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How Do You Justify, In Your Mind, Large Gun Collections?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Phydeaux642, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Participating Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    First, let me say that I believe that every person should be able to own as many firearms as they want, whether they need them or just want them. If you have the money, go for it. What I'm asking is have you ever come to a point in your collecting where you had to try to justify to yourself buying another firearm?

    Everyone has their own idea of what a large collection is. For some, ten firearms constitutes a large collection and for others it may number into the hundreds. I read here on THR a couple of years ago about a member that had around 1500 firearms and was looking to scale it back to a more manageable 200-300 pieces.

    For me, let's just say I have more than ten and waaayyyy less than 1500. I've come to point, though, where I am conflicted. I now have more guns than I will shoot regularly, if at all, but I'm always looking. I love stopping in at the LGS and looking around. I always head for the used section looking for that "grail" gun. Part of me wants to keep buying the things that I find interesting and the other part is telling me to sell some of what I have because when I go to the range I usually take the same guns over and over anyway. Plus, I'm divorced with no kids and my sister and mother have no interest in my guns. It would just be a burden for them to try and sell them if something were to happen to me.

    Some say, as a justification, that they add to their collection as an investment, but I think that we all know that most guns are really not an investment at all. Sometimes you end up having a gun that has gone up a considerable amount since you've owned it, but that isn't all that common. At best, most guns hold a respectable amount of their value over time, but nothing that would classify them as investments.

    So, how do you justify the next purchase when you know that you have enough guns to cover all of the shooting scenarios for your particular shooting lifestyle, i.e., hunting, plinking, carrying, etc.?
  2. danprkr

    danprkr Participating Member

    Apr 26, 2009
    I may hit that point when I have to kick the wife out to have room for more, but until then, I can't imagine the scenario you lay out.
  3. Big_E

    Big_E Active Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Boise, ID
    Like it says in my sig. Guns are tools and each is designed for a particular job. I might get involved in CASS so I would buy a .357 (or .44 or .45LC) lever gun. However, I might not like shooting it for practice all the time so I buy a Marlin 39A. If I want something bigger on another hunt then go for the Guide Gun in .45-70.

    Same goes for almost all other rifle/pistol categories. I'd rather ask myself "What will I hunt with?" Instead of "Will I go hunting?"

    There is a point where if you have more than 2 of the exact same rifle then you should cut back imho.

    Only thing holding me back from the ultimate collection is money and storage space.
  4. inSight-NEO

    inSight-NEO Active Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    I am never sure as to whether or not my weapon collection could be construed as "justifiable," in the literal sense, other than the weapons I specifically purchase for HD and or CC. Outside of this, to me, "justifiable" basically boils down to whether or not I can afford to add to my collection and thus, has less to do with "need" and more to do with "want."

    Of course, my wife repeatedly tries to "justify" her shoe collection....over 50 pairs and counting. Needless to say, both she and I are somewhat at odds when it comes to comparing my gun collection to her shoe collection!
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Mentor

    Feb 6, 2007
    I don't own motorcycles I don't ride, I don't own tools I don't use and the only guns I own that I don't shoot are a coupla ones handed down from my grandfather and my dad. My assortment of firearms is probably above average, but I try to shoot most of them on a regular basis. The ones I no longer enjoy shooting are trade bait for something else that hopefully I will enjoy more. I personally cannot justify owning guns just to own them and to look at them, and I do not consider guns a wise investment compared to other forms of investing, thus if they ain't bein' shot....they're gone.
  6. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    Devaluing dollar, economic and social unrest, increased value in tangible useful items, anti-gun leaders (admittedly it is getting harder for leaders to make things illegal with the stroke of a pen, but there is the reality of it), and guns are just plain cool, valuable, and interesting.

    As far as an investment, they are investments in my freedom, liberty, security, etc. Sure I have more than enough, but that's okay. I always have spares. And from an economic point, I haven't lost money on any except a few, and the amount I've lost is negligible. I've easily made money on my collection, factoring in inflation and time.

    The same money put in cash would have lost; in the stock market would likely have either lost or gone sideways for the last decade; property would have lost - gold and copper would have gone up, but I'm not the type to buy gold or copper. It's useless in my opinion, except as a speculative investment and it could just have easily gone down.
  7. chicharrones

    chicharrones Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away
    For me, it's about money. I'm not as prolific a shooter as many due to ammo, fees, etc.

    I do like owning the few I have because I like machinery and the machinery that launches bullets. I've hit the point where justifying the purchase of a new or used gun is hard to do because I have enough to be used as "tools" plus a few extra.

    My new focus is on training the kids. Any new purchases I make will probably be centered on them, just like my recent purchase of a .22 rifle for my daughter.
  8. Gottahaveone

    Gottahaveone Active Member

    Jun 18, 2008
    Upstate SC
    It's really pretty simple....I want them. When I see something new and I want it and I am willing to pay the asking price, I get it. I'm currently nearing the 50 count and while I don't shoot every one every time I go to the range, I have no desire to rid myself of any particular one. Do I need 4 Mosin's? Nope. But they each in their own way attracted me. Next time this question comes around again, I wouldn't be surprised to see that 4 be 7 or 8. And don't even get me started on the .45's :evil:
  9. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Heart of Dixie
    I work hard for my money, and so long as the family is provided for and such, if I want it I'll buy it. I want to enjoy my money, that's all the justification I need.
  10. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Senior Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    My girlfriend always gets on to me saying that I am buying too many guns... She doesn't see the need for that many guns... and to just get a few really nice ones.

    I tell her that I want at least one of every "type" of firearm. A 22 revolver, a 22 semi auto, a 22 lever gun, and a bolt action 22. A single shot shot gun, a pump, a semi, a side by side and an over-under. For my Mosins, a 91/30, an M-38 and an M-44. Maybe a Finn M39 some day.... so on and so forth.

    Now if I honestly don't like a gun, I will sell it or trade it. Or if I want to finance a new purchase I might trade off a few of the ones that just don't do anything for me anymore.

    Then I get the idea of truck and beater guns... Boy I sure do like my Colt Defender but I don't want that tossed around in my truck all the time, How about a Rock Island compact for truck duty? And my Mosin M-38 would be a fantastic truck gun but it is in really good shape and they are getting harder and harder to come by. So I pick up a Chinese Type 53 that is beat to pieces at the pawn shop for $75. I would like to get 2 SKSs. One in pristine shape and one for a beater gun. That is how I justify duplicates in a collection.

    I don't think I'll ever put a specific number limit on my collection but I think every gun should have a reason for being in your collection. If you can think of a reason for it then its good to go.

    HGUNHNTR Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    I guess I don't see the need for an excuse/justification, I have what I have. The number of firearms may go up or down depending on my particular mood or wants.
  12. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Gun "collections" are like Hummel figures, chess sets, old tools, or any other collection. There is no justification needed. Whatever one can afford.
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Senior Elder

    Sep 8, 2005
    If I shoot them, I don't consider them a "collection."

    I really can't justify the ones I don't shoot, to myself. They take up space and bring no pleasure. I have a fair number of those, but I don't have anything "special" that I don't shoot. If I had Buffalo Bill's first Sharps rifle or something, I'd probably enjoy owning it without shooting it.

    Then again, I met a guy when I went buffalo hunting, and he had an unissued Trapdoor Springfield. It looked brand new, despite being 125 years old. He used it with black powder handloads on that hunt. I'm not sure if he planned to use it again, but he figured it had to be used for something, at least once.

    See, when I think of it that way, I can't understand why I have any guns I don't shoot... I don't have any bottles of Scotch I don't drink, cars I don't drive, shoes I don't wear, etc.
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Mentor

    Sep 30, 2005
    The same way I justify tools to complete the jobs I do. All it takes to do anything is one of everything.
  15. parsimonious_instead

    parsimonious_instead Active Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    I'm a very tactile person. I love how each of my longarms feels different from one another. And I love the super-solid feel of my GP100.
    Each one gives me a different type of shooting experience, and I want that experience to be as varied as possible.
    At the range, I shoot one until I get a hankering to shoot the others, then I usually go back to the first one.
  16. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Feb 18, 2007
    NE Ohio
    You want to put your money in stocks and bonds, or US bonds? Guns probably go up 5-10% each year.
  17. inSight-NEO

    inSight-NEO Active Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    On the lighter side, if any here have a wife, good luck selling this stuff! Unless your significant other is very understanding, kept in the dark or is a gun enthusiast, once again, good luck with the whole "justification" thing!

    Out of all the weapons I own (I wont state how many), only 2 can I truly "justify"...according to my wonderful wife!
  18. del4

    del4 Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Walker, La.
    How do you justify a nice car, a big house, extra food, golf clubs, jewelry, nice clothes, hobbies...guns are just victims of bad press.
  19. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Some guns I have to shoot. Some guns I have just to have.

    What I don't have is a significant other who places a burden of proof on each purchase. For that I have gratitude.
  20. GraceOutcast

    GraceOutcast New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    I've added 4 this month from my friend Mr. Craig List. I've come to a point that I need to trade in for some others. I think a practical number for me right now is 50 and I have a little more then half that now. I'm still a renter so when I get a house.....I'm totally gonna have a gun room with wall to wall safes

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