When it comes to an all around SHTF survival firearm, there is no better choice than the pump shotgun. No other firearm is as versatile as the shotgun. No other firearm can go from snake protection, to hunting deer or hogs, to hunting squirrels like the shotgun.
We live in an era of firearms where tacticool is the name of the game. Fanboy clubs have popped up where only the best of the best is good enough. Then it is a pissing match to see who can have the coolest toys on their firearms. This translates to who can have the best optic, the best trigger, the best light,,, etc. In other words, firearm ownership has turned into a competition to see who can invest the most money into their toys.
Then there is the classic pump shotgun. Nothing fancy, no light, no optic, maybe not even a sling. There is something about the shotgun, how simplistic it is, how timeless it is.
Tactical vs Hunting Shotgun
If I were going to buy a single shotgun as my “go to” firearm, it would be a hunting shotgun with a choke. The choke allows the shooter to adjust their shot pattern. I use a modified choke and just leave it at that.
Tactical shotguns are a niche item. They serve one purpose and that is urban survival. Due to their short barrel and usually do not have a choke, tactical shotguns do not serve well as a rabbit or squirrel hunting shotgun. The shot pattern spreads out too fast from the short barrel and lack of a choke.
For a long term SHTF survival situation we need something we can hunt with. Something we can sit in a deer blind with and use slugs or buckshot. we need something that can reach to the top of pine and oak trees to get squirrels.
Once you leave the city the usefulness of the tactical shotgun greatly declines. Targets are no long room to room, but a hundred feet away.
The beauty of the shotgun is that it can adapt. Change out the barrel and the shotgun can go from urban defense to hunting rabbits in a matter of seconds. Rather than buying extra barrels people such as myself pick up a couple of shotguns here and there.
Shotgun Has Limits
Regardless of great the shotgun is, it has limits. Over the years I have seen various hunting magazines talking about rifled slug barrels that attempt to group at 100 yards. If you need to shoot 100 yards, get a rifle. If you can not get a rifle, get into cover and get closer to the target. If there is no cover and you need to get closer to your target, why are you using a shotgun?
The shotgun is at home in brush and not long range shooting.
Just like another tool in the tool box the shotgun serves a certain purpose. Much like a crescent wrench or pipe wrench the shotgun can adapt to a range of jobs. But it still has limits. When the limit of the shotgun is reached we need to reach for another tool.
Time Tested Design
Why is the shotgun popular? Because it is a time tested design, it has survived the test of time.
Designs that do not work, or are not user friendly lose favor and fade away. The shotgun is as popular with hunters, police, homesteaders as it ever was. Companies try to introduce new designs and new this or new that. Nothing can beat the classic plain Jane pump shotgun.
Lights, red dot scope, tactical sling are all nice and dandy. The more you put on a firearm the heavier it gets and the more you have to deal with. I just want something I can take in the truck as I am cutting firewood or walking around the property. Just like my grandfather and my dad used to do.
My grandfather used to keep a double barrel shotgun over the front door of his house. I often wonder why a double barrel? Maybe because when undesirable people came around, looking at two barrels was rather intimidating. Maybe because the shotgun works? Maybe a double barrel was all he could afford? I wish he was here for me to ask.
When people could afford to buy only one firearm, chances are it was a shotgun. No other firearm could put meat on the table like a shotgun can. This goes back to the shotgun being so adaptable. Whether it is hunting deer, hogs, or small game the shotgun can serve a wide range of purposes.