Firearms. Prepping 101. Shotguns

Firearms. Prepping 101. Shotguns

Firearms. Want to start a fight in a preppers forum? Just say this: “I think the M56 Bubble Gum Blower is the BEST survival weapon to have.” Then, put on your asbestos Underoos! The other week we talked about gunshot wounds from less than lethal rounds. We turned the tables today to protection and what should be on the homestead.  Today’s Prepping 101 topic is shotguns.

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

I have my own opinions on this topic. I am NOT going to try to change anyone’s mind on the subject of firearms. The only thing I will say, is, No law has ever stopped the “bad guy” from doing harm to another. During SHTF, (And if you think we are NOT in it, I think you may need to reconsider.) the temptation to take another’s property is very high. A lot of fine folks either won’t have a gun due to personal, or religious reasons. And some good people can’t own one. Follow your heart AND your head.

Types of Firearms

There are 3 main types of firearms. Shotgun. Rifle and Pistol. Those can be broke down by action type. Lever action, Break action, Revolver, Bolt, Pump and Semi Automatic.


Shotguns are the go to for most preppers. They come in single or double barrel break action, pump action, and semi automatic.

Single Shot Shotgun




Image courtesy of Savage Stevens

The Savage Stevens Mode 301 Single Shot 12 gauge.

The 12 gauge single shot is a very useful tool. Inexpensive, Ultra reliable, accurate. And very light.  Cons. Slow to reload, and the recoil especially with 3 inch shells can be, well impressive.

Double barrel Shotgun





The Stoeger Double Barrel Coach Gun Image via Stoeger Arms

The Double barrel is a step up from the single shot. Here you have 2 shots vs 1. Doubles, however, are much much more expensive than single shots. They are, at times more expensive than some pumps and even semi automatic shotguns.

The pump action




The Remington 870 Express Home Defense. Image Via Remington Arms

The Remington 870 Express is MY favorite shotgun. Mine has taken game from dove and waterfowl to Elk and bear. There is NOTHING on the planet that will stop an intruder faster in their tracks than the sound of the pump action clambering a round.

Pros. Lightweight very very reliable. For the most part ambidextrous.

Cons somewhat slower to fire follow up shots, (Unless you are Jerry Miculek!) Slow to reload compared to box magazine fitted Autoloaders. (Again unless you are Jerry Miculek!)

The Semi Automatic




The Semi Auto Shotgun. Image via Winchester SPA

The autoloading shotgun is the new standard of the industry. When I was a boy they had issues with malfunctions that are common to all semi automatic weapons. Today, they are as reliable as a pump gun.

Pros: FAST follow up shots lower recoil, reliable action.

Cons: Price. Plus, when they do break (Which is rare) they can be harder to fix. With the tubular magazine, like the pump action, they are slower to reload. EXCEPT….

The box fed semi auto shotgun





The Saiga autoloading shotgun

The Saiga is a new generation shotgun. It can be fed via box magazines and drums. It’s pros and cons are the same a the Winchester above. The only addition is weight. When you add the optional magazines in 10 + rounds. With the drum, imagine a full 25 round box of shot shells slung under your gun.


So why should a shotgun be a choice for a preppers go to firearm? With the correct ammunition a shotgun can take every game animal on this continent. Well, within reason. I wouldn’t want to try a 400 yard uphill shot at a Barbary Sheep. But, upland game birds to moose and elk, yep. Even Alaskan Brown bear. For homestead defense it will stop predators, both 2 legged and 4 legged. With specialty ammunition, it can shoot signal flares, less than lethal bean bag rounds, it can start fires to clear land or demoralize an enemy. Reloading the shells are simple. And, as long as you follow established recipes it can shoot anything you care to stuff into a 3/4 in diameter shell.  12 and 20 gauge shells can be found EVERYWHERE.

For me, if I could only have 1 gun, it would be my Remington 870 Express.


Next time we look at rifles.


2 Responses to “Firearms. Prepping 101. Shotguns

  • I love mb y shotgun, but I don’t use it as much as I do my rifle. Just for turkey. I really need to get my tree stand ready for this fall’s season.

  • Damn, sorry. Autocorrect does some very odd things the second I hit send.

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