single Shot Break-Open Shotgun ($129.99)

This hunting shotgun is one of the cheapest options you’ll find on the market while still being a high-quality product. Hunters note it’s an excellent firearm for shooting doves, snakes, and other small game. 

It weighs even less than the Savage 301. However, some reviews say it has a severe kick that can cause bruising if not properly braced. 

The best way to prevent recoil is to ensure you properly shoulder the gun. If you still have an issue with kickback from the Yildiz .410, you can always search online for an affordable rubber stock add-on. 

Specs:
Action:Break-Open
Gauge:4.10 Bore
Barrel Length:28 in
Weight:3.3 lbs
Capacity:One
Gun Length:44 in
Features
Manual SafetyWalnut Stock
Folding Blued BarrelThree Year Limited Warranty
Ambidextrous Design
Best Hunting Shotguns

Other Ways to Find Affordable Hunting Shotguns

If you’re strapped for cash, there are a few alternative options for finding cheaper hunting shotguns. For example, gun shows are one place you may find more affordable firearms. Regulations on these events vary by state, so look up your local laws before searching out one. 

Typically, gun shows don’t have to follow federal regulations. Since sellers don’t have to go through the trouble of a background check, you can usually find more affordable options. However, keep in mind that these firearms are typically used, so they may have additional issues new purchases wouldn’t. 

Additionally, there’s no guarantee you’ll find a shotgun at a specific gun show, so you may need to visit several, but if you’re a gun enthusiast that might not be a bad thing. You can also try finding a private seller, but you’ll need to complete a federal background check before your purchase. 

Consider Purchasing Budget Shotgun Accessories

Now that you know about the best hunting shotguns on a budget, you’re ready to drop a deer or make a turkey flop without breaking the bank. You may even want to buy a few accessories with the money you save on your firearm. 

Here are a few additional purchases you should consider when buying a hunting shotgun:

  • Hunting Earmuffs: Shotgun blasts are loud. If you plan to shoot yours regularly, find some high-quality earmuffs to prevent damage to your eardrums. Long-term exposure to high decibels can ruin your hearing, which is crucial for hunters. 

The best earmuffs will have volume control so that you can still hear when you aren’t shooting. This way, you can still listen for crunching leaves, indicating your prey is close. It’s also important to consider how comfortable they are, especially if you plan to wear them for extended hunts. 

  • Gun Safe: It’s vital to store your firearms in a secure location when you aren’t using them. Purchasing a safe for them is a significant investment, as these tend to get pretty pricey. However, it’s a crucial safety measure, especially if you have small children in your home. 
  • Recoil Pad: If you go for a shotgun like the Yildiz .410 that doesn’t already have it, you may want to add one of these. This product will help stabilize your shot and cushion your shoulder from kickback. You can find several affordable options online at places like Amazon. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hunter, there is a shotgun for you. You won’t need to spend thousands of dollars to acquire a safe and high-quality product. You can opt for a lightweight single shot like the Savage 301 or the Mossberg Maverick 88 if you prefer a sturdy pump action shotgun.

Whatever your weapon of choice is, we recommend taking good care of it by cleaning it regularly and storing it in a safe and locked storage to avoid any accidents at home or when you go hunting.

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