I’ve written many times, “who doesn’t love another excuse to get another gun” and other similar phrases. Which I still stand by—collecting and having a wide range of firearms can be an asset and enjoyable.

However, it can also be a detriment.

Guns are tools—machines that need maintenance and testing to ensure that they are in prime, working order. Can you see where I’m going with this?

Having a rotation like I do—for example, a winter-carry pistol and a summer-carry pistol—is fine, only if I maintain both weapons, and take both of them to the range frequently. Two is enough for me. If I were you I would stop with two pistols, and perhaps one, select long-arm for home defense. A small go-to selection of firearms for self-defense is going to serve you better than a huge collection that never sees the range or your holster. Having your attention spread over too many firearms leads to issues—leaving your self-defense guns in the safe for two years without shooting them is bad. Magazine springs can tire if they remain loaded for long periods of time (although modern designs are working to fix that), gun parts can fail or tire, too. Shooting, too, is a perishable skill that needs regular practice and honing.

Taking one or two guns from your huge collection to the range, and perhaps never the same gun twice, is a bad habit to get into. I’m not saying—in the least—that trying out a new pistol or shotgun, or shooting just for the sport of it is bad. In fact, I do the same thing—take multiple guns to the range, shoot and test. However, I always take my self-defense weapons and practice with them to maintain proficiency. Always. If you like to hunt, my advice is to take your primary hunting weapon with you along with your self-defense arms. That way you hit all your regulars, well, regularly. And as soon as I get home, every gun gets maintenance.

Shooting is a wonderful, enjoyable sport, but your primaries—the ones you use daily for self and home defense—should demand your attention. It’s important to keep a system of magazines and gear readily available, as well. If you need a gun in an emergency, your primaries should always be ready and available even if your other sporting guns or the rest of your collection are unloaded and locked in a gun safe.

 

What are your primaries?

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