Shotgun Maintenance Tips for the Survivalist Jack of All Trades 12-27-2013

  Despite the failure of legislation for increased background checks earlier this year, reported that people are still buying guns and ammo in record numbers. The backlog of guns on order were at more than two million for the first time in history which was a 40% increase from the previous quarter and almost a 100% increase from the year before. The site notes that America is “weaponizing” itself at a pace that is unheard of, with the units produced surpassing a half million in each quarter, an unprecedented event, as Zerohodge and NBC News highlights.

Why the Shotgun is Important for the Survivalist

Most knowledgeable survivalists are aware that the shotgun is one of the most important (if not the number one) weapon to have in a survival toolkit. Just a few of its uses include:

  • Self-defense in a tight space- A shotgun was so effective in the closed-in trenches of World War I that Germany even protested their use and threatened to execute troops who possessed them. Because they are customizable, the length of the barrel can be modified to increase performance in an enclosed space, according to
  • More versatile ammunition- A shotgun can fire rounds that other small arms typically cannot. Other weapons are often more expensive while deploying a less lethal round. The shotgun is the only weapon that can fire both a bird shot used for small game as well as shots to defend from violent encounters, without inflicting death or serious harm.
  • More readily available and less expensive- Shotguns are generally cheaper than most rifles and easier to find. They are available at most discount superstores across the nation for less than $300, as you can see for yourself at
  • Easier maintenance- Proper maintenance of any gun is a necessity, but compared to other types of guns, a survivalist shotgun is relatively low-maintenance.

One of the Best Survivalist Shotguns

Survivalists often list the Remington 870 as one of the best shotguns to own, according to It’s sold millions since it was introduced over a half century ago. This model can be easily used for defending yourself or your family, as well as to hunt for food including deer, quail, or turkeys.

The Remington 870 has been a favorite among military members and hunters, as it is extremely adaptable and capable of enduring the toughest environments from the heat of the jungle and the salt of the ocean, to the frigid cold of the arctic. It was built for durability and has an especially long service life.

Emily with the Remington 870

Why Cleaning and Maintenance is Essential

Just because you own a reliable, durable shotgun, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to clean and maintain it. Every time you head out with your gun, there is at least a fairly reasonable chance it’s going to get dirty with exposure to the elements as well as dirt and debris. It can quickly develop moisture in hard-to-reach areas. Consider what your clothes generally look like after a day of hunting in the woods. You wouldn’t just put them away like that, would you?

Not only will cleaning your gun improve its accuracy and reliability, a properly lubed and cleaned weapon will shoot better and have a decreased chance of malfunctioning, as explains. Not properly firing is the last thing you want to have happen when you need to defend yourself or someone else. It will also give you the opportunity to detect small problems before they become a much bigger issue.

Proper Shotgun Maintenance

Fortunately, shotguns have a modular design which allows individual parts to be cleaned, repaired, and replaced when necessary. Knowing how to break one down and put it back together, as well as having a stock of replacement parts, is important for proper maintenance. One of the most essential pieces to have is an Apple Rubber o-ring. This is a military grade rubber seal that helps to ensure continued optimal operation of the shotgun, without negatively affecting its accuracy.

Regular cleaning requires wiping down the interior and exterior of the shotgun with a silicon-based cloth after each time you’re out in the field. You should also check the barrel and the choke tube for any moisture or residue. Optimally, a light coat of gun oil should be placed on it after cleaning. If your firearm was exposed to extreme conditions, such as being dropped in a wetland area, rinse it out with clean water thoroughly as soon as you can. Use an air compressor to get it completely dry as rust or corrosion can build up quickly, as recommends.

At the end of the day, don’t place the shotgun in its case. Instead, allow it to air dry overnight to ensure no moisture remains. When it’s not being used for a long period, such as in the off-season, store it in a cool, dry place.


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Photos on flickr