Stop! You don’t need to buy another gun. At the very least you shouldn’t buy another gun just yet. Hear me out. While I agree that it is a great feeling to take a new shiny gun out to the range and punch some holes in paper or make some steel ring, there are other needs that should be addressed before you go and drop hundreds of dollars on a new gun. How much ammunition do you currently have? How many magazines do you have for your current gun? What gun parts do you have on hand? Do you even have any spare parts for your current gun on hand? How proficient are you with your current gun?
Let’s start with that last question. How proficient are you with the gun you currently carry? Face it, becoming more proficient with your firearm means spending money. Whether that means paying for range time, buying more ammo, or taking a training class – it’s going to cost money. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an unlimited budget for firearms and training. If I go out and buy a new gun that means that it takes away from the budget to purchase any of those other necessities. Yes, they are necessities. Back to how proficient you are with your current firearms. Can you quickly draw and present your firearm and then put accurate hits on target? Are you able to reload your firearm without fumbling to get the magazine properly seated? Can you quickly recognize and clear malfunctions? Are you able to shoot from unconventional positions? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to buy another box of ammo and hit the range or sign up for a training class.
Things that are used and abused have a tendency to break, right? How frustrated have you been in the past when your car broke down? First, you had to take it to a mechanic and then wait for the parts to come in before it was up and running again. At least if your car is down you can catch a ride with a friend, get an Uber or take a bus. If your concealed carry weapon goes down on the other hand I only see 2 options. 1 – you can leave your house without your CCW, or 2 – you can just not leave your house until the replacement parts you need come in. I don’t know about you but neither of those options are viable in my opinion. So, I’ve made it a point to keep replacement parts on hand for my CCW. I’m not saying that you need to have every single pin and spring but definitely the parts that take the most wear and tear. I include magazines in the spare part column. After all a firearm isn’t fully functional without a working magazine. Most firearms come with 2 magazines. Is that enough? In my opinion it's not. I usually carry 2 spare magazines on me so as a general rule of thumb I like to have at least 5 magazines for any firearms that I will be carrying. This way I always have 2 more to put into rotation if anything happens to the ones I’m carrying.
I’m also not saying that this is something I do with every single firearm that I own. I have a few firearms that are definitely range toys, meaning that they will never be pulled out of my gun safe to see the light of day other than to chew up some targets. They will never be used as a CCW and I will not be entrusting my life to them. If one of those firearms goes down it’s no big deal and I can take afford to wait the time that it takes for the parts to come in.
When you take on the role as your family’s first responder you need to take that role seriously, as serious as life and death. That means that you need to take every facet of that role seriously too. You must have the proper mindset and be prepared to do what is necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones. You need to constantly be learning and training so that you are prepared for the unexpected. You need to have the tools and gear necessary to act in that role, and you need to know how to properly operate and maintain your tools and gear. And once you have successfully crossed all of those things off the list, it’s time to buy a new gun!