Help create the “Ultimate” Survival Shotgun

    Hi TFB Readers,

    A few months ago I was reading Mike Schoby’s article “Is This the Ultimate Survival Gun?” and I was inspired to put one of my own together for pure fun. Since I’m a shotgunner at heart, I decided on the same platform and model, a Stoeger Double Defense side-by-side 12 ga break-action shotgun with 20″ barrels.

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    There’s room for a second Picatinny rail on top, which is included (uninstalled) with the Double Defense.

    There's a 9" picatinny rail underneath both barrels.

    There’s a 9″ picatinny rail underneath both barrels.

    The underside with its plastic forearm. Perfect for drilling and storing stuff.

    The underside with its plastic forearm. Perfect for drilling and storing stuff.

    I chose the side-by-side since it’s half a pound lighter than the over-under model. I chose a break-action because it is as simple as it can get. While I considered a pump, there’s just more points of failure and I’m assuming that I won’t have access to spare parts or perform any repairs.

    A shotgun’s versatility is unmatched in my book: it can shoot buck, bird, 00 shot, slugs, flares, dragon’s breath, beanbags, “bearbangers,” Flechettes, and other interesting ammo. With inserts, a shotgun can also utilize rimfire and centerfire rounds. It’s a “One Gun to Rule Them All” approach (but that’s not to say I wouldn’t also mind having an AR on me as well!).

    So, let’s build a survival shotgun! However, I don’t have any survival training or background, so I turn to you for savvy advice. What should I do to this shotgun? Why would your suggestion help one survive out in the wilderness?

    Here are some extra parameters to work off:

    1. I live in Northern California, so my survival area would probably be near Tahoe National Forest, Yosemite, or Mt. Shasta. There are lots of pine trees and hills, lakes/streams, and wildlife.
    2. I already have two sets of the ShortLane chamber inserts for .22LR, 9mm, and .410.
    3. Assume that I have some sort of backpack for food, medical supplies, and other survival gear, so the shotgun does not necessarily need to hold everything. Of course, the backpack can only hold so much, so anything that can be installed on or in the shotgun is fair game.

    Check out the Stoeger Double Defense specs here, and Creek Stewart’s survival shotgun article may also provide you with some ideas and inspiration. I’ll keep tabs on comments and votes over the next two weeks or so, and then I’ll start putting it all together.

    Companies and individuals interested in donating their products and/or services are encouraged since I’m on a shoestring budget for this project. Of course, I’ll recognize those folks in subsequent post(s). I can be reached at [email protected]

    I’ll report back around March!

    Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career. He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. www.TopShotChris.com.

    Chris Cheng

    Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

    He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.

    www.TopShotChris.com.


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