a man clay sport shooting with a shotgun over a lake

How Much Does A Shotgun Weigh (53 Examples)

If you decide to take up a shotgun-style hobby, you might ask yourself many questions. Knowing the weight you have to carry might be one of them. Weight, after all, impeeds speed when seconds count.

So, how much does a shotgun weigh? In short, the average weight for a shotgun is around 7lbs 8 oz. Skeet, Trap, and Clay shotguns are all around this weight as well. With the12 gauge most fall around 7lbs 8oz to 8 lbs 6oz. There appears to be around a 14oz difference between most shotguns on the market.

Although 410 shotguns are about a pound lighter on average.

A girl with an over and under shotgun

Shotguns are used for many purposes, not least of which would be home defense and sports. There are many sites that give out data about the weight of a shotgun.

In putting together the following tables, I have endeavored to use the manufacturer’s data wherever possible. Some websites had the data in kilograms and decimals, but I have converted to using lbs and ozs as this by far seemed the most common way of expressing the weight of a shotgun.

Luckily, as they’re only a few cartridges that you can place in a shotgun, there is no confusion with loaded, or unloaded weights or educated guesswork. Almost all of the time there is an agreed upon weight.

The slight differences in weights could still be accounted for different barrel lengths/

All errors and omissions are mine.

What Is The Shotgun Weight For Skeet or Trap

In the following table, it is a collection of shotguns deemed to be specifically used for skeet or trap shooting. The articles by LuckyGunner and Range 365 show some of the most well used for this purpose.

What’s deliberately missing are the pump actions, and clay shooting guns which are covered in a later section.

Stoeger M30007 lbs 8 oz
Remington 11008.0 lbs
Beretta A3007 lbs 10 oz
Winchester SXP Trap7 lbs 8 oz
Beretta | A400 Xcel Multi-Target7 lbs 10 oz
Browning | Citori CX8 lbs 3 oz
Blaser | F167 lbs 8 oz
Fabarm | XLR5 Compact7lbs 6oz

What’s interesting here is that they seem to fall in a very tight band of weight.

The lowest is 7 lbs 5oz and the 8lb 3oz, most being very close to 7 lbs 6oz.

It seems guns for skeet shooting are nearly all pretty much the same weight.

How Much Does A Clay Target Shotgun Weigh

In articles by GunDogMag and Clay-Shooting.com the below table is a collection of shotguns for clay shooting.

I’ve limited this list to over and under shotguns mainly. 

Beretta | A400 Xcel Multi-Target7 lbs 10 oz
Browning | Citori CX8 lbs 5 oz
Benelli | ETHOS 28‎5 lbs 5 oz
Blaser | F167 lbs 8 oz
Remington | 1100 Competition8.0 lbs
Beretta | 6927 lbs 10 oz
Winchester | Model 101 Sporting7 lbs 4 oz
CZ | Sporter G2‎5 lbs 8 oz
Guerini | Magnus Sporting7 lbs 14 oz
Fabarm | XLR5 Compact7 lbs 6 oz
Beretta Silver Pigeon Sporting7 lbs 10 oz
Perazzi MX88 lbs 10 oz
Miroku MK38 Teague Grade One7 lbs 11 oz
Bettinsoli X Trail7 lbs 8 oz
Browning B725 Sporter8 lbs 6 oz
Hatsan Optima Silver Select7 lbs 11 oz

Bar a few outliers that are excessively light, because it’s a 410 shotgun most fall into a similar weight to skeet or trap shooting shotguns.

Almost all fall around 7lbs 8oz to 8 lbs 6oz. That’s just over a 14oz difference between most clay shooting shotguns on the market.

a man clay sport shooting with a shotgun

How Much Does A 410 Shotgun Weigh

In an article by GunAndShooter, the table below is a list of commonly used 410 shotguns. The 410 shotgun uses a lower power cartridge, and thus you might expect to see that showing in the total weight of the shotgun.

Let’s see.

Browning - BPS Micro Midas6 lbs 14 oz
Mossberg - 500 Home Security6 lbs 8 oz
Henry Lever Action Shotgun - .4107 lbs 5 oz
Browning - Citori 725 Spring Small Gauge7 lbs 8 oz
Beretta - 686 Silver Pigeon I7 lbs 12 oz
Rossi - Single Shot4 lbs
Remington Model 870 Express Shotgun7.0 lbs
Dickinson Plantation Side-by-Side Shotgun7 lbs 8 oz
Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam All Purpose5 lbs
Remington 1100 Sporting Shotgun6 lbs 4 oz

That seems conclusive enough. 410 shotguns seem on average, about 1 lb  lighter than their clay and skeet counterparts.

A girl with an over and under shotgun

How Much Does A Pump Action Shotgun Weigh

Despite being a favorite for Hollywood movies for their dramatic sound effect, quite often they are popular for different reasons, notably where rapid loading might be required.

According to GunAndShooter and EngineerPress, here’s a list of commonly purchased and popular pump action shotguns.

Remington 870 Express Tactical Pump Shotgun7 lbs 4 oz
Mossberg - 590A1 Speedfeed7 lbs 4 oz
Browning BPS7 lbs
FN P-127 lbs 7 oz
Mossberg 510 Mini Super Bantam5 lbs
Benelli - M3 Tactical, 12 Gauge7 lbs 10 oz
Benelli Nova8 lbs
Winchester Super X Pump7 lbs
Weatherby PA-087 lbs 4 oz

Seemingly, pump action shotguns aren’t that much different in weight than their clay and skeet purposed rivals.

How Much Does A Home Defense Shotgun Weigh

This could be an area, where weight might make a difference. Buying a shotgun specifically for home defense will probably want a slightly lighter carry weight so target acquisition could be quicker.

Being slow might be a fatal mistake in this case.

The following table derived from articles by WideOpenSpaces and PewPewTactical is a list of shotguns purchased specifically for the purpose of home defense.

Winchester SXP Defender6 lbs 8 oz
Benelli M48 lbs 7 oz
Remington 870 Express Tactical7 lbs 8 oz
Mossberg 590A1 Tactical7 lbs
Remington Versa Max Tactical7 lbs 8 oz
Mossberg 500 Series - 12 gauge7 lbs 8 oz
Benelli M37 lbs 3 oz
Hatsan Escort Aimguard7 lbs 4 oz
Maverick 887 lbs
Mossberg SPX 9307 lbs 8 oz

While there’s certainly no heavy ones in there, it seems certain that the weight of shotguns for home defense is around the 7lb 8oz as an average.

No real great difference.

Which is surprising. Lightweight and quick action might have been the preferred option, but people don’t seem to value weight as a high priority with a home defense shotgun. 

a shotgun on some logs

How Much Does A Shotgun Cartridge Weigh

Apart from the specifically designed firearms to shoot shotguns shells, most shotguns will shoot between 2 and 6 shells (usually expressed as 5+1).

Therefore the added weight of the shells into the weapon doesn’t significantly increase the overall weapon weight if it’s loaded.

Nevertheless, they do add some weight. 

How much will depend upon the type of shell, size, and the type of shot or projectiles that the weapon is firing.

An empty 12 gauge shotgun cartridge is said to weigh around 8 grams or 0.3 ounces.

Shotgun shell weights are designated by the weight of shot, so for the cartridge weight, add this 0.3 ounces. Excludes wadding a powder obviously, which will have been expended.

As a rough idea though;

  • 12 gauge No.8 clay shot is ⅞ ounce
  • 12 gauge buckshot is 1 and a half ounces
  • 12 gauge slug is 1 ounce
  • 410 gauge buckshot is around half an ounce.

2 12 gauge shotgun cartridges ejection


As shotguns are a two handed weapon there does not appear to be as much percentage variance as there is in handguns.

In terms of weight, there’s probably very little real world advantage to a heavier shotgun than a lighter one, assuming the caliber is the same.

Many people might be a little surprised by the actual weight of a shotgun, but most of the time it’s not being aimed, especially for a sporting shotgun, 

Surprisingly, home defense shotguns do not appear to be significantly lighter, nor do semi-autos differ much in weight from the more traditional over and under types.

Overall, the average weight would be around 7lbs and 6 oz to a shotgun with maybe a 5 or 6 ounce difference either way.

This is possibly because of similar lead shot weights and W.W. Greener’s rule of thumb of a shotgun weight. The rule surmises that the shotgun itself should weigh 96 times the shot weight in the cartridge. 

Thus, the typical weight of shot of 1 and a quarter ounces makes for a shotgun weight of around 7 lbs. With only a little variance for any given sport of the cartridge, that does make some sense.

So, when choosing, other than a few notable exceptions, that are too heavy or way too light, weight shouldn’t be a significant factor when deciding which make and model to purchase.

Happy shooting.

2 12 gauge shotgun cartridges ejection

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