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We’ve all seen them down at the range: shooters who unpack their gear like surgeons preparing for a major op. Who bring their firearms to the line and arrange them like a 747 pilot performing his pre-flight checks. Who record their performance like a forensic accountant. Who clean them afterwards (at home) like an Army private preparing for inspection. That’s not me. Much. You? Does your need for precision, discipline, and rules interfere with your pleasure? Or enhance it? And finally, do you impose your regimen on any of your brood?

10 Responses to Question of the Day: How OCD a Gun Enthusiast Are You?

  1. I’m only OCD when it comes to cleaning. I always have to clean to spotlessness when I get home from the range. My dad drilled it into me, the military drilled it into me and I just can’t seem to stop the compulsion. My kids aren’t old enough to shoot yet, but I’m sure my compulsions will be passed on.

  2. Maybe it is a sign of age, but experience has taught me that being organized and having a set routine for packing and unpacking my gear makes it less likely that I’ll leave some piece of personal property behind when I’m done. Also, a pet peeve of mine at the small indoor range I go to is when there is no space on the table set aside for shooters to put their bags, jackets, etc. because one or two individuals have their crap strewn all over it. I make a point of not being one of “those guys”.

  3. Safety depends on good order, so I try to be as orderly as possible when shooting. And once you drive all the way to the range only to discover that you left something important at home, a “preflight” inspection becomes part of the routine.

  4. Not at all. I don’t clean. I do inspect to see if a cleaning is needed every other time or whatever. A simple swipe of a baby wipe and I am done usually. The only thing I am OCD about is guns to the left of the shooting station and ammo to the right. I am OCD about seeing someone pick up a rifle or shotgun and switch it between hands half a dozen times because they are too stupid to place it in the offhand position ‘before’ the loading begins. As for the folks who do take up all that space, I laugh. I laugh because I am banging out shells and rounds and you are still twiddling away your range time unpacking and whooing twenty guns when you will only shoot one or two.

  5. I’m pretty OCD about cleaning my guns, (never let the sun go down on a dirty gun) and that’s about it. I do like to have everything in my range bag in the same place each time I head out, though, but I have no set ritual about how to prepare once I get to the range.

    Which explains why I left my electronic earmuffs at the range the last time I shot. I need to go back and get them…

  6. Yes, that’s me. Everything has its place in the range bag, rifle case, car for the range trip. When finished, everything better be in the same place for the return trip. When I return home, I prefer to clean all guns before returning them to their proper place in the safe/holster/lock box. If time does not allow it, cleaning might be postponed until the following weekend.

    Why? Because I treat my guns like I treat my life.

    If you are organized, things are easier to find when they are in the same place. Things look neat. The alternative: a cluttered safe, house, car, desk, general disarray.

    If you keep your things clean and well maintained, they will last longer, have a higher resale value, and stay looking nice. The alternative: a dirty, run-down, cluttered house; a dirty car that keeps breaking, dirty, banged-up guns that fail.

    If you maintain a routine, it is much easier to do what needs to be done. You take your pills and on time, you lock the doors behind you, pay your bills before they are due, ensure your guns are clear before cleaning and function properly after cleaning. The alternative: Forgotten pills, overdue bills, unlocked doors, empty gas tanks, general disarray.

    Being organized in life saves you a lot of time and money. Think about it:

    The ill-maintained house, run-down car, dirty scratched-up gun, banged-up iPod are a lot harder to sell and get you less money. Ill-maintained items will fail earlier, requiring money to replace them sooner than necessary or cause costly repairs. Overdue bills and unpaid credit cards cost you late fees and interest.

    Unexpected trips to the shop cost you time. Phone calls to debtors cost you time. Scheduling and being around for service appointments cost you time.

    Living in a run-down house, driving a beat-up car, shooting dirty scratched-up guns is all a lot less enjoyable.

    So, why not put in the extra effort up front to be organized and keep things well maintained? It pays off in many ways in the long run.

  7. Conventional pistol (bullseye) shooter. One of the OCD branches of the shooting sports (along with highpower, smallbore and international). Consistency is required for success. My gun box is organized and checked prior to matches and practice. During a match I will have three minutes from the command to open gun cases to start of slow fire. If I have everything I will need where it supposed to be and if I have a set routine for setting up; I can quickly be set up and prepared for slowfire.

    I keep a notebook to record and track performance during practice and competition. It helps me analyze and organize for future practice.

    Like I said I get a bit OCD when shooting bulseye, for me it helps.

  8. I am totally OCD at the range, as I am with all mechanical things. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t spill over into my personal life. The house could use the attention.) I handload almost everything, so meticulous record-keeping and consistent procedure are mandatory or I’d never get anywhere. Also, cleanliness absolutely yields positive, tangible results. If you are having trouble hitting at over 300 yds, review your cleaning.

    To me, the most important thing is to have a set procedure and a plan for every group you shoot. Shoot a group, review and assess, adjust as necessary, shoot another group. I think shooters who don’t do this can tend to plateau — they stop improving because they’re just throwing ammo downrange without studying what they are doing. My .002, take for what it’s worth.

  9. At the range, in my personal gun workshop, in the field, overseas for work etc I’m hardcore organized, but in the rest of my home, my car and such… not one bit. My wife and I have kind fo a competition, see who can hold out longer to pick something up.

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