Prepper Book Festival 9: Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Prepper Book Festival 9: Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to firearms, I admit to being a rank novice.  Even though I have had quite a bit of training, it has not been enough and I am smart enough to know it.  That being said, I do make an attempt to practice at the range whenever I can and in between I read and study.

Currently I am learning about shotguns. I have never used a shotgun so this next book in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9 is quickly bringing me up to speed.  Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide is the third volume in the PrepSmart series and like the others, it is a well written manual designed to educate and teach.  It is geared toward survival which makes it perfect for preppers.

Shotguns A Comprehensive Guide | Backdoor Survival

The author, Steve Markwith has a knack for explaining the more technical aspects of shotguns in a language that even a novice (like me) can understand.    Almost every page of Shotguns has photos which I consider a real bonus.

Steve is here today for his first Backdoor Survival interview.  In addition I have a copy of the print version of Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide up for grabs in a giveaway.  Enjoy the interview and then check in below to learn about the giveaway.

Interview with Steve Markwith, Author of SHOTGUNS A Comprehensive Guide

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

“The book” is really a series of Prepper-based firearms publications.

The first edition; “Survival Guns: A Beginner’s Guide” lays groundwork related to a practical assemblage of firearms. Guiding principles include reliability, availability of parts and ammunition, ease of maintenance, simplicity, common function, and affordability. This book starts with a hard look at safety and storage methods.

The various firearm types are also explored, ammunition is examined, and a ballistic tutorial helps clear up many misconceptions. Emphasis is placed on a survival mindset, tempered by reality.

While personal limits play a role, Murphy’s Law and KISS are two key principles relevant to everyone. Bottom line: anything that can go wrong will, so simple is good when things turn ugly. A “systems” approach is espoused whereby, as much as is possible, all firearms share similar function. The combination of familiar equipment, relevant training and ongoing practice translate to true competency.

Subsequent editions focus on specific weapon types in a prioritized sequence. The second edition, “Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide” is dedicated to a versatile defensive and subsistence tool, which few folks fully understand.

The third edition covers a useful training tool/provider: the rimfire rifle. The fourth examines the intriguing world of quiet, precision airguns. Upcoming books will address centerfire rifles; and last but not least, handguns.

Each type is part of a coordinated procurement strategy. Remember; the actual firearm constitutes only some of its overall cost, which also encompasses accessories, ammunition and gear. By sorting through the key pieces, an affordable inventory can be developed to meet our practical needs.

While a well thought out firearms collection can cover many bases, readers needn’t feel any obligation to go this route. Not all folks are gun people and some, whether out of choice or necessity, may opt for a bare-bones approach. In fact, one carefully chosen firearm can cover many needs without breaking the bank. The first two editions should help point such people in the right direction. The other books will be useful if future expansion is desired.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

Although I did my fair share, much of what the readers will see is based on experience managing firearms operations. Constant range time involves lots of shooters; along with firearms and equipment. It provides a great opportunity to see what works – and also what doesn’t. However, I have definitely spent time researching the availability of products, including their variations and costs.

How long did it take to write?

Well, right now two books are out; two more are in final composition; and another two are nearing completion. Besides lots of information, they contain plenty of photos. In other words, the process has been quite time-consuming. At this point (July, 2015), I’ve been on it for around a year and a half.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

First, that firearms ownership requires relentless attention to safe handling, as well as secure storage.

Second, since we’re probably not Rambo, “tacti-cool” choices aren’t necessarily our best ones. A dose of adrenaline, when mixed in with a complex system and marginal training, can result in a situation that ends badly. Many of us would be much better off with simpler designs, in deference to realities like limited practice opportunities.

Third, by believing in Murphy’s Law, we’ll understand that anything which can go wrong will go wrong – at the worst possible moment. Solid skill-sets are good insurance. Like an experienced driver in the midst of a skid, complete attention can be directed towards the hazard. Manipulation of any controls must be second nature so, like brake and gas pedals; it helps if they’re in familiar locations.

Bottom line: extra bells and whistles are spiffy but, when it comes down to practical firearm choices, much like prune juice, moderation helps. In either case your comfort level will be better.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I started shooting in my pre-teen years, on a junior rifle team. I was reloading shotgun shells by the time I was fourteen, at which point I was actively hunting. A couple of Army combat tours provided much insight on how to get killed – or nearly so – by unpleasant people.

Eventually, I assumed control of firearms operations for a large state agency, a position I held for more than twenty-five years. That profession, as well as constant sport shooting, provided valuable opportunities to evaluate firearms; equipment; training; and tactics. Having a number of great industry contacts and cadre didn’t hurt.

Eventually, I started writing on the side when opportunity permitted. Not too surprisingly, all of the published work has been related to hunting or shooting. Besides defensive topics, black-powder; arrows; and airgun pellets make the list. The freezer is normally full and it’s a rare day when something doesn’t go bang.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

Given our global uncertainty it could be just about anything, natural disasters aside.

Shelter will always be important, and mobility could be necessary. Beyond water, three new standard forms of currency could be food, fuel, and ammo. The latter is my niche.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

I’d hit the Prepper sites, invest in some books, and do a personal assessment.

Concerning defense and subsistence, the firearms series should help. From there try connecting to a local gun club. Most offer firearms safety courses that will cover the basics. From there, establish the goal of traveling to formalized training.

Do you have plans for another book?

The last two in the six-book series are keeping me busy at the moment, but time will tell…

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Thanks very much for the opportunity to share a few thoughts. As for the firearms subject, please commit to doing things right. As we all know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Be responsible and plan ahead…

The Giveaway

Steve Markwith has reserved a copy of Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide for this Book Festival Giveaway.  In addition, he has provided today’s giveaway question.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  If you are having difficulty with the Rafflecopter, attempt to clear your browser cache to see if that helps.  Instructions are here:  //  If that does not work, contact support at

The Final Word

As much as I would like to say I am well prepped when it comes to both home and personal defensive weapons, the truth is that I am not.  Sure, I have the gear, but my knowledge and skills have a long way to go before I can label myself “proficient”.

Steve’s first two books, including Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide, and Survival Guns, A Beginners Guide are valuable additions to the prepper library and I am honored to be able to present them for your consideration.

In closing, let us all take a cue from Steve and be responsible, plan ahead, and continue to keep the door of knowledge open.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide (PrepSmart Volume 3)

Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide is the second firearms book in the PrepSmart series. This book covers the details of buying, owning, and shooting a shotgun.

Steve takes the reader from understanding the many differences between various models, old and new, to detailing chokes, barrels, and shot patterns. He covers essential topics such as cleaning, safety, and training. The information contained within is detailed, covering far more than just the firearm itself, leaving the reader confident in his/her plan to learn about the gun in a reasoned, logical way. Steve’s decades of experience and no-nonsense writing style makes this book a joy to read.

Complemented with many photographs, this is a must-have on the bookshelf of any firearms enthusiast.

For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival.

Prepper Book Festival 9 – Non-Fiction

Chickens from Scratch: Raising Your Own Chickens from Hatch to Egg Laying and Beyond
Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies
Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide (PrepSmart Volume 3)
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource
The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget

Prepper Book Festival 9 – Fiction

Cascadia’s Curse
Apocalypse by Government
New Recruits (The Shadow Patriots Volume 2)
The Line of Departure: A Postapocalyptic Novel
Holding Their Own: The Toymaker

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook  print version is available.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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46 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 9: Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide”

  1. everyone should, when the situation dictates, make the best of use of what you have be it firearm or otherwise

  2. The guns I’ve had any practice shooting are a 32mm and a 9 mm. I would like to have a shotgun and learn to shoot it.

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