Last week we made a new addition to the family–a Remington 870 Wingmaster, with an 18.5″ barrel.

I bought it used for $250, from a guy that had it listed on a local gun classified site (shoutout to my buddy Seth and the guys at

A shotgun was always going to be the 2nd kind of firearm I purchased, for a handful of reasons. And if you’re a prepper, there are at least 5 solid reasons that you should have a good home security shotgun as well.

  1. They’re Cheap. Without going through every disclaimer, you can pretty much count on being able to get a sturdy, pump-action shotgun for $350 or less. Mossberg and Remington both make some very affordable shotguns that people have been shooting for years with a high degree of reliability. If you’re willing to look used and do a little negotiating, you can usually find one for even less. This is cheaper than probably 80% of the rifles and handguns out there.
  2. Home Security ShotgunThe ammo is cheap. Not only is the gun itself incredibly affordable, but the ammo isn’t gonna cost you an arm or a leg either. As of writing this (May 2013), shotgun ammo can be had for roughly 20-25 cents a round in bulk. So if you’re purchasing 100 rounds, you can probably get them for roughly $25.00.
  3. The ammo is available. As we are all acutely aware, perhaps even more important than having CHEAP ammo is having AVAILABLE ammo. After all, what good is the nicest gun if you don’t have ammo to shoot? Absolutely none. The fact that you can get ammo for a shotgun when ammo for other firearms is completely unavailable, is really big. Not only is ammo availability important for stocking, but it also means you can shoot and train more.
  4. They are extremely versatile. Shotguns can shoot several different loads, with different sized shot, different amounts of powder, and through different length barrels. An 18″ barrel is a great length for a home security shotgun, but if you wanted to use it for hunting let’s say, you could easily swap the barrel out for a longer one, or even a rifled barrel that shoots slugs, giving you lots of options in one cheap gun.
  5. They are easy to handle. Due to the nature of “scatterguns”, the simple truth is that you don’t have to be as accurate with them to be effective. This makes them ideal for relatively new and inexperienced shooters (wives, older children, etc). In a home defense scenario, a more experienced shooter could arm himself with a handgun or rifle, and allocate the shotgun to a lesser experienced family member with 1 area to monitor. Reloading and chambering rounds are also made very simple with shotguns (particularly a pump-action or semi-auto).
There could be other reasons as well, but for preppers, these are the 5 biggies. I’m thrilled that I was able to score the 870 as cheaply as I did, and look forward to getting to know it a little bit. Remember, while a violent encounter may not be the most likely thing to kill you, it is certainly one of the quicker ones.
Make sure you have your home defense thought through, and consider getting your family a good shotgun as part of it.
Prep On,

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