This Survival Shotgun Can Fire 8 Different Calibers and It Fits in Your B.O.B.

Travis Pike
By Travis Pike June 16, 2017 08:23

This Survival Shotgun Can Fire 8 Different Calibers and It Fits in Your B.O.B.

Do you know what the most versatile firearm is for survival?

The single barreled shotgun.

Why the single barreled shotgun?

A single barreled 12-gauge shotgun is by far the simplest weapon in any arsenal, and often one of the most affordable options for any shotgun. A used 12-gauge single shot can be had for under a hundred bucks. They are also legal in all fifty states without any specific laws outside of barrel and overall length.  Because of the simple nature of the single barrel shotgun it is very reliable. There are no gas tube issues, short stroking, or jams to worry about with a single barrel shotgun. It’s a very simple, but also effective design.

Single barreled shotguns are also quite lightweight. Most folks are going to be running a rifle as their main defensive firearm because it’s the best choice for a fight. A single barreled shotgun compliments the rifle by being lightweight and easy to carry, as well as more versatile when it comes to hunting animals, or killing pests. Single barreled shotguns with full length barrels also tend to be much more compact that a pump action or semi-automatic shotguns. They lack a magazine tube so they are usually thinner as well.

A 12-gauge shotgun can be used to take game as small as squirrels, and as large as bears. The only change necessary is the ammunition you’ve loaded into the weapon. Buckshot, birdshot, and slugs all change the overall strengths of the weapon. Each of these ammo types opens up different options in terms of animals that can be hunted. The shotgun has been a trusted hunting companion for generations for good reason. They simply work.

A single barrel shotgun isn’t the best defensive weapon, but is an excellent utility weapon to compliment a fighting rifle. I specifically chose the single barrel shotgun because of its lightweight, its simplicity, and its ability to use caliber adapters.

Related: How And Where To Store Ammo

Caliber Adapters?

Yes, caliber adapters. Caliber adapters are metal inserts that are the same width of a 12-gauge shotgun shell. They allow you to fire multiple calibers through one gun. Some of the caliber adapters are the exact same size as a 12-gauge shell, others are longer and feature rifling to guarantee accuracy. A 12-gauge shotgun can easily handle 20 gauge, 16 gauge, 28 gauge, and 410 with these adapters, as well as almost centerfire pistol calibers

Let’s start with the idea you do not own a single barrel shotgun already, and this idea interests you. A gun manufacturing company already thought about it. Chiappa, specially designed something called the M6. The M6 is an over under weapon with a 12-gauge shotgun on the top, and a 22 LR rifle as the lower barrel. The weapon folds in half, and Chiappa makes their own adapter system.

As a 12 gauge/22LR weapon it’s already superbly handy, and can accomplish a wide variety of different missions. With the X Caliber adapters, you can convert the 12 gauge portion to 8 other calibers. This includes the 380 ACP, 9mm Luger, 38 Special/357 Magnum, 40 S&W, 44 magnum, 45 ACP, 410/45 Colt, and 20 Gauge. The pistol caliber inserts are all fully rifled for reliable accuracy. Do you know what is the best SHTF ammo to stockpile?

The system sells as a pair, and gives you the ability to fire 12 different rounds from a single weapon when you add the adapters and the 12 gauge and 22 LR barrels. The M6’s folding ability is quite handy, and the rifle is super lightweight. The weapon is also outfitted with a short rail system for attaching an optic if you want one. The biggest downside to the weapon is the recoil from 12 gauge is quite stout due to how light the gun is.

Related: DIY Gun Solvent

Choices

Luckily Chiappa is not the only game in town when it comes to adaptable 12 gauge shotguns. It does bear mentioning that Chiappa sells the adapters separate if you already own a 12-gauge single shot shotgun and like the Chiappa setup.

Another company does produce a variety of adapters and is known as Short Lane. Short Lane offers a ton of different adapters in a wide variety of calibers and styles. You can go smooth bore to save some money, or rifled for a little more accuracy a little more money. They even offer different lengths of adapters to maximize velocity and accuracy, or super short rifled options for easy carry. They produce adapters for common shotgun calibers, as well as almost all popular pistol rounds.

The Short Lane adapters even have black powder options, and reloadable black powder shot shells. This adds even more variety to your single barreled shotgun, which can be lifesaving in a pinch.

These adapters aren’t just for carrying and using tons of different calibers for different solutions. What they are used for is scavenging. Finding ammunition in a caliber you don’t traditionally own is pretty much useless.  With these caliber adapters that useless box of ammo can have new life.

Downsides

Downsides to the single barrel shotgun and adapters are present. As we said before a single barrel shotgun is a poor defensive weapon. It’s too slow to fire and way too low of a capacity. Most are quite light, and have some substantial recoil with powerful slugs, or full on 3-inch buckshot.

The adapters often have to squeeze into the barrels and can feel tight. However, they are a lot looser than a regular barrel. This is going to limit their effective and accurate range, even when rifled. The good news is they’ll still be usable at twenty to fifty yards due to the barrel moving just slightly. Sure, they aren’t perfect, but they are affordable, and can give you a real edge in a SHTF situation.

One Shot One Kill

The Single barreled shotgun is a surprisingly versatile weapon, and one I think should be in every prepper’s arsenal. Even without caliber adapters the ability to use buck, bird, and slugs make a light and compact gun a versatile hunting option.

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Travis Pike
By Travis Pike June 16, 2017 08:23
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41 Comments

  1. Wannabe June 16, 13:40

    If you are willing to spend eight hundred bucks. I would if I could afford it. I can reload every caliber it can be converted to. Would be awesome to have. Give it two years and it will be down to five hundred.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jess June 16, 14:38

    I picked up a double barrel coach gun made in Russia for a bit over $350. Then purchased the .410, 20 and 16 gage adapters. That gave me four guns in one.

    Reply to this comment
  3. left coast chuck June 16, 16:48

    There is much positive to say about the single shot, multi adaptor approach to fire arms. While I haven’t had a chance to put it into practice, I believe a .410 fired in a 12 ga. will not be as loud as a .410 fired in a .410. The barrel length will act as a sound suppressor. Not as effectively as a real suppressor, but still, a suppressor.

    That said, this combination is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Wannabe says it is $800 for the rifle and barrel set. For $800 here in the peepuls republik one can buy a 12 ga Mossberg 500 pump shotgun, a 10-22 Ruger 10-shot semi-auto .22 and for $100 more include a S&W Shield in 9mm and be far better armed than with the Chiappa. If I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, that would be the combo I would choose rather than the Chiappa. It seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem.

    It is true if you have a 9mm pistol and stumble on a cache of .45 acp ammo it is tough to fire in a 9mm. However, it does have trade value. It can be traded for 9mm. It can be traded for food. There are those who advise against trading firearms or ammo and that is advice to heed well. There are dangers in trading firearms and ammo. There are dangers in trading anything because if you have stuff to trade the implication is that you must have more stuff that is valuable. In an EOTW scenario, anyone who has valuable stuff is going to be a target of those folks who believe they are entitled to everyone else’s stuff. You just have to trade from a position of strength. You have to exercise caution. You have to present yourself as vigilant and willing to do violence to those who would steal from you. Let’s face it, just showing your face in an ETOW situation presents danger but people are going to have to trade and exchange services and so maybe not right away, but within time, trade and mercantilism will again take place. Even among the Indians, where each individual tribe generally didn’t associate with other tribes trading took place. That’s how obsidian would wind up thousands of miles from its source. That’s how clam shells wound up far inland. I have 9mm and need .45 acp. You have .45 acp and need 9mm. We may not fully trust each other, but we will for the purposes of trade.

    One final point in favor of having a single shot shotgun, it is a good gun for lending. You have a neighbor who doesn’t have any firearms and needs food. You lend him the single shot and five shells in exchange for half the game he harvests. Win-win. Yes, he might decide to shoot you with the single shot, but if he is not trustworthy, you don’t deal with him to begin with. If he doesn’t come back, you haven’t lost a great deal. A single shot 20 ga is fine for small game and birds. In our neighborhood we have several murders of crows and at least three flocks of asian doves. I view them as MREs on the wing. Eat crow? No way! Well, buddy, you just ain’t hungry enough yet. We have lots and lots of possum. Ever skinned a possum? They are incredibly greasy. Not gonna eat one? You aint hungry enough either. See that feral cat? Meat ration on four feet. That pit bull that the neighbors all are afraid of? Brown dog is reputed to be tastier than black dog. All can be easily taken with a 20 ga. and number 6 shot or number 4 shot. So there is value in a single shot 20 ga. if you already have a more useful shotgun.

    It is one of the favorite weapons of holdup robbers. You can cut the barrel down with a simple tube cutter and take a saw and some sand paper to the stock. It’s fierce to hold on to when you fire it, but it is highly concealable. That’s what the gang used when they kidnapped the judge in NorCal from his courtroom. They taped the muzzle to his head with duct tape. With the hammer cocked and a finger on the trigger, law enforcement really was reluctant to take out the bad guy holding the shotgun. They did after he blew the judge’s head off with the shotgun. You can put it in your waistband and down your leg and it conceals quite well. Wait until after the end of the world arrives before so modifying your single shot, however. If you do it now without a $200 federal permit and lots and lots of paper work and the approval of the local sheriff who is liable to have several really probing questions about your need for such a device, you will be facing both state and federal charges which have potentially severe sentences. Of course, if you have already made up your mind you are going to kill a state judge, what’s another couple of charges?

    Reply to this comment
  4. JustHere999 June 16, 17:05

    What a waste of cash, for $100 you can buy a single shot 12 gauge and for less than another $100, you can buy adapters.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Johnboy June 16, 17:05

    Where can I purchase this versatile inserts ? both for the 30/30 and for the 12 gauge. I have a over [ 30/30 WINCHESTER ]with an under 12 gauge SAVAGE STEVENS. I searched for 30 years to find this gun, which is NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE. The availability of this weapon may be more common than I realize, but this is the ONLY one I have ever found. It is my # one gun to go to.

    Reply to this comment
  6. left coast chuck June 16, 17:49

    Unfortunately, Stevens is not making the .30-30/12 ga any more and they have almost achieved collector status. In my view, it was the most useful of the combo guns. You had two really useful calibers, .30-30 which is a true hunting cartridge and is effective out to, perhaps, 150 yards and the 12 ga. which can take anything in North America with the proper ammo. In addition, both barrels were good defensive rounds. You zero your sights for the .30-30 and the 12 ga. will be on target. I think manufacturers are missing the boat in not manufacturing that combo again. I think it would be a big seller. However no manufacturer has solicited my marketing advice. It also was capable of being taken down quite simply into four basic parts so one could stuff it into a large pack if one had to.

    Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe June 17, 02:03

      Hope to meet you one day. Your info is very helpful. Maybe our paths will cross one day.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck June 17, 03:47

        Thanks for the kind words. I try to make my comments cogent and positive, even if I don’t necessarily agree with the advice proffered or I think it is lacking in actual basis. Sometimes posters get carried away with their posts. A while back one posted, “The only .223 worth considering is Brand X. The rest are junk.”

        Well, that’s not really helpful. There are many fine .223/5.56 rifles on the market. To someone who, perhaps is not familiar with firearms, that could be misleading info. A more helpful comment, if true, would be, “I have fired XXX rounds through my Brand X 5.56 and it has run just like a Timex watch.” Then support it with how easy it is to maintain or how well constructed its magazines are, how ergonomic the controls are. Those are useful comments.

        Are you in exile on the Left Coast in the Peepuls Republik of Kallyforniya like I am? I adopted the Left Coast moniker quite a few years ago before Kallyforniya took its violent turn to the left. Now I feel almost as if I live in England with its coddling of criminals and penalties for law-abiding citizens. I have read that in England if you just set fire to a dumpster or slap your girlfriend around or get in a fight and break up furniture in a bar the cops give you a yellow card and a talking to. If you do something more serious like send somebody to the hospital they give you a red card and you have to go down to the local police station where the constable in charge will give you stern talking to. I don’t know if it is true or not, it sounds too much like soccer, but given the UK’s stance on self-defense, it doesn’t make me say, “Naw, never happen.”

        Reply to this comment
        • Wannabe June 17, 16:10

          I reside in Texas. Born in Ohio but moved at the age of twenty and have been here since. Many people from cali move here for financial reasons but unfortunately bring California thinking with them. If you ever decide to leave then you will be welcome here. You are not a typical Californian. I’m sure there are many more like you though. You guys have to keep sanity over there lol.

          Reply to this comment
  7. vocalpatriot June 17, 11:09

    most versatile? how fast can you lay out a follow up shot? thought so, not so versatile.

    Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe June 17, 16:20

      Yes very versatile. If you reload ammo then this would be a very cheap and reliable means of test firing many calibers of bullets. Fun to shoot and the idea is in a survival scenario. Practice enough and shooting can become very proficient with a one shot one kill. With several inserts you can pick up ammo lying around normally you can’t shoot and put it to good use especially hunting. To me there are too many positives to not get this platform of firearms. I’m not going to purchase this gun price is too high. Going to do what is suggested above and get a hundred dollar single shot twelve gauge then go from there with different caliber inserts. Great way to teach kids how to shoot as well.

      Reply to this comment
      • vocalpatriot July 15, 23:38

        yeah, not gonna agree with you on that there, left coast, the same amount of practice with a pump shotgun will always get you faster than with a single shot. reliability IS there in a pump, no other attributes of the single shot can put it above a 12 ga. pump gun and that is the simple fact.

        Reply to this comment
  8. Illini Warrior June 17, 14:39

    except for a long distance GHB inclusion – I don’t see any practical purpose for a break open shotgun and a selection of adapters (other gauge or rifle/pistol calibers) ….

    Reply to this comment
  9. John Henry June 17, 18:57

    OH, PLLLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAAZZZZZEEEEEE
    This article is so painful to read. Please rewrite it with corrections. For starters, shotguns are identified by GAUGE NOT CALIBER. If you don’t know something that basic you shouldn’t be writing.

    Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe June 17, 21:31

      John, the point of calibers is the conversion of shot gun to rifle/pistol calibers via the individual adapters. This makes for a very versatile weapon system.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Speed Bump June 17, 19:47

    Single barrel shotguns are the most utilitarian firearms we have. They have been with us since the inception of firearms, and will remain so until the end. They serve their purpose well in that of a lightweight and reliable tool of game harvesting, and can in most cases, also serve to protect us if needed.

    They are “Bank Vault” reliable, and with minimal care will outlive several generations of owners. Their place is assured in a world gone upside down. Regardless of what firearm is in your hands in your time of need, there is always Better to be had. The important thing to realize is that it’s not the type of weapon you are employing, but tactics that rule the day.

    Dishonoring and condemning a single shot firearm as being ineffective could very well be the weapon that plants you in the dirt! Those that don’t believe this have been watching too much television.

    I’d much rather face a gang of Ghetto Youths with AR style rifles, than an old and grizzled farmer with his single barrel 12ga!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 18, 00:14

      Speed Bump: I agree too. My first shotgun, as with many folks my age, was a single shot. A H&R in 16 ga. I still have it. The action now, 60 years later is slick and smooth and the trigger will let the hammer fall with just the slightest caress. If I have a couple of shells in my left hand I can open, load and close the action almost as fast as someone can rack a pump action. Without tools it breaks down into 3 pieces and can be stowed in a backpack quite easily. Getting sprayed in the face with the brains of the leader who just took a high base charge of #4 16 ga from a full choke barrel should give a gang pause to consider, especially if the holder of the gun already has another round in the chamber. For someone who wants a cheap, light weight, simple to operate, 100% reliable home defense weapon, the 12 ga. single shot is an ideal choice. In the 19th century and into the 20th century most of the farms in the country had a 12 ga. single shot leaning up against the wall by the back door and it served admirably for home defense as well as taking care of coyotes and other varmints trying to take small farm animals and poultry. In an ETOW situation, getting shot is going to be a lot more serious than it is presently. First of all, no 911 to rush you to a fully staffed ER. The senator who got shot this past week would have been dead by now in an EOTW scenario. Assuming that the initial wound is not fatal from loss of blood or shock, the next big problem is infection. in an EOTWS antibiotics are rapidly going to be non-existent. Infection will be a lot more dangerous than is is now. Up until WWII, most of the battle casualties were due to sepsis rather than an initial fatal wound. While a single shot is not my first choice, I wouldn’t scoff at someone armed with one, especially if he has owned it for a long time and put hundreds of boxes of shells through it.

      Reply to this comment
      • Speed Bump June 18, 02:46

        Agree sir!

        I have actually witnessed Duck Hunters armed with lowly single shot shotguns keep up with others who were running pump guns. Those that know, know the old “knuckle sandwich” method of loading these guns.

        A shell between each finger nestled against the knuckles, and without taking the gun away from the shoulder, with a little practice a man can dump five shells with lightning speed!

        I’m fast, but not as fast as the ole timers of my youth! Back in those days, you were either fast, or a vegetarian…

        Reply to this comment
  11. Wannabe June 17, 21:33

    Agreed. Just price double barrel shot guns. Expensive because of the demand to own one.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Good ol boy in Texas June 17, 21:40

    Mr Pike I see you did not do your home work when you wrote this this article. First the picture you displayed is not a single barrel 12 gauge. It’s a 12 gauge over and 22 cal. under. Cost over $500.00. Also that is not counting the adapters. If we were all rich like you Mr. Pike then It would’n matter. Mr. Pike I don’t think you are much of a prepper. Please don’t come to Texas because I don’t want to take care of you!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 17, 23:54

      I hate making critical comments, but Good ole boy, it wold appear you learned to read in Kallyforniya schools. Mr. Pike starts out talking about single barrel shotguns. Then he moves on to the Chiappa 12 ga/ .22 combo gun. That’s what the picture is. Chiappa is marketing a complete set, the 12 ga./.22 combo gun together with 6 adaptors and a carrying bag as a complete set. While I don’t see me running out to buy one of these rigs, I can see some advantages not mentioned in the article. The .45 acp, the .380, the .38 special, all at muzzle velocities of less than 1,000 fps may well be so reduced in the sound of the report as to be the equivalent of a silenced gun. There is approximately 9 inches of empty barrel in front of the insert to help reduce the muzzle blast of those subsonic rounds. In a ETOW situation this could be a poor man’s sound suppressor weapon. I DON’T KNOW IF THAT IS ACTUALLY THE CASE. I suspect that it may be. I have a .410 insert for a 20 ga. that I have not yet tried mainly because I think .410 ammo is too expensive for what you get. I guess I am going to have to go buy some .410 and find out if that is actually the case. I guess I will also have to see if .45 Colt will fit in the insert too. Actually, the idea of .45 Colt fitting in the insert just occurred to me. Now my interest is really stirred. If I get that testing done before this list is taken down I will report on my findings in that regard.

      In the meantime, Good Ole Texas Boy, read the whole damned article. Don’t just look at the pictures. As the Old Gunny said, “Damn! I buy ’em all these books and all they do is look at the pictures.” Well, the actual expression had several more expletives in it than my quote which is the highly sanitized version.

      Reply to this comment
    • vocalpatriot July 31, 21:12

      And that goes for Az. we don’t need the extra work…this means you too, wannabe, just stay home.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Wannabe June 18, 00:12

    I’m curious, how many who post are under the influence of alcohol? Lol

    Reply to this comment
  14. Wannabe June 19, 17:31

    Does anyone know if there is a thirty carbine adapter?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 20, 05:47

      Wannabe: That raises some interesting thoughts. I wonder with a longer 30 carbine chamber if one could load a 150 gr. 30 caliber bullet fired through a 12 ga. barrel and have the equivalent of a 300 whisper? I think the 300 whisper is now called the 300 blackout or some such. Or better yet, just get a .300 blackout adaptor. Then you have a subsonic round that is accurate to 600 yards. It looks as if there is a Picatinney rail mounted on the gun, so it would be possible to put on a scope and zero it just for the .300 b/o. Of course, the best solution would be for Chiappa to mount a .300 b/o barrel instead of the .22 barrel. The Germans have long favored three barrel guns, two 12 ga. and a 8mm rifle barrel on top of the 2 -12 ga barrels. The are called Drilings, not Drillings as many Americans pronounce it but D R I L I N G from the German word dri which is 3. With a chamber adaptor in one of the 12 ga. barrels you would have three different calibers to choose from.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe June 20, 16:45

        That would be some interesting testing to see if that would work chuck. Couple things to keep in mind, the heavier the bullet the less powder you can use because of increased pressure issues. The thirty carbine is basically a pistol round used in a rifle weapons system. Not a lot of power behind them because it is a pistol round. So a heavier bullet with less powder usually means a slower speed and less impact. Would have to play with several different powders to see which gives the best cmp and ballistics. It would be cool to see the results maybe it would spark some interest for this caliber to go back into production. The 300 blackout/whisperer is an effective round within 200 yards anything past that it falls really fast. Great for cqb and maybe that thirty carbine might be the same idea

        Reply to this comment
        • Jess June 20, 16:51

          I didn’t order pistol or rifle adapters as I felt that accuracy would be chancy at best after 50 feet or so.

          Reply to this comment
        • Wannabe June 22, 01:25

          Cup not cmp. Cup = contents under pressure

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck June 22, 01:45

            Wannabe: CMP = Civilian Marksmanship Program where you can buy M1 Garands that have been armory checked for functionality. cup = copper units of pressure. An old system of measuring pressure by the crushing of copper pellets. The newer measuring system, pounds per square inch is more accurate. Gradually all the old cup measurements will be converted to psi measurements and all us old farts will be left wondering what that all means.

            Of course, “cup” has many meanings in various fields. For instance in urban zoning cup = conditional use permit. Which means the governmental wonks are giving you temporary permission to use your building the way you want to which permission they can revoke at will when they feel like it. In some fields it may mean contents under pressure, but in firing bullets it means copper units of pressure. Usually C.M.P. is caps and lots of times without periods. I can’t remember if cup is with periods or not, but to my recollection it is not and it is lower case letters. Could be wrong. Didn’t do any research before posting this.

            Reply to this comment
  15. left coast chuck June 22, 01:58

    Gauging CUP and LUP units is done with a special crusher gun, which uses pressure applied to a piston to crush a carefully calibrated copper or lead cylinder. The amount of crushing is compared to other crushing produced by different pressures in pounds per square inch. The crushing device has a hole in the chamber that is linked to a piston, and upon firing, this piston is actuated by the pressure of firing. The piston then acts on the calibrated cylinder, crushing it. The length of the crushed cylinder is measured and compared to a chart of lengths resulting from crushing cylinders with given amounts of pressure, and the corresponding force is the CUP or LUP pressure value. Copper is used for high pressure rifle and pistol rounds. Lead is used for low pressure shotgun rounds. There is also a chart for converting CUP and LUP to psi. The rest of the world used Newtons per square millimeter (or centimeter I can’t remember which) while the U.S. continues to march to a different drummer by using pounds per sq inch. It sometimes amazes me, the amount of trivia I have managed to pack into my limited memory banks. Sometimes it takes a while to dredge it up because apparently the data bits are scattered across my RAM and with a 4 bit memory, it takes a while to accumulate all the data. About 3:00 am tomorrow morning I will suddenly remember the rest of what I wanted to post.

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