We talked about the AR-15 rifle previously. Now, we’re going to talk about the 12-gauge shotgun. Let’s continue on with our discussion about the Patriot Arsenal.

The 12-gauge Shotgun

What I have in my hands here is the Mossberg Model 590 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. Now, many of you might be thinking, “Well, Paul, you have a semi-automatic rifle. So you should have a semi-automatic shotgun.”

The reason that I decided to go with a slide-action, or a pump-action,12-gauge is because one of the greatest attributes of the shotgun is the fact that it is very, very versatile. You can obviously load this with really light-weight – super light – birdshot, trap loads and so forth. You can load it with heavier weight buckshot, or slugs. You can put in specialty flares, or emergency rounds, or what have you.

The problem with semi-automatic, or gas-operated, shotguns is that many of them are finicky when it comes to ammunition. Now, if this is a gun that I am going to use in the poop-hits-the-fan/zombie apocalypse/end of the world as we know it, I do not want a gun that is a finicky eater. I want a gun that is going to chamber and cycle every single 12-gauge round I put in it.

With heavier loads, like slugs and double-ought buck, is the felt recoil more? Yes. It is greater than with birdshot, or trap load, or what have you.

For Hunting

Could you load this with trap load for light-weight things such as, “I just wanna shoot small game or birds,”? Yes. Do that. Go ahead.

For Defense

If it’s going to be a defensive tool, load it with buckshot or slugs.

They are really simple to learn how to operate. They’re not that difficult, and the great thing about the 12-gauge is that 12-gauge ammunition is available pretty much everywhere you go. Even if you can’t find handgun ammo, even if you can’t find rifle ammo, if there is a store – a hardware store – and it sells ammunition, chances are really good that it’s going to have 12-gauge. If you’re ever in a situation where there’s no 12-gauge ammunition left in the world, you’re gonna have to start fashioning spears out of flint and sticks, and so forth.


The second gun that I highly recommend for the Patriot Arsenal is some type of slide-action, or pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun, and the one that I have in my hands, here, is the Mossberg Model 590.

Want to learn even more about Shotguns? Check out The Martial Application of the Shotgun

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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