Survival Shotguns: 5 Things You Need to Know

Photo by: Gabriel Amadeus

Todd’s Note: If ONLY there were 5 things you need to know about a survival shotgun…that would be great.  But, you have to start somewhere.  Consider these 5 points and check out the PW Tag Cloud if you want to find more articles than you can wave a shotgun at on shotguns and firearms in general – here, here, here & here.


About 34 percent of all American households own at least one gun, according to the New York Times. But the type of guns owned can vary widely, from pistols to rifles to shotguns. While the shotgun is commonly used as a scatter-shot approach to hunting birds and other foul, it has a useful application as a survivalist weapon. A survival shotgun can feature a long or short barrel and can be loaded with shot made from lead, rubber or other materials. Possessing this type of weapon comes with advantages as well as drawbacks. So before you bring a survival shotgun into your home, consider its effects.

Self-Defense in a Tight Space

Because shotguns are customizable by changing the length of the barrel, you can modify your survival shotgun to perform well in an enclosed space. For example, if the shotgun is meant for home protection, you probably want to switch to a shorter barrel that will perform most reliably at close range. At the same time, you can simply swap out the barrel to give the gun greater accuracy at long ranges, according to The Daily Caller. Even if you choose the gun primarily for protection in close quarters, you can always make modifications to serve different interests.

Choosing Your Ammo

Unlike other types of guns, shotguns can fire a range of different rounds. According to, a survival shotgun can be equipped to fire not just standard lead shot, but also rubber shot and beanbags used to contain potentially violent situations without delivering a lethal strike. Given these options, you can choose ammunition that serves your specific purposes. Consult your local gun shop or a trusted industry professional for guidance on the best places to buy ammo for your shotgun.

Available at Low Prices

According to, shotguns are widely available on the market, and they don’t have to be expensive. Local gun stores and other retailers offer basic shotgun models for as little as a few hundred dollars. Because a shotgun can be used in both short and long-range scenarios, a single survival shotgun could perform the duties of two separate guns, allowing you to save money through its versatility.

Simple — But Necessary — Maintenance

Compared to other types of firearms, survival shotguns are relatively low-maintenance. While there is still necessary upkeep required to keep the gun in proper working order, you’ll save money on repairs and maintenance with a shotgun compared to another type of gun. If you’re new to shotguns, you’ll want to be educated on your gun and how it operates so you can recognize maintenance needs. There are online tutorials and videos to show you everything from replacing Apple rubber seals or o-rings to disassembling and cleaning your gun. Make sure these tutorials are coming from a trusted source (like a manufacturer or industry professional) before attempting the maintenance yourself. Your safest bet is taking a shotgun safety and proper use class. The more you know about your gun, the safer and more effective you will be with it. You’ll also want to keep a variety of maintenance parts and cleaning supplies on-hand at home so you can make these changes in a pinch.

Importance of Home Gun Safety

The final consideration for buying a survival shotgun is applicable to any gun purchase you might make. Guns are a responsibility and proper gun safety needs to be practiced. If you live in a home where children are present, guns need to be properly stored and locked up in a gun safe. Your survival shotgun should never be treated like a toy. You and your family should learn proper gun safety from a professional before you buy the weapon. Show it respect and appreciate the security it provides by handling it with care.

Brian Rutherford –Brian is a freelance reporter who enjoys sharing tips about hunting and outdoor living.

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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  1. ferndale September 9, 2013
  2. HenryAKirk (@henryakirk) September 10, 2013

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