R. Ann Parris on Pew-Pews: Purpose Driven Purchases


Pew-Pews: Purpose Driven Purchases by R. Ann Parris

Having pointed out on numerous occasions now the wide range of focuses preppers should have besides the sexy-cool firearms that get so much attention, it’s time to acknowledge those tools. For those of us who can own them, they are an important prep.

They’re also typically one of the larger single-item expenditures we’re likely to make and have additional expenditures required to use effectively, which makes some understanding important before we hit the gun counter.

Firearms diversified for a reason.

Some guns do multiple jobs and do them well, but there’s not truly a one-size-fits-all gun for all jobs, all locations, and all people.

To pick the gun that’s right for us, we have to define its purpose.

Other aspects will come into play as well. Regulations and legality are starting points, as is local availability. Our home situation is also a major contributing factor. Price, our pre-existing arsenal, our current experience, and the size and skill level of other users also factor in. The biggest single contributor, though, is the job we want/need that firearm to perform for us.

The typical uses for firearms are:
➢ Home defense
➢ Self defense
➢ Hunting
➢ Pest control
➢ Militia/Military/Tactical Scenarios

Even some of those have sub categories. Daily self-defense, wear-and-carry guns could be either CCW (concealed carry) or open-carry, by purpose or local law.

Our daily tasks and capabilities and our personal preferences change where we’re carrying, which further contributes to action type and size. Size and action type restrictions then influence our caliber options and ultimate selection.

Hunting and pest control both have break points as well, based around caliber, large or small game, and the distances involved.

*I will give one passing nod to the fact that poachers and newsmakers manage with all sorts of things typically considered “inappropriate”. However, I also want to point out just how responsible and ethical we consider those poachers to be (with an additional nod to hungry kids/grandparents), and the fact that if something made the news, it’s because it’s out of the ordinary (or should be). I.E. It’s an exception to the rule, not the average. If you want to plan on hitting the lottery, that’s your choice.

Those purposes change what our “best fit” gun is, just like our personal needs and preferences.

Then, there are things like the additional costs associated with that firearm.
Those additional costs are also dependent on our purpose.

A sling might or might not be as necessary for a hunting or home-defense gun, although I would always recommend one because it’s a whole lot safer/better than propping a gun against something.

A sling or scabbard, and even specific types of slings and scabbards, become more important for tactical-use firearms and self-defense long guns in backpacking and biking situations (bear & pig guns), just like a holster is an automatic must-have for any wear-and-carry gun.

Handy as holsters are in expanding options and increasing safety, a home-defense pistol might not need one. Any ol’ bag we can reach into readily (lunchbox, purse, fishing basket, tied-together shirt) can very easily hold a pistol, light, and reload.

Speed-driven reloads are usually less of a factor for hunting and even property pest control, but it’s a big factor in home and self-defense and militia-level service.

The number of immediate reloads we need handy — and thus the number of magazines, stripper clips, moon clips, or speed loaders — also changes. The number of reloads then affects how we carry them, and whether or not they need a dedicated bag/pouch.

For hunting, a pocket or small pouch and as little as 3-10 additional loose cartridges might work, or we might want something sturdy enough for a full 25-50 shotgun shells. Home- and self-defense can easily get away with 1-2 backups for carry and maybe 1-2 backups in case we lose our mag/clip.

For tactical-driven firearms, a minimal non-combatant load is typically 5-9 20-30 rounds magazines, with more usual combat loads 9-13 mags available to grab right on the body and sometimes (or regularly) additional ammo in quick-feed strips or additional magazines in a bag. Tactical uses also regularly call for the full-mag pouches (which can be loose in a bag depending on mag, likelihood of need, and skill) as well as a drop pouch for speedy retention of mags.

*Mag changes, to include retention, needs addressed separately. It, too, is purpose and condition driven, and we need to account for all potentials there.

The more we need/want a gun to do for us, the more we can expect to pay.

Right now, the blanket statement applies: A single-purpose gun regularly costs less than a gun that offers greater versatility in use and in ranges of use. The add-ons to make that gun useful, from training to gear, also tally up lower than if we’re doing multiple things with it.

*Realistic pricing expectations and pricing out the full and total cost of a useful gun is another aspect that’s it’s own entire entity and needs addressed separately. Shotguns also rate their own article from multiple perspectives of use/need and practicality, especially if we want the things that turn them into a “do all” firearm. (Do-most, anyway.)

Getting the biggest bang for our buck makes firearms worth plenty of research.
There are some that cross-purpose well, but start with the most-likely need and most-likely purpose of a gun, with the additional purposes and the user(s) kept in mind while poking through the options.

Jump on forums and ask questions on posts and articles anytime clarification is necessary or there’s even a wiggly niggle of doubt — ideally, before we buy.

Bear in mind the background, use, amount of experience (variety and number of years), and the common scenario expectations of the expert we’re consulting — in-person, on videos, or authors.

Some are going to be naturally inclined one way or another due to their experiences and what they turn to a gun for most often in that experience. Some also have much different budgets to work with, a background (to include supply chain), or an expectation of A Big Thing that reduces the alternatives they consider.

Age can also factor in, with some staying “up” and others inclined toward either old beliefs/myths or old standbys, while changing materials and availability/pricing has rendered something null at this stage.

Having a fixed purpose and clear understanding will make the process of picking out the best-fit firearm for our budget, situation(s), and needs a lot easier.