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View Full Version : Do you guys consolidate caliber or have one of each?


Bull's_eye
03-28-2012, 11:03 PM
So I've been buying guns for about a year now, and just recently got my first handgun. Of course I want more.

I haven't decided yet exactly what my next one is going to be, but I have kind of narrowed it down to either a 9mm or a revolver (still tons of options to choose from either way).

Right now, I kind of feel like I want to get one of everything to try it out. I want a 9mm, a .357, a .44 magnum, a .40, full size, compacts, etc. Maybe this is because I'm still fairly new to this game. I feel like they all have their place and it's a matter of picking the right tool for the job.

I have also read a lot about people that consolidate their collections down to one or two calibers to share ammo, and that makes sense to me too. For example, say you have a ccw and want to carry a larger gun for certain attire, a compact for other situations, or even a full size and a small back up gun, it makes sense to me for them to share ammo. Buy one type, shoot it often get to know it and be good with it.

Just curious to see what everyone does and your reasoning for doing so.

Arkangel
03-29-2012, 5:58 AM
I feel like they all have their place and it's a matter of picking the right tool for the job.



My thoughts exactly...

I started with just 40's, then added .45. Now I'm adding 9mm's. I haven't added any revolvers yet, but I'm sure that won't be true for too long :)

Oceanbob
03-29-2012, 6:25 AM
Several of each. You can never have too many guns or too much ammunition. :)

Just buy quality mainstream weapons and you will do fine.

Be well, Bob

ckprax
03-29-2012, 6:29 AM
Usually people consolidate calibers so they can buy a lot of ammo in a couple of calibers instead a box or two of each. If you reload than it's not a big deal. I reload so you know what camp I'm in.

Right now I would suggest you rent gun in each caliber you are interested or go shooting with someone who will let you try theirs. No need to buy a gun to try it out; that gets expensive fast.

Being new to handguns I suggest that you focus your time, energy and money on becoming proficient with what you have rather than buying more guns. The only additional handgun I would suggest at this point would be a .22 so you can practice more :thumbsup:

db42
03-29-2012, 6:50 AM
I consolidate, if only because you save an incredible amount of money if you can buy in bulk.

Most of my guns are 9mm in assorted sises and configurations but I have a 45 as well.

JTROKS
03-29-2012, 7:12 AM
Variety is good! Everyone thinks 9mm and 40 are the way to go for defensive and SHTF scenario. What if you stumble on a case of 44-40, now what?

J.D.Allen
03-29-2012, 7:20 AM
Something to consider...

"After having gone through the juvenile collector stage of idiotically wasting money by purchasing one or two of every type of service pistol ever produced, I finally grew-up and realized it is far better to strive to master one quality pistol type, then be perpetually mediocre with many. I strongly recommend purchasing two or three identical pistols once you have decided upon the model that you plan to use, carry, and train with. I dedicate one pistol for carry after thoroughly vetting function with 1000 or so rounds through it. Another identical pistol is solely used for training--it is shot till it breaks with minimal cleaning or babying during its service life. If I am able to afford a third pistol, it serves as a back-up to the other two and usually sits in an easily accessible safe as a readily available personal defense weapon mounting an x300 light."

An excerpt from this forum:

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

Cactus_Tim
03-29-2012, 7:43 AM
Like you, I am also fairly new at this.
I started with a 45 and liked the platform so much that I bought the subcompact in 40.
Don't know which I like more. They are both awesome guns. I buy ammo in bulk and with my occasional shooting, the cost has been reasonable.
Since then, I bought a Ruger Mk III 22 pistol mainly for nostalgia since it was my first gun years ago and I wanted to have one again.
But I also wanted a cheap reliable plinker.
My friends all like it and they can shoot all day with it.

Most recently, I bought a Ruger SP101 22lr revolver for several reasons.
Practice! It's cheap to shoot and helps you really learn where your mistakes are so you can correct them. I can see the barrel wobble or pull as it goes "click" when I dry fire it.
(Yes, it can be dry-fired, says so in the manual)
The other reason is it's a revolver. Revolvers are Sweet!
My next step is to install the Wolff spring kit with reduced power hammer spring to bring the double action pull down to a more reasonable level. It should be a really nice shooter after that modification.
Next I'm saving up for a 357 revolver since I've found out how much I like them.

I don't know if this helps you much.
Everyone is different and has their reasons for what they do.
Each gun I've purchased has a specific use that I've given some thought to before I purchased it.
I plan to purchase a couple more revolvers in the future; .357 & 44
But that should do it for me...for now.
You can think of it as collecting the set.
But, it's a hobby for me.

Then there are the rifles...Mosins, and Rugers, and ARs...oh My!
I'll probably start reloading in the future once I get a space set up.

davbog44
03-29-2012, 7:50 AM
I will freely admit that I am a shameless caliber whore; I love them all.:)

I have .380, 9MM, 357SIG, 40S&W, .45ACP, 357 and .44 Magnum, and .22's, and that's just handguns.

I think most of us end up to favoring one or two over the others, and consolidating makes a lot of sense, especially economically. I would certainly never criticize the logic of sticking with one or two.

But just as different firearms serve different purposes, which includes simply enjoying something we might like but don't need, I have to conclude that variety is the spice of the shooting sports too.

Baboosh
03-29-2012, 7:55 AM
I try not to buy guns I don't plan on shooting a lot so I try and buy the same caliber. Besides a P22 for my wife and Desert Eagle .50 for ****s and giggles all my hand guns are 9mm. Why? 9mm is cheaper and IMO (and my opinion only) the 9mm is good enough. However I do want a 1911 and while I would like to get one in .45 I may just get the 9mm version, for me it's not the caliber it's the gun.

Scorpiusdeus
03-29-2012, 7:59 AM
I own mostly .40 S&W. Yes, it's much easier on the ammo stockpile.

I do own 1 9MM and a .357, but that's about as far out as I stray for now. With the .40 S&W in many platforms I can buy a conversion barrel for 9MM and .357 Sig so that is nice as well.

As another poster suggested, rent different platforms in different calibers and see what ya like.

teflondog
03-29-2012, 8:20 AM
Since .45 acp is my favorite caliber, I own multiple guns chambered in it. For the other common calibers (9mm, .40 s&w, .357 magnum) I have only one gun of each.

Edit: I think everybody should also own a .22lr for cheap shooting.

KandyRedCoi
03-29-2012, 8:54 AM
just like another member mentioned, its more of the gun than the ammo....1911 hould be a .45, wheel gun at least a 38spl/357mag, glock def 9mm...just an example and what i am basing my ideas from...to each his own...i tried consolidating but imho it gets boring

Baboosh
03-29-2012, 8:54 AM
Nice Panerai :)

KandyRedCoi
03-29-2012, 9:03 AM
thank you :)

kaligaran
03-29-2012, 9:14 AM
I also consolodate. Easier on the bulk ammo purchases.
I am trying to keep 1 pistol, 1 rifle and 1 shotgun type (9, 556/223/12gague). The only exception to this being that I have a 22 conversion kit for the rifle.
I'm prolly also going to be getting more 22s just becuase it's a penny plinker.

nimbus
03-29-2012, 9:16 AM
I ended up with one of each for variety, but started with the 9mm to train and practice with.

I also got into reloading before buying another caliber so I can focus more on the training part without paying retail for ammo. After I got to a point being proficient with my 9mm, I got a 40sw, 44mag, and then 45acp. :)

Kodemonkey
03-29-2012, 9:20 AM
Something to consider...

"After having gone through the juvenile collector stage of idiotically wasting money by purchasing one or two of every type of service pistol ever produced, I finally grew-up and realized it is far better to strive to master one quality pistol type, then be perpetually mediocre with many.


Even though there is some truth in what that guy is saying, it is dripping with ego. I tend to discount advice from people who feel the need to talk down to other people. How on earth could you decide what worked best for you if you didn't spend some quality time with handguns? To call it "juvenile", "idiotically wasting money" is missing a key point in the selection process.

To the OP question. We have several different calibers to choose from in our safe. Some of our reasoning is that we like to shoot competitively and like to shoot in multiple divisions. We have the big 3 (9mm,40,45), but also have 357mag as well. Defensive caliber is 40 for me and 9mm for my wife. Although that might change to 45 in the future for me - I guess I am still in the "juvenile collector stage" :rolleyes:

random name
03-29-2012, 9:22 AM
the way the future looks, I think I'll be consolidating all to 5.8x42 with in the next few years

SacTown
03-29-2012, 9:25 AM
All I own at the time are chambered in (9mm, .22LR, 5.56/.223, 12ga). I just started into guns about 10 months ago and have a limited amount of income at the moment (college student) so I haven't ventured out into all the other calibers yet. I really want to get a pre-lock .357 Smith. Definitely the next gun on my list. So yeah, I probably will once I get my degree and a stable job. Then comes paying off the student loans. :facepalm: Damn, it might be a while before I buy any more guns.

whipkiller
03-29-2012, 9:38 AM
I do enjoy some variety, but I don't shoot my .40 as much as I do my 9mm(s), or .45 for that matter.

Let's see...

.22 = X2 - rifle & pistol
9mm = X2 - full size and compact
.45 = 1
.40 = 1
12ga = 1

Hope to add soon:
Bolt action CZ Rimfire Rifle (maybe the .22/.17hmr combo)
.223/5.56 (not sure if AR or bolt action)

RAFA
03-29-2012, 9:40 AM
just like another member mentioned, its more of the gun than the ammo....1911 hould be a .45, wheel gun at least a 38spl/357mag, glock def 9mm...just an example and what i am basing my ideas from...to each his own...i tried consolidating but imho it gets boring

My thoughts exactly! I haven't started reloading but the more I think about venturing out to different calibers the more I think reloading is whats going to help me be able to afford the 5-7 different calibers I have in mind. Haha I need to get off this site for my wallets sake.

Super Spy
03-29-2012, 9:40 AM
I used to have guns and then went years without any, right after I got my first pistol a few years ago a friend gave my an M48, then I bought an AR...so consolidating calibers looked like a loosing proposition. Shortly after I got an interest in collectibles I got Swiss fever and started buying old Karibiners. 7.5x55 Swiss is normally only available mail order so it didn't take too long for me to start reloading that. I had another friend give me a case of 7.62x39 so I had to go buy a Saiga. Now I'm looking at buying a 9mm so I have a mid power and less expensive auto pistol. I also expect to be getting into SASS at some point which means .357 will get added to the mix. I found a sweet looking Mosin at a great price on this site, and I already had some 7.62x54R (just in case) Yet another friend hooked me up with his buddy who's selling a Krag in 6.5 Swede, which I'll probably buy. I'm sure I'll be buying something in .308, and I'll be inheriting an x-bolt in 7mm mag too. I haven't even talked about getting uppers for my AR's or any rimfires I own...

If you see something you like, and if you like the way it shoots, buy it. If it is in a more common or less expensive caliber, that is a plus. Don't sweat the details, over time you will get stuff in different calibers. Saying I'm only going to shoot these 3 calibers is just tempting fate to throw something else in front of you.

RED VASQUEZ
03-29-2012, 9:42 AM
I have 9mm luger, .38/.357mag, and .45acp. They were each impulse buys but I like'em all. You have to try different guns of different calibers to decide what you like. For instance; .45 feels a lot different between shooting a Glock, a Bersa, a 1911 or a baby eagle. I plan to add calibers as my collection grows, but if I had to consolidate it would be down to those 3 plus a .22 to cover the basic spectrum of handgun needs

gwanghoops
03-29-2012, 9:56 AM
It all depends upon your stockpile requirements. If you're a prepper and need to fend off an army, then very few calibers. If you shoot ocassionally and just need 1 round for when the SHTF, then buy everything in sight.

Personally: 9, 45, 223, 12ga

Can't afford to even think about another caliber.

calif 15-22
03-29-2012, 10:09 AM
All I own at the time are chambered in (9mm, .22LR, 5.56/.223, 12ga). I just started into guns about 10 months ago and have a limited amount of income at the moment (college student) so I haven't ventured out into all the other calibers yet. I really want to get a pre-lock .357 Smith. Definitely the next gun on my list. So yeah, I probably will once I get my degree and a stable job. Then comes paying off the student loans. :facepalm: Damn, it might be a while before I buy any more guns.

Great choice on those 4 calibers. I also just started collecting. Orginally started as a "Doomsday Prepper". My thought was get 2 of the same guns in each caliber. Kind of a "Noah's Ark" of guns. That way I consolidate ammo and have parts if one gun needs it.

That quickly turned into just having fun.

9mm - Cheap and plentiful handgun ammo (I have 2 XD9s)
.22LR - Every home should have one (M&P 15-22 too much fun)
5.56/.223 - Great all around rifle ammo (DDM4 one of two)
12ga - Best home defense (IMO) (Remington 870 I have 2)

And now I had to go and catch the 1911 bug . . . dang it!

dem0critus
03-29-2012, 10:22 AM
I own mostly .40 S&W. Yes, it's much easier on the ammo stockpile.

I do own 1 9MM and a .357, but that's about as far out as I stray for now. With the .40 S&W in many platforms I can buy a conversion barrel for 9MM and .357 Sig so that is nice as well.

As another poster suggested, rent different platforms in different calibers and see what ya like.

I think this is really important to know. There are LOTS of .40 guns out there that ONLY need a conversion barrel to switch to 9mm. Like the poster said, lots of sigs in .40 can be converted to .357 or 9mm without even buying new magazines for the thing.

Now, I'm not sure I'd use 9mm ammo in a .40 mag if i was carrying it, but in a pinch or at the range, buying one of these .40 platforms can provide a very versatile solution for a very reasonable amount of money.

Eljay
03-29-2012, 10:25 AM
You might make a wish list of guns and then see what calibers they're available in. With a little luck you can get pretty much any pistol on the list in .22, 9mm or .45. Revolvers add .375. Rifles there's .22 again, and add .223 and something larger - .30-06 say. Shotguns 12 ga. It won't cover everything, especially with the rifles (and you could choose other calibers, that's just an example), but it definitely simplifies things if you can keep things from getting totally out of hand.

em9sredbeam
03-29-2012, 11:02 AM
I started with a 40, and then bought a 9mm, (for the wifey) a 45 (1911), and then 357. Now am waiting on a 460 cal SMith and Wesson. Bring on the Variety!

robcoe
03-29-2012, 11:07 AM
For handguns I typicly go with 1 gun I like per caliber(for example, right now I have a SA 1911 .45, a Walther P38 9mm, An SR22p in .22lr, a colt 1903 in .32acp and a GP100 in .357 magnum).

AK all day
03-29-2012, 11:08 AM
I try and stick with same caliber, but it's hard....

SFgiants105
03-29-2012, 11:23 AM
It depends how much money you have to spend. I started doing that and I am regretting it every time I get another gun. It just pains me because I waste so much money on new guns and I never have as much money for ammo as I would like. That combined with the fact that in the Bay Area you need to drive out far to BLM or a friend's ranch (of which, for me, there aren't many) or pay to shoot at a strict and expensive range, ammo is not your only consideration. Then you have to contend with what shooting accessories you want; you want cleaning gear, reloading equipment, optics, holsters, magazines, spotting scopes, rangefinders, etc.; all that crap adds up.

Many people talk about what they would do if they won the lottery. Some would buy tons of houses and Ferraris. I would buy a Ford Raptor, a Toyota Prius, a ranch in Texas, about 10 guns I have in mind, and spend the rest on ammunition. Even just on the ammo, I'd be broker than MC Hammer in about a year :D

beretta929mm
03-29-2012, 11:26 AM
Sometimes it is not the caliber but the gun in a different caliber that I'm interested in.
Let's say...I would love to have a SW 686. Then I will have to add a .357/.38 SPL to my collection.

Bull's_eye
03-29-2012, 12:49 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys, given me a lot to consider.

Right now, I have a Mosin (7.62x54), Ruger 10/22 (.22LR), Mossberg 817 (.17hmr), Springfield Loaded (.45ACP), and a completed AR lower that is waiting for an upper (5.56).

Other than finishing the AR, next on the short list is a 12gauge.

I've shot a 9mm, and a couple .357/.38special revolvers that I've liked. I think handgun wise I'll be looking into one of those or possibly a .22lr pistol next.

oghl888
03-29-2012, 12:56 PM
I've gone through both stages myself. After the first few years of getting into handguns, I went through the "i want one of every caliber" stage. I think it's natural to be curious about what it's like to shoot each caliber. Once I got that itch scratched, I went into the "i want to keep everything simple" stage. Now I have only 9mm and 45 autos, and 357 revolvers. I still have the 12 gauge and a couple of 40 cal carbines, but the pistols have been simplified.

Paper Boy
03-29-2012, 1:06 PM
I have the usual 1911 and wheel gun but now I buy guns for calibers that interest me. right now I am playing with 10MM and 9X25 Dillon but I am waiting for the .22 TCM to play with....

Gary13
03-29-2012, 1:10 PM
I try to keep it to a minimum:

22-one handgun, one rifle
17hmr-one rifle
9mm-four handguns-all full size
45-four handguns-3 1911's, one of which is a commander size
223-one rifle
12g-one trap, one hd
303-one rifle-keep since it belonged to my dad

Only other calibers I would get would be 38/357, otherwise I think I have most of the bases covered. The majority of my shooting is handguns.

Rob454
03-29-2012, 1:53 PM
i had a bunch of different calibers
9mm 40 44 357 45 handguns
30-06 7mm mag 308 223 280 270 30-30 7.62x39
and a smattering of 410 20 and 12 ga shotguns
For a while i was buying guns and ammo left and right till i realized most guns i owned I do not shoot and some I plainly just did not like the gun and found out that I only shot a couple of guns because they met 100% of the requirements I had. I consolidated because I was not shooting all the rifles or pistol I had and I also got tired of always chasing to buy ammo for a bunch of different guns. I am looking into a reloading set up but so far truthfully ammo is relatively cheap and i shoot a bunch of steel case. I only have two guns I am looking to sell because I no longer use it and the other gun wife doesn't like to shoot. Unless something drops in my lap for a insanely low price I have no other plans for purchases besides a HD gun for my wife which I am searching for. other than that i am good with what i have. I think they are all good guns. They may not be collectors grade and worth thousands but I never buy a gun thinking its gonna be a collector item. i shoot them I enjoy them and if I get tired of them i sell them.

tbc
03-29-2012, 2:06 PM
The most popular ones are:
22lr
9mm
40sw
45acp

and some of the "exotic" ones:
357sig
10mm
44mag

for handguns.

I recommend getting a 9mm handgun for starter and build your collections from there.


Sent from IPhone

erik_26
03-29-2012, 2:48 PM
You can never have enough guns. And you are right, each has their place. Weather it's a one of a kind rare safe queen, or your go to gun for carry/home defence, or the one you start a new shoot out with to the one that is strictly a range toy.

It is very easy to rationalize buying a new gun.

I like to have lots of calibers. I have semi-autos and wheel guns.

Bull's_eye
03-29-2012, 3:18 PM
I have zero problems rationalizing a new gun, it's my wallet that does, haha.

Bug Splat
03-29-2012, 3:19 PM
I like to buy one of each. I like having a pistol for every practical caliber. 22, 32, 380, 357 9mm, 40, 44mag, 45acp. Never know when you will run across a case of ammo that you need but can't use because all you bought was 9mm pistols.

Ricky-Ray
03-29-2012, 3:27 PM
I consolidated to the most common calibers .22lr, 9mm, 45acp, 223/5.56, 7.62x51/308, 7.62x54r, and 12 gauge. Eventually I will be adding 357 magnum and .38 special.

Plenty of toys to chose from with those calibers.

corcoraj2002
03-29-2012, 3:30 PM
See my sig. Going to add a shot gun and probably a wheel gun and a .22 lr AR type range plinker.

KandyRedCoi
03-29-2012, 3:30 PM
I have zero problems rationalizing a new gun, it's my wallet that does, haha.

^this^

check the sig...went from omly having 22lr and 45acp (consolidated) then BAM...waiting to add a 38super and 38/357 wheel gun :)

Fastattack
03-29-2012, 3:32 PM
For me it's all about choices. I love to open my safe and say to myself "What do I feel like shooting today?"

lawboy
03-29-2012, 3:36 PM
To the OP, go slowly. You can waste a lot of money in a hurry on guns you won't ultimately like or use. Make our purchases purpose based and then only buy after much research and at least some experience in the activity the gun will be used for. You will be much happier and remain wealthier and become MUCH more knowledgeable about the sport this way. GO SLOWLY on purchasing. The guns will be there. They do not have legs.

SpunkyJivl
03-29-2012, 3:44 PM
Were keeping it simple. 9mm, .223, .22 and 12 gau. Thats it.

johnny1290
03-29-2012, 5:43 PM
I'm a novice, I have 9mm and .22 pistols, .22 rifle, and 7.62x39 rifle.

I have more than one of each, 2 is one and one is none.

I reload 9mm and cast my own boolits, plus I'm a cheapskate.

I can afford to shoot all the time, my friend that buys .45 can't, and another friend that buys 9mm can't either.

I can reload 9mm for well under $100/thousand, but only because I cast my own bullets.

RolinThundr
03-29-2012, 11:19 PM
If you like a gun and want it, buy it. I have decided to buy what I want and, if it's not in a caliber that I intend to shoot much, just keep a couple of boxes of ammo around for it. I simply stockpile the calibers that I shoot most and would go to in a SHTF situation.

Uxi
03-30-2012, 7:44 AM
I've consolidated to .45 mostly. I enjoy shooting 10mm now and then but pricey. I gotta get into reloading. My main store right now .45 and 5.56

Dark Mod
03-30-2012, 7:51 AM
Since i started reloading ive been picking up all kinds of different calibers, if i had to pay for ammo id probably just stick with 9mm, .223, and .22lr since they are so cheap and plentiful

X231
03-30-2012, 11:37 AM
I just recently went on a consolidation binge. Got tired of wading through all of my ammo trying to find the caliber/gauge I was looking for. I didn't want to be sorting through 12 & 16 gauge and .380 and 9mm under stress. Got rid of a couple of sweet guns but replaced them with other sweet guns in standardized caliber/gauge in my collection. I'm trying to stick with two rifle calibers but would love to have a .308 :D