A shotgun is a pretty capable firearm that doesn’t need much else to make it effective.
However, there are some cool accessories out there that can make it even better, and some that can be added on just for fun.
What are the essential shotgun accessories you need?
Shotgun accessories can be made for all applications including tactical and hunting, with some popular choices being sights, slings, clay traps, and cartridge belts.
As a multipurpose firearm, there’s no shortage of ways to improve on your shotgun in any setting.
If you have dreams of decking out your shotgun with the right type of gear, be it for survival preparation or improving your hunting prowess, this guide can show you the way.
We’ve counted down some essential and highly desired shotgun accessories that can transform this already stellar firearm.
The Top 13 Shotgun Accessories You Need
A shotgun does a fine job on its own without any extras but if you really want to step up the pace, there’s nothing wrong with adding some accessories.
Whatever setting you utilize your shooter in will point you in the direction of the best add-ons for this firearm, so check out some of the favorites that we’ve uncovered in every category.
#1 Clay Pigeon Trap
Clay target shooting is one of the most entertaining ways you can use your firearm and if you’ve always dreamed of owning a trap of your arm, the time to buy is now.
There are some advanced yet affordable clay pigeon traps on the market that come with full adjustability so you can shoot traps of all sizes and with spring strengths cater to any skill level.
A clay pigeon trap is a great way to improve your skills and give yourself a challenge, as well as getting others involved.
If you’re someone who loves to hunt but occasionally want a break from the real thing, you’ll get all of the action you need with target shooting.
#2 Cartridge Belt
A cartridge belt is one of the best friends you can have if you own a shotgun, and these handy little devices have sure come a long way.
These days, you can get a belt that gives you total customization including the spacing of the cartridges and plastic clips, to suit whatever slug you’re using.
Having your cartridges close by without taking up any valuable space or weighing you down is made easy with one of these belts, and it’s worth investing in something well made.
The modern cartridge belt holds up to 30 slugs comfortably, and even more, if you space them right, so you’ll never have to worry about backup ammo again.
#3 Shotgun Cleaning Kit
A responsible gun owner knows the importance of keeping their firearms in top shape and when it comes to a shotgun, this is especially important.
Rather than sourcing all of the parts required to clean your weapon separately, you can purchase a kit that’s already assembled with quality gear and everything you need.
These cleaning kits come with the basics like an aluminum rod, cleaning cloths, field patches, and gun oil.
You can go with a simple one or an advanced kit, depending on how detailed and serious you get, and they’re all housed in a durable and convenient zip-up case to protect them.
Read Also: Best 5 Shotgun Cleaning Kits
#4 Tactical Stock
If you want an instant improvement for your firearm and need a tactical edge, you can purchase a tactical stock to fit onto it.
There are tactical stocks out there with all kinds of specs and features, and most of them are compatible with just about any shooter you own.
When choosing a stock, look for something made of durable materials like polymer, and ensure it’s adjustable and able to fit your specific shotgun.
With a tactical stock in place, you’ll have a better grip of the gun, improve control, and be able to customize it exactly to your preferences, which all result in a more accurate shot.
#5 Reloading Press
If you’re someone who likes to reload their shotgun cartridges and save yourself some money, you can make the task even easier with an automatic reloading press.
These devices can be used on many shell sizes and aim to make it easy to get the job done, with minimal input from you.
Using a reloading press ensures a professional job is done, and it even gives the tapered crimp to the shell that completes the look.
Although you’ll need to make an initial investment, the time and money saved with one of these devices make it a smart buy for any shotgun owner.
#6 Laser Sight and Flashlight Combo
Another way to give your shotgun a tactical boost is by adding one of the latest and greatest laser sights to it.
These days, a laser sight offers more than just the sight ability though, with some of them being coupled with a firearm flashlight that lets you see everything that’s going on in front of you.
If you prefer to take just a tactical approach, the infrared laser is the one for the job, but having the backup of the flashlight is a godsend.
Choose a sight that suits your weapon, has adequate running time, and can give you the LED output you need, and you’ll give your shotgun a major tactical enhancement.
#7 Shotgun Sling
For those shotgun owners with self-defense as their priority, a reliable shotgun sling is a must-have.
These accessories are as simple as their name suggests, offering a way to hold your weapon over your shoulder and keep some backup cartridges close by and ready for action.
The shotgun sling of today has undergone some major improvements though, so don’t settle for the basic models of the past.
You’ll want something comfortable, made of non-slip but durable materials, and with the best positioning to give you ease of access when a lightning-fast reaction time is crucial.
#8 Recoil Pad
If you’ve ever fired a shotgun before you know the recoil can be serious business, and for some, it turns them off altogether.
Investing in a recoil pad is a smart way to counteract this, and the modern variations of these pads come with loads of benefits like being lighter and offering a better grip.
The recoil pad of today provides a lot of absorption from a harsh recoil and the difference will be noticeable most after a long session with your shotgun.
They’re constructed of materials like rubber that can compress easily and offer better control for the user, so consider adding one to the stock of your gun.
#9 Shotgun Case
A quality shotgun deserves a good home and if you’ve been transporting your shooter in something less than average, it’s time for an upgrade.
There are lots of benefits from upgrading to a tactical shotgun case including theft prevention and protecting your gun from damage, so it’s a no-brainer.
Modern shotgun cases come with extra features like moisture absorbing materials to keep your weapon safe, waterproof protection, airline approval configurations, and foam interior that molds to just about any weapon.
If your shooter leaves home with you at any time, make sure it has the security and protection it deserves with a tactical shotgun case.
#10 Ammo Carriers
There’s no shortage of ways for a shotgun owner to keep some slugs close by, but if you want the absolute convenience of storing yours right on the gun itself, a dedicated ammo carrier is a way to go.
The two most popular models are a side saddle or buttstock carrier, depending on where you feel most comfortable storing the goods.
A shotgun comes with downsides, predominantly the low magazine capacity, so having a handy way to keep your reloads close is key.
With these ammo carriers, you can access them without a hassle as they’re stored directly on the firearm and within arm’s reach, as long as you choose one that’s compatible with your shooter.
Read Also: Best Home Defense Shotgun Ammo
#11 Specialized Bore Cleaner
If you’re someone who finds the regular cleaning and maintenance of your shooter to be tedious, you’ll want to utilize any help you can.
Using a specialized bore cleaner gets rid of the biggest headache when cleaning these types of guns and actually makes it enjoyable to do.
Bore cleaners these days are so innovative that they resemble a shotgun cartridge, and it’s what’s inside that gets the job done.
These weapon cleaners feature things components like a squeegee that wipes the bore clean, a fibroid liner that breaks up all the debris, and cleaning pads that get in deeper than you ever could yourself.
#12 Compact Shell Holder
Having easy access to shells when you need them is a must when working with a shotgun, and if you don’t want a bulky carrier or prefer to travel light, something compact is best.
There are lots of smaller options for shell holders on the market that clip onto your belt and give you just two slugs as backup, making it easy to be prepared.
These shell holders come in different styles to suit how many cartridges you need, the size of them, and where you want to store them.
The most popular is the belt clip shell holder but you can also get a shotshell card that holds a little more and can be hooked up to a rifle rig or bug-out bag for survival mode.
#13 Shotgun Choke Moderator
The ability to play around with a shotgun and customize it to your needs is something that owners appreciate, but it can sometimes cause more issues than it’s worth.
One of the most common complaints is that the silencer unit might be removed at the same time, leaving you with a very noisy weapon.
A choke moderator was designed to combat this and allows you to adjust your shotgun at home without getting rid of noise control.
The device is attached to the shotgun in under a minute and it works with most 12-gauge multi choke shooters. You’ll get a quieter shot while still keeping the modifications you need, so you don’t have to sacrifice a thing.
Read Also: Your Guide to Shotgun Chokes
The US has a love affair with the shotgun and it’s one of our most popular weapons, whether it’s for home defense, hunting, or anything in between.
Before you can start equipping yours with extras though, you need to know a little more about them, so check out some FAQs that can help you do just that.
What Size Shotgun is Best for Home Defense?
The most popular choice for a home defense shotgun is usually the 12-gauge shotgun.
This defensive firearm has lots to offer in firepower especially when loaded with 00 buckshot, and it works well for close to mid-range, which makes it ideal for a home defense situation where you’re in tight quarters with an intruder.
How Far Can a Shotgun Slug Travel?
The most accurate range for a shotgun slug is up to 100 yards, and from there, it starts to lose its precision.
The farthest you’ll be able to propel a shotgun slug is around 400 yards but at this point, it’s highly inaccurate and not a safe option for a long-range firearm, with something like a rifle being better suited.
What is the Point of A Sawn-Off Shotgun?
A sawn-off shotgun is one with a barrel length of fewer than 18 inches, and may also have a shortened stock or none altogether.
The benefit of these shotguns is that they’re more compact and easier to maneuver, but still just as powerful as a regular shotgun, although with a shorter range.
Should I buy a Heatshield for my Shotgun?
The heatshield is a nice to have accessory but is not a must-have. You can read about if you need a heatshield for your shotgun here.