General Information

Why So Many Guns – Long Guns

woman hunting ar15

Ed. note:  This is the final part of a three part series called Why So Many Guns? This installment covers long guns such as rifles and shotguns.  Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.


Having begun archery hunting 3 years ago, I have really come to appreciate the skill, difficulty, and traditional means of taking game with a bow and arrow.  However, if I want to be certain of bringing home some meat I take a long gun into the field.  The same principles of selection are then easily applied to long guns.

In the area of shotguns, the 20-gauge and 12-gauge are by far the most popular, but are not exclusive.  For shooting smaller game at closer ranges a 410 shotgun can be just right, and is a great starter shotgun for younger shooters or smaller framed individuals.  And if you’re into shooting geese in the air, or zombies on the ground, there’s always the hard-hitting 10-gauge shotgun.

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Why So Many Guns – Handguns

father daughter pistol

Ed. note:  This is part two of a three part series called “Why so many guns?”  Click here to read part one of this series.


Another consideration in handguns is that between revolvers and semi-automatic handguns.  Revolvers have been around since before the Civil War, but semi-auto handguns are only about 100 years old.  With a revolver the shooter has the ease of mind to know that all they have to do is point and shoot. Revolvers offer an ease of mind that pulling the trigger will get the desired result.  And in the extremely rare situation that a cartridge is bad and fails to fire, the shooter need only pull the trigger again to cycle the revolver to another cartridge to fire.

The .357 and .44 cartridge have been very popular and successful as a handgun cartridge, but many of the revolvers shooting these rounds have pushed their price tags up above $600.  The price of ammunition for these guns has also gone up, so their use as a target shooting gun is really diminished.  The .38 caliber offers a relatively inexpensive medium ground for gun and ammunition, but is definitely on the lower end of good self-defense gun selection.  However, the lightweight, and compact .38 revolvers from S&W, Ruger, and others have been very popular lately, due largely to their compact frame and easy concealment.  Any revolver calibers lower than .38 might be good for target practice, but haven’t faired well as good self-defense rounds.

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Why So Many Guns?

Why So Many Guns

The first time I shot a gun was when I was about 5 years old!  My family was visiting a friend in Alabama, and dad took his shotgun with plans to do some squirrel and bird hunting while there.  I was so enamored with the guns that my dad finally relented and helped me shoot his Winchester 12-gauge pump shotgun.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

However, along the way I’ve realized there are a lot of people who don’t share the love of the gun.  Some are the anti-gun nut jobs that attempt to demonize firearms at every turn.  Thankfully this nation’s history is solidly stamped with liberties gained and maintained because of guns, so the arguments of the nuts have no merit.  But many are simply friends and family that didn’t grow up around guns and wonder – “why so many guns?”  Well let me tell you why!

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Walther is a “shrinking piece of business”

Smith & Wesson and Walther have begun to part ways. According to information released by S&W in an earnings conference call on June 28, 2012, it is pretty clear why the split is coming: sales and margins.

But the split is not a complete parting of ways. In fact, 2/3 of the current agreements between the two companies will remain in place.

According to James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., there are three separate agreements between Smith & Wesson and Walther:

  • S&W is the exclusive distributor of German-made Walther firearms,
  • S&W manufactures and distributes Walther PPK pistols made in Houlden, ME, and
  • Walther manufactures S&W M&P 22 pistols in Germany.

Of these, only one is ending in 2013: Smith & Wesson’s importation and distribution of German-made Walther guns. That contract will expire on April 30, 2013. The other two contracts will remain in place, and will be valid for two more years. Future negotiations could extend those agreements.

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S&W: Record Quarter, Record Year

Smith Wesson LogoSmith & Wesson announced a record quarter and record year for sales and income.  Here are the highlights:

  • For the quarter ending April 30, 2012, S&W’s sales were up almost 28% year over year.
  • For the quarter ending April 30, 2012, S&W’s income was $17.8 million.
  • For the fiscal year ending April 30, 2012, S&W produced a record number of units, generated a record amount of cash and brought in a record amount of income ($26.4 million).

For anyone who tracks Apple stock, these numbers seem anemic, but for Smith & Wesson, they are very good indeed.

According to a Smith & Wesson press release, these records were driven largely because of the popularity of the M&P line of pistols and rifles.  The M&P continues to nibble away at Glock’s share of the law enforcement market, and more and more consumers are flocking to the guns.  Read a few of the popular gun blogs out there and you’ll see that everyone is drinking to Kool-Aid.