As you go about stocking up on valuable food, water, possibly gold and silver and a healthy supply of basic necessities to use after a major collapse, you may be thinking about how you will protect your goods. In today’s world, we lock our doors and don’t expect people to break in and if they do, police and help is only a phone call away.
After a collapse, you must be able to protect your goods and that is generally going to mean you will have to use force to do so. This is why preppers also like to stash away some guns and ammunition. The guns can be used to defend their property as well as used to hunt with. In some cases, all it takes is the presence of the gun to get people to back away. Sometimes, a big gun being flashed about is enough to get a would-be robber to turn around and go the other way.
Preppers will always debate about the kind of guns they buy and store. Some prefer smaller handguns for defensive needs and a rifle for hunting or long range shots. These are both very valid and there are very good reasons to store both types of guns. However, you mustn’t ignore the benefits of adding a shotgun to the survival weapons cache.
Why should you put a shotgun in your cache?
The following 6 reasons will help convince you why.
- Shotguns are generally a lot cheaper than any handgun and are comparable in price to some of the lower end rifles. They are also a lot easier to buy. They are readily available in gun stores across the United States. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for a brand new shotgun.
- Shotguns can easily be modified to suit your needs and purposes. Mind you, shortening the barrel of the gun, creating a “sawed-off shotgun” is illegal in most places. Yes, it makes it easier to carry and gives you more flexibility in close contact battles, but there are regulations about how short the barrel can be. You can modify the handle to give it more of a pistol grip, which many people prefer. Basically, you can customize your gun with very little effort.
- It is unlikely the shotgun or the ammunition for the shotgun will ever face some of the legal problems of semi-automatic rifles and handguns. Gun laws are a hot topic and many people are aware of the chance guns could be made illegal to own in the very near future. Shotguns are not typically perceived as an assault weapon. They are designed for hunting and sporting and tend to be ignored by lawmakers and politicians who want to ban guns. While it is actually just as effective, it tends to fly under the radar, which is probably why preppers tend to ignore it as well.
- Shotguns are fairly easy to take care of. You don’t need to do a lot to keep them in good working condition. Even better, the small kits are pretty inexpensive and easy to use. You can store one in your bug out bag or have a couple on the shelf in your gun safe.
- Shotguns pack a punch. They are so easy to use and wield, they are what the military and police generally carry for defense. The shotgun has more force than the typical handgun and can absolutely stop an attacker in their tracks.
- You get a choice in ammunition as well. Bird shot, that is typically used to hunt duck and geese, is one way to hit several targets in close proximity. The bird shot is packed inside a cartridge and once it is fired, it pepper sprays an area. This is one way to hit several targets at once. The shot isn’t generally lethal, but it is certainly going to do some damage. There are varying sizes of shot.
Buckshot, that is what hunters use to shoot deer and elk, is a little bigger in diameter and would definitely stop a human target. You can also use beanbags like the police often do as a non-lethal stopping force.
Because there are always some drawbacks to everything, it is important to cover those as well.
- Shotguns are best for close range targets. The shot will quickly lose its velocity after 10 to 15 yards, losing its effectiveness. If a target is 50 yards away and wearing a coat or jeans, the chances of the shot penetrating and causing any injury is slim. A shotgun is most effective at taking down targets that are fairly close.
- Shotguns are not all that easy to manage if the target is just a few feet away. The long barrel makes it a bit difficult to use in a close combat situation.
- Shotguns are heavy and cumbersome. It would be tough to pack a shotgun around if you were in a bug out situation.
A shotgun is a worthy investment and absolutely deserves a place in your survival cache. Spend some time researching the various manufacturers and gauges to find the gun that suits your needs. Handle the weapon you are considering purchasing and see if it has the right feel.
Hunting after SHTF isn’t always going to be about going after the big game with your long rifle. Any hunter can tell you the chances of hitting anything within the first hour or so are pretty slim. A shotgun allows you to hunt smaller game without destroying the meat by blowing a crater through the small bodies.
Your best scenario would be to have a minimum of one gun from each of the main three types. A handgun for carrying on your person. A rifle for hunting or long-range shooting and a shotgun for home defense against an intruder and for hunting. It is the best of all three worlds. Now it is up to you to pick the right gun for each need.