In the immortal words of the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels “What? Like guns that fire shot?” “That’s right. Gun’s that fire shot.” Shotguns differ from rifles in that they are generally designed to fire anywhere from 1 to hundreds of pellets (called shot) from a single cartridge. The advantages of (good) shotguns are that they fire these pellets in a consistent and concentrated grouping called a “pattern”. This simply means that instead of having to try to hit your target with a very small projectile, you only need to point in the general direction of what you’re trying to hit, and you should be pretty well set. The counterpoint to this is that shotguns firing shot rounds have a much shorter effective range than a rifle. So these would be more of up-close and personal weapons of zombie defense. You can also choose to utilize a rifled shotgun (I do) which will fire very tightly grouped patterns of shot accurately to about 30 yards OR a single slug round accurately to about 200 yards.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
The Remington 870 Express Tactical
This 12 gauge is a classic in home defense or for law enforcement. It has a synthetic stock which is easily cleaned and maintained as well as weather resistant. It has a 7 round capacity and a smooth action that will allow you to rattle off all 7 rounds in just a few seconds (once you get some practice). You can use 2 ¾” or 3” shells in this mule for a little extra kick, or if ammunition availability becomes limited.
The Ithaca Deer Slayer II
This is the most bad ass rifled shotgun you’ve probably never heard of. I use an original Deer Slayer from 1939 and it still outshoots any other gun I’ve ever used. This is just the next generation but with some of the same awesome features. The rifling in this shotgun provides excellent groupings of shot as well as excellent slug accuracy at distances in excess of 200 yards. It comes standard with fiber optic sights and is pre-drilled to attach more advanced telescopic sights as well. This gun is a bottom loading/bottom ejecting smooth operator. That means you don’t have to worry about shooting right or left-handed, the spent shells go straight down. As I said before, I use the 20 gauge (original) version of this classic and I’d put it up against anything else on the market today.
The Browning A5
Browning has revamped a classic with the new semi-automatic A5. While it still has the same nostalgic look, don’t be fooled, the internal workings are all new. They’ve put in a recoil-driven loading system that doesn’t bind up and jam when the temperatures start to rise because you’re cranking through some shells. With a 5 shell capacity, this 12 gauge can really chop down some lumbering zombies! It has a 3” chamber, so you’ll have to be a little more precise in your ammo acquisition, but it’s a consistent and durable shooter that can send shot down range as quickly as you can pull the trigger. Be advised that a semi-automatic 12 gauge is going to require practice. The quickness with which it can be fired coupled with the kick from those 3” rounds is not for everyone. The good news is-PRACTICE IS FUN!!! So let’s get to the range and show those zombies what’s up!
I recommend using upland game loads or bird shot for practicing.
Do you have any shotgun recommendations? We want to hear it! Tell us in the comments below.
Other related articles you should check out:
Recommended 9mm Pistols
Recommended .45 Pistols
Recommended .22 Pistols