What's the gun in the average "one gun household?"


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Elkins45
April 14, 2012, 03:06 PM
Someone commented in another thread that most people probably only own one gun. If that's true (and I have no way of knowing that) then what kind of gun is that single gun likely to be? On the one hand I can see it being a .22 rifle because they are probably the most popular single type of gun. On the other hand I can also imagine it might be a 38 revolver from S&W or Colt that was bought for self-defence, shot once, then loaded and put in a drawer. In both cases the guns may have been passed down from a parent.

What do you think the most common "one gun" is?

rifle?
shotgun?
handgun?

If anyone knows a source for reputable statistics on this I would love to see them.

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Apuuli
April 14, 2012, 03:10 PM
caulk gun

chevyforlife21
April 14, 2012, 03:13 PM
Agree with op

stumpers
April 14, 2012, 03:14 PM
My guess is a cheap pump shotgun.

rule303
April 14, 2012, 03:16 PM
I know several people with only one gun. In every case it is either a deer rifle, or shotgun.

MrDig
April 14, 2012, 03:18 PM
My Guesses would be, some kind of .22 rimfire, Pump Shotgun or Break Action, I would think those are beyond a doubt the most common guns in "non-gun" houses.

speedway
April 14, 2012, 03:24 PM
12 gauge pump or 22lr rifle

Bio-Chem
April 14, 2012, 03:25 PM
i'd bet a bolt action 30-06.

tubeshooter
April 14, 2012, 03:30 PM
Like you, I have no way of knowing. But I suspect that there are a lot of 12-gauge shotguns (I'm lumping in pump and single shot together) in closets or under the bed and a lot of duty sized .38 specials in dresser drawers, nightstands and headboards. Probably about evenly split, too.



There's probably a small percentage of households with just a .22 (generally rifle) as well, I bet.

General Geoff
April 14, 2012, 03:34 PM
As with most consumer goods, price and quantity are inversely proportional. As such, the majority of guns found in households will be guns that were very inexpensive to purchase. Hi-Points would be among them.

glove
April 14, 2012, 03:58 PM
I would say a 12 gauge pump or double barrel.:)

buck460XVR
April 14, 2012, 04:00 PM
I'm thinkin' it depends on the demographics. Around here, not everyone hunts ducks/upland birds, nor do they hunt small game or are overly concerned with sd/hd. But EVERYBODY and their brother hunts deer. If there's a closet around here with only one gun in it, I'd bet that one gun is a rifle capable of deer hunting.

Gtimothy
April 14, 2012, 04:03 PM
caulk gun
I was going to say staplegun....As for what most would have, I think a break action single shot shotgun in various gauges. Tons of them mass produced, inexpensive and I'm sure handed down through the family. I have a couple myself!

beatledog7
April 14, 2012, 04:04 PM
When this household had just one it was bought for CCW, a 642.

Standing Wolf
April 14, 2012, 04:07 PM
I'd bet on a .22 rim fire rifle as the most common.

T Bran
April 14, 2012, 04:10 PM
I seem to find more granddads old .22 usually a single shot and invaribly it has a broken front site for some reason. Bet I've replaced half dozen front sites over the years. Probably from leaning up in a closet corner and falling or sliding into something, just a guess.
I think I repaired and refinished more old rifles that arent mine than ones that are.
The worst ones were left loaded for 40 plus years it did keep some crud out of the action but the bbls and chambers were really yuck.
T

JPG19
April 14, 2012, 04:15 PM
I'd say a .22, as I've always been told that more people die from .22 gsw's than any other caliber (accidental discharges), although I have no data to verify this.

wyohome
April 14, 2012, 04:44 PM
I'd bet on a .22 rim fire rifle as the most common.

Nearly everyone has one as a first gun. Even if shooting did not become a hobby, most people would still have that weapon. Very few would get rid of a 22, then buy something else IMO.

Shoobee
April 14, 2012, 04:49 PM
45% of American households contain a firearm.

1% or less are hunters.

That rules out rifles and shotguns.

I would suspect the answer is a .38 revolver.

smalls
April 14, 2012, 05:05 PM
Most of my friends who only own one gun have a handgun. But most of my gun owning friends have two guns- a handgun and a shotgun.

Tcruse
April 14, 2012, 05:19 PM
Onefamily: 22 revolver passed down from father
Secondfamily: Springfield XDm 9 purchased new for home defense
Thirdfaimily:Small 25 auto (unknown brand, old, unreliable)

mp510
April 14, 2012, 05:24 PM
45% of American households contain a firearm.

1% or less are hunters.

That rules out rifles and shotguns.

I would suspect the answer is a .38 revolver.

Every fall, when they have turkey shoots, it is amazing how many non-gun, non-hunter people pull all sorts of single shot, old double, and pump shotguns to participate.

wyohome
April 14, 2012, 05:29 PM
It probably has a lot to do with urban vs rural. I know of no household without a 22 rifle.
An interesting poll might be a "Check all that apply" do you own a 22 rifle, centerfire rifle, 22 handgun, centerfire handgun, shotgun?

Fat Boy
April 14, 2012, 05:48 PM
Interesting question-

There seem to be a number of possible reasons for someone owning one gun-

Someone inherits a gun from previous generations; grandpa, uncle, etc. They didn't necessarily want a gun, but grandma, or aunt, or mom didn't want to keep it- maybe it has sentimental value- In such cases it is whatever the relative owned-

Someone wants a gun for protection- so a co/worker, friend, neighbor whatever happens to have one for sale and it is purchased- again it is whatever is available.

There may be other reasons, but these are a couple I can think of-

Again, interesting question

ApacheCoTodd
April 14, 2012, 06:07 PM
I honestly can't say that I am now or ever have been openly aware of any household that I know of as having only one firearm.

Gotta think back in the day (if no longer) it woulda been a scattergun though.

BigN
April 14, 2012, 06:09 PM
I'd say it was a 22 rifle or a 38 revolver.

JohnBiltz
April 14, 2012, 07:04 PM
Probably its all about location. I grew up in Ohio, in what was then a rural farming community. Everyone had at least one shotgun for pheasant or rabbit hunting. Out west its rifles. Urban I'd say its handguns.

wrangler708
April 14, 2012, 07:12 PM
It's either shotgun or .22 and... if you make me pick one I'd say .22.

B!ngo
April 14, 2012, 07:17 PM
45% of American households contain a firearm.

1% or less are hunters.

That rules out rifles and shotguns.

I would suspect the answer is a .38 revolver.
Ditto on the .38. I believe that more people own one for home/personal protection than any other single reason. And since gun's don't 'go bad' or generally 'wear out', the long tail, or accumulated number of .38's from other decades, from LEO sales, etc. likely dominate the single gun numbers. And people still buy these due to their apparent simplicity and cost.

GCBurner
April 14, 2012, 07:24 PM
I've visited family in a few rural areas around the country, and the guns propped in the corner or the closet for regular use were most often a .22 rifle or a single barrel shotgun in 12 or .410 gauge. Single-shot guns predominated, mostly because they're cheaper, and these guns are used as farm tools, not match guns or collectors' items.

wyohome
April 14, 2012, 07:46 PM
I believe that more people own one for home/personal protection than any other single reason
Again as a regional thing, I am the only person that I know with a 38. Others have handguns, but of other loadings. Here, handguns are used more for range toys than serious firearms.

Axel Larson
April 14, 2012, 07:58 PM
I agree with Shoobee but I would say that right now it would be a semiautomatic pistol that is in either 9mm or 40S&W. I have also read that the majority of gun owners have handguns.

Byrd666
April 14, 2012, 08:08 PM
Having been a "one gun" household in the past, mine was a snubby Ruger .357 until it was stolen. After that it was a 2.5" Smith .357 mag

But I would think, or agree that it would be some sort of hunting rifle or a "cheap" pump shotgun.

JohnKSa
April 14, 2012, 08:11 PM
I'd guess that, based on the "single gun" gun owners I've known, it's a .22 revolver for urban/suburban dwellers and a .22 rifle for rural folk.

bscott29
April 14, 2012, 10:45 PM
In Ohio you can't hunt deer with a rifle, but you can hunt deer, rabbit, pheasant squirrel and groundhogs with a shotgun. Most people have a Winchester, Remington or mossberg 12ga pump.

tubeshooter
April 14, 2012, 10:47 PM
Demographics seems to play a big role in the answers. Makes sense; different "single gun" households with different needs.

kbbailey
April 14, 2012, 11:04 PM
In Ohio you can't hunt deer with a rifle, but you can hunt deer, rabbit, pheasant squirrel and groundhogs with a shotgun. Most people have a Winchester, Remington or mossberg 12ga pump.

It's the same here in Illinois. As far as this part of the country, Id go with a shotgun on this one.

cl4de6
April 14, 2012, 11:50 PM
Here in New Jersey, it's probably either a pump-action shotgun, a 4" .38 caliber revolver, or a 9mm pistol - most likely a Glock 19, Beretta 92FS, or Sig P226.

Why am I so confident? The hunters have the shotguns (you can't hunt with a rifle in NJ). The older residents have the old .38 caliber revolvers. The younger people have the 9mm Glock 19's and Beretta 92's. So why am I being so specific?

NJ has a magazine capacity limit of 15 rounds. If you buy a Glock 17 or an M&P9 the gun comes with 10 round magazines. So (at least in NJ), a Glock 19 holds more rounds than a Glock 17. The Glock 19, Beretta 92 and Sig P226 come with 15 round magazines standard.

I would imagine that in states with 10 round limitations, you would see people go with an increase in caliber to compensate for the limited magazines. This leads me to believe that in states with 10 round limitations, you would see more .40's, .45's or .44 wheelguns, but I could be wrong.

I know a couple of people who only have one gun in their home. Those guns are:
Mossberg 590.
Sig P220 38 Super (An odd caliber, but she likes it)
Glock 19
Colt Python
Kimber .45
Remmington 870
Glock 22
Glock 22
Sig P226
Sig P226

maple_leaf_eh
April 15, 2012, 12:01 AM
I have to agree with the function of geography on choice. Here in Canada, there are fewer guns to begin with, but probably more hunters and target shooters, than handgun owners. Our gun laws since the 1930's have discouraged people having handguns except for collecting and target shooting.

So, on just about every farm it would be a single shot shotgun or an old Cooey .22LR rifle. For those closer to the East Coast, it would be a 12ga duck or goose gun. Further west and in the Arctic a centrefire rifle, maybe a .303BR Lee Enfield No.1 or No.4. In the Quebec it is definately a hunting rifle. In urban Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal (our three big cities), I going to derisively suggest an unregistered handgun.

Onward Allusion
April 15, 2012, 01:09 AM
Can't say which one would be the most common, but it can probably be narrowed down to a revolver in 38 Spl, a 22LR rifle, or a shotgun.

Sniper66
April 15, 2012, 10:07 AM
Only one gun?? That's downright depressing.

Taurus 617 CCW
April 15, 2012, 11:05 AM
My folks only had one gun in the house growing up. It was an old Stevens single shot 12 gauge shotgun. For me it all started with a $49 8mm Mauser rifle.

JoeMal
April 15, 2012, 11:10 AM
12 gauge

Claude Clay
April 15, 2012, 11:17 AM
urban vs rural helps with perspective

reading and hearing news for decades about homeowners taking out the trash the news usually refers to the weapon as a handgun. if they are more specific, its usualllly a revolver. though this does not mean that the homeowner did not have more than that weapon...im gonna say the under 4" revolver in 38 special

valnar
April 15, 2012, 12:23 PM
I know many people with a CCW type of gun and no .22. In fact, my first 10 guns I purchased did not contain a .22

I live in an urban area.

I imagine the .22 is a staple of rural people for a variety of reasons, but I just don't see that much use up in my neck of the pavement.

csa77
April 15, 2012, 03:28 PM
i know afew people who only own 1 gun

grandma- very old h&r american double action .32s&w
my current boss- old h&r 22 special
my past boss - some sort of sig 9mm
a friend of mine- ruger blackhawk .357
my sister airlight S&W j frame .38 special

al123
April 15, 2012, 03:29 PM
I think it depends on the region.

My guess locally is a glock or a 12 gauge pump as the most common weapon in a one firearm household.

abq87120
April 15, 2012, 06:18 PM
I've had only one twice. The first was a Sears .22 that I left in the closet when I left my folks home. My younger brother shot it after I left. When I got married, I bought a short 20 ga pump with a pistol grip for home defense. That was joined later by a 44 Mag S&W 629 6.5" barrel for hiking in bear country, Colorado.

gym
April 15, 2012, 07:10 PM
I go with a 38. Most ex cops took them home, and up untill 15+ yrs ago they were the most popular gun amoung civilians.They have been handed down by generations.And until Glocks came out, every guy I knew including me, had at least one snubby for carry, since theses small 9's and 40's didn't exhist 20 years ago. Hi power and walthers, were about the first popular autos to grab market share from revolvers. When I got mine in 1972, everyone had a Colt- DS or a S&W revolver in 38 or 357.

marv
April 15, 2012, 10:03 PM
Single barrel break open shotgun and/or a .22 rifle.

ChCx2744
April 16, 2012, 03:48 AM
Something also tells me that it's either gonna be a .38 or .22. Funny thing is, I don't own either one of em. I want a .22, though.

bannockburn
April 16, 2012, 06:58 AM
I would say, in terms of the general population, that the one gun in a household would be a revolver; most likely a .38 Special, kept in a nightstand or a box in the closet.

Now if we're talking about a slightly more specific group, like households where a family member hunts, then I would think a shotgun would probably be found there.

jim in Anchorage
April 16, 2012, 07:22 AM
No way a .38. Lot's of states make it difficult to own a hand gun. Most likely in my experience when I lived in NY was a cheap 12 ga.

Deus Machina
April 16, 2012, 07:26 AM
In my experience, it's either a pump shotgun or a revolver. In the small town I grew up, the handguns are probably four or five revolvers to every 1911 or Luger/Walther, whichever the person's father or grandpa kept in a box under the bed.

Houses with break-open shotguns also tended to have a rifle--the 'shotgun only' state law wasn't strictly enforced in an area where a lot of hunting was done on farmers' land and a lot of the citizens (and occasionally police force) remembered the depression.

x_wrench
April 16, 2012, 07:51 AM
well, a shotgun is THE most versatile gun out there. you can hunt anything from squirrels to moose and bear with it, and EVERYTHING in between. but i am sure the ol' 22 has as many, if not more followers in one gun homes. so in my veiw, i would say it is most likely one of those 2. and yes, there are thousands and thousands of old 38 spl revolvers out there. many of which sit in night drawer stands by the owners bed. but NOTHING will freak out a bad guy in your home more than looking down the barrel of a 12 guage shotgun pointed in his or her direction!

David4516
April 16, 2012, 02:22 PM
Based on what I've seen, either a .38 revolver OR (and I'm surprised nobody else has said this) a .30-30 lever action. Seems like here in the NW anyway, just about everybody has a Model 94 Winchester...

Carl Levitian
April 16, 2012, 04:17 PM
There's probably more old .22 rifles stashed in closets than any other firearm. Either from grandpa, Uncle so-and-so, or from their own boy scout days.

Carl.

DammitBoy
April 16, 2012, 04:35 PM
a 12ga shotgun

hermannr
April 16, 2012, 04:36 PM
My Canadian Cousin: very nice CZ .22 rifle, for shooting gophers in his pasture. My dad (after I left and absconded with everything...but)...a 1903 Win 1897 12 guage (I have it too now)

My first gun was a used Marlin single shot 22, don't know where it is, (which daughter took it) my second gun was a Marlin Model 60 repeater and I still have it and all the rest.....22. my third gun was an original Rugar Bearcat...22, my fourth gun was a Rem 700, my fith gun was a 38 cal Colt revolver...then I moved out of the house...everything since then has been either High Standard, or CZ, all older, even the one I purchased last year.

I have one daughter (out of 5) that want's them ALL...yes, she has her own too, but she still wants the whole collection.

I think I would go with most folk have a .22 as an only gun though I do have one daughter that has an lonely gun, it is a shotgun, but she expects some from me when I go.

Owen Sparks
April 16, 2012, 04:39 PM
There is an easy way to find out.
just find what is the best selling firearm in the country. Probably a cheap .22 or single barrel shotgun.

DammitBoy
April 16, 2012, 05:16 PM
I was wrong - most likely a rifle according to the 'General Social Survey' (1994)


A National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms (NSPOF), conducted in 1994 indicates that Americans own 192 million guns, with 36% of these consisting of rifles, 34% handguns, 26% shotguns, and 4% of other types of long guns

So rifle, handgun, shotgun in that order...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Social_Survey

Certaindeaf
April 16, 2012, 05:21 PM
Nintendo 4000.

Bushpilot
April 17, 2012, 01:17 PM
Like a few other posters mentioned, it probably makes a big difference whether it is an urban, suburban or rural "one gun" household. I think most likely the urban "one gun" household has a handgun of some sort. Suburban could be anything but if I had to guess I'd say a handgun might still top the list with shotgun a close second. In rural areas, at least in the east, I'd say the shotgun is probably the leader. I've known several old farmers whose only firearm was a shotgun. I think a shotgun is probably the "classic" farm gun. In the rural west it might be a different story. Or, maybe it has more to do with what Grandpa shot and left them regardless of where they live.

wdunlap
April 17, 2012, 01:38 PM
For over 10 years the only gun in my house was a .22 LR rifle. I recently purchased two pistols, a .40 S&W and a .380. I have been considering a 12 gauge pump for the "last stand." I live in a suburban community.

allaroundhunter
April 17, 2012, 03:17 PM
I would put money on a shotgun. Of the families I know of that only have one gun, the vast majority of them have a 12 ga, with one having a 16.

54lariat
April 18, 2012, 11:31 PM
I would think a shotgun....but I don't know anyone with only 1 firearm :uhoh:

fdf
April 19, 2012, 05:17 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Someone commented in another thread that most people probably only own one gun. If that's true (and I have no way of knowing that) then what kind of gun is that single gun likely to be? On the one hand I can see it being a .22 rifle because they are probably the most popular single type of gun. On the other hand I can also imagine it might be a 38 revolver from S&W or Colt that was bought for self-defence, shot once, then loaded and put in a drawer. In both cases the guns may have been passed down from a parent.

What do you think the most common "one gun" is?

rifle?
shotgun?
handgun?

If anyone knows a source for reputable statistics on this I would love to see them.


Why not start again and ask only those who own only one gun to respond and then the OP would know?

Seems simple.

scotjute
April 20, 2012, 11:44 AM
For 12 years I owned only one gun. First 8 yrs it was a .357 mag revolver. Traded that in for a 20 gage/.22 lr over & under which was only gun for next 4 years. Then I added a 12 gage pump, and then a .357 revolver and so on.

SFsc616171
April 20, 2012, 03:22 PM
A revolver.

mac tm
April 20, 2012, 05:12 PM
There was, and still is, a single shot .410 in my boyhood home. It took care of anything that needed to be shot on the farm, at least until I convinced mom and dad on a bb gun and later a .22. Then I moved out, bought a safe, and am working on filling it.

Loosedhorse
April 20, 2012, 05:41 PM
Someone commented in another thread that most people probably only own one gun. If that's true45% of American households contain a firearm.There's the trouble with statistics right there: this idea that an "average" household has one gun.

My guess: most commonly (53-59%), household have no guns. Source: Gallup (http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/self-reported-gun-ownership-highest-1993.aspx).

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/sgcossbzcei5hhmpeq0ryq.gif

The Census (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html) puts the total number of households at around 114 million, so figure 51 million households with guns. The number of guns privately held in the US is estmated at 200-300 million, so that would seem to work out to more than one per household--closer to 4.

So, next most commonly after zero guns, an American household has multiple guns, even if it's "just" a Ruger or Marlin .22 and a few others. Households with only one gun would seem to be far less common.

My guess is that one-gun households vary a lot: some might have an old shotgun or 1911 that used to belong to Granpa. Some have they .22 rifle they used as a kid. Some have a handgun--I know several folks here who have bought a handgun as their only gun in the house purchase.

Owen Sparks
April 20, 2012, 06:24 PM
I don't think that survey is very accurate. Would YOU tell a phone pollster about your guns? Most of probably would not and besides, MILLIONS of guns have been sold since Obama was elected setting all sorts of sales records. Practically all of them are somewhere on someones property. Why is this not reflected in the servey?

Elkins45
April 20, 2012, 11:14 PM
I don't think that survey is very accurate. Would YOU tell a phone pollster about your guns? Most of probably would not and besides, MILLIONS of guns have been sold since Obama was elected setting all sorts of sales records. Practically all of them are somewhere on someones property. Why is this not reflected in the servey?
I wonder how many of those newly sold guns went to households that had none before?

Why not start again and ask only those who own only one gun to respond and then the OP would know?

I'm pretty sure a firearms forum isn't the best to gather data from people who only own one gun.

Mike J
April 20, 2012, 11:23 PM
I still remember when I was a kid & Granddad's only gun was an old J C Higgins bolt action 12 gauge. He used it for everything. My Fathers only gun was a pump action Winchester .22 until I was about 12 or 13 & someone gave him a deal on a Revelation 12 gauge that was later joined by an Ivers Johnson .38. So my vote goes for shotguns. I have also observed that just about all of my 8 Aunts & Uncles on my Fathers side have a shotgun of some sort in their homes that was passed down from one relative or another. None of them hunt & only 2 or 3 were really gun people when they were younger.

KTXdm9
April 21, 2012, 03:02 PM
One gun house here (hopefully not for long). I own an XDm 9 mm. I grew up with a .22 rifle and a 20 ga in the house.

Fishslayer
April 21, 2012, 08:37 PM
My guess would be that it would depend on the age group. To my knowlege the only gun in my Grandpa's house was a single shot exposed hammer .410.

Probably the city folks today who are buying one gun for HD would be going Glock because that's what the cops use.:rolleyes:

"Little old ladies" I would think would be going for .38SP.

RBid
April 21, 2012, 10:02 PM
I have seen similar estimates to the ones listed by Loosedhorse.

iirc, 258 million guns owned, by 45% of US households. Estimated current US population = 303 million.


I can't begin to guess at the most common 'single gun', because just about everybody I know have 0, or 2+.

gpb
April 21, 2012, 10:34 PM
I think most single gun households have a single shot bolt action 22 that used to be a repeater until Cousin Fred borrowed it and lost the magazine.

dacotah
April 21, 2012, 11:01 PM
At first, my folks had a one gun household -- the only gun was Dad's .22 rifle that he had as a kid.

Then there were two guns, when my grandfather gave me his .22 rifle that he had used as a kid.

So, I'm going to go with a .22 rifle as most common.

MachIVshooter
April 22, 2012, 02:29 PM
I know quite a few folks belonging to one-gun households. The ones that are semi-rural/rural have a shotgun almost without exception. The ones who are more suburban/urban are usually handgun, though a fair number of scatterguns there, too.

The reason for the shotgun in more rural areas is obvious, and traces it's roots back to the days of the pioneers. While the Colt revolver and Winchester rifle got all the fame and glory, the shotgun was the real workhorse and is truly the gun that settled the west. Versatility was/is the name of the game if you can only afford/carry one firearm, and the shotgun has more of it than a handgun or rifle.

I only know one person who had a centerfire rifle as his only gun, and that was for about two weeks until he picked up a handgun.

Inebriated
April 22, 2012, 02:59 PM
An 870.

holdencm9
April 22, 2012, 11:34 PM
Yeah my guess would be a .22LR rifle, either a Marlin or a 10/22. Next most common would be a 12-gauge pump....870 or Mossberg of some sort.

I don't think handguns would be a common "only gun" in a house although my friend only has one gun (for now) it is a Davis P-32 his uncle had picked up somewhere along the way and passed along to him.

Tim the student
April 22, 2012, 11:37 PM
Around here I suspect it is a 12 gauge pump.

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