Using one handgun for a year... This is not "A you can only have one handgun thread"


Brian Williams
January 25, 2010, 03:43 PM
I have a few handguns and I am interested in becoming much more proficient in handgun shooting and I am going to spend the year with one gun. It will probably be a Glock 19 but maybe a S&W 13 with a 3" barrel.

Given this opportunity what one gun would you use from your collection and why?

This is not you can only have one handgun thread

I reload both 9mm and 357/38
both are readily concealed.
I am accurate with either one.

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January 25, 2010, 03:47 PM
Glock 23

January 25, 2010, 03:47 PM
The Model 13.

If I were to spend a whole year with a gun, I sure as hell wouldn't want it to be a Glock.

Besides, if you can shoot a DA revolver well, you can shoot anything well. Holding the gun steady while squeezing a DA trigger is a highly-transferable skill -- including if you want to be able to shoot a crappy gun with a crappy trigger.

That said, I'm confused about why you would do this, or what there would be to gain from it.

January 25, 2010, 03:47 PM
Ruger GP100 SS 4"........because I just got in to reloading and I trust it to be able to handle any mistakes I may make. Easy to keep the brass too.

January 25, 2010, 03:48 PM
Learning to run your 19 well is a far more valuable skill in the modern world.

David E
January 25, 2010, 06:52 PM
It's easy to understand the reasons for doing this: to get as good as you can with THAT gun and/or gun type.

The gun I'd choose from my meager collection would depend on what I wanted to do that year. THIS year, it is shooting a 1911 Single Stack. I will shoot the Single Stack Nationals, as well as the IDPA Nationals (if they're held in Tulsa)

There may be some other guns I use for this or that match for reasons I won't go into, but they'll all be 1911 style.

January 25, 2010, 07:14 PM
My Steyr M9 9mm or any of my XD's... XDm 9mm realistically for price, but i would rather shoot my XD-45 all the time.


January 25, 2010, 07:24 PM
Learn the Model 13. Use it DAO. At the end of the year you'll be able to shoot it and the Glock much better than you did before because that "old fashioned" revolver will force you to concentrate on the fundamentals of shooting.


January 25, 2010, 07:48 PM
My 1911. I use it to shoot bullseye, so I practice with it more than anything else anyway.

Peter M. Eick
January 25, 2010, 07:50 PM
I would pick on of my early 1930's Heavy Duty's with service grips. I would want to really hone my skill with a nice revolver vs a gun I feel I have mastered. I have yet to really master the service grips from the early 30's.

January 25, 2010, 08:47 PM
Walther P5. It's already my favorite range gun by a hundred miles or so, and I also use it from time to time for daily carry. Easy choice.

January 25, 2010, 09:26 PM
I only have two and I favor my BDA more but with the ammo situation shooting it exclusively would be tough, but that would be my choice because it’s my carry gun.

January 25, 2010, 09:31 PM
Glock 26 my everyday carry , shoot what you know ....

January 25, 2010, 09:33 PM
I would say the Glock 19. You say neither have a concealment issue. You're accurate with both (I assume that means at full-speed). You reload in both calibers.

The only issue I can see left is capacity and reload speed. The G19 has it in spades over the revolver.

I choose the M&P 9 in my collection over the 1911 .45 and the SIG 229 .357 to carry mainly because of the speed at which I can shoot it, and the concealment advantage (weight and size).

Ala Dan
January 25, 2010, 09:35 PM
Probably my West German SIG-SAUER .45 ACP P220A~! ;) :D

January 25, 2010, 09:50 PM
my 1911

M2 Carbine
January 25, 2010, 09:51 PM
Given this opportunity what one gun would you use from your collection and why?
I wouldn't do that because it would get extremely boring but if for some reason I was limited to shooting only one handgun it would be one of my Kimbers.

January 26, 2010, 05:56 AM
The Model 13...hands down. Great little gun, and my all-time favorite carry revolver.
Be warned, though. It's not an exceptionally strong revolver, so keep the bulk of your shooting restricted to .38 Special or reduced .357 handloads...preferably with lead bullets. 158/LSWC and 6 grains of Unique is a favorite of mine. It lends a magnum flavor without beatin' up the gun, and it's an accurate load.

January 26, 2010, 07:12 AM
I think using one Handgun for a year is a good idea. When you constantly change, you don't really get good with each one. I shoot all my guns, but I practice with my CCW (Ruger KP90DC) every chance I get. A lot of practice with one gun makes you get to where you can shoot that gun better than the rest.

January 26, 2010, 07:23 AM
Brian, I did that exact thing. After several years shooting a 1911 exclusively in competition, I switched -- cold turkey -- and shot nothing but revolver (my 4" 629) for a full year. It was frustrating, as I'd never really shot revolvers before, but the learning curve sped up after a couple of months.

When that year was up and I went back to shooting automatics mostly, I was amazed at how much faster and more accurate I'd become. The long double-action pull does amazing things for your trigger control and finger strength. And you WILL follow that front sight!


January 26, 2010, 07:26 AM
Beware the man with only one gun, he probably knows how to use it.

Brian Williams
January 26, 2010, 09:23 AM
Learn the Model 13. Use it DAO
I already know a S&W 13 and have shot it quite often and dry fire it or another K frame almost daily.
I also dry fire the 19 about 2 or 3 times a week, limited ammo budget even with reloading.

January 26, 2010, 10:33 AM
I guess for me it would have to be my HK P7. It is small enough to conceal and very easy to shoot. I would need a better holster for it than I have now though. Something to carry it IWB.

If I had a 3" K Frame I would also go that route. All I have is a 4" model 15. I would be OK with 38 Special only.

January 26, 2010, 12:43 PM
When you constantly change, you don't really get good with each one.

I think you know exactly how good you are with a given gun, if you care to consider it. And focusing on practicing with that gun for the purposes of match shooting, defensive carry, hunting, or whatever will make you "really good" with it.

However, beyond that, it's one of those silly "truths" that having one gun makes you best at using it. The fact is, every serious athlete cross-trains. Shooting different guns increases your awareness of trigger pull, weight, balance, grip, etc. If one shoots only a single gun, all these things start to be lost to our perceptions after a time.

The trick with any skill or sport is to practice it enough to be very good, but mix things up enough to maintain that awareness. Before a match, shooting your match gun exclusively for a time makes sense. You will surely be much better with it that way. However, after more and more time, this improvement turns to stagnation, and cross-training can lead to a new burst of improvement.

Claude Clay
January 26, 2010, 12:59 PM
a year with one gun is 10 months wasted

seriously--once a week, 200 rounds for 8 weeks.
2 or 3 hours of dry fire practice between live shoots;
using a random timer and a couple of good carry rigs.

if you cannot achieve a real world level of competency in that time;
10 more months ain't gonna help.

if you are starting cold than paying for a couple of private lessons may be appropriate.
what you save in wasted ammo will cover the coaches cost.

January 26, 2010, 01:08 PM
if you cannot achieve a real world level of competency in that time;
10 more months ain't gonna help.

I got the impression he wanted to be "proficient," not just "real-world competent."

I suppose this is another one of those "what's 'proficient' and what's 'competent'" kind of questions.

(Maybe David E can make us up another poll? LOL!)

But to tell someone that they've become proficient with a weapon after only 8 weeks of shooting is laughable. Now, maybe Brian's current level of proficiency is good enough that 8 weeks will bring him to a pinnacle of mastery, but to tell him that he's wasting the other 10 months is a poor statement.

When someone tells me that they want to spend a year concentrating on one skill set, it communicates to me that they want to move towards mastery of it. A year is a pretty serious committment. "Real world competency" sounds an awful lot like what gun-writers like to call "combat accuracy," and most serious shooters call, well, embarassing.


Uncle Mike
January 26, 2010, 01:09 PM
Show particular attention to the platform you feel you need the most work with to become highly proficient with!

If the single action auto is your weaker spot, focus your attention on becoming proficient with that type of firearm...a DAO model, do the same, et cetera.

Practice with the platform in question while under different levels of stress such as darkness, uncomfortable physical situations, holster work and the like.

Get yourself a schematic of the particular firearm in question and learn about its design and mechanics...its operation and limitations, and so on.

January 26, 2010, 01:38 PM
The point I was trying to make is that positive focus on the skill one wants to develop is what counts, not negative focus, i.e. eliminating other, apparently contradictory, practice.

That's how cross-training fits into it.

Brian Williams
January 26, 2010, 08:39 PM
Proficiency might come in a few months, but mastery really takes years. I can shoot a S&W very well, I need to work on the draw and reload.
Cross-training works to build other muscles and capabilities.

January 26, 2010, 08:59 PM
My S&W 4516. IMO, it strikes a near-perfect balance between duty and CCW size, and it can handle +P loads and then some, putting it close to 10mm power territory. My defensive load for it is 240 gr. Sierra JHC's loaded to 1,060 FPS from the 4" tube.

January 27, 2010, 08:49 AM
this might have been a harder choice than it is. I would choose my Glock 23.
1. It goes bang every time.
2. It is a good balance of size, weigth and, firepower.
3. It has night sights which I consider a must for a carry gun.
4. I already have a lot of practice with it.

I am currently carrying a Kimber to get used to it and a holster that I bought for it. Right now I think that it needs a new recoil spring, something I have never had to worry about with my Glocks.

January 27, 2010, 11:13 AM
I plan on carrying only my S&W 3913 this year.

January 27, 2010, 11:20 AM
If I were to stick with one of my guns for a year it would have to be my Glock 19. It is my best all around gun. It has the best balance of ease of use, maintainance, concealment, and the durability to be a range gun. Also the ammo is nicely priced and easy to find.

January 27, 2010, 11:58 AM
Back in June of 09 I started carrying my G23 exclusively with the exception of three days (the three days I carried my G27). I also do 98% of my training (including classes) with my 23. I figured in a stressful situation things will happen so fast I want to be unconsciously competent when it comes to running my gun. While it would be possible to run a few different guns in a efficient manner, I just don't have enough time to train with them all to get to a point where I can say I am confident I can protect my family as well as I think should be able to.

So far I am MUCH more efficient running and shooting my G23 than I have ever been with any other gun I own or have owned. I still suck though, always room for improvement. ;)

January 27, 2010, 12:46 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I'm a revolver guy, love em, 586 6" is my favorite

That said the handgun I have shot the most is my Stoger Luger, 11+1, .22lr. ,autoloader. Even with the 4" barrel it is a fun straight shooter.

I have recently started using the CZ2075RAMI in 40s&w, smooth, handles great with the 8 round mags. and even better with the 12 round mags. The Tritium sights are.... well try some and you will know.
There is something about 9 in the weapon and 24 in the 2 extra mags that is appealing after carrying 5 or 6 rounds. Not to mention the almost complete new world a larger caliber semi-auto brings to my shooting experience.
I feel am proficent with revolvers, at this point, so if I would dedicate a full year to one gun it would be an autoloader.

The CZ2075RAMI in 40s&w

Ed Ames
January 27, 2010, 01:14 PM
I wouldn't do it.

When I shoot a single gun too much my senses seem to adjust until that gun is really loud and the recoil is stout. It doesn't matter what I'm shooting...happens with everything from .45 to a .22lr. In fact, I've even had it with spring pellet guns. Even a single shot with a different gun will reset the board, so to speak, and improves my shooting.

Maybe if I just kept going the effect would go away, and maybe the problem is unique to me, but if I had to shoot a single gun (and wasn't going to cheat with a .22lr converter) it would be a magnum revolver so that I could mix heavy, light, and standard loads.

January 27, 2010, 04:37 PM
I would use my S&W500.

reason being is I like this idea. I've used it from stupid stuff like video games to things like only using my mountain bike for 6 months and then switching back to my road bike and seeing how much faster I was. I want to become better with that gun so if I had to use only that gun for the next year I would get more practice with it and we all know what practice does for us. That's right, in the case of the 500 it makes us broke. HAHA.

January 27, 2010, 06:09 PM
I've spent a few hours (well, more than a few) with various revolvers.

For the next 3 months shooting time is being used only on the mossberg 500 of which there are currently two that I keep.

I've stocked ammo and have a place outdoors where I can shoot on the weekends.

I plan to get very re-familiar and accurate and shoot with various loads, from various postions, and at various distances.

I used to hunt a good deal but now not so much. So there is a need to get reaquainted
with the pump shotgun. So that I am as capable/confident with it as I am a revolver.

January 27, 2010, 09:37 PM
The Bersa .380

I shoot well, ammo does not weight as much as .45, can ride the bicycle with it by just tossing it on the jersey pocket.

Fits on a coat, under a shirt, with a tucked shirt, etc.

David E
January 27, 2010, 09:51 PM
(Maybe David E can make us up another poll? LOL!)

I've discovered that everyone online is an "expert," is already "proficient" and therefore has to need to improve their already stupendous skills or, for that matter, even test them.

It's become apparent that folks would much rather take enlightening quizzes asking "What handgun are you" instead.

January 27, 2010, 09:55 PM
I have two that I switch back and fourth between. A fullsize Kimber Crimson Carry and a Glock 19. I carry the G19 a lot due to me being able to carry it in my lower back with my IWB but when I get my IWB for the small of my back for my Kimber that will be the one I carry all the time.

January 27, 2010, 10:13 PM
Right now, I'd have to choose the XD45. I need to spend more time with it; draw and reloads, like BW said.

I once spent a year with a Blackhawk. That was a good year.:)

Mikhail Weiss
January 27, 2010, 10:44 PM
...I am interested in becoming much more proficient in handgun shooting and I am going to spend the year with one gun... Given this opportunity what one gun would you use from your collection and why?

I've been using a Glock 19, once a week, for the past two years because it's a lot cheaper to shoot those ~150rds per week than it would be to do the same with my .45. It's also smaller and lighter and holds more bullets, so it's the one I most often carry. That, in a nutshell, is about it: cheaper to shoot, slightly more packable.

I need to work on the draw and reload.

So do I. Right now, though, the draws are 90% okay. It's the reloads that remain inconsistent.

And to state the obvious, do much more drawing/reloading while dry firing at home than while live firing at the range.

And to state one more obvious thing, try drawing from beneath a variety of different cover garments. You'll discover that some don't sweep out of the way as easily as others.

January 27, 2010, 11:12 PM
Just as an aside/FYI/FWIW...

I shoot 1911s hard and heavy...many tens of thousands of rounds every year, but I've found that working with a double-action revolver helps me with trigger control. Whenever I go back to the SA trigger pull and release to reset are smoother and more consistent. Plus, I get stale with the 1911s after too much time with'em...bored even. After the revolver break, I'm fresh again.

And...If your work is done with carry/self-defense in mind...there's a lot to be said for a good revolver. I knew an elder gent who wouldn't touch anything except an old Smith Victory Model. Carried it every day for decades. Flat out one of the most wicked shooters I've ever seen in person. He could literally pick which eye he wanted to thread a bullet through at 20 paces, and put it there in the time it takes to blink.

January 27, 2010, 11:40 PM
I'm not a big fan of Glock's for personal reasons but I feel that the Glock 19 is a nice reliable weapon and if it suites you than go for it.

I'd look at the CZ 75 series namely the P-O1 or the new P-07.

January 28, 2010, 02:42 AM
I'd enjoy spending a year with any K-frame S&W. My current K is a Model-10 with tapered barrel and deep lustrous bluing, circa 1971. Trigger as slick as you like and feels sweet in the hand.

I do find that if I shoot a lot with DA revolvers, my overall marksmanship increases. And there's the pleasure of seeing nice tight groups as well as full caliber holes (which older eyes certainly appreciate) when using full wadcutters.

January 28, 2010, 05:56 AM
I sort of did this with a BHP clone shooting an IDPA match a month for over a year. The results were more than favorable. It's not 'formal instruction' but it sure as hell beat 'range time' alone.

January 28, 2010, 11:34 AM
I would chose a 2 inch snub-nose revolver.

Carry one for a year, exclusively, and you will really come to appreciate just what they are capable of doing.

January 28, 2010, 02:14 PM
Last couple of years, it was my M&P 40 fullsize. Just got a custom 2011 built, I suspect the next few years will be that.

January 28, 2010, 08:15 PM
M&p 40

January 29, 2010, 01:37 AM
I think a more useful exercise would be to spend a year shooting with your weak hand only. Six months of that year should be spent shooting with the weak hand unsupported. Get a holster for the weak side and learn to use it also. After a year, you should be able to shoot as well and as quickly with the weak hand as the strong hand.

Full Metal Jacket
January 29, 2010, 05:29 AM

January 29, 2010, 07:18 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // I take it back

I went to range, shot all the revolvers great, shot the CZ2075RAMI terrible, way low.

I would miss the revolvers too much to only shoot the RAMI for a year. Even though I REALLY need a year with the CZ or a lesson or two.

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