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Survival Shotgun Part 7: Accessories You Actually Need

Although the shotgun does a great job on it’s own, there are some accessories that will greatly improve your capability. People like to load up their guns with a lot of accessories that add weight but not much functionality. Here are 4 accessories you actually need:

This article is Part 7 in a series of posts by contributing author Mr. Smashy:


Tactical Shotgun SlingThe best for a shotgun is a two-point sling. Three point slings are too complicated and single point slings are impractical for running, climbing, or moving through brush.

You will most likely be using your shotgun either on quick security checks or long patrols; a simple two point sling is best suited for both missions. A side mounted sling is best, you can find side sling mounts by GG&G or Specter Gear.

Stock Carrier or Sidesaddle

Uncle Mikes Shotshell ButtstockYou need a way of keeping an extra reload on the shotgun such as a sidesaddle or buttstock carrier (or both). One of the main weaknesses of the shotgun is firepower; magazine capacity is low and reloads should be carried on the gun so they are always available.

Look for good Buttstock Carriers by Blackhawk, Eagle Industries, Specter Gear and Uncle Mike’s.

Good Side-saddles, receiver mounted ammo carriers, are made by:

Tac Star Sidesalle Shotgun Shell CarrierSide-saddles are not recommended for Mossbergs with aluminum receivers because over time recoil can cause the pins to deform the action. This is also true to a certain extent for Remington guns, but it’s not as pronounced.

Side-saddles made by Vang Comp and Mesa Tactical have mitigated these issues by using different approaches to the problem. I’d still recommended using loctite on the screws and witness marks to be sure the screws aren’t backing out from recoil.

Weapon Light

Surefire Shotgun Weapon LightTarget identification saves lives, and a tactical bright light can actually deter the use of lethal force. The best are made by SureFire and are integrated into the pump: Remington Version and Mossberg Version.

The newer models have unbreakable LED bulbs that stand up to recoil, run hours on a set of batteries, and batteries will stay stable in the light for 10 years. However,  SureFire is a premium solution, so that may not be for you.

Streamlight is another source of lights and mounts for shotguns. Mesa Tactical offers a Magazine and The Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250Barrel Clamp that can be used to mount a 1″ light like a SureFire 6P directly to the barrel.  GG&G are offering replacement fore ends with a rail for use as a light attachment. The key is to use a quality light and mount that will hold up to recoil and rough handling.

Safariland Shotgun Shell CarrierExtra Shell Carrier

Efficiency is key. Safariland sells a belt clip mounted shot shell holder that is concealable and holds a quick two rounds. There are a huge selection of modular pouches for use with shogun shells, which may be practical but not very versatile, unless you plan on having multiple rigs.

Jones Tactical Shotshell CardA shotshell card, like the Jones Tactical SSH-01 can be used in conjunction with an existing rifle rig or But Out Bag. They are slim, have hook Velcro on the back, and can be zip-tied to things like pack straps for expedient ammo setup. You can even put loop Velcro on your shotgun and use them as a side-saddle.

Best Choices

If I could only pick two accessories, I’d chose a weapon light and a quality buttstock ammo carrier.  A sling is nice, especially for those long walks around the ranch, but target identification and having a reload on the gun is more important.

What’s important for you is getting quality accessories and having them work together reliably for you as a team to help round out your weapon system.

Top Photo by: mr. smashy


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