A Green Beret’s Shotgun Review for Preppers

Good Day to all of you guys and gals out there in Ready Nutrition Reader-land!  Today we’re going to review JJ’s favorite shotguns to recommend for our prepper community.  What good are all of your supplies if you can’t protect them from bears, burglars, or would-be marauders when a collapse occurs?  The two models for discussion are able to be used for home defense and also to put meat on your table as hunting weapons.

The first thing I wish to do is clear up any misconceptions that shotguns are too powerful to be used by the ladies.  On the contrary: a shotgun is exactly what the lady of the house needs when “homey the clown” and his gang want to climb in through the window.  My wife weighs about “a buck twenty,” and you should see her with a 12 gauge!

The shotgun’s versatility lies in the fact that it is a smoothbore firearm that can take either shells (with lead or steel shot), or slugs (basically a big lead bullet).  The shotgun gives home defense a whole new meaning and adds heavy firepower to the prepper’s arsenal.  I recommend 12 gauges only.  The reason for this is because you can use smaller shot shells for small game, such as pheasant, waterfowl, or quail while not sacrificing size when “homey” visits.

The Remington Model 870 is one of the finest slide action shotguns ever produced in the United States.  The 870 was introduced in the early 1950’s.  Now it is available both in 12 and 20 gauges.  The tubular magazine capacity is (3) 3″ Magnum shells or (4) 2 3/4″ shells.  A magazine extension can be employed to give you a higher capacity, and there is a Special Riot-gun model for law enforcement available.

The 870 breaks down very easily for cleaning and servicing, and both of these functions can be accomplished with no difficulty.  Rugged, reliable, and easy to use, the 870 saw service with our troops in the Vietnam War and yielded excellent results especially in CQB (close quarters battle).  The shotgun is readily available with a polymer/synthetic stock, although JJ’s preference is the older models with wooden stocks.

Number 2 on the list (but JJ’s personal favorite) is the Mossberg Model 500 Series.  The 500 was first produced in 1962, and all of the major branches of the United States Armed Forces adopted it for general issue in 1979.  Later an offshoot, the Model 590 back in the late 1980’s, replaced it.  Yes, the 500 is that good; in this author’s opinion, it is the finest shotgun dollar-for-dollar and performance wise that has ever been made.  Barrels for the Model 500 are interchangeable.  Isn’t that a nifty little fact that may help you make a decision?

This pump action shotgun is reliable, I’m here to tell you: it can take a tremendous beating and still perform.  On this take a not: accessorizing is the key to success.  A side mounted “deck” to hold an extra half dozen shells is optimal.  The Model 500 can also be fitted with pistol grips, single point sling, and heat shield.  As mentioned earlier, the ladies will have no trouble at all handling these two excellent pieces once they practice with them and move past the initial experience of the weapon recoil.  Pads for the stock-end are available to help cushion the shoulder.  The reasons these weapons are great for home defense are threefold:

  1. Accuracy: With 00 buck you just point and shoot and hold that shotgun barrel on your target. You’ll be accurate, believe me.
  2. Power: Ladies, King Kong himself coming through the front door will be your doormat after you “zap” that big bug with the 12 gauge. He’ll be down and done: your two goals for engagement.
  3. Noise: Homey will go down, and his buddy-clowns will hear…and then fear…when the Mrs. shows those jerks how a momma bear defends the cave and cubs.

These are great shotguns and excellent for use by the whole family once everyone is familiarized and trained in their use.  They can be employed (as mentioned earlier) for both home defense and for hunting.  Your optimal loads for home defense are 00 Buck and slugs, the latter being better to stop them at a slight distance.  A case of this is where “the Humungous” and crew from “The Road Warrior” are pulling into your driveway and you are in a “Castle Doctrine” State.  Clear on the right and left?  Switch your selector switch to fire…and watch your lanes!

There are also plenty of accessories you can add on to the shotgun, such as attachable and detachable mag lights, laser devices, and IR aids.  Another investment you may wish to make is a good shotgun scabbard that mounts to your rucksack/backpack.  Think of the movie “The Book of Eli” and remember: every second counts.  Ladies and gents, these two shotguns will serve you in good stead.  We at ReadyNutrition would love to hear from any of you who are already using one or both of the models recommended.  Be safe and keep your home and family safer.  Hope these tips help you to do so, and you guys and gals have a great day!



Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 2nd, 2015
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13 Responses to A Green Beret’s Shotgun Review for Preppers

  1. Kula Farmer says:

    Im a mossberg guy too, have a 590A1, 8+1, iron sights, is super reliable, picked up a 930 Mickulic competition model, 8+1 threaded for brake or choke tubes, no sights, is bad ass, put a rail and EOTech on it so is a point and shoot bang stick,
    I load my own and have loaded slugs for them both, shoot a 5″ pattern at 100 yds with a 50cal slug in a RSS sabbot, great for pigs, sends em tumbling

    • EgbertThrockmorton1 says:

      Kula how do you “like” the 930, seriously? I’ve got a 590A1 and have looked at the “other” 930, in lieu of the same model by FNH.
      Thanks.(TPS out)

      • Kula Farmer says:

        I really like it, is lower recoil than the 590, it has a tactical charging knob so chambering first round is easy even if your wearing gloves, the thing i really liked about the Jerry M competition model over the 930 SPX is that it is threaded for choke tubes, would have liked sights but the gun is a good all around, have used it at the trap range and is super smooth when going for multiple targets,
        For tactical use i have the EOTech but if im going to shoot trap i just unscrew the rail and am back to the rib and fromt fiber site,,,

      • EgbertThrockmorton1 says:


  2. lordchamp says:

    Speaking of the Mossberg 500, there is a brand named Maverick that is the lower end Mossberg. It’s the same relationship as Marlin and Glenfield.

    I’ve never tried to swap parts but I’ve been told and read that the Mossberg parts swap directly with the Maverick. The Maverick sells for between 150-200 at the big box sporting goods store in my area.

    It only comes with a synthetic stock but to me that is not a problem for a self defense weapon. Every review I have seen on them has been good. At that price, no excuse for not having a shotgun for self defense and other needs.

    • Rick3 says:

      You are correct. The Maverick and the Mossberg 500 parts are nearly 100% interchangeable and the only parts that aren’t the average user should not be mucking with anyway. Maverick is the best shotgun on the market for the bucks followed by a Chas. Stevens. These are both low-end, casual use (not duty use) and ideal for the prepper who just wants a reliable but affordable shotgun. BTW there is nothing wrong with the Remington either. I totally agree with the author and that is saying something for a pump since I carried an old 97 in Nam that was sawed off for clearing the LZ of grasshopping dinks.

      • One has to wonder if shotguns won’t be used in this country to clear the plains of Constitution and oath violating military traitors much like those who invaded Vietnam.
        Treason is defined in the Constitution at Article 3, Section 3, as consisting “only in levying War against (the United States), or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
        All members of the American military take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (and to) bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
        When the military is committed to foreign actions without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution, that is a violation of the Constitution, arguably the action of domestic enemies.
        When a member of the military participates in an unconstitutional foreign military deployment, s/he violates both the Constitution and his/her oath to “support and defend” it, giving “aid and comfort” to it’s “domestic enemies,” committing treason by the definition given by the Constitution.

  3. Howard says:

    Did any one notice that the gun in the picture with this article is no shotgun. I am a double gun person and so is my wife. If two barrels aren’t enough the reload is fast.

  4. James Michael says:

    Good for treasonous felons with badges and guns, home invading also…Need to start putting bullets into the treasonous, terrorist, domestic enemies….

  5. Kirk Myers says:

    The Mossberg 930 SPX semi-auto with an 18-inch barrel is another keeper. You can get off eight shots (nine if you ghost load) in a hurry.

  6. Eric Superfluous Man says:

    Why do you refer to home invaders as “homey”?

    I ask this in hopes that the reason is something other than the most obvious one.

    • Rahxephon says:

      Why do you pretend that your büllshit views are real? That’s the more operative question. Do you need to see the statistics? Or are you just a brainwashed KGB pawn who will reject them on sight. Do you need me to tell you about my life in Africa, or are you still deluding yourself that the five species of humanity are actually one and the same?

      Shut up and go away. You will be the first to die in the collapse, because you will pretend that race doesn’t exist in any capacity. Any time spent on you is utterly wasted. Either learn truth or commit suicide, because you will meet the most ignoble of ends if you reject it (read: you’ll be raped to death by the “people” you defend over your own kind).

  7. prov6yahoo says:

    I do not know why anyone would want a shotgun (or almost any gun) that is not semi-auto. Having to cock a gun every time you want to shoot it is a huge pain.

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