Dialing Up Your SHTF Shotgun
Dr. John Woods 10.17.15
A good shotgun is an absolute must-have for any survival weaponry cache. Even if you consider building the most minimalist SHTF gun kit, then a shotgun has to be on the list. A plain Jane version can give you basically the same protective coverage, but in today’s market of accessories galore, a good smoothbore can be turned into something really great.
Start out with acquiring a good quality basic shotgun platform. We all have our personal preferences, but with over 2 million built and in service, the classic Remington 870 pump is hard to beat. They come in a variety of models from austere to fully decked out, including models with shiny, lacquered finishes and highly blued steel.
There are a couple 870 models with laminated wood stocks that would seem even better suited to withstanding the elements longer. There are many arguments for the pump action shotgun, but a good semi-auto can be just as good if kept well maintained. I would pick the 12 gauge.
Shotguns today can be customized and transformed into a more or less “tactical” version with the addition of some good accessories. Again, take a long, hard look at the aftermarket landscape to see what all is available to bolt on a shotgun to enhance its delivery system and overall utility.
First on that list to consider would be a side-saddle ammo shell holder. These can be as simple as an elastic wrap pulled over the buttstock or even with a sling available with shell loops. Another good option is the bolt-on shell holder that can be assembled aside the flat side of the action. All you do is pull the two trigger action screws and insert the new ones through the shell holder. These can be bought to hold 5 or 6 extra shells for easy, quick access.
Another good accessory to add is a flashlight bracket up front. This provides illumination under low light conditions. Look into alternative sling attachments, too. On top add a glow sight front and rear. Synthetic stocks are good but not absolutely necessary. Other, perhaps shorter barrels are worth considering, too. One for hunting and one for defense.
The shotgun is an essential survival tool. It provides an authoritative threat with just one cycle of the action. Deck one out to suit your needs.