The downside is that it's easy to wind up with a whole bunch of guns that don't necessarily shoot the same ammo. That can get expensive very fast, and if you do any competition shooting in different calibers your trips to the range could result in you getting a hernia from lugging all those guns around.
So what's a gun nut to do?
Well, if you're a gun nut who happens to work for NASA...
Say hi to the Medusa, one of the many guns I'd like to own. It's the brainchild of NASA tech Jonathan Phillips, and it's pretty damn amazing. Phillips got tired of lugging so many guns to the range, and designed a gun that would shoot all his preferred calibers, and then some.
What calibers does it shoot? Oh, not many. Just .380 ACP, .380 Revolver, 9x18mm Ultra, 9mm Browning Patronen (long), 9mm Export, 9mm Glisenti, 9mm Kurz (short), 9mm Largo, 9mm Long, 9mm Luger, 9mm Mauser, 9mm Parabellum, 9mm Rimmed, 9mm Steyr, 9mm Win Mag, .38 ACP, .38 Auto, .38 Colt Super, .38 Long Colt, .38 Mid-Range, .38 Short Colt, .38 S & W, .38 Special "Plus-P," .38 Special "Plus-P-Plus," .357 Magnum -- basically, if it's in the .357/.38/9mm range, the Medusa will shoot it. This is an awesome engineering achievement.
Here's how it works. It's really very clever. What's especially noteworthy is that the Medusa is quite accurate -- even when you've loaded the cylinder with different caliber cartridges. It's probably the ultimate shit-hits-the-fan handgun. If they ever make the next Mad Max movie, the Medusa should be in it.
The company that came out with the Medusa quit making it, and I don't know if it's even still in business. But the patent was licensed by custom gunmaker Gary Reeder, who made a few changes, and the result -- dubbed the Skorpion -- is nothing short of stunning. Some of the changes are a little puzzling -- Reeder's Skorpion doesn't handle plus-P ammo (cartridges loaded to a higher pressure than standard), which is odd, because the Medusa does -- but godDAMN that is one gorgeous gun.