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consolidating calibers

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by JO JO, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. JJE

    JJE Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    SW Washington State!
    Good point. If you ARE going to consolidate to only a few calibers, then you need to stock up ahead of time, either with loaded ammo or components. I've seen enough ammo shortages that I make a point of buying when ammo or components are plentiful - even if I won't need it for a few years - and I don't even bother looking when supplies are tight.
  2. Skribs

    Skribs Member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Lakewood, Washington
    You're right, JJE, it is a good point. I don't like it. Because that point suggests that the more expensive route might be the better route. I would still use the KISS principle regarding platforms, but I don't see a downside to having multiple calibers available. I could still carry my primary choice, just practice with the others.

    That's why I was asking Dave what he would recommend for oddball calibers, because it would have to be common enough to at least have a conversion kit readily available. At the least, I could see getting a .40 and getting the .357/9mm conversion barrels as being a very good option from a cost/effective standpoint.
  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    Well, by "oddball," I meant pretty much any of the calibers other than the 4-5 most common handgun calibers and the 2 most common rifle calibers. 10mm, .357 SIG, and .38 super would probably be the most commonly available of the non-standard autoloader cartridges, while most wheelie cartridges other than .38 and maybe .357 fit that profile. Probably not much tougher to get .44 special or .41 magnum or .327H&R today than in November. In rifle cartridges, the last few gun shows I attended suggested that getting .270 Winchester or .45-70 is little harder than usual. IOW, as long as you've got something OTHER than the things people pick because they expected to ALWAYS find ammo, things are inconvenient but not impossible to get.

    All this ammo and component shortage cr@p will blow over eventually, but in the meantime, diversity is your friend.

    Whether some common platform is best is another discussion. But I think the same lesson applies. Standardizing on, say, a Glock sounds good until there is for some reason a shortage of Glock parts. Think about the logistics and industrial infrastructure that nations have adopted during prolonged, total war. A single manufacturing plant for all barrels, or all ball bearings, or all engine blocks, is simple. It's also vulnerable to disruption. Simplicity is the absence of redundancies. Redundancies are how you make a system more stable.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  4. Skribs

    Skribs Member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Lakewood, Washington
    There's a difference between having a shortage of parts and having a shortage of ammo. Besides, people buying non-big-name weapons might have a shortage of parts already.

    I'd also say there's a difference between the MOA of a Glock, Beretta, and 1911, compared with the difference between 9, .40, and .357 sig.

    I guess it would make sense to get a popular weapon in .40, and then get the .357 sig and 9mm conversion kits. Cover two popular options and one semi-obscure option.

    Simplicity may be the absence of redundancies, but too many redundancies can be a problem.
  5. IllinoisGun

    IllinoisGun Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    I consolidated to 9MM, .45acp and .38Spl., (and only for my rarely shot bug out S&W 442).
    And of course, .22.
  6. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Member

    Jun 12, 2012
    I'm not one to think consolidating to much is a good idea at the moment. I went into a walmart the other day. They had no 22's, 9's, 40's, 45's, 223's,or 762x39's. What they did have was 30/30's so I bought there last two boxes. At least the trip was not a total waste of time. I wasn't really looking for 30/30's at the moment, but what the heck it's not like they have a short shelf life either. That and I'm sure the prices will only be going up in the near future. I'm pretty much stocked up on ammo for all my pistols and rifles but if I find something I might need in the future,or a friend might need I pick them up.
    They do the same for me, and by watching out for each other I've been able to aquire 3 550 count value packs of 22's and 300 9mm in the last couple weeks. Times are tough but if you and your friends look out for each other it's not so bad.
  7. JonnyGringo

    JonnyGringo Member

    Jan 29, 2013
    I think the general principle behind consolidating, is to be able to put more monetary resources into standardization, parts, and ammunition for fewer calibers that one feels are the must haves for his/her collection or use. As someone pointed out above 9mm, .40, .45 ACP, .223/5.56, .22LR, etc are in very short supply right now. What that means is there is a greater stockpile of these popular calibers in private hands, which ultimately may be a good thing if/when the supply chain is permanently interrupted for one reason or another.
  8. jlucke69

    jlucke69 Member

    Oct 12, 2012

    I buy the guns I enjoy shooting and would hate to limit my gun choice based on the need to consolidate ammunition. That being said, I do my own reloading and buy in bulk. I reduce my costs further by picking up brass at the range and either using myself to reload or selling it to pay for reloading components. 1 8lb jug of Universal will load most handgun cartridges without any problems and pistol primers are only come in 2 sizes. Even with the shortage going on, I can still find lead bullets without any problem for all cartridges I load. If bullets of one caliber are hard to get ahold of, I just load for the other guns.
  9. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Obsession, Guntopia, USA
    I've typed out several responses, and have decided to just conclude that there are too many factors involved to properly quantify. HAHA... I like both schools of thought. However, on a tighter budget (like us), it makes the most sense to have as few calibers as possible, that are also common, and stock up on those.

    With more $ to spend, I still say start at this point. Then, you can choose to expand in the same calibers (more pistols/revolvers), add one or two other "common" calibers, or purchase new guns in new calibers, just in case that's all that may be available sometime down the line.
  10. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    I reload, so my main interest in consolidation is reducing the number of different powders I have in stock. I like the fact that Red Dot, Clays, and Unique can be used in shotguns, as well as all of the pistol calibres I reload for.
  11. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

    Mar 28, 2011

    I'd rather have a variety. If something is in short supply I'll shoot or carry something else or reload it. Having all of my handguns chambered for the same 2 or 3 cartridges just so it's easier to stock up (hoard) ammo isn't my thing. I'm not trying to equip an army. Plus, and this is the biggest thing, it's much more interesting and enjoyable (at least for me) that way.

    True, you may save some money that way but in another way you also might be getting less "bang for your buck" by missing out on some variety, just shooting the same ole, same ole, 9mm or whatever all the time.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  12. il.bill

    il.bill Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    FOID Land (Illinois)
    Like the smile on my face when I ran my first magazine of 7.62x25mm Tokarev ammo through my $200 delivered C&R eligible Zastava Yugo M57 (or my $280 delivered C&R CZ52 for that matter). I very much ENJOY shooting and learning about various different handguns.

    I currently can shoot .22, .25 ACP, 7.62X25mm Tokarev, .32 ACP, 9X17mm / .380 ACP, .38 Spl., .357 Magnum, 9X18mm Makarov, 9X19mm Luger, and .45ACP. Variety can be the spice of life. Today it was .380 in a Beretta 84 and 9mm (reloads) in a (FEG Hi Power) Luger M80.

    I stock some of each caliber and am in a position to take advantage of just about any handgun ammo sale I stumble across. Seems like I still need to add a .40 S&W pistol when I find one I can afford.
  13. HankR

    HankR Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    upper midwest
    I thought this was all I needed. Then my smallish son started hunting, so a .243 got added. Now he's not so small anymore, so maybe I'll sell that and get another 30-06 (I don't have dies for the .243 yet, it's on a trial basis). Or sell the 30-30, where we live now the deer aren't normally that close in, my ancient eyes need a scope and I think it may be against my religion to scope a lever-gun)
  14. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    ohio's northcoast
    I only need two
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    From a strictly practical point it may be a good idea to consolidate but I bought my guns because I liked them, not for a practical reason so I won't be reducing my collection for a while.
  16. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Pullman, WA
    Let's see what I got ...

    .45 ACP 1911
    .45 ACP / .45 Auto RIm S&W 625 <-- & .45 Super
    9mm Luger CZ 75B
    .357 Mag/.38 Spcl +P - S&W Model 60 3" bbl.
    .22 LR/L/S S&W 617

    .45 Colt - 1894 Marlin

    oh, and a BarSto .400 COrBon for the 1911

    I consolidate by not getting anything not in the above
    chamberings Still a lot of options to supplement / compliment

    Like a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt
    a CCO or Commander 1911 variant
    a S&W Model 63 w/3" bbl.
    or a single stack 9mm that seems popular these days

    Where's the gain adding .40 S&W and//or 10mm Auto?

  17. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    As I evolved from a collector and a plinker to a SD/HD mode, I got rid of some calibers. .380 and 9 were the first to go as they serve no real purpose. I keep a few odd calibers for pet guns, but I have concentrated now on .22 for plinking, 38 for cc, and 20 gauge and .223 for HD.
  18. c1ogden

    c1ogden Member

    May 30, 2003
    I do own an AR (5.56), a Colt Commander (.45ACP), and a Winchester 94 (30-30) but all my other two dozen guns are either -

    .22LR (rifles and handguns)
    .38/.357 (rifles and handguns)
    9mm (handguns)
    12 gauge
    20 gauge

    I find this convenient because I only need to keep 5 kinds of ammo on hand to be able to shoot almost any gun that I have.
  19. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    Never. All my shooting is for fun at the range time or for hunting. I've never had to shoot a gun for Self-defense and hope I never do. So many great old guns and calibers out there to be shot.

    I have my bucket list of guns and calibers that will be bought when found. Every other gun and caliber falls onto my want list. I couldn't stand the thought of shooting only 3 or 4 different calibers much less 3 or 4 different guns. I like'm all well most all of them.
  20. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    I agree with BSA1.
    This tactical thing is over rated. Just have fun. How many times in your life time you were stuck in your cellar where you had to fire fight your way out or have wondered in the jungle with rations fighting enemies near Detroit or Flagstaff?

    Beauty of various calibers is to enjoy their advantages as a hobby and sport. So having just one caliber will deprive you of the joys.

    Not to discount a solid home and self defense plan against possible threat. For this if you wish to consolidate you will realize sooner than later there is no such benefit of doing so. Stock your ammo slowly by slowly as budget allows and deals present themselves. No need to buy 100,000 rounds when and if when some national catastrophe is taking place or right before the big invasion or the break of the civilization.
  21. rgwalt

    rgwalt Member

    May 9, 2009
    One more thought... One reason I've eliminated a few calibers (and would like to eliminate more) is that I LIKE to have ammo on hand to feed all of my guns. I don't want to say "I don't have any 9mm left, so I'll shoot my .38 instead). I'd rather have fewer calibers with a bigger overall stockpile.
  22. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have consolidated calibers but for me the biggest factor is I have consolidated bullet diameters. Stocking three or four different dies and brass is logistically and financially much less taxing that it would be if all the bullets were not interchangeable.

    My collection is increasingly 38/357/35/9mm caliber

    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about
  23. Pointshoot

    Pointshoot Member

    May 8, 2005
    WA state
    Like many others here, I've been a shooter/hunter for many years. And over the years I've purchased various guns for various reasons (that is, 'justifications') at the time I got them. - - - When this whole panic started I was very happy to have firearms chambered in less popular rounds that I could still purchase ammo for. And even some of those chamberings have become more difficult to find lately. - - -It wasnt a plan - but just happened to work out that way. Glad it did.
  24. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Right now, I've got several handguns, but I only stock three calibers... .22LR, 9mm, and .45 ACP. My strategy is to have as much ammo as possible for those three, and not worry about some shortage (the type we're seeing now). For rifle cartridges, I only stock 7.62x39. I have others, but that's the only one I keep in a considerable quantity.

    Basically nullifies the whole "WELL WHAT IF THERE'S A SHORTAGE OR AMMO ISN'T PRODUCED ANYMORE!?!?!?!?!1111?!" thing...
  25. DMK

    DMK Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Over the hills and far, far away
    Just because you have multiple calibers does not mean you need to stockpile for all of them. Stock up on your favorite. Keep a small amount of ammo for the other guns and shoot them sparingly until the stormy days have passed.

    This conversation is moot though at this point. The time for this decision has passed. I can't find ammo or mags for any caliber right now.
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