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Practice with 9mm, but carry 40sw???

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TrailWolf, Feb 20, 2012.

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  1. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Member

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    As a new shooter, just curious about the philosophy behind this.

    What do you guys think about practicing 95% with one caliber for cost reasons, but carrying a more powerful one for CCW? More specifically the Glock 19/23 in 9mm and 40sw.

    I have a G23 I got in a trade, but am a 9mm guy. Would it be silly to buy the conversion barrel, practice with 9mm 95% of the time, but then carry .40sw for CCW? I'm not sure thats a sound or smart practice.

    Should I just stick with a 9mm CCW altogether?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    There are things that do make sense about the idea. I have a .22 conversion kit for my 1911 that allows me to crank through hundreds of rounds with minimal cost. In this case, it is the same gun and trigger pull I will be using for my carry gun.

    However, I still practice with my .45. I'm not going to shoot nothing but .22 and then think that I will be able to fight with a much bigger cartridge. In my experience, the .40 has significantly harsher recoil than a 9mm from the same frame. (G-19/G-23 type comparisons.)

    There is nothing at all wrong with a 9mm for carry, particularly with the ammo available today.
     
  3. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  4. calaverasslim

    calaverasslim Member

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    That would work well particularly since they are both the same make. Not much difference between the 2
     
  5. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    Provided they are of the same platform, I think it makes sense.
     
  6. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Yes it would be the exact same platform - a Glock 23 with the Glock 19 barrel.

    I have a guy who wants to trade my 23 for a 19 so trying to weigh the possibilities...
     
  7. KodeFore

    KodeFore Member

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    I. Carry a g23 for work. I do not think you are doing yourself any favors practiceing with 9mm because there is a lot more snap to the 40 over the 9. Honestly I think my g23 has as much or maby more felt recoil than my 1911. They make some good 9mm these days. I think the best way to answer you question would be to take a 9mm handgun to the range ( borrow or rent one if need be) shot a box of 9 through that followed by a box the. 40 you plan to carry. The results down range should give you your answer.
     
  8. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Member

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    Yeah, I've shot them both right after each other and I enjoy the 9mm wayyyyyy more and can get follow up shots much quicker. I guess I'm just trying to decide if its worth the hassle of trading off the 23 for a 19 and I think it might be.
     
  9. wally

    wally Member

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    I've been doing it for years with the Kahr CW9 for practice and the Kahr PM40 for carry. Figure I've more that paid for the CW9 with the savings from 9mm practice ammo vs .40S&W practice ammo.

    Since the only two people I know who've fired a handgun in a self defense situation both report not even hearing the gun go off, I don't think in the heat of the moment more recoil or "snappiness" will be noticed!
     
  10. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    No problem. As a matter of fact as long they they share POI in regards to the sights you'd never even know the difference on the first shot out of the gun :). Subsequent shots you'll have a little more recoil, but often times that the case anyways when people are practicing with light target loads in 9mm and then carrying +P loads.

    I'd just make sure that you shoot the .40 SOME. Don't let the recoil be a complete surprise to you, but once you know what to expect out of it its fine if the bulk of your practice is with the 9mm.
     
  11. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    Not a practice I agree with, but even in LE some departments will use a .22 conversion on the AR for practice/qualification. I would love to see a study done on this, then compare the second qualification with duty ammo and see how the score plummeted. With a handgun in .40, the recoil is quite snappy and trigger control must be mastered, and that's only done with consistent practice........in my opinion.;)

    LD
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I'd bet you that some people do better that way than if they shot .40 back to back. For some shooters, the biggest obstacle recoil poses is getting the gun back on target takes a fraction of a second longer. For some others, that obstacle is dwarfed by the flinch that big loud noises, muzzle flash, and something jumping in your hands creates. For those people, alternating between smaller calibers and larger ones can lead to them shooting the bigger one better.

    And if someone is really trying to learn how to shoot reasonably fast, tracking the sights in recoil is pretty important. That's a lot easier to do with some .22 shooting, or even 9mm, than with a .40.

    That's not to say that one shouldn't practice some of the time with whatever caliber you're going to carry. But for some people, 50 shots of .22 and 50 shots of .40 will get better results and more improvement than 100 shots of .40.
     
  13. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Agreed, as long as you finish with the larger caliber.

    When shooting different pistol calibers at the range, I always start with the least recoiling cartridge and move up from there. For example, I would start with my Beretta 92FS, move to my S&W 4566, and finish up with my Glock 29. This also, not incidentally, allows me to start with the best single-action trigger and move to the worst (subjectively), and also start with less expensive ammo.

    It's easier to get on target and remember the fundamentals with less recoil and cheaper ammo. Even if I shoot rather often, getting on target quickly is a huge psychological boost that can carry over to other weapons.
     
  14. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    That's what I do. 90% of my practice is with my XD9, but when I carry an XD, it's always the 40. I reload, and don't get any of the snap the 40 is famous for. It just feels like a stout 9mm.
     
  15. alaskanativeson

    alaskanativeson Member

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    I've noticed quite a difference in guns of the same model in different caliber. I had a USP 45 and another in 40. Despite making a bigger hole, the 45 shot easier, and I was more accurate with it. I've also shot the Glock 17 and 22, to me there was a notable difference there, too. Granted, I'm not a fan of the 40 caliber, but if I was going to carry a gun for self defense, I'd want to practice with that gun. A lot.

    I can see the advantage of practicing with a different caliber some of the time. I have a Ciener conversion for my G17 to shoot the .22LR. It helps to practice trigger and wrist control and spend a buck or two for a box of 50 rather than $20 for the same number of rounds. That said, I'm going to put a lot of 9mm down the pipe as well. I don't see a whole lot of advantage to shooting a 9 but carrying a 40 you don't shoot much. In my opinion (and it may be worth what you pay for it) you'd be better off trading the one you don't want as a primary carry piece for something else you want.
     
  16. clone

    clone Member

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    Why not just use the 9mm for the CCW? Cheap, accurate, quick follow up shots and only .05" differance.:rolleyes:

    Trigger time is key.
     
  17. nathan

    nathan Member

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    They say, practice what you carry . Use .40 SW for practice in my opinion.
     
  18. XxBulletBendeRXx

    XxBulletBendeRXx Member

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    I agree with mgmorden.....
    WHy waste the money.. Shoot the 9mm..
    Anyway, if those of you who posted that you should practice with what you carry...( Which is a great plan and wish I could, however the best I can practice with is Reloaded HP Duplicate type loads) How many folks do you see show up to range, and shoot holes in paper with of 15 boxes of Speer +P Gold Dot or Whatever your flavor of super magic BTHPBT++p++, ETC, bullet of the week is??
    To shoot the 9mm is practical and also applicable to your overall need$.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  19. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Practicing with a lighter caliber will allow you to work on your trigger technique. However, it does you no favors for practicing follow-up shots.

    I can do a full magazine dump with a .22 pistol into about 2" at 10 yards, reload quickly, and repeat it. I cannot say that I can do that as quickly with .40. Even 9mm gives me a noticeable edge in this respect. This is to be expected, we all know that our follow-up rate of fire will increase as caliber decreases. But I think it's worthwhile knowing how it will feel, and for that reason I cannot suggest that you train solely with 9mm. .40 is a unique animal.
     
  20. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I practice with hotter FMJ's and carry +P 230 grain HST's.

    I would advise you do that with your .40. Follow up shots, recoil, noise, etc... it won't be a surprise if you ever need it.
     
  21. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    That's exactly why I like the Speer Lawman series, the target loads are loaded the same as the SD/duty ammo.;)

    LD
     
  22. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Practice with what you carry, methinks. In SD, every shot counts. If you try to double tap your Kahr 40 the way you do your Beretta 92, you're going to be responsible for that second bullet, wherever it ends up. And you might be needing that bullet, later. :)
     
  23. alaskanativeson

    alaskanativeson Member

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    I don't know about everyone else, but I was referring to which gun to practice with. The OP was asking about practicing with a gun in one caliber and carrying almost the same gun but in a different caliber. I think most people practice with cheaper ammo but carry more premium ammo for defensive use. I bought 8 boxes of Golden Saber .45 Caliber 185 grain +p for my gun, put 4 boxes through it to make sure the gun liked it, the other 4 boxes went into my clips and/or under my bed to be stored for when I may need them. I practice with whatever's cheapest, it's usually American Eagle, Winchester white box, or CCI Blazer.
     
  24. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    If the carry gun is reliable, enjoy shooting the 9mm. You're not doing precision work for SD. If you know how to shoot it, and know that it will shoot, don't think twice. I'd still run a few rounds through the carry gun when you practice though.
     
  25. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Agreed, although I'd add that switching back and forth during a session might also be helpful; it is to me. I shoot a fair amount of 10mm, and it can bring out the flinch/low-left-push that I had from the beginning with handguns. So I'll shoot some .22, then shoot some 10mm until the groups open up on me. If the open up because I'm going too fast, then I'll slow down. If they open up because my flinch is back or the trigger control has gone to hell, then switching back to the .22 for a while will help. Same thing if I started not being able to track the sights well... I'll go back to the .22 and track sights that are only bumping a little, then return to the bigger and faster jump of the sights on a 10mm.

    That's just what seems to work for me. Others may have a different experience. But I agree that I would not fail to shoot whatever gun I was trying to train for. If I was going to carry a .40, I might shoot a lot of .22 or 9mm, but I'd darn sure shoot some .40 each time, too.
     
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