It was all over the news: a man passed away in California and left behind a collection of 1,200 firearms and approximately 7 tons of ammunition. Photos and video footage of what the mainstream media gleefully termed an “arsenal” went viral in record time and the liberal left became practically apoplectic. One reporter questioning a member of law enforcement went so far as to ask whether owning such a collection was even legal and became horrified when the officer replied that yes, it was – is. So how many guns is too many? Better yet, can you really have too many guns?
Without getting into just how large my personal collection may or may not be – pleading the gun-ownership fifth, so to speak – I’ll simply say I love guns. As long as your gun is purchased legally, why not buy it? There are, after all, many uses for the various firearms on the market. Those uses range far and wide and seem to escape the limited imaginations of the anti-gun crowd.
As an avid and perhaps somewhat obsessed hunter, this seems like an excellent place to start. We’ll consider this from a hunter’s perspective then touch briefly on self-defense and such. It’s a common misconception among those ignorant of firearms that only one gun should be needed for hunting. One gun capable of holding perhaps one round, and no more than five rounds, because what kind of hunter needs more ammo than that? Without getting into capacity – have you ever heard of bagging your limit beyond just one game animal or wanting to be confident in a clean kill? – let’s take a look at the various hunting-related firearms out there.
Shotguns are popular among many deer hunters who prefer the power of a load of buckshot – or a slug – over a rifle round. More than a few deer hunters rightly tout the effectiveness of 00 buck over a single bullet from a rifle, which could, for example, veer off course and wound or entirely miss the animal should it encounter something like a pine bough. 00 buck meets pine bough and blasts right through it. Yes your range must reflect your use of a shotgun – closer-range shots – but there’s no denying their sheer energy. Hunters of upland birds and waterfowl, among other winged game, use shotguns, too. Without shotguns, they wouldn’t be knocking ducks and pheasants down in rapid succession. Imagine a world without roast duck or pheasant chili. So that means you just need one shotgun, right? Uh, no…
The differences between shotguns don’t revolve just around gauge – the most common of which may be 12 gauge but includes everything from .410 to 20 gauge to 10 gauge. The list goes on. Other details include different barrel lengths which absolutely matter depending on what and how you intend to shoot and various chokes. Then there are the types of shotguns including pump, over/under, semi-auto, side-by-side…it would be all too easy to go on at incredible length. Suffice to say there are quite a few shotguns out there and no one shotgun does it all for every person.
Which rifle is used to hunt depends on the kind of game being taken, where it is being taken and of course the personal preferences and abilities of the hunter. Larger game obviously requires a larger round although, conversely, just because game is smaller doesn’t mean you need or have to use a small round while hunting them. The distance you intend to hunt at matters too because not all calibers are created equal: I’d much rather take down that hog or coyote at 600 yards or 1000 yards with my beloved .338 Lapua Magnum than use the reliable yet better for shorter distances .308 Win. If you’re thinking a .338 Lapua Magnum might be a bit much for a coyote, let me enlighten you as to my personal opinion of overkill: there is no such thing. Dead is dead, and if I want to reach out and take down game from a significant distance I prefer to do so with a round designed for longer ranges.
Different states have varying regulations when it comes to hunting and that includes specific seasons. Hunters are allowed to go after game using only certain weapons. For example: bow season, rifle season, muzzle-loader season. Some hunters consider themselves purists and prefer to stick to bolt-action rifles while many others enjoy the versatility and capacity of semi-autos and still others get a kick out of lever-actions (personally I think they’re all great and yes, lever-actions are incredibly fun to hunt with). Of course, mastering the use of multiple weapons greatly expands your ability to stock your freezer for the coming year. Many hunters use multiple types of rifles because, for one thing, variety really is the spice of life and for another the use of more than one kind of rifle opens our horizons endlessly for hunting options.
So just how many rifle options are out there? Aside from the various actions, which include but are not limited to bolt-action, lever-action, and semi-auto, there are an incredible number of calibers and models. Calibers range from the squirrel-capable .22 LR to the deer-popular .308 Win to the awesome long-range power of .338 Lapua Magnum, and everything in between (and below, don’t forget Hornady’s zippy little creation, the .17 HMR…and, yes, above…). Models come with every possible option for triggers, barrels (twist rate, anyone?), stocks – you name it, it’s out there. And lest you believe these myriad options are excessive, here’s a reminder: everyone is different. We come in different shapes and sizes with all manner of hand size, reach, and ability to handle felt recoil. What works well for me may not work for you, and vice versa. The options are many for a good reason: the needs of shooters are also many, and varied.
Yes, you can hunt with pistols. In fact, if you haven’t done it, you’re missing out. Granted this is best limited to larger calibers – a 10mm can knock down a whitetail deer or feral hog like nobody’s business and a .44 Magnum? Dirty Harry was onto something when he boasted about his revolver’s punk-stopping power. And while handguns are fantastic for hunting all on their own, a lot of hunters – although not enough – also carry pistols for backup while they’re out in the woods. It isn’t just deer out there, after all, and a large-caliber pistol is ready protection from an angry wolf, aggressive coyote, or rampaging big cat.
Of course, the greatest purpose of pistols is for self-defense. Despite the claims of the left, statistics do show that legally gun-toting Americans can and do stop far more crimes than law enforcement does. Those same statistics also show that the majority of those cases don’t involve the death of the criminal. Turns out many criminals are cowards who cease their violent behavior when faced with a loaded gun. If you’re trained in the safe use of firearms and are proficient with your pistol, you should be carrying a gun for protection. It isn’t just your well-being and life you’re protecting, after all, it’s the lives of those around you whether friends or strangers. Is there a one-size-fits-all pistol?
Not only is there not a one-size-fits-all pistol, there is also a hot debate among gun owners regarding the caliber needed for stopping a criminal in his or her tracks. Some cite the dream of one-shot stopping power while others remark on the fact that most firefights take place at closer range, making their smaller caliber firearms just fine to carry. Which side is right? Let’s not get into the great caliber debate today. Today it’s about explaining the many gun options out there.
There are two basic types of handguns: revolvers and semi-autos. Revolvers, also known as wheel guns, tend to evoke images of the Wild West to those outside the gun world while semi-autos have a way of inciting horror at the idea of the average person toting around a gun possibly capable of holding fifteen rounds (there’s a 100-round drum for the Glock 19, so fifteen rounds is nothing). While there are pros and cons to both, there is definitely a preference nowadays for the semi-auto for self-defense use. They can be operated more quickly, magazines can be changed faster than a revolver’s chambers can be reloaded even with a speedloader, and they do tend to have slimmer profiles. While there are no absolutes, no one perfect gun, it’s true that many Americans now lean towards semi-autos. That is not to say revolvers aren’t popular, because they are – you see, we all have personal preferences. Outsiders probably see it as a Pepsi versus Coke controversy, but there’s more to it than that.
Calibers vary widely for handguns as well ranging from the diminutive .22 LR to the tough yet short .40 S&W to the power of the 10mm and the impressive oomph of the .44 Magnum or .50 AE. For semi-autos there are single-stacks and double-stacks and don’t even get me started on hammers, safeties, triggers, or sights. The choices are many and the uses vary as well. The smallest, most easily-concealed handguns are also smaller calibers and so are often – but not always – used as backup guns (BUGs) while larger handguns tend to be used as main carry weapons. There are instances where a larger gun simply cannot be concealed, requiring the use of a smaller gun. There are times when you want to carry your gun for protection but need to dress a certain way, so you’re forced to select a different handgun than you would otherwise use. After all, any gun is better than no gun at all.
When it comes to self-defense, we’re not limited to handguns alone. Shotguns have long had a place for home defense and ARs are gaining ground for use defending the homeowner’s castle as well. There are tactical advantages to using a long gun for home defense such as the ability to fire from concealment more accurately. The list goes on.
There are a lot of firearms out there and there’s a use for each of them. Not only that, there are enough uses that one person is absolutely justified in owning multiple guns. There is no one gun that gets all the jobs done, especially if you hunt. Competitive shooters, skeet and trap shooters, 3-gunners – there are quite a few disciplines in the gun world and each requires multiple guns.
So did the man who passed away in California have too many guns? Let’s put it this way. Among my particular circle of friends, the following statement was most often made in conjunction with a reference to those 1,200 guns: “well, that’s a good start!” There isn’t a single one of us who wouldn’t be in gun heaven if we were given the opportunity to dive into that mountain of firearms and ammo. That’s because we do not see firearms as scary weapons of destruction, we see them as tools.
A firearm is a tool capable only of acting out the desires of its handler. Responsible gun owners use their firearms to fill their freezers with good game meat, protect their family and friends, and to relax while shattering clays or earning incredible scores at competitive matches. Have you ever seen a guy with one of those enormous Craftsman toolboxes jam-packed with all manner of screwdrivers, hammers, socket wrenches, and other assorted tools and accessories? Is your first thought “Oh dear Lord, that’s a murder-by-ball-peen-hammer just waiting to happen!” or do you think you’re looking at a guy who enjoys working with his hands? As gun owners, we enjoy working with our hands, too. We hunt, we protect, and we hone those skills on stationary targets.
So, no. You cannot have too many guns or too much ammunition. As long as you’re obtaining them legally and you’re not buying yourself into bankruptcy, who cares? And when the zombie apocalypse hits, well, our homes will be the first the anti-gunners turn to for help. You just wait…
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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