Focusing on the Essential Arsenal 

The past two years have witnessed a dearth of ammunition availability and sky-high prices on anything that actually is available.  Likewise, guns themselves were hard to find for a long time, although that particular shortage has greatly subsided at the time of this writing.  I suspect that the ammunition crisis will not subside for some time.  Such times of want and need should lead the prudent practitioner of preparedness to home in on what firearms platforms are actually important, and prioritize them. 

In the shooting community a common mental exercises is, “if you could only have one gun, what would it be?”  This is the United States, who in the hell has only one gun if they are a shooting enthusiast?  Rather, I find there is a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum: most gun people spread their attention over too many firearms.  You know of what I speak, how many times have you been at the range and witnessed the guy with eight different handguns laid out in front of him, shooting a single magazine through each, then putting them back in their boxes to pack out.  That individual is a collector of toys, not a serious practitioner.

Spending your time and resources on a variety of guns, rather than only the essential few that you need, does two disservices; first, it decreases skills development through familiarization with specific platforms.  Second, it spreads your resources out among many, mostly unnecessary, weapon platforms rather than focusing the resources on what is needed.  I have written about the first of these issues many times, you should not have a carry rotation for only the sake of variety.  But the second issue is what I want to address here:

By focusing your attention on the fewest possible platforms you maximize the resources available to support only those platforms.  Consider ammunition, how much do you have on hand for the guns that you actually need?  How many magazines do you have for the guns you need?  I would submit that having three of the same handgun, with a dozen magazines for each, and a couple thousand rounds of good ammo on hand for them, is far more optimal than having a dozen different handguns, only a couple magazines for each, and only a box of ammo on hand for each. 

Lock in on and prioritize your primary handgun platform and your primary long gun platform and have redundancy for each, plenty of magazines for each, and plenty of ammunition for each.  Have spare parts for each of these two platforms.  When things in the firearms world get sparce, you can reduce any money and effort spent on other platforms, but have and maintain a good stock of all support gear for these two primary platforms. 

As we face a destabilized future, now is the time to stop being a toy collector and get your essential gear in order.  Train extensively on only these needed platforms and abandon the rest as it is only a distraction. 

4 thoughts on “Focusing on the Essential Arsenal 

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  1. When stocking ammo, do you feel it’s best to primarily focus on FMJ with a smattering of JHP? Or vice versa, etc..?


    1. I like to keep a “lifetime” supply of social ammo on hand. I try to keep a year of practice ammo on tap as well, but the serious ammo, I would think, demands top priority.


  2. This would be easy if I could know exactly what my needs for arms will be. If it were a militia type action, in concert with a fairly large group of others, I suppose I would focus on a main battle rifle (and ifak). Patrolling my town for mobile outlaws? A carbine like an AR. Lions, tigers and bears? A shotgun and plenty of OO buck. Most likely a bad guy breaking into my house at night – a high capacity handgun and good light. On and on it goes. But until an “essential” scenario can be determined an “essential arsenal” cannot.


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