Why Bring a Sidearm the Same Caliber as Your Rifle?

   05.22.20

Why Bring a Sidearm the Same Caliber as Your Rifle?

Here’s an oldie for you. It’s a 2012 video from Paul Harrell under his “Disaster Contingency Specialists” business name, in which he asks and answers the question, “Why bring a sidearm the same caliber as your carbine?”

It’s not a new concept; this is why both rifles and revolvers were made in 44-40 WCF, 32-20 WCF, 45 Colt, etc. One box of ammo to feed both guns? Heck yeah!

He begins the video with a lever action carbine and a long-barreled revolver, both chambered in 44 Remington Magnum.

From there he moves on to a pair of Beretta firearms; a carbine and pistol which both shoot the same ammo AND accept the same removable box magazines.

But why would you need a 9mm carbine if you have a 9mm pistol? Well, the same cartridge can generate more velocity from a longer barrel, and the longer barrel makes it MUCH easier to hit your target.

Getting more “oomph” from a longer barrel is certainly a well-known phenomenon, but rarely do you see it displayed as graphically as when he shoots a jug of soda with the carbine and then the pistol, both using the same ammo. The carbine-killed Shasta explodes much more enthusiastically.

His silly example of a disadvantage to carrying a rifle and handgun of the same caliber, i.e. shooting a rabbit with a 22 vs. a 44, was there purely for entertainment purposes — because I’m sure that, like me, when Paul carries a 44 mag carbine and wants to shoot a rabbit or squirrel, he simply shoots it in the head.

Then — simply because he can — he whips out a rifle & revolver in 450 Marlin… which you can think of as a “45-70 Magnum.” With these, he viciously assassinates a series of Shasta soda jugs.

Video quality isn’t great — hey, it’s 7.5 years old — but it’s still worth watching. Enjoy.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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