Archive for June, 2012

Everything Shotgun will be an ongoing compilation of defensive shotgun tips and techniques. 

The 12 Gauge pump action shotgun is the most formidible and effective weapon available for close range personal defense. 

Recommended 12 Gauge Pump Action Home Defense Shotguns listed below.  (Make sure whichever make and model you choose is dependable and reliable and that you are fully trained in the proper use and operation of your weapon.  Short barreled smoothbore models 18 to 22 inches in length are the preferred option)

  • Mossberg 590A1, Mossberg 590 and Mossberg 500
  • Remington 887 and Remington 870
  • H&R Pardner

Recommended Buckshot and Birdshot listed below.  (Make sure you factor in overpenetration possibilities and what is around your target and behind your target as both buckshot and birdshot can penetrate sheetrock walls)  Pellets or balls within the shotgun shell when fired, will expand rapidly with the distance traveled and will produce a shotguns pattern.

  • 00 Buck 2 3/4″ OD green hull manufactured by Olin Winchester (Each pull of the trigger will put nine, 00 buck  33 caliber pellets into a target.  At close range can produce target penetration of up to 12 inches)
  • #6 Bird 2 3/4 “  Black hull manufactured by Remington (Each pull of the trigger will put a significant quantity of small diameter pellets into a target.  At close range can produce target penetration of  up to 6 inches)

Shotgun Accessories to consider listed below.  (Mission dictates weapons selection and accessory choices.  Not all accessories are needed for all shotguns)

  • Full Buttstock or Folding Buttstock (Avoid pistol grip only with no buttstock)
  • Pachmeyer slip on Recoil Pad 
  • ATI Buttstock Shotshell Holder
  • Blackhawk Single Point Sling Adapter
  • Blackhawk Single Point Sling
  • Front and Rear Sling Attachment Points (If not using single point sling)
  • Outdoor Connections 2 Point Military Sling (If not using single point sling)
  • Ghost Ring Rear Sight
  • TacStar Shotshell Holder (For mounting opposite of the Ejection Port)
  • ATI Heat Shield
  • ATI Clamp On Flashlight Holder
  • Surefire G2 Flashlight
  • Breacher Barrel Screw In Adapter
  • Improved Cylinder or Modified Choke (These chokes will give you a 15 to 20 inch spread pattern at 10 yards)
  • Mil-Spec Molle Saw Pouch (For carrying spare shotgun shells)

A choke is a screw in device which constricts the bore end of the barrel and its purpose is to decrease the spread of shot.  A choke will effect the tightness of the shot pattern.  Tighter patterns will contribute to better accuracy and wider patterns contribute to more area coverage. 

Defensive Shotgun Tips

  • The shotgun for defensive purposes should be used only when you are in immediate fear for your life or the lives of your family.  It is not for bluffing.  If  and when you pull it out you need to have the mindset that you may need to use it to protect your life or your families life.
  • Shotguns offer devestating close range stopping power.
  • At typical home defense distances the shot pattern is going to be very tight so you must aim or you will miss.
  • Racking a shotgun does not scare an intruder away.  Human predators frequently do not feel fear or compassion and racking will not stop an attacker.  Shotshells properly aimed and fired when your life is in danger will.
  • The primary objective in home defense is to hit the criminal who is threatening your life without overpenetrating and hitting unintended victims.
  • A weapon is not about bluffing; it’s about surviving.
  • Make sure you have a workable understanding of weapons manipulation, sight picture, sight alignment and trigger control.

Rules of Firearms Safety

  • Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything or anyone you are not willing to destroy.
  • Keep your fingers off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  • Be sure of your target and what is around it and beyond it.


  • People of principle, you and I and other Americans who seek to defend themselves and not be victims are what keeps the thugs from winning.
  • Everyone has the right and responsibility to protect their homes and families from criminal attack.


The time to learn vital skills is now, before disaster strikes, not afterwards.  Being prepared skills wise is so important I believe everyone should know how to do the following in order to increase their survival chances.

  • Know the proper ways to defensively use shotguns, rifles and handguns and what the appropriate use for each is.  Skills include loading, unloading, clearing malfunctions, zeroing your sights so your point of aim equals your point of impact and target acquisition.
  • Know the difference between cover and concealment as it can save your life.  Cover is anything which you can get behind to stay out of sight which can also stop a bullet.  Concealment is anything you can get behind to stay out of sight which cannot stop a bullet.  You need to always know which is which when moving from cover to cover.
  • Know how to purify water to make it safe for drinking, know basic first aid and know what can and can’t be eaten to stave off hunger.
  • Know how to start an emergency fire to stay warm or signal for help and know how to build an emergency shelter to get out of the elements.
  • Know how to think creatively, stay positive, stay focused, work independently and as a team member and get along with others.
  • Know the difference between friend and foe.  Sometimes how one appears and how one really is are not the same thing.
  • Know when to speak and when not to.


A shotgun scabbard (shoulder mounted) is used for carrying and securing a shotgun with a barrel length of usually between 18 and 20 inches although some will accomodate both shorter and longer barrels.  I recommend that your shotgun scabbard have the following.

  • Removable shoulder strap that uses quick release buckles
  • Webbing on both sides to attach molle gear such as saw pouches to hold additional shells.  (I keep two saw pouches attached to mine).
  • Padding around the entire scabbard for shotgun protection.
  • Grommets for drainage.
  • Expandable lower portion to accomodate various barrel lengths.
  • Adjustable zippered opening for pistol grip configurations.
  • IMPORTANT – My shotgun scabbards will fit all of my tactical shotguns which have Surefire G2 lights attached; however the shotguns with sharp breacher barrels will tear the inside of the scabbards lining and will be difficult to insert and remove unless you put a small sock or some other fabric covering over the breacher barrel first; then put the shotgun into the scabbard.  When you remove the shotgun from the scabbard make sure you remove the sock or other fabric covering before using the shotgun.


While visiting the local gunstore this weekend I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add yet another home defense shotgun to my collection.  I saw it, wanted it, tried it and knew I had to have it.  This time around it was the Mossberg 590A1, 12 gauge pump action shotgun which varies in some ways from the Mossberg 590 I already own.  Note the 590A1 and the 590 are two different models.

The 590A1 is heavy and was designed specifically for the military who wanted a heavier, reliable shotgun that could withstand some bumps and dings and could function well in adverse weather conditions.  The barrel is a heavy walled 20 inch barrel,  has a metal trigger assembly and metal safety button, has an 8+1 shot magazine tube, a ghost ring rear sight and an orange quick acquisition front sight and cycles quickly and effortlessly between rounds. 

I added a quality Outdoor Connections carry strap, an ATI flashlight clamp which secures a Surefire G2 flashlight and an ATI sidesaddle to the buttstock for carrying additional rounds. The weapon is reliable and is a welcome addition to my home defense setup.

Yes, we all know that zombies in television series such as the Walking Dead are only fiction but it is fun to speculate on the origins of a fictional zombie outbreak.  So here are some ideas to consider.

  • Origins could be the side effects of scientific experimentation pertaining to perhaps biological warfare or extending the life span of sick medical patients, or could be a new strain of an existing virus such as rabies, etc.
  • Outbreaks occur as the virus is passed from person to person through either bites or infected scratches which perpetuates spreading.
  • Once infected the body undergoes changes such as shutting down non essential bodily functions, reducing thought processes to primitive levels; body temperature can no longer be regulated, fever ensues and the body is reduced to a dead state.
  • Speed of infection varies based on immune system response, whether the virus is contracted through a bite or a scratch and where on the body the bite or scratch occurs. 
  • Zombie movements are slow, lumbering and erratic and they exhibit very poor motor control and coordination.
  • Nerves and tissues decay, emotions are gone and zombies have a basic, primitive drive to feed. 
  • They become hyper-sensative to light and sound.
  • Zombies can be stopped by destroying the brain.  Rifles, shotguns, handguns and edged or blunt weapons are effective. 

I’ve been fortunate to have tried almost every tactical 12 gauge pump action shotgun on the market today and I own many as well including Mossberg 500’s and 590’s, Remington 870’s and 887’s, H&R Pardners, etc.  While they are all well made, quality firearms, if I only had time to grab one for the zombie apocalypse; for me the choice is clear.

The shotgun I would choose must have 8+1 shotshell capabilities within the tube using 00 buckshot in 2 3/4″ length.  It must hold an additional 5 shells on the folding ATI stock and hold an additional 4 shells on the aftermarket shot shell carrier which mounts opposite the ejection port. 

The shotgun I would choose can be used with the stock folded for confined spaces or unfolded for proper cheek weld and shoulder support.  It must be rugged, durable, dependable and most of all be as close to 100% reliable as possible.  If the zombie apocalypse happens; my choice of shotgun is my Mossberg 590 12 gauge pump action shotgun.

I open this question up to all of my readers; what is your favorite piece of survival gear?  Could be a firearm, a bugout bag, a water purifier, etc., anything at all that is relevant to your survival should the SHTF.  So step up and let us know what your number one piece of survival gear is.

Are you looking to safeguard your important items and your bags when traveling?  If so then these tips should be followed.

  • Dress down when you travel and don’t flaunt money or jewellery.
  • Avoid carrying your camera or laptop in an obvious looking camera or laptop bag.
  • Carry extra money and identification concealed in a hidden money belt.
  • Make yourself appear to be a difficult target.
  • Stay at safe, well known locations, in safe parts of the cities and towns you travel to.
  • Always lock your luggage and also zip tie them shut to avoid strangers tampering with your bags.
  • Use identification labels that cannot be casually read by bystanders to avoid strangers knowing your identity.
  • Never leave your bags unattended.
  • Never carry gifts, letters or parcels from strangers in your baggage.
  • If you are in an area where baggage slashing by thieves is common, use wire mesh which is resistant to cutting, over your bags for added security.

So The SHTF and an ultimate survival scenario is thrust upon you.  When all is said and done you need to make sure that whatever rifle you consider your primary survival rifle is up to the task.  So ask yourself the following questions to see if your survival rifle is the best choice for your needs.

  • Is the rifle accurate enough?
  • Is ammo plentiful and do you have a method to carry the ammo?
  • Are spare parts available?
  • Do you have enough reliable mags and a method to carry the mags?
  • Is the rifle durable enough?
  • Do any of the modifications make it too fragile for heavy duty use?
  • Is the rifle easily transportable?
  • Can you use a carry strap with the rifle?  They can get heavy when carrying for extended periods of time without one.
  • Is the rifle useable at night and in extreme weather conditions?


There are two bags you always need to have at the ready.  1- Your Bug Out Bag and 2 – Your Armed Response Bag.  Your Bug Out Bag should contain your survival gear, extra food, water, clothing, first aid kit, etc., while your armed response bag, which can be used seperately or in conjunction with your Bug Out Bag, should contain your ammo including fully loaded rifle and pistol magazines, shotgun shells, fixed blade knife, etc.

My armed response bag is the Voodoo Tactical extended deployment bag in woodland camo which is a shoulder, sling carried bag with 4 seperate compartments and is molle compatible.  In the front compartment I keep 4 AR-15 magazines. in the rear compartment I keep my shotgun shells. In 1 side compartment I keep a set of binoculars and spare batteries and in the other side compartment I keep 2, 10 round 45ACP pistol magazines.  There is also a front loop for a small flashlight which I keep there for quick access and I also have an elite forces fixed blade knife and sheath weaved through the molle attachment straps for rapid deployment.