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