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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 07/02/2019 in Firearms

Common Sense Guns to Own

Common Sense Guns to Own

"Beware the man with one gun, he knows how to use it."

Fairly sound advice. JY Jones is one of those men. He's hunted the world with a Remington .30-06. When a person uses one gun to hunt as much as Dr. Jones has, calling him an expert in that particular gun is accurate.

However, that one gun does limit him. He does hunt with other guns. While the '06 is certainly capable of taking anything in North America, as the doctor has proven, it is not the ideal round for everything. Hunting rabbits, squirrel and especially birds calls for something different.

If you are serious about firearms, being prepared and really think about what guns to own, your gun safe needs to have a least a few of the guns in the calibers in this list.


Ammo availability. Knowing you can walk into any good hardware store anywhere and get a box of ammo for a gun you have is a comforting thought. It may not be the exact bullet weight you shoot, but adjustments can be made. It is better to have ammo with a different bullet size that works than to not have ammo at all.


.22 - Cheap. Deadly. No recoil. Quiet in longer barreled guns. Staff writer Ben Baker killed his biggest animal ever, about 1,500 pounds, with one shot from a .22. The bullet hit right between the eyes and the animal dropped on the spot. A Long Rifle will also shoot .22 Long and .22 Shorts. In autoloaders, the action has to be worked by hand. The .22 has taken the biggest game animal in the world, an elephant. In the book Death in the Long Grass, Professional Hunter Peter H. Capstick tells how an elephant was shot just behind the front leg with a .22. A major artery was hit and the animal bled out. Hunting large animal with a rimfire is very dangerous and illegal in most places.

.223/5.56 NATO - Get a 5.56 NATO capable rifle. It shoots the standard .223, but a gun rated strictly for the .223 should not shoot the 5.56 NATO. "However, because of the dimensional variations in the distance between the case mouth and the beginning of the rifling, trying to fire 5.56 NATO ammunition in a .223 Rem. chamber is, simply put, just a bad idea," says the NRA's Shooting Illustrated.

.308 Winchester - Lower recoil than a .30-06 and still capable of long-range shots. A time-tested favorite in the guns to own.

.30-06 Springfield - For more than 100 years, the venerable '06 has put meat in the freezer and trophies on the wall.

.30-30 Winchester - The quintessential lever-action. While not recommended on the biggest of bears and moose, this old round has counted for millions of deer and bear. Yes, it has killed moose and big bears.

.270 Winchester - Lower recoil than a .30-06, this round is capable of taking just about anything the '06 does. Marginal on big bears and moose.

.243 Winchester - Low recoil, flat shooting and with today's modern projectiles, it will put lots of critters down. Considered the smallest recommended caliber for deer by some.

7mm Rem Mag - A smaller projectile than 30 caliber rounds, this bullet also comes out at higher velocities thanks to a larger case than the '06.

.300 Win Mag - A preferred long-range round fully capable of taking down the meanest moose or the baddest bear. A definite big game bullet and a must-have in the guns to own list.

7.62x39 - Often called the AK-47 round, this round is decent out to 300 yards or so. In a good gun, it will deliver excellent accuracy.

.22-250 Remington - A screamer round and a preferred choice for long-range varmint hunting. Not recommended for medium and larger game animals because the bullet does not penetrate. That said, Heimo Korth has killed many moose with this round. He shoots them in the neck.

For those wondering, the .300 WSM, 7mm-08 Remington and the .338 Win Mag come close to being in the top 11.


.22 - See above.

.357 Mag - The advantage to a .357 Magnum handgun is it will also shoot .357 mag, .38 Special, .38 Colt and .38 Smith & Wesson. Practice with the cheap stuff. Hunt and carry with the big rounds. The .357 Maximum will also shoot .357 Mag and the rest, but these guns are very hard to find.

9mm - This is the most popular centerfire round for semi-auto handguns.

10mm - Why not the .40 S&W? Because the .40 S&W is a short 10mm. A 10mm will shoot .40 but not the other way around. Get a gun that shoots both rounds.

.44 Mag - The reigning champ for big bore handguns for decades. The .44 Mag will also shoot the lighter .44 Special.

.45 ACP - Fat and slow gets the job done.

.460 S&W Mag - This hand cannon will shoot the .454 Casull, .45 Colt, .45 Scofield and if a revolver is manufactured with this in mind, it can also shoot the .45 ACP.


3.5-inch 12 Gauge - The 12 gauge is the most popular shotgun around. Get one with a 3.5-inch receiver and barrel. Then you can shoot the monster loads, 3-inch, 2.75-inch and the now popular shorty rounds of 2.5-1.75 inch rounds. If you get an autoloader, adjustments are often needed for the smaller rounds. Cheap snap-on adapters are available for pump shotguns to let them handle the super short rounds.

3-inch 20 Gauge - Nearly as popular as the 12, it has much less recoil.

Both shotguns allow you to shoot everything from No. 12 birdshot to heavy slugs. This makes either suitable for hunting almost everything in North America and home defense.

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