I, like most of you, have done a lot of reading and research and looking. And I do mean A LOT. About 10 years worth or more. One of the top things that I asked myself was "When SHTF, what will my long gun of choice be?" Time and time again, I found myself back to the same old square - the pump action shotgun.
"BUT CAPACITY!" you scream. I know, I know. Whatever will I do when I have 10 baddies coming my way? Well, Glock 19, of course! 15, 17, or 33 rounds of 9mm is enough to stop most bad guys days. And when that don't work? CLICK CLACK. Shotgun.
Per FBI statistics, for those of you not familiar, the bulk majority of shootings and gun fights take place in under 7yds, or 21ft. That is where a shotgun loaded with your choice of buckshot reigns supreme. You can pull your AR-15 trigger once and deliver one round into an approaching threat, or swap over to the shotgun and get upwards of 20+ pellets for the same input. I know where I'd be willing to bet my life on choice, here. If I really needed to reach out and send a message, I'll take a bolt action rifle in that regard. I'm confident in putting a slug on target at least out to 50yds, or 150ft. That will be 99% of all engagements.
Some of the main things I looked at when it came to a long gun was its reliability, durability and dependability. Being a pump action, per my personal preference, it has far less moving parts than a semi automatic rifle or even shotgun. Its ejected and chambered manually as opposed to any gas or blow back design. So the lesser amount of moving parts translates to less parts able to break. And you can see for days the amount of abuse a pump can take. Fired dry, wet, dirty or muddy - they eat it all. So, there goes my reliability and durability needs. As far as dependability? My first shotgun was a Maverick 88 in 12ga. I had, at the very minimal, 1,000 rounds of all flavors throughout without cleaning it. Not a single misfire, misfeed, or failure to speak. And that's for a $200 gun!
Speaking on the flavors to a shotgun, that is another big selling point for me. You have everything from #8 bird shot, to 00 buck, to slugs. No matter what predator or game you're after, a shotgun can take it all. At most, a quick barrel change to a longer set up, and you can take down anything from duck to bear with ease and comfort. Lead shot not your game? How about shooting a flame? Shotguns also sport the ability to shoot a plethora of specialty rounds, such as fletchette shot or dragon's breathe rounds (for our non gaming friends, think a flame thrower in a shell). Another thing, with all these choices, is the geographical uses for a shotgun. Anyone from the inner city running buckshot to those in the wilderness of Alaska can find good use with a shotgun.
Another HUGE point for me, and Im sure a lot of you (especially those in the budgetting needs), is the price point. A bottom shelf, intro AR-15 will run you at least $450. That's for an AR-15 that "should" go bang when you always need it. Or that same money can buy you a top notch pump shotgun, such as the M590a1, the go to shotty of military and police world wide. You can even save money and go for the cheaper 590 (Around $350), 500 (Around $300) or Maverick 88 (Around $200). And, yes, I am a HUGE fan of Mossberg. And no, I'm not nor never being paid by them. I don't know about you, but I'll take definite over maybe everyday.
Another thing I wanted to touch on was a common misconception to shotgun, and a potentially drawback (honestly, one of the only draw backs when it comes to a pump) because I am indeed fair in all decisions. But shotguns aren't as easy on a novice shooter as you've been lead to believe. People think "point and shoot" and you're ok. While this is more so possible with birdshot to gain a bigger spread, or even running shot through a rifled barrel (I HIGHLY ADVISE AGAINST THIS UNLESS YOU PLAN TO SOLELY SHOOT SLUGS). A rifle or pistole will deliver one projectile into a pinpoint location. While there is indeed a spread to a shotgun, most shot patterns will be under the size of a fist at 7yds, increasing in spread with distance. So you do indeed have to get your sights in a very good area. Which, honestly, that's just good gun ethnics. Don't shoot unless you know what you'll hit and what's behind it, god forbid, you should miss the target. Always pattern the ammo you will carry. I can not stress this enough.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND MY CHOICES
Look for a shotgun with a 18.5" to 20" barrel that is cylinder or smooth bore. This length and lack of rifling makes for a top tier CQB weapon. I prefer rifle or ghost rings sights for accuracy purposes, but have grown accustomed to the singe bead sight as well. You'll also want something with a stock, whether fixed, adjustable, or folding, especially if it is your main gun. If its a backup weapon, then a pistol grip or birds head grip will suffice, albeit you give up lack of recoil and accuracy. Then you'll want to plan what kind of ammo to carry and stock. For me, a mix of birdshot for small game, buckshot for 2 legged predators and most 4 legged, and slugs for big game such as bear. I say 300 rounds of birshot (my preference is #4 bird since it is bigger than the #7.5 walmart special), 500 rounds of buckshot (00 is my go to, as well as many others) and 75 rounds of rifled slugs (assuming you get a smooth bore, add a rifled slug choice for added accuracy). This is a basic starting point for someone in my shoes. I live in the urban enviornment so I see more use of 00 over all else, with birdshot being next for game purposes and slugs due to a lack of bear and big animals. Adjust choice and amounts accordingly. I say, if I had to pick one assortment to stock, would be 00 buck. It's the best overall round for self defense and most hunting needs
As far as the guns themselves, I am a huge fan of the Mossberg offerings. Specifically, as mentioned earlier, the Maverick 88, 500, 590 and 590a1. Currently I have an 88 bedside loaded with 00 buck for home defense. Ideally, I want a 590. Not the a1 variant, as it adds precious weight to the load and I find the double walled barrel redundant in a pump platform.
But, this is just my two cents and why I think so! By all means, I am open for debate!
LAST UPDATE: 09/17/19
2 posts • Page 1 of 1