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The Four Firearms Every Man Should Own

I am writing this piece of advice because of
how frequently men ask me:

“What gun should I

“Do you recommend a 45 or
9mm to carry on the daily?”

“What is better the AK-47
or the AR-15?”

Usually guys start asking these questions after they find out that I am former Navy SEAL. If you are one of them, do not be ashamed. Most men have a desire for knowledge about firearms and the capabilities. I too had some questions before acquiring the knowledge I learned in the service. For the record, I DO NOT consider myself a firearms expert, though I served for 13 years in the Navy. The first four years as a Gunners Mate, and the last nine as a SEAL. I have all sorts of firearms and firearm qualifications, including NSW Sniper and NSW armorer.

I now run Bottle Breacher on a daily basis. I have no desire to argue with Keystone Cops and tactical know-it-alls about calibers, optics, manufacturers and everything else they read about in their subscriptions to Guns & Ammo magazine. Unfortunately, I have found many in the “Firearms Community” to be rude, pretentious, and abrasive when it comes to real world practicality and experience. Personally, I believe, if you are blessed with knowledge and understanding that othersseek, you should be kind and humble in your dealings to make them feel accepted and enlightened. All men and women should be familiar with the four different classes of firearms. This is just my personal opinion after thinking long and hard about all the firearms I have shot and what each of the practical purposes were. Depending on which manufactures you choose to purchase from, you can probably do it for less than three thousand dollars. That is a whole lot of money but if you’re like me and you consider firearms tools and lifesaving gear, it’s tough to buy anything else in category that holds or appreciates in value. I decided only to list four classes of firearms for a couple of reasons. Most of us operate on a budget. If you have ever been gun shopping, you know that they are not cheap.

The second reason, I know better than most how important muscle memory is in a life-and-death situation or even in the situation where you have spent time and money to plan a hunt and need to make your first shot count, so you can fill your freezer with meat. I use the term muscle memory because many firearms have controls of different sizes and shapes in different places. It is hard to get suitable with a weapon when you constantly bounce back and forth between different models. Too many people spend so much time buying,
collecting, and shooting their new “toys” that they never get proficient with any of their weapons.

One of my favorite quotes is “Beware of the man with one gun, he knows how to use it.”

I will be listing them in order of most important to least important. My rankings will most likely be different from yours, but it’s good to start thinking about ranking them, in order to decide which ones to spend the majority of your time, energy, and training with.One of my favorite quotes is “Beware of the man with one gun, he knows how to use it.”

I will be listing them in order of most important to least important. My rankings will most likely be different from yours, but it’s good to start thinking about ranking them, in order to decide which ones to spend the majority of your time, energy, and training with.


I have chosen the compact handgun as #1 on my list for many reasons; one of which is the location I live in, and also my daily routines and the environment I spend most of my time in, the city. Unless, I am in my own home, I like to carry my weapon as much as possible. I have had many handguns that I love to shoot. I chose the compact handgun because it is comfortable and most people do not notice it. Personally, I prefer the 9mm. At this time, my daily carry is a Glock 19,
although, a buddy of mine just purchased a smaller Glock 42, and I love how
almost unnoticeably it sits in my waistband. One of the biggest reasons I
prefer a 9mm or smaller caliber is because of the greater mag capacity that usually accompanies it. In the few firefights I have been in, I noticed how easy it was to run low on bullets. Unlike the movies and video games, in real life, there
is not an endless supply of ammo and the cavalry might be several hours away.
Also, I have noticed with myself, and especially new shooters, that there is
often a direct correlation between recoil and accuracy. This is not because
manufacturers cannot make accurate large-caliber handguns. Pretty much, it is
all operator (human) error. I have found that as humans, we shockingly finch when a controlled explosion goes off in our hands, and the bigger and louder the explosion, often comes a bigger and more exaggerated flinch. This leads to very poor accuracy. Even seasoned shooters like me still fight the urge to anticipate recoil.

As a SEAL sniper, I was issued four sniper rifles. They ranged from a .223 caliber up to a .50 caliber. I was by far the least accurate with my .50 than any of my other rifles because I had to really fight the urge to anticipate recoil. There are shooters out there who have much better control over the basic shooting
fundamentals, but for the rest of us this is just how it is. Given the base of
this opinion piece, with emphasis on education, I am going to let the cat out
of the bag. I want to say something most operators wouldn’t dare admit,  and reinforce my decision to prefer a smaller caliber. Whether I’m being being shot at by a paintball gun, BB gun, or belt-fed machine gun, I have learned that I do not like being shot at period. Granted, I have never had to calm myself down during a game of paintball or take a couple really deep breathes to continue playing… but I can tell you how effective it is to have a bead on someone’s position in a firefight, and have enough ammo to keep their head down so you can maneuver to a better position or get out of dodge. For those who have been in life or death situations sometimes the difference of 3 extra rounds is enough to create that opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you have all the stopping power in the world, if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. Most experienced shooters have a good command of shooting fundamentals and can move up to a 40 or 45 caliber handgun and see minimal, if not any change in accuracy, but this piece isn’t for them; it’s for the common man and the novice shooter wanting to know which weapons they should invest in and why. Though our Founding Fathers fought hard to establish and educate this country on why firearm ownership and the ability to carry was so important, you wouldn’t know that if you walked around most cities these days with a weapon on your hip. This is one of the many reasons I came up with myWWFFD (What Would Founding Fathers Do) T-shirt. I want people to understand how relevant and wise they were, and that their wisdom and the constitution they built for all Americans applies today, and if followed, will allow us to continue to prosper.

I have noticed that when people see that I carry, they stare at you like “is that really necessary” or “don’t make eye contact with this lunatic,” for example. This
is the other reason why I strongly recommend the compact in the first place.
Although they aren’t as comfortable when shooting, especially if you’re a
decent sized person and tend to lack greater mag capacity of a full sized handgun. They do give you the ability to address a threat and not freak out the
“average citizen” who foolishly places their safety in the hands of the overworked local police force, who is at least 3-4 minutes away from being able to help them out at any given time. Although, it is not against the law to carry, many places prefer if people conceal. I was asked once at my church by the security team why I was open carrying (outside the pants, under my untucked shirt). When I turned the question onto them, asking if it was against the law, following up with a statement that there was nothing posted on the building, they immediately said, “No it is not against the law, we just prefer if people conceal.” Though I do not agree with their
preference, I agree to comply and conceal, which is another reason to purchase
a concealable first.


The assault rifle is the most versatile weapon on my list, after the concealable handgun. You can defend yourself and your home with one. You also have the ability to hunt with one. I typically refer my friends to manufacturers who are well known and have made thousands of rifles like Colt, Remington, Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, etc. I personally own several but my favorite assault rifle is my AR-15. Again, I have no desire to argue with every expert about calibers, controls, gas systems, etc… I chose my AR-15 with all its limitations for many reasons. Many being similar to the same reason I choose a 9mm over larger calibers-weight and mag capacity is very important to me as a former operator. Personally, I have more years of “muscle memory” with this weapon than any other. I am not only very familiar with its controls and maintenance, but also its personal storage when climbing in and out of helos, vehicles, and moving in and out of all sorts of buildings. I also own several 7.62 caliber assault rifles and really love the extra distance and stopping power they provide but don’t like the extra weight, length, and smaller mag capacities that typically accompany them. Once you decide which one you prefer the best, purchase it, and make sure you are proficient with it.

Many present day Americans live in an idealistic utopia and believe that our government could not possibly overreach and abuse their liberties. They are also the same people that stand around like a deer in headlights during a mass shooting and pray the cops will get there sooner. For the rest of us, with our eyes open, who have decided to take accountability for our own protection and that of our families into our own hands, we realize that there was a good reason that George Washington said, “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” Had Washington been around today, I am sure that he would clarify that “sufficient arms” would encompass the assault rifle since any government trying to take them away from you today would do so with similar and in most cases superior weaponry. I have often heard critics debate that our Founding Fathers were only referring to the musket and would never approve of private citizens owning assault style weapons. These people are missing the word “sufficient” in the quote. I doubt that many of them have left the protective bubble of their secure nation to go
and visit war torn countries being occupied and controlled by men with guns
that have made it illegal for private citizens to own them.


This is such a versatile gun because it can defend your home and person like the assault rifle, but is also extremely functional when it comes to hunting. Many people feel that the shotgun is the best home defense weapon because of the
distinctive sound it makes when you chamber a shell. They also prefer the
multiple projectiles that are sent down range as opposed to only one per pull
of the trigger like the pistol or assault rifle. This also gives a novice or
beginning shooter a bit more leeway with accuracy as the multiple pellets
spread out after leaving the barrel and generate a larger impact area. I
personally keep a Remington 870 in my closet with a Surefire light attached
to the fore-end. This is a very important element to firearms that most
overlook. Most people do not realize how important it is to have lights on
their weapons, because they have had no experience shooting or training at
night. They don’t realize the importance of night sights until they need to hit
their target at night or have the confidence that they can be accountable for
the rounds that leave the barrel at night when they can’t clearly make out
their site posts. The shotgun is also number three on the list because it
is such a versatile hunting weapon. Small game like rabbits and squirrels can be
hard to hit on the run, so can birds like dove and quail. The shotgun gives the
hunter much more of an edge over a hunting rifle when the game is small and on the move. Even if you need to take something much larger down with your shotgun, you can buy slug ammunition, which will drop just about anything in North America. In many states in the USA that is all you can hunt with.


The last firearm on my list is the hunting rifle or a tactical bolt gun. If I had to knock my list down to three, this gun would get the boot, even though I actually shoot my bolt gun more than I do my assault rifle or my shotgun. I simply enjoy being able to take long-range precision shots at wildlife or other targets like my daughter’s future boyfriends 😉 This is probably the least practical and most expensive, but I do encourage people to be proficient with one. Many people and nations around the world do not share the blessing that we have here, to go to the butcher shop or restaurant and order up a favorite cut of prime rib or pork chop in ten minutes. My recommendation when purchasing a hunting rifle is this: you should typically spend as much money on your scope or glass as you should the actual rifle, if not more. Try to get a stock on your rifle that allows you to attach a bipod. For stability in the prone or benched position. It should also have the ability to adjust the buttstock to fit your face and arm length. Too many shooters do not account for this modification and end up sacrificing basic fundamentals because they have to raise their face so far up (off the stock) to get a good eye relief and remove scope shadow. Because of this, they are using neck and back muscles which affect the heart rate and causes the scope reticles to dance up and down, side to side, more so than when you are relaxed. If the adjustable stock is out of your budget, a nice piece of foam and some duct tape will work as well. I often give instruction to seasoned and beginner shooters alike. 99% of them don’t understand how important these features are and how much they affect accuracy.

Relationship between recoil and accuracy is a big factor when you are looking hard at the .300 Winchester Magnum (.300 Win Mag), 338 Lapua Magnum, or that other awesome gun you saw in that movie where Mark Wahlberg was taking head shots at 1.5 miles away on dudes in moving vehicles. *Remember, the heavier the rifle, the less it will recoil. You are going to wish you went with something lighter after carrying that 25lb tack driver thru the woods for six hours. The 30-06 or 308 will take care of most game you come across in the states with a well-placed shot. My scope of choice is the Nightforce. I also have a Leupold Mk 4 that is decent. I look for clarity of glass, durability, weight, illuminated reticle, and zero stop. In addition, I want the ability to zoom from about 4-15 power. I prefer scopes that have the ability to range all the way down to a lower magnification like 3-4 power, that way when you are glassing or hiking around if you can catch something moving with your naked eye, it is much easier to find it zoomed out to a lower power. If you have to acquire something on glass at a high power like 8-10, it is much harder to find quickly. If the scope you are looking at has tactical turrets, that elevates and lowers your cross airs, make sure the clicks when rotating are crisp and not squishy.

In conclusion, I am no expert of firearms, but I hope you found this information to be helpful. I have enough knowledge and experience to give the average person some advice on what types of guns to research, purchase, and become proficient with, especially if you are without a friend that served in an elite unit or can give you direct advice and guide you. I hope that this country will never become a place where our rights to carry and own these weapons are in real jeopardy. One of the biggest ways to make sure this does not happen is to encourage and educate people about firearms. No matter what, firearms will be used by evil people to do evil things, but 99.9% of the time, the only thing that will stop that evil person with a gun─ is a good responsible person with one. We must fight to keep our Second Amendment Rights intact and to educate our self and those around us with proper firearms training and safety precautions. If you forget everything else just ask yourself  WWFFD.

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