Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ballseye's Gun Shots 32 - How Many Guns Do You Have?

"How many guns do you have?" was a question I was recently asked by a friend of mine. I had to admit, I had no clue. I could have given a pretty good estimate, but the truth was that I did not know, and could not think of, the exact number of guns that I owned at that time. That got me to thinking that I had better count them when I found the time, and of course when I had found all of my guns.

Finding the time proved a little harder than finding all of the guns. I was called away to my sister's and brother-in-law's house on Wednesday night for a family emergency. I spent 2 days and 3 nights watching my 9 year old nephew; then spent Saturday there too for the fun of it. Today, Sunday, I had a good amount of work cut out for me in the basement. It was time for fall cleaning. I try to clean the basement really well at least once in the Fall and then once in the late Spring. In addition to it needing a good cleaning just because it was that time of year, it also was a veritable mess. Guess who made the mess. I have no one but myself to blame for that. There was shooting , hunting and fishing gear all over the place. There was also some of this and some of that and all of it was messy. So I got to cleaning today.

Somewhere in there while cleaning, I opened up the gun locker and emptied it out. I gave each rifle and pistol a quick eyeballing to make sure there was no evident rust, then wiped a few of them down on the wood with some oil soap. Then I scrubbed down the inside of the arms locker. I made sure it was dry and put all the firearms back inside. Err, well I actually did something else first. Yes I counted them but that is not to what I was just referring. What I did that was more important than simply counting them was to take new photographs of all of them for insurance purposes and to otherwise document my collection just in case something ever happens to them. This way I have a photographic record for myself, for the police and for the insurance company. I just photographed them in groups. I took one pic of all of my rifles in .22 caliber, one pic of all of my larger bore rifles with my shotgun thrown in for good measure, and one pic of all of my pistols and my one revolver. In the pics of the 22's and the pistols I also included all of the magazines for them. I did not take close ups of the serial numbers, I have them in a separate written record.

I recommend that anyone who owns firearms to do likewise. Keep a written record of the Make, model, caliber, serial number of each gun you own - and also keep a photographic record of them too. I only photographed one side of each, but you could take a picture of each side. If the firearm is special because of fancy hand engraving - photograph the engraved sections close up. Now you have a record that shows the condition of the firearms if something does happen to them, and furthermore gives additional documentary evidence as to your ownership of them for any later date. I am going to keep copies of the photos on my hard drive, and on a flash drive or CD. I also emailed them to myself and will store the email in my ISP's online email storage.

I can now answer the question as to how many guns I have. I can also do something else. I can look at the pictures I took and can compare the guns I see in the pics to the guns on my written inventory of firearms. If I see one in the pic that is missing in the written records I will add it to the record. If I see one on the list that is missing in the pics I will either have to make a note that I sold or otherwise disposed of it. If I do not recall getting rid of it, well then that means I had better start looking for it pronto! By the way, if you have not figured it out yourself yet - I have (or should I say "we have" as at least 1 of them is my son's) 8 rifles in .22 caliber (7 in .22LR and one in .22 WMR). We also have 5 rifles in larger calibers, including my sons AK47. There is also 1 shotgun. Add to that 1 revolver and 7 pistols and I think that is all of them. That is, of course, unless we add on the BB gun and the airsoft too, but I'll pass on that and just include firearms. That makes for a grand total of 22 firearms to which I will admit that we own.

I can tell you this. That number is not high enough. I now have a yearning to go out and find myself something new to add to the mix. I am still hoping to pick up a Marlin XS7 in .308 but have not seen one for sale yet. A gun show is coming up in November so who knows. I also am way overdue for a visit to the local gun store that is only about 5 blocks from my house. That could make for a nice walk next weekend - empty handed on the way there, and carry a cased rifle on the way home. I already have the money set aside for it - so for once I can say money is no problem. What is keeping me - I do not know!

All the best,
Glenn B

Note: The total number just mentioned does not include the firearms issued to me by my employer. While I could say I have them, I surely do not own them. If I was to include them, the number would go up to 24 with the .40 caliber SIG and the Remington 870 that I was issued for my job.