The Survivalists are coming!!! The Survivalists are coming!!!
During the last decades of the 20th century there existed a movement of individuals who believed in being prepared for any contingency. They stockpiled food, water, medical supplies, sanitation supplies, books, firearms and ammunition. These people were often mis-portrayed in movies and the press as paranoid and or homicidal nutbags. In the years leading up to the year 2000 survivalism suddenly became fashionable as fears of the “Y2K Bug” manifested themselves and were hyped by the media.
Fortunately for the world, and thanks in no small part to the efforts of a lot of geeks out there, the Y2K bug never surfaced in the way we had been led to believe. Unfortunately for Survivalism the Y2K bug never surfaced in the way we had been led to believe. Survivalists once again became “those paranoid and/or homicidal nutbags” and Survivalism became something that was laughed at.
Then came September 11th 2001, followed by hurricane Katrina in August of 2005 and people once again began to consider survivalism or as it is more politically correctly known “preparedness” or “self-reliance.” Once again companies, blogs, websites and forums that cater to survivalism are seeing an upsurge in business.
Joining the ranks of companies catering to these individuals is Mossberg. Known for quality, but inexpensive firearms. They have introduced their JICÂ system (pdf) which is a nice yet incomplete survival system built around Mossberg’s well known Model 500 shotgun.
There is not much bad that can be said about the Mossberg 500 shotgun. It is robust and reliable, and what flaws it usually comes with (usually just a rough action) from the factory improve with use. The problem I have is this particular configuration and application of the shotgun. First off I’ll start by saying pistol grips are just about worthless on a Serious Social Purposes shotgun. You can’t shoulder them for accurate fire, and the pistol grip on the Mossberg makes it hard to manipulate the tang mounted safety. Meaning there is a good chance this weapon will be carried off-safe most of the time. Not a good thing!
As far as survival weapons go, the shotgun has it’s place but not as a primary weapon. You have limited range, HEAVY ammunition, abusive recoil (to the inexperienced shooter), and contrary to popular belief it still has to be aimed like a rifle as it’s pattern is somewhat small at effective combat distances. (Those who doubt the previous claim can check out The Box Of Truth for confirmation.) If I were to purchase one of these kits I would add a standard stock with a screwdriver so I could install it when I opened the tube.
The “case” the kit comes in is probably the best part of it. With a little desiccant the contents will remain rust free (I’d get the mariner finish anyway) and it can be stored almost anywhere. It can even be cached as was quite the rage during the Clinton Presidency when the hoplophobes and their willing accomplices in the Democrat controlled congress were pushing every law they could think of to curtail the Second Amendment rights of U.S. Citizens.
At some later point I will discuss in depth firearms for survival applications, but for now I just wanted to offer my opinion on this package deal from Mossberg. While I think it is a great idea, my opinion is that Mossberg missed a few things in the execution of the idea.