The Best Gun in the World

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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.”

October
5, 2009

Terence
Gillespie [send him mail]
has worked at IBM, played jazz piano on cruise ships, is an instrument-rated
pilot, songwriter, and is attempting to optimize every aspect of
life one article at a time on his
blog
at YourOptimal.com.

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