There is so much STUFF that goes along with shooting. A co-worker just opted for his first personal gun. He has experience shooting but never had one of his own. So, drop about $600 for a Springfield XD with the tax and, that’s it? Well, no.
The gun comes with a small belt holster, 2 magazines, a nylon cleaning brush, and 2 magazines. All in a carrying case with a place to put a padlock.
What else do you need?
- Ear and eye protection. Though these can be rented at the range. $2 for the once a month you go to the range to practice.
- Targets. The range sells these. $3 a month
- Bullets. The range also sells these. $25 a month, plus $20 range fee.
Well, it’s pretty Spartan. About the only thing missing is cleaning fluid and some sort of bore patch system. A rag and a dowel can work. A pencil and an old toothbrush. Can of fluid adds maybe $15 for the year?
Now, you’ve more than doubled the amount of money you spent on firearms, over and above the original purchase price. And you did NOTHING fancy at all besides practice.
But my work buddy needs a few more things.
- A real cleaning kit. A boresnake is fine. $20
- He wants the pistol for home defense and has a kid. Locking the case is a non starter because of the amount of time needed to get it out. Leaving a loaded gun in a toddle-height drawer is unthinkable. He is going to get a GunVault pistol safe for secure but easy access. $125
- Defense ammo to keep at home, plus 100 rounds of FMJ. $90
- A couple of spare magazines. $60
So another $300, $900 total. 150% over the price to just GET the midrange-priced pistol.
With a little more interest you tack on a host of other costs: training, range bags, spare parts, holsters, eyes and ears.
Add a rifle to that and it goes up again: more spare parts, optics, carrying cases.
A little more interest and you add personal touches like: custom grips, NICE holsters, butt cuffs, spare optics or optics that do different things, ammo inventories, reloading equipment and supplies, shooting jackets, target stands.
Even without those tertiary, optional, stuff, it is an expensive operation with a lot equipment.
For a prospective one-gun homeowner that comes to me for advice on firearm selection, I’ll have to remember to tell them to budget twice the cost of the firearm for accessories and incidental for the first year. After that they’ll have their feet under them, be practiced and proficient, and their firearm will be secure when not directly at hand, yet ready for any contingency.