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Anyone else becoming a "gun miminalist"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MatthewVanitas, Jan 23, 2004.

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  1. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Long story, but I'll try and cut it down a bit. My pops is a preacher, always been a big garage-sale and auction buff, always a dealer and trader on the side. Raised me to be a packrat and scrounger. As a result, in my teens I acquired massive amounts of musical instruments, most bought for a song, the odder the better. As I got older, I used my disposable cash to buy up any milsurp that caught my fancy, random "flash guns", anything that seemed interesting.

    But the wheel was slowly turning... A large combination of factors slowly came together: charity work in rural Latin America, friendships with countercultural types, my military enlistment. All these factors, bit by bit, caused me to question my acquisitive nature.

    At the same time, my father was getting interested in the "voluntary simplicity" concept. Together we watched the documentary "Affluenza", read books like "Your Money or Your Life", "Clutter's Last Stand", etc. (and I hasten to add, I am not normally the self-help book type). He began to preach warnings against avarice, hoarding, the lust for more and more material possessions. He now says "The things you own, own you. Every thing you own cost a portion of your life to acquire, and continues to drain your attention and resources. Each thing is one more thing to maintain, clean, store, and worry about it being lost, damaged, or stolen. As long as a material object truly makes your life better, it's worth owning. But when it becomes a burden rather than a joy, let it go."

    As a result, I've been gradually (with notable acceleration) selling, trading, or giving away the things I own. It's been an ongoing, but surprisingly enjoyable process. Some of you may have noticed the number of "For sale" ads I've posted on this board. Fortunately, those sales aren't due to poverty, but to a desire to only own the firearms I truly enjoy owning. I felt guilt for never firing my lovely Swede Mauser, worried about some spot rusting where I hadn't put enough cosmoline. Now it's in the hands of a THR member who always wanted a 6.5mm, and that pleases me. I still have firearms, and greatly enjoy the few I own. Now I can get sufficient practice on every single gun in one range trip.

    This has further extended to books, CDs, and musical instruments. Still ongoing, but I'm hopeful that I'll eventually reach the perfect balance.

    Does this ring true for any other THRers out there? I'm quite open to hearing any dissenting opinion as well. Sorry to be long-winded, but I just wanted to say my piece. Thanks, -MV
     
  2. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    You're divesting. I'm acquiring. It just proves that there is balance in the universe.
     
  3. BigG

    BigG Member

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    It's a phase you are going thru. If you are truly meant to be a gunnut (meant to be a compliment) you will get over it. I tried to minimalize also, once. Got down to two calibers: .223 and .45 ACP. But then I needed a .22, and a 12 gauge, and a ... ;)
     
  4. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Er, sort of...

    I found myself letting dust accumulate on my P7M8, Beretta 96D, and SIG P-228, so I sold or traded them all, but with each sale I thought "Now I can put this cash into a S&W wheelgun or 1911 that I really want."

    Does it count that I look forward to the day that I can look at some deserving youngster and say: "Here's a really nice collection of S&W revolvers. You're the caretaker of it now. Enjoy it while you're here, and always keep an eye out for someone who'll appreciate it when you're gone..."

    When you own a really nice gun that's a good shooter despite being made in 1899, you don't feel like an owner, merely a custodian. :uhoh:
     
  5. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Ah, Big G, that's the key: I'm trying to become a "shooter" rather than a "collector". Though I doubt I'll ever become the proverbial "man with one gun who probably knows how to use it", I can at least keep the sheer number down. Got a Ruger .22, 1911, and T/C Contender. That's down from my peak of 15 firearms.

    Admittedly, a T/C Contender doesn't lend itself to simplicity, because modularity tends to breed accessories. But after deployment I plan to carefully organize it into "barrel case" and "stock/grip" box so everything will be right where I want it. Also a new barrel takes up a lot less space than a new pistol.

    As to whether it's a phase or lifelong change, only time will tell. Whether this will weather the storms of eventual marriage and offspringage remains to be seen.

    Less stuff does make decorating an apartment kind of tricky: "well, my bicycle spoke wrenches look kind of cool, I suppose they can do double-duty as knick-knacks"
     
  6. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    Well, I can certainly go along with the "things own you" philosophy.

    My wife's been a crafter hobbiest, has done really good work, but never went retail. We have gobs of raw material around that, as we slow down in our senior age, she says it is "too much, I need to throw this stuff away". Problem is - she's hard pressed to do it.

    I don't have gobs of toys, but there are some long guns that haven't seen the field or a range in years. My newer toys are - new, and I still want to play with them; the older ones, well, I just don't want to part with them yet.

    But I know the time's coming when I'll have to pass all of them on.

    Maybe, instead of cremation I'll do the box thing and have my toys cosmolined, wrapped and stowed with me. If I get to the other end and find they are of no use there, they'll be available for my downline if they were to need toys in a hurry. ;)

    -Andy
     
  7. duckfoot

    duckfoot member

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    I feel ya brother.

    Happier with less than burdened with more.
     
  8. BigG

    BigG Member

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    MatthewVanitas: Let me just quote Robt. Deniro from his role in "Ronin." A guy asks him what kind of guns he likes. Deniro says, "It's a toolbox. You put in what you need for the job, then you go do the job." So, what I mean is, it depends on you. If you become a once a year deer hunter for a weekend, one rifle and a box of shells may last you five years. The shells, I mean. If you become a pistol target shooter, you will start with one thing and maybe end with the same thing. Again, one gun. However, if it becomes an abiding interest, you will own two and perhaps three guns: a 22, a centerfire, and a .45, because that's what the discipline takes. Again, if you become a clay target guy, you may go thru beaucoup different shotguns trying for that magic one that will make you look like a million dollars, or at least feel like one. :)

    As a young man between 16 and 35 I owned many, many guns. I plumbed the depths of my fancy trying anything I was curious about. As it turned out, the Colt 45 Auto and the S&W DA revo (my original favs) turned out to be the most pleasing for me and the Browning, SIG, yada yada were sold and used to buy additional Colts and S&Ws. The same process happened in rifles and shotguns. Now, that does not mean I do not have other weapons. I have a Luger which makes a pretty poor defensive weapon but it is pure happiness to plink around with and is accurate as a target pistol. I have a S&W target automatic that shoots .38 Special wadcutters, etc. etc. All of these give me a special kick when I take them out to the range, but understand, they were my later choices having tried the field before I settled on them. You seem to like milsurps. I only had a brief fling with that type but it really was over fast. Like I said, I tried whatever I wanted but I do not think less of somebody because their shooting interest lies in any particular area, rather, I like them because they are fellow shooters and it's always interesting and profitable to converse with like minded people. I see a guy at the range quite often. He shoots guns that I have little interest in but I fiind him a great conversationalist and he compliments me on my guns and I compliment him on his. He had me shoot his 8mm German Mauser one time and I put a round offhand right where I called it. He was fairly amazed but I had been shooting my little 308 offhand up to that time and was fairly steady. I let him pop off a magazine of a SIG 9mm or some pistol I had with me. So everytime we meet there is a little acknowledgement, a lttle secret bond of friendship between us. This guy I would never have met otherwise, so the guns have brought me friendship as well as satisfaction in and of themselves. Pretty profitable if you ask me.
     
  9. garrettwc

    garrettwc Member

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    I seem to be leaning in that direction. I have had several hobbies over the years. Most of them fads. Some of those hobbies led to offshoots that also became hobbies. Because of that I have accumulated a variety of useless items that have to be moved around, dusted, etc.

    I am slowly beginning the process of eliminating most of the excess. I have found that I have a few "true loves" in my hobbies. I have decided to concentrate on those and eliminate the others.

    In respect to guns (one of the three hobbies I decided to keep) I have been able to identify certain models (designs) that I truly like to shoot. The others, bought mostly because they were "popular" or whatever adjective you prefer, are slowly being sold off. The cash is being used to buy a select few of the ones I like.
     
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Matthew, I'm minizing, too. From now on, "only the best...":

    ...concealable hunting revolver"
    ...historically significant but still useful autoloading rifle"
    ...lightweight compact defensive pistol"
    ...lightweight compact slim duty-calibered pistol"
    ...lightweight deep cover handgun"
    ...short-range deer thumper"
    ...
    Matthew, you're not helping me. :D
     
  11. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    I am an acquirer. I am amassing a collection so that my kids (and nieces and nephews) will be able to inherit quality firearms as they grow older and more responsible. I am on a crusade to hook as many young people as possible.

    I am optomistic, but I am hedging my bets. I want to ensure that my relatives and their offspring will have the tools to stay free.

    I believe that we all have a duty to the future of the Republic.
     
  12. Freedspeak

    Freedspeak Member

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    Divesting

    If you are divesting, let me know what you wish to divest, I may just wish to aquire, and then we work from there.:D
     
  13. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Geezuz. My ma never threw a friggin' thing out. She kept every single bit of packaging that ever came into the house. Every single pie plate, carpet milk bag, bits of cloth and all my clothing, her's and my brother's from when we were kids and when she worked. When she died, it took a 20 foot garbage bin to get it all out. There were pie crusts that had moulded in the fridge. Why? Because she went through the "Great Depression". The people who did that, and I've had it confirmed by a Real Estate guy, never pitch anything. They don't know how.
    Having said that, pitching your toys/collection is daft. You aren't your da. A firearm collection has nothing to do with the Third World. It's an investment that you can expect to hand down to your kids and grandkids. It's da's stuff they won't have if you get rid of it.
    My da was RCEME during WW II. I have a picture of him in his Army suit, his tool box, some of his ties and nothing else. Trust me. It means a lot to have anything that your da owned.
     
  14. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    A few points of clarification:

    I agree totally that firearms are tools, that's why I have a few rather than just one. Different firearms, different uses. But if I don't hunt deer, I don't need a deer rifle. I'm not going to keep a deer rifle lying around "just in case" I ever need one. I'm confident that, should I need a deer rifle, I'll be able to go out and buy one. If I don't spend cash on everything that catches my fancy, I'll have the cash to buy what I truly want and will use.

    Regarding the Third World: that did not influence me towards minimalism due to some romanticized notion of the simple life. Ironically, it was seeing the excesses of the noveau riche that bothered me. People rose up in a generation from peasant farmers to gov't bureacrats, and instantly surrounded themselves with flashy and tawdry junk, a disdain for manual labor, etc. It made me realize that most people who don't have much aren't restrained by belief, but by sheer lack of ability to acquire more.

    Regarding posterity: when I have kids, they'll get their own guns to suit them, rather than have me buy dozens now in case they'll like them later. If semi-auto rifles are banned by then, they'll get boltguns and lots of paranoia. (smile)

    I greatly enjoy putting things into the hands of those who can use them. I dream that living within my means will make for a very fun retirement of buying firearms to donate for charity rifles, equipping student rifle teams, and other forms of ballistic philanthropy.

    I'm not intending this as an attack against anybody else's philosophy of owning. If you own a hundred guns and are happy with that, it's certainly not my business. I'm just throwing the idea out and wondering if anyone else has had similar changes of belief.
     
  15. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    Just to be clear, I am a minimalist in many other ways. Who needs the baggage?

    I think firearms are a great value and fun. How many other "things" can you spend $500 on and keep it for generations...and have fun with it?
     
  16. badgerrr

    badgerrr Member

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    Ah yes, my good Matthew; you have a solid point there.

    Even Henry Thoreau wrote at length how "things own you".

    I have long taken this addage to heart. Guns I find, are a weak point for me. Enjoy them so.

    I allow myself more than I otherwise should.

    But I have far fewer than I would. :eek:
     
  17. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Matthew: Thank you, thank you for clarifying. Now I see exactly what you mean. I am a very deserving individual. My address is... :neener:


    Seriously, it's your stuff and you make your own decisions. You'll never feel right about it unless YOU are convinced it is the right thing to do.
     
  18. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Member

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    There was a time, not so long ago, that my philosophy was "buy every gun you can, as soon as you can". As a result, I ended up with a sizable collection of guns that were rarely getting used, and most weren't exactly collector's pieces. Then I went through a period of unemployment and had to sell off quite a number of my guns. Now I've got a smaller collection, but one that actually gets used. Once my financial situation gets back to where it once was, I'm sure I'll go back to buying more guns, but this time they'll be of a higher quality and will get more use.

    Frank
     
  19. sm

    sm member

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    Always been a minminalist of sorts. Focused on specific platforms,guages and calibers for me.

    Not that I didn't have cash when someone needed cash and a gun followed me home.

    I sold a bunch of stuff that did not fit my needs. I used the monies for RKBA; money went to a JFPO documentary ( and addtional copies), Various States seeking CCW, legal fees to aid a person in a SD case...etc.

    I also gave a Vietnam vet some guns , house burned down and lost everything. Another Desert Storm Vet had sold his guns when the gummit dragged feet in a SNAfU. I gave another Fiance' guns, hubby is in Harm's Way at the moment. Young couple no money and she really has a need.

    MY competition 3 bbl set is now the prized possession of a grandson of one of my old shooting partners I had. Grandpa swelled up when that grandkid busted 3/25. Proud moment, the scores will come. Those were real tears from Grandpa when I put I the gun, range bag and ammo in their vehicle, and told the grandkid to enjoy it, let grandad give lessons and to continue the tradition. The C note in the Browning case was for ammo and reloading supplies.

    My Target Grade SX1 two bbl set finally ran a straight in skeet, still waiting to hear when this happens in Trap. The other Target Grade 2 bbl set I gave away has done so already. These are good folks and will continue in the in the fight and custodial care of the RKBA and shooting sports.

    Sold some stuff I didn't want, but wasn't using for a medical need( s) in the family. Sometimes It is ok to lie about where money comes from to a mom. Priorities are well Priorities after all. Its only guns and money afterall.

    There is another dozen or so single shots that are protecting the elderly and domestic abused.

    I have two cleaning kits , my original that are old. Everything went to persons whom needed. I made kits for new shooters from those won , new shooter kits and gifts over the years. I have one newer kit left, I have been busy, it is for a spl member of THR.

    I gave away holsters, often a holster , cleaning kit, ears/eyes and ammo to a new shooter.

    I own less guns now than I have ever had. I just have what I need with backups, or some really spl sentimental pcs.

    Ironic I find myself in need of somethings I once had, oh well it all works out in the wash. Need a mouse gun and a holster. I loaned my 1911 styles holsters to someone to try before they buy, we have an idea whom stole these and other stuff when the family had an medical emergency , figured they were either stolen while at the hospital, or perhaps the funeral. So at the moment I can't carry my 1911...my old Alessi IWB was on loan as well, that is the one I miss. Well I do have a cheap nylon or two, IWB and OWB but ain't the same.

    For me the "to keep it - give it away" was strong. These people had a right to continue traditions, fight for RKBA,or self defence. I'm just that way.

    These folks know how I feel and will continue to teach, participate in fighting for RKBA, contribue, and pass on the traditon.

    Tamara makes a good point - I'm just a custodian.
     
  20. Grey54956

    Grey54956 Member

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    I have a friend who went minimalist. The habit was supposedly getting to expensive for him, and he had just lost his job. I bought everything he wanted to sell. I told him I would hold onto them for him until he got a new job and came back to his senses. He has recently been inquiring about his collection. I plan to sell them back to him for what I paid.
     
  21. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Well, I plan on getting rid of a lot of junk in the next few months but the guns, ammo, and accessories aren't on the list.

    I bought a lot of guns between 18 and 35. And traded and sold. Between 35 and 43 I didn't buy any. My collection was down to five.

    I'm somewhere above 40 now. Haven't counted lately.

    Concentrating on S&W N frames 1945 to 1982 and 1911's.

    One thing keeps me from divesting of any...every gun I have ever sold or traded...I regret now.

    Original Dan Wesson Pistol Pac. International Harvester M1 Garand, etc.

    A few months before her death, I showed my mother a minty 1903 Springfield MkI I had just purchased. She rolled her eyes and said,"Son, when are you going to starte saving for retirement?"

    I went home and dug up my stock purchases and gun purchases. Four columns...two for stocks and two for guns. Column A for stocks and guns. What I paid. Column B was current value. Totals at the bottom of each column. Compared the two sets of figures with my mom.

    Plain to see, Mom. Whenever I think I know a good stock to buy, I should buy a gun.
     
  22. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Focus, brasshopper, focus. It is what is in your head, not in your gun safe. [gong sounds]
     
  23. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    OK, one guy brings what he's got in his head only, and the other guy brings something he's got in his safe. Unfortunately for the head guy, the safe guy has no way of leaving what's in his head at home.:D
     
  24. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Hey, El T's helped me see the light! I'm going to sell my .38 Safety Hammerless since they don't make speedloaders for it and mount a scout scope on my pristine M1917, and maybe I can start calling folks "brasshopper", too. ;) :D

    (Where does he get those gongs? He's almost as tactical as Skunkabilly! Are they carbon fiber?)


    Truthfully, it strikes me as sad when everthing has to have some utilitarian purpose in one's life. I ain't in a convent, and don't intend to live like I am. I have Roman coins I can't spend, paintings of flowers I can't smell, wine I can't... okay, well, I can drink the wine, and guns I rarely shoot. I enjoy things that give me pleasure; old guns are one of those things. I guess if someone else derives pleasure from studying to be an ascetic warrior monk, more power to 'em.
     
  25. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Less stuff is better. Who needs the latest super 24X-DVD player that will be obsolete in six months...?

    But guns are a little different. What other type of thing can you buy whose design will still be useful in a hundred (or 200) years?

    But lately I have been leaning toward accessories to make the guns I have more useful - slings, scopes, lights, more ammo to shoot - rather than another gun that I have to find a safe place to store.

    And also some other "emergency" items like a generator and underground water tanks. I can shoot a deer but I can't shoot a drink of water.
     
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