If you have guns, it is wise to have some basic gunsmithing knowledge and tools. At the very least, you want to be able to maintain your firearms; it would be even better if you could make minor modifications and basic repairs without having to run to a possibly expensive or overworked professional.
For a short term, personal catastrophe, firearms are not always of great benefit. For a more widespread, longer term, catastrophe, replenishing your food stocks and defending yourself from those who have snipped the threads holding them to humanity become of significant importance. And in some of these cases, there is not much which is more effective than the appropriate firearm.
In this two part article, I take a look at perhaps the most versatile firearm choice, the ubiquitous shotgun.