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Old July 26, 2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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Self Defensive Handgun Rotation

Youse guys ever rotate your every day carry (edc) handguns? I rotate between a Colt snubby, a Sig 229/40 S&W and a S&W 686. Just what I can put my hands on first, usually, or if I have family with me.

What criteria do you use if any?
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Old July 26, 2013, 12:14 AM   #2
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I carry one of two guns based on the level of concealment required fpr the occasion.

Both guns have very similar operation and controls so that I don't have to put a lot of thought into which gun I'm carrying if I actually need to use it.
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Old July 26, 2013, 12:53 AM   #3
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I have 2 guns that share carry time, and often depends on my dress, my intended destination(s), and what I feel like carrying. I have winnowed all of my carry guns to SA/DA guns, keeping the trigger pulls/operations similar.
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Old July 26, 2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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if you rotate all three randomly, then skip the semi auto. Not good idea that if youve been toting a revolver everyday for a month then swap out to a semi auto, things can get odd fast if you need it. Have read sooooome wonderful articles in the gunmagazines about that. Very commone for the professionals to forget the safety on that 1911 if theyd been carrying a jframe for a good time before..
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Old July 26, 2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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My rotation is mostly down to two guns. Both semi autos and both with essentially the same set up.

In the winter, I do throw a 1911 into the mix which adds the element of adding a safety while my primary carry guns do not.
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Old July 26, 2013, 06:59 AM   #6
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Chaperall Cat,

Interesting observation that a professional might forget the location of the 1911 safety. Depending on what I feel like and how many clothes I am wearing, I might carry almost anything if I have a sudden need to go to town. It's hard for me to imagine as many years as I have used a 1911 that I might forget where the safety is because I carried a double action revolver the day before.

No doubt if I pursued a high risk profession I would make an effort to reduce the variety of handguns I carry.

I definitely classify myself as an amateur and a hobbyist with more to learn than I know, but that doesn't mean that I haven't invested a good part of my life in shooting single action revolvers, double action revolvers, and the 1911.
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Old July 26, 2013, 07:40 AM   #7
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No I don't rotate my carry handgun, I highly recommend against it.

Self defense like combat, by its nature is a panic situation. You're scared, stressed, and cant thing straight. The only thing you have going for you is your training, training that develops muscle memory, or habits that allows you to act without thinking, because face it, you're not going to be able to think.

The last thing you want, is to wonder, "what gun am I carrying today", "where is the safety, is there a safety, do I have cock it or jus pull the trigger".

Go watch some matches and watch the shooters. You'll see people drawing presenting the weapon on the target, jerk a bit, then hunt for the safety. Or something else.

I shoot a lot and I screw up quite a bit. Often at our club you can go through the course twice using a different gun.

Lets say I go through the first course with a 1911, and the second course with my Beretta 92FS. On the 1911 my thumb rest on the safety, as I present my pistol get on the target, my thumb pushes down on the safety as my finger goes to the trigger.

Then I shoot my Beretta, I put my thumb on the safety and as I present my gun I push down on the safety as my finger goes to the trigger....EXCEPT...the safety on the Beretta needs to be pushed up.

I know this, I think about it before I get called to the line, but when the timer buzzard goes off, it all goes out the window, my muscle memory takes over and I try to push the safety on the Beretta down.

I lose a second or two because this is competition.

On my carry gun, I don't have to worry about it, it comes out and I pull the trigger, no thinking, no wondering if the safety goes up or down. No thinking at all.

I carry the same gun the same place, the same way, every time.
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Old July 26, 2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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My carry battery consists of three guns. A Kahr E9 for general carry, a .32 Guardian for pocket carry, and a NAA Pug when I can't carry anything bigger. The two primary ccws are DAO and are functionally identical, point and pull trigger. The Pug involves more operator input, but there are very few guns that are so easy to conceal, so I put up with the loss of speed due to operating the hammer every shot.
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Old July 26, 2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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Very commone for the professionals to forget the safety on that 1911 if theyd been carrying a jframe for a good time before..
"Very common"?


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Old July 26, 2013, 09:30 AM   #10
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I carry a Glock 36 as my EDC, but if I am running or on my bicycle I switch to my S&W 642. Rotating just for the sake of rotating is not in your best interest.
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Old July 26, 2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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I have a pretty low risk lifestyle, so I don't have issues with a rotation... I do understand the "1 gun thing" but also feel if I'm handling 4-5 different guns, it helps keep me mentally sharp, & I do tailor to my activity level, temp or weather, rick level, etc.... I do try to standardize a few things with the couple semi's I carry less frequently... I always carry on an empty chamber, & never use a safety... that way, it doesn't matter if I'm carrying my Taurus 380, or my junky 1911 in 9 mm, or my CZ style double stack 10 mm, the muscle memory is the same, rack & go... the revolvers... they are always ready to go... I do mix up the singles & doubles, which I could see being an issue under duress... but I'm a pretty calm, & level headed person with a pretty low risk lifestyle, so I feel that "I'm" ok doing that YMMV
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Old July 26, 2013, 11:08 AM   #12
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It's hard for me to imagine as many years as I have used a 1911 that I might forget where the safety is because I carried a double action revolver the day before.
It's not a matter of truly forgetting where the safety is. It's a matter of having built a physical habit for how you manipulate the gun, a skill that you have engrained to the point of automaticity. With a defense gun, you should help those programs run as efficiently as possible since your life might depend on them working right the first time.

Here's an example of what I mean. The first time you put a teenager in the driver's seat of a car, he has to learn where all the levers and knobs and buttons are. He looks down at the brake and gas pedal, asks which one is which. He carefully studies the P, R, N, D, L2, L1 marks as he slowly puts the car into gear. When that new driver needs to stop the car, he has to consciously think which pedal to press -- and sometimes he gets it wrong. (Don't ask me how I know this. After teaching five teenagers to drive, trust me, I know this!)

A few years later, that same guy walks out to his car, slides into the driver's seat, pops the car into reverse, and backs out of the driveway while thinking about last night's hot date. If another car moves in front of his on his way to work, he steps on the brake smoothly, reducing his speed by just the right amount -- and he's probably still thinking about that hot date. The mechanics of driving the car take very little of his conscious thought, or none at all. That's a motor program trained to the point of automaticity.

One week, this guy's own car goes into the shop, and he gets a rental car to replace it. In his own car, the gear shift is on the steering column. When he gets into the rental car, he notes that the gear shift is between the seats. No big deal -- he knows perfectly well where that gear shift is, once he's looked at it. He's not going to consciously forget it.

The next morning, though, he walks out of his house, pops open the door to the rental car, and slides into the driver's seat. He's still thinking about that hot date as he puts the key into the ignition, glances behind him, and -- turns on the windshield wipers.

Why'd he do that? His conscious mind knew perfectly well where the gear shift was, that it was between the seats. But his hands had a motor program they'd trained to automaticity, and his hands went to flick the gear shift on the steering column.

That is why changing from one gun to another can be a problem. When you carry a gun, you're counting on your ability to get the gun into gear in time to save your own life. And you know that your conscious mind will be thinking about the criminal problem, not about the mechanics of running the gun.

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Old July 26, 2013, 11:10 AM   #13
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I do not intentionally rotate carry pistols.
My primary is a Kahr K9. When my GF has it, I carry a Walther P99.
My GF carries the Kahr K9. For HD, it is the Kahr or an XDm.
When there is extra money, the DA/SA P99 will be retired and replaced with a pistol with a DAO or like trigger (Glock or another Khar).

Last edited by pilpens; July 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM.
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Old July 26, 2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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I strongly agree on always carrying one gun, or at least type of gun. Sitting at your desk posting on a web site, you might be absolutely certain that you would never, ever, ever, become confused about which gun you are carrying or how the safety works. Will you be so calm, cool, and collected if you need that gun? (Answer: If you say yes, you are in serious self-delusion mode.)

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Old July 26, 2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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When I first got my CHL, I carried a Ruger LCP .380

Then I started carrying S&W J frames and K frame 38's OWB, with LCP in my back pocket.

Then switched to a Ruger LC9 9mm in a Crossbreed MiniTuk.

Now I carry a Kimber Ultra 45. in a Galco king tuk.
I guess I'll stick with the Kimber.
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Old July 26, 2013, 02:55 PM   #16
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I have four guns now that I carry, depending on the time of year and where I am ..

I pocket carry an NAA Pug in .22Mag if I'm at home during the day ... no tugging on my shorts and it meets the criteria of "have a gun." If it's warm and I'm going into town, the mall, etc., I pocket carry a Kahr PM9. It's the gun I carry most and, backed up with a spare mag, I feel well-protected. When it cools off and I can wear a cover garment and belt carry, it's either the Kahr, my new Springfield XDs .45 (when it finishes its test period) or a Kimber UCII ... A j-frame used to be part of that rotation, but it just took too much time practicing so I could actually hit something, so I sold it.

I do agree that using fewer guns is a good idea; the Kimber is generally along only if we go into Austin and I feel the need for that particular gun ... As I said, the Kahr is pretty much my EDC when I'm away from home. Been carrying it since I got my plastic 9 years ago and we've become good buds ...
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Old July 26, 2013, 03:37 PM   #17
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While I/we may own many different guns, of various calibers and platforms, my EDC remains the same gun (99.9999999% of the time), or the same platform for obvious reasons stated above by a few individuals. It is also the same weapon I do my most training with for the same reasons. Reactive, not stop and think about it. And also, not just go to the range once a month and drop 50 rounds.
My nightstand gun is a full size 1911, which is the same platform as my EDC.
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Old July 26, 2013, 03:54 PM   #18
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Practice enough and that concept of "Oh I forgot which gun is in my hand" goes out the window. Revolvers feel about as similar to 1911s as bicycles do to surfboards. To me at least.

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Old July 26, 2013, 05:10 PM   #19
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Never, highly against it. I was gonna pretty much say something then read Kraigwy beat me to it in post #7. I feel it's spot on.
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Old July 26, 2013, 07:40 PM   #20
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I don't rotate EDC... ever. And the reason is extremely simple: I am a real handgun enthusiast and handguns are a visceral experience for me. I love 'em and have a blast chasing down the guns I really enjoy.

It seems to me that the ones that are best suited to personal defense carry... are guns I don't otherwise enjoy. Or, at least enjoy nearly as much, and not at all in the same way.

So I have a fine defensive gun and EVERYTHING else I chase, buy, love, shoot and enjoy and dote upon are fun guns that I love.

So I keep my Glock for carry and I practice with it, but I have no desire to chase down any other tupperware because I don't like 'em. Soulless, passionless tools that might just as well be in blister packs hanging from a pegboard in a hardware store.

And on the flipside is just more to back up my game plan-- the guns I truly love and enjoy the most will get regular use from shooting and cleaning, but I am not comfortable with banging them in to door frames, sweating on them, filling them with lint and filth and putting them through the finish-wearing rigors of daily concealed carry.

I don't ask or expect others to agree, but it does work for me. Same Glock 29 at my side right now... as it was in October, 2008.
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Old July 26, 2013, 08:00 PM   #21
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Self Defensive Handgun Rotation

kraigwy and pax nailed it.

When it's the real thing, your brain will be processing a lot of information in a very compressed window. You'll probably experience tunnel vision, narrow mental focus (albeit with an odd clarity), and rationalizing that something VERY BAD is happening. In that moment, you want something so natural it's instinctive.

That intimate understanding will be best prepared by training, practice, and familiar equipment.

At this point, I'm becoming more convinced that no thumb safety or a BIG thumb safety (1911 or similar) is best. I can't see having to present a firearm and dropping the safety on a Shield with someone in my face, for example.
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Old July 26, 2013, 08:21 PM   #22
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if you rotate all three randomly, then skip the semi auto. Not good idea that if youve been toting a revolver everyday for a month then swap out to a semi auto
The Sig is a DA/SA pistol, even if he is used to dealing with revolvers drawing and firing the Sig would be no different. No safeties to worry about, and first trigger pull DA.
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Old July 26, 2013, 08:37 PM   #23
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Pax's comparison to a car is a valid one. I have driven quite a bit in England, and usually have no problem with the floor shift on my left and driving on the left side. But I once pulled out of a service station and onto the wrong side of the road! An articulated lorry (that is a semi to you) loaded with steel from Birmingham just missed me. I had thought I had English driving down pat; I almost learned the hard way that I didn't.

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Old July 26, 2013, 09:29 PM   #24
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Self Defensive Handgun Rotation

I carry two guns, a 1911 and a S&W M&P 9c. The way I draw and press to the target I naturally roll my thumb down pressing the safety off in the 1911. On the S&W no safety is there so my thumb just goes past.

I have a J-frame I keep in the house for the wife but I do hate this and want to replace it with a M&P9 or 9pro. I hate it because its a snub nose DA revolver and the manual of arms isn't like anything else I shoot.

I subscribe to not rotating. I don't rotate. I carry the M&P nearly all year and the 1911 in the winter. To me that's not rotation. Rotation is constant change.

At 6'0" and 140 lbs I can make my 9c workable anywhere.
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Old July 26, 2013, 09:44 PM   #25
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I have a nice N frame snubby and a nice 1911 that I want to carry but just keep taking the Glock.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
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