Acquire a Basic SHTF Shotgun
Dr. John Woods 12.12.16
The majority of preppers and survival enthusiasts are creating and compiling some sort of a gun battery for self-defense and property protection. Often the budget drives what can be bought and what additional expenses could be put into modifications or enhancements. One of the guns in your prep battery needs to be a good shotgun.
Certainly a basic shotgun can be acquired in its pure factory form, and it should work out fine if you learn the gun and know how to use it, shoot it, and maintain it. However, there may be a few things you will want to do eventually to enhance the shotgun for a variety of reasons.
First, what to buy. The prevailing choice is a basic pump shotgun in 12 gauge. If you want to bother with two gauges and or if there is a spouse or child in the family that cannot handle a 12-gauge, then consider adding a 20-gauge. But, before you do that allow the other shooters in the family to at least try out the 12-gauge. You might be surprised just how well they can handle it.
A good used shotgun can be bought at a gun shop or a gun show for between $150-300. Buy new if you can afford it. Shop around during hunting seasons for best prices. I recently saw a local big box store offering the Remington 870 Express pump for $249 with a screw choke barrel. That is a buy.
Be sure to purchase the shotgun with a barrel that permits the changing of screw in choke tubes. This allows you to use the gun for defense but also for hunting, varmint control, and other applications simply by changing out the choke tubes. Additional tubes are not very expensive. The standard choke tubes are improved cylinder (open), modified, and full (tight), though there are other more specialized tubes for hunting turkey or waterfowl.
Read the owner’s manual, assemble the shotgun, and learn its functioning characteristics. Know the safe use and handling procedures for the gun. Practice how to load, chamber shells, unload, the gun’s safety mechanism, and how to clean it.
Simple modifications and accessories can enhance the basic shotgun. Add a buttstock shell holder for extra ammo. Install a magazine extension to permit holding more rounds. Put a slip on recoil pad if needed. Learn how the shotgun works and shoot it regularly.