As a Survival and Preparedness instructor, I take my line of work very serious – sometimes too serious. Occasionally, though, I like to take on survival projects that are just down right fun. This article highlights one of those projects.

I’m fortunate in that I’ve been able to turn my passion into my profession – this being the study of Survival and Preparedness. I’ve always enjoyed building survival kits of all shapes and sizes. I enjoy the challenge of fitting life saving survival necessities into small compact containers. I’ve built survival kits using film canisters, candy tins, key-rings, boxes, bottles, tubes, bags and everything in between. For this project I decided to build a survival kit using a shotgun platform – creating the Ultimate Survival Shotgun. My challenge was that everything had to be included in or on the gun itself – no extra pack items or containers. Below is what I did as well as the survival logic behind each decision.

Ultimately your survival needs fall into 5 main categories. Your situation dictates the order. They are:
• Water
• Fire
• Shelter
• Signaling
• Food

Every survival kit must include contents that directly or indirectly meet these 5 basic survival needs. The shotgun platform I decided to use is the Mossberg 500 – PUMP. I chose a pump action because it is easier for me to troubleshoot and work on in the field compared to other models. I chose the Mossberg brand because it is a very popular gun and there are literally 100’s of aftermarket modification pieces and parts designed to fit this gun. I knew I would want to add on some of these ‘extras’ to increase ‘survival value’. In this step is a photo of the shotgun ‘off the shelf’ before my survival modifications.

Step 1: Ammunition

First thing first – the gun itself. A shotgun’s primary purpose is hunting. Clearly, you can use this shotgun as a hunting weapon to ‘restock’ on valuable calories. Humans can go for 3 weeks without food but it’s not fun. Lack of food leads to light headedness, weakness and poor decisions. In a survival situation, meat is the fastest and most effective way to replenish lost calories. Meat comes in all shapes and sizes. Carrying different shot shells designed for different applications increases your chances of a successful hunt.

For this reason, I chose to pack a variety of shotgun shells:
• BIRD SHOT: Designed for birds and other small game such as rabbit and squirrel
• 00 BUCK: Good for turkey and larger game such as deer
• SLUG: Designed for large game such as deer, hog or elk
<p>Although we would all like to believe that everyone has common sense the fact remains that some do not. Because of that I will make a common sense suggestion not mentioned in the article.</p><div><div>With regard to the attachable saw blade between the grip and the stock, I strongly suggest that before actually using it that you make sure there is NOT a live round in the chamber. Never know when Murphy or Darwin is going to pay a visit. Just saying...</div></div>
<p>'merica! Love it!</p>
<p>They make compressed toilet paper towels now (http://wysiwipe.com/shop.html). I think they'd fit in a shotgun shell case. Anyway, a very useful addition.</p>
Hey i heared that they sell adapters for a 12 gauge to shoot bullets like 9mm or even smaller. idk you might be interested for small game and more versatility
If someone steals this while you're asleep, your screwed. Something about putting all your eggs in one basket comes to mind. <br>
<p>They would most likely kill you anyway...</p>
I would liken it more to making an extra basket with duplicate eggs in it, you could always still carry a more traditional, pack based kit with you.
WOW, great instructable! I really got a kick out of imagining someone lighting a fire with a flare. I thinkbwhat makes this instructable so great is that even if, like me, you probably wont ever make the thing the instructable is actually about, you can come away with stuff that you can use elsewhere, like that part about including something personal in survival kits. Really well done instructable.
<p>How much does the whole unit weigh with everything loaded and stored?<br>Weight is my only concern with this build, even though you have pretty much everything you'd need to carry in an emergency. However, in the event that you'd have to carry it for extended periods of time, weight becomes a major issue once you combine it with limited calorie intake. </p>
<p>I did something similar to this a few years back with my Ruger 10-22. I removed the butt stock and placed vacuum sealed packets with an extra 10 rounds of .22 ammo, fire making, water purification, and storage, and first aid and fishing gear in the stock. The thinking was if I am out plinking or hunting rabbits or squirrels, and something bad happens, I have an extra edge. It wasn't meant to be a total survival kit gun, but just some insurance just in case. It is all silicone sealed and I added an additional sling stud to screw through the stock into the butt pad further securing it. it is a good plan.</p>
<p>In the situation as alone in the wood. on my novel &quot;The Killer (Single) Shotgun&quot; I let my hero character to choose and use break action single barrel shotgun as a survival gun. because he can use its as useful, such as to protect or defend and find food. As you know, the shotgun have many type of ammo to pick, buckshot , birdshot and slug. If you learn too much to know your gun as well, you can carry a single shot shotgun anywhere like my hero character. In this story he love to load his gun with birdshot Number 7 1/2 trap pallets.</p><p>Hatsan Optima 12 gauge 2 3/4 - 3 SB-P single barrel, break-action shotgun 30 inch barrels ventilated antiglare rib and foldable that is a gun used by my hero character. The Optima's barrel is made with Nickel-chromium-molybdenum steel and fixed cylinder bore. So that in the story my character fire its with cutshell pallet, wax slug and also use as muzzleloader, as better like firing with an ammunition from factory.</p><p>https://www.facebook.com/fieldAdventure/?fref=nf</p>
If you get a bad wound, you're up a creek without a paddle with this kit. I'd suggest a suture kit be added, they don't take up that much space and you'll be far better prepared for a really bad situation.
Lol that moment when i remember that his name is Creek
What was the weight difference from before and after the extra equipment?
That was the first auestion i asked myself. The 500 is a farely hefty weapon without all that gear.
<p>Good guide but I think the knife should extend in front of the barrel in order to use it as a bayonet to be quite or in an emergency. Also most water treatment tablets are Chloride Dioxide which reacts horribly with plastics, rubber etc...</p>
I agree but it can be moved forward to use as a bayonette.
Depending on the other features a gun has (pistol grip or extra handles) adding a bayonette to a gun that originally wasnt sold with one (pre ban or &quot;curio and relic&quot; eligable) could net you a felony. Be very sure when modifying firearms, do all the research up front.
<p>Any survival kit should contain - before others - 3 things: first aid kit, machete and a lighter! &lt;a href=&quot;http://bestmachete.net&quot;&gt;survival enthusiast&lt;/a&gt;</p>
That depends on the user. I need nothing more than my firesteel and my knife. I can make what else i need.
I love this idea but it seems this is the only real post on the topic. I have read this post at least six times on various forums. Thank you for choosing the most versatile of firearms for this.
No instructions for building an actual shotgun, however.
When you want to survive, grab a backpack and a sword... Can fit way more into a bag, and you will never run out of ammo. In case of zombie attack? You can cut their head off! :P<br><br>But nice video and DIY though, as another poster stated, only possible in US.
Using a gun is much easier then using a sword, there's a lot more to it then just swinging it around.
Wrong. Using any melee weapon is much easier than using a gun. You don't need to aim, run out of bullet, out of range, and misses. How hard is it to whack a melee weapon to a target? <br><br>Maybe is easy in the US, since you guys have firing range for cheap and every one in your neighborhood owns a gun, but not the whole world is like in the US you know? Is not easy to fire a gun without training. <br><br>I betcha you can run faster with a backpack + any melee weapon than someone with a 5 feet long gun.
Good luck hunting with a sword. By the time you whittle and rig a working bow (if ever) you will be too weak to use it. And that assumes you don't run into a guy with a gun who can shoot you from a nice comfy distance.
That also assumes you can get a real sword that will actually work not just a display item, this is also something most people don't realize.
<p>Machette is sort of a sword. most common big knife in the world. no legal problems so long as you're not walking around town with it.</p>
ahaha nice
I would agree that running out of ammunition could make the sword the better bet but out of range? I have yet to see a gun with less range than a sword and as to ease of use, if we're talking about the same range at which a sword is effective the gun is not that difficult to use. Point and shoot. And if one has reasonable depth perception one can shoot an opponent before they can get into effective sword range. If I was going to face something like an irate Grizzly Bear I'd much prefer something like the shotgun loaded with slugs. Maybe a ninja could survive such an encounter using only a sword but most folks aren't ninjas.
<p>michonne could kill 10 bears at once with her katana.</p>
The point of the gun is that you dont have to run. Can you out run a bullet? I am pretty sure I can put a deer slug in you before you can get close enough to hit me with a melee weapon.
He cant outrun a bullet... but he also can't acquire a firearm legally. No matter how persuasive you are... he still cant get a gun. If he can get his hands on some other martial weapon... wouldnt that be preferable to nothing?
just so you know.. its kinda hard to miss with a shotgun.. they kind of have a large shot pattern. but i do agree i would have a melee weapon as well as a gun.. but i would probably go with a axe instead of a sword due to the fact that it woould have more uses than just defense.
1. Use the bayonet as a melee weapon. <br> <br>2. The shotgun itself is like a big metal club. <br> <br>3. You can take the target down 100(s) of feet away from you as opposed to having it 3 feet away from you. <br> <br>4. The guy without a backpack flopping around on his back can probably run faster. <br> <br>I can understand not having access to proper training everywhere in the world, but from this guys standpoint, this is the ideal survival weapon. <br>
just to let you know not ever person in the U.S has a real gun but i agree swords are easier to use than guns
you kind of do need to aim, if you dont.... you'd miss and the zombie would eat your brains
a sword and shotgun would work better
or you can invest and make a swordgun XD
you could get a mossberg 590 and affix an m9 bayonet to the end...sword, gun, knife, fence cutter, etc...
maybe booth a sword and swordgun
Gunblade from Final Fantasy!!!! <br>http://www.google.ca/search?q=gunblade&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;hl=en&amp;tab=wi&amp;biw=1280&amp;bih=910
yeah!!!!!!! <br>
wow can u do this with other guns
<p>Is great see many good ideas together in a single weapon, I want to build one but instead a shotgun (for not breaking the law) I'll use a crossbow, the arrows can be reused several times, even with diferent types of arrowheads.</p>
Yea and how accurate is that compass. I applaud you creativeness but u have alot to learn
<p>Awesome. I did a similar project a few years ago with an 870, buy I like where you took this better. The ONLY thing I would change would be to add a separate compass. That compass on the switch of your flashlight can not be counted on since it has a big hunk of metal below it and worse the negative end of a battery beneath it, in the flashlight, making the compass completely unreliable. If it's removable that would work.</p><p>Any time you use a compass, you should have any large source of metal as far away as possible. That's why when I taught survival and land nav, you always sling or hold your weapon opposite of the hand you are taking an azimuth reading with. A weapon like a shotgun or rifle within a foot of a compass will pull the azimuth off by up to 15 degrees which can put you miles off your intended rally point </p>
I don't think you can stab with the bayonet

About This Instructable




Bio: Survival, Preparedness and Bushcraft School located in central Indiana. Visit the blog for more info...
More by willowhavenoutdoor:How to Build the Ultimate Survival Shotgun 
Add instructable to: