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Beware the man with one gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Hurricane, Oct 5, 2010.

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  1. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    I get what people mean when they say this. But it seems as arbitrary as saying "beware the golfer with one club" or "beware the mechanic with one wrench".

    I guess to me, I'd say beware the man with any gun. Especially if I didn't have one. I may be splitting hairs on a bald dog, but boredom will do that to you.
     
  2. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    This is very GOOD advice for exactly the opposite reason for "Beware the man with one gun".
     
  3. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    I don't understand switching carry guns on some kind of rotational basis. I can understand going to a larger gun if I'm changing circumstances like going to an outdoor setting from urban since your threat environment has changed or you are moving from concealed to unconcealed. But day to day concealed I don't get changing. I carry the largest most capable gun I'm comfortable with carrying daily. The real question is why change tools if I'm doing the same job? Pick the best tool and keep on using it.
     
  4. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    If I were able I would probably carry the same gun every day.

    Unfortunately I have places that I go that I am unable to dress comfortably enough to conceal a large hand gun especially during the summer months.

    When I know this to be the case I much prefer to take my little LCP with me instead of going unarmed. After all any gun is better than no gun at all.
     
  5. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    I think the saying in the OP may have been true at a certain time and place, but in the 21st Century, the only folks I've met who have one gun keep it unloaded, boxed, in the closet and shoot it once a year or less. So if anything, "beware" applies to range trips with underdeveloped or underpracticed safety habits.
     
  6. sherman123

    sherman123 Member

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    The older I get the more this makes sense to me. I'd rather pracitice with one gun and be as proficient as I can with it than spend my time practicing with and carrying several.
     
  7. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I understand the thought, but never understood the mentality. If all youre good with is that "one gun", just what good are you really? If that special gun isnt present, and you need to work with whatever may become available, what then?

    I personally think someone who is well rounded, and can pick up pretty much anything and do reasonably well with it, is much more dangerous than the person who is only good with one gun.
     
  8. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I am guilty, as charged, of carrying lots of different guns for self defense. Part of it is simply I have many guns that I find intersting AND have faith in as defensive guns. Some are better than others; higher powered, handle better, conceal better, etc. Depending on my mood, I might be packing a .45 revolver or auto, a 9mm (Beretta, CZ, Browning, or Walther), or a little .32 Colt on the ankle or .25 in the pocket. If it makes YOU feel better armed, or more ready for "combat" to practice and pack the same gun all the time, then I'm sure you can easily attain a higher level of proficiency with that one gun than I, with my compromise of my "average" ability to deliver with my variety of weapons. However, I DO practice and shoot all of them over a 30 day period, every month, and after 40+ years of shooting, I can probably outshoot 80% of the average gunners with my .25, 90% with my .32, and 95% with any of the bigger weapons. Not bragging (well, maybe I am), but I have reached a respectable level of competence, and desperately try to maintain it. I was top shooter in my 80-man department, and the only one that shot competitively there. I have won a few trophies in my day, and have gotten to train with some very good people (Chuck Taylor, Carlos Hathcock). I do NOT recommend such a practice for a person who has not yet reached their "comfort" level with a defensive handgun, and my reasons for swapping weapons is mainly for my personal pleasure in owning them and using them. If I WON'T carry them, they are no longer "practical" to me, and thus, less interesting. I realize this is creating a handicap for myself, but life is too short to leave all these nice guns in the safe.:)
     
  9. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    Well said!
     
  10. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Being familiar, proficient, and efficient with a particular gun doesn't mean you'll be be completely disfunctional when handling a different gun. It simply means you'll be less familiar, less proficient, and less efficient.

    Multiple platforms increases decision-making and multiple opportunities to make an incorrect decision. The longer you take to make a decision ON DEMAND translates in lag time. The less familiar you are with a weapon the more foreign it will feel in you hands and instead of quick, intuitive decision-making you're slowed down by the mental effort required to make conscious decisions.

    Hence the adage of "Beware of the man who has only one gun - he probably knows how to use it!"
     
  11. Patriotme

    Patriotme Member

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    I know several guys with just one gun. They suck and their patterns on the pistol range look like buckshot.
     
  12. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    It's a silly saying. The only people I know with one gun are neophytes who bought a gun, maybe shot once (or not at all) and then plopped it into their nightstand or kitchen drawer and now think they are protected.

    As with anything, really proficient people have a collection. For example every good guitarist I've known has had a collection of guitars. Same with every good shooter...they've always had a collection of guns, economics permitting how extensive.
     
  13. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I never agreed with that saying.

    All the people I knew with only one gun had very little interest in guns or shooting. Pretty much they couldn't hit a barn if they were inside it.
     
  14. jeepguy

    jeepguy Member

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    i have been finding myself doing this more & more with my pistols. i always shoot my kimber pro carry .45. although i bought a pro carry in 9mm as well just for cheeper ammo & it handles/feels the same. i don't relly shoot the 4 other ones. with rifles i have mostly been using two, my mini 14 & m1a. i have an ar 15 & vz 58 that mostly sit unless i have a guest that want to shoot them. i also have a fal that is still doesn't run right & back in the shop. i have less then 10rds through it but like my m1a far more, so if i can get it running i will sell it.
     
  15. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    The most proficient shooter I personally know. (with dozens if not hundreds of articles written about his utilization of firearms in WTSHTF scenarios) Is a staunch advocate of picking your favorite gun and sticking to it. He has 4 glock 17's with the exact same sights and trigger mods which he rotates between. A glock 19 and a Kel-tec, for when a 17 is to large. That's it, despite the fact that he has probably been to every quality pistol school in the country, and has probably at one point or another held every pistol smith certification offered. He can use any gun, and to my knowledge has fired at least a half dozen types while on duty (He was a Miami-Dade cop back in the cocaine cowboy days), however, he believes you will perform at your best if you practice nearly exclusively with what you carry. I think there is a lot of truth to that. With the exception that it is good to be functional with any gun you might likely come across.
     
  16. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    I don't disagree with the philosophy, but doing the math that looks like it might be more than one.
     
  17. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    When I was a kid I had a single shot .22. I became very proficient with it because that's the only gun I shot for years. I had great confidence in my rifle and my shooting ability. Whenever I pulled the trigger I usually hit what I was aiming at.

    There is a lot of truth behind that statement.
     
  18. Wishoot

    Wishoot Member

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    Variety is the spice of life.
     
  19. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    Splitting hairs on a bald dog can be entertaining I suppose.

    Guns are tools? Wrenches are tools? I guess we'll make clubs a tool too. The difference is, a gun has one purpose, send bullet where you tell it to go. So, with that being said, would you want to bet against a golfer that has only one club, it's a putter, and you're on the putting green? We've somewhat limited the scope of the game when we confine our choices to SD.

    Not that I totally agree with it, I'm just saying. I own more than one.

    If you look at it this way i makes perfect sense. Anything more than one might as well be one or 500, it's enough to kill me so it's all really the same. Beware of the man with THE gun.
     
  20. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I understand what youre saying, but at the same time, youre also reinforcing my point.

    Not having any experience with anything but your "one gun", just puts you at even more of a disadvantage than that of someone who is at least basically familiar with a variety of guns. If youre the lest bit serious, your going to spend more time and effort to have more than just a basic knowledge of the guns anyway, or at least I do. Maybe youre different.

    I suppose some of the difference here is, whether youre really a gun person or not. Im amazed at how many people, many of who claim to be familiar or trained, and dont have a clue how to even check the gun you just handed them, let alone shoot it.

    Personally, I'd prefer to be reasonably proficient with as many weapons types as possible, than to be the perfect "expert" with just one. If thats not you, thats fine.
     
  21. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    The earliest version of this quote, I read in an article or book by Col. Jeff Cooper, and was worded to the effect of "Beware the man with one gun; he may know how to use it." The context of the story was to be careful not to discount the skill of the man who has only one gun, because if he practices with it, he may very well be very skillful. It was NOT used as a persuasive tool for folks to literally own one firearm, and was NOT meant to mean that the one-gun man IS going to be skillful.

    On the other hand, one of my mentors in the areas of both shooting and law enforcement urged me to pick one handgun design and get really good with it. It took me a while to take it to heart, but when I concentrated on the 1911, and set aside my DA revolvers, the advice was proven to be true. Using my agency's qual course as a benchmark, I could "qual" Expert just about on demand with a sixgun, but had difficulty attaining that level with a 1911. Well, after several months of leaving the DA sixguns in the safe, and diligently shooting the 1911, I was able to qual Expert with the 1911 just about every time.

    OK, did my sixgun skill diminish? Well, in my case at least, no. When some particularly nasty inmates escaped from an area prison, and operated together as a close-knit gang, including the murder of a fellow LEO, I remembered the flat trajectory of my .357 sixguns, and as my chief did not allow us rifles at the time, decided to re-qual with a sixgun, and keep it cased in the patrol car, to augment the 1911 in the duty holster. In spite of not shooting a DA sixgun in over three years, I shot the qual course at a very high level, with the aggregate group being as good as ever. (I had not "grandfathered" the sixgun, so it could only be a "back-up" gun, and the range officers do not score back-up gun quals, except as pass-fail.)

    As for getting really good with one weapon system, I think what we seek is unconscious competence, the ability to perform all the functions without conscious thought. This gives us an edge in a time-is-life situation, to borrow a term from Travis Haley of Magpul Dynamics. Folks may pooh-pooh the fast draw, but if the choice is draw against the drop, or die, gentlemen, it is time for fast draw. If the choice is a fast reload, or die, that is no time to figure out an unfamiliar mag release. If every little change in the loop takes three-quarters of a second to recognize and adapt, I want my carry gun to be VERY familiar.

    This does not mean one cannot learn to operate other weapon systems. Indeed, I know how to run autos with Beretta/Walther-style hammer-drop safety levers, Glocks, the HK P7, the AK rifle family, the AR15 rifle family, the Garand rifle family, several lever rifle and bolt rifle systems, several single-shot rifles, and have a working knowledge of the M1 Carbine from handling a non-firing example. If I have to run one of these other systems in a fight, however, I may well have to think my way through at least some parts of the weapon manipulation, which may or may not cause a delay that gives an enemy the edge he needs at a moment in time.

    All of my serious handguns point well in my hands. I presently choose to carry only long-stroke DA handguns as go-to pistols, that I might draw and fire in an urgent hurry, reflexively. I have other handguns that I might indeed use for fighting, that are DA/SA, or the SA-only 1911, that point well in my hands, but they are "war bag" guns, or something that I pick up proactively, and have the chance to make the mental adjustment to such niceties as to place my the center of the distal pad of my trigger finger onto the 1911 trigger face, rather than the distal crease on the center of the face, as I do with DA handguns.

    FWIW, I will not mix Glocks with my carry guns, because things such as stroke length and reset cause me to have to stop and think, plus they sit so low in my hands that my trigger finger drags along the frame, which plays hell with practical long-range accuracy. My agency uses "simunition" Glocks in training, and after a class, I will dry-fire a SIG or SA revolver to reset my brain and reflexes.

    I have no problem at all going back and forth from DAK SIGs to Ruger and S&W DA sixguns; indeed, my cheap-practice gun for both platforms is an S&W Model 17 K-frame chambered in .22 LR. Both systems point the same, the trigger stroke is the same, and so no conscious thought is needed to fire the first six shots. Before I run out of ammo, my brain has had enough time to perceive whether a revolver or auto is in my hands; I have never tried to stick a magazine onto a sixgun, or open the cylinder when handling an auto.

    The duffer who is not familiar enough with any of his guns to operate them at a level of unconscious competence will not understand what I am saying. The truly gifted man who can run any virtually any weapon with equal ease probably does exist, too, so I am not calling anyone a liar; such folks are blessed and can disregard my advice.

    I hope my rambling might make some sense, and be helpful to someone. :)
     
  22. jonmerritt

    jonmerritt Member.

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    I see it as "Beware of man, when you have but one gun"
     
  23. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    It's a catchy saying that makes a person think to understand its meaning... it doesn't necessary allude to an inescapable fact of life.

    Seriously, does it really matter if a person has become proficient with more than one firearm?

    "Beware the man with a gun" makes plenty sense to me.
     
  24. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Taking the quote the rest of the way..."Beware the man with one gun.....IN EACH HAND."
     
  25. xcgates

    xcgates Member

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    Beware the man with one gun...

    for he is about to get the same disease you have, and buy up all the guns you want to buy. :what:
     
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