What Is A Fire Extinguisher Gun? | Gun Guy Thoughts

Photo Credit: Reddit user u/Nessabean

Every now and then you come across a term in this industry that you don’t understand or have never heard before. This happened to me recently while having dinner with my friend Tom V. who was in town for the USCCA show when he used the term “Fire Extinguisher Gun.”

I stopped Tom immediately and asked him what the hell he was talking about, what is this fire extinguisher gun you speak of and have you had too many frozen margaritas? Once he quit laughing at my bewilderment he explained that a fire extinguisher gun is exactly what it sounds like. A firearm that a person purchases and puts in a sock drawer but never touches it unless it is absolutely necessary.

This got me thinking, did I have any fire extinguisher guns or do I give all of my practical firearms the love they deserve?

After going through my collection I found three of these fire extinguisher guns that I either rarely shoot or flat out ignore when I have the chance to take them to the range. I felt a bit bad that I allowed myself to fall into the trap of relying on a gun that I don’t shoot ever to protect my family should I have a need to use it.

To be fair, two of my fire extinguisher guns are Glocks and the manual of arms is the same as the Glock 19 that I shoot just about every time I am at the range so not being familiar with the controls, trigger, grip angle, etc. isn’t really an issue. I really should take them to the range more often even though I feel confident that I could operate them if need be. The one that I really should spend more time shooting is the Remington 870 Express that I keep as a truck gun. The pump action is simple enough to operate, but I am not as competent of a shotgun shooter as I would like.

I do see a very real problem with those gun owners that purchased a firearm for protection but leave their guns in a lockbox or sock drawer, never giving them the attention that they deserve. Should they ever need to rely on that firearm they will almost certainly not be able to run the gun proficiently. Shooting is a very perishable skill that can degrade reasonably quickly should you not practice.

So how often should you practice with your firearm? At least three different trainers have told other students that targeting a range trip every two to four weeks is ideal and I tend to agree with that answer.

What do you think about the term fire extinguisher gun? Are you guilty of owning one or two? If you aren’t one of those gun owners that has at least one fire extinguisher gun how often do you practice with your defensive firearm?

Photo credit: Reddit user u/Nessabean



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He likes guns and has liked shooting guns for as long as he can remember. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at TFBpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Ark

    The “never touch it unless I need it” people are the gun owners who scare me. They’re the ones whose kids fish the gun out of a sock drawer and end up shooting someone. They do not have the skills or the knowledge to be responsible owners.

    • Gary Kirk

      The “it” is the biggest part of that statement.. I might have a couple that reside in inconspicuous locations around the homestead.. But definitely are not readily accessible to anyone that isn’t allowed, and my child has already had firearm safety practiced as a religion.. And I as well as all that have access to said firearms stay proficient to say the least..

    • Max Blancke

      You are assuming just one gun. I have a bunch of guns that I would only shoot in an emergency (mostly because of the cost). And other guns that I carry daily and shoot often. And none of those are in a place where a child could access them.

      • Ark

        Admittedly, a lot of things would have to go wrong for me to break out the Makarov collection.

  • Anonymoose

    Probably the full-auto-converted PTR PDW you hide under your floorboards for fear that the ATF will rape you if you take it outside.

  • Oregon213

    S&W Model 10. I carry a J-frame (442), so similar trigger and operation. Tossed that Model 10 in a locked ammo can with 250 rounds of .38, a holster, couple speed strips, and some desiccant. Rides around under the back seat of my truck, and I’m happy about that.

    Just a gun to have, just in case. I usually put some rounds through it when I’m out in the desert, otherwise its just there to be there.

    • gusto

      as a european who don’t keep guns for self-defense this is so frekkin alien to me

      I am completely onboard with concealed carry, bedside gun, castle law and all that. but to leave a gun in the car is just unfathomable.

      If I have to go into a store or the gaststation on my way home from the range I take the bolt/slide/drum with me, and it is not something I often do. but to have the guns in my car all the time? outside of work? outside of my home?

      • RocketScientist

        Honest question: what is it that concerns you about leaving a gun in a locked car? At first I assumed it was concern that someone might steal your (presumably) expensive and hard to obtain gun. But then, just taking the bolt doesn’t make the gun any less steal-able. So I’m guessing it’s concern about your gun ending up in the wrong hands? That still doesn’t make much sense to me, as there are a lot of equally/more dangerous objects out and about every day, maybe even in your car (knives, golf clubs, 15 gallons of gasoline, propane cylinders, whatever) that you (again, presumably) don’t take similar precautions with, or don’t think about. So is there another reason I’m just not seeing? Honestly curious

        • James in Australia

          Probably local laws.Loss of a registered gun and the subsequent interaction with authorities may threaten his license. Here in Australia for example guns are not allowed to be left in Cars, and have to be locked in a metal case locked inside the boot (trunk) chained to the car in NSW during transport.

          • RocketScientist

            I hadn’t thought about that, though it makes perfect sense. Every time I get frustrated about some of our ridiculous gun laws over here, I need to stop and take a break a think about how good I really have it.

          • gusto

            no not really, it is the law yes but as I stated above moreso the concern about it ending up in the wrong hands.

            If my gun was used in a crime what sort of selfish bastard would I be if my main concern was my gun instead of the victim?

        • gusto

          Yeah for sure the wrong hands that concerns me.

          I wouldn’t say that other stuff are equally/more dangerous.

          Guns are great at being dangerous, that is why you want them for protection (and I for hunting and targetshooting 😉

          It is the magnitude of potential dangerous

          Other dangerous stuff are either less ranged or requires more preparation

          My house has more layers of security, my house is not in a shady part of town and it stays there my car can go everywhere, you can’t steal my whole house, you can steal my car

          If you are leaving it in your car due to you not being allowed to carry, I think that you should atleast be allowed to take the slide to mitigate the potential risk, you can put it on when you are back in your car.

        • iksnilol

          I dunno, if a criminal finds a loaded MP5 with 60 rounds he’s going to have an easier time causing mayhem than if he found a can of gasoline.

          I don’t golf, knives are on me, propane is locked up and gasoline is in the gas tank of the car.

      • TJbrena

        As an American in a nice town in a pro-gun state, it’s odd to me too.
        Just leaving a gun in a car with nothing but a lock to protect it isn’t ideal. I wouldn’t do that with anything even somewhat valuable.

      • USMC_grunt2009-2013

        What if you’re driving around and you see some bastard screaming “Alluah Akkbar” while firing into a crowd?

      • gunsandrockets

        There are even purpose built “gun safes” for storing a handgun securely in a car.

      • gunsandrockets

        The patchwork-quilt of regulations on legal carry of a firearm, compels many people to leave their carry gun in their parked car on many occasions.

        Since many stolen handguns are acquired from parked cars, this practice of storing guns in cars is a significant public policy issue.

    • MikeA

      A friend, who also happens to be a cop, told me a long time ago to never leave a gun in a car. “Because now you’ve turned a car thief into an armed car thief.” That was well over 25 years ago and I’ll never forget his words. I think about it every time I’m going somewhere and whether or not I can CCW at the destination.

  • Gary Kirk

    What’s a fire extinguisher gun you ask??

    Damn memories are short around here.. Y’all covered this not that long ago.. Ask RN, and Mark Serbu..
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9f2107a75ea4afb4aad67fef11c9ffb25d7ab4c60f0af6aa6b4f459b782e578.jpg

  • Nathan Alred

    Do the ones that have been carefully disassembled, cleaned, soaked in 10% bleach, cleaned again and then reassembled while wearing gloves and a face mask count?

  • USMC03Vet

    nah, I actually shoot muh guns.

  • Realist

    Guns are for shootin’…framing is for artwork.

    • gusto

      some guns are more art than most stuff that gets presented as art today

  • gunsandrockets

    Is it a “fire extinguisher gun” if you commonly dry-fire it in the privacy of your own residence?

  • Dougscamo

    Never can tell when or where a fire is going to be and you need an “extinguisher”….that’s why I have “extinguishers” within reach all the time…except the shower….even stainless steel will rust….

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      You need a Glock 7

      • Dougscamo

        I guess I could clean it with the porcelain cleaner that I use in the bath….

    • Bill

      Heavy duty Ziplock bag, you can keep a police turn-in Model 10 or GLOCK in a toilet tank or spa filter compartment

      • Dougscamo

        Tried that….kept getting hung on the flapper and caused the water bill to skyrocket….

    • Cymond

      I was given a junk chrome Cobra derringer, which now sits in a drawer next to the toilet.

      No joke. It’s terrifying to think of a break-in while soaking in the tub. Imagine running naked, dripping, flopping down the hall, trying to get to your nightstand gun.

  • Gary Kirk

    Do they make those for this??

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a8205c7adf565b2e762e983befec2cc0d0a91772cea811895219c963d37c6a8.jpg

    Ya don’t know the struggle brother..

  • Haulin’ Oats

    My comment got a little moderation… a hole!

  • A classic fire extinguisher case from 2009 during a robbery in New York. 30 year old shotgun that had been sitting in the same spot since he bought it:

    “There were no customers in the store, only Mr. Augusto, age 72, and two employees. The police said the invaders announced a holdup, approached the two employees and tried to place plastic handcuffs on them.

    Watching it happen, Mr. Augusto, whom neighborhood friends call Gus, rose from a chair 20 to 30 feet away and took out a loaded Winchester 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with a pistol-grip handle. The police said he bought it after a robbery 30 years ago.

    Mr. Augusto, who has never been in trouble with the law, fired three blasts in rapid succession, the police said, hitting all three accomplices.”

    • Phillip Cooper

      Cheers to Mr Augusto. Hope the DA didn’t try to screw him over.

    • Don Ward

      But… but… According to Patrick and TRAIN-UHS, that sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen! Shooting a firearm is a perishable skill!

  • insertjjs

    You know, I think I recall a show where they actually had a gun inside of a fire extinguisher. Can’t remember but think it was probably on the a-team.

    But personally, I would have to say my 590. Just don’t really have a place to shoot it right now.

  • David Goldberg

    AK-104 with a drum mag.

  • valorius

    If “The Armed Citizen” is any indicator at all, these people WILL absolutely be able to use their gun that they never ever practice with to drive away and/or kill their attackers, even if they’re a 10 year old kid.

    There are very, very few articles of tactical johnny’s using their guns to defend themselves. It’s almost always some mom, some old person, or some young kid who grabbed dad’s gun. The only articles or videos ive ever seen of people failing to defend themselves with a gun are idiots that carry with an empty chamber in a semi auto pistol.

    • Don Ward

      But the TRAIN-UHs said you’re a dead man walking if you’re not out there training every two to four weeks.

      • valorius

        They have a product to sell.

      • Bill

        Those who train regularly are going to respond better than those who don’t. That doesn’t mean an untrained person is unable to do the job; shooting a handgun or long gun at close range isn’t rocket surgery.

  • Bill Wright

    Haven’t trained with my fire extinguishers since I bought them and stashed them around the house and garage. Hmm…hope I can manage if there’s a fire….

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      When one drops in pressure to where it’s no longer optimal, I go out to the fire pit and practice using it. I have the kids do the same.

  • Frederick Palmer

    I have some firearms that are rarely touched but they are identical in manual of arms to the guns I do shoot on a regular basis

  • Wow!

    Basically every firearm I have that is not on my belt or in the trunk is a “fire extinguisher gun”. Each one is hidden in a different place in it’s own case with it’s own ammo/mags loaded on a bandoleer or other carrier.

  • Lockmazter

    The Mossberg 12ga. pump I keep bedside with the game loads. Strictly for home defense.
    I don’t need to practice with it and I don’t need to take it anywhere. It’s enough firepower to get me to my safe, where the REAL hell can be unleashed.