Whether you use your shotgun for tactical use, home defense, or traditional hunting, investing in a shotgun shell holder is a smart choice to make. Having a few or more extra rounds on your is always a good idea, but you’ll need a convenient way to carry that additional ammo around.
There a variety of styles of shell holders available, so we’ve put together this review of some of the best styles and our favorite brands. Obviously, your shooting style will greatly affect which shotgun shell holder you purchase, but we also want you to think about what gear you are usually lugging with you. Are you carrying a bipod and multiple optics with you? If you need more than a few extra rounds, you’ll need a shell holder that you can sling over a shoulder or attach to your body. Do you normally keep your shotgun at home? Then a side saddle is a smarter choice for you.
Whatever you choice is, all of the shotgun shell holders listed below are fantastic products for the money. You won’t be disappointed!
Materials – The Condor MA61: Shotgun Reload is an innovative way to carry many shotgun shells in a conveniently sized design. This MOLLE shotgun shell holder can carry up to twenty five shells. There are six horizontal rows, which carry four shotgun shells each, and there is a single, additional shell holder placed above the bottom row. Each shell holder is made of a wide elastic band to hold each shell in place. The entire carrying case folds up into an eight inch tall bag, which can be completely expanded open or a single flap can remain open to allow easy access to four shotgun shells at a time. Fasteners are constructed of Velcro and snap closures, so reloading your shotgun is a fast operation. The Condor MA61: Shotgun Reload MOLLE shotgun shell holder can come in a variety of colors/patterns, including black, coyote tan, brown, ATACS, and MultiCam.
Performance – The Condor MA61: Shotgun Reload is one of our favorites for MOLLE shotgun shell holders. For some, this style of shell holder is absolutely required; for others, this is just a convenient way to have many rounds on you at once. It is great for competitions but great for hunting, as well. You’ll never have to make a run back to your truck while keeping on the trail of that deer you spotted! You know how we love variety, so the fact that this shotgun shell holder comes in pretty much every pattern/color needed is fantastic. The combination of Velcro and snap closures is great for holding in all that weight, but this style of shell holder isn’t necessarily the most convenient for anyone who seriously requires quick access. For that purpose, there are other styles of shell holders that are more suiting.
What we say – The Condor MA61: Shotgun Reload costs about $14 online. That’s a really low price to pay, but we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the quality. Like we said, this is one of our favorite choices for MOLLE shell holders.
- Lowest cost
- Comes in any color needed
- Holds 25 shotgun shells
- Small and convenient
- Multiple closures not best for fast reloading
- Mainly for long durations of shooting time
- Innovative foldable quick-access design. Accommodates 25 shotgun shells
- 6 horizontal rows with 4-loops per row and 1 additional shell loop between the last two rows
- Adjustable flap with hook-and-loop, 4 UTX snaps and pull tab. Double-layered at the folding...
Materials – The TacStar Slimline Sidesaddle Shell Holder has the general idea of this product right in the name. It is designed to hold a convenient sized amount of extra ammo on the side of your shotgun – mainly a Remington or Mossberg. The backing plate that attaches to your firearm is made of aluminum in and anodized, matte black finish. It’s contoured to minimize a receiver footprint. There are six shotgun shell compartments, which are made of a synthetic rubber. The shell holder is just flexible enough to easily slide in your shells, but it is durable enough to withstand rough weather conditions or general action your shotgun may experience.
Performance – The TacStar Slimline Sidesaddle Shell Holder is a completely different style of shell holder that is great for defensive actions or small hunting excursion. This style allows the shooter to keep an eye on their sight, a finger on the trigger guard, and a free hand to reload. While this certainly doesn’t hold twenty five shells, the ability to hold six is the perfect amount for a gunowner who likes single shot operations. We also really like the synthetic rubber material used to house the shells, as opposed to the more common elastic bands. This type of shotgun shell holder is better for rainy weather or extreme temperatures, and it is durable enough for even some tactical use. We realize buyers are pretty limited on what shotguns will actually be able to fit the TacStar Slimline Sidesaddle Shell Holder: it holds any 12 gauge shell, but the backing plate is a different story. If this product can accommodate your shotgun, we really suggest looking into this one.
What we say – The TacStar Slimline Sidesaddle Shell Holder costs around $30-$35 online, which is a great price for a product that we think is a step above your average elastic band shell holders.
- Good cost
- Synthetic rubber shell holders
- Durable in bad weather
- Won’t fit all shotguns
- Made in the USA by an American Company
- Fits Remington 870, 1100, and 11-87.
- Strong, rigid, non-glare, anodized aluminum backing plate.
Materials – Ah, what would we do without Galco? The Galco BC-54-DH Butt Cuff is certainly the most attractive option within this review. This shotgun shell holder is made of a flexible leather that comes in a dark brown color. Inside is a suede tongue to enforce a good grip in the butt of your shotgun, and nylon laces make it easy to tighten or loosen the design. Each shell holder is reinforced with quality stitching to keep the shape of the loops and to prevent stretching. This butt cuff can hold either five to six additional shells on anywhere from .45-70 shotguns. We do advise you confirm with the manufacturer that it will fit your firearm and shells before purchasing.
Performance – We won’t lie, the Galco BC-54-DH Butt Cuff is certainly an eye catcher. Some of our readers do prefer the look of leather over a matte black, low profile accessory, and Galco knows how to satisfy that appeal. This style of shotgun shell holder may not provide as much convenience as some of the other options in this review, but it is more versatile in which shotguns it fits and what gauge/caliber it can carry. For this style, we like the idea of nylon laces to adjust the fit over an elastic band. This also means you won’t have to disassemble your firearm to slip it on.
What we say – The Galco BC-54-DH Butt Cuff costs a little over $70 online, which is an average price point for Galco’s products. If looks are important to you, this is a pretty piece to look into.
- Quality leather, suede, and nylon
- Versatile in fit
- Appealing look
- Not good for tactical use
- Fits .45-70
- Holds 5 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells, 30-30, 30-06 and .308; Or 6 rounds of .44, .45,...
- Suede tongue and nylon lacing keep the cuff securely on your stock
Materials – Hmm… This looks a little familiar! The TacStar Tactical Railmount with Slimline Sidesaddle is an all billet aluminum construction in a matte, black, anodized finish to reduce glare. This is one of the best shotgun shell holders for tactical use because it attaches to your firearm on both sides. This baby isn’t going anywhere! It comes with six shell holders that don’t have an inch of elastic near them, so your shotgun shells won’t be going anywhere either. The best part of this rail mount is that the manufacturers didn’t leave any useless space; the top is a Picatinny rail with 12 slots for optics or any other gear you want to install up there.
Performance – The TactStar Tactical Railmount with Slimline Sidesaddle is easily one of the best tactical shotgun shell holders, due to multiple things. The aluminum construction is durable and built to last, and the ability to attach on both sides of your shotgun means it will withstand the strongest recoil. The rubberized shell holders are flexible enough to slide shells in and out quickly, and they’re sturdy enough to keep your ammo in place until needed. Our complaints here are that this is only available for Mossbergs and Remingtons, and we wonder if this style of shotgun shell holder could actually be an inconvenience, as we’re sure many buyers already have a setup with a rail on their firearm. However, if this works for you, it’s an excellent buy.
What we say – The TacStar Tactical Railmount with Slimline Sidesaddle costs around $70 online for the Remington model and just over $50 online for the Mossberg model. If you own one of these popular shotguns, and you could use a Picatinny rail, then this is like hitting two birds with one stone.
- All aluminum construction very durable
- Picatinny rail attached
- Attaches to both sides
- Only available for Remington and Mossberg
- Could interfere with present setup on shotgun
Materials – The Mesa Tactical Sureshell Carrier is similar to the second style of shotgun shell holder listed, but focuses on a different area of convenience. This shell holder is made entirely of aluminum that has been anodized in a matte black finish. The model we’ve chosen here accommodates up to six shells, but, if you do some digging around online, there are other models that fit anywhere from four to eight rounds. The rugged aluminum material is strong enough to even house slug rounds against harsh weather or strong recoils. Here’s the best part of this tactical shotgun shell holder: it comes with a four and a half inch Picatinny rail attached to it. The product easily attaches to the side of your shotgun, and there are 11 slots for attaching an optic. With a little planning, you can make a great set up on your shotgun and even save a little money.
Performance – The Mesa Tactical Sureshell Carrier is a wonderful shell holder that is best for tactical use, mainly due to the all aluminum construction. However, it’s still convenient for defensive purposes and hunting. Of course, the main reason we think this is one of the best shotgun shell holders is because of the Picatinny rail that comes with it. Perhaps you have a scope that is your go-to for a particular tactical situation, and it pairs perfectly with this rail and six extra rounds of ammo. The other great thing about the Mesa tactical shotgun shell holders is that there’s a variety of styles they come in, and they fit a variety of shotguns. So, if this specific holder doesn’t suit your needs, you can check out Mesa’s other options to find your style and fit.
What we say – The Mesa Tactical Sureshell Carrier costs under $110 online. That’s definitely a step up in price from the first options in this review, but you’re investing in a product that comes with a little more to it and higher quality materials.
- All aluminum construction very durable
- Picatinny rail attached
- Different styles to choose from
- A little expensive
- Not all models have Picatinny rails
- Mesa Tactical
Our Favorite Shotgun Shell Holder
Our top pick for the best shotgun shell holder on the market is the TacStar Slimline Sidesaddle Shell Holder. As much as we liked the similar model with the Picatinny rail, the first option is significantly more affordable, and the main difference is the lack of top rail. It’s probably safe to assume that, if you’re using an optic, you probably already have a mounting system in place, so an attached Picatinny rail isn’t really necessary. We also like the slight elasticity offered by TacStar while maintaining it’s durability. We highly suggest shotgun owners look into the TacStar Slimline Sidesaddle Shell Holster.
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