Being in the military for a great many years and running sp op's, you had the opportunity to use and train on many weapons from all countries. In there you slected a weapon of choice and in many cases you were assigned a spec weapon for a special purpose on that mission, ie. shotgun to open doors by shooting off the hinges, M-14 with night and day scope for sniping or watching over the team as it went in. Mostly everyone carried a 223 weapon, but some like to carry a back up, like a MP5 or Mini-Uzi, both 9mm. You had to also take in consideration how long the mission was, as ammo got heavy each day and if there was not a engagement to allow you the opporunity to lose a few rounds, that hump bag got heavy. You had other items in the bag, ie. grenades, smoke, frag or flash, Claymore's, C4 and det's, extra linked ammo for squad weapon, extra 40mm rounds, (I liked a M203) radio or Sat Com equip., rations, water canteens, first aid kit, change of clothing, socks, and any extra you wanted to hump. You try to fill out your side pockets and shirt pockets with as much as you can, as this takes weight from the back. You also had a personal side arm. I like the 9mm 92F and at least two carried a 22 Bull Pulp with silencer. I looked at the equipment we had in the Army and what was available on the outside. I knew I needed a 12 gage shotgun, but was not sure which one, but I am leaning to a 870. This will be my close in work weapon. My wife has a 410. I also chose a Mini-14 as this is one of the best weapons out there and one that does not jam or have breakage as some do. Plus it can be made to put some rounds down range in a hurry. A legal addage is the trigger guard, where it allows you to pull back on the trigger as fast as you can, like the Rifleman, giving you a three round burst. You can get these in many gun stores or mags. I also have several 22"s, but feel the 10/22 is the best, with the 25,30,40,50 and 100 round clips. Plus you can get the same trigger guard like the Mini-14 to allow a three round burst. If I had to have a weapon to carry in a hurry to the woods, I guess I would have to say the 10/22 would be my weapon of choice. You can carry more ammo, put out a lot of rounds, plus the hollow points and other rounds can put a deer down, even a bear in a emergency, but I would not want to chance it. With this I would like to have a 357 or 44 mag. Either a Auto Mag or Double action. This would be your heavy weapon. I could go on and on about choices and we all have our own. That would be the best way to for a person to choose. You take what weapon you feel is best for you, look at how much ammo you would be able to carry, plus all other items and I guess the area you will be in and the different animals that are in that area. Plus you would also look at who would be with you and their weapon of choice. You may carry the Mini-14 and your wife the 10/22 and maybe a son a 3030 and a daughter a 410 or 20 gauge. Or you all could carry the same type of caliber and all carry the same ammo. This idea could go on and on, but like I said, it is up to the individual as to what caliber of weapon and ammo to carry. I would like to thank you all for the info on the 870 and other shotguns. You all take care and may GOD bless and watch over you all and your families in the coming storm!