This is a sequel to SHTF ammo.
IMHO, it depends. What has happened for the SHTF? Is this a personal SHTF, like the druggies from down the street are breaking in your door to take everything they can? Or has there been an economic meltdown, like the Great Depression? Are we talking about massive riots? Or are we (oohhhh) Talking about the ' Zombie apocalypse'?
All joking aside, what I'm asking is,"How long" and "HOW VIOLENT"? A 'break in' is relatively short term , less than an hour from beginning to end but by definition violent (they aren't there to borrow a cup of sugar). Massive riots, Days and also violent by definition. The Great Depression, ALMOST A DECADE, but not as violent (I'll get back to this).
Please remember these are MY OPINIONS.
In a riot or a break in, I can think of few weapons that will serve as well as a 12 gauge pump shotgun. Why? Buckshot will not penetrate as much as rifle or pistol rounds will, so the risk of injuring an Innocent is smaller (BTW, why do so many people think BIRDSHOT is a defensive round? Hunters don't use it on feathered turkeys, why would someone think it would work on mammalian turkeys?).
Another point is that the spread of buck shot at 15 feet is only 2-4 inches. At 60 feet about 10-15 inches. So the whole, "you really don't have to aim a shotgun" is idiotic monkey poo.
Another myth is that racking the slide will TERRORIZE someone. BULLCRAP. I've been around lots of people when a slide has been racked and no one lost control of their bladder. If druggies are the problem, they won't care and if it is a riot they won't hear.
In an economic meltdown..... Yes and no. One of a shotguns main strengths lays in its being 'a jack of all trades, master of none' except for hunting small game (where the shotgun reigns supreme). Nothing will keep game on the table like a shotgun. Many people survived the Great Depression because a hunter used a shotgun.
The other main strength is that few things will stop a violent person as quickly or as well as 00 buckshot.
It's weakness, however, HAVE to be considered. Shotgun ammo is HEAVY. a 3 inch slug round weighs about 1.7 oz. a 2 & 3/4 inch 00 buck round about 1.5 oz. So for the same weight I could carry 4 TIMES the amount of .223 or DOUBLE the number of .308.
Most shotguns only hold 5 to 9 rounds in their magazine.
Shotguns have a LONG reload time. In a pump shotgun rounds must be individually loaded.
You need to decide for yourself if they are obsolete.
One last thing about the Great Depression verses a modern economic meltdown. We've all heard our parents and/or grand parents talk about how the neighborhoods were MUCH tighter and friendlier 'back in the day'. Does anyone think that our neighborhoods will improve with the constant stress that would be prevalent in our lives?
My grandfather got through the Great Depression with only a double barrel 16 gauge shotgun. I think he would be out gunned massively now.
Dan Emplit WBFD