At the Northeast Blogger Meet a few days back, I talked to a fellow blogger who assumed that since I talk about guns a lot, and seem to know quite a bit about them (fooled him!), I must have a gun collection to rival Jay’s Clown Car gun safe. I told him that in reality, I actually only own six guns in total: three centerfire handguns, one .22 handgun, one bolt-action rifle (the Enfield No.4), and an ancient single-shot .22 rifle. I also told him that on the flipside, I’m really good with the few guns I do have. The 3” K-frame, in particular, has been my carry gun of choice for half a decade now, and my hands just know what to do with it pretty much automatically.
That got me to thinking about how much of what we accumulate is “need”, and how much of it is “nice to have”. If I had to limit myself to only one gun, I have no doubt that I’d keep one of the 3” K-frames, simply because I’m more comfortable with it than with any other gun. On the same note, I own a dozen good fountain pens, but if I had to pick only one, I wouldn’t be too awfully troubled, because I found the kind that fits my hand the best.
Of course, the beauty of living in a free country with a semi-free market is that we don’t have to limit ourselves, but some voluntary self-limitation—going back to the essentials, so to speak—can actually improve performance, whether you’re talking about shooting, writing, or what-have-you. With carry guns in particular, settling on one choice and getting good with it means you don’t have to think too much in a high-stress situation. Am I carrying the 1911 or the Glock today? Do I have a manual safety? Is it engaged? Am I wearing the holster with or without the thumb break? If you carry the same gun in the same rig in the same spot on your body every day, then those concerns are out of the picture. You know what you have, you know how it works, and you’ve practiced with it so much that you can draw the thing and put two rounds through the center of the target even when half asleep or under stress.
What about you? If you carry a gun, do you carry the same thing in the same manner all the time? And if so, what’s your iron of choice—the one you’d keep if you limited yourself to just one?