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Old September 20, 2012, 03:48 PM   #1
GregInAtl
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Rotating calibers

I like to alternate which calibers I take to the range. I'll shoot my 45acp Springfield Range Officer for a about 2 weeks (about twice a week), then I'll put it in the safe and shoot my Sig 226 9mm for a week and then my Walther PPQ (9mm) for a week, then my Ruger Security Six for a week (.38spl).

I've had people tell me that switching calibers all the time will make me a "jack of all calibers and master of none" and that if I want to perfect my shooting skills I should stick to one caliber until I have perfected my skills with that one. I hope not because I enjoy all 3 of those guns immensly and don't like to have them lay around not getting used.

What is your take on this? Do you find switching calibers to be detrimental to devloping good shooting skills?
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Old September 20, 2012, 03:54 PM   #2
Woody55
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Danged if I know. But there isn't any sense in owning them if you aren't going to shoot them.

I always take my primary self defense pistol and shoot that. I will rotate through the other ones.
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:43 PM   #3
BarryLee
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Quote:
I always take my primary self defense pistol and shoot that. I will rotate through the other ones.
Yes, same here. I think it is important to practice often with your primary, but I see nothing wrong with mixing it up.
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:08 PM   #4
orionengnr
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You did not say whether or not you carry any of your handguns.

If not, then take whatever you want, and enjoy.

If so...then I agree with post #3.
Focus on your primary carry gun, and have fun with everything else.
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Old September 20, 2012, 09:53 PM   #5
dyl
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On the contrary, since it's not like someone can disprove/prove this based on anecdotes:

Switching calibers may work to keep you on your toes in terms if fundamentals if you are actively working at it. The different recoil characteristics of each caliber, the different shape of each grip would force you to remember to find the front sight no matter what it looks like, pull straight to the rear, re-aquire the sight picture without the benefit of a predictable cadence....

I read somewhere that nothing makes you more aware of the fundamentals like doing the same thing with the weak hand. Perhaps switching calibers and guns could be a mini version of that.
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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I like Dyl's response. If a bad situation occurs away from my house, I hope to be able to grab and fire whatever happens to be available should the need arise. In an outside-US example, cocking and firing an open-bolt Uzi is going to be a lot different than chambering and firing a closed-bolt AR. Releasing the cylinder on a DA Smith is opposite that of a Colt (push versus pull). Learning to switch immediately to "move B" when "move A" doesn't work can be super useful in a bad situation.

I've long told my wife that all she needs to be able to do in a real-threat emergency is (1) follow my instructions immediately, completely and without question (the most difficult part) and (2) be able to reload and hand back to me whatever I just fired and handed off to her. The odds of needing this are close to zero, but they aren't zero.
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Old September 21, 2012, 07:21 AM   #7
thedudeabides
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I carry 380 and shoot 9, 357 sig, 40, and 45. Im best with 9 and 45. I think the sig is best for home defense and 380 is super portable.

The only one I havent been able to shoot accurately is the 40.
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Old September 21, 2012, 07:58 AM   #8
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As with the others, the only thing I would want to ensure I am shooting consistently is my primary. Every time I go to the range I try to put a box of ammo through my primary just to stay as familiar with the feel of the gun and its characteristics as possible. But like you I always bring something else too, whether a 22 rifle, an AR, shotgun, or 45 ACP pistol. Shooting is supposed to be fun after all.
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Old September 21, 2012, 09:19 AM   #9
BRE346
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I go with Woody55. I shoot my carry and its backup regularly and rotate through the others.
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Old September 21, 2012, 03:46 PM   #10
Dashunde
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Quote:
Do you find switching calibers to be detrimental to devloping good shooting skills?
It depends on what skills your trying to develop - combat/self-defense or pure bench-rest accuracy?

Caliber, combined with the chosen pistol, will substantially effect recoil, and follow-up shot speed and accuracy in a combat/self-defense roll.

Caliber should have no effect on benchrest slow fire accuracy.
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Old September 21, 2012, 05:06 PM   #11
BigJimP
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My take on this ...is you should do whatever you want !

but inherently switching platforms ...or calibers within a platform ...is not that big a deal in my mind.

Like you, I like too many guns to just shoot one gun all the time...( that's boring )...

so I switch around to a variety of 1911's in 9mm and .45 acp quite a bit / and a variety of S&W revolvers ..K, L and N frames mostly in .357 mag....and once in a while, I mix in a single action revolver ( a big heavy Freedom Arms )...or even a .22 like a Buckmark ...just because I can. I'll even throw a Sig Sauer in my range bag once in a while...like a 226 or a 239 ...just because !!

I don't carry often ...but when I do its a 1911(maybe a 5" in .45 acp or a 4" in 9mm ) - so I do shoot those guns quite a bit ...and 1911's will always be my go to gun for Defense.../ but my take on Defense...its a one in a gazillion chance you'll ever need a gun ...but I shoot to be prepared..just in case / and for recreation ...because its fun - and mostly because keeping my skill level at something remotely viable...is Fun !

Whick brings me back to ...do whatever you want.
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Old September 25, 2012, 10:39 PM   #12
pete2
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I usually take 2 or 3 or 4 different guns to the range, it's hard to decide what I want to shoot. When I switch to the 1911 after laying off for a while I do sometime forget to take it off safe when I draw it. If you carry a 1911 or a gun with a safety practice with it a lot. A revolver or Glock type pistol is a lot simpler. I do have an LC9, I carry it with the safety on, works like the 1911 safety. Practice, practice practice.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:31 PM   #13
sks
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I find taking multiple calibers and platforms helps to hone my skills with all of them. Semi auto, revolver, lever action, bolt action, etc. If I follow basic marksmanship rules, trigger control, breathing properly, etc. I should be ok with any weapon I have.

Maybe if I was trying to set the world record in precision long range shooting I'd stick with one but personally I enjoy shooting them all. I have nothing that I won't or don't shoot. They all get dirty!

At the end of the day, to each his own. Enjoy.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:12 PM   #14
orionengnr
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To amplify, I will offer this. Take it as you will.

"In an emergency, you do not rise to the occasion. You revert to your level of training."

I did not coin that phrase, but I have seen it demonstrated on a number of occasions, in a number of disciplines.

IMHO (worth exactly what you paid for it) if you carry the same gun in the same place every day, and practice with it regularly, muscle memory will eventually become ingrained, and you will not have to think about it in an in extemis situation.

However, if you carry a different type of gun every day (or week or month ) in a different spot on your body...how will you ingrain muscle memory? Will you reach for your hip (where your 1911 was last week) or reach for your pocket (where your 642 was all winter)?

Will you try to disengage the thumb safety that does not exist on your 642, or will you try to present and fire your 1911 like the 642, forgetting about the thumb safety?

Have you done any/enough training to respond correctly when the adrenaline is pumping and your brain is only functioning in "tunnel-vision" mode?

Most of us will never know the answer to these questions, thank God.

I am not an expert on the subject, but I have read some, and tend to take the opinions of experts seriously. They are generally somewhat objective, and if they can identify common shortcomings in SD situations, I pay attention.

Bottom line for me--I own a number of pistols which I deem "carry guns".
They fall into two basic categories, and I try not to swap categories but once or twice per year (the transition usually takes place in Spring and Fall).

First category is point and shoot. This includes all revolvers and striker-fired pistols. I only have a couple revolvers and two or three semi auto pistols that fall into this category.

Second category is 1911s. This is my default setting, and iwhat I carry far more often than everything else.

If I am going to swap from one type to the other, I make sure and spend some additional time at the range and dry-firing at home to make the mental "change-over", and try to ingrain the muscle memory.

Is this program effective? I cannot say, and I hope I never find out.

But, IMHO, it is something you should take some time and consider.
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:37 PM   #15
745SW
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This thread reminds me of a story/post/article I read many moons ago. Guy has two custom 1911’s one chambered for 45ACP and the other 10mm. Both pistols are in a wooden range type box. The 45ACP pistol explodes and the user loses a finger or two, if I remember correctly. It is thought the 10mm somehow got lodged into the 45 barrel.

The 45 ACP has a bullet size of 0.452”. Rim of the 10mm/40S&W/357Sig are about 0.424” to 0.427”, a difference of up to 0.025”. Generally the 10mm/40S&W/357Sig should just drop thru a 45ACP barrel assuming the cartridges are not distorted too badly and the barrel is clean. But I would imagine a distorted cartridge and/or fouled barrel can cause another cartridge, as mentioned, to become lodged in the 45ACP barrel.

38Special/357Mag is potentially worse having a rim of about 0.440”. Yet I would imagine the probability of a mix-up of different chamberings of 1911 pistols and their mags would be greater.

As my mother/mum/mama/okasan used to say, “ It ain’t respectable to get hurt while playing”.

Last edited by 745SW; September 27, 2012 at 08:41 PM.
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Old September 27, 2012, 04:03 PM   #16
MonsterB
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[QUOTE][/I like to alternate which calibers I take to the range. I'll shoot my 45acp Springfield Range Officer for a about 2 weeks (about twice a week), then I'll put it in the safe and shoot my Sig 226 9mm for a week and then my Walther PPQ (9mm) for a week, then my Ruger Security Six for a week (.38spl).

I've had people tell me that switching calibers all the time will make me a "jack of all calibers and master of none" and that if I want to perfect my shooting skills I should stick to one caliber until I have perfected my skills with that one. I hope not because I enjoy all 3 of those guns immensly and don't like to have them lay around not getting used.

What is your take on this? Do you find switching calibers to be detrimental to devloping good shooting skills? QUOTE]
I personally have found that shooting a variety of guns, trigger types, and calibers has made me a much better shooter with all platforms. I have 22's, 38's, 357's, 9mm's,40's, and 45's, and since I started shooting lots of different guns, my performance with all of them has increased. Learning to feel a trigger and its break with multiple guns has made me better with guns overall. I have several times used another shooters guns for the first time and shot it better than they do, even after they have become quite accustomed with it. I actually think that shooting just one gun only gets you so far, as you may get very good with it but when you shoot something else you cant hit squat. Everyone has thier favorites, but shooting guns you dont shoot as well can make you better with your favorite, no dobt in my mind.
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:37 PM   #17
Old Grump
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Well I must be Jack then because I regularly shoot every gun I have from revolvers to pistols to cap and ball revolvers from 8 yards to 100 yards. 22 to 44 magnum they all reach the 100 yard target just fine and do even better up close and personal. Don't make me no never mind which gun I have to shoot in an emergency because I am familiar with all of them.

Rotate away, the basic fundamentals stay the same with every gun you shoot and it's nice to have the feel of whatever gun you have in your hand to feel comfortable and not be a stranger to your hand.
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Old September 28, 2012, 07:19 AM   #18
checkmyswag
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If you're shooting for enjoyment, I wouldn't worry about it.

Shooting for defense it would be good to always shoot the same thing. But then you may shoot less if its less fun.

I'm sure there is an algorithm to solve this.

I don't switch calibers and only have pistols that operate the same way. If at some point I get a fun/cool gun of a different caliber or design I'd probably shoot it once. Clean it and put it away and keep shooting my defensive guns.

Do what you'd like though. Glad you make it to the range twice a week!
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