Once upon a time, I was a firearms trainer in the USAF, and in the mid-80s, the FBI was going around to many local police departments and holding "Officer Survival" classes and range sessions. These focused on strategies, tactics, and on doing things that were useful in surviving armed encounters with criminals, but were prohibited in the officer's normal/formal firearm training sessions and qualifications. Examples might include shooting from various positions on the ground (like you'd been knocked down), and what to do if you unexpectedly found yourself in a criminal's gunsights and were forced to disarm (drop your gun).
In the latter drill, you took your loaded revolver, and when told to do so, you gently tossed it on the ground (not TOO far away) so it landed with the muzzle facing away from you, with the right side of the gun "up". Then, with your hands held high in a surrender position, they would yell "GO!", and (don't try this at home, folks) you'd jump/lunge for your gun, pick it up, and quickly shoot all 6 shots into the target. It was a great drill, and a useful one based on the number of officers who had found themselves in similar situations but had no experience to fall back on, or confidence that they would do well if they needed to shoot their way out of a similar situation.
Anyway, as the Emergency Services Team's assigned firearms instructor, I was invited to attend the range sessions and shoot with the group, even though I was not a sworn officer. However, because I was not a sworn officer, I could not attend the classroom sessions where they taught the tactics and reasoning behind the drills and described the drills in detail. I was told to show up at the range with a suitable weapon (I could not use my issue .38, as I was technically "off duty"), follow the instructions as given on the line, and that one of the FBI instructors would be posted nearby in case I had any questions.
At that time, I only had one 4" duty-size revolver, so I grabbed my military web belt rig and transferred a slightly larger holster onto the belt for the range sessions. Then I packed up and went to the range. Upon arrival, I advanced to the firing line, uncased and holstered my revolver, then waited for the group to finish the class session. I talked with one of the agents a bit, and he expressed admiration for my weapon; I told him I was pretty happy with how it shot, and was just getting it broken-in as it was fairly new. He smiled a strange smile, and said something about how it would be a bit more broken-in by the end of the class, then wandered off to get something ready. I didn't even think about his comment until later.
We went to the line, and shot several drills, reloading as soon as the gun was empty (this was a big change from the former method of "do everything on command"; the FBI found that when folks were trained like that, and then got into a gunfight, they sometimes didn't reload their gun once it was emptied -- because no one told them to reload after the first burst of gunfire). The next drill was announced, and I could hear a few of the cops I knew start to chuckle, but I didn't know what was going on quite yet.
We advanced to the line, were reminded that this was a dangerous drill, and to be as safe as possible. We were then told to draw our weapon, reminded to try to get it to land with the right side facing up and the barrel pointing at the target, then told to toss our guns out into the gravel at least 6-8 feet in front of the line. I looked to my right, and then my left, and EVERY OTHER PERSON ON THE LINE WAS WATCHING AND WAITING FOR ME TO THROW MY GUN OUT INTO THE GRAVEL FIRST. I'd been set-up! I knew I had to do it, or the cops I worked with every day would never let me forget it. I sighed, swallowed hard, picked a spot out in front of me that looked softer than the surrounding area, and gently threw my month-old, high-polish royal-blue-finish, 4" Colt Python out into the dust/rocks/cracked gravel of the outdoor range. :smt086
Then, one after one, the cops all threw their well-worn military-issue S&W model 15 .38 specials out into the gravel, we all assumed the hands-up position, and waited for the "GO!" command. We pounced on our guns, shook them once to get any gravel out of the barrel/chambers, and fired 6 rounds into the target as quickly as possible. Then we stood up, reloaded, re-holstered, and went back to the line to do it again. I got a nice round of polite applause for being dedicated enough to the course to sacrifice the finish on my gun for the learning experience, and was later told by one of the instructors that some cops in other classes had absolutely refused to do it with their personally-owned weapons. Some even objected to doing it with issued-by-their-department guns!
Pretty much from that point on, I have always treated guns as tools, and like most tools, if you want to get enough experience to get GOOD with your favorite tool, it needs to get hot, dirty, holster-worn, and used hard under field/real-world conditions (or as close as we can safely get to it). Most folks who own one or two "pretty" guns just won't do that to their favorite blaster; heck, some of them will freak-out over a single tiny scratch!
As some shooters begin to accumulate more handguns, it's not unusual for them to pick up a "nice" newer version of their favorite gun/brand, and keep another well-used one for regular shooting like classes, competitions, and such. These folks know the importance of regular practice, but also want at least one nice-looking gun and are willing to pay the price to keep two on-hand, one to fill each role. I even have a few Glocks that are basically stock, but have been dressed-up with a new silver-look finish on the slide/barrel for a bit of "bling"; some folks call guns like these their "BBQ" or "Sunday" or "formal" guns. Although these are a bit more fancy than my normal Glocks, they get shot regularly, too (usually on the indoor range).