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How Much Handgun Variety Do You Own? Is Too Much Variety Detrimental?

wagnerwagner MemberPosts: 40 Member
Probably seems like a stupid question to many of you - the latter part, at least. But I live in NYC, which complicates almost everything. Most detrimentally, it limits my amount of trigger time because it's so expensive. You cannot imagine how much I envy anyone with a range on his/her own property and the ability to produce reloads. I'm lucky to get to the range once a month.

At the moment, I only own three pistols: Glock 23, Glock 27, Walther PPS. Except for the mag release on the PPS, the manual of arms on all three is basically identical. I want more handguns, largely because I'm a gun dork and I just love the things. And I'd like to possess a variety of pistols because there are so many different designs I really like (from SIG, Springfield, Walther, etc.) and would enjoy owning. But in the interest of sharpening my muscle memory and becoming very proficient (I am at best a mediocre pistol marksman, and I have zero formal training with pistols), am I making a mistake by mixing up my personal collection? Part of me thinks I should stick to the Glock platform (which I like), and just rent other platforms at the range from time to time. Another part of me thinks I'm way overthinking this, and I should just buy whatever my whims dictate before Congress guts the 2nd Amendment altogether.

What say you, gun people?

Replies

  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,713 Senior Member
    Welcome
    I own a bit of everything. You need variety it's the spice of life.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    A good question. I live in Houston so it's never a problem for range time, just fitting it in with other things to do. But I have to go to the target range like anyone, not shooting at home (which would be tricky, as I live in a mid-town apartment, ha ha)

    But the general premise of your question isn't about range time, I think, but whether a variety of weapons might "dilute" the readiness you need in a personal defense situation. Such as whether one gun has an external safety to click off, and you might miss that.

    A very reasonable question, as I say. And sure, it's indeed possible that you might become accustomed to, say, a Glock w. no external safety and then fiddle too long if your gun has that safety to click off.

    I practice at the range by varying my pistols and picking up one, then the other, then back to the first (normally only take 2 to the range at a time). And I alternate left/right hand, and alternate one-hand vs two-hand, and so on, so that I can switch between fairly easily, and not get "hung up" on one particular grip stance and so on.

    I don't think you're "overthinking" this at all. I'd recommend that you practice at home w. unloaded pistols, just to pick them up and "dry fire" them so that you become accustomed to the variety of feel, and then, at the range, you can "double down" on such, by shooting, say, 4-5 rounds w. one pistol, then switch to the other quickly (and safely) so that you have a variation in the technique.

    Good luck in NY. And we're very happy to have any ex-Yankees to move to Texas any time. Amazing the feeling of having a Republican governor and legislature! ha ha
  • wagnerwagner Member Posts: 40 Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    A good question. I live in Houston so it's never a problem for range time, just fitting it in with other things to do. But I have to go to the target range like anyone, not shooting at home (which would be tricky, as I live in a mid-town apartment, ha ha)

    But the general premise of your question isn't about range time, I think, but whether a variety of weapons might "dilute" the readiness you need in a personal defense situation. Such as whether one gun has an external safety to click off, and you might miss that.

    A very reasonable question, as I say. And sure, it's indeed possible that you might become accustomed to, say, a Glock w. no external safety and then fiddle too long if your gun has that safety to click off.

    I practice at the range by varying my pistols and picking up one, then the other, then back to the first (normally only take 2 to the range at a time). And I alternate left/right hand, and alternate one-hand vs two-hand, and so on, so that I can switch between fairly easily, and not get "hung up" on one particular grip stance and so on.

    I don't think you're "overthinking" this at all. I'd recommend that you practice at home w. unloaded pistols, just to pick them up and "dry fire" them so that you become accustomed to the variety of feel, and then, at the range, you can "double down" on such, by shooting, say, 4-5 rounds w. one pistol, then switch to the other quickly (and safely) so that you have a variation in the technique.

    Good luck in NY. And we're very happy to have any ex-Yankees to move to Texas any time. Amazing the feeling of having a Republican governor and legislature! ha ha

    Thanks for the helpful reply. Good suggestions. I do a ton of snap cap practice at home as it is, but I can always do more.

    The one thing I probably don't want to get into is purchasing anything with a manual safety. I'm not critical of manual safeties, but less accustomed to them. I watch a lot of Hickok45's vids on YouTube. While the guy is brilliant with pretty much any firearm you put in his hands, I've noticed once or twice that when firing pistols with manual safeties, he'll forget to disengage the safety and get a dull clicking noise on the first round. Makes perfect sense, given his frequently stated preference for striker-fire. But if a shooter with as much experience as that guy can get hung up for a second by forgetting to hit the safety, I figure I'm likely to get myself killed under stress in a life-or-death scenario. Definitely a judgment about myself rather than guns with external safeties. I'm scared of the things. Unfortunate, because if I weren't, the list of pistols I'd enjoy owning expands hugely - Ruger, FN, CZ, Beretta, a world of 1911's...

    And thanks for the invite! I plan to make myself an ex-Yankee absolutely as soon as possible, but I won't finish school here until 2014... Hopefully we'll still have a 2nd Amendment by then.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    We all come up with our own preferences for our own reasons, and it sounds like you've already done of "logicking" around the issue.

    Your best approach may be to figure out what roles you need to fill (HD, CCW for a couple modes of dress, hunting, competition, smallbore practice etc...). Once you get that hammered out, think about what features you either need to have, or absolutely REFUSE to have - for example, I WILL NOT have an autoloader with a magazine disconnect device or a DA-to-SA trigger, and I WILL NOT have a firearm that uses an "ignition key", but your mileage may vary.

    On becoming proficient; here's a tip - it's all about sight alignment, sight picture, grip, and good trigger management. Once you've got that sorted, what the gun is doesn't matter nearly so much as you think it does.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    On manual safeties - the trick is to adopt a grip that naturally disengages one when you assume it. I shoot what's known as a "high thumbs" grip on a Glock, which naturally puts my right thumb on top of the safety of a 1911.

    The great benefit of a manual safety on a SINGLE ACTION firearm (like a 1911) is that it gives you a trigger that only has to do one thing - fire the weapon. This allows you to eliminate all of the extra motion associated with triggers that cock the gun or disengage various internal safeties. Such guns are usually easier to deliver accurate shots quickly because of this - once the sights are aligned, one merely has to add pressure until the sear lets the hammer go.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,715 Senior Member
    On becoming proficient; here's a tip - it's all about sight alignment, sight picture, grip, and good trigger management. Once you've got that sorted, what the gun is doesn't matter nearly so much as you think it does.
    This is my view on the subject; maybe with the exception that it must fit your hand by not being too
    small or too big.
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,644 Senior Member
    Move away from bloomberg and his stooges.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    This is my view on the subject; maybe with the exception that it must fit your hand by not being too
    small or too big.

    Mine, too - except I don't think it even necessarily has to fit your hand, although that is obviously desireable. I eventually learned to shoot my LCP and my Kahrs pretty well (for compacts), despite a trigger reach that is way too short. On the opposite end of the scale, I probably shoot the G20 better than anything I have ever owned (except a Blackhawk) and it feels like I'm holding a block of wood.

    As to the original question, I like to shoot almost everything - SA or DA revolvers, SA/DA, SA only, and striker fired pistols. I don't like anything with a mag disconnect, although I have one that is not a SD weapon, and I avoid ignition keys, except for one S&W that has never been 'switched off' and I don't even know where the key is.

    But, for carry, I mostly stick to striker fired pistols with no manual safety, because I don't get to practice enough to feel as comfortable with anything else.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I have quite a few handguns and do shoot most of them regularly but personal defense guns are narrowed down to a select few that I will carry depending on where I am goin and how I will be dressed. I don't think owning a bunch of handguns is detrimental to your shooting ability becuse I shoot very well with several vastly different types of handguns. As said above they must fit your hand and you must practice!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,462 Senior Member
    I imagine bigslug's handgun variety to include two types, GI and nonGI. :jester:
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    Variety in your handgun choices only becomes a problem when you choose to carry a handgun that you are less than proficient with.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Variety in your handgun choices only becomes a problem when you choose to carry a handgun that you are less than proficient with.

    Perfectly said!

    I think at the very least you need to have a Glock (or one of its copycats like XD :devil:), a 1911, and a DA revolver. These are the most common handguns out there and you need to be comfortable with them at least. Everything else comes off of those 3, with possibly the decocker as the only thing that's "missing".

    Perhaps it's best to point out some differences and you can decide. Some differences on pistol are frame-mounted safety typical of Beretta, mag release button of the Walther as you already know, and the index finger manual safety on the FN Five-seveN. For revolvers, in addition to SA which is very different from DA, you have different mechanism of releasing cylinders (some main examples: push for S&W, pull for Colt, and vertically 1-handed for Dan Wesson). While it doesn't quite fit, some guns have magazine drop safety which won't fire if the mag is out.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,543 Senior Member
    I'm a creature of habit with a strong preference for order and uniformity, which can be beneficial to organization, but has its drawbacks in terms variety and spontaneity. So if you look in my safe, you will see all of the ammo line up perfectly, by caliber, then by brand, then by bullet type and weight. Weird, maybe.

    So when I buy a gun, I already have in mind the specific purpose/job this gun is for, but it has to fit my previous pattern. For instance, my first handgun was a Ruger P94; it had a manual safety/decocker and an external hammer. The second one I bought was a Ruger P91; same caliber, same design, just had a longer barrel.

    I've gone back an forth on gun types for the purpose of concealed carry, but looking back I realize that I had to try many different types to find what I truly like. When I bought my first 1911, I had my 'Road to Damascus' moment.....

    From that point on, my caliber for personal defense has been, and shall ever be, .45acp. And the gun will always have an external hammer. My Kimber and my FN fit the bill nicely.

    I've got revolvers, and it took owning a few to realize that I prefer stainless steel & double action.

    I don't normally take them all to the range, but I can use them all well.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    This is an ENABLERS forum....

    I have a wide variety of handguns and I don't have enough.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    Back in the 80's & 90's when I went to an IPSC match several weekends per month, I competed in all 3 classes. The four different clubs within 100 miles of my location all offered Open, Factory and Revolver classes for their monthly IPSC matches. You had to shoot your open gun first, then your other two. It allowed me to shoot the courses of fire 3 different times with 3 different guns. I'm really glad that I did that, as it allowed me to gain proficiency with all three types of guns.

    Illinois is not a CCW state (the only one that isn't) but if it was, I would feel equally confident with a wheel-gun as with a semi-auto thanks to all the rounds sent down range with each type of firearm. Not bragging, just saying that I've got Govt. models, striker fired hi-cap semi-autos and lots & lots of wheel-guns. As someone else said, variety is the spice of life.
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,575 Senior Member
    I like variety.....to a point. I like uniformity when it comes to controls. They either have to have no safety, or a 1911 style safety. Anything else, is out.
    Revolvers, both DA and SA, 1911's, and 1911 styled striker fired pistols are cool, for me.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    Handguns , just like with hand tools , some people , especially those who have been around them all their lives , can pick up darn near anything and be comfortable and proficient with it. Complacency is bad , but being a Nervous Nellie while handling guns is probably just as dangerous.

    I have owned pistols from a Luger designed in 1898 to a modern Sig 226 , and revolvers from 1847 Colt Walker repro to a Ruger Redhawk. I feel just as comfortable with one as any other.

    Oddly enough , the more complicated a pistol is , the more I like it. Stuff like Glocks and even D/A only revolvers leave me cold. I guess the powers that be designed these thing for the simpler is safer crowd. Yet Glocks and similar pistols have one of , if not THE highest rates of ADs.

    But the basic safety rules must become second nature , Treat every gun as loaded , finger off the trigger , always point in a safe direction , remove mag or open cylinder , check and clear chamber(s).
  • temmitemmi Member Posts: 230 Member
    If I owned HGs they would be these

    All in 45ACP
    Glock 21
    H&K USP
    Sig P220
    Colt Gold Cup 1911
    Briley 1911
    XD (45)

    Other
    Ruger BlackHawk (45 Colt)
    Ruger Super Redhawk (480 Ruger)
    Colt 1903 (32ACP)
    Smith & Wesson Model 38 (38 Spl)
    Smith & Wesson Model 637 (38 Spl +P)
    Browning Challenger

    The only problem is you can't shoot them all at once

    :wink:
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,499 Senior Member
    I have a small variety of traditional handguns.
    Primary SD is a Glock.
    It is more of how much practice I put in terms of how proficient I am with xyz handgun(s).
    Certainly some crossover, but it is more about situational awareness (beyond realistic practice) or using the 6" between your ears.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    There is something to be said for using one handgun for personal defense and becoming really proficient with it...
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Variety in your handgun choices only becomes a problem when you choose to carry a handgun that you are less than proficient with.

    Jay, you nailed it. It's not the variety of guns you own, it's how proficient you are with the one you pick up at that particular moment, when it's really needed.
  • luvmyRugersluvmyRugers New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Variety in your handgun choices only becomes a problem when you choose to carry a handgun that you are less than proficient with.

    :that: +100 Jayhawker!

    As with tools, you can never have too many guns! :nono: It's fun to shoot mutiple types and calibers. Just be sure when you choose your CCW, it's the one you are most comfortable and most accurate with and consistantly carry that one. If you want to change to a different platform, PRACTICE with that until you are proficient with it. Your life depends on it.

    Good luck on your decision.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,557 Senior Member
    My logic...

    If they are self-defense pistols, variety is fine SO LONG AS your variety of pistols all have the same or very similar methods of function.

    Example:

    Glock, S&W M&P, SA XD series, etc.

    Sig Sauer, Beretta, EAA Witness, etc.

    1911, Browning Hi-Power, Sig P220 SAO, etc.

    In this logic, you are always carrying a pistol that uses the same hand manipulations as the others so in the ultimate stressful moment, there is less a chance of getting jammed up with forgetting how to run your pistol. Just my two cents.

    -Jason
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • wagnerwagner Member Posts: 40 Member
    Wow, lots of helpful, insightful responses. Thank you, fellers.

    I've decided I'm going to, at least for now, stick with the Glock platform for my personal defensive pistols (and the Walther PPS, which is incredibly Glock-like). I love firearms in general and am still super-interested in the whole array of great stuff out there other than Glock, but I guess I can always rent the other stuff from my range when I'm in the mood for some diversity. And also to educate myself, as I think it's just good to know how to operate what's out there just because you never know...

    But I want a .45 (all the pistols I own at the moment are in .40). Gonna go for a G21 Gen 4, as soon as my "purchase authorization" comes through (gotta love NYC).

    Also looking into a 5.56 rifle. In NYC, I am fairly certain that just about the only legal auto-loading 5.56 rifle I can purchase would be a Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. Not my first choice (would prefer something with longer effective range), but far, far better than the NO RIFLE I currently own. Based on recent events and some of the language out of Washington lately, I feel a sudden sense of urgency about acquiring a decent rifle. The Ranch Rifle seems to fly in NYC because it's missing many of the desirable features one might look for: no flash suppressor (illegal here, believe it or not), no pistol grip, no collapsible stock, etc. I'll take what I can get, for now. I actually kind of like the old school version with wood furniture...
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,557 Senior Member
    wagner wrote: »
    Wow, lots of helpful, insightful responses. Thank you, fellers.

    I've decided I'm going to, at least for now, stick with the Glock platform for my personal defensive pistols (and the Walther PPS, which is incredibly Glock-like). I love firearms in general and am still super-interested in the whole array of great stuff out there other than Glock, but I guess I can always rent the other stuff from my range when I'm in the mood for some diversity. And also to educate myself, as I think it's just good to know how to operate what's out there just because you never know...

    But I want a .45 (all the pistols I own at the moment are in .40). Gonna go for a G21 Gen 4, as soon as my "purchase authorization" comes through (gotta love NYC).

    Also looking into a 5.56 rifle. In NYC, I am fairly certain that just about the only legal auto-loading 5.56 rifle I can purchase would be a Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. Not my first choice (would prefer something with longer effective range), but far, far better than the NO RIFLE I currently own. Based on recent events and some of the language out of Washington lately, I feel a sudden sense of urgency about acquiring a decent rifle. The Ranch Rifle seems to fly in NYC because it's missing many of the desirable features one might look for: no flash suppressor (illegal here, believe it or not), no pistol grip, no collapsible stock, etc. I'll take what I can get, for now. I actually kind of like the old school version with wood furniture...

    I have a Mini-14....

    P1020208.jpg

    PROS:

    -LIGHTER than a AR15...go figure.
    -large magazine capacities available
    -scope rail adaptable for red dots, etc.
    -same price as AR's (for those in AR unfriendly areas)
    -made of stainless steel and wood...time tested combination
    -good accessories available
    -uses common ammo
    -will feed/cycle anything
    -more than adequate accuracy inside of 100 yards for minute of badguy
    -quick follow up shots (mild muzzle jump)
    -surprisingly excellent 2-stage triggers (little polish made it even better)
    -not hard to disassemble/clean
    -looks cool to boot!
    -comes in a 6.8SPC and 7.62x39mm version!!!

    CONS:

    -does suffer from accuracy issues in some serial number ranges
    -used ones seem to cost as much as new ones :uhm:
    -barrel has to be cleaned from muzzle unless you have Otis stuff

    For what I expect of mine, it performs superbly. It's fast swinging and quick pointing. Great rifle.

    -Jason
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Wear a badge in NYC and you can skirt the restrictions....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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