Why shotshells are an important item to have for long-term survival

If your survival stockpile is secure enough to keep your family fed for a long-term disaster scenario, that’s one less thing to worry about. But have you thought about how you’re going to keep your family safe in a post-SHTF world? If you’re not sure what to do when it comes to guns and ammo, why not start with shotshells? (h/t to ReadyNutrition.com)

While the name may sound similar, shotshells are different from shotgun shells. However, both types of ammo operate based on one principle: They’re both types of cartridges for a pistol that is either “tamped” at the end or have an extension containing pellets to fire. These “pellets” are shot and they’re nothing like the pellets that come with a child’s plastic toy gun.

Shotshells are available in different calibers, from .22 to larger magnum handguns, like a .44 magnum. When using shotshells with a pistol, you throw out a cone of the shot or pellets of steel or lead for a wider dispersion. Shotshells let you use a pistol just like a shotgun, minus the bulk of the latter.

The four survival uses of shotshells

Did you know that shotshells have several survival uses?

  1. Home defense – If you want to boost your home defense, get a larger caliber gun, like a .45 ACP or a .44 magnum. Use this gun as a “close encounters home load” to minimize the danger to other people in the room if you miss with a shotshell. Once you decide on a caliber for your shotshell, buy a box and practice with them. Shotshells are affordable and you can purchase them at a gun store or a local outdoor sporting goods store. Remember, you can never have too much ammo. Keep some extra shotshells within reach, just in case. (Related: Simple strategies you can implement NOW to significantly improve your home security.)
  2. Non-lethal self-defense – You can use shotshells to defend yourself without needlessly killing your animal attackers, like a dog or a pack of wild animals that might charge at you when you’re out in the woods. Just fire off a shotshell as a warning, then shoot again if they keep approaching. If you don’t want to hurt your attacker, fire a shotshell in the dirt at close range before they reach you.
  3. Pest control or protection – You can use shotshells to target rats or rodents in the supplies you keep in your barn or shed. You can also use a pistol loaded with some shotshells to kill off a venomous snake, like a copperhead or a rattler, with a greater chance of success. The spread on the shot pattern can help you hit a target even if your aim is a little bit off.
  4. Survival hunting – When SHTF, you can use shotshells and a pistol to hunt, even if it’s not hunting season yet. Shotshells are perfect for smaller birds or animals that can get torn up or obliterated if you use a regular round from a handgun. When you’re in a survival situation, shotshells can give you just enough of an advantage so you can sneak up on a small flock of birds or a squirrel at close range.

While shotshells give pistols the firing power of a shotgun, they still have one drawback. When using shotshells in a semi-automatic pistol, the pressure won’t be strong enough to rack the slide enough to chamber another round. Because of this, only a revolver will ensure that you can fire rounds in succession. This will also depend on the make and model of your revolver, along with the cartridge size, to determine whether the hammer will go all the way to the rear if it’s a double-action revolver.

Keep a box of shotshells in your gear and when you’re outdoors so you can defend yourself no matter what happens.

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