Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The One Tool Option

This topic comes up fairly often. The idea that one rifle/pistol/knife/whatever will fill all of a person's needs is admittedly appealing. As a concept it is not a bad idea. Everybody likes more capabilities plain and simple. Some folks are in a situation (boat, RV, or whatever) where they are going to have to be really selective in the tools/equipment/gear they acquire and use. Many of these folks have limited space and as such need to fill it with the right stuff. For other folks money is really tight; a guy who is looking to purchase that will, at least for awhile, be his only whatever needs to be a lot more picky than one with a closet full of whatever.

Folks who want (or need) an item to do a lot of things really have to look at what they need. Note that I said NEED not WANT. Going this route often means you have to bend, if not outright give up on some capabilities that you may want. Almost invariably, and for sure if you are really specific about stuff or have diverse goals, there will not be an item that does everything you want well. Maybe finding one that can do the stuff you need at least tolerably and comes in at an OK price point is doable.

The key phrase here is "trade off". Nothing comes without a price. Lighter stuff is easier to carry but heavier stuff is often more durable, if just because of physical mass. Very often more expensive items often have better quality and design or at least fit and finish but well, they are more expensive.

I suppose the trade off really boils down to where you are most comfortable taking risk and by default where you are least comfortable taking risk. A guy who wants a pistol to carry concealed, practice and compete with that occasionally goes into the great outdoors might buy a Glock 19. He wants a gun that is realistic to CCW and he can afford to shoot but accepts some risk that the 9mm (and let's not start a flame war here) isn't exactly the best dangerous game round out there. On the other hand a guy who spends a lot of time outdoors that likes to plink regularly and occasionally carries concealed might buy a 4" .357 or .44 Magnum. He is seriously worried about dangerous game and is willing to dress in a way to conceal a fairly big gun when he wants to CCW.

To be honest I am not a fan of this concept because the trade offs made are often so significant. Far more often than not you just cannot do everything with a single item. What if we extend the concept of minimalism (or maybe just getting what  you need) a bit from a single item fixation to having a small collection of whatever's? A collection that meet all needs and most want's that is probably a lot more realistic than a single item. Awhile back we did the hypothetical exercises of choosing 5 guns and 5 knives. It isn't that any fixed number of whatever's is reasonable and more is bad. Your overall situation will dictate what makes sense and what you can get away with.

Anyway I might just be spewing pseudo philosophical minimalist gibberish or reacting to yahoos in forum's with totally unrealistic expectations. It has been a long day. 


Archer Garrett said...

I like minimalism but in regards to firearms it is near impossible. I can't trim pistols that I need any less than 3 and I really need/want that 4th.

Rifles/shotguns - hmmm, as long as I have an ak/ar and a rimfire, I suppose I'm ok. Miserable, but ok.

Ryan said...

Archer, I suppose it is all relative. To somebody with 10 pistols 3 would be minimalist. Personally I could fill the vast majority of my pistol needs with the good old Glock 19. Though a 4" .357 mag and a tiny pistol (which I do not own, not sure why exactly, I will probably fix that soon enough) would be a lot better.

As to rifles an AK/AR, a .22 and something scoped I would be pretty happy.

Archer Garrett said...

Relative is true. I guess a true minimalist setup would be like the old cowboy carbine setup. You could go similar with a 5.7 but of course I don't like exotic rounds - compromises compromises.

Ryan said...

Archer, Yeah the problem with that is having a S$*#&$ round in your long gun. Much more of an issue these days. I do not like exotic's either, at least as core weapons.

If I ran a Glock 19 and an M4agery with a .22 conversion kit and kept a Remington 870 with a spare long barrel and a bolt gun at the ranch or Dad's place or whatever that would really be fine with me. A spare Glock and AR someplace would just be gravy.

Archer Garrett said...

Luckily we don't have to strip our arsenal bare, at least for now. The more you strip it, the more you compromise.

In regards to the mouse gun (cant remember if that was this post or another, but anyway), you should snatch one up stat.

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