Question of the Day: When Do You Go From Gun Owner to Gun Nut?


Reader Robert H. writes:

My girlfriend (who isn’t opposed to firearms) thinks I’ve crossed the line when I told her that I’m only three guns away from a decent collection. I defined that as at least one each of the following:

  • full-sized modern pistol
  • compact CCW pistol
  • 1911 in .45
  • .357 magnum revolver
  • home defense shotgun
  • hunting shotgun

  • hunting rifle, bolt-action
  • AR-15
  • AK-pattern rifle
  • Battle rifle (.308 in semi-auto)
  • .22LR plinking rifle
  • lever-action rifle in centerfire

I told her that by my definition, I don’t consider myself a certifiable “gun nut” until I have set up at least one NFA trust to acquire silencers or SBR’s. She just shook her head and laughed at me. When do you think the line has been crossed?


  1. avatar DickDanger says:

    To those who call us “gun nuts”, it’s owning any one firearm, unless it’s one of those scary black rifles, them you automatically go to “insurrectionist” in their eyes.

    1. avatar RKBA says:

      Hmmmm…… I like the sound of that 🙂

      1. avatar afp3 says:

        Based on the picture with the article, something in me just wants to shout:
        “Broke in to the wrong god-d*mned rec room, didn’t you?”

        1. avatar NinjaTED says:

          It’s the powwow safe.

        2. avatar Jeremy says:

          My thoughts were more along the lines of “damn, how long did it take you to figure out how to fit that many rifles in that small of a safe”

        3. avatar Anonymous says:

          Nice Tremors reference.

        4. avatar Rad Man says:

          That film was pretty much the pinnacle of Michael Gross’ career.

    2. avatar Joel says:

      There is no line, therefore it cannot be crossed! 😉

      Seriously, the line between gun owner and gun nut has nothing to do with the number of firearms owned. Gun nut is a state of mind.

      1. avatar Deng says:

        Good call. You can be a gun nut and not own a single gun.

        Chances are you’d be nutty about other things as well.

    3. avatar Sock Monkey says:

      The true gun nuts are those who have nutty ideas about how gun control laws will keep us all safe from the dangerous guns that prey upon our neighborhood. Those of us who like guns are gunthusiasts. =)

      The 1911 and .357 revolver are certainly modern pistols. Now when you get to the Taurus Curve, that’s just post-modern. Also, no gun collection is complete without one of the military bolt-actions.

    4. Some of us were gun nuts before owning any guns. The amount of guns you own does not qualify you more or less a gun nut. There is that little thing called money that gets in the way.
      Q: How many guns do you want?
      A: All of them.
      Q: How many guns do you own?
      A: All I can afford
      This is the first year in three that I did not spend my profit share check on a gun. I meant to. An unforeseen expense came up but I did have a little left over to get 2,000 rounds of ammo. Am I less of a gun nut than my buddy that has 11 rifles, 5 shotguns and 8 handguns? No. He just has the means to collect them and I don’t.

  2. avatar MarkPA says:

    I have heard that the definition of “a few guns” is more than 15 and less than 50. Seems a reasonable specification.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Do the ones at the bottom of the lake count?

      1. avatar Nick in KY says:

        That damn boating accident got your guns too?

      2. avatar Franko says:

        I had quite a collection before my tragic boating accident. At least no life was lost.

        1. avatar S.CROCK says:

          I would probably label someone as a gun nut when they still have over 25 guns…after a boating accident.

    2. avatar Louis says:

      And over 50 constitutes ….?

      1. avatar Kevin says:

        …. A few more…

  3. avatar Sammy says:

    The only gun nuts I know of hold the stock of a rifle to the receiver.

    1. avatar Greg says:

      Took me 3 times reading that to get it. Well played.

    2. avatar UpChuck.Liberals says:

      Well, there is the one holding the barrel to the upper. I’ve got some compensators that have jam nuts. Then there is the nut that jams the buffer tube to the upper.

  4. avatar Wayne says:

    just my personal opinion but that wouldn’t qualify as a gun nut even here in Canada (well…except for the fact that owning an AK OR a suppressor here is verboten right out of the gate)

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      Suppressor ok. Commie gun not my preference.

  5. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Well, the fact that she’s still laughing instead of doing something worse tells me that she may be a keeper.

    1. avatar Tommycat says:

      My girl owns more firearms than me… She is looking to get a firearm in every readily attainable caliber. That way she never has to deal with the “I can’t find .22 because everyone is hoarding it.”

    2. avatar Sophist2k1 says:

      Oh, she is 🙂 The whole thing was a funny and fun conversation with her teasing me. Let’s just say she’s a better shot than I am.

  6. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You need a .44 magnum to go with that .357. You can’t be a gun nut if you don’t even own a .44 magnum.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      …whereas a .460 Rowland conversion kit for his 1911 would still be part of a normal “starter package.”

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        The .460 Rowland conversion kits remind me of the guys who used to put Chevy 454 big blocks in VW bugs. I guess if you have to ask why you just wouldn’t understand.

        1. avatar ThomasR says:

          .460 Rowland, .44 magnum ballistics in a regular sized semi-auto with out needing to throw your back out lugging a Desert Eagle, (which can also be used as your back up boat anchor.)

          A worthy objective.

  7. avatar Muddy Waters says:

    I realized I had hit that threshold when I started thinking about prices in terms of how many boxes of ammo I could buy for that amount. “$40 for a wrench? That’s 2 boxes of .308!”

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      ^^^ This. ^^^

      And I crossed that line way back when .22 ammo was $7.99 a brick (500).
      Nowadays, I’m happily paying $8 per hundred for CCI Mini-Mags.
      How times change.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        .22 LR is proof positive that you can be a born in 1887, dirty, rim fire and still be the most popular cartridge in America. As long as you are cheap, plentiful and low recoil.

  8. avatar ShaunL. says:

    You’re not a “gun nut” unless you skip paying your mortgage to buy a firearm.

    I’d also add a couple to the list, the most important would be an M1 Garand.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      I think you pass right by ‘gun nut’ and onto ‘having a gun problem’ if you do that.

    2. avatar 277Volt says:

      I am currently shopping for that Garand I’ve been wanting for a couple decades.

      1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

        CMP sells Garands for a better price and condition than you’ll find at any gun show. Not terribly hard to get one either. If interested,

        1. avatar ShaunL. says:

          Agreed. Their prices were VERY good but the selection, quality and availability does fluctuate depending on what they can get at the time.

  9. avatar JWM says:

    Sounds like you need a new girlfriend. She isn’t opposed to firearms but she’s not supportive either.

    As for gun nuts? All my guns must be female, I looked and found no…..

    1. avatar Sophist2k1 says:

      Relax a touch 🙂 The whole conversation was a fun banter between us. She’s plenty supportive, and a better shot than I am to boot. 🙂

  10. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    Well, everyone needs a 22 pistol for the fun of it. And a 357 that’ll chamber 38 Special. And a 44 Magnum, just because. Probably a couple of Glocks, just because all the other guys are doing it. And a 1911 .45. And an AR-15 clone or three. And an AK47 for the sake of balance and history. And a .308 or two. And some Mosins for inexpensive plinking. And a couple of shotguns. And a .380 pocket pistol. And a Derringer. That ought to cover the basics. Then you’d want to fill in the blanks from there.

    1. avatar Mecha75 says:

      .22 pistols are not for the fun of it. They are for teaching others the fun of it.

      1. avatar PeterW says:

        .22 pistols are also for learning patience in ammo selection, as most of them are picky.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          These days .22 pistols are most useful as paperweights since you probably ran out of ammo two years ago.

        2. avatar Dave says:

          My Ruger SR22 shoots everything I put in it.

  11. avatar Jim says:

    according to my wife, i crossed that line at least two years ago. at least I have 3 sons I can lay part of the blame on. you can’t show favoritisim to one over the other…

    1. avatar Boisterous says:

      “you can’t show favoritisim to one over the other…”

      To the guns, or to the kids?!

      1. avatar Jim says:

        you get it.

  12. avatar Vitsaus says:

    I think when you can count on more than one hand, the number of guns you’ve bought as impulse buys, then you’ve got a problem. When the criteria stops being “I need a gun for a, b, c, role” and just “oh this gun’s on sale” or “check it out, its in a different color from my other ones” then its no longer about the guns being tools for a purpose, and you’re really just a hoarder.

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      Yeah, I guess that works for me. Once you have your needs met, and move on to pure “I want this because it’s cool,” you may be edging into gun nuttery. Though, what qualifies as a need might be debatable.

    2. avatar David PA/NJ says:

      A collector

    3. avatar ShaunL. says:

      Vitsaus, that comment sounds a bit too close to “why do you NEED a gun that fires 30 round clip magazines in half a second?” or “why do you NEED a gun with a shoulder thingie that goes up?”. I understand your point but “need” shouldn’t enter the argument in my opinion.

      You don’t NEED more than a 1 story home so nobody can die from falling down stairs.
      You don’t NEED swimming pools because children can drown in them.
      You don’t NEED free speech because it might cause fights or death.
      You don’t NEED guns because the police will protect you.

      I’ve worked hard for my money since I was 14 and feel I deserve a few “wants” with my “needs”. I also feel no shame in it whatsoever. In the past, during some pretty rough times, I gladly gave up those wants to make ends meet. Knowing now what hard times were…. “because I want one” feels like a good enough reason to me.

      1. avatar Vitsaus says:

        I never said that 30 round banana clip magazines that go up on the shoulder don’t fit a “need” as a tool. I never once qualified a gun by type, only by whether it filled a useful role. I happen to believe that machine guns fill a useful role just fine. I love how as soon as anyone, even within the gun rights culture, even remotely suggests that some one has a firearm for any reason that might be silly, he’s instantly labeled a “bloomberg, a watts, a moore, etc…” its getting pretty old now. Basically you are doing just what the other side does when they call some one a fascist because they think welfare is given too freely, or a neo nazi when they think inner city people are responsible for the crime in their neighborhoods. Stop it already, its juvenile.

        1. avatar ShaunL. says:

          My comment wasn’t meant in any way to “label” you as any such thing. My entire point is that “need” should not be allowed to enter this conversation because it has been used to hinder freedom far too often throughout history.
          We surround ourselves with things we don’t need constantly to make our world more tolerable, some firearms(for some people)fill that role as well and I wouldn’t call them nuts for it.

          Conversations on the internet are all about perception of intent by those reading because there is no inflection in text. Conversations like this and comments like your original one are also about perspective. I was trying to add another perspective, simple as that.

  13. avatar Roscoe says:

    So many guns, so little time.

    1. avatar John says:

      No, “so little money”. 🙂

      I’d have that collection if I had the money for it, plus a Garand, a .22 pistol, and probably a pistol caliber carbine (those would be the three things I’d add to his list). And maybe a silencer that fits multiple weapons.

  14. avatar Gman says:

    In my opinion “nut” is synonymous with fanatic.
    Fanatic – A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause: ‘religious fanatics’

    Single minded zeal; (OBSESSION). I think that sums up the theoretical line. I think, yeah I try to own things, I think, that when the issue of guns becomes a single minded obsession then the line has been crossed. My wife has chastised me several times simply for talking about guns with single minded zeal. As long as our expenditures on guns and related durable and expendable hardware does not exceed our budgetary constraints, then she’s fine with that. And, I think, I am too; I think. On a practical matter, I agree with the list above as a good start.
    And, Robert, you are a gun nut. My reverse question is, and why would that be a bad thing?

  15. avatar Kyle V. says:

    You know you’re a gun nut when you decide buying food comes second to buying something to feed your firearms.

  16. avatar IdahoPete says:

    PUH-LEZE ! “Gun nut” is SOOO judgmental and mean-spirited. The preferred term is “charmingly eccentric firearms enthusiast”.

    And please inform your girlfriend of the Law of Gun Entitlements: “You are legally entitled to a MINIMUM of own gun of every type for every year of your life. (You define “type”.)”

    Hey, that’s the law.

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      “ONE gun of every type…” – sorry about that.

  17. avatar Brian in Seattle says:

    You need C&R license. And a .22 handgun.

  18. avatar Jjmmyjonga says:

    If I bought 18 guns last year, would it be a bad thing?

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      Only if you had to file bankruptcy and give them up to the trustee.

      1. avatar Jjmmyjonga says:

        Luckily, I’m in a good place…I have $1000/mo. gun/ammo budget, approved by the boss (who’s name is sweetie).

        1. avatar Roscoe says:

          That’s a great place to be…especially if it’s located in a pro-gun state to boot.

  19. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    What, no Pistol Caliber Carbine on the list?

    Maybe you could cut down on some of your dupes to make some room to fill in your categories a little more – and that might appease your girl?

    I prefer the term Collector myself. Heck, some people collect stamps and no one gives them grief, or old radios, or old cars, etc, etc. Some people like to spend all their spare time and money hitting a little white ball around. Maybe some people will never understand my hobby, but I’m beyond the point of caring. My girl and my family understand though, as it’s been like that with me since I was out of diapers.

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      To quote John Taffin – “I’m not a collector, I’m an accumulator.”

      1. avatar Youzernayme says:

        Golf: a waste of a perfectly good rifle range.

      2. avatar Jay-El says:

        I prefer “collector” too….when it comes to the actual guns themselves, that is. I enjoy learning about the origins, design, manufacture, materials, engineering, capabilities, modifications, history and usage of each of them. I also enjoy the search for particular items and usually the acquisition process, including the people I meet in doing so. And I really like to shoot.

        I think that describes collectors or perhaps aficionados for just about anything that people collect and enjoy.

        As for zeal, I reserve that for gun rights. I am fascinated (often), surprised (sometimes), disgusted (often), delighted (sometimes) and always interested in the culture, personalities, legal wrangling, court rulings, politics, lies, truths, campaigns, legislation, history and progress (in both directions) of gun rights in the U.S.

        Typical TTAG reader, I would say. Aka what Farago calls Armed Intelligentsia.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Make your *next* purchase a pistol caliber carbine with a suppressor, and watch how quick your lady changes that tune. Probably within a week she’ll think you should buy one for yourself, too!

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    You know you’re a gun nut when you criticize a six-year old with a Super Soaker for poor muzzle discipline.

    1. avatar m11nine says:

      Amen. I can’t even enjoy toy guns anymore, always thinking of muzzle discipline.

    2. avatar PeterW says:

      LOL! Watch that booger hook, junior!

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Rule #2 — never point a water gun at anything you’re not willing to drench.

        That’s as important a rule as “don’t eat the yellow snow.”

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Right down there, where the Huskies go?

    3. avatar Jay-El says:

      Guilty. And often.

    4. avatar Sophist2k1 says:

      LOL. That’s awesome

    5. avatar Youzernayme says:

      joke if you must, but i love seeing my 4 and 8 yr old boys running around playing Nerf whilst indexing like a champ.

  21. avatar David P. says:

    Your not a gun but yet. Keep buying I will let you know when you get there.

  22. avatar doesky2 says:

    You forgot an assortment of WW2 firearms.
    You know you’re going to go there.

    To find out if she’s a keeper just ask her what she thinks about the idea of you becoming a collector like she collects shoes, jewelry, etc, Get her on board with that and that should hopefully stop the vast majority of questions.

  23. avatar Jim R says:

    If you start talking to them, you’re not a nut. If they answer back, on the other hand…

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      If they answer back and you argue with them and lose…


      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Except in a gun store.

        1. avatar Wiregrass says:

          Yes. That’s when they are the most vocal. “Buy me! No, buy me!”

        2. avatar Ozzallos says:


        3. avatar SteveInCO says:

          I could swear i heard a piteous sad whine out the CZ case at the LGS when I walked by….

  24. avatar CM says:

    If you own a gun and see the photo at the top and think, “That’s ridiculous!” you are a gun owner.

    If you own a gun and see the photo at the top and think, “I want that!” you are a gun nut.

    1. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

      If that was my safe I would get a serious case of the giggles every time I opened that door to my own personal Narnia.

      1. avatar Jay-El says:

        …an enchanted land populated by dragons, knights and a white witch who eerily resembles Shannon Watts.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          White Witch my ass.

          Shannon is a Wicked Witch.

          That Dirk wants to change into an Obedient Witch.

          Very obedient… 😉

        2. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

          I was thinking more of a enchanted safe full of whatever guns I wanted and more ammo than I could possibly shoot.

  25. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I would consider your list to be a bare minimum for anyone that hunts, and shoots targets at any level above weekend plinking. You have not allowed for any backup firearms, should one of your’s break. You have not mentioned any for your girlfriend and you have not mentioned any gun clubs, trap clubs, skeet clubs, sporting clays clubs that you have membership in. My personal definition of gun nut is when you start planning your own private shooting range, because driving to your club ranges or the local public range takes too much time away from actually shooting.


    When you have filled your third gunsafe.


    When you own AND USE 3 different holsters for every handgun in your collection. An IWB for date night, an OWB for everyday use and a shoulder rig for when you are traveling a lot by car and want to be more comfortable.


    the total value of all the optics on your rifles, shotguns and handguns exceeds a year’s salary.

  26. avatar MoveableDo says:

    I’m getting close to that point when just this month I took a collection that 3 months ago I told my wife, “I think I’m pretty close to done,” and sold off half the guns to buy a completely different set. Just because each one wasn’t. exactly. what I wanted.

    Perhaps a gun nut just buys more guns. But maybe I’m a gun nut under a budget…

  27. avatar BDub says:

    I won’t likely stop until I put the Arse in Arsenal!

  28. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    You know you’re a gun nut when you happen to utter out loud that you need to get a couple Bulgarian Waffles – your girl hears you and says ‘cool, let’s go to IHOP’ – and instead of explaining, you just play along…. mmmmm waffles

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      Well it’s waffles. Why would you ever refuse waffles?

      1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

        Yeah, it turned out to be a win-win…. I avoided the inevitable cute smirk/eye-roll/exhale move, and also got a nice plate of Belgian waffles out of the deal. Getting smarter in my old age. A few years ago, I would have naturally started to explain before I could catch myself….

  29. avatar 277Volt says:

    Damn good list in my opinion.

    My personal addition to that list is a .22 pistol with a red dot. It’s damn near criminal how much fun they are. I had a S&W 22A with a cheap dot that I gifted to my nephew so after jonesing far too long for another setup like that I bought a Beretta Neos and put a Bushnell TRS-25 on it. The good times are back.

    1. avatar Bdk NH says:

      You haven’t lived until you’ve shot a .22 pistol (Ruger 22/45 Lite) with a can (Sparrow) that runs flawlessly with standard velocity ammo (cci) but is still subsonic. It that makes me a gun nut then so be it.

    2. avatar Mecha75 says:

      Is the Beretta Neos any good? Was planning on “getting one” for my 10yr old to shoot. She liked the rental ruger when I took her but it had feed issues.

      1. avatar 277Volt says:

        I really like mine. It’s been 100% reliable with cheapie ammo, ergo’s are good and disassembly is light years easier than the Ruger.

      2. avatar Bdk NH says:

        No comment on the Beretta, simply have never shot one. I would never judge a a gun based on a range rental. 0.22 are notorious for ammo variations that can cause trouble for some guns but not others. Generally, I am not a fan of Ruger but every 22/45 I have shot has run very well. As with most Rugers, the magazines are kind of cheap/clunky but work well. There is no recoil to speak of and my wife and daughter can shoot 0.22 all day at the range with no fear of recoil and noise. Both absolutely love shooting suppressed rifles and especially pistols. Good luck.

  30. avatar Anonymous says:

    You don’t have to own any guns. If you defend the 2nd amendment – you are a gun crazed gun nut (insert phallic description here).

  31. avatar Ing says:

    Hmmm… I can cross off 3 of the criteria on that list. I do have 3 .22 rifles, though. Maybe extra credit for trying really hard on the plinking guns?

    I only wish I could cross the line that leads to a safe that’s as full as the one up top. But alas, finances… I’ll just have to settle for being a Second Amendment zealot instead.

  32. avatar Phil LA says:

    If you own more guns and ammo than you have room to store them across all of your vehicles and aboads then you’re getting close.

  33. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    Just keep buying everything you want. You don’t have to justify it.

  34. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I thought that photo was familiar, but my safe doesn’t have a middle shelf.
    Oh, and go count how many pairs of shoes your girlfriend has…

  35. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    When the antis think they have a point to make.

  36. avatar Gregols says:

    “Gun nut” is not a matter of possession, but of a state of mind.

  37. avatar preston says:

    good question.

  38. avatar JimM says:

    Change .357 revolver to revolver or Coonan 1911 and I’m with you.
    You know when you have too many guns when you have no more room for safes to keep them in.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      From a collector’s standpoint you need a firearm with 6 chambers (I’d argue you need a SAA and a DA revolver – one should be a .44 mag the other can be anything). From the practical standpoint if it were my money I’d rather go with a 1911 in 10mm just to keep the original grip. The big practical advantage with a revolver (other than reliability) is the grip is not compromised by it’s ability to feed the cartridges through it. For me the older style GP100 grips with the wood side panels are by far the most comfortable grips I’ve ever shot with. Of course, there’s no reason you can’t have your Coonan, a Colt Delta Elite and few revolvers too.

  39. avatar Rick In CO says:

    There is a simple formula to calculate the perfect collection that I heard years ago.


    N=Current guns in collection

    1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

      Dammit, I knew there was a formula to my madness somewhere. I’m just not sure I wanted to know it.

  40. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    A “gun nut” is someone who thinks that guns cause violence, and who wants to disarm lab-abiding people.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      Nah. That;s just a run of the mill nut.

    2. avatar Jay-El says:

      Yeesh, Chip — do you write these ahead of time and save them up?

      May I please use that one several thousand times?

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        …do you write these ahead of time and save them up?

        Are you implying that I’m full of… something? Wait; don’t answer that.

    3. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      So they just want to disarm scientists and research physicians?

      Whew, glad I’m too uneducated for that.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Too subtle, Kelly. Hey, Chip! LAB abiding citizens?

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Clearly you need a refresher on the second amendment:

          A well-regulated menagerie being necessary to the security of free science, the right of the lab animals to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

        2. avatar SteveInCO says:

          We should make sure the government recognizes that every zoo has the right to arm bears.

  41. avatar Sam The Man says:

    Okay, I like my guns, have a C&R license, and right now have about 15 guns of various types. Wife and daughter also have carry permits and their own guns. BUT…when I ran into a financial bind a few years back (not gun collection related, btw) when the economy dipped, I sold my extensive collection to a dealer so I would not fall behind on the mortgage and have food on the table and lights on. When economy picked up in my business, I slowly re-acquired some favorites. In other words, I wasn’t so in love with my guns that I put my collection ahead of my family. HOWEVER, I know a man who has a MASSIVE collection of just about anything you could imagine. It is worth several hundred thousand dollars. HE is a gun nut. Why? Because he lost a house to foreclosure about 15 years ago rather than sell just a few guns that would have gotten him out of a jam, AND he has now lost another home to foreclosure FOR THE SAME REASON. He is a ‘gun nut’. Someone offered him enough money for just one of his guns which would have cleared his mortgage, but he refused. So, where will his precious collection be when he lives under a bridge? He is a gun nut.

  42. avatar Grindstone says:

    Add in “Surplus C&R rifle” to your list and call it good.

  43. avatar angryaz says:

    The day I can park my tank or mobole artillery piece in the garage

  44. avatar dwb says:

    A gun nut is anyone who thinks the wussified 9mm is better than .40 or 10mm. That is certifiable.

  45. avatar DrVino says:

    You know you have a problem when you consider getting rid of furniture or appliances to make room for more safes.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      You only have a problem if the floor collapses under the weight of your gun safes…

      The gun safes on the third floor.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Good call Doc.
      Anyone need a good fridge? I have one in my shop that’s taking up valuable “safe” space

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Put a couple of padlocks on it and use it as an incognito (But not Richie Incognito) gun safe…

  46. avatar 357M28 says:

    Everything in that photo (plus ammo)… what I anticipate finding at the end of a rainbow.

  47. avatar Mike in NC says:

    Gun Nut = When “two is one; one is none” becomes your primary, go-to argument. (occasional use is OK)

    As for the list, I agree with those above who suggest having a .22 handgun. I suggest a Ruger Charger with a budget pistol scope or reflex sight to go along with a Ruger 10/22 as a .22 plinking rifle.

  48. avatar matty 9 says:

    The only thing EVERYONE leaves off of their lists:
    Civil war brass cannon. Six pounder.

    Once I have a working replica of one of those, I’m done.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I like it! If for no reason other than the times I have had to answer “so, do you believe 2A gives everybody the right to own a cannon?” God, that would be fun!

  49. avatar Dustin says:

    If you don’t have a Howa AR-180, a CT9, and a PTR91, you don’t even have a collection yet. You’re still just a wannabe, not even a collector or an enthusiast, much less a “nut.”

    Besides, the only people who refer to gun owners as gun nuts, are far too demented for their opinion to matter.

  50. avatar racer88 says:

    George Carlin had a bit about drivers… (going from memory)

    “Did you ever notice that everyone going faster than you is an asshole, and everyone going slower than you is an idiot?”

  51. avatar paulWTAMU says:

    When you’re stressing your finances to buy yet another gun.

  52. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    when you start to believe that guns are animate objects vice inanimate. For example, if you buy into these premises or any like them- you’re a gun nut-

    * They can turn otherwise law abiding people into criminals
    * That they are some how capable of shooting people without human involvement
    * That they are capable of turning rational people irrational

  53. avatar Excedrine says:

    Those who call us “gun nuts” don’t even require the ownership of even one single gun. No, they only require that their opponents maintain the supposedly “crazy” idea that anyone can even own a gun — any gun at all — and not be a criminal or a deranged psychopath.

    That’s what they honestly think of us.

    The minimum threshold is ideological, not physical. See, that is why the term “gun nut” is meant exclusively to be a pejorative and nothing else. An insult. A degradation. A marginalizing of their opponents as “The Other”, as something — not even a someone — that must be controlled and suppressed.

    1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

      Yeah, I get it… I just don’t have a high enough opinion of their ignorant, elitist, hoplophobic selves to give a sh*t about the stupid ramblings that come out of their mouths and don’t let them get me all wrapped around the axle anymore. I can’t help but laugh at them now instead. That doesn’t mean I don’t take the threat seriously and always support the 2A in all peaceable manners. It just means that those same people are not worth anything more than a LOL to me anymore. I can see the folks who may not know much more than what they’ve seen on the TV and honestly have some mis-info and misconceptions, but they usually have an open mind enough to actually understand when you give them a little dose of reality.

  54. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    My gun safe is a tool box. Just like a regular tool box, I have duplicates and sometimes triplicates of certain tools that are more frequently used. Each serves a distinct purpose.

    However I do not own multiple gun safes, but I do own multiple tool boxes. I have yet to see someone branded a “tool nut” by the media.

    There is no correlation between the quantity of an item possessed and level of “nuttiness”. Otherwise most women I know would be nuts or some ilk.

  55. I think you can still be a gun nut if all you own is a hipoint 380. it’s all about how fervently you believe in the 2nd amendment and how passionate you are about guns that you own and some you don’t.

  56. avatar Timmy T Bone says:

    He forgot some that every red blooded American should own:

    M1 Garand
    M1 Carbine
    Sharps rifle
    Colt Army pistol
    Kentucky Rifle (yeah the musket variety)
    HK (roller locked – pick your poison – yeah we know we hate you and you suck but who doesnt want an HK)

    Look at this way, at least you arent throwing it away on alcohol, drugs and strippers.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      Who says that’s throwing money away? 😉

  57. avatar Dan says:

    Almost got BINGO, just missing a battle rifle. Now I feel like I really really really need a G3 clone.

  58. avatar Robert W. says:

    It isn’t about quantity, it is about mentality.

    You are probably a gun nut if you are trying do define what a gun nut is, but are trying your hardest to keep yourself outside the definition.

    1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:


      …Or, you just don’t care anymore that ANTI’s apparently have different ‘definitions’ than we do. After all, what they call an ‘assault rifle’ is quite obviously not an assault rifle. Why should I care if their definition of ‘gun nut’ is negative too? It’s doesn’t offend me in the least. That’s what they want it to do. Instead, I just smile 🙂 “Yup, certifiable. Nuts about guns. So… did you see those new suki’s from Kate Spade?” lol

  59. avatar neiowa says:

    You have a start on a tool kit. “Collection” would be items acquired with no particular utility but for esthetic reasons – as her “hummel”/Bear/basket/Crap collection. or perhaps pre-WWII auto, comicbook collection. The closest you have is the revolver and the lever action.

    Tool box needs – .also at least on .22LR training handgun, a designated marksman rifle with optics. AND repeat your list for each member of the family (as you still at girlfriend stage perhaps that is only you ).

  60. avatar Model66 says:

    It was the same day back in 2010, when I went to bed one night as a normal American, and woke up the next day labeled as a “right-wing extremist.”

  61. avatar NoID says:

    Gun nuts would generally have multiple examples of every one of those. But why is being a gun nut negative? You could be a car nut, a movie junkie, and audiophile…all generally OK. Why not guns?

    My desired collection…

    Defense shotgun – Check (Pump)
    Hunting shotgun – Check (O/U)
    Compact carry gun – Check (Model 36)
    Duty-size carry gun – Check (H&K USP)
    Large-caliber bolt-action – No Check (So many choices…probably a Savage or ATR)
    Small caliber semi-auto rifle – No Check (Ruger Mini-14 is top choice atm, probably buy my father’s)
    Trunk gun – No Check (10/22 Charger Takedown is top of my list)

  62. avatar Pete S. says:

    I think I crossed the line, when I picked up my C&R license and bought infantry rifles from every major power in WWII and way ran out of room in the safe. My gun room/armory has all my WWII rifles beautifully lined up in racks against the wall bayonets fixed looking so cool. The safe is full of my modern rifles/handguns, I love ARs but they are not cool to look at like a K98k or Garrand. My wife doesn’t even go into that room anymore.

  63. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    When we bought our first house, I spent more time measuring un-used nooks and closet spaces for potential locations for the reloading bench and researching online on how to fortify walls to make a walk in gun room, than my wife spent picking out curtains and paint colors.

    1. avatar Sophist2k1 says:

      That’s totally awesome 🙂 I’d likely do the same with my next house purchase.

  64. avatar Sophist2k1 says:

    Just FYI, folks, the original submission got trimmed a touch so… a few things.

    1. “Gun nut” was put in quotes because it was used as a term of affection, between POTG. Y’know, like Gun Nuts Media. 🙂 I know the political environment is crazy, but amongst us, please assume no negative was intended.

    2. The best definition I have heard from a guy at my IDPA club is: “A gun nut is someone who knows more about guns he doesn’t own (and wants!) than he does about the guns he does own.”

    3. The real steps might be more like “Gun Owner” –> “Shooter” –> “Aficionado” –> “Gun Nut” and it’s interesting to think about when you cross the line from one to the next. For myself, it was:

    Bought a gun –> Gun Owner
    Bought a holster and a real belt, and took a real combat pistol class –> Shooter
    Bought a gun safe to house all my stuff –> Aficionado
    Bought a reloading press –> Gun Nut 🙂 Proud to be there still.

  65. avatar Buster says:

    I found spent brass in my washing machine AND dryer the other day and thought to myself, “how the hell did that get there?”

    1. avatar Paul53 says:

      Killing one sock?

    2. avatar ShaunL. says:

      The underpants gnomes must be tooling up!

  66. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Of course, they must all be fed. So a well equipped reloading bench becomes a necessity. But then that’s a whole nother kind of nut.

    1. avatar Bob in Calif says:

      I just checked the powder locker and counted 17 different varieties. I think I have a good start. But then again, if I could just find…..

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Haha. I feel your joy

      2. avatar Scott says:

        My powder is definitely lacking. Need a few 8 lb jugs of CFE223 or Varget as well as HP-38.

  67. avatar A.S. says:

    I just find it funny that having a pistol, a rifle, a shotgun, and enough ammo for a fun day at the range, is considered an “arsenal” by hoplophobic lame-stream media.

  68. avatar James69 says:

    I’ve been buying firearms since I was old enough to. Recently just started cleaning out the safe and selling stuff that was just for show or toys. Tec-9 – CZ52 – P-38 – . 44 virginan dragoon (kinda wished i had kept this one).- 1895 Nagant – AR15, AR7 ,PPS 43C etc..back to realistic weapons I have a real use for, still have a pile of em’ There is no magic gun and most of the stuff we see is just a “redux” of something we already have with a shiny optic or handguard or some exotic caliber. Just our nature to suffer from, club envy,sword envy or some other affliction. I’m sure 140 years ago some guy was bitchin about his pinfire revolver and some guy was telling him it’s crap unless it says colt on the side……..see….

  69. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    When I bought my first gun my wife asked me why I needed another one…my son called me a gun nut…I spend most of my time on gun-related crap. Guilty as charged!

  70. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You’ll know if you’re a gun nut when you purchase the three remaining pieces. If you’re a gun nut you will immediately find three more that you ‘need’ to add.

  71. avatar tdiinva says:

    When I started home carrying.

  72. avatar Simon says:

    When you fill up two safes and make a gun room with hidden panels for the safes; I think you’re a long way off. I know 2 guys that have 3 safes and they fall in to gun nut now.

  73. avatar ghost says:

    Guns? I ain’t got no stinking guns.

  74. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

    When one starts criticizing the pro-government mainstream consensus.

  75. avatar Justin_GA says:

    The only gun nuts I know of are people who are anti-2A and criminals.

  76. avatar SD3 says:

    You’re ‘there’ when you start buying 2nd copies of guns you already own….just in case the original one breaks.

  77. avatar Cody says:

    If you read TTAG, TFB, etc, etc on a regular basis you may be there. The wife calls me a gun nut regularly.

  78. avatar Survivordude says:

    Good list and I agree 100%…. except you missed a BIG “must have”: M1 Garand

  79. avatar B says:

    I consider that list a good start. Gotta do the basics before you get into specialized niches. 😛

  80. avatar Another Bob says:

    When you must own all guns everywhere ? or When you become a Gun control advocate ?

  81. avatar Montesa_VR says:

    You need two lever guns, a .357 magnum carbine and a bear rifle, say a Browning BLR in .358 Winchester or a Marlin Guide gun. And your list is missing a long range single shot chambered in something like .270 WSM to .300 ultra mag. You also need a single action revolver. You already have an arsenal. It takes a lot of guns to go from owning an arsenal to qualifying as a gun nut.

  82. avatar Paul53 says:

    Agree with your logic, Robert. But if the opposite sex remains unreasonable, you can hide part of your collection at my place.

  83. avatar Jeff says:

    I started to get the feeling when I was shopping for a bigger safe the other week, and was looking at safes comparable to the one in the photo, thinking to myself “this isn’t going to last.” I only have a few pistols, but enough AKs, ARs, etc. to max out a 15-gun safe, and I don’t even own ONE shotgun yet.

  84. avatar john osadnick says:

    I think I am at 48, plus the cannon. But who is counting?

  85. avatar Ozzallos says:

    Is it wrong to name them?

  86. avatar SteveInCO says:

    When you have a consecutive year run of CZs (the year of manufacture is stamped separately from the serial number)… but there’s a gap and you want to go hit gun shows to try to find that gun.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      PS: Clearly the proper way to get “15” is to buy the 40th anniversary edition of the CZ-75.

  87. avatar Randy in Indiana says:

    Buying more guns moves you closer to being a “Collector.” Mind share makes you a “Gun Nut.” How much time do you spend reading or thinking about guns?

  88. avatar SteveInCO says:

    When you bitch at the safe salesman that the notches they put in are too close together for anything other than skinny bolt actions with no scope. (Effectively a “15 gun” safe is really a 7 gun safe… if you’re lucky.)

  89. avatar BB says:

    You’re a gun nut when:
    You take better care for your gun than you care for your girlfriend.

    1. avatar BB says:

      You’re a gun nut when your solution to every problem in life is a gun.


      youtube /watch?v=ZWVzPC-k-cQ

  90. avatar Bob says:

    When you have more guns than your wife has shoes, then you’re a gun nut. And your wife will be the first one to tell you.

    Has anyone ever called a woman a “shoes nut”?

  91. avatar mike says:

    The line is crossed when you start noticing safe queens.

  92. avatar Yazz says:

    My girlfriend says “If the guns were cats, would we be embarrassed to have people over? That’s when you know when you have too many.”

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      Guns do not poop, pee, puke, scratch, bite, or shed. They are also more affectionate than cats. Her argument is invalid.

  93. avatar Kevin says:

    When someone calls you a gun nut, and you ask if they are bigoted against ammosexuals, then they ask if you are an ammosexual, and you reply that, “No, as a matter of fact, I am a gundamentalist, but don’t change the subject!”

  94. avatar SM says:

    My “well rounded” collection (with examples):

    Hand guns:
    – Full size pistol (Beretta 92, Glock 17, CZ75)
    – Compact pistol (J-frame snub, S&W Sheild)
    – .22lr plinking pistol (Ruger .22/45)

    Long guns:
    – Home defense shotgun (Rem. 870, Mossberg 500/590, Interchangeable barrels would be nice)
    – Fighting rifle (AR-15, AK, etc.)
    – Bolt gun/Hunting (Ruger American, Mosin Nagant M91/30)
    – .22lr plinker (Ruger 10/22)

  95. avatar zeksteve says:

    Do I Qualify?
    High end ar15
    Ar15 pistol
    Lightweight bumpfire ar15
    Polish ak
    3 1911s including a pink 22 for the wife
    Ruger 10/22
    Mossberg 500 hunting
    Mossberg 500 home defense

    Planning on building a mp5 pistol
    Thinking of a Glock 17 as well

  96. avatar PeterK says:

    When you become an “enthusiast,” you crossed the line, haha. For me anyway.

  97. avatar Oxygenthief says:

    In Dana Loesch’s book ‘Hands Off My Gun’ she made a very important point that I wish everyone who is a 2A Advocate to understand. That point is simple: the term “Gun Nut”, like “Assault Rifle”, is a made up term by the Anti’s. Its their way of marginalizing those who are pro-2A. By calling yourself a gun nut you are just as guilty as you would be if you were to admit to having an assault rifle in your safe.

    If we are to win the fight for our 2A rights we need to stop using the Anti’s lexicon. Don’t let them win the debate before it even begins by using their biased terminology.

    Stop using terms like Gun Nut, and Assault Rifle. And stop allowing them to use terms like Common Sense, or Gun Safety when what they really mean is Gun Control.

    Say it like it is, if you like guns and you support the Second, tell everyone you are a 2A advocate while calling those that would take your rights away Anti-2A advocates.

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