“You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.” – Musashi Myamoto

One thing I constantly hear in the shooting community is the diatribe of firearms preference; whether it’s brand, model or caliber, everyone seems to have a personal preference and scoffs at anything outside of it. Sure, personal preference is fine and all, but it’s the wrong mentality for anyone who considers themselves proficient or dangerous with firearms. Beyond that, it seems like gun guys don’t train with knives, knife guys don’t train with their hands and fighters don’t train with guns–at least nobody cross trains as much as they should. Physical fitness is also often neglected by the so-called “sheepdogs.” How many times have you seen some obese dude busting caps like RoboCop on video at a flat range, but you find yourself wondering if he could conquer a flight of stairs?

Being a warrior, especially a professional one, means you should be able to engage a threat efficiently with any firearm at your plausible disposal and achieve the same outcome with a brick, if required. You have to be a jack of all trades and master of none, not the “well I don’t like the angle of the grip” guy.

Circumstances are not always ideal – photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

With that being said, I prefer a nine millimeter Glock for a sidearm, an M4A1 for a primary weapon, blah blah, etc. I am fully aware we all have our personal preferences when it comes to gear and tools of the trade, but Crye Precision and Colt are not always at your disposal–sometimes it’s an AKM and some cheap, third-world plate carrier. Make yourself flexible to any situation and have the ability to adapt to your operational requirements and limitations. Compromising can actually be very beneficial; if you skimp on your expenses in one area, you can often reallocate those funds to other needs/wants. I always ask my civilian shooter friends, “Do you think if special operations soldiers had to buy their own optics, would they pay $2,000 plus for an Elcan, or $600 for an Aimpoint?” Many a firefight has been fought successfully with iron sights and metal USGI magazines. Your equipment might give you a slight edge, but it does not supersede training and the ability to adapt and improvise using a variety of skill sets. That all being said, invest in quality battle proven equipment whenever you can, because it is simply the more reliable option for obvious reasons.

To truly achieve a well-rounded repertoire of firearm capabilities, your techniques and tactics must translate to as many weapons platforms as possible. If you think about it, if you’re using the isosceles stance, your fighting stance is the same for shooting or combatives–a good starting point, but something that should be continuously built upon. Pursuing this train of thought will certainly produce a well-rounded combatant regardless of the situation or lifestyle one may find themselves in.  Just remember, the goal is not to achieve perfection but to pursue it and the knowledge attributed to it.