Caliber preference: Do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?


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breakingcontact
December 4, 2012, 03:59 PM
Whether it be for hunting, target shooting, defense...do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

Why?

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esheato
December 4, 2012, 04:01 PM
Have a bit of everyhing (22 to 45-70), but I have a sweet spot for 6/6.5mm in rifle. I find the 17s a bit ridiculous so 22LR is as low as I go.

In regards to pistol, my largest is .45 cal. I have no need for a 44, 454 or 460. Had a 380 on the low end and sold it...9mms are small enough these days that I can't really see the point unless it's in a platform you just can't live without.

Shotgun is 12 and 20 only. Wouldn't mind a 28/410, just haven't got around to replacing the ones I used to have (Beretta 4 bbl set).

Why? I dunno...those are the guns that appeal to me and are available when the cash is burning a hole in my pocket. Also, sometimes I find a sport, and need the right tool for the job (camo auto shotgun for waterfowl, o/u for clay games, 338 LM for long range, etc).

Skribs
December 4, 2012, 04:04 PM
Oh, a simpler version of the caliber war! It depends on what you're doing, but for self defense I generally prefer a smaller caliber. Yeah, it makes a smaller hole, but in the grand scheme of what you actually hit, a larger caliber rarely makes a difference. Penetration is more important, and that is usually determined more by bullet design than caliber (at least to get to the 12" minimum) in a decent SD cartridge. Smaller calibers tend to be lighter, in lighter/smaller platforms, and have higher capacity, while being cheaper and having less recoil. In terms of cost/benefit, they do a good job.

For target shooting, it would depend on the range for me. Close range something lighter so it's easier on me. Long range something heavy so it carries better. Either way, quality is more important than caliber.

If I were hunting I'd want something that hits hard on the first hit without completely pulverizing the animal (in other words, .50 BMG might be a bit much for squirrel). I don't need to spray 10 rounds like I would in self defense, I'd want to drop that animal right there so 1) it's more humane and 2) it's less work to follow it. That said, I don't hunt, because I'm too lazy to get my own meat when I can buy it from the grocery store that's literally a mile from my condo.

Sniper66
December 4, 2012, 04:09 PM
With age, shooters typically move to smaller calibers with less noise and less recoil. These days I rarely shoot my .243 at p-dogs and I am building a 22 Hornet to join my 17HMR as my primary p-dog guns. I prefer plinking with my two .22 semi-auto pistols vs a .45. When I shoot a .45 say 20-30 times, my wrist hurts for 2 days. Getting old stinks.

allaroundhunter
December 4, 2012, 04:15 PM
I like my .223, .243, and .308 more than my .270 WSM. Probably because they recoil less and don't have quite the muzzle blast.

I also like my .30-30 and .444 Marlin.....

For hunting I like the .308 and .444 because I like knowing that I am sending a more powerful round downrange, but for fun I like the 9mm, .22 LR, .223, and .308....

:confused: I don't know which I prefer :confused:

Kingcreek
December 4, 2012, 04:16 PM
I agree. As I get older I find more enjoyment in smaller calibers but I still have the bigger ones, just don't shoot them as much.

Skribs
December 4, 2012, 04:19 PM
Oh dear, I'm 24 and I moved down from .40 to 9. Am I getting old already?

gamestalker
December 4, 2012, 04:24 PM
I like a my big bores!
My side arm has always been a .357 mag. or a 44 mag. with H110 hand loaded JHP's.

My hunting weapons probably aren't so much big bores as they are high velocity cartridges, 7mm RM and .270 win are my primary hunter's and 12 ga. for bird hunting.

GS

breakingcontact
December 4, 2012, 04:26 PM
I'm older than I was...

That can be a factor that drives caliber preference.

I think what has been pushing me to smaller calibers is the reality of what I intend to use them for. For a long time I've been planning on getting an M1A. Why? Excellent barrier penetration, long range and I could hunt hogs and deer with it! Then I realized a 6.8 SPC would give me all of that to the degree I need.

One can get pretty far down into the SHTF fantasy land and justify a need for about every caliber. If you really step back from the interweb/prepped/SHTF obsessed crowd. You can better put into perspective what you are likely to need.

If I ever have the money to blow to go hunt elk of something big, I will also then have the money to buy a nice rifle in a suitable caliber. No sense in keeping some overkill gun for the fantasy hunt or zombie nightmare.

Unfortunately I can see the cost of ammo really start to force more people into shooting 22LR nearly exclusively.

preachnhunt
December 4, 2012, 04:59 PM
I like the BOOM of bigger calibers and don't mind the recoil,but the expense can be a bit much.

Old judge creek
December 4, 2012, 05:30 PM
I'm a fan of the Big Bores and have been for 35 years now.

d2wing
December 4, 2012, 05:52 PM
When I was younger bigger was better. The last few years I've gone smaller and smaller.
The last few years, I have bought several .22 lr guns, and this last year I bought 5 pellet guns. I can shoot them at home without range equipment.

Reloadron
December 4, 2012, 06:20 PM
Caliber preference: Do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

Yes!

Seriously it depends. I hunted quite a bit in a thick brush country part of West Virginia I liked the larger calibers like my 444 Marlin lever gun and my little .44 magnum Ruger carbine. When we were going to hunt more open areas I liked a Remington 760 or my Remington 7400 in 30-06. I sort of chose the rifle based on the terrain.

Not hunting as much as I once did I find myself enjoying .223 at the range with some .308 tossed in. Yeah, maybe the age thing. However, as to hand guns pretty much .44 Mag, .357 Mag, and a love of 1911 .45 ACP.

My sister's husband passed away last February and Mike was an avid shooter. Mostly high power matches shooting 30-06 and 300 Win Mag. When he developed cancer and slowed down he really got into .22 rimfire bench rest shooting. I have been thinking about that. I inherited thousands of rounds of .22 match ammunition. :) I am not getting any younger either.

Ron

ccsniper
December 4, 2012, 06:31 PM
Oh dear, I'm 24 and I moved down from .40 to 9. Am I getting old already?

Im 23 and used to love the .40, now I can't stand it. I think it has more to do with realizing the 9 is every bit equal to the .40 in the long run. I personally used to prefer big heavy slow bullets to fast little ones. Now, the exact opposite.

HDCamel
December 4, 2012, 06:41 PM
I like 'em all.

I carry a .45 ACP 1911, but that has much, much more to do with familiarity than with caliber preference.

Midwest
December 4, 2012, 06:41 PM
.22 for Target Shooting
Advantages: Inexpensive (that is the bottom line these days...and yes the 'age' factor too).

horsemen61
December 4, 2012, 06:47 PM
Well id say I am kinda in the middle my hunting rifle is a 30 06 and my shotgun is a 12 gauge I do own some rimfire stuff and my ccw pistol is a 357 snub so i guess id lean to the bigger stuff. Mainly because Ive found these calibers to do exactly what I ask of them.

k_dawg
December 4, 2012, 06:52 PM
I prefer calibers smaller than a 10 pounder.

Sock Puppet
December 4, 2012, 06:53 PM
Yes. I try not to discriminate. :)

12131
December 4, 2012, 06:53 PM
Caliber preference: Do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?
I like 9 and 45.
I also like 5.56 and 7.62 NATO.

Teachu2
December 4, 2012, 07:01 PM
In rifles, I like small calibers because I shoot more varmints than meat. I have a .308 for long distance range work, but my field rifles are .22-250, .223, .22LR, and .17HMR calibers.

Handguns, I prefer .45acp. As I shoot more often and more rounds, and SD ammo has improved, I've expanded to include 9mm. Last, and least, are the .22LR plinker pistols (cheap fun, great practice).

Shotguns - 12 when I gotta get it done, sometimes 20 when I'm just busting clays.

303tom
December 4, 2012, 08:46 PM
I am kind of a medium type guy, somewhere between .25 & .35............

mnrivrat
December 4, 2012, 08:50 PM
I guess I have turned into sort of a big bore fan . In handguns I prefer .44 or .45 caliber .

In Rifles I used the 30-06 for about everything including praire dogs. (medium bore)

breakingcontact
December 4, 2012, 09:28 PM
That's alright! That's your preference for your use.

I'm not a hunter. But from what I've read 6.8 SPC is plenty hard on deer and hogs. I definitely "get" why some prefer heavier slower bullets. Less factors for error to creep in (barrel length, twist).

From what I've read hunting is similar to self defense in terms of shot placement, bullet design being more important than caliber.

I suppose with hunting. Where you may shoot just a bit to get your rifle sighted in then just one or 2 shots at your game causes less concern about cost of ammo, recoil and other consideration. So perhaps for a hunting gun its good to go a bit over what's needed?

Overall...I'm a target shooter/IDPA shooter and concealed carry practitioner.

IDPA/concealed carry/home defense: 9mm is for me. (I flirt w the idea of getting a 380 to encourage carrying more but don't consider going up in caliber at all).

"Extreme situation" defense: 223/556 I get that 308 is the big dog. But about everything else the round brings with it is a drawback. I've read I could hunt some with 223/556 but it seems most consider it marginal for deer. Hence me looking at 6.8 uppers.

Home defense: 12 gauge (used to consider going down to a 20 gauge but the semi-auto has greatly reduced recoil) I suppose this would work for some hunting applications as well.

Range fun/small game: 22LR (probably my favorite round) 22mag is cool and so is .17 but I don't see me leaving 22LR!

I said all that to say this: I've put a lot of thought and consideration into the calibers I can realistically justify. I posted to see what kinds of thoughts you all have had in this pursuit and if its led you to larger or smaller calibers.

MutinousDoug
December 4, 2012, 09:46 PM
You know?
Regardless of caliber, I like the lower pressure cartridges to shoot: not interested in a .40S&W, 10mm or .38Super when I can still shoot a 1911 .45ACP.
I don't enjoy shooting a .357 as much anymore, so I shoot homemade .38 p+p at a load that I feel comfortable with at the club.
Sold my .41 Mag Ruger Blackhawk years ago and carry a Bearcub .22 for backup when I'm hiking/hunting/fishing. Plus a 3-4" fixed blade for cleaning the occasional fish.
I hunt with a .50 or .54 cal muzzle loader most of the time so that's a big caliber but low pressure report.

I've got tennitius; my ears ring all the time.
(Should be my avatar)

breakingcontact
December 4, 2012, 09:54 PM
We should definitely discuss eye/ear protection more. I double up and have been thankful to not have any noticeable hearing loss.

Ehtereon11B
December 4, 2012, 10:03 PM
I'm 24 and still love my 40 and 45. :D

Carry weapons are either .22Mag/.380/.327/9mm/40/45. Never any preference on "I don't wanna carry something large today" more like "I'm going to the gym and need something small" or "this shirt doesn't conceal well, time to take out the 9mm."

tomrkba
December 4, 2012, 10:06 PM
My favorite caliber of all time is 22 Long Rifle. But, for serious or specialized purposes, I want something bigger.

sappyg
December 4, 2012, 10:30 PM
As time has gone by I find that I prefer lighter and smaller calibers more. No sense in beating yourself up when you don't have to. Perhaps it is age creeping up on me.

Clipper
December 5, 2012, 12:07 AM
I tend towards smaller calibers, because I like the shortest, lightest gun I can get, so my favorite deer caliber is .257 Roberts, though I seem to have a bunch of 91-30s... But my latest M-N project is down to 6.5 lbs.

bannockburn
December 5, 2012, 12:32 AM
I will always be a big fan of the .22LR just because it's so much fun to shoot and it's still relatively inexpensive to do so. I have my fair share of smaller calibers as well as the big bore cartridges but lately I have been gravitating to .380 and 9mm. in my handguns. Primarily for CCW I just find myself attracted to the smaller sized guns like the Beretta Nano and SIG-938.

56hawk
December 5, 2012, 12:45 AM
I would have to say I prefer larger calibers, but only as it applies to power. My favorite guns to shoot are 460 Weatherby and 458 Lott in rifles, 500 S&W and 44 Magnum in handguns.

However I don't like them just because of their caliber. For example I don't like 45-70, 45 Colt, 45 ACP or 50GI because they are wimpy compared to other smaller caliber rounds.

SlowFuse
December 5, 2012, 10:02 AM
I'd say I go for the smaller side.

I along with others love the 22LR because its cheap enough to get plenty of practice with and easy on anyones shoulder.

When it comes to centerfire cartridges a 9mm is the top choice if we are talking pistol calibers. My hunting and target/plinking rifles are either going to be 223/5.56 or one of my 25-06's. It all depends on the task at hand.

I own larger calibers like 454 Casull, 338 RUM and 458 Win Mag. But, cost of operation plays a part in how much something gets brought out.

Bovice
December 5, 2012, 04:18 PM
I find myself going larger.

gripper
December 5, 2012, 05:36 PM
I am all over the map....I carry a. 40 G23 at work, while off duty. I may go 9x19,9x18 or 7.62x25 as the spirit moves me.

hardluk1
December 5, 2012, 05:48 PM
I love both. have .22lr's for fun and 44 and 357 mag for hunting and carry a 9mm

gspn
December 5, 2012, 05:55 PM
I like the BOOM of bigger calibers and don't mind the recoil,but the expense can be a bit much.
+1. I reload so it takes a lot of the sting out of the 44 mag and 41 mag shooting.

Corpral_Agarn
December 5, 2012, 06:08 PM
how 'bout just not large?
Really though I tend to like the medium/smaller cartridges.
My favorite handgun cartridge is .357 Sig (i know, i know :rolleyes:) but I shoot .40, 45acp and colt, 38SP, and .357 Mag. I just bought a 9mm for a carry gun and am looking forward to the cheaper ammo!
My favorite rifle cartridge to shoot is the .22 LR followed by the .223, then 30-30, then the .243, then the .308.
I am just not a fan of the hard recoiling rifles.
I figure if i can't kill it with a .308, it gets to live. :D
So I guess I like the Small and Medium calibers.

ridgerunner1965
December 5, 2012, 08:06 PM
i have lots of handguns but prefer the 45 both acp and long colt.cast bullets and a dab of shotgun powder. very easy to shoot. for rifles i prefer 6.5, 243 or 223.i have got a 22 mag but it costs more to shoot than my 223 reloads.

USAF_Vet
December 5, 2012, 08:29 PM
Auto loading Pistols: I like 9mm and .22lr. A lot of that has to due with getting more bangs for my bucks. An hours pay and I can shoot all day. 9mm for carry and defensive, .22lr for plinking, teaching and training. Had a .45 but couldn't afford to shoot it.

Revolvers: Don't own one. I'd love a S&W 686, it's on my dream list.

Shotguns: 12 gauge and 20 gauge. Had a .410, sold it, will likely get another as an inheritance, but not something I'd ever buy, unless I get the wife the Judge she wants. :rolleyes:

Rifles: I shoot .22lr, 5.56 NATO/ .223 Rem, and 7.62x54r only, at this point. I'm looking at a Savage bolt gun for my next rifle, and I'm looking hard at the 110 in .308. But I really don't want to stock another caliber, so it'll probably be another 5.56 chambering.

If I even get into black powder revolvers, I'd get something that starts with a 4.

Agsalaska
December 5, 2012, 09:14 PM
I am all over the map....I carry a. 40 G23 at work, while off duty. I may go 9x19,9x18 or 7.62x25 as the spirit moves me.
As the spirit moves me. I like that.

Agsalaska
December 5, 2012, 09:20 PM
I am not much of a shooter. Love guns and own a lot, but just dont shoot much. Other than to sight in my deer rifle, hunting, and the mandatory practice with my SD pistol, I dont shoot anything bigger than a 22lr. I guess I prefer smaller calibers. My deer rifle for this season is a 6.5x55 Swede. My current HD pistol is a 9mm. But the only guns I enjoy to shoot just to shoot are 22s. I am becoming more interested in 17s and other 22 caliber rounds. I would like a .222 and a 22-250. I have no desire to get a 338.

Warp
December 5, 2012, 09:28 PM
Smaller, I guess. Less expensive, faster follow up shots, greater capacity, still effective.

My primary calibers are 9x19 and 5.56x45

exbrit49
December 5, 2012, 09:41 PM
Over the years I have gradually progressed to the larger calibers. Like most I started off with.22 then the .38 spl the. Then the magnums and I really do enjoy the larger Calibers. Especially the 44 mag, .45 Colt and .45acp. Cost isn't a big factor as I reload for all my handguns.
As far as rifles, pretty much the same story. I love my old Marlin 30/30 and the Enfield .303. The 7.62x39 also gets a workout but they don't feel as good as the bigger bores.
I will sometimes grab one of my .22 rifles or handguns and enjoy an afternoon plinking with them but its not quite as satisfying as the big guys.
I just love to shoot. so whatever comes to hand gets used.
Overall, I guess the .357 Mags get the most use.

SaxonPig
December 5, 2012, 09:41 PM
"...do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?"

Yes...


http://www.fototime.com/52A6D986C20B9E0/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/181B78036B00273/standard.jpg


And everything in between....


http://www.fototime.com/7E92AFA788B2071/standard.jpg

Dr.Rob
December 5, 2012, 09:51 PM
Favorites? Hmmm. I go back and forth between large and small and medium.

.30 cal remains my go-to hunting cartridge. I have a few larger caliber rifles. I enjoy a good thump from a high powered rifle.

I have several 45's and 9mm, so I don't need a 40.

I shoot more 5.56mm/.223 than anything else at present.

Everyone should have a .22 or two or three. Least expensive way to enjoy a whole day shooting.

So.. no? No real preference up or down.

Phantom Captain
December 5, 2012, 09:56 PM
Actually the older I get the more a fan of the smaller calibers I become.

5.45x39mm because I absolutely LOVE my AK-74. Just an amazing rifle that can do so much and besides, I have a "bit" of Russian surplus ammo stockpiled. :cool:

I'm also a HUGE fan of my .32 and .380 pistols. You know why? Because I carry one EVERY SINGLE DAY no matter what. And yeah, they are Walthers, what can I say I'm a Walther guy. For a small, concealable, self defense pistol I have no qualms whatsoever in carrying FMJ in a .32 or .380. I LOVE my PPK and PPK/s. And I shoot them VERY WELL. Practice practice practice!

Don't get me wrong, I love my 9mms and .45 too, they are just too big and uncomfortable to carry everyday. I also love my WWII surplus rifles in the big "man's rifle" calibers but my "go to" will always be my 74. It really all comes down to function.

This is completely overlooking .22 which has already been identified as nothing less than completely awesome for so many reasons. :D

Warp
December 5, 2012, 10:02 PM
Actually the older I get the more a fan of the smaller calibers I become.

5.45x39mm because I absolutely LOVE my AK-74. Just an amazing rifle that can do so much and besides, I have a "bit" of Russian surplus ammo stockpiled. :cool:

I'm also a HUGE fan of my .32 and .380 pistols. You know why? Because I carry one EVERY SINGLE DAY no matter what. And yeah, they are Walthers, what can I say I'm a Walther guy. For a small, concealable, self defense pistol I have no qualms whatsoever in carrying FMJ in a .32 or .380. I LOVE my PPK and PPK/s. And I shoot them VERY WELL. Practice practice practice!

Don't get me wrong, I love my 9mms and .45 too, they are just too big and uncomfortable to carry everyday. I also love my WWII surplus rifles in the big "man's rifle" calibers but my "go to" will always be my 74. It really all comes down to function.

This is completely overlooking .22 which has already been identified as nothing less than completely awesome for so many reasons. :D


I carry 9x19 or .38spl +P EVERY SINGLE DAY.

:)

gym
December 5, 2012, 10:05 PM
I have gone to 45 and 40, my 9s sit in the safe,I want to stop it with 1 or 2 shots, as most times there are more than 1 attackers

WTBguns10kOK
December 5, 2012, 11:25 PM
As technology advances, you can do the same with smaller...

T.R.
December 6, 2012, 07:30 AM
My favorite target shooting rifle is my Marlin 22MAG. At 75 yards, it shoots dime sized groups every time when I do my part.

My just-for-fun rifle is a TC flintlock in 45 caliber. Its a hoot to shoot!

TR

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/range2_zps7a6ee804.jpg

Manny
December 6, 2012, 01:10 PM
I went straight to the bigbores when I first started, from .22lr to .44mag in one fell swoop' and liked it alot. Nowadays I like things more in moderation and while I still love my bigbore revolvers they just don't get shot much anymore due to the cost. I mostly shoot paper, spiners or clays, no need for a lot of horsepower, muzzleblast and recoil. 9mm, .38+p, .22lr, .223 & 12 ga are what gets shot now. I have been looking at the new 300 blackout with interest as I think it'd be great for the 200 yard or less distances I shoot. I guess I end up in the middle.

Ala Dan
December 6, 2012, 04:14 PM
.45 ACP for target shooting, .25-06 for hunting, and 12 gauge for home D'~! ;)

gym
December 7, 2012, 06:30 PM
45,49,9, in that order of carry, the 9 is usually my back up, even though it may have more rounds in it. Whoever comes at me is going to get a 45 or 40 delivered to them first, then only after i run out of 45 lead, or a malfunction occurs, will I switch to the 9. 12 gauge Benelli for the house, and slugs if I need to stop a very big threat, and AR for everything else.

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