Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Shoot what you've got...

I've done it myself. I have done it a lot over the years. Finding a reason to buy another gun. I guess many "gun nuts" probably do the same thing. Always looking for that next best thing. There always seems to be "just one more" to buy.

I am certainly as guilty as anyone and probably more so than many gun owners. There are very few guns that I can honestly say I need. A .308 rifle is one of the few. But I've got a "thing" for S&W N Frame .357 revolvers. I certainly don't need another but I keep on buying them anyway. Even when the rational side of my brain tells me that I have more practical ways of spending my "gun money" I keep on buying them.

But this story is not so much about my chronic Smith & Wesson collector's disease (which could be the whole story by itself) or gun purchases in general, but more about guns that we want to use and like, but can't be happy with. It seems especially bad when concerning guns we use in a self-defense role. There has to be something better out there, there has to be. We are always looking for that new "something" that is going to make us the perfect shooter. "This new fangled Wizzzzer-9® will finally make me a super crack shot." When that doesn't pan out we look for the next new toy that will make us the shooter of our dreams, it has to. It just has to.

Instead we should have just bought more ammo and practiced a lot more often.

As I said I'm certainly no one to be casting stones. But at least in self-defense guns I have a little more control. I have used the same .45 Automatic as my main carry gun since 2003 and use it the large majority of the time. The bullets were big enough to do a lot of damage and as was able to hit what I was aiming at. That's all I asked for. That's all I needed. And while I have been tempted to upgrade over the years I never did. Maybe I was too preoccupied with collecting S&W's to worry about "THE BETTER" but for whatever reason I never felt compelled to continually trade up my few carry guns. I finally got to a point where I was happy with my choices. Maybe I am getting a little more practical in my middle (old) age. Maybe I am coming to a point where I can make decisions using reasoned thought instead of blinding emotions. Maybe. Maybe a little.

I can say I'm not as bad as I used to be. Over the years I have owned at least one handgun from just about every major manufacturer, always looking for something better. Never found better, only found different. Because as a rule most quality gun makers produce a quality product. They only differ in the details. Do you like DA or SA? Do you want a frame mounted safety or slide mounted, or none? Do you want plain or 3-dot sights? Do you want 6, 8 or 17 shots? Yes, most guns can be made better with customization but first you've got to figure out the big details of what works for you.

If you're like me, at some point you will have "enough", or you should. At some point you figure out what will work for you, stop trying to find "THE BETTER" and just strive to become proficient with what you've got. At some point you should mature in your gun ownership.

I think I am almost to that point now. I've said before in other posts that practice is more important than equipment. Maybe I'm starting to believe it myself.

So when is enough enough?

I would say when you find a gun in a sufficient caliber for your needs, that you are comfortable with AND can shoot well you should stop looking and just do your best to become an expert with that gun. A Beware the man with one gun kind of thing...

I sat down and made a gun list, not guns that I LIKE, not guns that I WANT, but guns that I NEED. It is a very short list as there are few that I really need anymore. I will be striving this year to fill that list and to become more proficient with the guns that I already have. Can't promise to completely give up that Smith & Wesson .357 "thing" though. That's just asking too much!


Boat Guy said...

If you don't have a .308 (or 7.62x51mm) rifle then yes, I'd endorse the notion that you "need" one.
Strangely (or not) enough I've been mulling the same idea of "when's 'enough' gonna happen?". In my case it's prompted by the realization (via Gun Tests) that Colt is making a "Black 1918" 1911. 'Bout a grand on price, thus the thought "Do I NEED one of those?" My usual carry gun these days is an XD in .45. I've got some Colts, including my Grandfather's 1911. Do I need a brand-new one, complete with itty-bitty sights? No. I could nearly buy TWO XD's for the money - or ammo, components, rifles, whatever.
But damn, I WANT one of those 1918's. I probably won't buy one though...

Wilson said...

It's a thin line between "need" and "want" and sometimes that line becomes muddled. And that's part of the point I was making...