View Full Version : Practicing with multiple pistols?

June 27, 2008, 06:02 PM
How many people bring more than one pistol to the range to practice?
Do you find you do better or worse?
I am finding that when I bring two to the range I don't do as well.
Anyone else?

June 27, 2008, 06:16 PM
I usually take more than one pistol...unless I am doing a first trip range test on a new gun. Usually two-five of them. I do try to stick to one caliber per trip though. I find I do just as well when I shoot more than one.

June 27, 2008, 07:41 PM
I have 2 now, GLOCK's, model 23 and 27. I do fairly well with both since they are very similar. I have had dissimilar handguns in the past and being different I believe this caused some problems.

June 27, 2008, 08:00 PM
"How many people bring more than one pistol to the range to practice? "

I usually take two, one of the rimfires (cheap to shoot, and fun), and one of the centerfires (more expensive to shoot, but also fun). Does one or another impair my shooting ability? I highly doubt it. Just go have fun and don't worry about it. :)

Hard Ball
June 27, 2008, 08:43 PM
I like to stay in practice with both pistols and revolvers.

June 27, 2008, 09:10 PM
I take more than one handgun and also in different calibers, the reason for that is no matter where I am in my house if I need one of my handguns I will feel commfortable no mater what one I pick up.
IT Is kinda different from shooting a .357Mag and then shooting the .22LR. but I still enjoy my range time.

June 28, 2008, 12:03 AM
This varies.

If I am taking a friend who is a relatively new shooter, I will usually bring a .22 along. If going by myself, the .22 isn't as likely to make its appearance, though it still does from time to time. If I am taking a friend who wants to shoot one or more of my others, I will usually bring the desired pistols.

When preparing for a deployment, I bring my 92FS Centurion, since it's so close to the M9 in all but barrel length and sights. Any time I go to the range, I always bring whatever my primary CCW is (this varies by season; warm southern summers necessitate smaller guns that don't need a jacket or heavy shirt to conceal).

If practicing for hunting, then the .44 SBH comes out to play. It's a bit on the expensive side to feed, for casual practice purposes, and to be honest I don't enjoy shooting it nearly as much I do my .357's, .45's and 9mm's.

Actions in a given range session could vary from SA revolver to DA revolver to SA semi-auto to DA semi-auto to DAK (DAO) semi-auto. Sights vary from 3 dot Trijicon to 3 white dot to adjustable black to fixed blade and channel; a CrimsonTrace grip also gets used from time to time.

I don't find that bringing multiple guns degrades my performance with any given gun; I do find that I shoot some guns better than others.



June 28, 2008, 12:28 AM
Today I drilled with two H K's a Taurus 92 and a Custom 1911.

June 28, 2008, 07:49 AM
Why would I drive eight miles to the range and only bring one gun???

June 28, 2008, 02:30 PM
always take 2, primary and bug. need to practice with both. if time allows I take my .22 Ruger mkII also, love shooting that gun!

June 28, 2008, 03:40 PM
I am finding that when I bring two to the range I don't do as well. Are they the same design? Operation? Caliber? Weight? Ergonomic features? Do you 'favor' one over the other?

Don't claim to have the definitive 'answer' for anyone except myself ...

I'd think it would generally be influenced by the knowledge, experience, training, familiarity with the handguns involved and the frequency of practice ... just to list some possible influences. A 'baseline' of familiarity and skill development ... and continued maintenance of same ... is often necessary for folks to develop and maintain safe skill levels with any given firearm. Sometimes mixing them may not be a good investment of someone's time and energy ... at least not right away.

Safety is paramount. Don't rush things. Stay safe.

Becoming frustrated with your abilities isn't the best of potential desired results, though.

Maybe you should pick one and invest some additional effort?

Any local ranges have some training classes which might interest you? How about some local IDPA events? Something to enjoy, but which would also help provide you with a safe venue in which to develop and hone your basic skills to a satisfactory level.


I've been shooting handguns since I was 5 years old. That was 50 years ago.

I've been a LE firearms instructor for 18 years, and an armorer for a bit less than that.

None of that time was a cake-walk, however, or allowed for 'coasting'. Not once I decided I wanted to achieve 'more' in the way of consistent skills and abilities, anyway. ;) I invested some time and effort. The more I thought I knew and had achieved, the more I realized I had to work even harder. It's a self-satsifaction thing, for me ... as well as a work-related issue. (Nobody really has confidence in an instructor who can't consistently demonstrate what they're trying to teach, and without 'preparation' or 'warm up' time, do they?)

Long ago I decided the most important person I needed to avoid 'fooling' in the skills and abilities area was ... myself.

I often bring anywhere from 1-7 handguns to a given range session ... more usually 1-3 (unless I have to squeeze in a scheduled qualification with more personally-owned guns from time to time).

I find it doesn't really matter which gun(s) I bring, or how many different designs, calibers or sizes I bring ... I experience the same inherent comfort and results. Time, frequent practice and experience can do that for some folks, though.

For those occasional days when I may want to simply 'enjoy' a range session I may bring a single action revolver or .22 pistol. I expect to do well with either without having to 'warm up', though. The time invested to maintain skills and abilities ought to have some benefit, right? ;) I have a purpose for all of the trigger time I invest in when it comes to 'skills-maintenance' sessions with issued & personally-owned weapons I carry, after all.

Also, while there are those days when I may have the time and inclination to shoot anywhere from 100, 200, 300 or even up to 500+ rounds, I'm no longer interested in burning up ammunition for the simple purpose of doing so. Every round I fire has a purpose. Every round. I've had times when I received just as much satisfaction and benefit from firing 1 magazine load in a single pistol. "Quality" of trigger time versus "quantity" is my preference. I'll grant that this realization didn't occur to me until later in my personal development and experience than I would've wished, though.

I also try to add some of the more common pistols which we may have in our training inventory, or which some of our folks may have personally purchased for off-duty usage, but which either aren't issued or of which I don't personally own an example.

For my own desire I want to be able to demonstrate more than 'minimally adequate' skills with any handgun I may pick up ... and that takes time, experience and training to develop and maintain.

Shooting is a considered a perishable skill in LE, after all (as well as in many sporting, competitive venues).

I'm sometimes a bit dismayed by the number of LE folks who choose not to practice on their own time and are satisfied with being able to just demonstrate 'adequate' skill levels during qualifications, even if it requires some remediation during a given qualification session ... as well as CCW licensees who readily claim not to have fired their CCW weapons since their last renewal & qualification.

It's an individual's choice ...

Just my thoughts.

First and foremost always train & practice SAFELY. ;)

If possible, seek out some helpful advice from accomplished range staff and trainers. There's always something worthwhile to learn ... and relearn ... and then remember again.

Glenn Bartley
June 29, 2008, 08:44 AM
I almost always have more than one handgun at the range when I practice. The matter of having multiple pistols at the range does not seem to make me shoot better or worse, with any particular one of them, as far as I am aware. What does make me shoot worse with some is that I do not practice as often with them as I do with others.

For defensive training, as opposed to just shooting target, I prefer to use just one design of pistol, or at least differing designs that are very similar in how they operate. That way, if I ever experience a failure to function in a bad situation, I am very confident I will be able to clear it using the same basic clearing drill I usually use at the range.

All the best,
Glenn B

June 29, 2008, 05:12 PM
I usually take 3 or 4 hand guns to the range, I really enjoy the differences in them and enjoy shooting them all. Interesting question though because I have been thinking about only practicing with one until I feel I can't get better with it. Every time I take a class, I see what others can do. I see that I am a terribly average shooter. I still haven't got the hang of only releasing the trigger to the reset point for double taps. With practicing with multiple triggers I may never get that. I still enjoy all of my pistols but I keep thinking of the old adage "Beware the man with one gun."

Sigma 40 Blaster
June 29, 2008, 09:24 PM
I make a point to take two different guns (at least) to the range. It's all too easy to let bad habits creep into shooting that you learn to compensate for by shooting primarily one gun. I love my Mark III, it usually starts and ends my range sessions.

For instance I put so many rounds through my XD 45 I got the timing of recoil down, I broke out my M&P 9mm and found I was shooting WAY high on follow up shots. That is because I stopped "riding the sights" if you will and was shooting by feel I built up through repetition. I'm not saying the M&P was recoiling more or harder, just more muzzle flip.

By the end of that range session I was double tapping well with both my XD and M&P. It also keeps you "honest" on trigger pull and grip/stance.

June 29, 2008, 10:15 PM
I always start with the 22lr Kadet on the CZ75 frame and after 200 rounds switch to the 9mm slide and finish with 50 rds of 9.

The guns feels identical with either slide, weight and balance and of course, the trigger is identical because it is the same frame.

I usually finish with a handful of either my gp100 357 mag or my SW 44mag, just to stay aquanted with the recoil.

If I am short on time, I only shoot the 22lr, because I get the same trigger practice as the 9mm.


June 29, 2008, 10:20 PM
I like and shoot both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols BUT ONLY take one at a time to the range. Find that I get better results by concentrating on one gun per range visit. Sometimes I shoot the .22 S&W M41 or 1911 with Marvel conversion kit, sometimes a 1911 in .45 ACP, and sometimes a S&W M629 .44 Mag. But as you posted, only one gun per range session. Works for me, YMMV.

June 30, 2008, 01:02 AM
When I go to the range to stay current with my carry weapons, I take at least 3. I never seem to do much different than last time. Incredibly good with the KUCDP, good with the HKUSPC, good to very good with the G26, and proficient with the P32. Doesn't seem to matter what order I shoot them in, either.

Now OTOH, if I go for fun, it can be anywhere from 1 to 6.

June 30, 2008, 06:26 AM
I mostly practice with the weapons I carry most. However, I try to practice often with everything my wife and I have, so I'll be confident shooting anything I happen to pick up in a confrontation.

June 30, 2008, 08:38 AM
for a little over a month All i've brought was the .22 to practice with (saving money) and once in a while blast a few clays with the shotgun.. but last night I was due to practice with my XD (my carry gun) and was the best I've ever shot it.. I dont know if it was just luck or all the extra shooting with the .22 is helping. but i usually shoot a couple diff. guns just to practice with them as often as possible

July 16, 2008, 11:36 AM
I always take at least two guns, usually three or four ... it's a hike to get there, I vary my carry gun depending on weather and where I'm going, and I like to make the trip count ... I always save the .357 for last; shooting it first does throw off the rest of my session ... :p

July 16, 2008, 12:01 PM
I make it a point to shoot every gun I have at least once a year so I'm afraid I usually take 4-5 handguns. But 80% of my practice is with my HK P2K's.

July 16, 2008, 12:56 PM
I'll take the pistol I fire the most with me most days, but I will set aside probably a day a month and take a few others and leave the standard one at home.

July 16, 2008, 01:24 PM
I always bring both my 9mm and my .45. It would not do to have one get jealous over the other...

July 16, 2008, 07:27 PM
I'll usually have one particular gun that I work with that day, but almost always fire a couple of magazines worth through my daily carry, and almost never go home without shooting a couple or three boxes of .22 through my favorite .22 pistol.

July 16, 2008, 07:55 PM
I typically bring my 3 main carry weapons plus my rimfire for cheap plinking. Typically I shoot more .45ACP than either .357/.38 or .380 though. I haven't started reloading .38/.357 yet.

The Great Mahoo
July 17, 2008, 12:58 PM
I typically take 2, sometimes as many as 4 to the range. Usually a revolver and an automatic, but not always. If I am taking rifles or shotguns too, I may only shoot 1 or 2 pistols.

I usually shoot 1 or more boxes through each gun I shoot, so it just depends on how much i want to spend and how long I plan on being at the range.

July 17, 2008, 02:22 PM
If I'm shooting rifles I dont play with pistols.

When I'm shooting pistols, depending on what I'm shooting, I have a min of two. Normally I'm practicing my Conventional Pistol, where I have a 45, center fire and 22 pistol, and try to get in a full 2700.

Then I always finish my shooting by running a bunch of rounds through my pocket pistol (Smith 642), Regardless I will go through a min of 200 rounds a week with my pocket pistol.

But I dont go to ranges unless its a for a match or to conduct High Power Clinics. I have a 300 yard range out my back door.

July 17, 2008, 06:22 PM
I shoot at least 40-50 rounds of .22 to get recoil-desensitized before I break out the big boys. If I'm planning a longer (>1 hour) day at the range I might burn through 100+ rounds in each caliber. Lately though I've been playing with the rifle a lot more and might only shoot the two .22s.