THE UPSIDE OF DOWNSIZING
Don’t tell my wife, but I probably have too many guns. The trouble is that I buy guns I think I really want, use them for a while and develop sentimental attachments to them. Then, when a new model catches my eye, I’m reluctant to sell any of the earlier guns. The same is true for me when it comes to knives and hunting gear.
Recently, I’ve been considering downsizing, getting rid of all but a few essential guns and favorite knives for different uses. It was all part of simplifying my life, reducing the clutter and getting away from the incessant pursuit of more possessions. Part of the upside was that I could use the money to pay off some bills and then maybe do some traveling.
When it came to my guns, I thought it would be easy. I’d start with the long guns. I’d want to keep one long-barreled shotgun with chokes tubes for hunting ducks, turkeys and rabbits. I’d want another with two interchangeable short barrels—one smoothbore for defense and one rifled barrel if I wanted to hunt deer with sabot slugs in a shotgun-only area.
For rifles, I’d keep a .22 rimfire for plinking and small game and a bolt-action centerfire for big game.
I’d also keep a semi-auto for home defense and because the liberals don’t want me to have one.
I didn’t think the choice of handguns would be difficult either. I’d like to keep a powerful handgun for hunting. I’d want to keep either a full-size or compact pistol for carry and home defense. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a sub-compact pistol as well for times when I wanted to travel light. I’d insist on keeping a .22 handgun, too, for use in a survival kit or bug-out bag with lots of ammo.
I was doing well with the downsizing, I thought. I’d have two shotguns, three rifles and four handguns. I wouldn’t need more than that, right? Wait a minute. Which two shotguns, three rifles and four handguns should I choose?
If I was limiting myself to one big game rifle, choosing a dependable bolt action would mean I’d have to let go of my lever actions. That wouldn’t be easy. And what about the guns left to me by my dad and my father-inlaw? I couldn’t get rid of those.
I loved my Ruger single-action revolvers, so one of those would be a natural for my hunting handgun. But I was really getting to like my Glock Model 40 longslide 10mm with the Trijicon RMR sight. For a carry gun, should I go with one of my striker-fired polymer pistols, a 1911 or maybe one of my favorite revolvers?
So how did it all work out? Well, the upside of this downsizing exercise is that, so far, it has only been hypothetical. What it demonstrated is how much I really love the guns I have. And my wife doesn’t know how many that is.
Steven Paul Barlow, editor CC