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Diversity vs consolidation: an internal debate

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Balog, Nov 19, 2009.

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  1. Balog

    Balog Member

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    I recently bought a sportered Swede M96. Beautiful gun, more accurate than I am and a blast to shoot. But the more time goes by, the less happy I am about owning it. Why is that? It adds another caliber to my collection.

    I love guns. Given unlimited space and money, I'd have one of everything, and doubles of the stuff I really like. But alas, that is not the case. Other things like saving for the future, buying a house, and starting a family take priority over guns n' ammo. Even in the firearms budget line item, ammo and training take priority.

    I've been contemplating paring down to a bare minimum of calibers to allow stocking up on ammo and lessening the training burden as much as possible. I currently have several Mosins, a K31, the Swede, a CZ 452, a Mossberg 500 in 12ga, and an XD .45 for carry. I've been wanting to sell everything but the .22 and one of the Mosins (cause A. I have several thousand round for it already & B. I love that 91/30). In it's place I've been thinking of going with: a short barrel J or K frame .357 and a Marlin 1894 in .357 for carry and home defence (yay cowboy logistics), a scoped bolt action in either .308 or 30-06 (Savage 10/110 most likely) for longer range work/hunting, and a .22 pistol to go with my beloved Sea Zed. Any future purchases would be aimed at creating redundancy or expanding capability in the above calibers ie full size .357 for night stand use.

    I think this battery would enable me to defend my home from all but the most serious social unrest, take any game I'm likely to hunt, find parts and ammo easily, reload cheaply, remain unobtrusive to Fudds, and maximize the limited range/training time I have. I'm also debating one of those Kvar Saigas for more serious social work, but that adds another layer of training, optics, magazines, and ammo.

    Some of the issues I see with this plan:

    I love the .45. Lower recoil impulse, less flash and blast etc. I'd love to carry a CCO (or Sig C3) but that adds a caliber that can't easily be used for hunting, has limited cowboy logistics potential as well as being in a platform requiring magazines.

    1894 has limited range and marginal utility for hunting elk and larger. I've considered another revolver/lever combo in .44 magnum, but that's less practical for carry and more spendy for reloading.

    Bolt action is a solid choice, but perhaps a .300 win mag or better for flatter trajectory? I'm not convinced I'd need it. Also, would a bent bolt and scope mount for the 91/30 serve much the same purpose at a far lower cost?
     
  2. rbernie

    rbernie Member

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    I believe in diversity, to support collecting things that may be hard to find later in life, and in the consolidation of the actual tools that I use and carry.

    The best of both worlds. :)
     
  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Face it, with logic and reason you held the line.

    Than you surrendered to desire and irrationality.

    Embrace insanity.

    It’s not half bad. :D
     
  4. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    I'd be glad to take that swede off your hands :D
     
  5. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    new calibers are just opportunities to expand your reloading operation :)
     
  6. danprkr

    danprkr Member

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    I myself am actively consolidating calibers down to the ones I want, and getting away from everything else. That has meant that I have gotten rid of several guns and traded into what I want to consolidate to.

    I think a lot of it has to do with my guns becoming less of a hobby more a freedom issue. I still like my guns, but as my priorities mature I lose that gotta have the newest hottest thing to strike my fancy feeling. I want what I think I'll use either now or later in life, and after that I'd like to spend the money on more fun things like traveling with my wife or supporting the causes that I believe in etc.

    Your call - your money - your life. Do with it what you feel is best, and don't question yourself if later you change your mind. Just know that you did what you felt right for you at the time, and don't agonize over it. Now or later.
     
  7. SavageManAntonio

    SavageManAntonio Member

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    I have also considered the ramifications of having too many. However, some things to consider:
    1. Are the weapons you have costing you money to own? What I mean is that I can't remember coming across people that didn't regret selling some of their weapons. If they aren't costing you much to own then you can always store them and pull them out a few years from now to experience them all over again.
    2. Do you have family you trust to lend them to for them to enjoy them also?
    3. Do you NEED money instead of them?
    4. Can you reload to allow you to save money and still enjoy them?
    5. Do you not like some of them enough that you really don't need them or want them anymore?

    I hope this helps. I hope I never HAVE to sell mine......
     
  8. Kindrox

    Kindrox Member

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    I think it is wise to have your core collection be consolidated to as few calibers as possible. But if finances allow, you can still have a couple odd calibers and simply don't stock much ammo for them. Come hell or high water, they are write off's, trade guns, or simply guns you don't shoot much. Even come end of the world, not every guns needs to be heavily fired.
     
  9. David E

    David E Member

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    If I read the OP right, he has 5-6 guns.

    If he needs to sell them to get the money for the guns he's thinking about, that's one thing. Of course, the follow-up question is, would he get enough money from their sale to matter?

    But if he doesn't need to sell them to buy others, then store them. It's not like you have to go out and buy 5000 rds per gun or even per caliber.

    Which brings up another point: how much ammo is "enough?" It depends what the gun is for and how often you shoot it.

    For example, I only have 200 rds or so of .25 acp ammo. (150 of which was free) On the other hand, I have 7-8 thousand .22 rimfire. Not enough and I'm adding to it on nearly every trip to the store.

    I think 1000 rds per serious gun is bare minimum and I prefer to have 5000. After the recent ammo shortage, I realized that 5000 isn't enough. I found myself not shooting, due to concern of not being able to restock.

    One nice thing about having a lot of calibers is that you can use nearly anything you come across.
     
  10. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Over a period of time a persons thoughts and tastes go in different directions.

    It is not unusual to want something new, nor is it unusual for what you have to become less exciting. The problem is, that over time there is a lot of full circles involved. That is to say, what you give up today, will then come back to a new desire in the future ,and you end up having to replace what you once sold.

    A few examples personally are guns like : Colt .22 Peacemaker , Colt Diamondback .22 , High Standard Victor 22 , Ansultz 64 22 rifle , and several more.

    These were guns that I have owned and sold - now I can not afford to replace them ,and although I will live OK without them, I do use a lot of caution now as to what I get read of, because it may come back into favor, and then be out of my reach.

    Just something to think over.
     
  11. Balog

    Balog Member

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    I haven't sold many guns, but I don't regret not having them anymore.

    I moved to my current state in large part because it's an expensive plane ride away from my family. I won't even let them stay in our house when they come visit. So, you know, no. :)

    I can't really afford to get the guns I want/need as outlined in the OP without selling. Ditto for getting set up to reload.

    See above. ;)

    The only ones I dislike are the carbine length Mosins. The K31 is a great gun but I hate the stock. I love my XD but I have nerve damage in my spine that is exacerbated by carrying such a hefty pistol. It's also right on the edge of being too big for my hand so it's difficult to get a solid firing grip quickly.

    I'll never sell the CZ or the 91/30 unless it's life or death, but the others I'm less attached to.
     
  12. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    My collection was so large at one time--I realized I couldn't remember everything I had and wouldn't notice if one was missing.

    Now I try to keep it at 15 or less--preferably around 10.

    When I did all the trimming of the collection--I also consolidated calibers.

    Now I'm down to:
    .30-06
    .223/5.56
    .22 LR
    9mm
    12ga
    20ga
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not consolidating anything. :cool:

    It really isn't. :)
     
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I think it good to restrict the number of calibers for firearms you have on hand. I do it to some degree and have resisted buying rifles that I'd like to own, but know I will seldom shoot. On the other hand, I have no problem owning firearms for which I have no ammunition. I figure if I want to shoot them, I'll buy some ammo when I need it. The ammo shortage in the last year or so has caused me to rethink that particular approach especially for handguns. For traditional hunting calibers in rifles, you generally don't have a huge problem finding factory ammunition as you need it unless you are talking 1000 rounds or something at a wack such as you might do with an AR or AK. That need is more along the line of a handgun in terms of ammuntion availability.

    The 300 win mag/7mm is not a bad choice for elk. I might choose the same even though I don't particularly like it for deer since the recoil is more than is necessary.

    Only you can judge how much ammunition is enough depending on your usage. But a box or two of ammunition for something you seldom shoot should not be a huge financial hardship.

    I'm not a Mosin fan. So anything I say is biased. But I am a CZ 452 fan. :)

    Too many firearms?? I have not reached that point in my life yet. But there are many I do not shoot or intend to ever shoot. Long guns are a bit of a pain if you move a lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  15. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    I believe in consolodation.

    I have a blackhawk gun belt, with a bladetech dual mag pouch, a bladetech holster, and 3 speed strippers for 12 guage shells that also hold ar15 mags.

    I can fit a CZ P01, a CZ SP01, a CZ Kadet conversion, and any of their mags both 22lr or 9mm into the holster and mag pouches. so ALL of my pistols fit the same holster and mag pouch.


    the speed strippers fit either 4 shotgun shells, or a 30 round ar15 magazine. They will also fit the 22lr conversion mags for the AR.

    so I can use the same setup, for 12 guage + 9mm, 12 guage + 22lr pistol, 223 + pistol, or 22lr AR + 22lr Pistol etc etc etc etc.

    I also have been able to buy the ammo in bulk, which has its benefits.

    my calibers are

    12 guage
    223
    9mm
    22lr

    I am not sure I see that changing much in a state that a shotgun is your primary hunting tool.

    I will say, the amount of money I have saved in holsters, mag pouches, etc has been significant.
     
  17. kamagong

    kamagong Member

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    Both. I have .22, 9mm, .40, and .45 handguns. I think it's good to have some diversity as you can never know which guns you will be able to find ammo for. This past year's run on ammo illustrated that point quite well. However, I only have multiples for one caliber, the .45ACP. The .45 1911 is my pistol of choice, and since that is the first gun I reach for it makes sense to have back-ups.
     
  18. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    Between me and the wife we have

    22LR
    9x19mm
    45 ACP
    5.56 NATO
    7.62 NATO
    30-06

    The 30-06 is for a M1 Garand that gets shot extremely rarely. I'm really glad I talked the wife into getting the LAR-15 in 22LR. I can afford to shoot off 2 or 300 rounds with that thing in a weekend, and it's plenty accurate out to 100 yards at least. It's a really fun gun to do CQB drills with, I've been meaning to pick up a cheap red dot optic for it once I save some money up.

    By sticking to common calibers, I never had trouble finding ammo during The Great Ammo Shortage, although I'm sure I ended up paying more. I don't plan on buying anything for awhile. The next thing I might buy would probably be an AK variant in 7.62x39 or a historic milsurplus like a Mosin or a Mauser (and if it's one of those I wouldn't shoot it much at all).

    I don't see why you'd want to consolidate your calibers, unless you mostly have weird ones and you're trying to move to more common, cheaper, and easier to find ones.
     
  19. Ronsch

    Ronsch Member

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    Managed to consolidate...Finally.

    I see your dilemma and sympathize with it. I have had this same discussion with fellow shooters over the years, and it always seems to end with "buy more guns, just in fewer calibers."

    Back in the mid 1990's, I had this problem of so many different calibers, that it was becoming cost ineffective to go out and shoot, as I could only afford a couple of hundred rounds for each gun. It was either that, or leave some at home, and then take those out the following week.

    My solution was consolidating down to 7 or 8 favourite calibers. I have a couple of odd ball guns that I have for historical demonstrations (like a blunderbuss and a Belgian copy of the Schofield from the late 1880s) that I do not fire, but are more heirloom and collector-types. It is a sound idea, and generally will balance out, ammo-wise for you.

    YMMV...
     
  20. David E

    David E Member

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    Keep the two you mentioned.

    The XD carried in a GOOD holster mounted on a GOOD belt may eliminate the discomfort, but not the grip size. The standard XD in 9mm or .40 has a smaller grip.

    But when selecting other guns, what, exactly, do you expect to do with them? If you never expect to go elk hunting, then a bolt action rifle that would be ideal in that role means nothing to you.

    There is a point to be made for consolidation, but there is a bigger point to be made for performance, as well as quality.

    If you're looking for a "minimum battery with the most utility," different calibers are required. The most expensive, probably, but the most useful.

    If you're looking for a "fewest calibers to do the most possible" battery, then it depends what you're wanting to do. For example, a .22 rimfire would suffice for many folks.

    If you're looking for a "cheapest guns to do the most possible" battery, then it depends how much you want to spend. Surplus military guns are a good start.
     
  21. Balog

    Balog Member

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    I have both a good belt and a good holster. It's comfortable, but the laws of physics being what they are after my back spasms having it back there is not fun.

    It is a very good idea to clarify my exact expectations here.

    I need/want to be able to: concealed carry (that weighs less than the XD), home defense (prefer pistol caliber carbines, ideally same round as carry pistol), and hunting (deer, elk, and black bear round these here parts).

    My criteria are: commonality of ammo (or mags in a semi-auto), as low cost as possible (buying a house, having kids, getting a reloading set up, and getting training are all higher budget priorities), and ideally not obscure or discontinued models (ie Marlin Camp Carbine).
     
  22. wally

    wally Member

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    If you can afford it, having at least one gun for every caliber has advantages. OTOH if you plan on outfitting a platoon for TEOTWAWKI standardization is only way to go.

    I had stocked up on ammo and components well before the election but at the height of the ammo panic I noted while Academy had zero 9mm, .45, .22LR, .223, 7.62x39 or .308 there still was .40S&W and 5.45x39 on the shelves. So had you been caught naked ammo wise, without multiple calibers you wouldn't be shooting.

    --wally.
     
  23. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Member

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    I fine philosophy If I ever heard one.
     
  24. David E

    David E Member

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    If it's the holster that came free in the box, or it says "Fobus" on it, it's NOT a good holster. I've been carrying a full size all steel 1911 for nearly 30 years and have not had any back issues. Still, if the grip size is a problem, then a smaller grip girth is in order.

    Semi-autos: Kahr P-9, Glock 26, XD-9 with 3" barrel, all 9mm

    Kahr P-45, Para Ordnance P-12, Kimber Compact Aluminum Stainless (or similar) in .45 acp

    Revolvers: Any quality compact .38 or .357 (but the ultra-light .357's will HURT you)

    Thought you had a 12 gauge shotgun? That's always a good choice for home defense. The Glock 26 and a Kel-tec Sub rifle both can accept the same mag (G-17 or longer) while the 1911 types can marry up to a Mech-Tech upper. The disadvantage here is, to make one work, the other is disassembled.

    Your aforementioned .357 lever action would compliment the .38 or .357 revolver.

    The 12 gauge and your 91 / 30 would suffice for deer and bear. Me, I'd want a bit more for elk, at least a 30-06. But how realistic is elk hunting for you?

    The cost factor means: 9mm with Kel-tec Subrifle. Second would be 38/357 (mainly firing 38's, with some .357) and Marlin lever action. Then, a non-descript 30-06 from the local pawn shop if you didn't think your Mosin or shotgun could do it.
     
  25. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    26 guns, 14 calibers. You do the math.
     
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