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Versatility In Popular Calibers; One Firearm For Numerous Calibers


If you’re anything like me, you value versatility. I especially like when a product will do more than 1 thing. A multi-tasker if you will. That’s probably why my first handgun purchase was a .357 Magnum Taurus Revolver. I loved the fact that I could shoot .38 Special or .357 Magnum out of the same firearm. The lighter recoiling .38 Special was also easier to shoot, less cost per round and usually a lot easier to find on store shelves. Of course in those days (circa 1995) it wasn’t difficult to find ammo and it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg when you did locate it.

Taurus has had massive success with their line of Judge revolvers that can interchange 410 Shotgun rounds with 45 Long Colt and several other revolver brands are able to shoot multiple cartridges. Be sure to check manufacturer’s recommendations before attempting to shoot any cartridge other than what’s stamped on the firearm. Most people who are familiar with firearms know that .38 Special and .357 Magnum are interchangeable in a firearm chambered for .357 Magnum. The reverse it not true, you cannot fire .357 Magnum in a firearm chambered for .38 Special or .38 Special +P, so definitely make sure you’re not loading the incorrect ammo before you take it out to the range. This goes for any firearm, not just interchangeable calibers.

lone-wolf-barrelLone Wolf 40-9 Conversion Barrel, Used In A Glock 27 (40S&W) To Allow You To Fire 9mm

When I purchased my first Glock a few years ago, I went with the 10mm G29 Gen4. I absolutely love this Glock and I’ll do a full review in the future. One of the selling points for me was that the 10mm is a 40 Caliber cartridge. As such, a number of aftermarket barrels are available to essentially turn my G29 10mm Auto into a 40 S&W. All that’s needed is the conversion barrel and the factory Glock 40 S&W Magazine and I can shoot inexpensive, easy to find ammo to my heart’s content. A quick look at aftermarket barrel manufacturers like Lone Wolf and Storm Lake show that many Glock’s can be converted quite easily to shoot another cartridge. Most any Glock that can shoot a 40 Cal or 357 Sig cartridge can be converted to a 9mm with a simple barrel swap. Also, if you own a Glock chambered for 40 S&W and want to shoot 357 Sig, all you need is factory spec Glock barrel chambered in .357 Sig, no magazine change is needed.


It seems the ammo shortage we’ve been experiencing the last 18 to 24 months is recovering. As long as you’re not looking for 22 LR you should be able to find what you’re looking for at most stores, most of the time. When I look for 10mm Auto, typically all I can find is defense ammo for over $1 per round. Not what I want to practice with, other than to verify my Glock shoots the hollow points that I plan to carry and doesn’t jam or have any other failures. So typically I purchase 10mm Auto rounds online and have been finding them for around 43 cents per round plus shipping. Not terrible, but also nowhere near as good a deal as I can find 40 S&W locally and in abundance. I’ve found 40 S&W FMJ’s for as little as 22 cents per round locally which makes my Glock even more fun to take to the range and put a couple hundred rounds down the pipe.

Like fans of the 10mm Auto, there is a legion of devoted fans of the .357 Sig round. I’m a big fan of the 357 Sig but I don’t own one….yet. I like the numbers that the .357 Sig can generate in a good hollow point and I like the Glock 26/27/33 very much. So if I were to purchase a Glock 27 or 33 I could have 3 rounds of ammo to chose from if I purchase the conversion barrels. I could shoot 9mm when I could find a good deal on FMJ’s. I could shoot 40 S&W for 22 cents per round and I could shoot 357 Sig when I felt like splurging on ammo. I’d also have the options chamberings of all of the 3 cartridges. I like having options and the above examples are just a few offerings. Some Sig models are able to be converted to other cartridges with a simple barrel swap as well.

The obvious word or warning here is to do your research. Please do not go out and find a 9mm or 357 Sig barrel for your firearm and assume it will work with your model. Google is your friend here, please use it before ordering any parts. Also, be aware that multiple YouTube videos exist of people shooting the wrong cartridge out of various Glocks without conversion barrels, apparently showing no ill effects. This practice is not recommended and it’s something I certainly wouldn’t take a chance on. I like my fingers and hands in tact and plan to have them the rest of my life, so please practice good safety if you do choose to convert a firearm to another cartridge. Versatility is a good thing. It can open your firearm to whole new world of cartridge offerings and may even help with finding that perfect carry round as well.

Categories: General
About Aaron McVay | View all posts by Aaron McVay

Born and raised Iowan. NRA Lifetime Member and firearm enthusiast since 6th grade. Aaron's interest in responsible carry issues has increased over the years, and is a large supporter of…

Born and raised Iowan. NRA Lifetime Member and firearm enthusiast since 6th grade. Aaron's interest in responsible carry issues has increased over the years, and is a large supporter of the 2nd amendment. Aaron is also a big 10mm Auto enthusiast and owns a Glock 29 Gen 4. One of his lifelong goals is to begin long distance target shooting out to and including 1000 yards. Aaron has a wife of 10 years, 3 kids and is an IT Consultant who specializes in Enterprise Content Management Solutions and process automation.

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