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Why a Shotgun Is the Best Weapon for a Survival Situation

Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00 Written by  Keith Hodges

Think about this: An intruder charges toward you. Your heart is pounding and you're shaking from shock. What's a better weapon to have within reach? A pistol (that will probably miss your mark because you can't steady your hands) or a shotgun (that will send a spray of pellets toward your enemy)?

While it's wise to make sure you have weapons to meet all your needs, a shotgun is the best choice for an effective survival strategy. The main reason for considering a shotgun as an essential survival weapon is its overall adaptability. Whether you are shooting from a distance or involved in close-quarters combat, a shotgun provides the type of power you need to protect yourself and put food on the table.


Shotguns are easily adaptable to any situation. Long and short barrels are interchangeable and can be swapped out in a short period of time. They can be dismantled for easy cleaning and storage and reassembled, loaded and ready to go in a matter of minutes.

There are also several types of shotguns you can choose from—lever action, bolt action or pump-action shotguns are effective weapons. One thing is for certain: The more noise it makes when you are preparing to shoot, the more fear they will experience.

Numerous Types of Ammo

Shotguns are capable of using a wide variety of ammunition. Deer slugs for large game, birdshot for smaller game and even non-lethal, rubber bullets or bean bags can be fired easily from a shotgun. Many consider large bore shotguns to be the best for survival skills. Others believe the best ones are the ones that are the most versatile in any situation and can use the most types of ammo. Stocking up with several types of shotgun ammunition will ensure you are prepared for any situation. In a survival situation, rubber bullets are probably not the best option to put in storage, but a fair number of deer slugs and birdshot will allow for many hours of happy hunting.


A shotgun is not as powerful or accurate as a rifle when shooting long distances. It is, however, a powerful step up from a handgun and can be quite effective at short distances. When properly maintained, a shotgun is one of the most trusted weapons a survivalist can have. It's simplicity and versatility make it one of the easiest guns to use for the amount of power it provides. Stocks and barrels can be swapped to improve performance in many different situations.

Easily Maintained

Shotguns are one of the easiest weapons to maintain. They have a simple design and fewer parts than most rifles and handguns. To keep a shotgun in good working order, check the rubber o-ring seal on your gas system regularly, and make sure you have several on hand in case it becomes damaged or begins to wear. Here's more about that from YouTube:

Finally, have a well-stocked gun cleaning kit on hand and use it after each firing.

Keith Hodges enjoys shooting skeet and trap on the weekends and coaching people who are new to guns and shooting.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 September 2013 03:09
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