The Best Gun in the World

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

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. . . 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).

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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.

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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