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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted some of this on the SHTF Shotgun thread, but being buried 7 pages deep on a pretty inactive thread didn't get me the response I had hoped!

I have been thinking about a SHTF gun for a while now...

The main question in my mind is "If a shotgun can do it all, do I really need an AR?"

Living in the Salt Lake Valley, we are way past due for "The Big One", an earth quake that should be way over 7.0. (We do live on a major fault line, after all)

Taking into consideration that I would probably be required to walk out of a disaster area, I certainly don't want an AR and a Shotgun in addition to my sidearm, food water, etc = far too heavy.

At first I wanted an AR or AK, but my budget doesn't really allow it. Then I got to thinking that my 870 is probably all I would ever need since it can be used to take down everything from doves and rabbits to deer and people (and zombies). I was thinking something like:

from the great "bug out bag" article found here: http://www.borelliconsulting.com/articles/gobag.htm

My only question about this would be if a 20" barrel is sufficient for hunting smaller game? I am a shotgun n00b and just used to breaking clays with my current 28" barrel.

This is what I am thinking:
My current 870
20" Police barrel (rifle sights)
pistol grip stock (shown above)
maybe a railed foregrip?

I would love suggestions! And don't say Knoxx Spec ops, as I can't afford it! The cheaper the better...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A shotgun is one of the best overall defense guns for the SHTF situation. They are simple to operate and sturdy. You can use it for defense, and you can hunt all manner of game with it (bird shot, buck shot, slugs).

I'd think a 20" barrel should be fine for most things. In the academy we shot Remington 870's with a 14" barrel and nothing but a ramp bead front sight at a range of 50 yards and got good hits on man-sized targets (00 buck).

I would add an extended magazine tube, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, a 20" shotgun would be fine for small game and even large game (but you'd be somewhat restricted in the effective range compared to a longer barrel).

The added advantage/disadvantage of the shotgun is that it's not as menacing looking to gun grabbers and quite possibly more menacing looking to those that mean you harm.

For almost any self-defense situations though it's more than adequate, since you have little risk of getting attacked/shot at from people more than 100 yards away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very good points have already been made in support of the shotgun. I would say that what the AR does have over the shotgun is the number of rounds it can put down range without reloading and the speed in which the AR type platform can be reloaded. Even with a magazine extension you are limited to the number of rounds the shotgun can hold to 7 or 8 for a 20 in. barrel.

I completely understand that each round has multiple projectiles but that isn't really a player in a short range situation, you are still only going to engage one target per round. In addition, reloading a shotgun, is slow compared to slamming a new mag in the AR. Yes, I know there are shotgun speed loaders but they are more geared to three gun matches than combat use so I don't count them. Another draw back, 12 gage shotgun ammo is comparatively large and bulky and not as easily transported in large numbers as is multiple 30 shot AR mags.

I have a couple of combat shotguns, they are very versatile, effective, robust in design and require little to keep them going. The AR will allow you to keep putting rounds downrange very fast and accurately as long as the ammo holds out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If ONLY one or the other, hands down AR/AK over shotty. Shotgun is a CQB weapon for the most part - great for on the move shooting. AR/AK can do it all from CQB to mid-range. Plus, I'm up for the higher mag capacity.

That being said, I do like and have a shotty by my bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Shotgun (Remington 870 or similar)

Pros: Versatile (can be used to kill everything from a bird to a bear), powerful, simple, ammo is plentiful everyplace that has guns.

Cons: Ammo is bulky and heavy, longer range shots are not as easy, reloads are more difficult and take longer.

Rifle (AR, AK or similar)

Pros: Powerful, accurate, fires fast, easy reloads, ammo is light and easy to carry.

Cons: Not as versatile, ammo in your particular caliber may be harder to acquire, more complex, more rapid fire may cause rapid ammo depletion.

Conclusion: If I HAD to choose one gun to carry it would probably be the shotgun. The ease of finding ammo and the sheer stopping power of a slug or 00 buck and the ability to shoot bird shot make it a solid performer for self-defense or hunting.

For self defense not much beats 9 pellets of 00 buck. And a partridge or even a goose shot with a AR or AK will be pretty tore up. The shotgun can also make 100yd+ shots with a slug and a decent set of sights.

As for reliability, the AR and AK can be very reliable, but a pump gun like the 870 is renowned for it's durability and can be torn down completely (barrel included) for maintenance with no tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
AR's have high capacity to throw many rounds out there quite quickly. But methinks that a small number of highly effective rounds is better. I would choose the shotty with a mix of buck and slugs in my ammo quiver. It's your basic "does it all" self defense gun.
:cool::cool::cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Barring the end of Western civilization, no one will be hunting during SHTF. If it comes down to hunting for food, you will not be the only one to have that idea, and large game, such as deer, will probably disappear relatively quickly. That'll leave small game and varmints to be had, something the AR excels at.

As far as personal defense, which would be the real reason to have a firearm for SHTF, the AR trumps the shotgun with ammo capacity, the ability to carry more ammo further for the same weight, if needed, and better range. It also has more than adequate stopping power with far less recoil, which is important if a female or kid would have to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
...It also has more than adequate stopping power with far less recoil, which is important if a female or kid would have to use it.
Thanks to everyone for your input, really given me some stuff to think about. Maybe I could talk my wife into carrying the AR (after I talk her into buying/building one)!

Ugh, I thought my shopping list was just a 1911, reloading setup and a 10/22 -- now I need to fit an AR in there as well!

I have some extra income possibilities coming up pretty soon, hopefully they will pan out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
... since when is it ever a question of need? Do you want an AR?
I DO want an AR or AK and I plan on getting one, but I don't have the money right now. This thread was more about only being able to carry one long gun with me in a SHTF scenario, which would probably be the Shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
AR or AK hands down for SHFT if I had to pick one for just me. Where I have the wife and 4 boys, my wife and two older boys each have a firearm between ARs, AK & shotgun. So it doesn't matter...as I can swap with one of the others.

The natural disasters here in Colorado where I live are more limited to flooding, major snow storms, some tornados. The only way you will get me out of the house is with it being flat. We don't have the earthquake dangers Utah does specificly in Utah & Salt Lake counties along the Wasatch front.

Shotguns do have the intimidation factor that would deter most would be looters ect...I think an EBR will also have the same effect. I would hope your biggest concern in a SHFT situation is stray animals going feral for lack of food and people letting them go free. Most domestic pets can't survive without the human companion.
 
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