Lets take a look at the Grizzly as a survival gun. A survival gun can mean different things to different people but in the context of this Blog post a survival gun is a firearm that you might take camping or hiking in the wilderness or perhaps carry in your truck, boat or plane in case you are stranded. First lets ask what qualities you would want in a firearm for this purpose.
(1) Reliability. Its no good if it wont work. The Remington 870 action is one of the best shotgun actions available so we know the design is good. Now as to the quality and reliability of the Grizzly only time will tell. So far the limited shooting I have done with the Grizzly has been without incident but more use is needed.
(2) Light weight and handy. You will not carry a firearm with you if its too big and awkward. The Grizzly gets good marks on this one. Its short and handy so it wont get all caught up in tree branches and brush. With a sling you can still work, climb and generally do what you need to without resorting to leaning it up against a tree someplace. I can tell you from experience how tempting it is to put your gun aside when you are struggling to work in the bush.
(3) Versatility. In a survival situation you may need a firearm to do many jobs. Well a 12ga is probably the most versatile gun ever invented. All you need is a few different kinds of shells in your pocket. Small shot like #4 #5 or #6 for small game. A buckshot load will defend you against large predators or get you a deer at close range. It is also a good signal gin as a 12ga is nice and loud and you can get flares for it. Now you can also shoot slugs out of the Grizzly but I have not had good luck with that so far. I believe its an issue with the front bead sight being so low. I am going to change the front sight at some point and will let you know how that works out.
(4) Ammunition Capacity. This sounds important and it is true that the more shots you have the better. However in real life practical terms it really is not as important as it sounds. I have over 30 years hunting experience and can tell you that its the first shot that counts. Most game that I have taken in my life went down on the first shot. I have on occasion got something with the second shot but I cant think of a single time when a third shot was needed. Animals move fast and disappear quickly. With the exception of waterfowl hunting most people who take a 3rd shot are doing it out of desperation and frustration. As to defending your self against predators. 3 shots with a 12ga should do the job. If you cant drop a charging bear with 3 shots from this gun you probably cant do it with any gun.
Self Defence against human predators is another use that people often suggest for the Grizzly in fact its the most often suggested use. I think that we can all agree that it has some value in this area. It really comes down to the 3 shots issue. Are you comfortable with just 3 shots? I can tell you when looking at the statistics on gun fights that most bad situations are over quickly with just a few shots fired. 3 shots from a skilled person with a 12ga will resolve most situations one way or another. In fact just looking at a Grizzly is intimidating and I would bet a lot of attackers would take one look at this nasty little gun and head for safer pastures. I myself would feel comfortable using it in this role but I know others would not agree with me. Its a matter of taste.
The myth of the Sawed Off Shotgun. One little issue that I should touch on is the myth in popular culture that a sawed off shotgun can literally spray the room with shot. This is of course silly as the photo below illustrates quite clearly. Even at 25 yards you can only expect about a two foot spread of shot. That's is hardly going to clear the room.
|At 25 yards the shot spread is just a tad over two ft.|
So get yourself a Dominion Arms Grizzly. Its a handy little gun.