Updated: Dec 10, 2019
New to guns or not, many have fallen into what I call the pit, I write this from both experience and watching so many others do the same thing. It starts really with a person's mentality, if you are like I was, I bought my first gun for just the fun of shooting. I bought a Winchester model 94 lever action in .357 mag, it still is a fun gun to shoot but after some time I got bored. I was looking for the new hot firearm with the cool sexy caliber, much like people today, jump on the new iphone even though they don't need a new phone. Does this sound like you or the exact opposite? I know better now, but I still get excited at a gun store... like a kid in a candy store.
There really is nothing wrong with buying into hype if you know that's what you're doing. The problem is for those that don't know they're about to fall into the pit. Hopefully this will help save people money and keep them on track.
For new gun owners, this can be overwhelming and is really the lack of seeking guidance. See my previous article (New gun owners.) For example if you buy a gun that shoots a new caliber that is rare and expensive, you won't be able to shoot as much. If you're training with a budget you want common and inexpensive ammunition. I have a buddy that bought a 10 gauge shotgun just for the hell of it. Later my buddy found that 10 gauge ammo is really expensive and the recoil of a 10 gauge a lot to handle. You wouldn't want to shoot Trap or Skeet with a 10 Gauge.
The one gun and done person, they buy one to say they have a gun. When I ask what it is, they have no clue. Then I ask, why they bought it, the answer is for self defense or home protection, but it takes 10 or 15 minutes to find it or pull it out. When they do find the gun, they don't know how use it and sometimes even have the wrong ammo for it. That's when I tell them they need to take a course with me. Sometimes I reach them and it's a light bulb moment for them.
The Amateur gun collectors, this happens almost by accident, and faster than you think, before you know it you'll have guns sitting in the safe for years that have never been shot.
If you truly are a gun collector then great. If not, welcome to the club, there are a lot of us! We are chasing the new gun with the hot caliber. Eventually you may get to a point where you have a gun for hunting, for fun, and for self defense. The need for another gun is gone, now another gun is a "want". Some may keep buying till the gun safe is full, others have an epiphany. This is what I jokingly call "rock bottom" for gun owners.
The Rock Bottom gun owners, they have transitioned to look past the hype and look for functionality, purpose, education, training. They now want to train, they want to improve their skills and be proficient with every gun they own. For some, training is the new adventure and revitalizes the joy of shooting again. They may go to competitions or start into other aspects related to firearms. Instead of buying another gun they now are taking gun courses to improve themselves! This is where we want to be.
Lastly Ignorance is not bliss... know your state and federal gun laws, this is a big deal! There are approximately over 20,000 gun laws and navigating them can be tricky. Knowing, Storing, and transporting laws for instance, I have seen one person show up to class with their firearm just laying on the seat next to a box of ammo...in almost every state if not all 50, that could land a person in jail. Take the time to read up on the laws. If you have questions still, seek legal advice from an attorney that specializes in gun law. Do not trust advice from an Elected official or Law Enforcement, there many instances that show they do not understand the laws either. I recommend to stay on the safe side of the law, pushing the limits is asking for trouble.
Hopefully after reading this, you will be able to recognize any of pitfalls, except the Rock bottom guys of course. If you can avoid the pits you will save a lot of money, and use that money more efficiently. Instead of buying another gun, buy ammo and get training. If any of this sounds like you, please comment and share, Stay safe out there!