Admit it, you have thought about it. If you could have only one firearm for survival, what would it be? Some would suggest an accurate .22 LR or an AR-15 (neither is a bad choice, BTW), but for our money, a jack-of-all-trades gun that does a little bit of everything trumps all. So our choice is a side-by-side shotgun.
Simply put, a shotgun is the most effective tool for gathering food. Loaded with birdshot, it is extremely capable on birds and small game. Loaded with buckshot or slugs, it serves adequately for nearly anything in the world. But why not a pump or auto, you may ask? Any break-open gun is easy to use with chamber inserts, making an already versatile gun nearly unstoppable.
Of all the two-barrel options out there, we decided to start with Stoeger’s Double Defense. As good as the “Double D” is, it can always be improved upon. We Cerakote finished the metal, then with file, router, mill, and some ingenuity on hand, we threw everything but the proverbial sink into this build.
- Having accessories in the buttstock is a must for any survival gun, so we drilled some new holes to house not only a caliber conversion kit but also two thermoplastic waterproof tubes that carry everything from spare gun parts to fishing equipment. For easy access, we replaced the stock pad with a slip-on LimbSaver. Go to limbsaver.com.