Survival Shotgun: Accessories You Actually Need in 2020 (Part 7 of 7)

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:

Best Survival Shotgun Accessories: Must-Haves

At a quick glance, here are our top picks:

ACCESSORIES FEATURES
  • Favorite Shotgun Light
  • Easy drop-in install
  • 600 lumens of white light
Check Price on
Brownells.com
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Mossberg Version
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Remington Version
  • Favorite Sling for Shotguns
  • 17 inches of 550 Paracord
  • 2-point sling
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Amazon.com
  • Favorite Shell Holder for Remington
  • Holds 6-shots
  • Black, unbreakable, corrosion resistant polymer Shellholder
Check Price for
Remington Version
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Mossberg Version
  • Favorite Extra Shell Holder
  • Hooks to your belt. Holds two rounds.
  • Quick access. High-quality plastic.
Check Price on
Amazon.com

Shotgun Sling

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. Also make sure to check out the sling below; it looks great, has high-ratings and is affordable:

TLO Outdoors Paracord Gun Sling - Tactical 2-Point Rifle Sling, Extra Wide,...
  • Over 17" of HIGH QUALITY, 550 PARACORD with ADDITIONAL 1/4" EXTRA WIDTH and LEATHER TLO PATCH
  • 2-POINT gunsling ADJUSTABLE from 33" to 44" with choice of TRADITIONAL or QD (QUICK DETACH) Swivels

Last update on 2020-10-24 at 09:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shotgun 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 No products found., 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 recommend using loctite on the screws and witness marks to be sure the screws aren’t backing out from recoil.

Shotgun 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 Barrel 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.

See the recommended shotgun weapon light’s:

Last update on 2020-10-24 at 10:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Safariland Shotgun Shell CarrierShotgun Extra 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.

All-in-all, the Safariland belt clip is recommended:

Safariland 080-12 Shot Shell Holder, 12-Gauge
  • Package length: 5.334 cm
  • Package width: 10.668 cm

Last update on 2020-10-24 at 01:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Shotgun Accessory: My Choices

If I could only pick two accessories, I’d chose a shotgun 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



Mr. Smashy
Written by Mr. Smashy

Mr. Smashy has been shooting competitively for more than 15 years. Scouted from a junior club rifle team for the state team, he has won state championships in several events over his years. Mr. Smashy currently competes in NRA Highpower, USPSC, Action Pistol, among others. Mr. Smashy has excellent knowledge of US service rifles, reloading, and marksmanship. Read his full interview here. Read more of Mr. Smashy's articles.

61 thoughts on “Survival Shotgun: Accessories You Actually Need in 2020 (Part 7 of 7)”

  1. Nice post. Personally, if I could only choose two they'd be the buttstock ammo carrier and sling. I'm not a big fan of lights.

    I've got a rifled barrel that I occasionally swap out on my Mossberg 500. Now that I've been "Appleseeded", I want to take it out with some sabot rounds and my sling and give 'er a run!

    Reply
    • Chief,

      Thanks for stopping by. I wish I could claim credit for this great article but our resident tactical expert Scott (mr. smashy) does this great series.

      I've never put a light on a shotgun (yet) but those surefire built in light are really cool. Kind've expensive though.

      Reply
  2. I actually like my light on my Mossberg Maverick 88. I've got a Blackhawk Knoxx Stock, UTG Light Mounts, a Cree LED Light, and an Ace Case Ring Sling on mine and the light turns on and off by the tailswitch and is very good for home defense IMO Very good article btw, and for anyone who has been considering a light on their shotgun, from my experience I would definately recommend it

    Reply
    • I have the Maverick 88 too. It has the ATI six position stock with pistol grip, side saddle on stock, and a nice heavy rubber recoil pad. I've already purchased my tac light, love the strobe function, but can't decide how I want to mount it. Anybody got any suggestions?

      Reply
  3. I agree with the light. I have a Maverick 88 myself. With a fold over stock, shell holder on stock light/laser combo, and two point sling I have spent less than $350 on mine over the years(ammo not included). The folding stock makes it more maneuverable for home defense, and is still comfortable enough to take to the range and shoot clays. The light and laser make snap shooting more accurate in the dark. Plus, unlike most home defense shotguns, the 88 comes in 7+1 capacity standard. Great gun!
    +1

    Reply
  4. a misconception about slings is that they are only for non combat use and carrying. a tactical sling is actually well suited for rapid and consistent target acquiring assistance in having a 3rd point of contact as well as your 2 hands. it also helps with recoil mitigation as well if used correctly.

    Reply
    • Yes, seems to me a single point sling leaves both hands free for reloading an inherently slow-loading weapon, giving the ammo carrier some much needed efficiency.

      But really any long gun should wear a sling IMO but a light for a defensive weapon (short of all out battle) is necessary to make not only a positive ID of the target, but can also help rule out accidental entry to a home.

      Reply
  5. Owner of a Saiga 12 shotgun here:

    Who needs extra shell carriers when you have 12 round mags and 20 round drums?

    Good point on the sling and light though- what you can't see, probably shouldn't be shot at.

    Reply
  6. "Side-saddles are not recommended for Mossbergs with aluminum receivers because over time recoil can cause the pins to deform the action"
    oMG, thanks for this info, I installed a side saddle on my 500 thinking it would help my gun, not destroy it with the large amount of rounds I use in it. D:

    THANKS For saving my Shotty!

    Reply
  7. i have a suggestion for carrying the shotgun…its called the "African Carry" what you do is you carry the gun weak side muzzle down with your weak hand on the grip, when SHTF bring the gun upside down across your body and grap the pistol grip with your firing hand as you are bringing it up to your shoulder, if you carry it loaded without a shell in the chamber its a fast way to shoulder the gun and rack the slide as well

    great thing is it can be used with rifles too

    Reply
  8. I must say, after reading all of these posts, I must ask the question "why survive?" If the only point is to outlive your competition it seems like a waste. I understand the need to be cautious (and am actually of the same mind set). But surviving in this matter in a PAW seems to ensure my own demise is lonely if somewhat delayed by excellent prep.

    Hidden benefits to charity:

    In the PAW, information may be hard to come by, and an exchange for a meal would seem like a "good enough" exchange by an outsider (maybe plan to play this up, sharing may seem an act of desperation instead of charity if you are constantly asking about a particular region/relative).

    Also, the long term benefits of unity will become apparent the first time someone in the solo/small unit becomes sick. If as the husband/father/sole adult male you become injured or ill during harvest, you may not be able to gather enough of your harvest before winter, and that's all she wrote about your whole family. Spreading the risk is part of what community is actually about.

    Early on especially requires caution, especially for short term/regional issues when looting is as much a hobby as it is a career. In the long term, I am fearful that the solitary/small group that doesn't band together will also be lost to injury, illness, or even depression and suicide.

    Hopefully food for thought and an encouragement to review new situations and scenarios.

    Reply
  9. i have a mossberg 500 with a side saddle and it works and shoots just fine. just rember that the quality you pay for is the quality you get

    Reply
  10. Though I don't own one I have had occasion to shoot the Mossberg 500. It is a good reliable weapon. I do have 4 shotguns of different manufacture. One thing I've learned about all survival guns is that mine are the best. They are the best because they are mine and are all I can afford. I'm sure a lot of us are in the same boat.
    Thanx for reading this (assuming you did)

    Reply
  11. THE absolute best defensive weapon is the one readily at hand.
    I prefer a single point sling manufactured out of a two point. It affords rapid deployment with a quick transition to holstered handgun, if necessary. Reconfigure back to the two point for extended carry. Yeah, my extended mag Rem 870 with side saddle bristles with QD attachment points but they are not in the way.
    Great job.

    Reply
  12. It might be a Good idea that everyone who can handle the weapons in the home be trained in the use,matinence of each weapon and how to field strip and clean them. And if the situation arises and someone has to use deadly force that they do not hesitate. There are those who did and died.

    Reply
  13. Stay away from shell carrier on the stock or on the reciever. They look cool but they hang up on clothing such as a jacket or shirt sleeves when deploying the weapon. Moreover, the reflection/flash from the uncovered shinny shotshell brass will also give your position and the position of your team away. When I was on the entry team, we would take every thing off of the firearm that had any chance of hanging up. Best advice? wear the clothes you'll likely be wearing for that season or event. get out and go through the motions in a variaty of positions. If you have to look at a componant of the weapon to see why it hung up, don't try and figure out how to reattach it or modify it. GET RID OF IT,, PERIOD. repeat the exercise until you discover what will get you killed and what won't.

    Reply
  14. I tend to favor the Stock carrier and sling; a close third would be the light, although I am curious about light survival due to recoil issues. Someone with experience here please jump in.
    I like the carrier because if I have to grab and go, I have at least one full reload with the gun. The sling is an excellent aid to shooting as well as to carry so I go there in preference to the light. I'm a fan of peep sights but I've never used one on a shotgun; never saw the need for it. Given time, I'll have other ammo, but time isn't always available. As to glint, yes it could be a problem but I've not had a problem with it so far. As to snagging my clothes it just hasn't happened (yet). I don't know how that might change in much colder weather. Texas coast is a fairly benign temperature region.

    Reply
  15. Mossberg 88 here home defense + hunting.

    My call would be:
    1: sling swivels/sling (get a front swivel that can also hold a light) If you're going to hunt, carrying the SOB in your hands is gonna get annoying.
    2: Light to put in the swivel/ring – Don't want to shoot the cat by accident.
    3. Red-dot-type optics (assuming you hunt too)
    4. "Less lethal" ammo for when it sits next to your bed. It'll probably kill what you shoot at in indoor range, but you get to play the "hey, I tried…." card when the cops show up.

    Reply
    • Dear Mike. I agree with you. My Winchester is at least 15 plus years old. I did change stock to a Choate with pistol grip. It is very smooth and reliable. I have taken several combat corses with it without fail. Many times firing over 600 rounds in two days. (buck and slug). I do keep it well maintained. I have never felt under gunned when some shooters who came to class with $800 plus whiz bang auto scatter guns. I have seen too many fail. The Winchester 1300 is affordable, reliable, and plenty of accessories are available. So, you are not missing anything, as there are many of us out here with 1300's, we just don't say much.

      Reply
    • Winchester went belly up and sold out. The new company no longer make the 1300, so it is a discontinued gun. Gun culture is somewhat faddish, and Winchester is not the current must-have shotgun, although the 1300 is reliable and smooth, maybe the smoothest pump out there. Keep shooting and maintaining yours and if you ever wear it out you always can get a Mossy 500 or a Rem 870 if the Win 1300 replacement does not suit you. I doubt that you ever will wear out your 1300, however. Rest assured, you are not outgunned.

      Reply
  16. I would keep the less than lethal ammo next to the bed with the "00" buck. Load it with buckshot and just tell the police you must have grabbed the wrong ammo in a panic while trying to protect yourself and family. Still would show intent but ensure the job got done.

    Reply
    • You couldn't be more incorrect on this. You do not shoot to do anything less than kill, and you only do so because you or your family are in imminent danger. In that situation, you needn't tell the cops anything besides "my life was in imminent danger."

      Reply
  17. If I could only choose from the list above, I would take a sling and side saddle…even though I have a shotshell belt that holds more than a side saddle. I don't go for lights on guns too much. If its dark enough that you need a light then there are two problems. One, in the dark there is a much higher safety risk and two i dont want to be giving away my position with a light.

    Reply
  18. Anyone in to tactical shotguns or survival shotguns should really check out the new Kel-Tec KSG! The size, 15 round capacity, and double tube configuration sold me! Being able to chose from 2 different types of rounds with the flick of a switch is a great option. You could chose between a lethal or non-lethal round. You could choose bird shot or buck shot….. buck shot or slug… beanbag or breach round………

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  19. The rear-bottom ejection of the spent round keeps you from pelting your buddy, or hot brass for left handers, the accessory rails are really nice too!

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  20. I have a Mossberg Maverick 88, I had planned on getting a side-saddle but issues with aluminum receivers has me thinking that might not be a good idea. Quick question, does anyone know what the 88 receivers are made out of? I was unable to find detailed specs on it. Am I to assume its aluminum since its a lower budget shotgun? Thanks guys.

    Reply
  21. pick you gun, get cheap promotional loads at the mart and then Shoot It A LOT. shoot it till you know it inside and out. Shoot tin cans ,shoot skeet ,hunt with it, Then decide what it needs to make it perform better, One nice thing about a shotgun is it is always ready , not the case if it's slung on your back. All my rifles have slings ,none of my shotguns ,different applications. Ammo transport is always a biggie ,a pouch or web belt is my choice, thou the ssh-01 is interesting. I do not want anything on the side of my 870 to affect the balance or hang up on something. As far as sight's get some slugs and see what can be done with a simple bead ,you will probably be surprised. No light for me ,if I can't see it I'll wait ,not giving my position away like that. The shotgun is extremely reliable in stock form ,the more it's modified the more you need to test it to be sure it still is almost as good as designed 🙂 Also can't figure out why plastic stocks are better than wood ,??? JUst Me ,YMMV

    Reply
  22. I haven't seen anyone else ask this, but what about a sling that doubles as a shell holder? Also it sounds like those who keep saying stuff about the lights ("if it's that dark out…" and such), are overlooking the tactical advantage of flipping on that light on a potential adversary to disorient them and buy you time to either fire or take cover.

    Reply
  23. has any one thought of a Poly-Choke on a shotgun you can use one to extend or decrease the range of your load. they make them in 12 or20 gauge they work great for me.

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  24. I couldn't disagree more wholeheartedly to your point number 4. You do not shoot to do anything less than kill, and you only do so because you or your family are in immient danger. In that situation, you needn't tell the cops anything besides "my life was in imminent danger."

    Reply
  25. Excellent advice from Yatahey. The stock mounted ammo carriers also preclude weak side deployment around a barrier or cover and also prevent you getting a solid "cheek weld" which is critical with a shotgun. Also recommend mounting either rifle sights or ghost ring. A good set of ghost ring sights will allow engagement with slugs all the way out to 100 yards or beyond….

    Reply
  26. Tried and true Stevens 520 trench. Sling and saddle hold the trigger pump away if all else fails fix bayonet.

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  27. Remington 870 receivers are machined from steel, a side saddle will have little affect on it, whover I did remove mine as it became just another awkward snag prone item adding weight to my gun.

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  28. This makes no sense. If you're in a combat situation you don't want a side saddle because it gets in the way of your cheek if you have to swap to weak hand for clearing a corner/room. You'd be much better off getting a belt or vest that you could put ammo in. A sling IMHO is a baseline requirement. It keeps the weapon attached to you, which is vital in any defense situation – in addition to allowing you to be hands free while controlling the weapon. I'd say flashlight + sling.

    Reply
    • I'd also add a cheap $30 red laser. They will get inaccurate or fail to operate by the 4th or 5th shot (the $150 won't – but they're more expensive) – but for those crucial few shots if you sight it in at 25 feet you'll be deadly accurate on the move and in snap shot situations. Brutal.

      Reply
  29. This article has some unique side which I did not get from others and here shared information about all the accessories of shotgun and I'm really happy to know how to handle a shotgun easily. Thanks

    Reply
  30. I use a Mossberg 930 SPX with heatshield, side saddle, light and sling, AFG foregrip , that's it, extra rds will go in a M16 USGI pouch, very simple, easy to use and very practical.

    Reply
  31. I'd like to mention, since the subject is survival shotgun accessories, shotgun inserts that allow you to fire other calibers out of your shotgun, other gauges and pistol rounds; especially the same caliber as your sidearm! I like a two-point sling without ammo storage on the sling because it's just too awkward to handle. Butt stock ammo carriers don't carry more than 5-6 rounds but give you quick ammo changes/choices, but I think a belt pouch that holds a full box (25) of ammo is necessary. Lastly, a weapon-mounted light makes you a target as soon as you use it; so does anyone make a small round light with a 2-3 second delay so it could be tossed away from you as a distraction, giving you a short time to shot or flee while your foe(?) focuses on a small, moving light! If you do, please leave a comment on this web site including contact info! Good Luck!

    Reply
  32. Have a question. What is the maximum "effective range of 2 3/4 and 3" 00 buckshot with a 28" barrel full choke or better yet what 28" barrell would be more "effective"
    Thanks

    Reply
  33. All good except for me a light I don't want a light saber someone can target.
    I do have a 25 round Molle ammo pouch as well as a buttstock elastic 6 round carrier and a 25 round bandoleer / belt.
    Never take any weapon without reloads as you never know what you might run into orwhat or why your taking your shotgun if you need to make a few 3 round blasts for help your not going to be low on ammo.
    here in certain areas we used to be deputized to searh for lost people etc.
    No slings that carry rounds just a good nylon or leather sling to many to name.
    A survival or combat shotgun needs to have a snythetic stock wood is ok but not as durable and crack or brake at an inoppertune moment.
    A laser for longer distances but everyone knows they are visiable so you have to be aware if you keep the barrel pointed up unless you have overhead or keep it off untill needed.

    I do like fiber optic sights or beads the slicker the unit the better as in my experience your in thick woods or you have it shouldered and need to swing it into play quickly and a lot of extensions of the prime lines can get hung up.

    I use a coupe of different ways to I.D. round in the dark lower brass is buck high are slugs and specialty are at the buckle of the belt or one at the last loop of the butt stock carrier they are also different color clear buck red slugs
    green ribbed for shot a fox raiding my animals shot is a better option in my area.

    everyone need to arrange their load out differently but keep it the same once your got your mind set on how you like it .

    Reply
  34. Others less important items to consider: a recoil reduction pad, a boresnake (for cleaning), some CLP lube to keep things working, some snapcaps for practice, and if you want to go all out a bandolier or shell belt. You can also add a laser for maximum tacticool.

    Reply

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