OK, so I’ve been ignorant. Laugh and make fun of me and get it out of the way. Tam posted about a “Kit Gun” recently. I’d seen that term many times, and it’s always been used as though everyone understood what it meant and there was therefore no point in trying to explain it. Kind of like the high school meetings I missed because, well, “We told everyone” they said (meaning they told a few people and assumed everyone else would hear it from them. I was always out of the loop because I only attended half days my senior year. It was a good excuse to avoid pep rallies anyway.
I searched “kit gun” some time ago and came up with nothing helpful, but doing it just now I found it! A kit gun means it goes with you on hiking and camping trips, and the term comes from the “kit bag” that a hiker or camper might carry. Well I’ve hiked and camped all my life and never heard of a “kit bag”, so the term “kit gun” has been not at all obvious to me. I somehow missed that memo. I suppose everyone knew about all this but me.
That makes just about every gun I own a “kit gun”, technically, since I would take most any of them along on a camping trip or a hike, and have done so in most cases, but I guess the term refers to one that’s generally more handy (smaller and/or lighter) than some other similar gun in a similar caliber, kind of how a “carbine” is a relatively shorter and lighter version of a particular rifle. As far as I can determine through observation of usage though is that a “kit gun” refers to a handgun only, not a long gun, even though I do have what might be called a “kit bag” that holds a long gun. So a relatively light and handy rifle equals “carbine”, while a relatively light and handy handgun equals kit gun. Is that about right?
Does this mean that ANY service pistol is a “kit gun” simply because soldiers tend to hike about and are known to camp?
Just learned this today, so it may be flawed. I’ve ordered “gun kits” before but apparently those do not necessarily qualify as “kit guns”, though there may be such a thing as a “kit gun kit” from which you build your own kit gun.
OK, so there MUST be a term for a light or small and handy shotgun that I’ve never heard. “Coach gun” maybe, but that’s a side by side with exposed hammers, in my mind anyway, which would exclude many other light and handy shotguns.