Over 21 million guns were sold in 2020. The firearms industry estimates 8.5 million first-time gun owners helped fuel that record-setting surge. But now we’re all awaiting an answer to one big question, “Does it end there?” 

Your first firearm can be the start of a rewarding journey. Or it can become the sad end to a promising future. It’s depressing really. Just thinking about all those new guns simply left to collect dust and rust … all alone. Let’s not let that happen.

There are tons of reasons to take that next step and pick up a second gun. Here are our top five:

5. Right Gun, Right Purpose

Different guns fulfill different roles, from shotguns and ARs to 22 LR pistols. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Guns aren’t Swiss Army Knives. Even if they were, who wants to put together an entire desk with a tiny knife tool? Guns fill specific needs, and there are plenty of them – home defense, hunting, competitive shooting, recreational target shooting, concealed carry, training, etc.

You wouldn’t rely on a Glock 19 for hunting, and you shouldn’t try stuffing a 12-gauge hunting shotgun down your pants for concealed carry. If you already have a pistol for self-defense, a shotgun or AR-style rifle can add an extra layer of security for your home or car. But that home defense gun, well, it’s probably not your best bet for an enjoyable duck hunt.

You also have to think about long-term costs. If you’re looking to dump 2,000 rounds on every range trip, 22 LR rifles and pistols are great. After a few trips to the range, you can literally save the cost of your gun by just shooting cheaper 22 LR ammo instead of 9mm or 45 ACP.

Related: Explore 22 LR Gun Reviews from GDC

4. Not Loving That First Gun Anymore?

There are so many great guns to choose from. Sometimes it's best to fall in love with more than one. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Some relationships don’t work out. That happens in life. Guns are no exception. If you spend some quality time with your firearm, you may discover that the magic is gone and you want something new. Long-time gun owners are very familiar with that fact. 

It’s worth looking around and trying new things. If you bought a gun to protect yourself and the people you love, it’s well worth your while to shop around. But even if you’re just taking that gun to the range every few weeks, you might as well invest in something you really enjoy shooting. You can always consider selling your used gun to finance that new one, too.

Besides, they say approximately 80 percent of college students change their major at least once. I don’t know about you, but college was pretty expensive. I’d rather spend my money testing out one of the many great brands of firearms that I will likely keep for the rest of my life.

3. Gun Community

The gun community is diverse and truly unique. Owning firearms is more than a hobby, it’s the physical expression of a key American freedom. Staying active inside the gun community and continuing to exercise your freedoms sends a clear message to those attacking your Second Amendment rights.

It’s hard to really describe what it’s like to be an active member of the gun community. Gun owners tend to be passionate and highly engaged. Further gun ownership opens doors to exploring different aspects of that community. Plus, not that it needs to be said, but our sense of humor is pretty on point, too.

2. Love of Collecting

Guns can be gateways to history, like these examples of guns that served militaries and law enforcement around the world over the years. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Question: “Can you have too many guns?”

GDC Answer: “Nope.”

We joke about it at Guns.com, but it’s really hard to see all the guns we bring in and resist the urge to add them to our own collections. Remember the excitement you had the first time you bought a gun or took it to the range. Well, it doesn’t stop after buying just one gun. 

Guns are also windows into history. That’s why our Collectors Corner is basically a revolving door for older firearms with unique stories. Firearms are the products of some of the most brilliant engineering minds throughout the ages. You can feel that engineering when you hold and shoot different guns. 

Frankly, collecting and shooting different guns is just plain fun. If stamp collecting is your thing, all the more power to you. We’d rather pull a Diamondback DB10 out of the safe from time to time and send 149-grain bullets downrange at well over 2,000 fps.

1. Confidence & Experience

If we could point to one outstanding benefit of owning and training with multiple firearms, it would be increased confidence and skill. There’s just no substitute for hands-on training with a firearm you can really get to know over time. So if you want to build confidence across multiple firearms platforms, brands, and calibers, owning a few is a great step.

Yes. You should train on the primary guns you intend to use for competition, hunting, or self-defense. But becoming comfortable with different firearms can only help you. More importantly, it will open doors for you. It could be a doorway to new shooting sports such as IDPA or sporting clays. It could be a doorway to more effective home defense firearms.

Training regularly with different guns can also help you build better overall fundamentals. Or it might even convince you that you need to change your primary carry gun. The only real way to know is to try it.

Related: Firearms Training on a Low Ammo Budget

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