Survival Shotgun Part 8: Mossberg M500SP Loadout

Mossberg M500 SP

To close out the epic Survival Shotgun series Mr. Smashy was gracious enough to give us a full rundown of his personal survival shotgun, complete with lots of pictures, gear recommendations, load ideas, and training tips. Feel free to be jealous.

This article is the last in a series of posts by contributing author Mr. Smashy:

Mr. Smashy’s Survival Shotgun

Mossberg 500 Ambidexterous SafetyMy primary survival shotgun is a Mossberg 500, specifically the M500 Special Purpose. I chose Mossberg because it was cheaper and the safety is located on the tang (my wife is left handed). The Remington safety is not as ambidextrous.

Upgrades

I swapped out the factory magazine spring and follower for a Wilson Combat hi-viz follower and extra power magazine spring.

Mossberg 500 SureFire Weapon LightThe pump was replaced with a SureFire weapon light that has been upgraded with the LED bulb. I have a two point sling made by Jones Tactical, mounted to a Specter Gear Side Sling Mount Plate and a Specter Gear 6 Shell Buttstock Shotshell Holder.

Hogue Overmold Grip Mossberg 500The buttstock has been swapped from the factory part to a Houge Overmolded 12″ length of pull. Essentially this gives me the most compact shotgun possible while still maintaining ammunition options. I chose to go short because I expect the shotgun to be a CQB weapon.

Ammo and Parts

Survival Shotgun Loads- Breaching SlugsI understand that shotguns are not rifles; the maximum effective range of a shotgun, using slugs, is about 80-100 yards. I stock a reserve of Federal LE reduced recoil buckshot and slugs, some cheaper imported reduced recoil buckshot that is nickel plated to reduced shot deformation, cheap bulk pack #8 sport loads, breaching slugs, and less lethal rounds.

I have a list of known wear parts, which have spares, and I perform preventative maintenance on the gun to check these parts whenever it’s used. I’m also setup to reload for 20 gauge, so I can make my own sport, hunting and, if need be, defensive loads. I hope to expand that capability to 12 gauge soon.

Dummy Shells

Shotgun Dummy ShellsAnother highly recommended accessory I use often is a set of dummy shells. These are necessary to practice loading and reloading the shotgun safely. Reloading should be something you can do quickly and proficiently from your on-gun location (sidesaddle or buttstock holder).

There are a variety of dummy rounds available, but my favorite are “Action Proving Dummies” available from Brownells. They are basically a shell loaded with lead shot but without powder and a primer. The feel and weight is 100% correct, they are very durable, and the price is right. There are alternatives available but I have found these to be the best for my needs.

Training

Mossberg 500 Special PurposeYou should also learn how to “select slug”, for times when buckshot is too short range or you need the extra accuracy or penetration of a slug. Another good drill is called the “Ball and Dummy” drill, where you load a dummy into your magazine tube substituting one round with the rest being normal loads. You can use this drill to observe recoil avoidance (bucking or flinching), and also use it to train for a failure to fire.

Your Survival Shotgun

So what can you take away from all this? Hopefully you can find a shotgun, ammunition, and accessories that fit your needs and budget, and build the skills to make an adaptable weapon system. As long as you train and understand the shotgun’s limitations and it’s strengths, it will find a solid place in your survival toolkit.

Visit Our New Survival Gear Store – Forge Survival Supply


To See the Complete set of pictures you can check out mr. smashy’s Flickr Collection.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

aj52 June 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Excellent series!. I have been looking at the Mossberg Mariner and I can see the practical uses for the modifications made. Keep up the good work.

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George June 27, 2010 at 4:51 am

Buy a SAIGA 12. They are more reliable and much quicker to reload.

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Lucas_SurvCache June 27, 2010 at 6:45 am

George,

I've never owned a Saiga but of course I've heard of their reliability.

However, I'm not sure if I can be convinced that a semi-automatic weapon of any kind can be more reliable than a pump shotgun, especially the classics like Remington 870- and Mossberg 500.

I'll give you the faster reload though.

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mr_smashy June 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

SAIGA 12s are great guns, when they run right. The problem people experience most is feeding issues from different mags, and most mags are polymer, making them a wear item. Also, some guns have issues firing low and high powered loads. I know the gas system is adjustable, but this is a non-issue with a pump gun, and sometimes adjusting the gas system doesn't fix feeding issues. Owners resort to home remedies like polishing the feed ramp, bolt, and receiver parts. None of this is necessary for a pump gun or some of the American or Italian autos with tube mags.

I also know no fast way to select slug with a SAIGA without dumping a mag, ejecting a round, and loading a mag with slugs.

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ru12bseen August 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Hi. I caught on to some of your posts at survivalcache and appreciate what you have been sharing. You mentioned in a post on your blog that you do a lot of online purchasing now. I am intersted in purchasing this way too and am new to it in a big way. What websites do you recommend?

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Jason September 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm

First off, great site and article. I have most of the upgrades above, but one thing I haven't seen mentioned (may have overlooked) is a suppressor/silencer. In a survival situation, it would be very handy to be able to take small game and/or defend oneself without drawing any unwanted attention. I have one that I use on my 10/22 and my 22/45. On the rifle, all you hear is the sound of the action. You can actually hear the bullet hit the target with both guns. .22 rimfire suppressors are relatively cheap and most of the rimfire models are made out of aluminum so they are light as a feather. Additionally .22 rimfire subsonic ammo is readily available. In a pinch it will even quieten down hyper velocity rounds but you will still have the sonic "crack" that goes along with breaking the sound barrier.
J

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Blindgibbon June 29, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I am disappointed that no one has mentioned the winchester 1300 "Defender" I have one my dad purchased back in the eighties and it is my out-of-safe home defense gun to this day, 7+1 capacity and no choke.

I love my 870's, I have a Browning pump, SKB Over/Under and a Ruger Red lable, and several semi-autos (browning, remington 1100, etc) but for defense I always default to my Defender.

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Lucas_SurvCache June 30, 2010 at 4:17 am

Blindgibbon,

I've never owned a 1300 but I have heard nothing but good things about them. They Were definitely in the same class as the 870 and 500 I believe. (i.e. before Winchester was sold)

The problem, and probably why no one has mentioned them, is they are no longer in production. (as far as I know).

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Blindgibbon June 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I had not released they stopped producing them until recently, I have seen used ones going pretty cheap at gun shows and even at Cabelas anywhere from 300-500.00

You the more I think about it, from a long term reliability stand point if I could only choose one shotgun to take with me (a highly unlikely situation :) ) I think I would choose a double-barrel.

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Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Yea I think you can still find some of them around, but if you really want one I'd buy it up as soon as I saw it.

For me, given the history of incredible reliability with the good pump action guns the much great speed and firepower you get with a pump outweighs having a double barrel. but to each his own

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jarhead03 February 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm

The Winchester 1300 is a good solid shotgun. Although I don’t own one we used them extensively while in Somalia and had them on our deployments. I own a Remington 870 with a 2 shot extension tube, 6 round side saddle on the receiver and on the shortened butt stock also holding a 5 round side saddle, a two point sling and same pump/light combo as he described. My other is a Mossberg 590 with ghost-ring rear sight and same accessories as my 870. Semi autos are nice but you can’t beat a pump shotgun on failure drills or selecting/loading specialty rounds for specific purposes.

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George July 2, 2010 at 4:23 am

Did you ever see a pump jam by being short stroked? At times you have to tear the shotgun apart. It is the mother of all jams. It is very easy to clear a jam from a saiga. Drop the magazine and rack the bolt. The chances of a jam of any type in a saiga is slim to none.
I know this as we have a custom shop.. Veronesi Gunsmithing in Pa. 814-275-4382. Pumps are definitely cheaper, but, in this case believe me ,they are not nearly as reliable. We work on them all the time.
If you want to stick with a pump remember. Work it like you are angry and do not short stroke it. If you do short stroke it could get you killed.

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Lucas_SurvCache July 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm

George,

You make some good points. Like I said above I've never used a Saiga but I do believe they are extremely reliable. I'm going to stick with my pump because that is what I know (for now) but everyone should just take what works for them.

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George July 4, 2010 at 4:23 am

Just don't forget. Work a pump like you are mad at it. A Remington 870 is a great weapon, for the money. But, it is not in the same league as a Saiga. The Jesuits have a saying. One can conform their opinion to the truth, or, one can conform the truth to their opinion.

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George July 4, 2010 at 4:58 am

Mr_Smashy
The tube magazine is the weak part of a pumps design that will cause the majority of terrible jams that occur. Hey, but use what you want. But ,remember Murphy's law. If something can go wrong ,it will. A person should buy a weapon that has a minimum of design flaws. A tube magazine is a major design flaw. One can disagree at their own peril. You run a Saiga with good ammo, the chance of a jam is very slim and easily cleared if it would occur , which is very unlikely.

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mr_smashy July 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm

George,
I wish you the best with your business.

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George July 5, 2010 at 3:21 am

Thank you mr_smashy.
The Lord Jesus has been very good to us.
Thank you for your gracious wishes.

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Ben228 March 15, 2012 at 12:42 am

George,
My brother has one and loves his. I’ve shot it plenty of times Nd it is a sweet gun to shoot. The problem I have with the weapon is that it is basically illegal in my home state ( P.R.C. vs. Nevada)

A Mossberg with a M4 buttstock, 20″ brl., 8 rnd tube is the way I went.

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rext July 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I am curious that no one has mentioned the possability of loading round bakwards into a magazine tube. As we all know if something bad can happen it will … and is more likely to happen under stress. Just thought id mention that you may want to train for this possability.

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George July 17, 2010 at 4:43 am

Good point. If you have a magazine fed weapon the loading of the magazine can and should be be done before "it hits the fan".

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George July 17, 2010 at 5:18 am

I meant to say magazines plural. With a magazine fed weapon you can have them all ready to go ahead of time!

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jarhead03 February 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm

It can and I have seen it happen. Usually by inexperienced shooters with no proper training or supervision. I’ve also seen it done with magazine rifles by those who don’t know what they are doing. Like any other weapon, car or trade we can base what’s best based on our experience with that weapon and it goes back to “use what works for you and not what the “experts” say. I will be on a range in a couple weeks and a friend just bought a Saiga and I will be looking forward to field testing it.

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OutLander777 July 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I have spent my money on the 870. Have a slug barrel and shot barrel. Uses 2 3/4, 3. 12 ga. My brother has the Mossberg 8 shot security model. He had a gun smith make him a bird barrel. Cost him some money but does double duty also. I have tried the Saiga's and love to have one but due to cost not now, besides all of my family have pumps. Use what you know.

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George July 25, 2010 at 4:38 am

The 870 is indeed as fine a pump as money can buy!

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Scott August 13, 2010 at 11:08 am

The shotgun is essential for any survivalist. The 500 in particular is fantastic and incredibly versatile, whether for defense, hunting, or breeching. If you have no other firearm, a shotgun is a must. With that said, it is important to have options. I recommend several firearms, with different capabilities. At least one hand gun, to be used as a side arm can always come in handy. A bolt action, long range rifle (300 yds+) is also a good weapon to have readily available for use at long distances. For long range, there are many choices out there, from hunting rifles in a .22-250 caliber to .308 and .30-06. Prices are varying, a WWII Mosin Nagant can be found for $75, or you could spend up to $1500 for some of the .308’s out there. A medium range weapon (50-300 yds) is another good weapon to have. The options for a medium range weapon are also widely available, and a varying prices to suit each individual. You can pick up an SKS for around $125, or spend the big money for an AR-15 assault style weapon. The ability to have the versatility to choose a weapon for an individual situation is an advantage over others who do not have such a luxury.

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KT August 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

As of now, Cabelas has a good price on military grade 00 buck($3.99 per box of 5). I have stocked upon some for my 12ga. Bug gun.

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W.T. September 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm

A "survival shotgun"…hmmm. I own the Remington model 10 12 gauge my grand dad used between 1910 and 1920 along the South Texas border to ward off bandits (Mexican and Texan) and other scoundrels that wandered through the ranch in pursuit of no good. Just a shotgun, pump, 30 inch barrel, full choke. Used if for geese too when they migrated south. Shot a Texas Ranger (woops) one afternoon who rode up to the ranch drunk on his horse shooting his gun at a couple of my grand dad's vaqueros. Blasted the idiot off his horse, dug a hole and planted him. So much for the Texas Rangers. But it was just a shotgun. Didn't have the word "survival" or "tactical" or any of that nonsense attached to it. Do you get my drift? Grand dad finally retired the gun after Mexico settled down and took to his Winchester 1903 .22 auto to shoot everything from javelina, deer, coyotes, rattlesnakes, and whatever else nasty came along. I have that rifle too in my vault. Funny how those old timers got along just fine without ever knowing they didn't own "tactical" or "survival" guns. Imagine that.

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mr_smashy August 11, 2010 at 10:24 am

For my pump gun, my spares are all the springs in the gun, a firing pin, set of extractors, an ejector and ejector screw, and a metal safety assembly (in case the plastic one ever breaks, which it hasn't shown any indication of doing so.)

Heat shields shoot loose, can turn, and bind the action of a pump gun. I've seen it, I know people it's happened to, they are not worth the trouble. They are also a great snag hazard. In all my time shooting shotguns, even when the barrel was so hot rain would evaporate off the barrel, I've never burnt myself or had an acquaintance burn themselves.

A quality, thick barrel will take a while to get hot, and a good fighting loadout should include shooting gloves and some sort of shirt that covers your forearms, and maybe some body armor, if you expect to be trading rounds and getting out of dodge. Remember, the survival shotgun should be slick as possible, which will help make you as fast as possible.

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Tamed Beast September 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm

A good quality air-rifle (with a "ridiculous" amount of BB's and pellets-good for barter) and wrist- rocket sling shot. I saw window screen patches, but I feel more comfortable with several full size rolls of screen- insects can make life miserable and be a health hazard (ever try to make window screen by hand?). If you have the space, old books on cooking, farming, chemistry, plumbing, fishing, hunting – WTSHTF the simpler "old" ways of doing things will probably be easier and more practical. How about a few bags of ready-mix cement and mortor, chimney / stove pipe, animal meds, extra AM/FM radios (great for barter!), Lots of dental floss- it's cheap at the dollar store, it's strong, and has a hundred uses: floss, thread, fishing line, lashing, boobytraps, snares, etc.!,

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Tamed Beast September 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Part 2 of Tamed Beats's comment—-Cheap but useable wristwatches, pocket knives, parachute cord, rolling papers and corn cob pipes, earbuds for quiet radio and walkie-talkie listening, $ store meds: aspirin, antacid, hydracortisone cream, band-aids, antihystimins, antibiotic ointment, etc. (great for barter!),, some kind of communication device- C.B., HAM radio, Marine radio, GMRS walkie talkies, the knowledge to "tap in" to a land line. Dual use or "Enduro" motiorcycles- some of these will get 50-75 MPG and are relativley inexpensive to buy and maintain- you can also ride where 95% of the rest of the population cannot! I know it was already mentioned, but you cannot have too much .22, .38, 9mm, .223 and 12ga ammo- this stuff will be better than cash if TSHTF- and used but good working guns for trade or barter.

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cbond October 31, 2010 at 4:47 pm

i own both the a 500 and a 870 both in 12 gauge you cant go wrong with them.they both funtion withouta hitch

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WIFRED CHEVRETTE November 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I AGREE THAT THE MOSSBERG IS A RELIABLE SURVIVAL WEAPON. I HAVE TWO 410 ONE STANDARD 410 , AND ONE SHORT BARREL WITH A PISTOL GRIP. ITS LIGHT AND CAN BE CARRIED IN YOUR BACK PACK. A SLUG HAS THE FIRE POWER OF A 41 MAG. MY SON PREFERS THE WIN. 12 GAUGE. WE BOTH AGREE THE 9MIL IS OUR FIRST CHOICE, FOR A HAND GUN. RIFFLE OF CHOICE IS A 30-30. IWAS RAISED IN NORTHERN ONT. CA. WHEN YOUNGER I SPENT TIME WITH MY FATHER IN THE BUSH, LEARNING BASIC SURVIVAL. WILL

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rat November 29, 2010 at 12:38 am

if i may ad my 2 cents it is not the weapon alone, type and trainning make a diffrent i perfer a pump to auto a m1 to a m16 to each there own train with your choice.

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darantd3 December 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I decided to go for the Mossburg 590 with the 8 shot mag over a 500 most aftermarket extras for the 500 will fit fine on a 590 and after finding a 590 for $250 I coulden't really argue

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Adam January 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

The mossberg 500 series are great guns, for thwe price, and in .12ga accesible to everyone. Personally I think every house should have four firearms, handgun of choice, a long range rifle ex .308, .30-06, 30-30 etc. A shotgun ofchoice, and a short range/ survival rifle, I like the 10/22 for price and ease of use, but if you were going more assualt the only choice in my head is AK47 robust, simple to maintain ammo isn't too bad around my place plus way more reliable than the AR15 or M4. I know tons of people would jump down my throat for loving the AK but I don't care if its the badguys gun I can clean it almost anywhere and it rarely fails.

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Adam January 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

The mossberg 500 series are great guns, for thwe price, and in .12ga accesible to everyone. Personally I think every house should have four firearms, handgun of choice, a long range rifle ex .308, .30-06, 30-30 etc. A shotgun ofchoice, and a short range/ survival rifle, I like the 10/22 for price and ease of use, but if you were going more assualt the only choice in my head is AK47 robust, simple to maintain ammo isn't too bad around my place plus way more reliable than the AR15 or M4. I know tons of people would jump down my throat for loving the AK but I don't care if its the badguys gun I can clean it almost anywhere and it rarely fails.

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jarhead03 February 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

A shooting tip for those who are looking to train and keep costs down. I pick up my shotgun ammo at Walmart. You can get a 100 round case of 8 or 7 1/2 shot for about $25 and your 00 and slugs in 15 and 20 round packs for a good price. When training don’t go balls out starting with slugs and 00. Start with the bird shot so you can get used to drills, scenarios and you won’t take out your shoulder. After you get used to what your routine is start walking through with the 00 and slugs. Great topic and great site.

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Rich March 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

my mossberg 500a jammed stuck half way when i tried to clear it for cleaning so how can i safely clear the jam? Thanx!

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TINDERWOLF May 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Nice article. I had a mossberg 500 and a remington 870. Both are good guns but the remington is a little more pricey. However, I have always been a remington man. The 870 I currently own i have had for over 15 years. 15 years of being dragged through the mud hunting and thousands of rounds clay shooting and I have never had a jam or malfunction no matter what kind of ammuntion i was putting through it. Even considering the price the I will probably get another 870 but one that I will turn into a tactical version.

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Ben228 June 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

I have the Mossberg 500 with the tube extention (7+1) rifle sights and stock wood furniture. I tried to keep it looking like “Grandpa’s” shotgun as it is my home defense gun. If I use it I don’t want the DA holding it up and get some anti gun jury to convict me because I used some spaceage Mankiller gizmo gun! (Welcome to California.). If I lived in a more rational state I’d trick it out in a hot second! But the trick is to not be in jail when the balloon goes up. Next gun? The middle distance (150-350 yards). Any ideas? Remember still in th Peoples Republic of California.

Thanks,

Ben228

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GUEST October 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Only way to go in the PRK is the SKS, bro. l can have hi-cap mags in Florida but l stick with the stripper clips. You can pick one up from 100 to 300 bucks. Just remember, the Yugo ones do NOT have chrome-lined barrels so if you use corrosive ammo make sure to clean it thoroughly! Hope this helps. BAD DAY

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Steve Wilson June 28, 2011 at 11:50 am

Mr. Smashy – awesome series. I have used the Rem 870 for almost 15 years at work. I love that gun and feel I can hit anything with a slug shot out of it. Personally, I own a Mossberg 500. It has a tactical stock with a pistol grip. The one thing I have found, after years of shooting and carrying shotguns, is that I really like the pistol grip/stock combo. The pistol grip is more comfortable (as well as the forend pistol grip) – especially if you have to carry it for extended periods of time or in CQC situations, and gives my shotgun basically the same feel as an AR-15, or a handgun.

Thanks for a great series. I look forward to more…

Steve

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Judge X September 7, 2011 at 3:45 am

I myself have a Mossberg 535 Tactical. It has a copllapsable AR-type buttstock & pistol grip. The bustock can be removed/installed by a couple screws for "in-house" use (I still prefer the buttstock on due to Marine Corps training). I have spoken to several friends with tactical shotgun experience and they all agree that the #4 Buckshot is the best "home" defense round. nothing like 20+ .22 size buckshot heading down range. I was also recommended the BB, BBB, and T loads for personal defense and their shot size ranges from .18-.20 in diameter.

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Mossberg 500 Fan December 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I picked up a Mossberg 500 from a friend the other day for 10 bucks! His girlfriend didn't want it in the house any more…. lucky me :) I plan on turning it into the ultimate survival shotgun. Thanks for the blog though, I'm lovin it!

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Canuckle Head February 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

Awesome series. This has been most informative. And now i have a bit of direction for what to upgrade and what loads to test and use next range day.

My personal GOOD bag shot gun is a chinese knock off of a 870 pump action but with a 5 round box mag that can be changed quite rapidly. The name is the Dominion Arms Grizzly Mag. 18.5 inch barrel with pistol grip and side folding stock. Hoping to replace the pump with one that has a flashlight holder and maybe a pouch that will hold a additional magazine and that should be about it. The stock ghost ring sight is just right for this rig.

Also i believe my next purchase will be a XCR in 6.8 SPC as this cartridge is the perfect balance between the 223 and 308. And would be well suited as a hunting cartridge.

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mr.keltec November 27, 2012 at 4:17 am

I guess the chinese have made a knockoff of all the popular shotguns, Ithica, remington, and mossberg. I hate to support anything not "made in America", but these guns are cheap. Like $200 cheap. Anyone have any extended use experience with these knockoff versions? I wonder if the quality is close to the real thing.

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Ben228 February 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

I think the weapon that you are comfortable is the one to have. Saliva, Mossberg, Remington or (fill in the blank), is/are the one/s to have. Mr. Smashy is right on in that training and practice is is the key to SURVAIBLITY! The point was to expand thinking and information about a survival tool. There has been great post and questions. The pool of posters have brought some great thoughts and answers to the topic. Have enjoyed this series very much.

Mr. Smashy, any thought about the AR/AK comparison article? That one would be as lively as the 9 v 45 debate was. Just a thought.

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Ben228 February 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

I think the weapon that you are comfortable with is the one to have. Saigia, Mossberg, Remington or (fill in the blank), is/are the one/s to have. Mr. Smashy is right on in that training and practice is is the key to SURVAIBLITY! The point was to expand thinking and information about a survival tool. There has been great post and questions. The pool of posters have brought some great thoughts and answers to the topic. Have enjoyed this series very much.

Mr. Smashy, any thought about the AR/AK comparison article? That one would be as lively as the 9 v 45 debate was. Just a thought.

(Repost . Damn auto-correct!)

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Ben228 March 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

George,
My brother has one and loves his. I’ve shot it plenty of times Nd it is a sweet gun to shoot. The problem I have with the weapon is that it is basically illegal in my home state ( P.R.C. vs. Nevada)

A Mossberg with a M4 buttstock, 20″ brl., 7 rnd tube is the way I went. I have a vest with 2 12 rnd pouches as well as my spare pistol mags. So that gives me 32 rnds of ready ammo plus the pistol ammo. The plan has nothing to do with an extended engagement, brief contact, break it off and go a different route. As soon as contact is broken refill from back pack.

Run what works for you and “God bless and good speed!”

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KansasScout June 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I'm wondering just what a person should load out if using say a Mossberg M500 Pursueder or even Special Purpose, a Marlin Model 1894 and one or two Ruger Vaquaros. The Marlin and the Rugers to be chambered in .45 Colt.

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KansasScout June 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm

the reason for the fixed sighted Vaquaros is that I find in some tactical situations adjustable sights may be too fragile.

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DBL June 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Mr. smashy forgot to add a kitchen sink to his mossy,…funny all I had to do to my 870 was load it with ammo…..

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Trousergoat January 22, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I've just started my prepping, and I figured my first purchase (as I have always had a full pantry) was my Mossberg 500 with a 20 in barrel and 8 round mag. I chose it because of price, availability of parts and I liked that the elevator moves out of the way when the bolt is in battery making it easier for me to reload. I didn't like pinching my fingers all the time with the 870. I originally desired the 590 but decided that I can upgrade the 500 with better/tougher/metal parts as time goes on as the 590 has identical fitting parts. Better to have something then nothing. Having taken this to the range to test viability as a bird gun for extreme circumstances, I found that if I was quick, I could usually hit the clay. I figure I'll get around to getting a longer barrel someday, but prefer to wait untill I have a few other things prepped first.

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Guest November 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Man, fascinating stuff. I've been a double barrel guy my whole life, but recently I've been thinking about one of those "Just In Case" M-500 Cruisers, the shotgun in a can. Your article may have just sold me!

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Robert January 20, 2011 at 6:40 am

I have run multiple thousands of rounds (both new and reloads) through my 870 and I have never had an issue of a jam. And I practice fast firing it by trying to hit 3,4,5 clay's at a time, which is funny in itself because I have the shortened police model barrel with the door entry piece on it but I am still about 60% or better on the clay's… Point being the saiga may be your choice but dont try to short sell other weapons, just because you think one is better.

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Mr. T March 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm

This is a good idea when weight is not an issue, but the "… And the kitchen sink" approach has some real drawbacks. Not the least of which is ammo and mobility. If you are carrying three different weapon systems you are getting weighed down and become "weapon poor" as it is. In a combat situation haveing 50-60 lbs of equipment on your person dedicated to shooting is part of the game, there is a support system behind you that is bringing your water, food, fuel and shelter. In a survival role there are few better choices than a 12ga pump with a 9mm or .45cal pistol combo. The 12ga. Can take multiple barrels and chamber multiple rounds including, LTL. That is huge. If you have a Mossburg 500 you have the versatility to cover 90% of whatever gets thrown your way and brains or feet should cover the other 10%. This whole set has shown why a shotgun is the top pick

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mr.keltec September 19, 2013 at 5:31 am

awwww…..remember the days that an sks could be found for $125? A case of 9mm for $225. Prices have fallen back somewhat, 09-19-13, but it'll never return to the "good ol' days". With this said, the shotgun load out has become more and more favorable for the noobie prepper. Its a solid start and you can build from there. Its just like building a tool box. Few of us have the means to get every tool they need from the start, but over time a tool for every job is obtained.
Enjoyed this series. Please keep em coming!

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gmc25 March 19, 2011 at 3:11 am

I have a winchester defender. I love that gun. But I have also used Benelli and Remington and love them just as much. But my absolute favorite is the shotgun that I have with ammo when i need to have it.

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nemo October 31, 2011 at 11:56 am

i have the winchester defender and the 500 mossy and i prefer the defender in every aspect other than safety location. good call.

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David/Sharpie March 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Then what happens when all your mags are empty? You still have to reload the mags.

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Guest September 8, 2012 at 3:01 am

I think "OUTWEIGHS" is the key word i have owned both types of shotguns and often find the extra weight of double barrels to be pain. also unless you buy one of the new stoger(not sure of the name) it can be harder to mount your lights or slings although stock shell carriers will be about the same.

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mr.keltec November 27, 2012 at 4:06 am

or as stated above, the sks is crazy affordable, uses same rounds as ak47, and are just as reliable.

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bad day July 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

l am a Remington armorer and while l've seen Remington Express models go bad (usually broken ejectors) l've yet to have a problem with the Police models, and they are fired weekly. Saigas are great and reliable weapons, don't get me wrong, but pumps have been used since WW1.
If you train properly, Mr. Murphy will not present himself as often..

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