Like most guys my age, I have a few guns. I inherited some. I was given a few. I bought many because the price was right or they came in a swap deal. They fit the need for what I use them for. But I am reconsidering whether they are REALLY what I want. I am considering selling near all of them to fund just a few high end pieces that are really the ideal for my shooting desires.
I need an end goal in mind, so I am here to sort out what I really would like to end up with if I had nothing already on hand and an unlimited budget. I am of the opinion that you should decide what you want, then go get it. Cost is just an inconvenience. Anything worth really having and keeping for the rest of my life is worth what it will take to get it. Think of it like setting a goal to marry your dream girl.
So what do I want as my end goal ideal firearms battery?
Well, what do I need them for?
I keep firearms for three reasons. #1 – defense against threats to the lives of those who I love. For this reason I want the most effective short to mid range implements of destruction that I can legally obtain. #2 – Hunting to put food on the table. I hunt big game, small game, and game birds at every opportunity. These seasons require muzzle loaders, centerfire rifles, and shotguns for optimal effect. #3 – recreation. I target shoot and shoot trap for entertainment and to keep in practice for hunting and defense applications. Although since I should be target shooting with the implements that I use for hunting and defense, the same arms found in the first two categories will meet the needs of the third. So I only need to look at the first two.
#1 For defense – There is little doubt that a handgun is the most easily accessible home defense weapon when things go bump in the night. My choice is the 45 ACP cartridge in a 1911 platform. I will eventually have a pair of them. But I choose to not own a handgun with a child in the house. So my next most effective tool is the short barreled shotgun. I prefer a gun with external hammers and a manual safety so that I can verify that is cocked and ready to fire easily at a glance, or by feel. My choice for easily accessible ammunition is 12 gauge. Ejectors are always preferable to extractors.
Firearm #1 – minimum legal length 12 gauge side by side with external hammers, a manual safety, and ejectors.
For long range defense (anti zombie – post SHTF defense) I want a semi automatic 308 with detachable large capacity magazines. At present this takes the form of HK G3 clones.
Firearms #2 and #3 – Scoped PTR91 (with a second for back up).
#2 For hunting birds and small game – The shotgun is the most effective game getter at under 50 yards. For easily accessible ammunition and sheer volume of shot thrown per shell, I choose 12 gauge. A semi auto shotgun has less recoil and allows at least three shots without reloading. I count these as advantages over the side by side guns. A longer barrel begets longer range and greater accuracy.
Firearm #4 – 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun with long barrel. The best I have found so far is the Browning B80.
The largest game requires a big cartridge. I prefer the 375 H&H. I will never sell my Winchester model 70 in 375 H&H. It is my present primary big game rifle and has sentimental value. I will count this as my 5th firearm). I occasionally hunt for birds while big game seasons are open. It is impractical to carry two long arms simultaneously. The solution is Cape Gun – one shotgun barrel and one rifled barrel. Better still would be a drilling with a shotgun barrel and two rifled barrels. I would stick with the 12 gauge as the shotgun choice and a rimmed or belted – easily extracted cartridge. I prefer ejectors and a manual safety. The rifle cartridge should be common and shared with my primary big game rifle.
Firearm #6 –drilling with a 12 gauge barrel and double 375 H&H barrels, a manual safety, and ejectors.
My present plan will be to retain my Winchester model 70 and PTR91 but to gradually swap and sell every other firearm I own with an end goal of acquiring the remaining four listed above.
What's your ideal and how are you going to get it?