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Several pistols in same caliber?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Encoreman, Jul 7, 2020.

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  1. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    on the edge, Tn.
    Just throwing this out there for discussion. Do you think it better in times like these where ammo is harder to come by, to have multiple pistols in same caliber as opposed to 1 or 2 in several different calibers? And after you have 2 or 3 pistols do you really need more? I do believe in the 2 is 1 and 1 is none theory. Thanks Mac
  2. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    I'd say that depends heavily on a few things.

    Do you intend to use all these pistols for self defense and/or home defense?

    Do you have large reserves of ammo, or are you planning to build large reserves?

    Are you concerned about having enough ammo available now? Or are you more concerned about future availability?

    Do you have a reason to own different sizes of pistol, and different calibers for different applications? Meaning a small pistol for concealed carry, and a larger caliber pistol for woods defense etc.
    Plainsman, Trunk Monkey and whm1974 like this.
  3. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Big Sky Country
    I guess I have seven 9mm handguns (counting my CZ Scorpion). It's handy to have to basically just stock one caliber but I wish I had a big bore wheelgun for hiking and camping.
    .308 Norma likes this.
  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    Variety is the spice of life...and I believe that saying goes double for firearms.

    I have several handguns each in most popular calibers, .22 LR, .38, .357, 9mm, .40, .44 Spl .44 mag, .45 ACP, .45 Colt etc. Each one has a different size, feel, capacity or purpose. Some are for duty, some for home defense, some for carry.... but all are for fun.

    I have only a few true duplicates though. Those I got a smoking deal on or I would’ve bought something different.

    Nothing is wrong at all with having several guns in one caliber. :thumbup:

    Stay safe,
    robhof, bob97, Twiki357 and 6 others like this.
  5. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Feb 1, 2016
    My 9mm guns:
    C96 "Broomhandle" Mauser
    P08 "Luger"
    P38 Walter
    Browning Hi-Power
    Beretta 92 INOX
    Diamondback DB9
    Kahr CM9
    Remington R51 (Really the only looser of the bunch.)
    CZ 75 compact
    Springfield XDm
    Ruger PC9
    All of them very different, no dups, all unique and all enjoyed at the range. I have several other calibers too but I think 9mm is the most numerous. A double stack 1911 of some sort will be added some day... right now it looks like it will be an RIA... but the Dan Wesson DWX does have a lot of appeal if I ever have the spare change.

    I have ~10k 9mm cases and ~eh... a lot of bullets.

    Is there some kind of ammo shortage or something going on?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  6. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Tejas Norte
    I think it depends on a lot of factors. What follows is all keeping “2 is 1” in mind....

    If you have one use case for a gun...in other words, one thing you are going to be doing, be it target shooting, concealed carry, or whatever, then two identical guns makes a lot of sense. Same make, model, caliber. You are paying more money than just buying one gun, but you get redundancy for your money.

    If you have two use cases that are similar, e.g. home defense and low difficulty concealed carry, then you have a more complicated choice. You can choose to use the same (or very similar) type of gun for both cases (e.g. a G19 is fine for either role, and a G19 and a G17 have enough overlap that either can be used for either role), so there are two strategies make sense: two slightly different guns, or two identical guns that can work for either role. Either way, choosing one cartridge for both makes sense. Ideally, there would be magazine compatibility too. Cost is probably about the same as the previous scenario but now you get redundancy and expanded capability.

    When you get into dissimilar use cases, things look very different. For example if you need to cover home defense and deep concealment, it’s a real challenge to find true deep concealment guns in anything above .380, and 9mm is a good floor for home defense. So now you have a choice: four guns in two cartridges, or two guns in two cartridges with the understanding that a failure of either will leave you compromising your other use case. The choice becomes a matter of money, so you need to start asking yourself, “how much does maximizing the capability per dollar matter to me?”

    The more kinds of dissimilar use cases you have, the more guns and potentially calibers you need. Add that if you like having guns, it’s pretty easy to justify having another 30 or so that are redundant but aren’t for redundancy. At this point the whole, “maximum reliability for minimum dollars,” thing is out the window anyway so your goal becomes maximizing capability, supply flexibility, and other values.

    The last time I was in a store that sold ammo, their entire stock consisted of rat shot in various forms, rimfire, and .380. If I had needed ammo, I would have been happy to have a .380 pistol at that moment. But it could has easily have been .40, or .32H&R mag, or whatever else. If you want the greatest chance of being able to buy ammo, having guns that can fire a range of cartridges has an advantage.

    What does all of that boil down to?

    If you have only one or two similar use cases, and your goal is maximizing reliability and effectiveness per dollar, standardizing on one caliber and two guns that can both cover your uses is going to be your most bang for the buck.

    If you have a range of dissimilar use cases, deliberately choosing different but overlapping guns in different calibers will give you the same or better redundancy, a greater range of uses, and better supply options, but the cost per unit of redundancy will be higher.

    That higher cost may or may not matter to you. The only wrong answer at this point is to have a mismatch between your choices and actual needs. If your actual needs are for a danger predator defense gun, a deep concealment gun, a low difficulty concealment gun, a new shooter training gun, a small game hunting gun, and a home defense gun, but you buy a pair of midsize polymer 9mms because that’s the max redundancy per dollar sweet spot, you’ve done yourself a disservice.
    Trunk Monkey likes this.
  7. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    SE Idaho
    That's what I read on THR.:D
    Dibbs, sparkyv, Buzznrose and 4 others like this.
  8. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

    Jun 25, 2020
    For me? I have pistols in 5 right now. Some are for carry for Wife and I. Some are just fun. Ammo? Since I have lived to see so many of these panic shortages I long ago stopped letting it be a problem. Have plenty of ammo to last year of so shooting weekly. If it ever got so bad I could not buy more I can roll all the center fire stuff. Most just never seem to learn to not get caught by these regular panic shortages.
    sparkyv and ThomasT like this.
  9. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Oct 2, 2014
    It depends on the number of handguns you own. If you own two or three, having them all in the same caliber but be sensible. If you own 75, it seems more sensible to have some variety.

    10mm is the only somewhat common caliber that I don't own a handgun for. I own at least one handgun in all of the other calibers that I'm likely to see at a big box sporting goods store. When ammo is scarce, I can shoot anything likely to be in stock anywhere nearby.
    sparkyv and lsudave like this.
  10. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    I have several 9mm Glocks secreted through my house for HD purposes. They all function the same and are easy to use for myself as well as Mrs. Fl-NC. When we go out of town, the ones that stay home are unloaded and stored in the safe, and a few mags that came from the stored pistols go with us. I also have several 45 pistols (a Glock and some 1911's) as well as 1 40 caliber Glock that is primarily used as a hunting sidearm. This "diversity" in calibers helps in that I might still be able to access 1 caliber when others are scarce.
    Riomouse911 and Corpral_Agarn like this.
  11. rkittine

    rkittine Member

    Jun 15, 2020
    New York
    You need to have at least two pistols in EVERY caliber. One to use and one for back up, then when ever you find pistol ammo for sale, buy what you can as you already have something to shoot it in.

  12. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Nov 20, 2017
    McKinney, TX
    Actually, for my pistols designated as SD pistols (my Kahr 9mm's...) I have about 5 of them. A few different models, but they all work the same, take the same magazines, go in the same holsters, shoot the same ammos, and have the same manual of arms.
  13. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Example, Glock 23, 22, 35 - all are 40 S&W
    The 23 is my minimum carry wherever pistol, easy to conceal AIWB or strongside.
    22 is preferred AIWB if wearing a stripe, plaid, pattern polo or button up (more than a t-shirt).
    35 preferred strong side wearing more than a t-shirt (stripe, plaid, print, polo or button up)
    In a shirt like this, I'm going with the 22 or 35 - typical summer attire:
    SDGlock23, Anchorite and Cornhusker77 like this.
  14. 375supermag

    375supermag Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    Southcentral Pennsylvania
    I firmly believe in the multiple handguns in as many calibers as possible.
    I have multiple handguns in .22LR/Mag, 9mm, .38Spl, .357Magnum, .41Magnum, .44Spl, .45ACP, .44Magnum and .45Colt.
    For some reason, I only own one handgun in .45AutoRim .40S&W and .375SuperMag. I do not own a 10mm but shoot both of my son's 10mm handguns just about every week.

    Always on the lookout for another handgun that interests me...and it doesn't take much to get me interested.
    stevek, MrShooter and Riomouse911 like this.
  15. rkittine

    rkittine Member

    Jun 15, 2020
    New York
    Lets see I have multiple in .22 LR, .22 WMR, .221 Fireball, .22 Remington JET, .32 ACP, ,.30 Carbine, 32 S&W Long, .38 WC, .38 Special, .38 Super, 357 Magnum, 9mm, .380 Auto .40, 10mm, .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, 45ACP and 45 Super. What am I missing? ( I didn't count rifle caliber barrels for my Contenders.)

    What am I missing?

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  16. bassjam

    bassjam Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    There's been several threads lately on if it's better to have one or two common calibers or several less common calibers. I think that discussion is moot.

    The Boy Scouts say "Be Prepared" and that's good advice.

    It doesn't matter if you can or can't find certain ammo on the shelves during a buying panic if you prepared for this by stocking up when ammo was cheap and plentiful. I try to have roughly a 2-3 year supply for each centerfire cartridge I shoot, and a 5 year supply for .22lr. The cartridges that I reload for I can stretch out a little longer.
    luzyfuerza and Corpral_Agarn like this.
  17. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

    Nov 14, 2012
    Northern CA (the good part)
    I have conversion options for many of my pistols.

    I can shoot 9, 40, 357 Sig, and 22lr from 3 of the pistols I own.

    And those 3 use the same mags, holsters, etc.

    I think having backup calibers for the same platform is a decent idea.
    robhof, mokin and .308 Norma like this.
  18. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

    Apr 10, 2010
    Sort of depends. If you have multiple pistols in the same caliber but fail to stock up on ammo or reloading supplies while they are advisable? Then no it's not a good idea. If you have a stock and maintain it them it would work out ok. Several years ago I decided that I was going to stream line and consolidate my calibers. In fact its still an ongoing process. I decided that I would stack the following for pistols.

    38spl/ 357Mag

    I keep a set amount of the ammo and reloading supplies on hand. I have not had to sweat about ammo being available. Now that's not to say those are the only calibers that I own. I have several others but I don't feel the need to stock up on it by the boat load. I keep a little bit and some reloading supplies for things like 40S&W, 44Mag and so on. I could all most drop the 45Acp off the list as I don't shoot it as much as I use to. I grouped the 38Spl and 357Mag together but I don't keep that much Mag ammo around. The hard part for me was when I was looking at a new gun if it was in a caliber other then the above I didn't have a lot of interest. I did the same thing with rifles. If its not in one of the following I most likely won't have a lot of interest in it.


    I got rid of a bunch of the Russian calibers and guns year back. I have a couple of 8MM Mausers but I never have fired them and don't own a round of ammo for them. Most of the guns that are not in any of the listed ones are on the chopping block as time moves on.

    I realize its not for everyone but it works for me.
  19. 1942bull

    1942bull Member

    Mar 8, 2020
    Southeast PA
    I do not think any of the possible choices of the number of guns or the number in a given category can be called better or worse. It is just persona choice. I think one gun is necessary. I think more guns are optional. You like guns — buy more. I have two pistols. One in the nightstand and one holsters ready to be worn without delay. I do not need more. I do not feel a want for more. That is my choice while we all know others enjoy having more guns, which is fine.
    NorthBorder likes this.
  20. film495

    film495 Member

    Aug 26, 2019
    I try to have 2 firearms for each cartridge. I don't, but it is a goal just to build redundancy into the system. If there were ever a major shortage of components and factory ammunition, 1000 times worse than anything we've seen in our lifetimes - the more possible cartridges you can fire, the better your odds of finding ammo and/or components to make ammo would be. Granted, the chance of something like that is IMHO .0000000001 // so, there might be better things to worry about and spend money on.
  21. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    In Regards to handgun's, we have multiples in 9X19mm and 45ACP.
    luzyfuerza and Crazy Horse like this.
  22. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    ohio's northcoast
    I own two handguns each in following calibers;
    I prefer going with the Big and small combinations for maximum CC options.
  23. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

    Sep 12, 2019
    At least 2 in the same caliber gives you a backup.
  24. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Dec 25, 2011

    I tell this story a lot but I'll try to keep it brief.

    I started out buying a lot of different calibers and I found it almost impossible to keep any kind of stock on hand. I got caught really short by The Obama Ammo Panic and I decided I was never going to get caught short like that again.

    In 2013 I sold off all my guns (with 3 exceptions) and started over with an emphasis on consolidation. It was a process but I decided to limit myself to 9mm Glocks. I only have to stock one type of ammunition and two kinds of magazines to cover all my bases. It makes my life a lot simpler, we have an ammunition budget. We put a little back from every paycheck and when we find a good price we buy regardless of how much we already have on hand. As a result we didn't get caught short by the current panic.

    In total I only stock four calibers
    .40 S&W
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
    Anchorite, Meeks36, kidneyboy and 2 others like this.
  25. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

    Jan 8, 2008
    Southern Virginia
    I have been using the buy two, save one for ammo for 50 years.
    Depending on finances over the years I bought 2 boxes, bricks, battlepacks or cases, shot one, saved the other. Rotate and repeat! Today I have 3K to 5K of each caliber!
    For weapons I like to have a full size and a compact of each.
    Full size 1911, Officers model 1911, CZ 75B full CZ 75D compact, In 357 a 4 inch 357 3 inch and 2 inch etc You get the idea.
    Did this with 22, 380, 359 45, 9mm,.
    On the rifle side I Have Carbines in 22, 9mm, 357 and 45.
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