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I was looking at my written list of firearms and serial numbers yesterday and wondering whether I'd be able to whittle it down to just a few - a CCW, a "service pistol," a long gun, a nightstand gun, and a backup CCW. My storage space is limited, and since I sometimes can't decide which gun to take to the range I sometimes just don't go at all. I know, dumb reason.

I don't think I could sell off my "surplus." I could see putting the "safe queens" into long term storage, but I couldn't bring myself to sell them.

Has anyone successfully culled their herd down to just a few, and kept it that way? Why did you do it, and do you regret it?

One reason I've considered it is that with just one firearm for each purpose, I can concentrate on mastering that one gun, instead of spreading my skill set among two or three manuals of arms. I like having the experience with multiple platforms, but I don't need to own all of them.
 

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I think most gun owners have gone through this. I know I started out with the mindset of "Oh I don't have one of those" and ended up with a couple of safes stuffed full of weapons I never fired and wondering what I was thinking when I bought it in the first place.

I've culled my herd recently and adopted a purpose driven approach on the ones I kept and the ones I sold but I wasn't quite as objective as I could have been. Rationalizing why I need to keep a particular firearm is pretty easy and buying new ones to fill their spot even more so.

- I prefer a 1911 over any handgun and what I have carried for nearly 20 years, so I don't have a need for DA/SA or striker fired hand guns for my self-defense purposes. But do I really need six 1911s for that purpose in 9mm and 45 ACP?

- I am not going to go to Africa to hunt game, so I really don't need a rifle in 375 H&H but I do hunt antelope, deer and elk so one bolt action rifles for each is what I have. I can probably use one rifle for all but not ready to go there.

- I enjoy and like having an AR based rifle. Helps me when I'm feeling nostalgic and I like the idea of having it for SD purposes. Not sure that means I need six of them in 9mm, 5.56 and .308.

- I handgun hunt and like having a big bore revolver for SD purposes while hunting.

- I also enjoy upland game hunting and fine shotguns, so have a collection of OU, semi-auto shotguns for that purpose. But do I really need eight of them in calibers ranging for 12 ga to .410?

- I have three home defense shotguns for that purpose.

- I have some collectables since I have a passion for older S&W revolvers and top breaks that are part of my retirement plan plus I have others that are trade fodder for the future.

While I don't feel the temptation to purchase a modern weapon, all bets are off for something that is unusual/collectable. I have what I need for my practical needs (plus some) and now more interested in firearms that can help my retirement fund.
 

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It's funny how these things come up. I've been having the same thoughts as you lately.

I've sold guns to buy other guns mostly, but think I'm about to the point where I don't need any other guns (blasphemy I know!) based on what you have suggested....and that's trying to "master" the firearms I already have.

I basically have my carry guns (LCR 357 and LCP), my Dirty Harry Gun (6" GP100), my cowboy guns (2 Blackhawks, Henry Lever, coach gun, and 45-70 single shot), a Wingmaster 870, a few 22 revolvers, and a Mini 14 Target. That's about a dozen guns, which could be considered an "arsenal" to some news outlets!

To be honest, I know I haven't mastered any of them. I could spend a month each year dedicated to each firearm I have, Imagine that, shooting the same firearm for a month straight! Does anyone do that? I know I don't. The last time I went to the range I took 5 guns. I switched back and forth between all of them. It was fun, but maybe too much?

I'm spending more time nowadays trying to practice my draw with my EDC gun and trying to zero in on that perfect holster (if there is such a thing!).

So to answer your question, yes, I personally do believe in trying to cull the herd and actually use the guns you already have.
 

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Howdy,
I cull stuff now and then... I wind up with just too much stuff.....
I'll buy, perhaps 3 or 4 Win '94's, and just keep the best one...
Also, occasionally, I'll cut a caliber for one reason or another..
Otherwise, I just accumulate too much stuff...

Paul
 

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I have had the same thought, doesn't always work out though. While it makes sense to have one gun for each "purpose", get the best you can and become proficient with it; I recently sold my Ruger .44 Alaskan because I really didn't have a "need" for it. I immediately turned around and bought a Colt Commander 1911, to fill the gap between my Colt .45 ACP Officers Model and my full size Colt Government Model.
Made sense to me!
 

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Went through a culling process a while back, and got rid of many fine firearms that I just really didn't need or use anymore.

I got rid of the hunting rifles I had because I no longer hunted for dear and elk. Although many of those rifles had stories to tell of great hunts in the past, they were safe queens collecting dust and taking up room.

I culled out all of my S&W firearms after a BAD experience with their customer service. Two plus months to repair a firearm was way to much, and their attitude about it was the final straw. Some would say this was in a fit of rage, but those guns were mainly ones I thought I needed or wanted, and now they can take up space in someone else's collection. I am SLOWLY replacing them with Rugers, but I am taking my sweet time about picking up replacements, as I don't want to have another collection of little used guns anymore.

Yes, I had great memories with many of those firearms I culled, but they were not being used, and worth more to someone else than they were to me.
 

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Good thread here... kind of a "self help thread".... I go through this.... often enough.

My name's Dave, and this is my story.....
Like most here, I love firearms, all types, for their history, beauty, fun factor, cool factor, excitement, or to just plain admire. To my eye there is few, very few, things in this world that show off fine workmanship and skill, beauty, and design as a well made firearm. Beautiful cuts of wood, stunning grain patterns, deeply polished steel, lustrous blueing...... takes your breath away. And to then be able to take this out and shoot it, and especially if its a real shooter, and do exceptionally well with it.... well, its quite satisfying. So we end up with a few guns. And perhaps a few more.
Back in the 80's, I had only 1 or 2, and one was a Colt Series 80 Mk IV Gov't model 1911, and I shot competition with it, and did quite well. I went through approx 700 rds a week between practice and competition, and made them all with a RCBS single stage press..... (that was a lot of work)!! Point being, by brother went through a gun buying frenzy about that time, but he had too many guns, and became proficient with none. That has always stuck with me, no matter how much I like to sample them all, own them all, too many caliber's and too many styles will make you less proficient with all. It's basically muscle memory that developes good habits, and discipline.
So yes, I find the need to cull the herd, for exactly the reasons you describe, and having just a few calibers and a few platforms will make you a better shooter, and simplify reloading, etc. Still, every now and again, a new one will find its way into my heart, in a new caliber, and mess things up again (such as last Sunday evening when I had NO business cruising gunbroker)....... so today I culled yet another revolver to help pay for it. Variety IS the spice of life, despite the best laid plans........
 

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Funny how we all go through these stages. For me it started with collecting the standard issue US infantry rifle for each of our major wars, which then evolved in to collecting S&W Model 19 revolvers.

Notable efforts I might get back to, but pockets aren't that deep.

I did a purge about two weeks ago following a very objective and rationale plan and now I'm trying to buy a Coonan 1911 and Wildey in 45 Win Mag. Not sure what purpose they will serve but I'll come up with something.
 

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Funny you asked, I was planning on thinning out the crowd but for some reason the crowd got bigger not smaller :O Guess they wanted more company lol
 

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I'm thinking about culling back my collection after I finish determining which ones are the most accurate with my handloads and which calibers are the most efficient and versatile. It's tough when a few calibers are similar in certain aspects so I end up having to try a bunch of different handloads with different bullets and powders. Then compiling all the results to try and make up my mind. There's times when I'm certain one caliber is the better pick and then after doing some more testing I start to think the other caliber might have the slight advantage. Who knows, maybe I'll just keep them all because it'll give me something to tinker around with when it comes to handloading and maybe having more caliber options isn't a bad thing anyway.
 

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I was looking at my written list of firearms and serial numbers yesterday and wondering whether I'd be able to whittle it down to just a few - a CCW, a "service pistol," a long gun, a nightstand gun, and a backup CCW. My storage space is limited, and since I sometimes can't decide which gun to take to the range I sometimes just don't go at all. I know, dumb reason.

I don't think I could sell off my "surplus." I could see putting the "safe queens" into long term storage, but I couldn't bring myself to sell them.

Has anyone successfully culled their herd down to just a few, and kept it that way?
No. :D
 

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I've had the same thoughts. While I have far fewer guns than many have, I have many more than I need. I've considered many times to thin the herd. Like many I started with a general purpose handgun. As I acquired others they became more specialized in purpose. Hunting, woods bumming, target shooting (all in addition to the primary needs of self defense). My problem is that each time I try to select which ones to send out the door, I find that I still "need" them so nothing moves.
 

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If I can get this defunct Treadlock safe open (S&G electronic lock died with the door closed and locked), I'm seriously looking at doing the same thing.:(
 

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I've only been at this 3 yrs but have already been through a cycle (or two) of sell a few, then buy few, buy a few, buy a few, sell a few... Repeat

That's why it's called a hobby for me... I keep learning and experimenting and investigating and enjoying
 

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In the fall of 2008 two of my daughters said they were engaged and wanted to get married in 2009. I thinned my herd to help pay for weddings.
 

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I don't if how I get a new firearm fall under the realm of culling but I only replace a firearm when it no longer apeals to me. Take for instance a Kimber ultra comp II I purchased when I got my first CCW permit in 2008. I liked the idea of carrying a three inch barrel 1911 style handgun with a built in laser. I owned that gun until earlier this year. While the idea of carrying a small 45 ACP handgun sounded great, there was one large problem. I could never get comfortable shooting it. Every time I took it to the range to practice, by the time I finished shooting I was swearing at myself and at the Kimber. I tried using light reloads, working on by grip and stance. Nothing totally resolve my issues with it.
Earlier this year I had an epthany and finally realized this was not the gun for me.
I decided to trade the Kimber in for a Colt Commander with a full size grip an a 4.5 inch barrel it seemed like a good choice. I went down to my LGS and started to work out a change. I looked at a Colt Commander. The LGS owner is a friend and after examining the Colt I asked him if he had any thing else that was similar to the Colt. I followed him down to another display cabinet and he brought out two Ruger SR1911s. One was a SS Commander, and the other was a Commander with a black nitride finish. This was a model made for TALO. It was tricked out with three dot night sight. The trigger broke at 4.5 pounds. The satin black finish with matching grips I found appealing. After a trip to the range, I found I could hit anything I aimed at as long as it was 7 yards distance. I needed adjustable sight. The other thing I wanted was ambidextrous safety and slide release. I called Novak and they had what I needed. I shipped off my SR1911 to them and got it back two weeks later. The adjustable night sights work great. The satin SS slide release and safety are a nice touch. My experience with the Kimber is just a faint memory.
As for my collection, if I get more firearms, I guess I will just have to get a bigger safe.
 

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Yes, once as a young father with a child on the way and needed some dough (OK, it turned out to be a good "trade").

I'm getting rid of almost everything that isn't 9mm. I made the decision to practice weekly at the range, and "one caliber to rule them all" helps with this.

Traded the .45ACP's, .38's, etc.

Shield and LCR for carry. High Point Carbine for kicks and lifetime warranty.

Want to trade a .45LC Blackhawk and Single Six convertible for a SA Range Officer 9mm for range time.

I'll keep a KelTec .32ACP to clip to my running shorts, and a High Standard .22LR revolver to train the young folks on correct and safe shooting.

Keeping a cheap 20 gauge SxS and my Marlin .30-.30.

Trying to get rid of a handful of old .32's that came to me by default as the guy in the family who is called when a family member dies and leaves behind an old gun in the cupboard.

Sort of the "Marie Kondo" method of decluttering. Sparking Joy, thanking them for their service, etc.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/garden/home-organization-advice-from-marie-kondo.html?_r=0
 
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