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Discussion Starter #1
This pandemic and subsequent threat to our food supply chain has altered my psychic landscape completely. I'm beginning to think of subsistence living, perhaps at our family cabin up north. The cabin might actually have to be demolished and a new energy-efficient house erected on the site … complete with solar cells and an emergency generator.

With a family presence on this lot since 1943, I feel very secure there and the fishing is excellent, so I can keep a freezer full of bluegills and the occasional walleye and I could ice fish during the winter. Also, we're surrounded by woods with turkeys and whitetail deer strutting their stuff along the road all summer long. There's also plentiful waterfowl opportunities and it wouldn't take too much driving to find some good pheasant ground.

One of the critical components missing from this equation is a long gun. Back in 2008 I had my first arthroscopic knee surgery (left knee), followed by another one three years later (right knee). I gave up hunting at that point, sold my rifles and shotgun, and got more involved with action pistol shooting, mostly IDPA matches.

So, if things continue to deteriorate and I have to abandon my snowbird lifestyle for self preservation, what shotgun should I consider for bird hunting, deer hunting, turkey hunting and self defense? My wife would also need to have access to the gun in the event I'm not home for some reason, so I'm thinking 20 gauge for reduced recoil, and possibly semi-auto for more recoil reduction.

Thanks for the input.
 

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I would skip semi auto as it is just more things to go wrong ..I would stick with 12 and use reduced recoil loads for HD only as more ammo options and more chance to find it in the end of the world

I would get a 870 or 590 and a 20+ barrel for hunting and a 18inch barrel for HD ..Maybe event get a rifled slug barrel for deer ..

Something like this https://www.remington.com/shotguns/pump-action/model-870/model-870-express-field-home-combo

https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/mossberg-500-field-security-combo-12-gauge-shotgun#repChildCatid=4847566 is another options

Just remember that as long as there is law there is a limit on shotgun mag size for some bird hunting
 

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20 gauge guns are lighter, so the felt recoil isn’t always less

Your best bet might be putting different options into your wife’s hands, and letting her give you input.

Shotguns can be had for reasonable prices (maybe not right now) so you may want his and hers

I would also consider a .22 rifle, like a 10/22. Maybe even before the shotty
 

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20 gauge guns are lighter, so the felt recoil isn’t always less

Your best bet might be putting different options into your wife’s hands, and letting her give you input.

Shotguns can be had for reasonable prices (maybe not right now) so you may want his and hers

I would also consider a .22 rifle, like a 10/22. Maybe even before the shotty
https://www.savagearms.com/content?p=firearms&a=product_summary&s=22440 and the like could be anotehr good options should cover most small game ..

And I agree that a 10/22 would be handy to have for anything


And yes I have found most 20 gauge kick more as they are more Youth built for some reason ..So would think maybe his/her shotgun agree on that ..not like AR 15 shotguns will prob the last to be banned at least for basic pump action tube guns
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And you see the .22 rifle for small game? Rabbits? Squirrels? I assume there will still be game laws and game wardens, so I'm not sure I'd dare use a .22 for things like geese and ducks, but maybe ...
 

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Wrongrecroom - I like what I see in the 870 and Mossberg. I've owned 870s before, but never a Mossberg. Are they equally reliable? I see the Mossberg magazine capacity adds one more shell compared to the 870, but I also assume one can find extended mag tubes for both guns. Correct?
 

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I have shot a good number of 20's over the years, and IMHO it is a myth about less recoil. We still have one 20, an H&R Topper 20 single shot. That thing is lucky to be alive after I let Mrs OldChap shoot it. She threatened it within an inch of it's life.

I agree with the thoughts for a good .22. I would go with that and maybe an inexpensive 12 gauge pump or better quality 12 gauge semi-auto. I've put several thousand rounds through a Mossberg 930SPX. I wouldn't recommend that for your wife as the LOP is long and makes it unwieldy for her. A good pump is not expensive, and an extra barrel makes it useful for hunting.

For defense outside urban areas, the best tool is an AR-15. It has an easy manual of arms, high capacity, can be used for some hunting and can be easily maintained without a lot of special tools.

One note to the wary: The modern 870 is not the 870 of yesteryear, unless you choose one quite a bit above the low priced versions. We had lots of issues with the lower priced 870's.
 

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Wrongrecroom - I like what I see in the 870 and Mossberg. I've owned 870s before, but never a Mossberg. Are they equally reliable? I see the Mossberg magazine capacity adds one more shell compared to the 870, but I also assume one can find extended mag tubes for both guns. Correct?
They make mag tubes for both guns I know +2 but I have seen crazy +5 and more tubes for comp shooting ... Rem I know makes mag feed model of the 870 now as well 5-8-10-20 round mags .. Due note of course if it marked as hunting gun it prob has the 3 round mag plug in it .

I have limited use of moss berg but everything I have heard is they are fine some are made in Mexcio so some question on them but overall seem to be decent

22lr for rabbits etc it wont be as nosiy and if things really go bad and law is no longer around even deer ( it is a popular pouching round as it is quite and does the trick at close range ) note of course not legal if there still game wardens around

https://www.brownells.com/shotgun-parts/magazine-tube-parts/magazine-tube-extensions has a bunch and it looks like Mossberg even makes there own kits ... I would def add a +2 for a HD gun .
 
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Here is one thing I have come to believe about buying guns over the years. This is not going to work for collectors, professionals who need to use guns, enthusiasts or competitors. I have been all those things over the years, but now I am just someone who owns guns as practical tools.

Get really clear on what needs you will seriously forsee with the gun and what you or anyone else in the house are actually going to use the gun for. Are you, or your wife actually going to hunt deer or turkey? If so, great, but if that is doubtful, limiting your choices to cover those requirements may not give you the best choice.

Grant Cunningham has a couple of good books that cover this, "Prepping for Life" and "Protecting Your Homestead." Your requirements seem to fit what he calls a "utility rifle," meaning a gun that is good for a lot of different things or a "pool gun" meaning one gun anyone in the household can grab and use. His #1 answer for both requirements, and he makes a pretty good case for it, is a .223/5.56 semi-auto. And he recommends a 1x-4x variable, non-electronic optic on it. He says that is a platform that may not do anything perfectly, but does a heckuva lot really well. Those kinds of guns are low recoil and easy to use.
 

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I have been hunting with 870's for 40 years and I would buy a older used one before the new ones. I picked up an old 870 express recently which was their cheaper finished gun with the exact same internal components for $120 bucks. Its old enough to have the metal trigger group and not the plastic that the newer express guns have but, new enough to have a 3" chamber. It came with a 28" barrel with 3 choke tubes and I picked up a 18" cylinder bore barrel with a mag extension for my camping Grizzly defense gun.
One gun with 2 barrels will kill anything that walks or flies in North America. Everyone should own one.
Stick to 12 gauge as the ammo is much more available as is the variety of ammo. Every back country store will carry some 12 gauge.

Here is my old Wingmaster with both barrels but, I wanted a more "beater" gun for under the truck seat and such. The Wingmaster was just too nicely finished for that role.
IMG_1427.JPG
IMG_1431.JPG

Here is the Express with the 18" barrel and mag extension. I have $315 into this gun including the barrel and extension.
870 express.jpg
 

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For me it would be a basic 870 or mossberg 500 in 12 guage. I got an 870 express with a +2 mag extension. I bought an aftermarket 18'5'' barrel that can take interchangeable choke tubes. That would be my biggest requirement for a gun I wanted to hunt with, interchangeable chokes if I were going to make do with one barrel. A longer barrel is better for hunting but even an 18.5 can get it done. Most of my hunting with a shotgun is done with an 11-87 with a 26'' barrel, but I've taken my 870 squirrel hunting a couple of times with an improved cylinder choke tube. If I had to use only one shotgun for defense, and all my hunting needs I'd be comfortable using this 870 for every thing from squirrels to turkeys, and even deer with slugs.
 

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Remington 870s of today can be hit or miss. Mine had extraction issues. Sent back, same issues. Finally figured out the barrel extension had rough spots that needed polishing.

Mossberg 590 if you want a pump, I have a 500 as it was cheaper and came with 2 barrels. It’s a good do everything gun. Lots of info available comparing the 870 to the 500 and the 590. I really like the Mossberg pump dual extractors.

Problem with shotguns is...where are you going to train with it? Most ranges here only allow slugs. That hurts both the shoulder and the wallet.

For a survival/hunting gun that can be pressed into defensive use, it’s hard to beat a Ruger 10/22 with a BX25 mag. Everyone can shoot it, and it’s fun.

5.56? Good luck eating small game shot with it.
 

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A few thoughts....

If the cabin isn't already ready, it's likely too late for a retreat this go around. We'll likely have a reprieve for a few months between waves 1 and 2, but when the second wave hits the public over reaction may be as draconian as this round and we'll be entering it while mid-recession. Focusing on the current home may be a better use of time and resources for now. Harden it up, and get the neighbors to assist in neighborhood defense. (A few neighbors here plan to monitor the two entries to our subdivision all night if things get ugly. Anyone who drives in will suddenly have multiple trucks with off road lights following them and watching. If it's a resident going home, great, no problem. If it's people who shouldn't be here others will get called by radio.)

Hunting.... if things get bad, poaching will go through the roof. Deer herds will get thinned quickly by spotlighters and such. Carefree animal behavior during daylight hours will become a memory. An accurate rifle in the. 308 tier that can drop a deer fast and at range will be the best option. Drop it in it's tracks with a single shot, load it guts and all into a truck, dress it at home rather than having it stolen in the field (my family learned this in the Depression). Livestock, rabbits, chickens... can provide enough sustainable protein.

12 ga shotguns... old Rem 870 Wingmasters are buttery smooth. New 870s are rather poor quality (I have both, there's no comparison). If buying old, get an 870. If buying new or recent used, get a Mossberg pump. Top end autos are okay, but not truly 100% reliable unless used frequently and kept in good working order. I like my Mossberg 930 Tactical. It gets shot every few months to keep it reliable. I trust it, since I use it. If it were to sit for a year, I would grab a pump instead.

ARs... as mentioned earlier, are probably one of the best home defense options for anyone recoil shy or who don't shoot much. Leave it chamber open, on fire, with a mag handy and teach family to insert mag, push button to load, aim, squeeze trigger repeatedly until the threat is down. Of course teach how to operate the safety.
 

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Remington 870 is one of the better options. I owned both an Express Combo and a Wingmaster. My wife used an 870 Express also. The Express models are reasonably priced workhorses. Another option is a Henry single barrel.

Used 12 gauge for many years then wised up and switched to 20 gauge. Much lighter afield and no issue bringing down birds. Might be a stretch on goose but I don’t hunt those. Great for small game. Shells easily available.

Mrs. Ctr and I switched to over/understand about 20 years ago and are completely pleased with our Brownings.
 

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A few thoughts....

If the cabin isn't already ready, it's likely too late for a retreat this go around. We'll likely have a reprieve for a few months between waves 1 and 2, but when the second wave hits the public over reaction may be as draconian as this round and since and we'll be entering it while mid-recession. Focusing on the current home may be a better use of time and resources for now. Harden it up, and get the neighbors to assist in neighborhood defense. (A few neighbors here plan to monitor the two entries to our subdivision all night if things get ugly. Anyone who drives in will suddenly have multiple trucks with off road lights following them and watching. If it's a resident going home, great, no problem. If it's people who shouldn't be here others will get called by radio.)

Hunting.... if things get bad, poaching will go through the roof. Deer herds will get thinned quickly by spotlighters and such. Carefree animal behavior during daylight hours will become a memory. An accurate rifle in the. 308 tier that can drop a deer fast and at range will be the best option. Drop it in it's tracks with a single shot, load it guts and all into a truck, dress it at home rather than having it stolen in the field (my family learned this in the Depression). Livestock, rabbits, chickens... can provide enough sustainable protein.

12 ga shotguns... old Rem 870 Wingmasters are buttery smooth. New 870s are rather poor quality (I have both, there's no comparison). If buying old, get an 870. If buying new or recent used, get a Mossberg pump. Top end autos are okay, but not truly 100% reliable unless used frequently and kept in good working order. I like my Mossberg 930 Tactical. It gets shot every few months to keep it reliable. I trust it, since I use it. If it were to sit for a year, I would grab a pump instead.

ARs... as mentioned earlier, are probably one of the best home defense options for anyone recoil shy or who don't shoot much. Leave it chamber open, on fire, with a mag handy and teach family to insert mag, push button to load, aim, squeeze trigger repeatedly until the threat is down. Of course teach how to operate the safety.
Yep I was going to add this pouching will be crazy if this goes bad and there wont be a respect for land or water rights ..Them streams of fish and deer will be dried up quick ... Dont po po the house in the hills idea but dont expect the land to provide if this goes 1930 on us.

And I will second the shotgun older models are better for for sure

And I would def suggest some form of auto loading rifle with quick change mags for HD if legal and easy to get where you live only as more fire and more pentration and easier and quicker to reload ...AR would be a good choice ..But plenty of others AK can be fearsorm for Hd nothing said get off my lawn like 101 rounds of x39 ..Plus AK and Galil will take unholy amounts of abusive before they final die plus even dead a classic AK will have a steel but plate and a bayonet lug to use for clubing and stabing if you had to .... Me I like ether AK or HK93 for HD 93 as well 40 round mags tend to be handy .


But really I would say yes Shotgun would be good but def now not closer to Nov get a auoto loader that could be banned ( a stock mini 14 would not be that )


Oh and PS I will add one add one to this idea ... Get a kevlar or steel vest ....Esp to stash not great for running and gunning but nice to have for HD
 

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A few thoughts....

If the cabin isn't already ready, it's likely too late for a retreat this go around. We'll likely have a reprieve for a few months between waves 1 and 2, but when the second wave hits the public over reaction may be as draconian as this round and we'll be entering it while mid-recession. Focusing on the current home may be a better use of time and resources for now. Harden it up, and get the neighbors to assist in neighborhood defense. (A few neighbors here plan to monitor the two entries to our subdivision all night if things get ugly. Anyone who drives in will suddenly have multiple trucks with off road lights following them and watching. If it's a resident going home, great, no problem. If it's people who shouldn't be here others will get called by radio.)

Hunting.... if things get bad, poaching will go through the roof. Deer herds will get thinned quickly by spotlighters and such. Carefree animal behavior during daylight hours will become a memory. An accurate rifle in the. 308 tier that can drop a deer fast and at range will be the best option. Drop it in it's tracks with a single shot, load it guts and all into a truck, dress it at home rather than having it stolen in the field (my family learned this in the Depression). Livestock, rabbits, chickens... can provide enough sustainable protein.

12 ga shotguns... old Rem 870 Wingmasters are buttery smooth. New 870s are rather poor quality (I have both, there's no comparison). If buying old, get an 870. If buying new or recent used, get a Mossberg pump. Top end autos are okay, but not truly 100% reliable unless used frequently and kept in good working order. I like my Mossberg 930 Tactical. It gets shot every few months to keep it reliable. I trust it, since I use it. If it were to sit for a year, I would grab a pump instead.

ARs... as mentioned earlier, are probably one of the best home defense options for anyone recoil shy or who don't shoot much. Leave it chamber open, on fire, with a mag handy and teach family to insert mag, push button to load, aim, squeeze trigger repeatedly until the threat is down. Of course teach how to operate the safety.
Just be carfull of too much rabit ..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_poisoning
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I will admit that shooting rabbits would help with the gardening effort. They seem determined to get at our veggies. For that little task I almost like the idea of a pump-up pellet rifle over a .22 rifle. Quieter, etc. Now I wish I'd kept my old Crosman, or - better yet - my old Sheridan pellet rifle. The only rabbit I've ever eaten was domestic, so I'd hope the wild variety is equally tasty. I've never eaten squirrel.

So far, I'm liking the idea of a 12-gauge pump, preferably an older Wingmaster, with the reduced recoil buckshot for HD and a slug barrel with rifle sights for deer hunting, which would be short range work in the woods. Most of those shots would be under 100 yards.

I appreciate the ideas and links.
 

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No rustic property is complete without a. 22 rifle. Don't overlook pellet rifles either.

I have a 1986 870 Wingmaster 12 ga and a new 870 Express 20ga. 18.5" barrel with removable chokes is a very versatile gun. Swap for a 28" barrel in a few seconds, and you can hunt turkey or waterfowl with 3" shells. Yes, migratory bird hunting is limited to 3 shells in the gun (tube plugged to 2 rounds).

The aftermarket is prolific for the 870. Extended magazine tubes for home defense are easy to find and install.
 
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