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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.

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  1. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

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    Whether it be for hunting, target shooting, defense...do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

    Why?
     
  2. esheato

    esheato Member

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    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).
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  3. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
  4. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    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.
     
  5. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    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:
     
  6. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    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.
     
  7. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Oh dear, I'm 24 and I moved down from .40 to 9. Am I getting old already?
     
  8. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    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
     
  9. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

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    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.
     
  10. preachnhunt

    preachnhunt Member

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    I like the BOOM of bigger calibers and don't mind the recoil,but the expense can be a bit much.
     
  11. Old judge creek

    Old judge creek Member

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    I'm a fan of the Big Bores and have been for 35 years now.
     
  12. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    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.
     
  13. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    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
     
  14. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

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    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.
     
  15. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

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    I like 'em all.

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

    Midwest Member

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    .22 for Target Shooting
    Advantages: Inexpensive (that is the bottom line these days...and yes the 'age' factor too).
     
  17. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    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.
     
  18. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    I prefer calibers smaller than a 10 pounder.
     
  19. Sock Puppet

    Sock Puppet Member

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    Yes. I try not to discriminate. :)
     
  20. 12131

    12131 Member

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    I like 9 and 45.
    I also like 5.56 and 7.62 NATO.
     
  21. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    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.
     
  22. 303tom

    303tom member

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    I am kind of a medium type guy, somewhere between .25 & .35............
     
  23. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    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)
     
  24. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

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    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.
     
  25. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    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)
     
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