The One Gun Man


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Steve in Merritt Island
February 2, 2010, 06:00 PM
Do you truley know of someone that is a serious gunner that only owns one firearm? I don't. I am sure they are out there...I just haven't met 'em yet. I was a cop for 28 years and not too surprisingly the worst shots invariably were those that only owned one gun (or worse yet, owned none and just used the city-issue piece their whole career).

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David E
February 2, 2010, 06:10 PM
Yeah, pretty much.

I know one guy who's a great hunter that has a fairly modest assortment of arms. Somewhere around 6, maybe 8.

He always has his lever action 30-30 in the truck and I do mean always.

I sure wouldn't want him shooting at me under any circumstances whatsoever.

thunder173
February 2, 2010, 06:12 PM
My Dad owned a few long guns, ...but only owned one handgun,...and he had it all his adult life. It was a Colt SAA in .45LC....and he was VERY very good with it. Open or concealed,...didn't matter. You blink,..when you opened your eyes,..it was in his hand. AND he could hit what he shot at with it as well. Saw him make a lot of wth shots with that old Colt. Oldest sister still has it.

X-Rap
February 2, 2010, 06:24 PM
I think in the old days that saw might have been true, my dad the other day when we were looking through some of the 10/22's we own together commented on what Pa could have done if he had one of these. They had a few guns but not even close to the amount of ammo we do today. My dad is in his 70's and grew up poor in Northern Minnesota and they did real sustenance hunting. I think ammo was probably the rarest thing for a shooter back then.

Today it is nothing to go out and shoot 500 rds on a prarie dog town or 100's in a match or class.
Today we are probably better shots just due to the amount of practice, if all that ammo were focused on say one handgun, one rifle, and one shotgun most of us would be very good with that one gun indeed.

The Lone Haranguer
February 2, 2010, 06:33 PM
I never bought into the "beware the man with one gun" idea. It is more likely all he can afford. :p There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who have one gun, leave it in a dresser drawer or something and never shoot it.

Army of Don
February 2, 2010, 06:35 PM
There probably is no causal relationship between how many guns you own and how accurate you are. There probably is a causal relationship between how often you practice and how accurate you are. One gun or a hundred, if you shoot a lot, you're probably going to be more accurate than those that don't.

joed
February 2, 2010, 06:38 PM
I spent most of my adult life owning 1 shotgun, 1 revolver and 1 .22rf rifle. When you own only one you get better shooting it in my opinion. I went 25 years without shooting the shotgun or the .22rf, never saw a need for them as the rifle and pistol did it all for me.

I have many now and don't spend much time with any of them.

SPW1
February 2, 2010, 06:39 PM
It used to be common back in the pre-WWII days when everyone had less "spare" money. Hunting was usually more about meat than it was about sport. In that place and time guns were often considered just one of the tools needed to survive. After WWII America as a whole became more prosperous and those who still used and liked guns enough to be good with them tended more and more towards having many guns instead of just one or perhaps two. The money in pocket factor is what changed. A lot of gun nuts could now afford guns they wouldn't have been able to afford before without feeling like they were taking food out of their families mouths. As Americans today we have it good. If an American these days has only one gun the chances are very good that it means he either isn't very interested in shooting or is a brand new shooter. That wasn't always so...

Shawn Dodson
February 2, 2010, 08:35 PM
I train with and carry a Kahr PM9. Prior to moving from Seattle to Florida I trained with and carried a Glock 19. I chose the PM9 when I arrived in FL because it has the same exact manual of arms as the G19. I don't really shoot any other handguns anywhere near as much as I shoot the PM9. The rest are all, more or less, safe queens.

My hunting rifle is an old carry handle AR15A2 I converted to fire 6.8x43mm. My other rifles are all M4 carbines.

I have a Remington 870 I keep for static home defense. It's fitted with a pistol grip full stock so I can use many of the same techniques I use for the AR/M4s and handguns.

I very much believe in the man with one gun concept. He intuitively knows what he can do and can't do with it, without mental effort. It's conditioned reflex developed by extensive experience with one gun.

Cheers!

buck460XVR
February 2, 2010, 08:37 PM
I work with a guy that is an avid deer hunter. He loves to deer hunt and is fairly successful. This year he shot two deer with a bow and three with his 30-30. It is the only gun he owns. I cannot vouch for his accuracy, but assume, because he is successful every year, he must be able to hit where he aims. He won a 10/22 on a raffle once and sold it a year later without ever shooting it.....said he had no desire or interest. I 'spose that makes him a serious gunner....not.

ccsniper
February 2, 2010, 08:42 PM
My Grandpa was one. He only used one gun, a 12 gauge shotgun made in 1903. But he is gone now.

DWFan
February 2, 2010, 08:44 PM
I know one. His weapon of choice is a .41 Magnum Redhawk.

rha600
February 2, 2010, 08:50 PM
isn't that kind of like "military intelligence"?

I mean if you're a serious gunner thenby definition you'd have several guns and if you only have one gun then how can you be classified asa serious gunner?

DWFan
February 2, 2010, 09:15 PM
By the same definition that a person who owns only one motorcycle can be a serious rider. It isn't how many you have that makes you serious, but what you do with what you have. I would imagine there are firearms collectors out there that fire less than 100 rounds per year total while owning dozens of weapons.

huntsman
February 2, 2010, 09:28 PM
I mean if you're a serious gunner thenby definition you'd have several guns and if you only have one gun then how can you be classified asa serious gunner?

Who’s doing the classifying? A man with one gun may be a marksman and expert for that gun and not care about another platform or caliber.

but only owned one handgun,...and he had it all his adult life. It was a Colt SAA in .45LC....and he was VERY very good with it.

hard to beat a quality gun in a good caliber.

Bottom line you can't make generalizations about a one gun owner any more than you could assume a guy with a safe full is really somebody who knows how to use a gun.

But I do think you can tell how serious someone is about his guns by the quality of the gun and the cost, especially for SD.

DAVIDSDIVAD
February 2, 2010, 09:30 PM
I only own one pistol if that counts

Dr.Mall Ninja
February 3, 2010, 12:07 AM
My dad is a great shot and he only owns one hunting rifle at a time.

C-grunt
February 3, 2010, 12:53 AM
My dad only owns one gun now. Growing up we had a few .22s nd he bought me my first shotgun. Now he only has a Kimber Gold Match. He shoots it fairly often. Id say about once a month as finances are tough right now as he sells furniture. He's a serious gun owner.

He doesnt own any long guns because he cant really shoot them. He is left handed and blind in his left eye. Has tried to shoot right handed, but he had the tips of three of his fingers cut off years ago. They sewed them back on but he has a hard time manipulating a long gun with that hand. He also broke that hand pretty bad about 15 years ago and has a plate in it.

So he shoots his 1911. He likes the gun and he is decent with it. I can out shoot him but then again I dont have the medical problems he has. Ive been trying to talk him into either a .22 conversion or another gun.

LeontheProfessional
February 3, 2010, 12:58 AM
I have a cousin that is a great shot. It seems he can hit anything with any gun. I own a Glock 22 that he can hit an 8" gong at 60yds 9 or 10 times out of 15. The only gun he owns is a single shot 308.

Mike J
February 3, 2010, 09:31 AM
My Grandfather only had one in since I was born. He is long dead now but it was an old J C Higgins bolt action 12 gauge. My Father told me he once saw the old man strike a match with a .22 he had not shot before on a 5 dollar bet. Granddad grew up in the depression. Shooting to him was the difference between meat in the pot & doing without.

Pyzon
February 3, 2010, 11:13 AM
To expand the OP's message, I would also include those having obtained a license to carry concealed, bought a handgun and ammo and started packing without ever having read the manual, shot the gun, or practice, frequently, if ever.

I'll bet it is a staggering number.

MattTheHat
February 3, 2010, 11:30 AM
I find guns are very much like potato chips. Well, you don't eat them, but it's hard to have just one. :)


-Matt

Gouranga
February 3, 2010, 11:32 AM
To expand the OP's message, I would also include those having obtained a license to carry concealed, bought a handgun and ammo and started packing without ever having read the manual, shot the gun, or practice, frequently, if ever.

I'll bet it is a staggering number.

Well at least with the CCW classes around here (maybe everywhere but I can only speak to here), you are required to do some shooting to pass. It is pretty much you need to be able to hit the broadside of a barn type test but at least you get a few round through it first.

That being said, I own a mess of long guns but only own a single handgun. It is the one I use for home and self defense and any and all range time I have on handguns is with it. My goal was to be come an expert with it completely before I thought of getting another. That and with 4 kids to feed and take care of, and a serious fishing addiction, time, and money are limited.

CJ
February 3, 2010, 11:47 AM
The people I know who own only one I wouldn't consider 'serious gunners'. I think the most common 'one-gun-man' (or woman) is the type who purchases a pistol for 'protection', possibly never shoots it, and stores it in a shoebox in the closet.

DAVIDSDIVAD
February 3, 2010, 12:21 PM
:rolleyes: and I know a guy who snatches up every gun he thinks "rocks"; he also calls his mosin a mauser.

Sam1911
February 3, 2010, 03:33 PM
I believe that the "One Gun Man" is a very overblown concept. It may have had some relevance back in the 19th century and early 20th, when the value of a quality (or even cheap) firearm might have been a difficult financial hurdle for most folks. Combining the inability to afford a stable full of guns with the basic survival need to use them often and effectively to put food on the table certainly did breed a lot of folks who only had one or two guns and were very skilled in their use.

Now, even a high quality firearm rarely represents more than a few week's pay for most shooters. And there are tons of decent enough guns that are available for the equivalent of even a few DAY's pay. It isn't so hard to pick up a few. Whether we choose to or not, most of us could budget to purchase at least one quality firearm every year if we felt the need. (And some of us are MUCH more acquisitive than that!) For the majority of families in the 1880s to 1930s (many living at least partially through substance farming/hunting and the barter system) such disposable income would have been a wild dream. So you have the quintessential single-shot .22 or 12 ga. used to put meat on the table for a generation.

But the changes don't stop there because now, very VERY few people really count on their skill with a firearm to procure sustenance. There are plenty of hunters, of course, and they may be skilled enough with their rifles to kill a deer or two most years at short to moderate distances, or to kill a duck or goose with their shotgun, but the majority of REALLY skilled marksmen are shooting enthusiasts. Folks for whom shooting and gun collecting are hobbies that have very little to do with the necessities of their lives. That type of person doesn't generally have ONE gun. (I'd put forth that modern hunters rarely do, either.)

Now, it is said anyway, that there are an awful lot of folks who own just that one gun they keep in the sock drawer to ward off bad guys and never gets shot. I don't know that there are these folks for certain, but it's logical to assume they exist. But their skill with arms would unquestionably drag down the curve, so to speak.

All that to say: there may have been a time where this statement had a little homey truth to it, but I don't think it does in today's world. Skill at arms takes practice. Practice requires a purpose. That purpose is now no longer sustenance but interest/enthusiasm for shooting. Interest/enthusiasm breeds acquisitiveness which to me suggests that good shooters aren't "one gun" dudes any more.

IMHO

-Sam

OldCavSoldier
February 3, 2010, 03:35 PM
Mr. K. WWI vet and long-time friend of my family. Mr. K had only three guns: a 12 ga Fox SXS shotgun, a Smith & Wesson Registered .357 magnum (he bought it a couple of years after he had to sell his .38 M&P during the Depression) and a bolt-action .30-'06 with an old 4X Weaver scope mounted on it.

The last time I went shooting with Mr. K, he was near-on 90 years old and he could still live up to his reputation of "Mr. K don't miss." I STILL don't know how he did it, but, he could drill aces at ten yards with that old Smith.

Never saw him miss a duck or pheasant. Never saw him use more than one shot on a deer or elk or hog. The old guy was just about as "inhuman" as one can get regarding his skill with a firearm.

He died at almost 91 years old. Guns went to his grandsons. One to each of the three.

eye5600
February 3, 2010, 04:30 PM
I was thinking about the tendency to own multiple guns the other day.

The first thing I thought was about the amount of money involved. I know there are constant rumblings on THR about the cost of the sport, and some aspects of the sport can be very expensive, but think about how it stands up to other leisure time activities. How does the price of a gun stack up against a three-day ski trip? Or the cost of running a boat? A 100HP outboard may be $4000. If your buddy is a bass fisherman, and you are a shooter and you spend the same on your respective hobbies, how many guns are you going to be able to afford?

The second thing is pretty abstract, and THR is a pretty concrete crowd, but I'll offer it up anyway. At first it seemed that owning two guns is like a golfer owning two putters, or a skier owning two sets of skis, but that didn't seem exactly right. I think having multiple guns is more like a golfer playing on different courses, or a skier going to different mountains. And that's pretty reasonable.

And this is before you get to the guys who are simply collectors. That's a different thing.

X-Rap
February 3, 2010, 06:27 PM
I'd say a better analogy would be a coin collector. You wouldn't just have one coin of each type would you?

Kyle1886
February 3, 2010, 06:47 PM
I only "own" one pistol, but "holding" a shotgun and a 357 for one of our sons for the moment. (As far as cost---try a hobby of photography for 30 years and you have a few grand tied up in equipment. My one pistol cost less than half of one of my optics).

Vonderek
February 3, 2010, 08:13 PM
I "beware of the man with one gun" because it usually means he's only shot it once and then stuffed it loaded in a drawer. He's never taken a safety class, doesn't know the difference between SA and DA or HP and FMJ, and will be a danger to everyone around him if he needs to use his one gun in a moment of extreme stress. I've met a few "one-gun" guys and try to stay as far away as possible.

orionengnr
February 3, 2010, 09:20 PM
Yeah, I think the idea was valid several generations ago. My dad had one 1911 and he was a pretty good shot with it. He was born in 1924 and died in 1994.

I shot a little bit as a kid, and have owned a few through the years, but when I moved to TX six years ago I started shooting more...got my CHL and started buying. And shooting more. And buying more. :)

These days I shoot almost every week. I will never strike fear into the heart of Jerry Miculek or Todd Jarrett, but I am a far better shooter than I have ever been. And I am a far better shooter than the guys who accompany me to the range. They own one gun and shoot occasionally. I own many and shoot regularly.

I'm not sure if there is a legitimate cause-and-effect relationship here, but I am okay with my end of the curve...

NMGonzo
February 3, 2010, 09:33 PM
I should really sell most of my guns and be a "One pistol, one revolver, one shotgun, one semi-automatic rifle, one bolt action rifle" kind of guy.

devildog32713
February 3, 2010, 09:34 PM
I own one gun (I own one, want to own more) and shoot as much as I can, enjoy everything about guns.

Rembrandt
February 3, 2010, 09:37 PM
Owning one gun is like owning one pair of underwear......it ain't right.

ar10
February 4, 2010, 10:51 AM
There's a difference between a one gun owner, collector, and those that own a mini-arsenal:
Most one gun owners fall into two categories;
1. the person who buys a gun, takes it home and puts in in a drawer or closet, never shoots it and it sits there for 10+ years
2. The person who buys a gun, (generally handgun), then practices a couple times a month. They seem to be the better shots, and about 80% Are female.

DAVIDSDIVAD
February 4, 2010, 11:12 AM
I think it's pretty funny that the people with 30 guns say that the person with 1 gun is less likely to shoot his gun often.

How often is someone with a garage full of guns to shoot each of those guns on a regular basis? :)

Sam1911
February 4, 2010, 11:25 AM
How often is someone with a garage full of guns to shoot each of those guns on a regular basis?

How often is he likely to shoot SOMETHING? I have a few. Most of them don't get shot much. Some not for years at a time. But a few get shot at least once a week.

There is a difference between the collector mindset and the shooter mindset. For the sake of brevity we might say, some folks spend more on guns than ammo and some spend more on ammo than guns.

And a few who spend a lot on ammo are pretty competent shooters. But very VERY few folks (in my experience) who really compete or train are so very satisfied with what one gun offers them that they don't have a few others for what ever reason.

Now, if you're new to shooting and are dedicating yourself to practice and training, you certainly may have a very small stable, at the moment. But if you're at it for very long, your tastes tend to change, your needs mature, your understaning of how various features really help or hurt you improves -- and you buy more guns!

There certainly MUST be some very competent shooters who only own one gun. None of these things can be applied with total universality. But as generalizations go, I think we're on safe ground here.

-Sam

X-Rap
February 4, 2010, 11:29 AM
Those that have many might not shoot them all often but rest assured a lot of them have a few favorites that probably see a fair amount of use.
Check those that reload and you will find those who aren't just collectors and accumulators of guns but shooters as well.

Smokey Joe
February 4, 2010, 12:36 PM
Mebbe we should change the old saw to: "Beware the man who reloads his own ammo, because he burns enough of it to know how to shoot."

Cosmoline
February 4, 2010, 12:39 PM
I'm not sure having one firearm has any inherent advantage for training, but I've found that esp. these days concentrating your collection on three or four cartridges really helps. Since the shortages started hitting I've gotten rid of most everything but .450 Marlin, .357 Mag and 7.62x54R. This allows me to concentrate buying power on supplies for these rounds and these rounds only.

OregonJohnny
February 4, 2010, 02:03 PM
From the time I was 12 to about 20, The only gun I shot on a regular basis was my bare-bones Remington 870 Express. My buddy and I were encouraged (and paid) by a local berry farmer to shoot all starlings on site in his field during summer mornings. I probably put 5,000 shells through it in a couple of summers.

I have since owned and shot tons of other shotguns, rifles and handguns. But when you put a Remington 870 in my hands, watch out! I would say rather than, "Beware the man with 1 gun," the saying should be, "Beware the man who is carrying the 1 gun he shoots the most often!" But it just doesn't have the same ring.

grimjaw
February 4, 2010, 04:28 PM
My dad only owns one handgun, but that's mainly because he doesn't really care for handguns. I'd say the old adage might sometimes be true, but isn't typical.

jm

ar10
February 4, 2010, 05:47 PM
Mebbe we should change the old saw to: "Beware the man who reloads his own ammo, because he burns enough of it to know how to shoot."

Maybe or maybe not. Good example: I practice once a week, (working at a range has benefits :) ). I always shoot my carry gun, .40 sub, XD. I do ok but not perfect. Just about every Saturday a couple of older ladies, sisters, show up, one has to use a walker and sit in a chair to shoot. She shoots a very old .22 6" revolver and plugs the 3" bull at 25' every time. The other one shoots a .38 special and does the same thing. Both women have had their guns 30~40 years. I think one is in her late 80's and the other is in her 70's.

huntsman
February 4, 2010, 07:15 PM
Just about every Saturday a couple of older ladies, sisters, show up, one has to use a walker and sit in a chair to shoot. She shoots a very old .22 6" revolver and plugs the 3" bull at 25' every time. The other one shoots a .38 special and does the same thing. Both women have had their guns 30~40 years. I think one is in her late 80's and the other is in her 70's.

that is soo cool. Gun packing grannies.:)

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