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First read the OP. Then, what should my next caliber or gauge priority be?

  • 12 gauge

    Votes: 15 42.9%
  • .45 ACP

    Votes: 5 14.3%
  • .308

    Votes: 3 8.6%
  • .38 Special

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • .357 Magnum

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • 10mm

    Votes: 4 11.4%
  • 6.5 Creedmoor

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • 20 gauge

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • other

    Votes: 3 8.6%
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Discussion Starter #1
I want to diversify my firearms cache because it's rather limited at the moment. There's no need to know what I want to do as I am only interested in your thoughts and opinions (mine are too boring). Anyway, this discussion has two parts:

First, here's what I want you to consider regarding the poll:

I currently have rifles & pistols chambered in .22LR, .223/5.56x45 NATO, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 SIG; but that's it (I sold my three shotguns but will be replacing at least one of them eventually). I am interested in prioritizing additional calibers/gauges at some point. In no particular order they are perhaps .308 and/or 6.5 Creedmoor, .38 special, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, 10mm, and 12 ga. (at least), so the poll is to take your temperature about which caliber you would prioritize next—and why—based on whatever considerations you have, including the next ammo shortage if that's a consideration for you (because once this one's over, I'm sure we'll see another sooner or later).

Okay, that's the poll.

Second, please leave in the comments your priorities starting with the most important caliber to you followed by a list of other calibers you would want in the order you would prioritize them adding them to your cache over time. Feel free to list as few or as many as you want.

Lastly, please keep the post positive. If someone doesn't like the discussion, please just move on (no one's forcing you to participate). Life's too short in my opinion for people who have nothing nice to say. As far as the majority of you are concerned, however, thank you in advance for chiming in.

Ps. I would have listed the calibers I already have in the poll, but there wasn't enough characters, so that is why I had to refer you to the OP.
 

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This really boils down to handgun vs rifle.

For me, its 10MM. Its available (at the moment). It is affordable (at the moment). Many handguns are large capacity (15+1). Many handguns are affordable (I picked up my Springfield XDM 15+1 for about $450 bucks about two-three months ago). I am not sure what they are priced at now but even around $600 or so that is still a fair price to pay compared to many other brands including Sig.

If rifle, 6.5 Creedmore is out there. If it were me, I would go with a lever action in 44mag, 357magnum, or even 30-30 or 30-06. Depending on brand, these are also affordable options and rounds cheaper or comparable to what is on the market in other calibers. The difference is many of these calibers are available. Maybe even go with some of the other calibers. Usually these rifles have a decent capacity +1. They are also easy to load, easy to carry in a vehicle or in scabbard on ATV, and still make a big sound with stopping ability to scare varmits and critters of four and two-legged variety.
 

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For me it boils down to usage. You have rifle and handgun in common calibers so next would be a Shotgun. If I was planning for ****/doomsday scenario perhaps a rifle/handgun in matching calibers. Old school revolver/Lever in .357 or 44, or modern .223 Ar rifle/pistol. For fun/hunting, a long range 6.5 or 308. 30.06 is always available and the most proven. Urban carry would be .357 sig (my personal choice). To prioritize what you "don't have", I would say a modular 12 gauge, then a larger caliber rifle, followed by a good .45.
 

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Since you are keeping specific application out of this, I would say:

.357 Magnum - simply because it's one of the most versatile handgun calibers you can buy, and just about anything chambered for .357 Mag will also run .38 Special. You can also run it in a handgun or a long gun.

10mm - I'm a big fan, and if you reload .40 S&W then being set up to reload 10mm as well is no big deal. And honestly, if I was only going to have two handgun calibers, it would be .40 and 10mm.

.308 Win - also because of versatility and wide availability

12 ga. - This could arguably be at the top of my list, because you don't currently have a shotgun, and again, 12 ga offers a lot of versatility. Detecting a theme? ;)

.45 ACP - I don't think .45 ACP is capable of doing anything that the other handgun calibers you already own won't do.

6.5 Creed - good for some specific applications, but since we are leaving specific applications out of this, I don't see a need to recommend it. Generally harder to find than .308 as well.
 

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Consider expanding your shooting horizons to a rimmed large caliber revolver cartridge like the .44 Magnum. A carbine/rifle in this caliber (lever action, semi-auto, or bolt action) will easily reach out to 100+ yards and take deer size game while there are large frame single and double action revolvers.

The .44 Mag is a good choice for a beginning reloader with a single-stage press. The cartridge can loaded to a variety of levels; I have a "revolver" load and a "carbine" load. The load I use in my S&W M29 is in the light-to-medium range of velocity and quite pleasant to shoot in a 4 inch revolver. The load for the Marline M1894 is much hotter with a higher velocity and flatter trajectory.
 

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I voted 6.5 Creedmoor. I got a chance to shoot one the other day and ended up starting a long distance build almost immediately. 10mm would probably be the second choice just to see what the hype is. 12-gauge and .38special/357-mag are always going to be there and without a purpose don't really turn the fun dial up. Same could be said for .308 and .45 ACP, but they do have that cool military factor. You really need to be running .45ACP through a 1911 and .308 through an M1A to really appreciate them over other rounds.
 

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Lots of good suggestions above ^^^^
You don't have a 12ga. shotgun currently, but that would be top of my list. From rifled slugs to shot it covers a broad spectrum of very effective uses.
Followed by 357 Magnum, as others have said it's very versatile in either handgun or carbine and you can also run 38spl or +P so more choices if things get tight.

If this drought lasts a long time, I wouldn't count on availability of less popular rounds; as manufacturers will undoubtedly restock the most popular calibers first. I learned that lesson the hard way during the last drought with .32 H&R Magnum for a six-shot J-frame. It took Federal over a year to put some into production again. Sold the gun and went 357 Magnum with a S&W N-frame 8-shot revolver and never looked back. Now I'm lusting after a Henry lever in 357 Magnum to go with it. 😁
 

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I voted 12 ga. for many of the reasons listed above. You’ve owned shotguns in the past so I assume you are familiar with their weight and your ability with recoil. 12 is more common, but 20 is capable as well.
As for common vs. odd calibers; it may depend on your ammo sources. If you’re scrounging from friends and others; common calibers have an edge. If you are trying to source through supply chains, odd calibers will be available when others are sold out. But once gone, may never be available again. If you handload, having a handgun, long gun share calibers or at least components becomes more important.
 

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A couple of other points. I misread and thought you already got a 12 gauge. That goes without saying - get one. Get capacity in the 5-8 range. There is plenty of shotgun shells available but not so for the shotguns. The sound of racking a round is pretty much universal and will get a would be evil doer's attention.

In terms of my recommendation of the lever actions, those have the advantage of also being revolver calibers such as 44 magnum and 357 magnum (among others).
 

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I voted .308. It will do anything you need in the lower 48. 12ga would be second. Your pistol calibers will cover anything except bear defense. Real men do have .45ACP, 10mm and .44 mag in their armories.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, great answers everyone. I don't think I've ever asked a question where I got something out of every response. Thank you!
 
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I checked 12 Gauge simply because everyone should have a shotgun. A 12 will do everything a 20 will do, but a 20 will not do everything as well as a 12.

Next consideration for you is to pick a .357 Magnum over a .38 Special since you can always shoot .38 Special in a .357.

First cover all your bases in calibers as to what you need for defense purposes, hunting if you hunt, and what you enjoy shooting. Afterwards, buy firearms based upon condition, investment, and what calls to you for shear joy of personal ownership and forget about calibers/gauges.

I wish I had followed my above advice.
 

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I want to diversify my firearms cache because it's rather limited at the moment. There's no need to know what I want to do as I am only interested in your thoughts and opinions (mine are too boring). Anyway, this discussion has two parts:

First, here's what I want you to consider regarding the poll:

I currently have rifles & pistols chambered in .22LR, .223/5.56x45 NATO, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 SIG; but that's it (I sold my three shotguns but will be replacing at least one of them eventually). I am interested in prioritizing additional calibers/gauges at some point. In no particular order they are perhaps .308 and/or 6.5 Creedmoor, .38 special, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, 10mm, and 12 ga. (at least), so the poll is to take your temperature about which caliber you would prioritize next—and why—based on whatever considerations you have, including the next ammo shortage if that's a consideration for you (because once this one's over, I'm sure we'll see another sooner or later).

Okay, that's the poll.

Second, please leave in the comments your priorities starting with the most important caliber to you followed by a list of other calibers you would want in the order you would prioritize them adding them to your cache over time. Feel free to list as few or as many as you want.

Lastly, please keep the post positive. If someone doesn't like the discussion, please just move on (no one's forcing you to participate). Life's too short in my opinion for people who have nothing nice to say. As far as the majority of you are concerned, however, thank you in advance for chiming in.

Ps. I would have listed the calibers I already have in the poll, but there wasn't enough characters, so that is why I had to refer you to the OP.
I have no desire to diversify calibers, I would add a 12 gauge if it was me. My pistol calibers are .357 sig and .22. I could add a .45 to compliment a tommy gun but haven’t yet. I want a P210 because they seem incredible but don’t want to add 9mm just because. I have a 16 or 20 gauge shotgun but won’t buy ammo for it, same for a .35 lever. My rifles are .556, .308, .30-30, .35, and .45 and it’s too damn many. I’d be plenty happy with .357 Sig & .556 but I love the M1A so it’s staying. The other levers are family guns so they stay too at least until my nephew gets a house and keeps his crap together. An FNX 45 tactical might find its way into the house someday but not right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay, I think this is how I am prioritizing my next gauge/calibers as of right now. Remember, this is just me. There are no right answers here as far as I am concerned as there are too many variables (and I've received so much good advice). Since I already have .22LR, .223/5.56, .380 ACP, 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W covered, my priority will likely be as follows:
  1. 12 gauge - Those of you who mentioned it are right, I need to replace my shotguns. Personally I am thinking about some version of a Remington V3 as a do all (like the Competition Tactical or a 26" with an 18.5" security barrel). I just don't use a shotgun that much to justify having a few of them anymore. That's just me.

  2. 10mm - either a Glock 20 or a Glock 40. I have Concealed carry well covered already, so I don't need to go down to a G29 though it would be a great choice as well (as would an XD for that matter). I do want an optic, however. I know a G20 can be milled for one, but I'd like to just get it off the shelf honestly. I also wouldn't have to buy an extra barrel for a G40. That said, the G40 is considerably more, so if a Gen4 or Gen5 G20 MOS is on the horizon, that might be the ticket. If I get a good deal on a non-MOS, then I guess I could just bite the bullet and get it milled for a red dot (green actually on the account of my stigmatism; red dots tend to have that star effect with my eyes).

  3. .308 or 6.5 creedmoor - I am picking this for third place because, although my AR-15 can handle 300-400 yards scoped, things obviously change when you get much further than that. Personally I don't think I can go wrong with either caliber, but considering my arthritis, it might be nice to go with a lighter faster bullet like the 6.5 which is starting to take over 308 at about 350 yards just when the .223 is starting to peter out. As I understand it, if I do some shooting at 1100 yards or so, a 308 will still hit like a 9mm+P but a 6.5 creedmoor will hit like a .357 SIG (my favorite pistol caliber). I don't think 308 is going anywhere, but I also do see a major shift continuing towards 6.5 Creedmoor. Maybe I am wrong, but it does seem like it edges out .308 at the greater distances I don't have covered at all right now (maintaining energy, minimizing drop and handling wind).
Combined with what I already have, this will cover just about everything I can think of needing, and I can't see too far down the road beyond option 3 because there were so many great ideas presented herein (so I really have to give it some thought). For now, I do think a 12 gauge shotgun and a 10mm are good priorities (and I think that's what the poll is favoring at the moment). As someone pointed out, I have most of the pistol calibers covered in capability save for a good woods gun that can take down a large bear, for example, and 10mm also seems more practical for me than a revolver cartridge because I can use it in other roles just as effectively while maintaining the advantages of a semi-auto (conceal carry, home defense, hunting whitetail in my state, etc.).

Thanks again for all your input and I look forward to others' ideas who haven't posted yet.
 

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I'd go with adding a .308 and .45ACP to your arsenal if you reload or are thinking about it. Right now large pistol and large rifle are about the only primer sizes available with some small rifle out there if you look hard enough. Brass for both .308 and .45ACP is readily available.
 

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My first handgun, a Dan Wesson 357 mag W12, is still with me today. I have faith in its ability to make up for my shortcomings. During one of the previous ammo droughts, I thought that having a pistol in 9mm and a rifle in 308 as it was being used by NATO might be a worthy idea. Appears the people south of the border frown on civilian ownership of guns in military calibers. I have since been proven wrong, 9mm can dry up extremely fast.

A Winchester SXP 12 ga has managed to find a home here, and it's happy eating ammo and pooping slugs.

As a younger man, I could only afford 1 gun. Now that this has changed, and historically, I can say that the 357 mag was a decent choice.
Don't get me wrong, I really like my SIg P229 and P226. I've snagged additional slides and barrels for most of them and enjoy my range time, when possible.

In light of your question, Sheepdogged, I'm voting for my old friend, the 357 mag. Followed by a good 12 ga shotgun.
 
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