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Old August 16, 2013, 09:49 PM   #1
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How many guns do you NEED?

"How many guns do you have?" The question hung over the dinner conversation with our non-shooting guests. I could see her picturing an "arsenal" stashed in the basement. I hemmed and hawed a bit, partly because I was trying to count in my head and partly because my wife was at the table and I was trying to remember the last plausible number I had admitted to. " I mean, how many guns does a person need?" I gratefully skipped over the previous question and replied that the question was like asking how many tools does a guy need, or how many pairs of shoes does my wife need? It all depends on what you're doing. (The tools, I mean, I have no idea on the shoes.) I explained that different guns serve different purposes, like tools. A pair of pliers isn't much help when you need a screwdriver. I have guns for hunting, target and recreational shooting, and defense. Some fulfill more than one role. "How many guns do you NEED for protection?", she persisted. I considered for a moment. "Well, five or six would be a good start."

A full size, full capacity service pistol is my first line of home defense. If weight and concealment aren't at issue, there's no need to handicap yourself with a smaller, reduced capacity, harder to shoot pistol. When things get really serious, like when you're on lockdown while the police search for an an armed fugitive in the neighborhood, a tactical shotgun is good to have. Even the vice president said so. I admit that a rifle isn't top priority in my particular defense scenario, since I live in a townhouse complex where the maximum range is 40 yards or less, but it comes in handy if a precision shot is needed. For concealed carry, I prefer a mid sized, lighter pistol. I also need a little backup gun, like my lcp, which slips easily into the pocket and is easy to carry when your attire makes it hard to conceal anything else. Finally, you should have a spare, multi-purpose handgun, like a 3" .357 SP101, that can serve in more than one capacity. So, how many guns do YOU NEED?
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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Yep, no use having a tool box with just one wrench in it.
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:12 PM   #3
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Someone once asked JD Rockefeller how much money was enough -- how much did he really need? Rockefeller replied, "One dollar more than I have."

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Old August 16, 2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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All of them. Knead is what you do with pizza dough it has no place in a conversation about guns. In reality I could get by with 1. In could get by happily with 5
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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Between 175 and 250. Just being candid.
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:42 PM   #6
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From a strict "need" standpoint, I would say 1. In theory, I can own a single gun that can do everything I need, from home defense, CC, nightstand, etc. A high capacity handgun could serve all these purposes, maybe something along the lines of a Glock 19, M&P9c, etc (or other calibers, of course).

The problem is it wouldn't be able to do everything WELL. I have multiple guns I carry for CC, I have 2 revolvers that serve nightstand duty for my wife and I, and I have a shotgun. I also have guns that serve no purpose, but are just for fun (10/22, couple heirloom guns).

And then there is the question of why. Why do I have to "need" a gun? I have a right to own them, and I have nothing limiting my ownership, so why restrict it? Plenty of people, espcially in the US, have plenty of things they don't need. When they have to justify their ownership of their wardrobe, their kitchen utencils, their computers, their smart phones, and their entertainment centers, then I will justify my number of guns.
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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the real question is why do you need to use soaps that are known to cause cancer and mental retardation? and perfumes, laundry soaps, fabric softeners, scents, candles, that do the same thing?

why did they have to replace BPA in food products with chemicals that are actually WORSE then what was replaced?

why do they still allow bovine growth hormones after decades of proof that it leads to early puberty as well as obesity?

there are so many better questions to be asking.
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Old August 16, 2013, 11:48 PM   #8
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One is certainly not the answer!

Everyone needs a home defense handgun. They also need a .22lr rifle and while they are at it they also need a .22lr handgun. A shotgun is also needed along with a centerfire rifle that can at least down a deer. So I would say the minimum is 5 but what fun would that be?
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Old August 17, 2013, 12:17 AM   #9
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I collect milsurp, so this question would be like asking about any other little trinkets that people collect. I always tell my wife that when we build a home after I'm done with my service, the basement will be a small armory. I don't think she quite believes me yet.

I suppose I could get by with just 2 though. An hd/fun handgun, and a hunting/fun rifle big enough for hogs. I agree with everyone else though; why the need for justification? My guns and I aren't hurting anyone.
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Old August 17, 2013, 12:49 AM   #10
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From a legal standpoint, I can justify the need for 19 different firearm types, based on the legal requirements for self defense, livestock defense, and hunting different game and non-game species in the U.S. (I typed the list up, but it was a bit long for this post.) And, that's just counting the regulations that matter to me. If I had to consider magazine limitations, magazine disconnects, barrel length restrictions, and other stupid laws in states I don't like... the list would probably triple or quadruple.

But, of course, the real answer is....
I need every gun ever made. Each is unique. Each does its job in a different way. Each is a piece of history, as well (no matter how "inconsequential" it may be).

Why does a model railroader need more than one locomotive? They're all the same, aren't they?
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Old August 17, 2013, 01:26 AM   #11
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NEED to fill a normal person's roles?

A handgun and a rifle. The handgun could be one of the small-ish Glocks that still maintains a combat size, and the rifle could either be something like an AR or a bolt action in .308

That takes care of home defense, carry, SHTF, hunting, and long range target shooting.
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Old August 17, 2013, 01:38 AM   #12
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Five is probably the minimum that will cover all the bases.

Shotgun (Bird hunting/home defense)
Centerfire Rifle (Big game hunting)
Rimfire Rifle (Pest Control/small game hunting)
Compact Handgun (Carry/self-defense)
Full-Sized Handgun (House/nightstand gun)
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old August 17, 2013, 05:40 AM   #13
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How much jewelry do you NEED?

And why do so many people have so much of it?
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Old August 17, 2013, 06:41 AM   #14
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I would think the need would need to be defined . Are they for protection ? Protection from what ? Are they to survive the SHTF type thing . Or are they for just sitting in a safe cus nobody ever needs a gun ? The last one is how most people feel about firearms when they ask the OP's question or they would not ask the question .

NEED : hand gun that holds at least 15rds . semi auto center fire rifle or shotgun , 308 or bigger scoped rifle and a 10/22 of course . This is assuming getting ammo is not an issue .

I really like your tool analogy . Everyone should be able to understand that with out it sounding like we are grasping for good reasoning . I've often used the fishing pole analogy . How many fishing poles does a guy need ? You just throw the line out to catch fish . How many different poles could you possibly need ? I then go in to great detail on all the newonces of fishing . Type of fishing , how the gear matches the type of fishing your doing and why . It can be quite complex and I feel a lot like shooting . When using the fishing analogy . The anti's tend to listen more because they're not automatically turned off by the gun talk . You then can transition to guns and explain it's pretty much the same thing .

Any ways I would need at least 4 firearms and all the ammo I wanted
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:49 AM   #15
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If we are talking "need", I could get by with a mid-sized handgun and an AR for hunting & SD. That's all I really need. But need has nothing to do with it.

I have what I consider to be a moderate gun collection. A lot of my friends/associates think I have too many. When asked how many guns I own I tell them "more than I need, less than I want".
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Old August 17, 2013, 08:42 AM   #16
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Everyone needs a single shot .22.
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Old August 17, 2013, 08:53 AM   #17
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A sister-in-law asked me that question once. I answered "How many pair of shoes do you need?" She hasn't asked since.
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Old August 17, 2013, 09:19 AM   #18
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How many guns do you NEED?
Enough that if I shot a different one everyday I could not shoot them all in a year.

Best regards
Bob Hunter
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Old August 17, 2013, 09:40 AM   #19
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"Need" is subjective, but I'd say the min. number would depend on what you feel the need to do (hunt, home defense, carry, target shoot, etc...). For self-defense (home and carry), I say one is minimum but 2 is highly desirable.

Last edited by glh17; August 17, 2013 at 05:01 PM.
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Old August 17, 2013, 10:06 AM   #20
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At the moment, I would say somewhere around 60. When my wife brings up the subject(not very often)I ask "How many shoes do you need?" Works every time.
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Old August 17, 2013, 10:07 AM   #21
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One more !!!

NEED ???
I would say that I don't "need" any!! However, I always make sure there is room in my safe, for one more. ....

If you save a bunch of money, it's called an investment.
If you collect stamps, it's called a collection.
If you collect salt-shakers, it's called a hobby.

If you own more that one gun, it's called an "ARSENAL" .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 17, 2013, 10:13 AM   #22
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JohnKSa's list is probably the bare minimum. I would add a rimfire pistol for practice, and probably small game, but that is really a luxury if you are limited. I just can't imagine NOT having a .22 pistol.

Hey, you can only really shoot one at a time, so what's the big deal with having several? I guess the anti's just want to limit the total number of guns out there.
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Old August 17, 2013, 10:23 AM   #23
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I guess the anti's just want to limit the total number of guns out there.
Yes, to ZERO. .... !!!

I have no problem with someone being Anti-Gun, that is mostly a political stand. I do have a problem with folks that take exception to "our" Constitution. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 17, 2013, 10:43 AM   #24
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Re: How many guns do you NEED?

I hope I never need one, but I want more
It's our right to own guns and I believe it's our responsibility exercise our rights in defiance of those seeking to limit or eliminate those rights

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Old August 17, 2013, 11:01 AM   #25
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Well, I own guns for home defense, CCW, hunting, hunting out west, shooting with the kids, competition, and for investment.

It is hard to make 1 gun do more than one purpose. For example: CCW. A CCW has to be small, light, and thin, but powerful enough(capacity and power) to be effective against a 1 - 3 assailant situation away from home. This will also require lots of shooting, dropping, wear, holster wear, and just basic use. . .look at a well worn wallet or 3 year old phone which is carried daily. That gun is not going to be a great investment. Nicks, scratches, 1000's of rounds and wear will destroy its value. It doesn't make a great HD gun either because in my PJ's, I need a gun which carries a load of ammo in the clip and a light on the rail.

Funny thing is, OH won't let me hunt with either, so more guns!!!

And at 300 + yards they aren't work a darn, so more guns. . .

Investment: Well, buying certain guns of low to moderate volume and holding them for a few years usually results in some gain. Unlike other purchases, cars, bikes, barbies and everything my wife buys, guns can be turned back into cash(at or near the purchase price) relatively quickly. Everything my wife buys cannot. Shoes?? Used shoes are worth like 10% of retail the day you walk out of the store with them on. Guns, can be worn, shot and practiced with for a year and be sold for like 80-90% of new price! Only a house is a better investment. . .well some house. . .my buddy still owes like $35k on a house he can't live in, but his guns are ALL worth more than he paid for them, so houses are not always a great deal, I guess.

I'll bet my guns increase in value faster than my 401k! WTH! Wish the company would match funds on a gun purchase.

Wish I would have bought that $4500 M16 I saw at a gun show when I was 12. . .My dad and I thought that was soooooo expensive. Now, I think I could turn it for $25,000!

So, I guess my answer is as many as I can afford without taking food from my kids mouths.
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