What’s Your “Go See” Gun?

   01.08.18

What’s Your “Go See” Gun?

This afternoon, my dog was barking at the open door of our wellhouse. He was agitated and moving back and forth about 10 yards away from the wellhouse, barking as if there were something in there.

I was 90% sure that the wind had caught the door and was blowing it open and shut, and that the dog was confused by this and thought there was someone or something in there. But I wasn’t totally sure, since we do have critters of various sizes about. Last year I killed a sick coyote who was hanging out close to the house, and last week I saw a huge coyote out back. We also have snakes and other varmints about, and of course there could be a person in there, or anything else.

So I a grabbed a gun and went to take a look.

Given that I had no idea what, if anything, I’d be dealing with–what size, how fast it moves, how close–I did what rural folk have done for over 100 years and grabbed a 12 gauge shotgun. In my case, I picked up a Remington Tac-14 that I had lying around, after filling it with home defense buckshot.

It turned out to be the wind, just like I thought, so on securing the door and returning to the house I unloaded the Tac-14 and stuck it back in the safe.

The venerable 12 gauge has long been my “go see” firearm of choice. If I have absolutely no idea what I’m dealing with, I want a scattergun. This isn’t something I have to put any thought into. I’m just going to grab a 12 gauge every time, because I know that for anything close enough to be an actual threat this gun can handle it.

I’ve been thinking about this lately in terms of preparedness. I’m an advocate of the AR or AK for a SHTF long gun, and a 9mm pistol for every other preparedness scenario (everything from short-term displacement to long-term bugout.) But I have to admit, in the moment, when I really don’t know what’s out there, I do reach for a shotgun every time. So maybe I should reconsider my long gun recommendation, because isn’t that sort of the essence of a SHTF scenario? You have no idea what you’re up against?

As for the specific choice of shotgun, the idea of a handy semi-concealable pump action 12 gauge is really growing on me. I’ve generally felt like the Tac-14 is a little gimmicky, and mainly good as a “truck gun” because of its size. But I could hide it under a coat if I had to. That’s a lot of firepower in a small package that you can use one-handed and keep hidden in a pinch.

What’s your “go see” gun, and is it the same one you’d grab first in a disaster? And if not, why not?

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