Pros & Cons: Matching Rifle & Pistol Ammo

I am a big fan of simplifying things, and one of those that I thought might be of value would be to streamline my ammo, making it useful for both my pistol and my rifle. If you are shooting modern rifles, that can make it a lot harder unless you have an AR-15 conversion to that caliber, but it was something I did while I went through my cowboy gun phase. Here are some pros and cons to both.

The first inherent upside is that you can feed both with the same ammunition, which makes it ideal for shooting sports such as SASS. I tried to go that route with .357 Magnum, matching both a Ruger pistol and a Henry Lever action.

Both weapons could shoot most of what I wanted, and let’s be realistic; it looked awesome in my leather pistol belt with it full.

The other added benefit was that both of those firearms could also use .38 Special so that I could load a few more rounds in the lever, and I was not breaking the bank while shooting. This ability is like some modern shooting rifles where you can use a Glock as a sidearm and an AR platform that also takes the same Glock magazines. This ability is especially unique when you get into the larger magazine sizes that may not fit well for a pistol but will for a rifle.

Another plus is that if you are carrying a select few firearms such as the PS90/FN5-7, 44 Magnum, 45 Colt, or the .357 as listed above, they make for packing, especially while hunting nice as you can focus on one box that should cover for the hunt, versus taking a rifle plus a handgun box. The adage ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain is not lost on this
train of thought.

However, there are downsides. With the ammunition shortage, came purchase limits or complete droughts. As a reloader, this was something you could overcome for a while, and even those sources started to dry up. This is obviously not good as now. Instead of one gun out of the fight, it’s two of them.

Another interesting thing I noticed was that while some ammunition worked great for the pistol, it was not that good for the rifle and vice versa. While reloading the same bullet, the same powder, I had to tease out a faster load for the gun as it wasn’t as accurate with a standard load, and due to powder shortages, I was stuck. This resulted in a lot of time at the shooting bench trying to get it dialed in and some frustration.

So, as you can see, there are goods and harmful to have a matching set in the same caliber of both your rifle and pistol. Personally, I am still going to have a few because while it has some drawbacks, it is excellent from a streamlined perspective….and I think it still makes me look cool.

Also be sure to check out JM4 Tactical for your holster needs!

Author: Ian Bolser