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groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2544
My ideal battery, and how I plan to get it

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?


WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

It's hard to have just one gun.  Isn't it?

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
Over the last 40 or so years

Over the last 40 or so years I have bought a lot of guns and only gotten rid of a few.  When I was young I used my income tax refunds to purchase a new rifle or pistol and then when I got to where I could afford them on the fly I would purchase the one that I wanted.  I bought a couple on impulse and enjoyed them for a while and then placed them into the safe. 

Last year I spent a couple of weeks cleaning every firearm that I had and put a couple aside to sell since I had decided that I had no more use for them.  A Smith & Wesson 9mm and a Smith and Wessen 22 semi automatic pistol.  The nice thing about selling them is that I got back over twice the amount that I paid for both of them.  Even today there are a few in the safe that I have thought about selling since it has been a long time since I have taken them out and shot them either at a target or a varmit.  I am also considering getting rid of what ever I have that is a duplicate in caliber and only keeping the better one that I have.  But then downsizeing is so hard to do when you appreciate a firearm the way that I do. 

As for new ones I think that I have everything covered caliber wise that I want but it would be fun to have a at least one real heavy magnum rifle over 40 caliber, you know the kind that would split a engine block with one shot just in case it is needed sometime. 

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
I came at this a different way...

Since I inherited no guns, I guess I'll go through how I haphazardly got my guns, sold them and am slowly rebuilding with a plan in mind.

So I started hunting at 14, with a bow, then got a Mossberg 12 guage later than same year convincing my folks that I could hunt everything with it and that would be all I would need.  The next year, after reading all these glowing reviews of the Marlin 1895, I thought that would be just the ticket for hunting in California.  I was wrong, but that's what I had, and killed a deer in Alabama with it.  At 16, I had my folks take some sort of handgun education test so I could a .22 semi Browning Buckmark.  So that's what I went off to college with, but I when I realized how dumb my arsenal was, I started lusting after a .280 Ruger.  I saw one on sale in Bozeman, Montana within about a week of moving up there, and bought it.  Now I thought I was equipped for everything.  And then I bought a MAK90 for fun, and then Ruger 10/22.  

The following year I was doing more grouse hunting, so I bought Stevens SxS 16 gauge.  In the mean time, I was given by a former police officer, a S&W .38 special model 36.  And then at a gun show, I saw a Tec 9, and thought that was a good deal, so I bought it.  I had a girlfried who had prairie dogs on his place in Colorado, so I bought a Marlin .22 Mag bolt action.  Found what I thought was a deal on Charles Daly 1911 in .45 ACP, so I bought that too.  Now I had a couple plinkers, some defensive stuff, two big game rifles, 2 shotguns and a bow.  Then I moved to central Montana, and bought a single shot H&R .223 for prairie dog hunting.

I moved back to Bozeman later than year, and bought a Winchester M70 .300 Ultra Mag because I "needed" a larger caliber elk rifle, despite killing a bunch of stuff with the .280.

Not long after that I moved to Texas, and needed some cash, but didn't think I'd use some of the guns I had, so I sold the Tec 9, Mak 90, Browning Buckmark, Marlin 1895 and H&R .223.  All of those would have been useful, but oh well, I was now down to the 10/22, the Marlin .22 Mag, the .38 special, the .45, the .280, the .300, the 16 guage, and the 12 gauge.  

But then I was surrounded by more gun nuts, and bought more guns every year.  Most of the shooting I did was for deer and pig culling, so I bought two more Winchesters:  a 270 WSM and .243 WSSM.  Then I bought a Marlin 336 .30-30 for some reason, mostly as a loaner to technicians and others for culling, I guess.  At some point in there I sold the .45, and bought a Taurus .357 Mag.

I saw my first maple stocked rifle, a CZ 527 in .204 Ruger, so I bought that, with no real use for it.

I bought a New Mexico muzzleloader deer tag one year, so then I needed a muzzleloader, and bought a .54 cal Hawken.

Was also doing some more duck hunting down on the coast, and after one day salt water, I decided the blued and wood Mossberg wasn't going to cut it, so I bought a full camo Mossberg 500.

When I moved to Nebraska, I put that .204 Ruger to work a little more, but also found myself doing some more dove hunting, and bought a 28 guage side by side CZ, which I loved.  

Then I moved back to Colorado and money got real tight, so I started selling guns again.  I sold the .38 and the .30-30 to a friend.  

I got a scope from my family for Christmas one year and Cabela's gift card.  Since I had no use for the scope on any of my current rifles, I went out and bought a new gun for it, a Savage 7mm Rem Mag, with intent to turn that into a .264 Win Mag.  Well, things got tight again, so I sold that 7mm Rem Mag and the .357.  

Then things were good again, and I bought two Remington 700 7mm Rem Mags on closeout from WalMart for custom rifle donors.  One became my .358 Norma, the other my .264 Win Mag.

I then got my FFL, and in an effort to raise cash, I sold all the rest of my guns, other than the 2  custom rifles.  According to my records, I've bought and sold about 100 guns since then, only keeping a couple with intent to keep for myself, but then sent them down the road or gave them to family.  Included in that was the sporterized Mauser 7.65x53, and a limited edition S&W 5 inch barrelled, unfluted cylinder .357 Mag, and an original 1917 Newton in .30 Newton (probably my best find ever, made about $1,500 on that gun when I sold it a few months later).  But a lot Super Grade M70s went through my hands that I should have kept.

After one wet, heavy snow, I sold the .358 Norma, knowing I'd need a stainless one eventually. 

Despite the fact that I waterfowl hunt too, I have limped along with the just the custom .264 for a couple of years now, borrowing shotguns when I need to.  I will typically have a light game and a heavy game load for the .264, which has done me just fine on elk, deer and antelope.  The .264 is a teflon coated, stainless steel Lilja barrel, maple stock if I haven't shown it off here recently.

Oh, and then bought another when I started muzzleloader elk hunting.

So this year, when I was finally ready to add another rifle to the arsenal, I had been planning on adding a lightweight stainless elk rig.  Was mostly looking at .338s and .325s.  Was also looking at lighter calibers for antelope like the .25-06.  So, what I do?   I bought a Winchester M70 Sporter in 7mm Rem Mag, a 7mm Mashburn reamer, am having the extractor cerakoted and bought a higher grade stock for it.  So not only did I buy a caliber that heavily overlapped what I currently have, it's not stainless, not lightweight and doesn't really do anything I can't do with my .264.

Does that make a lot of sense to you? Whistling

So, I love this rifle, and bought like 350 7mm bullets to play(150 175 gr Partitions, 100 150 Nos Ballistic Tip, and 100 120 grain Ballistic Tips), but I really don't need it, and it's now pinching my ability to rent horses this fall.  I really ought to sell her, but don't want to!

So, the plan as I go forth will be to eventually add another .357 Magnum stainless revolver for defensive stuff and plinking.  Eventuallly get a nice bolt action .22, a dedicated mid-heavy weight, mid caliber antelope rifle(.25-06?), a mid-lightweight deer rifle (.280 again?), a lightweight, stainless elk/moose rifle (still want another .358 Norma), a decent pump 12 guage for geese and ducks, 20 gauge over/under for pheasants and everything else will be gravy.

I'll get there eventually, I'm just taking my sweet time.  For someone who loves guns (hell I had owned probably 30 something guns by the time I was 26 or 27), it pains me to have just one rifle for the time being(ok I have two, but I know I shouldn't keep this 7mm).  Anyway, being an FFL allows me to jump on a lot of deals.  I think to myself, "hey, I should keep this", but always send her on down the road.

One of these days, I'll be in a better position to keep more guns, but just not for the moment.

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
I understand your reasoning

I understand your reasoning but it just doesn't work for me. I have a lot of guns now and have need for very few of them but I just can't make myself part with any of them. I've sold a few over the years but only for in rare cases. I do enjoy unique or expensive guns but only have a couple and nothing that jumps out as a dream gun. I would enjoy a high end 1911 as well nad own a couple low to mid range but I doubt I will ever spend the coin for one of the great ones. I guess I will happily plod along with the idea that more is better and be very happy with that.

I also want to make sure that after I'm gone that there will be plenty to go around especially if some of them are no longer made or available. I have 2 kids and a grandson that may never be able to purchase them like I have been able to.

the only thing I really need is a good hunting shotgun. But I know I will be buying much more than that. I try to get at least 2 new ones a year.

ADKBEAR's picture
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 821
I'll buy

Hey Mike, great idea!!!!

I will help you out $75 apiece for all you old gun's right now.  No sence talking about it lets get on with it.  No hassels of selling those old unwanted guns one at a time, they can be all gone right now!Yes

groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2544

You guys have a great memory! 

There are a few others I will never sell - the heirlooms. 

I have waffled repeatedly on selling my first rifle.  I still have it although I will probably never hunt with it again and the vlaue has doubled.....

ADKBEAR - I can't quite go to $75, but for $100 I'll sell you a gorgeous single shot 16 gauge with an ejector.  It functions beautifully.  I just want to get back to only 12 gauge.

Tndeerhunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1136
Guns, guns & more guns

From my experience there are lots of ways people enjoy & use guns. For me, having just a couple, no matter how special or nice, simply would not work. I will admit that I most certainly own more rifles than I could ever possibly need. There are some I enjoy/like more than others and also a few that have some sentimental value as well.

I use a lot of my rifles each and every year for hunting and have begun to rotate them in an effort to use most all of them at least every couple years. I have decided that very soon the collection needs to be divied up into those that will pass to my kids and their kids and those that will be sold when I croak. There's no way any of my decendents want all the guns I've aquired over the years, they simply do not want nor need the logistical problems so associated with them and rightly so.

In the mean time, I will continue to enjoy my "working" collection (if you don't do your share, you don't get free room & board here!). My newest toy is a Marlin 1895M (.450 Marlin) and my oldest is a single shot 12ga Winchester, my first ever firearm. Big smile

Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 363
Ideal battery changes with age

I have found that my ideal battery has frequently changed as I have grown older (and more infirm). I used to love my .338 Win Mag and 7mm Mag and my .338 Federal. As arthritis has settled in, I have gone down in caliber for less recoil and actually shoot better. My big game battery now includes a .308, two 7mm08s and a .260 Rem. I use the .260 the most. In shotguns, I have sold my 10 ga goose gun and given my son-in-law my Browning 3 1/2 12 ga and my Citori 12 and 20 gauges. I have kept my much loved 16 ga Citori and it serves me well for what shot gunning I now do. If I want to go goose hunting, I can always borrow one of the 12's from the son-in-law. For small game, rabbits and such, I prefer a Ruger Mark III bull bbl pistol. I also have kept my Ruger single action .41 Mag and a S&W 640 in .357 Mag.  For home defense I have a carbine in .40 S&W. I still plan to purchase more firearms; possibly a Judge .45 Colt/.410  and either a .380 or a .40 S&W semi auto. I have a 50 cal MZ that my son-in-law and I share but it is now more his gun than mine as I have lost interest in hunting with it or shooting it at all and he likes it for late season deer.

Since I have begun keeping records, I have owned at one time or another, 162 firearms. There were probably another 20 or so before I began to keep records.

ndemiter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
i am with you on that. i need

i am with you on that. i need about 4 guns total.

my marlin 25 in 22 lr. great for small game, fun and teaching children.

12 guage remington 870 super mag in full camo. good for : trap, defense, turkey, quail, pheasant, and squirrel and rabbit. can be loaded with slugs and proper barrel for deer in some states.

big rifle. 30-06. a caliber that's killed every big game animal on the planet.

small rifle. 243. my winchester model 70 will be with me until i die. i will be naked standing in the middle of a field with no food, water or shelter before i give that gun up.

any extras are just for fun. which is ultimately, why we buy guns like that are not effective or efficient, for the recreation.

but i too went through this phase of selling off my old guns and purchasing new, top of the line, models. and it WAS worth it. i have upgraded everything i shoot and it works great and has great glass on it.

BikerRN's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 715

I'm finding that needs and uses for a battery changes over time. This is what I consider my basic battery for all practical uses:


Handgun: 40 S&W seems to be the most practical and easiest to scrounge ammunition for from local LEO's.


.22LR Hunting (Ruger 10/22)

5.56/.223 Defense/Hunting (AR is very versitle and can be used for both)

.300WM Hunting/Long Range Defense

12 Guage Hunting/Defense


While I like the .308 you will notice I selected the .300 WM as my choice in this battery. I did so, not because I find the .308 lacking for most applications but because of the greater range at which larger game animals can be taken. I tried to look at this from an all possible scenarios viewpoint, and while the .308 may be easier to scrounge ammunition for, one can always pull the .308 bullets they scrounge if they save their cases.

If I was to add a second centerfire rifle I would scrap the .300 Win Mag in favor of the .308 and add a 9.3 x 62 or .375 to the mix. 



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