Those who know me refer to me as the “black hole of guns”, because I never sell them. This is partly because I have the luxury of not needing to sell them to make rent or whatever, but it’s mostly because I try to live without regrets. In the gun field, the only regrets I have are the nagging itches of deals that I passed up. And the regret of passing up a deal (like the $700 SVT-40 in ’04 or so), often fades into insignificance once you manage to actually get an identical gun later on, while there are lots of 60 year old guys wishing they hadn’t been young and dumb and sold a gun they loved back in their 20s.
A lot of “I should sell this” thoughts are impulse thoughts based upon mood, and likely to produce regrets. Generally speaking, if you wait a week or a month, you’ll lose the desire to sell the gun you’re thinking of selling.
I shall summarize below some of the bad reasons people sell guns. I am picking random guns here, but it applies to anything. Fundamentally, it all boils down to one thing: whatever drew you to this gun once, will draw you to it again once you no longer have one. And whatever reasons you had to dispose of it are likely not to seem so valid in retrospect when you miss the gun you sold.
I own an X D, but I want to sell it so I can buy a Glock. Once I own the Glock, the X D won’t get used at all. Notice the problems with this? For one thing, the shooter doesn’t already own the Glock. He doesn’t really know that he won’t use the X D at all yet. There’s an excellent chance the guy will buy his Glock, shoot it for a while, then wish he’d kept the X D because the Glock’s grip angle bugs him, or he starts thinking back fondly on the X D’s sights, etc. By the time you realize you gave up something you wish you hadn’t, your X D is long gone. The time to decide you don’t need your X D anymore is after it’s had time to gather dust because you’re shooting your Glock now. Never sell a gun to buy a gun.
I’ve got a collection of rare Finnish Mosins, but I’ll never get that last elusive one to complete the collection, so I may as well sell the rest. Wouldn’t it suck to have that rare, elusive one finally dangled in front of you, and then you realize you don’t own the rest of that collection anymore? Because that’s what’s likely to happen to you once you toss out your collection. Also, if your collection is that close to completion, it’s still worth being proud of it, even if you can’t get that final holy grail.
My wife says a house with kids shouldn’t have any guns in it, at least when they’re young. Yeah, and she’ll conveniently think that when they’re older, too. To many women, guns are a “bad habit” to break you of, like smoking, and kids are the trump card which gives her her way in all areas. This also can happen the other way around (anti-gun husbands), but much less frequently. This drama plays out in California households time after time; the minute kids enter the picture, the wife moves from passively anti-gun to actively demanding a gun-free house. As a counterpoint, kids in the South grow up around unlocked, loaded guns all the time without killing themselves. Stand up to your spouse – you might agree to lock them in a safe, or in extreme cases perhaps store them with your family, but never just capitulate and dispose of them all. I’ve never once met a man who did that and didn’t bitterly hold it against his wife years later. Separate drama from reality. Assess risks rationally – and if you’re not presently married, then refuse to date or marry someone incapable of rational risk assessment in this field. As an aside, you do have to pick your battles. My wife can’t rationally assess the risk factor of centipedes, but she’s fine with the guns, so that’s just fine.
I read some reviews, and they say the Remington 700P is better than my Savage 10FP, so I’m gonna sell the Savage and buy the 700P. While reviews can be useful, they’re unavoidably biased towards the writer’s preferences. Additionally, some but not all are further biased by the possibility that if you give a glowing review, you may get to keep it. But it ultimately comes down to the fact that while the gun may be better on paper, or for the reviewer, it may not be the best gun for you. Find out by buying the new gun and then deciding if the old one still has a place in your arsenal. If the new one is the one that lost out, then either keep both or sell the new one.
I only have a gun safe that holds X guns, so I have to sell one if I want another. Unless the gun you’re selling is literally one you never use,and you’ve had little use for it ever since you bought it, this is a bad idea. A better idea is buying a new safe. Or, like me, convert one of your bedrooms into a dedicated armory for your guns.
So, it all comes down to this:
- Regretting a sold gun, sucks.
- Selling a gun to “upgrade”, and figuring out later it’s a downgrade, sucks.
- If someone else telling you to sell your guns, you’re likely to resent that person later on. Don’t give in unless the government requires it.
Sneak preview of the next post: I might cover some of the things we gun guys would like to see in future laws.