Pack Rat or Miscellaneous Collector?

Yesterday I was in the garage for something totally non-gun-related, and I got to looking at my workbench area. The work area in my garage is a multipurpose self built tool bench, set against the wall, so that I can use the spaces between the wall studs for storage. The storage looked cluttered enough to push me over the edge to decide to clean it all up, and a couple of hours later, I faced a serious fact.

In the best terms, I am a collector of miscellaneous stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bad enough to be on one of those hoarding shows, but, then again, no one on those shows thinks they’re as bad as they are. No, my problem is not to that scale, but yesterday I got a glimpse inside the head of those folks.

Once I was done, I had a written inventory of some of the more troubling items. For instance, I found that I own 224 rounds of ammunition for guns that I do not own.

  • 200 rounds of cowboy loaded .38 special, from a gun show during a time when I had it in my mind that I would take up Cowboy Action Shooting. Then I figured it would take $2000 to get into the sport, not counting ammo or reloading equipment.
  • 8 rounds of .30-06. The best part – they’re blanks. Got them from a divorcing friend whose son was in ROTC some time back, and didn’t know what to do with them as he was moving out.
  • 4 rounds of .308. At least I think they’re .308. They’re the thinner rifle rounds I found in a box of Russian 7.62x54R.
  • 12 20 gauge shotgun shells. I got them when I bought my 12 gauge Mossberg 500, used. The guy I bought it from said, “Here, I got some shells, too.” Thanks.

I also own 20 rounds of 7.62×39 tracer ammo. At least that’s what the little bag says. I bought them at a country general store in Alabama in the late 90’s. (The guy had some cool holsters, too, and I still have his card. Some day . . .) These, I can at least try out, some day.

I also found that I own 4 rifle cleaning rods and 3 pistol cleaning rods, plus 2 bore snakes. This is in addition to the 2 rifle rods that cam with my military rifles, and the 3 cleaning rods that came with my Glocks.

I have 4 pairs of shooting glasses and 3 sets of ear muffs. Granted, I do host a lot of people without their own gear, so this doesn’t bother me.

So, what do I take away from all that?

Don’t lose sight of my goals. I can still get into Cowboy Action Shooting, it’s just going to take a little longer, by buying the guns one or two at a time. My first goal is a Ruger Vaquero in .357 / .38 special. If nothing else, this would be a really awesome barbecue gun.

Keep a list of the things I would be willing to swap, and put them out on the forums.

Keep a list of my accessories with me, and when I’m tempted at a gun show, Walmart, Dick’s, etc., consult the list. It’s not perfect, but it avoids some of it.

I welcome other ideas on organization.