Introduced in the early 20th century, the Browning Auto-5 was the first commercially successful autoloading shotgun. A revolutionary design at the time, the Auto-5 worked by harnessing the gasses of a discharge to cycle the bolt and reload the chamber, allowing a shooter to fire a round with each trigger pull, and nothing more.
In the more than 100 years since their introduction, autoloading, or semi-automatic shotguns, have become favorites among waterfowlers and both competitive and casual trap and skeet shooters.
While break-action double-barrel shotguns, which predate the autoloader by centuries, also allow for a follow up shot with no more than a second trigger pull, these guns are limited to a shell capacity of two. Most autoloaders, meanwhile, have a magazine capacity of two to three times that amount.
The advantages offered by the autoloader do not stop there. Semi-automatic shotguns are known to have less recoil than break- or pump-action guns, as the bolt absorbs much of the energy of a discharge in order to cycle. With a high rate of fire, easy follow up shots, and reduced recoil, many autoloading models have ranked among the most popular shotguns in the U.S. for decades, and remain so today. (Here is a look at America’s top shotgun companies.)
Using a report from Gungenius, which compiled sales data from Gunbroker.com, an online firearm marketplace, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 most popular autoloading shotguns in America. Guns are ranked on 2022 online sales, though exact sales numbers were not provided.
A testament to the popularity of autoloaders, four of the 10 shotguns on this list also rank among the 10 best selling shotgun of any type. These models include three shotguns from Italian gunmakers Beretta and Benelli. (Here is a look at the 10 shotguns people bought the most online last year.)
It is important to note that this list was compiled using online gun sales only. Unlike most items purchased online, firearms are generally not shipped directly to your door. Typically, the process requires buyers to have their firearm shipped to a Federally Licensed Firearm dealer – usually a local gun store – which will then run a background check before transferring the gun to the customer. Still, as is the case with online shopping in general, the convenience and inventory offered by online retailers is a major draw for gun buyers.
Click here to see 10 semi-automatic shotguns Americans are buying the most.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.
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