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  • The best gun in the world....

    -By Terence Gillespie-


    The best gun in the world is the one you’ll have with you when you need it.
    Seriously, the features of a gun you don’t have with you don’t matter.
    Like most tools there’s an optimal gun for every task under the sun. The task here is to ensure you’ll always have it with you when you need it. This article will talk about the features of a gun tool that will get that job done. And yes, I have a specific make and model in mind.

    If a gun is:

    * Too big
    * Too heavy
    * Too hard to shoot
    * Too dangerous to carry
    * Too hard to maintain
    * Feels awkward to carry, store or shoot
    * Does not fit your wardrobe
    * Does not fit your hand
    * Does not fit your lifestyle
    * Can’t handle most jobs you want it for
    * Misfires when dirty

    . . . then you’re less likely to have it with you when you need it. All this and yet a gun should be comforting, not comfortable.

    Carrying no gun at all would be the most comfortable. If that’s your solution my wish for you is that all the creatures you encounter feel the same way and be smaller than you. To be comforting a gun would need to:

    1. Have enough power to stop most bad guys.
    2. Have enough power to stop most dangerous animals.
    3. Be built to last while shooting the powerful rounds needed for 1. and 2.
    4. Use rounds that are widely available and affordable.
    5. Handle safely and easily (by you).

    It would be a very special gun that had none of the drawbacks and all of the advantages listed above. You might even say it would be the Best Gun in the world. The Ruger SP101 .357 magnum fits that description and is my choice for the title. I prefer the model with the 3 1/16" barrel for more accuracy and better performance of the magnum rounds. I also prefer it with the hammer for more deliberate round placement when the situation calls for it. Hammerless and with the shorter barrel is better for concealed carry. For me, that’s not worth giving up the accuracy and better performance of the magnum round.
    Yes, I wish it had more than 5 rounds. And that would also make it larger and harder to reinforce the frame to withstand the punishment of the hotter .357 magnum rounds. One study of 6000 armed confrontations showed an average of only 2.6 shots fired.

    Yes, I’d prefer a larger caliber to cover ALL dangerous creatures on the earth. And that would make it too heavy and big for life’s daily routines (Where I rarely see elephants or polar bears).
    Yes, it is 12 oz heavier than similar aluminum alloy revolvers. And those models hurt my hand when shooting the magnum rounds.
    There’s an optimal gun for each purpose under the sun. In future articles I hope to recommend such optimal tools given specific purpose. But, if I had to choose only one gun for anything life may bring it would be the SP101. Get the hammerless with a shorter barrel for purely self-defense if that’s what it takes for the SP101 to be the best gun in your world.
    To all who would point out the many fascinating and useful features of a different gun I say “fantastic!” as long as you don’t have to retrieve it from your gun safe when you need it. Because . . .
    “The features of a gun you don’t have with you don’t matter.”
    "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -Frederic Bastiat

  • #2
    If I could have only one gun that would be the 10/22.......I have used them in war, alone or with a hush puppy, and it has never let me down.
    "If you don't hold it, you don't own it"... Ponce

    Comment


    • #3
      I think if I could have only one smoker, it'd be my Ithaca 37 12g......nothin' fancy...very few moving parts....badass loadout......good times :D
      "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

      "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -Frederic Bastiat

      Comment


      • #4
        I dearly love my Ruger SP101. With the 3 1/16 inch barrel It will spit out a 125 grain Remington Golden saber bullet at 1308 fps. That's what the average velocity was for 10 rounds according to my chronograph. That falls into the category of "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." That is with 9 grains of Bullseye. My theory is that if you use shorter barrels you should use faster burning powders. I put Hogue grips on mine. I love to clean my guns. The SP101 easily dis-assembly makes that job very easy. I have carried mine as a backup while hunting, but lately I carry it's big brother, the Redhawk, due to the increasing Grizzly Bear population.
        Last edited by Dracos; 10-31-2009, 04:28 PM. Reason: left word out
        Those who would trade freedom for security will end up with neither.

        Comment


        • #5
          mossberg 12 gauge strangely enuff 835 because it can shoot all 12 gauge round dont say it big saw i sure you got one but versatilty is key
          the pack that plays together stays together

          Comment


          • #6
            Actually, I have never had a Mossberg, but I've shot 'em, and they're nice poles.....
            "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

            "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -Frederic Bastiat

            Comment


            • #7
              My Moss has a pistol grip at the front and back and it is my second weapon of choice.........
              "If you don't hold it, you don't own it"... Ponce

              Comment


              • #8
                Tough question, but of the guns I have now, I'd have to say my 1911 .45. The pros are; great stopping power, doesn't easily jam and when it does most are easy to clear, 9 rounds of firepower or 7 rnds, depending on which one I carry. Ammo is plentiful and not too expensive. The cons; both gun and ammo are heavy, they are semi-auto and I am not a gun smith.
                I have a Ruger single action that will shoot .45 ACP or .45 long colt. I have it as a back up in case the autos break down I can still shoot .45 ammo that I have on hand.
                bbc
                The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- Thomas Jefferson

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love my .45, but as Clint Smith has often said, " a pistol is for fighting your way back to the rifle that you never should have put down in the first place"... or something like that. If I could pick only one, it would be my Moss12ga. With Brenneke Black Magics, it can bring down a T-Rex, with a light load of bird shot it can put a dove on the dinner table with some meat still on it's bones, as well as handle any size game in between. The shotgun is a "do all tool" that is affordable, simple, reliable, and appropriate for anything but long range precision work.

                  Just my .02 worth...
                  Last edited by slowz1k; 11-03-2009, 04:15 PM.
                  The 12ga.... It's not just for rabbits anymore.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by slowz1k View Post
                    I love my .45, but as Clint Smith has often said, " a pistol is for fighting your way back to the rifle that you never should have put down in the first place"... or something like that. If I could pick only one, it would be my Moss12ga. With Brenneke Black Magics, it can bring down a T-Rex, with a light load of bird shot it can put a dove on the dinner table with some meat still on it's bones, as well as handle any size game in between. The shotgun is a "do all tool" that is affordable, simple, reliable, and appropriate for anything but long range precision work.

                    Just my .02 worth...
                    Couldn't agree more. I was thinking of just being caught off guard while away from home. I would certainly agree with your assessment of the shotgun and would have it if that was all I could have. I have pump, a side by side and a bolt action. I think I going to sell the bolt action though. All are 12 guage.
                    bbc
                    The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- Thomas Jefferson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ya gotta love those double barrel scatter guns, I have two, and a pump also.All 12ga. Considering adding an auto to the collection, but that will have to wait awhile ,I'm still negotiating on a Dan Wesson 1911 .45 Bobtail Classic.
                      Every Day , Is A Bonus.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great thread... I have the SP101 as well, but found that it was indeed being left instead of carried due to the weight... its a great all around gun tho... I wanted a lighter carry, so I have the Kel-Tec PF9 now for my everyday carry.... gave it a fluff an buff took out the roughness from factory, and put several thousand rounds thru it now... this one I trust completely... and have it with me always.... I still have the SP101 too and enjoy the hell outta shooting it... the other comment about usin the pistol to get back to the rifle is true for my house too... my Mossberg 500 JIC with 00buck is my HD of choice...

                        Love everybodys perspectives on this subject...

                        Mosa00

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Big_Saw View Post
                          I think if I could have only one smoker, it'd be my Ithaca 37 12g......nothin' fancy...very few moving parts....badass loadout......good times :D
                          John Moses Browning designed the Ithica Model 37. JMB is my Personal Hero, he not only rose from obscurity, living in a small vilage on the edge of a great desert with little education, thereby embodied the American Dream but his designs helped win 2 World Wars and Korea. When his briliant designs were ignored and that 'Can Do' attitude abused; America started to decline.
                          The m-37 like The BAR, The 1917, the 1919 30 cal, The Ma Duece (M-2), the M-92-98 Win, The Browning HiPower, 3 Winchester pump shotguns 1 lever shotgun, the Win Hiwall SS rifle and the Win Lowwall SS rifle. The first good semi-auto rifle and the first good semi-auto shotgun. The Superposed shotgun. The Win. pump 22LR the Colt 1903, 1908, 1911 (plus more). The High Standard and Woodsman 22lr pistol. The first 37mm auto cannon (and feed train) to fire through a drive shaft in a fighter plane. And a whole bunch more would never have graced my life, never have kept men free without this unassuming, yet gifted genius that rose like the sun from the Western Desert.
                          Mauser, Vickers, Maxum, Walther between them all had maybe 12 good designs. Browning had scores; so many that most don't even recognise them. The 22 Ace conversion for the 1911? yep Browning, most sub caliber units use his patent.
                          Last edited by kenno; 11-06-2009, 11:27 PM.
                          The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kenno View Post
                            John Moses Browning designed the Ithica Model 37. JMB is my Personal Hero, he not only rose from obscurity, living in a small vilage on the edge of a great desert with little education, thereby embodied the American Dream but his designs helped win 2 World Wars and Korea. When his briliant designs were ignored and that 'Can Do' attitude abused; America started to decline.
                            The m-37 like The BAR, The 1917, the 1919 30 cal, The Ma Duece (M-2), the M-92-98 Win, The Browning HiPower, 3 Winchester pump shotguns 1 lever shotgun, the Win Hiwall SS rifle and the Win Lowwall SS rifle. The first good semi-auto rifle and the first good semi-auto shotgun. The Superposed shotgun. The Win. pump 22LR the Colt 1903, 1908, 1911 (plus more). The High Standard and Woodsman 22lr pistol. The first 37mm auto cannon (and feed train) to fire through a drive shaft in a fighter plane. And a whole bunch more would never have graced my life, never have kept men free without this unassuming, yet gifted genius that rose like the sun from the Western Desert.
                            Mauser, Vickers, Maxum, Walther between them all had maybe 12 good designs. Browning had scores; so many that most don't even recognise them. The 22 Ace conversion for the 1911? yep Browning, most sub caliber units use his patent.
                            Sweet info grab, K......I knew Browning designed the 37, but never the rest....it's true, his designs are based on form OVER function, without losing a bit of elegance, nor adding any bullsh*t......
                            "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

                            "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -Frederic Bastiat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Best gun?

                              I will admit that caliber is an issue but it is not the only one or even the main one. As far as this post goes I am writing under the assumption that you are trying to cover daily carry since hauling a shotgun around will eventually get you arrested, especially if there barrel is under 18.5" and you dont have a tax stamp or CCW for it; the snub .357 in all steel is always a good choice because of its concealablity, lack of too many moving parts and ability to handle fairly powerful rounds easily but there are many compact guns out there (autos and wheel guns) but, and I say this as an NRA Instructor sometimes even a gun like that is too much gun for people even when you are shooting light loads; like 38 Specials out of a .357 magnum. You need to have a gun that you have trained with enough to be competent with and it needs to be in a caliber that you dont mind shooting.

                              There is a lady who carries a .22LR semi-auto as a personal defense weapon, it holds 10 +1 rounds of hollowpoint and will fit even in her small hands. I asked her to practice shooting within 15 yards at head and groin targets on man-shaped silhouettes. That was two years ago and she can now dump a mag of 11 shots into the head of a target in under 10 seconds and be reloaded in under 4 more.

                              What I am getting at and what I think the thread starter is trying to get across (my thoughts here) what gun do you constantly have with you and are you capable of using it effectively. Obviously he likes the snub .357 SP101. I think that is great piece of hardware but at the same time if you like .22LR because "big" guns scare you then that is fine, as long as you know its limitations and adjust accordingly.

                              Anyone can say; I will fall back to my M4 clone in .223 with 68 grain soft points because I have a tac vest loaded with three extra mags and is set up for assault/defense (Not that this is in my Den at home,....... just in case;) ) or I love my 870 Remington with its collapsible stock, side saddle and 1oz slug rounds but these are not weapon systems you carry with you unless you are in Afghanistan, a Police Officer or crazy enough to have on you(?) in town or when you are getting gas, buying groceries, renting a movie whatever.

                              Personally I like the Phoenix Arms HP22 (with the 3" barrel) for in-town outdoor activities or when I am wearing shorts or light clothing due to heat or a special event, I have a Taurus 606 .357 mag, snub nosed revolver for when I am doing anything outdoorsy like fishing, 4wheeling or something like that and want it on my person but concealed. When I can get away with a hoody or jacket I will carry my Smith TSW9. These are my choices but all are guns that will not show up and ruin my CCW permit.

                              Just my .02

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