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

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by breakingcontact, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Keene, CA
    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.
  2. 303tom

    303tom member

    Jul 16, 2011
    I am kind of a medium type guy, somewhere between .25 & .35............
  3. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    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)
  4. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Participating Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    Austin, TX
    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.
  5. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Active Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    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)
  6. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Participating Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    Austin, TX
    We should definitely discuss eye/ear protection more. I double up and have been thankful to not have any noticeable hearing loss.
  7. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Aug 20, 2012
    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."
  8. tomrkba

    tomrkba Participating Member

    May 30, 2010
    My favorite caliber of all time is 22 Long Rifle. But, for serious or specialized purposes, I want something bigger.
  9. sappyg

    sappyg Participating Member

    Nov 6, 2010
    South Carolina
    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.
  10. Clipper

    Clipper Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Mt. Morris, MI.
    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.
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Elder

    Apr 24, 2007
    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.
  12. 56hawk

    56hawk Participating Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    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.
  13. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Active Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Heart of Dixie
    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.
  14. Bovice

    Bovice Participating Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    I find myself going larger.
  15. gripper

    gripper Active Member

    Jan 7, 2004
    Nashua NH
    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.
  16. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Mar 27, 2009
    nc mountains
    I love both. have .22lr's for fun and 44 and 357 mag for hunting and carry a 9mm
  17. gspn

    gspn Senior Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    +1. I reload so it takes a lot of the sting out of the 44 mag and 41 mag shooting.
  18. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Active Member

    Nov 14, 2012
    Northern CA
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  19. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    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.
  20. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Mentor

    Jan 6, 2011
    Hastings, Michigan
    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.

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