Well… so this is a little off topic from what I usually write about. I am home sick today and have a little time to think about my arsenal and what I need for it. So, here is a list of the four guns that should be in every man’s gun safe. I plan on ending up with these four guns within the year.
Last fall I went hunting in my homeland of Minnesota and had a blast. I forgot how much I enjoyed just sitting in woods, walking the corn fields and seeing the sunrise from a deer stand. When I was kid I hunted more than I have for the past two decades. In my 20s I shot clays and birds. I miss it and intend to shoot more in the future.
So, without any further ado, here is my list of the four guns every man should own.
1. A Small Handgun
In this day and age I think every man worth his salt should be able to pack. That’s right: there is no reason not to if you live in a state which allows it. I don’t actually very often but when I know I am going to be in a place where crime might be happening you can rest assured that I do.
There are lots of options here. In my case, I have something really small. It’s a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. The reason I like this weapon is that it’s SMALL. It’s no good to have a weapon that sits at home because it’s too big to carry around. If I lived up north and wore a jacket all the time I might have gone with something that had a bit more stopping power, like an M&P (380 ammunition isn’t cheap or easy to come by, though, so stock up when you see the price dip). If you are going to use a small handgun, get familiar with it and remember to let the target get in close. You won’t be accurate at any distance past about 8-10 feet unless you’re a trained professional (I am an untrained amateur so consider yourself warned).
2. A 22 Caliber Rifle
It’s a basic gun with lots of promise for practice, varmits and teaching boys how to shoot. They are cheap and so is the ammo. It really doesn’t matter which one you buy but I would get a scope of some sort. These guns are awesome little weapons for just messing around on a weekend camping trip or plinking cans.
My 22 was a gift from my grandpa to my dad when he was 12 years old. I have had trouble with it since I got only to learn that it only shoots “22 longs.” This is relatively rare but check out the weapon before you buy it.
3. A Shotgun
Shotguns are the best overall home defender. If you point a shotgun at somebody that’s in your house chances are pretty good that you will come out the winner. They are also very versatile hunting guns. Many states restrict some or all of their hunting zones to shotguns – no rifles. One can use a special barrel and shotgun shell to improve the accuracy of shotguns. For this reason, you may consider buying a gun which has two barrels: one better for shooting slugs at deer and one that is better for birding.
I used one of my dad’s guns last for deer hunting and whiffed on an easy shot. I didn’t know the gun well enough (hadn’t shot it for about 15 years – which was not very smart on my part) and it wasn’t setup with a rifled barrel and appropriate ammo. This year I will be purchasing a new shotgun. At the top of my list is the Mossberg 500 with two barrels. The Remington 870 is another good option. Both of these are reasonably priced. I will mount a “red dot” scope on this weapon and use it in the north woods next year.
4. A Rifle
A true rifle shoots a projectile longer and further than any other weapon listed here. If the conspiracy theorists turn out to be right and we have to fend off hearth and home from bad guys, the rifle will be your weapon of choice. In some states, like the one I live in, Florida, a rifle is best for deer hunting. I haven’t done any deer hunting in Florida but plan on changing that next year. Can anybody hook me up on some land to hunt?
Some people will spend a ton on a rifle but I don’t think I will. I have learned that you can purchase old Russian rifles that are extremely accurate for less than $300. Since I don’t see using this weapon so much I don’t want to invest a lot in it. I will probably pay more for the scope on this one than on the shotgun since it’s purpose is for hitting targets at long range.
But Ted… what about an AR-15?
A number of my friends are buying AR-15s, the famed (but ambiguously labeled) “assault rifle” that has been much in the news these past few years. In a communist takeover they are the dream gun: versatile, accurate and extremely deadly. They are fine weapons and highly customizable.
They are also limited use guns. About the only place I see them is on the shooting range and the very occasional hunter. A lot of people that own ARs don’t hunt with them – they cradle them like small children and are afraid of wear and tear on the weapon. They also start at about $800 (usually much more) and the price goes way up from there. I think it’s possible to purchase all four of the guns noted above for $1,200. In my humble opinion, the AR isn’t a good value for the casual shooter. The people I know that have them spend more time buying and selling components, upgrading, downgrading and just messing with them than they do shooting them. Since I already have gonads I don’t need an AR-15 to buttress my manhood.
From my perspective, they are the best gun for the gun enthusiast. That’s not really me, nor do I think it’s most men. If you want one, they fit the bill for the rifle requirement noted above.
So, every man should have a handgun, a 22, a shotgun and a rifle. With those four weapons in your gun safe you are assured of being ready for most situations.