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Is cost a factor in choosing a defense caliber?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Boba Fett, Dec 14, 2008.

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Does the caliber's cost factor into your choice of a home-defense or CCW handgun.

  1. Yes, caliber cost is a factor in my decision.

    56.0%
  2. No, caliber cost is not a factor in my decision.

    44.0%
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  1. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Member

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    UPDATED 17-DEC-08 - PLEASE READ THIS POST. Now that most of the votes are in, if you don't want to read all the posts, at least read this one so you are up to date with the direction of the discussion.

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    KegCommando's caliber post got me thinking about this.

    How many people factor in the cost of a particular caliber when choosing a home-defense or CCW handgun?

    IF YOU CONSIDER COST A FACTOR then tell us what gun and caliber you are shooting and why you are factoring in the cost.

    If you don't factor it in then it doesn't really matter.

    My question stems from the many people that I have read on one forum or another who say, "But that ammo is too expensive...I couldn't afford to practice."

    Now, some stipulations:
    If you consider the 500 magnum to be a defense round, more power to you and your hearing aid company (all the same I want to shoot one :D ). But what I am going for are standard calibers (22, 380, 9mm, 40, 45, 10mm, ect.).

    This being the handgun section, no shotgun ammo or rifle ammo.

    Also, reloading is out. My earlier question about reloading has convinced me that I could save a bunch of money by switching to Geico...er...by reloading. I just need to shoot more and pick up my spent brass.

    And DO NOT turn this into a "such and such a caliber is better than another" argument. That is not the intent of the post or poll.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    I shoot .40S&W because it's a potent caliber available in just about any modern pistol, but is also available in some odd ball guns like the Kel Tec Sub-2000 carbine (which I will eventually get), and my 610 revolver will chamber .40S&W as well as 10mm. And I have a Para Ordnance on order that comes in .40S&W and can accept a 10mm conversion barrel.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that .40S&W isn't as cheap as 9mm, BUT it has a lot in common (hardware-wise) with 10mm which is my favourite (handgun) cartridge, and is much cheaper than 10mm. So basically all my centerfire handguns have been either explicitly .40S&W, or able to use it or be converted to it. So in a sense, cost is a concern. I like to be able to stockpile just one caliber that can be used in everything.
     
  3. CPshooter

    CPshooter Member

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    I would say no for the most part, but it depends on how much you plan on shooting it at the range and how tight your budget is. You definitely need to practice with your carry rig. The more the better, but if it is your primary carry gun and you don't plan on shooting more than 100 rounds per month through it, then I would say no it doesn't matter.

    Go with what is comfortable, and what you think you can shoot the best. Any good 9mm, .40, or .45 hollow-point will do the job if you have good shot placement. Past that, it's just preference. Of course, a bigger hole doesn't hurt if you decide to go with a .45.

    If it is your first handgun, go with 9mm.
     
  4. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Yes, albeit a very small one. Much more important to me is capacity, effectiveness, SD load choices, recoil, and reputation.

    The cheaper it is, the more I can practice, and the more likely I am to place my shots as intended, which is more important than anything. At the same time, there's a reason I don't carry a .22... I'll take all of the help I can get.
     
  5. regal

    regal Member

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    Comfort is the biggest factor for me, life is too short to be strapped to a brick.
     
  6. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I voted yes. Whatever caliber you choose for defense the practice ammo must be cheap enough to allow you to go to the range and stay proficient with your weapon. Premium defensive ammo is very good in 9/40/45 but practice ammo for 9mm is generally quite a bit cheaper. All of my defensive pistols are 9mms.
     
  7. KC0QGL

    KC0QGL Member

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    I had to vote yes, mostly because I like to burn up alot of ammo in all my guns. 9mm is cheaper than 10mm, and the reasons listed above.
     
  8. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    Of course cost is a factor. After all I do want to practice a lot, however my money is limited. That's why I use 9mm and a .22 conversion kit.
     
  9. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    I voted yes mainly because if the ammo for you CCW is to expensive you may not make it to the range enough to practice! I own mainly .357 revolvers, but I do own at least one 9mm, .40 and .45. I gotta be honest and say I dont shoot the .45 as much as I should since .45 ammo prices are so high. When I do shoot my .45 its with RNL or SWC reloads. The pistol that gets used the most is my Polish Tok...less than 10 cents/shot:)
     
  10. KegCommando

    KegCommando Member

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    I believe it is.

    If we are all going to agree that there is no magic bullet and shot placement is the key, then proficiency is key.

    How does one become proficient? Practice.

    If you can't afford to practice, then you are depending on pure luck. Luck will always be a factor, but I believe you want a minimum of dependence on it as possible.

    If you can afford to practice with any caliber, then disregard cost as a factor in the selection process, but for most of us, I think it would be foolish to not consider it a factor, if not the most important factor.
     
  11. possum

    possum Member

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    i put all handguns on the same equal playing field, no matter what caliber 9mm, to .45 they are all equal in my book. the best choice is a rifle or shotgun, but since we can't carry a rifle or shotgun everywhere with us, we have to settle for a handgun.

    with that said, i believe that it is 100 times better to be able to hit the target with 6 rounds in 2 seconds of 9mm, than 4 rounds of .45 in the same time. more wound channels, more damage to the target causing the shutting down of the central nervous system.

    I reccomend that people look for what they can control, handle and shoot with the best. If they can achieve good, solid, fast hits on traget with a .45 great if not a 9mm might need to be the gun for choice of that individual.

    So now going into the cost factor, i highly reccomend that people go with the 9mm as it is the cheapest avaliable, and will allow them for more trigger/training time and value. I carry .40 but that is what i was started on and i shoot it just fine, as well i reload so that keeos my cost down as well.
     
  12. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    So long as I can get a .22 pistol to go with it, no. If I can't, then yes, because I have to be able to practice with it.
     
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Cost is totally irrelevant to me. I'm able to reload for EVERY centerfire handgun caliber I possess. That means that my practice costs are VERY low. The only thing that costs me any appreciable amount of money is carry ammunition, which is steep, but even then I look for good deals. Winchester White Box 147gr. JHP 9x19mm does everything I could want in my Glock 19 and Browning High Power. It's also VERY reasonably priced compared to so-called "premium" defense ammunition.
     
  14. shamus

    shamus Member

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    9mm: Cheap, easily available, accurate.

    The differences (defensive-wise)between the 9mm, 40, and 45 are very negligible. 9mm does it for me.
     
  15. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    I'm hangin' with Deanimator. I currently own and reload 45acp and 380acp. My next round/firearm will be chambered in 357sig. I'll reload that too. Regardless of the caliber you choose, practice is essential! My reloading equipment has almost paid for itself in 11 months. I'm having a blast, literally, with 2 hobbies now.
     
  16. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I think my first Dillon 550 paid for itself in no more than six months. At one point in the early '90s, I was loading 9x19mm faster than I could shoot it.
     
  17. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Member

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    OK, please keep to the original stipulations.

    Reloading doesn't count. Sorry. I'm talking just going to the Wally World or a gun show or an online retailer to get your ammo.

    Thanks for all who are participating in this research. Please keep the posts and votes coming. As it winds down, I will throw out my own opinion on the matter.
     
  18. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

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    Not to me. I practice enough with my defense gun to feel comfortable, but I spend most of my range time with choices that are cheaper to shoot.
     
  19. schadenfreude

    schadenfreude Member

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    Cost a factor? Absolutely not. ccw home defense is 1911 A1 .45. When I bought my 1911 it was my first time shooting .45 and to be honest I never went back. I sold my other pistols to my brother. That's all I need and all I want.

    I use Remington Golden Saber 185-Grain +P JHP as my defense round. I think it's up to about $25 a box locally.

    Not a big deal really for 1 box.... but it was when I bought 200 rnds and ran them through the pistol. I'm confidant in these rounds and know the function flawlessly in my Springfield.

    If I wanted a different defense round I would do the same thing regardless of price.
     
  20. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Member

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    Since I reload... it IS very relevant to me.
    And to the other reloaders.
    I shoot .45 ACP and .44 special for less than most are shooting surplus ammo.
    As to cost... buy the best you can afford.
    Your life is worth skipping a few value meals or a pack of smokes here and there to make up the difference.
    I carry a S&W M21 in .44 special and a RIA Match in .45 acp.
    My life is worth quality weapons and ammo.


    Jim
     
  21. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    ammo cost isn't a concern, weapon cost is.
     
  22. michiganfan

    michiganfan Member

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    It was to me. I wanted to train with what I shot. Taking a class that burns through a 1000 rounds in a weekend gets expensive. I took six classes last year and I try to go to the range at least two or three times a month. Usually go through 200 a trip. I made the change from 40 to 9mm. With 16 rounds of +P+ in the gun and 17 in the extra mag I feel good to go.
     
  23. floods

    floods Member

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    Yes. I haven't even purchased my gun yet, but it is definitely a factor for me. My limited trigger time means that I will be practicing quite a bit, so although I'd love to have something in .45acp that's not really financially practical for me. Being able to regularly train through 200 rounds of 9mm surely beats 100 rounds of .45acp. There's no doubt that I'm strong enough to handle some of the higher calibers without a problem, it's purely a financial and practice-based argument for me personally.
     
  24. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    This is an interesting question to me. I have always preferred a .45 as defensive handgun. I have not problem shooting them and am as proficient with my 1911 as any pistol I have shot. Bu due to the difference in ammo cost I have been considering making a 9mm my primary carry pistol on the theory that the extra practice out weighs the the extra power of the .45. I'm also looking at a .22lr conversion which I believe has its merits but as others have said there is benefit in training with the ammo one will use and for pistol classes etc I need the real rounds.

    I do reload btw but it is still cheaper to reload 9mm than anything else particularly because it is the most common brass I can scrounge at the range.


    Sorry that cracks me up since the cigs are way more likely to kill you than anything that you can shoot. If one is really concerned about there life (and the quality of it) they will skip all the packs of smokes.
     
  25. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Member

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    Very true... but when do people do what they should ;)


    Jim
     
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