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Given ammo shortages, what pistol calibers can you shoot with the concealed carry guns you own?


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Discussion Starter #1
Back in 2005 when I bought my first concealed carry firearm, it was chambered in .40 S&W (which was the hot caliber back then). I carried it exclusively for about 8 years before selling my forties to switch mainly to 9mm. This is the third ammo shortage I can remember since then where finding 9mm has proven difficult (and in some cases impossible). In fact, MidwayUSA has some 9mm FMJ's on the way they're graciously selling for $40 per box of 50 (I can buy .357 SIG cheaper than that!).

That said, I have always been able to find .40 S&W on shelves, so I just bought a .40 S&W barrel from Opticsplanet for $124 shipped to drop into my P229 chambered in .357 SIG if needed which is cheaper than buying another gun (note: use wikibuy to get discount codes). You can usually go from larger calibers to smaller ones (e.g. .40 S&W or .357 SIG to 9mm), but you usually can't do the reverse (though the Beretta PX4 Storm is among the few exceptions). I do like 9mm better than .40 S&W, but I like .40 S&W better than nothing if that ever turns out to be the case.

We live in uncertain times, so if you don't have anything other than 9mm, and you have the means to buy a conversion barrel or firearm to give you more options, it's not a bad idea. I now have most of the popular semi-auto calibers because you never know what's going to be left on shelves or available to barter with down the road.
 

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Interesting survey. Given the unstable nature of the ammunition market the last several years, I think it behooves us to have multiple carry guns in various calibers available. Nothing quite so useless as a gun for which one cannot obtain ammo.
 

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Nothing quite so useless as a gun for which one cannot obtain ammo.
And the people who want to control YOU are working hard on making it impossible or way too expensive to buy ammo: Let the people buy the guns, but don't let them shoot them. Think about it.

I do agree that having more than one caliber of guns you are able to shoot is a good idea, though.
 

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And here I was trying to winnow down my ammunition stock to a few different calibers....But having lived through only one ammo shortage, I forgot about the issue of scarcity.
 

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Two things. When ammo is in short supply is NOT the time to be practicing. Buy a laser trainer and dry fire. When ammo is plentiful, THEN go out and practice live fire.

Second...MODS...There is something dreadfully wrong with a survey that has 50 total votes and 4 of them works out to 50% !!! Is this new math?

Forgot...this could be the new liberal / socialist / communist method of counting votes.
 

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I have to agree with @OldChap
  • Are you not well versed in other very effective ways to practice besides burning powder? There are methods people could benefit from even if they had plenty of ammo.
  • Did you not prepare to have the ammo you would need for a crisis already on hand?
  • How many gunfights do you plan on getting in during the shortage? And in those gunfights, how many times do your plan on missing your targets?
I don't get the continual need for an ammo "fix." It sounds to me like people are indignant their hobby has been put on hold.

BTW, I just realized my supply needed a long overdo minor touch up. I was able to find every caliber I needed. It was not always the exact brand/model I wanted and I had to look a little harder and I might have paid a little more, but it was not to the extent I wished I had guns in different calibers.
 

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I never understood the need to limit calibers? Why?

What a boring shooting existence if your life is limited to 9mm and 5.56mm.
 

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I have handguns in:
.22 LR
.22 Magnum
.25 ACP
9mm
38 Special
357 Magnum
.40S&W
10mm
44-40
45 ACP
45 Colt
44 Magnum
454 Casull

I can usually find some ammo for one or more of the calibers.
 

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I never understood the need to limit calibers? Why?

What a boring shooting existence if your life is limited to 9mm and 5.56mm.
I agree. The wife says I don't need more guns. I tell her that during ammo shortages, this allows me to still shoot. And then she looks at me like I've lost my mind. And then I buy another gun...

As far as im concerned, 40 has never been a bad idea. I just have more guns to get, to fill out some of the options...
 

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No .40 at Bass Pro Thursday. A few .32s, .380s, and 10mm. All defensive ammo, no target. Had a gun show this weekend, but didn't go. No idea what was there. I'll have to get with someone who was supposed to go.
 

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Personally, I can't think of a good reason not to have guns in numerous calibers and lots of ammo for each. If it is a matter of money - then one gun with as much ammo as you can afford. ( No , I'm not rich - just well provisioned over many years. )
 

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Second...MODS...There is something dreadfully wrong with a survey that has 50 total votes and 4 of them works out to 50% !!! Is this new math?

Forgot...this could be the new liberal / socialist / communist method of counting votes.
Commonly accepted as the "Biden Theorem". Used when you just don't care whether or not things add up!
 

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Two things. When ammo is in short supply is NOT the time to be practicing. Buy a laser trainer and dry fire. When ammo is plentiful, THEN go out and practice live fire.

Second...MODS...There is something dreadfully wrong with a survey that has 50 total votes and 4 of them works out to 50% !!! Is this new math?

Forgot...this could be the new liberal / socialist / communist method of counting votes.

I voted for every caliber on the list I have plus other.
 

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I have all the calibers listed except for 25 and 32 ACP. But the question was concealed carry guns, so that knocks out all but 380, 9, 40, and 45. It's not on the list, but I'd carry a 9mm Makarov.
I don't worry much about CCW ammo. I burn through FMJ practice ammo like it's water, but a case of 500 147 HST lasts years.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Second...MODS...There is something dreadfully wrong with a survey that has 50 total votes and 4 of them works out to 50% !!! Is this new math?

Forgot...this could be the new liberal / socialist / communist method of counting votes.
The math is fine. In this poll you can select all that apply, so not everyone is going to have every caliber, or the same number of different calibers, so it's not going to add up to 100% in that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have to agree with @OldChap

I don't get the continual need for an ammo "fix." It sounds to me like people are indignant their hobby has been put on hold.

BTW, I just realized my supply needed a long overdo minor touch up. I was able to find every caliber I needed. It was not always the exact brand/model I wanted and I had to look a little harder and I might have paid a little more, but it was not to the extent I wished I had guns in different calibers.
I agree. The wife says I don't need more guns. I tell her that during ammo shortages, this allows me to still shoot. And then she looks at me like I've lost my mind. And then I buy another gun...

As far as im concerned, 40 has never been a bad idea. I just have more guns to get, to fill out some of the options...
I agree 40 was never a bad idea (it's actually a great idea depending on the person). I was on a Smith & Wesson forum recently, and one of those guys who sounds like he knows a lot until you ask him questions said that (and I am only slightly paraphrasing) ".40 S&W and .45 ACP should have died a horrible death many years ago, and maybe even from the outset." I took issue with that and saw that his account was suspended later that day and now I can't find him or his post (not that I'm looking very hard). I think they ironically (if not poetically) handled the situation by terminating his account in the spirit of what he said about those calibers.

I don't want to mention names, but I think a certain YouTube personality about 8-10 years ago came on the scene and drilled into people's minds that "All guns should be Glocks, all Glocks should be nine millimeters, and all Glock nine millimeters should be nineteens". Many years later he would walk back this statement to mean dehorned 9mm pistols holding about 15-rounds (and that he said that because no one made anything like that at the time). That may or not be true, but he certainly hasn't walked back his statement about calibers other than 9mm and perhaps .45 ACP.

The truth is that it's not bad advice for most people to recommend 9mm over all others when starting out (though I can certainly think of some exceptions), but I think his conviction really affected a lot of people (including me at first). The only reason I remained open to other calibers at the time was that despite being a big 9mm fan, the best guns I've shot well personally were .45's (in terms of shooting paper targets anyway). I also have an affinity for .357 SIG (sorry, but I won't apologize to anyone for this). Moreover, .380's make for great pocket pistols especially when you're "not allowed" to carry, and revolvers are just too freaking cool for school.

Lastly, having carried .40 S&W exclusively for my first 8 of the last 15 years I've been carrying, I've always maintained a soft spot for the former FBI caliber and have thus always wanted to go back to it. At the time, however, it wasn't a priority for me to have more than a few pistols so I had to prioritize. That said, I don't think I started really branching out until the ammo shortage that followed the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. Even so, I've been putting off getting back into .40 S&W until today despite owning many guns in many calibers in the interim. That said, if people only like 9mm and can afford to stock up on more ammo than they could ever use, I guess diversifying their portfolio wouldn't be so appealing. To each his own.

I can understand how some people haven't thought about diversifying their experience because it hasn't progressed to that point (if it ever will). Let's say you're relatively new to firearms and only have three pistols (small, medium, and large), I can see how someone might want to stay with one caliber (and 9mm in particular). Not everyone has the money or interest to go beyond that. Moreover, many people find it hard to afford anything, so chasing the dream of having 5,000 rounds or more on hand is never going to be realistic for them and I can't hold that against them.

But whatever that minimum ammunition cache number is for someone that they maintain by picking up a box of ammo every time they enter a gun store (and/or by routinely buy in bulk), they have to maintain it, which means they constantly have to replenish it unless they don't practice (or ammo dries up, in which case having other options makes sense).

Many people also can't afford to shoot for recreation, so they shoot only as often as they can afford which is often not enough. In those situations I'm not sure how long I'm going to want to rely on dry practicing alone. I dry practice anywhere from virtually every day to a few times a week, but if I don't shoot relatively long periods of time my skills start to parish (especially with my aging eyesight and onset of arthritis). Moreover, on average it is during these times of uncertainty, economic or otherwise, and panic, that one's shooting skills become increasingly valuable over time.

I guess what I am trying to say is that everyone's situation is at least a little different, so I understand how scarcity is going to affect people in various ways (and at different rates). Personally I had a serious health issue which was 100% fatal unless the person is lucky to get diagnosed & treated early on (years ahead of when the disease is typically diagnosed (which was luckily my case). My wife and I were hit with this at a really bad time on top of it which made finances very tight. I'm okay now but it's doubtful I will ever fully recover, so extenuating circumstances can also come into play (when it comes to maintaining adequate levels of ammunition).

That said, there is also a fair share of naivete and procrastination going on, and we are all guilty of it in some aspect of our lives.
 
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