21 thoughts on “How Many Guns Do You Need?”

    1. I’ll tell you how I convinced my wife on both counts.

      We both like the idea of a firearm being permanently next to the bed and hence keep a short 870 with an extended magazine there 24/7. My wife was very nervous that a handgun might be stolen then used in a crime. She felt there was a certain level of “moral liability” associated with it. Her view is that most handguns are used in crimes exponentially more than shotguns. She also was nervous about her ability to successfully use a handgun in a high stress situation. Though a very good shot with all of our pistols she doesn’t practice enough and in the heat of the moment she’s more comfortable with the idea of using a shotgun. Certainly it feels, in her hands, like a much more serious weapon and provides her with a higher level of confidence. Plus our 870 is far and away our cheapest firearm so it wouldn’t cost much to replace.

      The .22lr was a much easier sell. The first point was $. Shooting several hundred rounds of factory .45acp each month was a serious chunk of change. I showed her the math and it was clear my Ruger 22/45 was going to “pay for itself” in less than four months. It wasn’t an elaborate sell, the dollars spoke for themselves. The second was simply fun – she doesn’t enjoy shooting the higher caliber rounds but liked the idea of practicing with a pistol that was the same general ergo’s as the 1911. She genuinely finds the .22lr fun to shoot. Finally, I claimed it was her gun 🙂 I bought it officially so that she could come shooting with me occasionally and actually enjoy herself instead of dreading it. She still almost never goes to the range with me, but the idea still made her feel good. She does teas about me “shooting her gun” every once in a while though.

  1. I will agree and have met all those bullet point (pun intended) but I just love AR’s and have built up one for every occasion and keep coming up with more occasions…

    You should do one on how many mags one needs… that’s what have hurt my pocket book more then the guns themselves…

  2. I would pare down the list even further removing:
    1) The bolt action rifle. You will want one rifle in a powerful rifle cartridge, but a bolt action is silly unless you are legally barred from hunting with a semi-auto.
    2) The pocket gun. Most people carry a j-frame, but it’s usefulness is limited and the small guns all have a higher learning curve.
    3) The shotgun. It does everything worse than a rifle or pistol except killing flying things.

    1. A decent bolt action rifle with a decent scope, a decent pocket gun and a shotgun can all be had for about the cost of one decent AR.

  3. Good video. This is not an original quote of mine, but an old guy told me this years ago. “I’m more afraid of the fellow that only owns one gun than the one that owns a dozen, because he(she) probably knows how to use it.”

    1. I read somewhere in a magazine where the writer was arguing that you should beware the person with only one gun, for they might not have the interest to be competent with it.

      1. I really can’t imagine having only one gun, but my philosophy is to only purchase and own firearms that I would be happy with if they were my only firearm. This, I think, explains the “less is more” opinion I have regarding overall firearm ownership.

        1. I was not advocating only owning one gun. I too can’t imagine only wanting or having one gun. Your “less is more” is the point I was going for. I always try and buy a gun with a purpose in mind. Also, I have found buying quality products usually pays off in the long run. PS your article has made quite an impression on the internet circuit.

  4. Interesting Andrew. I would tend to agree – then again, people spend their money on all sorts of stuff. At least guns are useful and don’t really depreciate.

  5. How many guns do you “need”? I feel that I “need” one, my neighbors don’t feel they need any. What does “need” have to do with it? You can buy meat at the store, so you don’t “need” to hunt. If you life is in danger you can call the police, (good luck with that). I “want” to buy guns and own guns. I want a gun that will stop an intruder dead in his tracks. I want to go to the range and shoot with my son, so I have two or more of everything that we like to shoot. Not because I “need” any of them and not because I am a boastful braggart who goes around talking about how many guns I have. Shooting is a fun pass time and gun people are general good people that I enjoy being around. It is also something my son and I do together and it gives me opportunity to impart life lessons to him. How many and what types of guns you have is not a moral or an ethical choice, and neither is how you choose to spend you time and money. It’s your life and your money, buy as many guns as you want, and don’t let the government or anyone else impose a limit, it is your right and your freedom. Enjoy it, and keep a good semi auto high capacity high caliber in case TSHTF!

  6. I think you left out important arguments other than $$$. Safe storage space. Ammo management: keeping enough ammo, keeping it organized, not mixing it up (5.56 vs 5.45). Training time required (Novice -> Proficiency -> Excellence) as well as muscle memory (AR15 vs AK vs FAL, etc).

    It might be worth remaking.

  7. And then there are people like me. I don’t sell guns. I still have the .22 bolt action I got for Christmas 1954, and the Enfield I bought mail order in 1956. Since then, I’ve added 2 shotguns, 3 pistols, and 3 more rifles. Of those, I “needed” a shotgun, so I bought a 20 Ga. semi-auto (left handed), and I “needed” a pistol, so I bought a fullsize XD9, and I “needed” a carry pistol (XD9 subcompact). The second shotgun (12 Ga. pump) I bought because a friend needed some money. The third pistol is a Ruger single six .22, also used, purely for fun. The three rifles are all semi-auto; a 10-22 because I like to plink, a Garand because that’s the rifle I carried in basic, and two of my brothers carried in combat, and an a M1 Carbine (new Auto Ordinance) because I couldn’t get an M2 like I carried for almost three years. I shoot them all fairly often, just renewed my CHL, and never leave the house without my carry gun.

  8. It’s funny, my non-gun enthusiast friends view my collection as huge (five pistols and five long guns). While my very serious gun friends think it’s “adequate” to small.

    My goal, though, was to have a well rounded collection with each firearm having a genuine purpose.

    You’ve presented almost the exact logic I used for putting together the basic portion of my collection. The three “extra” firearms I have are for competition.

  9. Again, an excellent post. Your logic is hard to argue with and the guns listed do cover all the bases. When I go to buy a new gun I use the same logic that you used in your video to justify the purchase to the boss and so far it has worked. Somehow I even managed to get a couple of extra guns in there.

    The only gun I could think to add in there may be an air gun of some type for eradicating small vermin or teaching a child to shoot. Other than that, excellent as usual.

  10. Great comments
    I like jeff’s comment. Do I really “need” my guns. Not really, except perhaps to keep my sanity. I don’t need them, I want them. Do you need a Lamborghini? No, but I sure as heck want one!
    In my book, if 1 is good, then 2 is better!

  11. One of the scariest dudes I ever knew, had an untold number of guns loaned to him by Uncle Sugar, but in his later years only owned one gun: a suppressed 22LR pistol. To hear him tell it, if he ever needed anything more, someone would bring it to him… or he could always take that pistol out one night and start “trading up”

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