Contributor Post Created with Sketch. How to Build Your Own Arsenal Of Democracy

 

shutterstock_121603741It’s been interesting to see Ricochet’s firearms owners come out of the woodwork and talk about the guns they own and safely enjoy, and it’s been even more interesting to see others who are interested in owning a gun ask questions of our members about what gun might be best for them. These days, I usually recommend a compact 9mm pistol as a first gun, but then the question arises, “Ok, what do I buy after that?”

That’s a tough question to answer, because there are so many different ways to enjoy firearms. I’m partial to practical shooting myself, such as IDPA, USPSA and 3gun, and friends of mine really enjoy dressing up in their finest cowboy duds and going out to a Single Action Shooting Society match. Then there’s all the shotgun sports, like trap, skeet, and sporting clays, or maybe the precision of traditional bullseye events like High Power Rifle is your kind of thing. There’s also silhouette shooting, benchrest, quick draw, and the list goes on and on and on. Suffice to say there’s probably a sport out there for anything that has a trigger and goes “Bang!” With all of these ways to enjoy owning a gun, what are some of the guns besides a pistol that you should have in your household armory?

The Second Gun
After you buy a defensive pistol, I recommend a rifle chambered in .22 Long Rifle (LR) as a second gun, usually a Ruger 10/22, Marlin 60 or a CZ 455 if you want a bolt-action gun. These rifles are inexpensive to purchase, inexpensive to shoot, and all are great to practice with. There are few things more enjoyable than spending a lazy Sunday afternoon with a .22 rifle in your hands and a bunch of tin cans down range, and .22LR ammo is finally in-stock at most gun stores after years of being in short supply. In addition, a .22 rifle is a great way to learn the fundamentals of marksmanship such as breath control, sight picture and trigger squeeze without having to worry about spending large amounts of money on ammunition.

The Third Gun
I usually recommend America’s Rifle, the AR-15, for a third gun. Why? Because you will never, ever run out of things to do with it. Designed by an aircraft engineer to be modular, the AR-15 is infinitely changeable and adaptable. However, this flexibility presents a problem for first-time AR buyers as there is a bewildering mix of calibers, barrel lengths, features, and manufacturers to choose from. In general, I recommend starting with quality manufacturer like Colt, FNH, or Stag Arms. These manufacturers have all been around for a long time and have a reputation for well-built rifles; look to purchase something in the $800 to $1000 range. Features I look for in a beginner’s AR-15 are a collapsible stock to accommodate shooters of different builds, a 16″ barrel for lightness and compactness, and a flat-top receiver to allow for future expansion. Keep in mind, though, when you buy an AR you are buying the beginning of your journey with your rifle, not the end. Practically everything about the gun you take home with you today from the store can eventually be changed, such as the trigger, barrel, optics, stock, even the caliber of the rifle itself. This flexibility makes the AR suitable for a variety of uses. They are excellent home defense rifles, they’re perfect for hunting varmints and other small game, they dominate the precision rifle matches at Camp Perry, and are a key element to 3 Gun, America’s fastest-growing shooting sport. Plus, because the .223 round they shoot is accurate and has low recoil, they’re a lot of fun to take to the range for plinking and target practice.

Fourth Gun
I’d look to getting a 12 gauge shotgun, probably a pump-action model like the venerable Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 as your fourth gun. If you purchase a model of those guns that accepts different barrels and magazine tubes, you can configure your shotgun for a wide variety of firearms-related activities. With the right combination of barrel and magazine, you’ll be able to hunt for waterfowl, participate in 3 Gun, or setup your gun for home defense. Though you can shoot trap, skeet, or sporting clays with pump-action gun, I know from experience you’ll be at a disadvantage if you do. Nevertheless, you can still have fun at a match, even if you don’t win.

Five Guns And Beyond
There are so many options to choose from beyond this. If you’re finding you’re not carrying your pistol because it’s too big, consider getting something smaller, lighter and easier to carry like a pocket .380. If the AR-15 doesn’t cut it for you because of the limited range and power of the .223 round, look at getting a rifle in a larger caliber like .308 Winchester. Eventually, once you reach eight guns, you’ll have enough to participate in any shooting sport or shooting activity out there, and you’ll have laid the foundation of a legacy of self-protection and self-reliance to pass on your children.

There are 36 comments.

  1. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    Interesting OP. I certainly would not disagree over the general soundness of your recommendations. However, I think you do glide past the most important question to ask, “Bottom Line Up Front”…what is the purpose of purchasing the gun? You imply that personal defense and concealed carry are the motivations for anyone’s “first” gun. If so, wouldn’t the basic weapons handling skills and fundamentals acquired learning on the .22 caliber rifle (with the Ruger 10/22 an excellent choice) be a better place to start?

    I’d also suggest that the Ruger Mini-14 is a better choice over the AR-15 for anything chambered in .223 caliber. I’ve 32+ years of experience with the AR-15 based carbines, while I appreciate the various novelties it’s modular design allows for, I believe the Garand-based action of the Mini-14 to be more reliable under adverse conditions. (Perhaps I am wrong here?)

    Lastly, a third gun ought to be something chambered in 30-06 Springfield. I doubt there is any round more adaptable to countless applications (recreational, utilitarian, or military).

    As for myself, before I purchase a firearm, I can’t help but ask myself, “Would I ever see myself using this gun to defend my country, my home, my family or myself with this?”

    • #1
    • April 23, 2016, at 1:31 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. wilber forge Member

    A McMillan TAC .338 Lapua, undecided on the optics. Something that speaks wth authority and distance. Tad pricey though.

    • #2
    • April 23, 2016, at 2:03 PM PST
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  3. Done Contributor

    It’s a work in progress.

    2016-03-27 16.13.21

    • #3
    • April 23, 2016, at 4:04 PM PST
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  4. BrentB67 Inactive

    Frank Soto:It’s a work in progress.

    2016-03-27 16.13.21

    Good work.

    • #4
    • April 23, 2016, at 4:09 PM PST
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  5. BrentB67 Inactive

    IMG_0001

    • #5
    • April 23, 2016, at 4:10 PM PST
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  6. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    BrentB67:IMG_0001

    Dat Cobalt Kinetics, tho…

    18-Edge-Slate-with-Black-accents--1024x262

    • #6
    • April 23, 2016, at 5:32 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. BrentB67 Inactive

    Kevin Creighton:

    BrentB67:IMG_0001

    Dat Cobalt Kinetics, tho…

    18-Edge-Slate-with-Black-accents--1024x262

    I will stick with my POF’s.

    P308-multi-cal-rifles-page-template

    00-P415-multi-cal-rifles-page-template

    Worth every cent.

    • #7
    • April 23, 2016, at 6:41 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS is it wise to purchase or own guns? It seems to me that the all but certain gun confiscation program she will implement will end up being a significant financial loss for any that own guns at that moment. Then there will be the stigma and the recording in government files of your radical gun ownership past. Would it not be wiser to caution people as to what is about to happen and wave the off for their own safety and protection if nothing else?

    • #8
    • April 23, 2016, at 7:00 PM PST
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  9. Eeyore Member

    Frank Soto:It’s a work in progress.

    2016-03-27 16.13.21

    The way you got ’em laid out front-to-back makes me think yer some kinda secret COMMIE!

    • #9
    • April 23, 2016, at 7:15 PM PST
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  10. Done Contributor

    Eeyore:

    Frank Soto:It’s a work in progress.

    2016-03-27 16.13.21

    The way you got ’em laid out front-to-back makes me think yer some kinda secret COMMIE!

    Communism’s weakness is that centralized government is bad at balancing competing priorities. It can be good at one priority at the expense of all others.

    Behold the AK, beneficiary of the suffering of millions of Russians. Awesome rifle.

    • #10
    • April 23, 2016, at 7:40 PM PST
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  11. Hammer, The Member

    Dang, I’d kind of like to lay them out like Frank.

    AR-15, HK VP9, Walther CCP, Sig P238, Wincester .22 LR (pump action), Wincester 16ga shotgun (also pump action), random old .22 LR with scope.

    Also a work in progress. Next gun will either be a .308 or a 6.5 creedmmoor, or a 12 GA shotgun. Not sure.

    • #11
    • April 23, 2016, at 8:59 PM PST
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  12. Boots on the Table Member

    A good horse, a wheel-gun and a Lever-action of the same caliber, a scoped 30-06 behind the saddle, saddle bags full of ammo and coffee, and the hills of Wyoming. The stuff dreams are made of.

    • #12
    • April 23, 2016, at 9:00 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    God made man, Sam Colt made men equal.

    • #13
    • April 23, 2016, at 9:46 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Kozak Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt: With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS is it wise to purchase or own guns? It seems to me that the all but certain gun confiscation program she will implement will end up being a significant financial loss for any that own guns at that moment. Then there will be the stigma and the recording in government files of your radical gun ownership past.

    This was you can really build your own weapon…privately

    Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 7.47.52 AM

    http://www.80percentarms.com

    • #14
    • April 24, 2016, at 4:50 AM PST
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  15. Kozak Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt: With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS

    My right to keep and bear arms does not depend on the life of one man.

    • #15
    • April 24, 2016, at 4:51 AM PST
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  16. Pony Convertible Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt:With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS is it wise to purchase or own guns? It seems to me that the all but certain gun confiscation program she will implement will end up being a significant financial loss for any that own guns at that moment.

    If she comes to take my guns, loss of money will be the least of my concerns. 

    • #16
    • April 24, 2016, at 5:15 AM PST
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  17. Carey J. Inactive

    Frank Soto:

    Eeyore:

    Frank Soto:It’s a work in progress.

    2016-03-27 16.13.21

    The way you got ’em laid out front-to-back makes me think yer some kinda secret COMMIE!

    Communism’s weakness is that centralized government is bad at balancing competing priorities. It can be good at one priority at the expense of all others.

    Behold the AK, beneficiary of the suffering of millions of Russians. Awesome rifle.

    There’s a reason the AK system is the most prolific rifle, ever. When it absolutely, positively, has to go bang when you pull the trigger, there is no substitute for an AK.

    • #17
    • April 24, 2016, at 7:13 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Kozak:

    Fake John/Jane Galt: With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS

    My right to keep and bear arms does not depend on the life of one man.

    No, it will depend on the full might and strength of the United States government to decide you do not have a right to keep and bear arms.

    • #18
    • April 24, 2016, at 10:06 AM PST
    • Like
  19. carcat74 Member

    I have to ask—-“Why stop at EIGHT?” Firearms are like Lays potato chips, except you don’t eat them. My Colt Government .380 in stainless (my Brady gun) was bought just before that worthless law took effect. Scalia’s death was the trigger (pun intended) for many to buy more firepower. The climate we live in now should promulgate MORE firearm purchases, not less. You will be no safer from the crushing weight of government just because you chose not to arm yourself—just easier to control and conquer. “An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject.” Franklin—“Those who can give up a little liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.” Also from Franklin—“A republic, if you can keep it.”

    *p.s. A grammar question—after ‘purchases’, is ‘less’ right, or should it be ‘fewer’? Thanks!

    • #19
    • April 24, 2016, at 10:11 AM PST
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  20. Kozak Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Kozak:

    Fake John/Jane Galt: With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS

    My right to keep and bear arms does not depend on the life of one man.

    No, it will depend on the full might and strength of the United States government to decide you do not have a right to keep and bear arms.

    I have the right. Only God can take it. They may have the ability.

    But if they try, I will no longer consider myself having any allegiance to the tyranny in power, and will not feel bound to observe any of it’s laws.

    • #20
    • April 24, 2016, at 11:47 AM PST
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  21. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Kozak:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Kozak:

    Fake John/Jane Galt: With the loss of Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS and the soon to be gun hating HRC as the new POTUS

    My right to keep and bear arms does not depend on the life of one man.

    No, it will depend on the full might and strength of the United States government to decide you do not have a right to keep and bear arms.

    I have the right. Only God can take it. They may have the ability.

    But if they try, I will no longer consider myself having any allegiance to the tyranny in power, and will not feel bound to observe any of it’s laws.

    Jail it is then. Well actually they will most likely will just tie you up in legal defense stuff till you are broken and your family is scattered. At some point the cost will outweigh the right and most people will just be frustrated about it till the issue is forgotten. Basically they will follow the Australian model.

    • #21
    • April 24, 2016, at 1:34 PM PST
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  22. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    carcat74: I have to ask—-“Why stop at EIGHT?”

    I own… more than that. :D Eight is the minimum, I think, to do just about anything in the shooting sports which doesn’t involve specialized guns such as SASS or Open class in USPSA.

    • #22
    • April 24, 2016, at 1:40 PM PST
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  23. Kozak Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt: Jail it is then.

    Jail it is. Nothing less will stop me.

    • #23
    • April 24, 2016, at 1:42 PM PST
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  24. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Jail it is then. Well actually they will most likely will just tie you up in legal defense stuff till you are broken and your family is scattered. At some point the cost will outweigh the right and most people will just be frustrated about it till the issue is forgotten. Basically they will follow the Australian model.

    Even Hillary is learning that she may have taken the gun control rhetoric a bit too far.

    • #24
    • April 24, 2016, at 1:42 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Kevin Creighton:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Jail it is then. Well actually they will most likely will just tie you up in legal defense stuff till you are broken and your family is scattered. At some point the cost will outweigh the right and most people will just be frustrated about it till the issue is forgotten. Basically they will follow the Australian model.

    Even Hillary is learning that she may have taken the gun control rhetoric a bit too far.

    Somebody needs to tell her daughter.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/04/chelsea-clinton-now-scalias-gone/

    Considering that HRC has said she is proudest of making the NRA her enemy I suspect her daughter is telling the truth of the matter.

    • #25
    • April 24, 2016, at 2:06 PM PST
    • Like
  26. civil westman Inactive

    We all deeply believe in the natural right of self-defense and are here properly discussing necessary tools. These considerations, however, are at present far less important than finding strategies which will allow us to continue to exercise this human right, or failing that, organizing effective resistance. Australians simply surrendered and HRC has boldly announced that she has noticed. We know what she intends.

    As other have posited, we are on the cusp of living in the following insane nation under the likes of HRC: we may not even name our existential enemy (which we are in the process of importing and then supporting) AND our government will not fight that which it will not name AND our government is gearing up to disarm us all so that we are disempowered from even defending ourselves. Our government seems intent on making us Eloi and inviting the Morloks over for dinner.

    Emboldened by Obama’s unprecedented use of the state against his enemies, all things are now possible. We are one court opinion away from erasure of the Second Amendment. That could happen within two or three years. In that sense, it does depend on a single person. Will you surrender your weapons when commanded? Will you resist? How?

    • #26
    • April 24, 2016, at 4:23 PM PST
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  27. Kozak Member

    civil westman: Will you surrender your weapons when commanded? Will you resist? How?

    Will you surrender your weapons when commanded?

    No.

    Will you resist?

    Yes.

    How?

    Whatever it takes.

    • #27
    • April 24, 2016, at 4:49 PM PST
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  28. Boss Mongo Member

    Great post. Like anyone with a little range time, I am wont to niggle at the eaches, but great post.

    • #28
    • April 24, 2016, at 7:33 PM PST
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  29. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Kozak:

    civil westman: Will you surrender your weapons when commanded? Will you resist? How?

    Will you surrender your weapons when commanded?

    No.

    Will you resist?

    Yes.

    How?

    Whatever it takes.

    More power to you. But I suspect that when the time comes and they put a knife to my family’s throat I will be selfish and stand down and let them live. I will bend knee like all the serfs before me and hope things will change someday.

    • #29
    • April 24, 2016, at 9:44 PM PST
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  30. Boss Mongo Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Kozak:

    civil westman: Will you surrender your weapons when commanded? Will you resist? How?

    Will you surrender your weapons when commanded?

    No.

    Will you resist?

    Yes.

    How?

    Whatever it takes.

    More power to you. But I suspect that when the time comes and they put a knife to my family’s throat I will be selfish and stand down and let them live. I will bend knee like all the serfs before me and hope things will change someday.

    Well, see, I used to have a whole bunch a’ guns. Then I sold these three at a gun show, here’s the carbon copy of the receipt, sorry it’s a little smudgy. These two I lost in a poker game–who knew drawing to an inside straight is a bad idea?–but I got this hand-write receipt on the back of this cocktail napkin. Be careful handling it, as I’m not sure if that’s lemon rind or puke on the edge, there. As for the rest…

    And on, and on. You want to search the house? Fine. You want to search the property? Fine. Watch out for that tool shed, though. I got paint in there and it’s not well vented. Etc,

    • #30
    • April 24, 2016, at 10:09 PM PST
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