Defense / Security / Safety

SHTF One Gun Defense by Greg Rentchler, Editor-at-Large


I’ve been spending a lot of time at my BOL thinking about a one-gun solution for defending the family in time of SHTF. After much discussion with my survival family and colleagues, we collectively concluded that there is no such thing as a one-gun solution to address the plethora of variations of circumstances involved in a SHTF scenario.

Because times are tough and getting tougher, I decided that I would attempt to create a simple, cheap, and versatile weapon system, consisting of just one gun. The accompanying photos should give you an idea of what I have put together in hopes that many will see the attributes and limitations to this problem.

Let’s be clear. I don’t have all the answers. But I do have a background that that should legitimize my conclusions. So, just consider these words from a guy that wants to share an idea, based on a lifetime of firearms use, study and instructing.

You’ll immediately see that I have chosen a shotgun for my “one-gun option” or (OGO). The gun is a 12 gauge Mossberg/Maverick HS-12 , over/under, 18.5 inch improved cylinder barrel chokes(size of opening at end of barrel or “muzzle”). The gun is equipped with two picatinny rails, one fixed under the bottom barrel and the other on the top rear of the receiver. This is a clever rail on the receiver. The rail is cut thru with a “V”, allowing a sighted picture thru the rail to the front sight, which is fiber optic, thereby creating a very bright, clear, accurate sight picture!


My general premise here is that a shotgun is the most versatile type of firearm produced. Let me tell you why:

  • a wide range and type of ammo available to shotguns make it capable of taking game from birds/rabbits/squirrels(with birdshot), to coyotes/2-4 legged(buckshot), to larger mammals as elk/ moose/bear (slugs, either solid or hollow point). Author’s note– I once killed a Corvette with a shotgun using a slug. What a surprise to the driver dirtbag and unfortunate for the owner.
  • ease of use- simple design, break open action, slide safety, manually activated triggers
  • shotguns can be used as less than lethal devices (bean bag or rubber rounds)
  • less expensive than assault rifles and many handguns.
  • reliability+
  • ammo available in every store and every farmhouse
  • accuracy is very good to excellent with sabot slugs
  • extreme foot pounds of energy at close distance and with slugs at distance
  • most terminal firearm made- some restrictions( I know, how terminal does a firearm need to be)
  • can launch line, signal device, fire starter, club, water portage!

Now for building this gun, I enhanced it considering my thoughts for its use as a SHTF weapon:

I immediately test fired the gun for reliability, accuracy(where it printed with shot and slugs). Then, I applied camo colors using wide shoelaces to break up the paint and outline. A 200 lumen tac light was attached to the forward rail. I felt this gun should remain simple and effective. The light gives the operator surprise to the target and a very quick sight picture for same. A side saddle type of ammo carrier was affixed the the stock(L or R side) for backup reloading and as important, the ammo is a mix of #4 buck, 00 buck and slugs. The gun is rugged and reliable. A sling could be attached easily but is not necessary on this 6.5 pound weapon. The butt stock is hollow reducing weight and allowing for emergency storage .


You could even put a bayonet on the muzzle using the fixed bottom rail! You might note from the photo that I keep two rounds secured by rubber band at the muzzle end of the barrels. Those two rounds are bird shot that I keep for quail egg eating crows in the area. The gun is fast to action, easy to lash down, safe, simple and powerful.


If you look very closely on the butt stock, you will see a distinctive “Z” painted in bright green.

I hope you have enjoyed this offering as much as I do reading and discussing yours!! Be safe and Train!


” be the victor not the victim”

Author Bio

Nevada’s Southwest Tactical Inc. is a unique, multi-faceted security group with proven expertise. Our mission is to facilitate successful solutions for our clients. The president of SWT, Mr. Greg Rentchler has vast experience in the defense industry as a Security Manager for four major contractors and Project Security Manager for defense technology programs such as Tomahawk Cruise Missile, Advanced Cruise Missile, Stinger and the northern test ranges in Nevada.

By Damian Brindle

How To Effortlessly Get Prepared For Emergencies Of All Kinds In Only 5 Minutes A Day... Fast, Easy, And Inexpensively... In Less Than ONE Single Month... By Following An Expert In The Field: Discover My 5 Minute Survival Blueprint And Get Prepared Today.

3 replies on “SHTF One Gun Defense by Greg Rentchler, Editor-at-Large”

The gun that settled the west was the shotgun ……….but in those days , they didnt have to worry about high power and fire volume semi autos ……times have changed .

Ruger mini 30 . Small , Mid range caliber , light weight , more ammo in the pack , like a shotgun , it doesn’t ” look ” like a military weapon .

While I concur that the shotgun is the best all around survival weapon, I would not choose and over/under model in that the individual is limited to only 2 shots. I think a pump or semi-automatic, especially with and extended magazine tube, is the most versatile SHTF weapon. I would follow with my top 5 guns in a TEOTWAWKI arsenal: 1)Shotgun (.12 or .20 GA, to tolerance).
2) .22 LR (Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 60). 3) Handgun (.357 MAG – rural, .45 ACP – urban). 4) Modern Sporting Rifle in .223/5.56mm (M4/AR-15/Mini-14). 5) Bolt or Lever Action in .308 WIN, 30-06, 30-30.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *