Why You Should Downsize Your Firearm Collection and Consolidate

I know many of you are collectors of firearms or just enjoy them enough to stock multiple calibers.

Although I enjoy firearms and all the details that come with them such as tweaking, shooting, upgrading and even cleaning, I have taken a different approach to my firearm collection.

Don’t freak out and quit reading when I say… I downsized my arsenal.

You still with me? Ok, here is why.

Firearms as a Collection vs. Firearms for a Prepper

I used to have several different calibers of a rifle, handgun, and centerfires that would serve many different purposes. That was fun and I loved looking over the guns and enjoying my collection with friends.

Emergency Essentials

But there were drawbacks to having so many different sizes and models.

  • Keeping parts for each became tedious
  • Storing different sizes and types of ammo were expensive and space consuming
  • There was never enough room in my safe for everything
  • I wasn’t even using some of them and I always found that five or six guns were always my go-to’s most of the time

Cut Down on Firearms and Calibers You Don’t Use or Don’t Need

I made the decision about five years ago to consolidate my firearms and keep only those that served multiple purposes or that I felt I may need someday if the SHTF.

So, here is what I did, I kept guns that could serve multiple functions and got rid of those that seemed redundant to what I needed.

Firearms That Serve Multiple Purposes

Here is a list of the firearms I decided to keep and a quick note on the reason why I choose that particular size.

Semi-Auto Battle Rifle

Semi-Auto Battle Rifle
Semi-Auto Battle Rifle

I think everyone should have at least one main battle rifle in their arsenal. This is going to be your go-to rifle if the SHTF ever hits the fan.

Further, this gun is on the hot list for the liberals and is the number one target for anti-gun activists. There is no guarantee that these will be available in the future so there is no way I would get rid of this type of rifle now.

Many of the calibers have ammo in bulk that can help cut down on cost. Although ammo is significantly more expensive than it was in the “good old days” like the early 2000s, there are still good deals to be had if you do your research.

NOTE: When I reference “main battle rifle” I am talking about types such as the AK, AR, other semi-auto.

Bolt Action Rifle and Good Scope

Bolt Action Rifle and Good Scope
Bolt Action Rifle and Good Scope

I would always keep a scoped “reach out and touch you” rifle in my arsenal. This will be your make-shift sniper rifle in a bad situation. Along with a great rifle, I would suggest you get the best rifle scope you can afford.

I chose a .243 because of the versatility of the round. I can go small for varmints and I can go larger for deer and other big game.

Others may decide on a larger caliber but in my area, this will serve its purpose just fine. Another reason I chose this caliber is the cost of the ammo. Compared to larger and more obscure calibers, .243 is still fairly affordable.

This may not work for everyone depending on your location and the size of the game you are hunting. That being said, you can still get a larger caliber that can serve multiple purposes.

Shotgun or Scattergun


The shotgun has many different uses and it’s highly recommended that you have on in your collection. I would stay with something that is common such as a 12g or 20g.

They are great for small game such as waterfowl, birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Many shotguns such as the Remington 870 can accommodate different barrels that can be changed out for different situations.

You can change to a barrel that will allow you to use slugs to hunt large game such as deer.

The shotgun is extremely versatile and can also serve as your main home defense gun. Although not as maneuverable as a handgun indoors, they can cover a lot more area if you need to take action.

There are so many different types of ammo available for shotguns such as birdshot, buckshot, slugs.

Small Caliber Centerfire Rifle

This is probably where most of us got our start in firearms. I know once I moved up from my father’s pellet gun, the .22 was the next step.

Centerfire rifles are popular because they are one of the cheapest firearms to shoot. The .22 centerfire ammo can be had at unbelievable prices and it is a great gun for plinking.

The ammo also takes up very little space allowing you to store large quantities.

Now, whether you chose to get a bolt action, or a semi-auto is completely up to you and what you plan to use the rifle for. Each type has its pros and cons such as accuracy and firing rate. Semi-auto centerfire rifles may need to be upgraded a bit to get it to the accuracy you are looking for.

The .22 rifle is particularly good squirrel gun if you like a squirrel on a Sunday morning!

Air Rifle

I recently wrote an article on how many overlook the air rifle in their preps. This is by far the cheapest rifle in your collection to purchase and shoot.

Ammo is cheap and takes up little space and this rifle can take small game.

Best of all is that it’s quiet! An air rifle can actually be used in more populated areas without alerting the neighbors to your doings. This is why I think this is a great option to add to your arsenal and I don’t think it is talked about enough.

Check out my article on how valuable an air rifle can be in a SHTF situation.


Last but not least, is a handgun that fits your lifestyle. I recommend the 9mm just for the pure fact that it is cheaper to shoot, and you can carry much more ammo on your person.


There are several manufacturers that are making very affordable 9mm handguns that are reliable and easily concealed.

I know many of you would choose to carry a larger caliber and that is perfectly fine. The reason I chose the 9mm was firearm cost, concealment ability, ammo carry, and ammo costs.

This is also a great gun for someone just starting out. A 9mm has little recoil and you can buy white box ammo perfect for plinking and getting to know your gun.

As an alternative to a semi-auto handgun, you could choose to go with a revolver such as a .38 or .357. These calibers are versatile but the .357 can get expensive, heavy and more difficult to conceal.


Remember, my choices may differ from yours because of your location or void you’re trying to fill with a particular firearm. If you are in an area with larger game, you may not get away with a .243 and may need to move up a notch.

Now many of you are probably cringing at the thought of having to get rid of a gun, believe me, I was that way and I completely understand.

There are a few guns I wish I would have never let go of, but that is a story for another time.

This is just my thoughts on firearms as they relate to prepping. As I get older, I tend to downsize and try to reorganize things to be more practical, affordable, and useful for my needs.

This won’t work for everyone but take it as just an idea if you are looking to streamline your arsenal. And of course, if you are stocking for multiple people such as other family members, you are going to have a much larger collection.