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Old June 28, 2020, 11:59 PM   #1
idek
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Carry rotations--how many is too many?

I sometimes hear/read people mention that a certain gun is part of their "carry rotation."

I understand that people may have a particular gun that they favor for most purposes, but certain settings/clothing may require something smaller. However, when I hear "carry rotation" that sounds like more than two guns.

Can someone explain why a person would benefit from more than two different carry weapons?

I think of the "beware the man with one gun..." saying and it seems that developing automaticity with one or two carry weapons would be much easier than doing so with 3, 4, 5, or whatever.
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Old June 29, 2020, 12:57 AM   #2
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That’s an interesting question. I review guns, so I have a lot to choose from, but very few make it into what I would call a “carry rotation.”

Having said that, I tend to think the automaticity part is not the particular gun, but just having one. Maybe in the winter you run a Glock 19 and in the summer you carry a G43. That would be a pretty typical rotation, I would think. But how about an “I’m just going to check the mail” gun? Or, for example, when I’m at home in my pajamas, I will run a belly band. And then there’s things like motorcycles. Maybe you just ride every now and then and your edc won’t work when you’re on the bike, so you grab a shoulder rig because you still want to have your gun on you. All would constitute a rotation.

Finally, your “beware the man with one gun” quote is from Clint Smith who also said you should be able to pick up any gun and run it. Glock, 1911, AR, AK, doesn’t matter. So having a rotation can be good for developing that ability.


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Old June 29, 2020, 02:26 AM   #3
JohnKSa
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Developing unconscious competence with one's chosen defensive weapon doesn't conflict with having conscious competence with a variety of different firearms.

In one case, the goal is to be able to use a firearm reflexively. To deploy it rapidly and skillfully without having to think about any of the details of how the gun works. In the other, it's merely being able to remember how various platforms work so that one doesn't have to experiment with the firearm, or examine it closely to determine where the safety is, which direction it should be moved to fire or safe the gun, etc.

I have a few carry guns, but I don't rotate them, I choose them based on what I can carry given the circumstances. In some cases, I can't conceal a full-sized firearm, so I have another smaller firearm that points the same for me and has the same manual of arms but that is easier to conceal. If my mode of dress is constrained even further, I have an even smaller handgun that points the same as my other two carry guns that I can conceal no matter what I'm wearing.

I don't see a problem with having multiple carry guns as long as they all point the same and operate very similarly. For example, I wouldn't want two carry guns, one of which was up for safe and the other one which was down for safe. I wouldn't want to have to consciously adjust to get a gun on target during the draw--I want it to come up with the sights already aligned on what I'm looking at.

If I ever need to use my carry gun, I want the actual manipulation of the firearm to happen without my having to think about it or adjust/compensate. I think that there will be other things going on to fully occupy my attention and to keep my decision making capability very busy.

Those are the things that are important to me.

I do think it's important to be able to run a variety of firearms, and if there were circumstances where I needed to employ another firearm that handled/operated/pointed differently than my carry gun, I would be somewhat handicapped if it differed significantly from my carry gun. Although I can run any common firearm competently, I don't expect to have the same level of reflexive skill with it. I just don't have the time and capability to develop unconscious competence with a variety of firearms that operate and point differently. Maybe some people do and that's great for them if they do.
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Old June 29, 2020, 04:22 AM   #4
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I own several guns and shoot them all but the one I shoot constantly and consistently on a weekly basis is always the one I carry which breeds familiarity. I've carried a 1911 for years the same one even though I own 4 I never rotated. Just me, no scientific reason or whatever. Now recently I got the urge to carry a 686 with 3" barrel and by recently I mean 3 years ago, again no reason other than I wanted to carry a revolver in .357 magnum.
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Old June 29, 2020, 11:04 AM   #5
reteach
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idek - I'm with you on the basic question. It does seem, from what we read here, anyway, that some folks change out their carry gun fairly often. I, too, have more than one edc plus a couple more I could use if something prevented me from using a primary. But one thing I have done in accumulating my handguns is to keep to some basic similarities among them. Anything I carry is going to be set up so that all I have to do is draw, present and press the trigger. My primary edc is a double action revolver. The other gun that I sometimes carry is a striker-fired semi-auto. And for the rare times I need something really small I have a double/single semi-auto. I do like to stick with the one revolver, though.

Like ms6852, I shoot several different guns for the pleasure of it. But I carry the one most often because it's the one I'm most familiar with.

FULL DISCLOSURE - I do like single action revolvers and I do like my Single Seven Birdshead and I do keep from time to time try to figure out a way to carry that one comfortably, but then I keep reminding myself that it's different than the others I carry. Will I remember to thumb that hammer back if I ever need to? So I put the Birdshead back in the safe until range day.

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Old June 29, 2020, 11:25 AM   #6
idek
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I see the points that you all are making...

I suppose it comes down to trigger time too. A shooter who shoots thousands of rounds with many handguns will be better served with any of them than the person who shoots one box of ammo per year from one gun.
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Old June 30, 2020, 07:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Clint Smith who also said you should be able to pick up any gun and run it.
I wonder if he meant HE would be able to pick up any gun and run it.

I remember a firearms instructor of vast experience who, before he would shoot a students handgun, would ask the student how it worked. Probably did it to be a learning experience for the student but whenever he was pressed on the point he would shrug and say "I can't know everything." I thought it was an excellent example for us students.
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Old June 30, 2020, 08:32 AM   #8
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I don't do carry rotations.

I find them to be somewhat of a hindrance given the training I have. It's best to stick to a platform. That said, I do revisit my carry option once a year and only move if something offers significant benefits over my current EDC.
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Old June 30, 2020, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
I understand that people may have a particular gun that they favor for most purposes, but certain settings/clothing may require something smaller.
I'm one of those. Some folks here would criticize the fact that the mechanisms of my two carry guns - a Glock 26 for IWB and a Sig P238 for pocket carry - are so dissimilar, but I have shot them both enough to be very familiar with them.

Quote:
Can someone explain why a person would benefit from more than two different carry weapons?
I think the most honest answer to that is that pistols are a hobby, and folks like to take their hobby with them. For some, there is a certain amount of either self justification or spouse justification. Two, or maybe three to account for the heavy clothing of cold climates, are enough for functionality. The rest, whether they are carried or not, are for enjoyment. Nothing wrong with that - I have a few more in the safe, myself.
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Old June 30, 2020, 03:23 PM   #10
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I prefer to stick to one platform; that is not to say the models might be different: ex, Glock 17, 19 and 26; mags interchange, all control and basis are identical. What I do not agree with are the folks who sometimes carry a Glock, then a Jframe revolvers, other times a 1911 and then maybe a CZ - all different. In a stress moment, the last thing you need to be doing is trying to remember which gun you have and how to get it into action quickly.
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Old June 30, 2020, 05:36 PM   #11
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In my non-expert opinion, rotation is fine, if the handguns shoot / operate similarly. By that I mean you don't want to carry something that doesn't have a safety, then switch to a handgun with a safety. You may forget to disengage the safety, costing you precious seconds. You may not forget, but knowing me, I might. Depending on the weather and how I dress, I switch between a S&W J frame revolver and a Kel-Tec P32 auto. Neither have a safety, just point and press the trigger. I lean towards the Kel-Tec 8 rounds over the S&W 5 rounds.
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Old June 30, 2020, 07:16 PM   #12
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Generally speaking, carrying several different kinds of primary guns which have varying nuances.. ie ( striker fired, hammer fired, safety, no safety, DA, SA, ambi controls, no ambi controls) seems like silly business if you are the least bit serious about self defense. Mixing multiple guns of varying types, styles and controls along with high stress vs muscle memory vs happenstance vs trained habit action- is simply creating a toxic crap shoot( IMO).

I dont consider the carrying of numerous rotating weapons to be a benefit at all but perhaps if you own them you have a wider knowledge of varying weapons which may benefit you in a circumstance where you are forced to use an unfamiliar weapon from a disarmed badguy or downed good guy. That is really a stretch but its a possibility.


I consider the whole idea of rotating carry weapons to be a hobbyist mentality or someone who see's guns are more of a bauble or accessory rather than a weapon. That may not be the case but that is what I tend to think.

I carry 2 guns, one in the summer and one in the winter. They are simply tools that I would prefer to never carry and never train with. I dont like them, do not enjoy them and do not consider them fun or entertaining. I come to these forums to talk about efforts to mitigate danger, crime and not to talk necessarily about guns. I realize that there are many hobbyists here and my comments are not intended to disparage them. I simply see no realistic worth in carrying half a dozen different guns and rotating them every other monday, sunday or during the new moon.
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Old June 30, 2020, 09:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
I consider the whole idea of rotating carry weapons to be a hobbyist mentality or someone who see's guns are more of a bauble or accessory rather than a weapon. That may not be the case but that is what I tend to think.
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Old July 1, 2020, 12:50 AM   #14
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I say learn and experiment with many pistol platforms. Then stick to a single style platform approach.

If you work in the security and LE field, bring it to the next level. For example: carry both a Glock 19 IWB and a Glock 26 in an ankle holster as back up (carry spare mags for the larger pistol that can be used on the smaller back up gun).

Whatever you choose to carry, do it in pairs ; securing interchangeable reloading formats

-SW 65 3” and a Kimber K6s
-Sig Sauer P365XL and P365
-CZ P-01 and CZ RAMI

For the rest of us, carry the larger pistol during the cold months and the smaller one in the warmer months.

Either way, rotations should stay within the same platform (all revolvers, all striker pistols, all 1911, etc).

Those who have the fortune to build a diverse gun collection usually stick to the same preferred platform, after experimenting, mixing and matching platforms. That is how you develop confidence, muscle memory and true effortless proficiency in self defense preparation.

Just my humble opinion.


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Old July 1, 2020, 06:38 PM   #15
TunnelRat
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Carry rotations--how many is too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireForged View Post
I carry 2 guns, one in the summer and one in the winter. They are simply tools that I would prefer to never carry and never train with. I dont like them, do not enjoy them and do not consider them fun or entertaining. I come to these forums to talk about efforts to mitigate danger, crime and not to talk necessarily about guns. I realize that there are many hobbyists here and my comments are not intended to disparage them. I simply see no realistic worth in carrying half a dozen different guns and rotating them every other monday, sunday or during the new moon.
While I agree with the beginning of the post (I personally “rotate” one, maybe two pistols) this section, to me, seems to take a concept to an extreme. I can understand not developing an attachment to a particular firearm. I can also understand appreciating the somber reality of use of force. But the pistols I carry are pistols I’m willing to carry and willing if not eager to train with (primarily because I like learning and improving my skills). The above quote makes it seem like that is not the case for you. A carry pistol you are adverse to carrying and adverse to training with seems a bad carry pistol. This could be a misunderstanding on my part as your use of “prefer not” is perhaps meant to convey a sense of duty or obligation as opposed to a lack of willingness.

I think a person can enjoy shooting and firearms and still have a defensive mindset. I took a course a few weeks ago from a special forces medic (18D) on Trauma Management. We as a class still laughed at times, we still had some fun, despite some very serious subject material. The whole experience wasn’t a personal chore.

Now if the point is that a focus on defense should supersede entertainment, I get that. I just don’t think it always has to be mutually exclusive.


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Old July 1, 2020, 07:58 PM   #16
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I can shoot and have experience with a WIDE variety of firearms. I think having a wide skill set is good for a variety of reasons. I also shoot for fun so that in of itself lends to me shooting a diverse group.

All that said I have settled on a particular platform and manual and of arms and that IS my defensive gun of choice. For me personally it is HK DA/SA, specifically a P2000. My carry gun P2000, my house gun P2000 with a light. My there is no 9mm gun P2000 in .40. My big bore HK45C.....P2000 in 45 so to speak. Backup P30 or p2000sk. I like the paddle mag release and that Is what I train on. I like DA/SA, that is what I shoot the most and am most comfortable with. I like the decocker placement etc. etc. etc.

Point is although I might RARELY find a need for a J frame or even more RARELY a thin Walther PPS (which still has a paddle mag release) but 9.5 out of 10 times my defensive gun is a P2000. I shoot a ton for fun but the P2K is second nature to me.

I got a bit of a chuckle when all the unpleasantness descended upon us and every gun forum was talking about how they have changed to X or Y gun due to a new reality. I just chuckled and soldiered on with my normal everyday gun. Carry, HD, SHTF, mutant ninja grizzly bears.....it’s all the same for me.

Ok I might change up for the bears.
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Old July 3, 2020, 04:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
The above quote makes it seem like that is not the case for you. A carry pistol you are adverse to carrying and adverse to training with seems a bad carry pistol. This could be a misunderstanding on my part as your use of “prefer not” is perhaps meant to convey a sense of duty or obligation as opposed to a lack of willingness.
I am simply saying that I am no fan-boi. I have trained plenty and continue to train because ( in my opinion) it is simply the responsible and prudent thing to do if I plan to carry a firearm. I have carried a gun for decades but it doesn't mean that I have some sort of affinity with firearms, I don't. There are plenty of things that I would prefer not to do but as with all things, its not always about what you [want] but rather what is deemed necessary to achieve a specific goal.

I shared my thoughts about carrying numerous guns in some sort of "rotation" but people can do what they want.
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Old July 3, 2020, 05:43 PM   #18
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If I had one single polymer frame, striker fired, light trigger pull pistol that would be one too many for me. Now if you were to add a safety blade trigger to the package, I'd be afraid to even look at it, let alone pick it up.

I'm NOT even knocking what anyone else carries. I'm keeping this real specific, as in what I DO NOT CARRY. Simply because I'm not trained in handling that configuration. It would NOT BE SAFE for me to even attempt to carry a firearm like a Glock.

I'm comfortable (and trained) to safely carry hammer fired semi-autos, some single action and some DA/SA. I'm comfortable with using manual safeties and decockers. Completely accustomed to condition 1 cocked and locked of a 1911 with working grip and thumb safeties. Not everyone is.

I also like revolvers with a long and deliberate double action trigger pull. The double action trigger pull of a revolver is a skill that not everyone has mastered.

I guess the point that I'm scratching to make here is that a man has to know his limitations.
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Old July 3, 2020, 06:34 PM   #19
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I shoot different guns at the range, but shoot more rounds out of my carry gun. I have switched carry guns 3 times over the past 12-15 years, but have never really gone back. I went from a Glock 26 to a Kahr PM9 due to size. I went from the Kahr PM9 to a Glock 43 due to the trigger and internal rust issues. I went from the Glock 43 to a Springfield Hellcat due to added capacity. I shoot the Hellcat at the practical range even though it is harder to control and has a shorter sight radius. Shoot what you carry and carry what you shoot.

I have used my 1911 at the practical range as well as my Sig P320 X5 without any issues. I have been shooting for over 25 years and own a variety of guns. I love the nice single action trigger on a 1911, but I prefer the small package, light weight, and mag capacity of the Hellcat. Rust resistance is also a huge factor in South Florida.
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Old July 3, 2020, 06:44 PM   #20
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Muscle memory is a thing
No matter your skill level, rotating choices will ALWAYS hinder your performance
A shooter will NEVER be as proficient with different options as they would be with one
It's not even debatable
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Old July 3, 2020, 10:42 PM   #21
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I don't really have carry rotations, as such. My primary carry gun is Colt Lightweight Commander in a Milt Sparks strong side, IWB holster, but sometimes due to clothing choice, weather, etc. I will carry a variety of other weapons. I feel most confident with the lightweight Commander, but will pare down to a Smith and Wesson Shield when I don't want to carry as much weight, etc. and I know I can shoot the shield just fine, however, I do believe I am giving up a little, with that choice vs the .45 Commander. Sometimes I carry even smaller guns, but compromises sometimes need to be made.

One should be competent with a variety of weapons, but also do not lie to yourself and think that you are as well armed with a smaller gun, because you are not; its a judgement call, based on what is going on in your life on any given day.
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Old July 8, 2020, 03:45 AM   #22
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I prefer all of my handguns to have a similar manual-of-arms:
No manual safety, no levers to engage or disengage before firing, no magazine disconnect safety to disable my handgun, just a simple "draw, point, shoot" handgun.
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Old July 8, 2020, 09:22 AM   #23
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I own a few handguns but only will carry two.
My normal carry is a Sig 938 it's easy to carry & conceal.
My other carry gun is for when I'm in the woods or bow hunting it's a Glock 23 gen 4.
It's a short range heavy hitter just in case, I don't hunt with it.
I normally carry it open or lay my coat over it if I go into any place.
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Old July 8, 2020, 12:14 PM   #24
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Here in California, the issue is half-settled by law (or regulation, whatever) because you can only have three weapons listed on your carry permit.

I have three weapons on my permit. One (Kahr CW9) I carry most of the time because I'm in a warm climate and concealability factors in with light clothing. My second gun (Smith 686+) is burly and can only be carried in the coolest months when I can layer up. It is my preferred carry piece as I am a revolver guy. My third gun - a Glock 29 10mm - I rarely carry. I use it mostly for road trips (rare).

As for "rotation," I don't really have one. I do shoot a lot and I am adept with any gun I own and don't really consider how "used to" I am with whatever gun I'm carrying.
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Old July 8, 2020, 01:20 PM   #25
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I may carry either a Glock 23/22/35 - all work the same way.
Would not occasionally carry a 1911 then Glock; its either Glock or 1911.
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