Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Firearm caliber question

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    I was going to hijack Surpip's mossberg thread, but thought that was rude...

    At the risk of sounding like an idiot...

    I'm having issue's understanding caliber. I understand metric (9mm, etc), but I'm not really grasping the measurement technique that makes a S&W .500 not the same as a .50, but the .223 is similar in diameter to a .22 (yes, I know they're completely different rounds).
    I know they're all very different size/power rounds, that's pretty obvious from the rounds themselves, etc, but how is caliber measured that zero's after the decimal matter?

    My original understanding of caliber was that it was a very old measurement system that measured the diameter and number of ball bearings that could fit across a breech or something like that (I barely remember it).
     
  2. Inu-Hanyou1776

    Inu-Hanyou1776 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Posts:
    1,345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murphy, NC
    I think the method you're referring to may be the method used to determine shotgun gauge. The non-metric caliber measurement of a rifled gun for handguns and rifles is given in inches. That means a .45 caliber gun has an internal barrel diameter of .45 inches. I think what they may be talking about in comparing .500 to .50 is that more precise equipment was used in making the .500's barrel, meaning it's more precisely made I guess...
     
  3. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
    Lah lah lah lah lah

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliber

    It's not all exact

    9mm .38 .357 all can be fired from the same barrel

    .45ACP .45LC .454 Casull and .460 XVR all can be fired from the same barrel
     
  4. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Posts:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Thanks RJ. Very informative link. :waytogo:
     
  5. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
  6. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Posts:
    6,706
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Murrieta, California
    As far as the gun i worked with in the US Navy we describe caliber like this.

    Barrel Diameter = 5"
    Barrel Length = 270"
    Divide the two and you get 54 Caliber...

    Don't know about small arms though.
     
  7. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Posts:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    gunnison colorado
    There really is no hard and fast rule on centerfire caliber designations. All that I know of, give a clue of the bullet diameter, such as .220 Swift. After that, its up to the manu to label it. For black powder cartridges, it was usually pretty simple: 45-70-405 indicated a .45 caliber slug loaded with 70 grains of powder, the slug weighing 405 grains. The 30-30 Winchester is .30 caliber with 30 grains of powder, 44-40 winchester .44 caliber w/40 grains. If you see an "R" at the end of the caliber, that means it has a rimmed case, like a 30-30, except most US calibers didn't use this designation, just Euros. The .38 spec is really more like .357 caliber. The early .38s had a slug that was actually larger diam than the case. The military designations get really confusing, like 30/06- means .30 caliber, adopted in 1906, but 30-40 Krag means .30 caliber with 40 grains of powder! .45 ACP is .45 caliber Autoloading Colt Pistol. Its a large can of worms, trying to figure it all out, so don't feel bad.
     
  8. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Posts:
    3,381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    So. CA
    I'm thinking that "Gauge" may also be confusing the issue. A "12 Gauge" shotgun has a bore size which would take 12 lead balls of that bore size to equal one pound. Who came up with that? :doah: :doah: :doah:

    The mis-labeling of calber size, e.g. Weatherby's .460 Magnum really being a .458" diameter, is pure marketing. After all, as Weatherby you can't have your largest caliber seen to be equal to or smaller than the Winchester .458 Win Mag, Can you?

    Then you get into metric-Imperial conversions. The .264 Mag is very close in performance to the 6.5mm Mag since they are nearly identical cases and have the same bore size.

    I've found no better book than John Donnelly's for looking up all of the various cartridges.
     
  9. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Posts:
    10,877
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    sacramento ca
    Ratch you can hijack my post anytime buddy :D :haha: :haha: :D
     
  10. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,031
    Likes Received:
    366
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    most american calibers are close to actual size (ie a .41 mag IS 0.41") but some are different for marketing reasons. Someone obviously thought "44 magnum" sounded better than "43 magnum"... because thats really what 44 is... a .429 or .430. In any case, they tend to be close. As far as power differences go, those tend to be more related to case length (traditionally anyway, WSMs and other high tech new stuff is diffferent). Muzzle energy is a function of bullet weight and bullet velocity... the more powder you can fit in the shell, the faster you an hurl a bigger bullet and the more power it will have. Your .500 S&W vs .50BMG is a great example. Same basic diameter on the round itself, but the 50BMG has a chit load more length/girth on the cartridge than the .500S&W does... hence it flies faster, can shoot heavier bullets and (therefore) hits harder.

    shotgun guage is an old school system and I wouldn't claim to be an expert... the 12ga and .410 have pretty much won the "gauge wars". I know the 12ga is 0.60 caliber and the .410 is... umm... .410. I also know that the smaller the guage the bigger the caliber... sort like wire guage I guess. I forget how it breaks down mathmatically tho...

    j
     
  11. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
  12. kick

    kick 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Posts:
    385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    RJ, Not sure if the 38 or 357 will fit in the barrel but with my 357 I could use 38's for target in my 357 but could not use 357 in the 38. In the late 60's-70's 38 ammo was cheaper and a popular round as most police depts. still used the 38 (In NYC at any rate). I may be wrong I'm relying on memory from over 30 years ago. Can't expand on this subject as I would like to as I just had shoulder surgery and am TUI, TYPING UNDER THE INFLUENCE and single handed.
     
  13. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Posts:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    gunnison colorado
    .38 and .357 use the same diameter slugs. The difference is in the length of the case. The .357 has a longer case, so it will not chamber in .38s, but the shorter .38 will chamber in the .357 cylinder.
     
  14. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
    Yeah, no .460XVR in a .45LC thank you
     
  15. kick

    kick 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Posts:
    385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    thanks for refreshing my memory.
     
  16. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    tsk tsk RJ...

    9mm is .355.

    38's and 357 Mags are .357.

    That .002 makes a big difference...the 9mm bullet would rattle its way down a .357 barrel. The .357 bullet in a 9mm barrel would be bad. :eek1:
     
  17. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
  18. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    7,324
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    http://www.winchester.com/products/catalog/components/handgunbullets.aspx

    40/10mm .400" 175 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point SHP10 1000 ct. $0.00 ---
    38/357 .357" 145 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point SHP357 1000 ct. $0.00 ---
    40/10mm .400" 155 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point SHP40 1000 ct. $0.00 ---
    44 .430" 210 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point SHP44 1000 ct. $0.00 ---
    9mm .355" 115 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point SHP9 1000 ct. $0.00 ---
    9mm .355" 147 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point SHP9A 1000 ct. $0.00 ---
    38/357 .357" 145 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point WB357ST145 2000 ct. $321.00 ---
    40/10mm .400" 155 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point WB40ST155 2000 ct. $400.00 ---
    40/10mm .400" 175 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point WB40ST175 2000 ct. $388.00 ---
    44 .430" 210 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point WB445STS210 --- ---
    9mm .355" 115 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point WB9ST115 2000 ct. $274.00 ---
    9mm .355" 147 gr. Silvertip® Hollow Point WB9ST147 2000 ct. $305.00 ---

    ;) :haha:
     
  19. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
    I'm saying it has been done, not should be done, Nancy
     
  20. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Posts:
    17,372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gettysburg, SD
    Damn, 1000 bullets for nothing? Get on that!
     

Share This Page