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Weapons UnderGround >> Tell me about guns and ammo!


12/2/08 4:07 PM
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ChangoBravo
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I am interested and have read alot here, but it can get very technical. Compounded by the fact that I don't have a grasp of fundamental gun and ammo sizes/applications, I need to ask some questions.

Does the calibre of gun mean it is more powerful? if so, why is .357 considerd more powerful than .38 (.38 is mathematically .023 larger, right)?

And why can some .357's shoot .38 ammo?

Is a .38 the same as a .380? Seems like it should be, but my friend has a .38 revolver and a .380 auto and the ammo is different!

Is there REALLY a difference between a .44 and a .45? Why would anyone make a .44 if a gun .01 calibre bigger exists?

For that matter why 9mm and 10mm?

Could someone please post a hierarchy of power. I know .22 is smallest, then .25, .32 etc. etc. After that it seems confusing.


Thanks

Chango
12/3/08 6:59 AM
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Willybone
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Short answer:
The caliber is simply (or at least approximately) the diameter of the bullet. It doesn't tell you how much powder (and power) is behind the bullet.
For instance, a .357 and a .38 have the same sized bullet (remember I said approximately). But, the .357 comes in a longer case with more powder in it. So, you can put a .38 (shorter) round in a .357 gun and it's all good. But, the longer .357 bullet will not fit into a .38.
It's similar with the .38 and .380. The latter has less powder, a shorter round, and is for semi-autos, so it's a different shape.

The .44 is round for revolvers, so it's a different shape than the .45 which is made for semi-autos. It also holds a lot more powder (in the mag variety).

The 10mm round is not only larger by a tiny 1mm, but it's also a bigger round holding more powder, so it's got more power.

I know .22 is smallest, then .25, .32 etc. etc. After that it seems confusing.
It is confusing going just by the one number. To really judge a round, you need to know the fired bullet's size, weight, and speed.
12/3/08 10:19 AM
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ChangoBravo
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Thanks Willybone.

That makes sense. The amount of propellent dictates the power.

I always wondered why people said .44 was such a powerful load, moreso than the .45, when the .45 is actually slightly larger.

Thanks again for the info.


Chango
12/8/08 11:31 AM
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Dark Knight
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Edited: 12/08/08 11:31 AM
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The 44 magnum has more powder than the 45.
The 44 is a revolver round and the 45 acp (automatic colt pistol) round is designed for the automatic.

The automatic cannot handle the pressures that a revolver can. There is a 45 long Colt for revolvers that can be loaded beyound 44 magnum levels, but you need a gun that can handle that kind of power.

Lets look at the 38, 357 and 44 spl and 44 magnum.

The 38 and 357 are the same bullet. The 38 kept its designation when we went from black powder to smokeless powder in the late 1800's. The 38spl was close in size to the 30 colt and the manufacturers continued to call it a 38.

As powders got better you needed less to do the same job. If you open a 38spl you will see its only about half full. So Elmer Keith started loading it with more powder. Since you can load the 38 (room in the case) to 357 levels, the case was made a little longer so you didn't make the mistake of loading the wrong cartridge in the wrong gun (a 38spl gun couldn't handle the pressures)

That is how the 357 magnum became a round. (And it was called a 357 magnum because the true size is 357, and his favorite champagne came in a larger bottle called a Magnum, so it got its name.

The 44 magnum started as a 44 special. Same basic story.

As far as self defense rounds the 44 special and 45 acp are very close. But if you have an automatic (like the 1911) you cannot fire the 44 magnum through it. Automatic rounds were developed (excetion is magnum researches Eagle series)

In revolvers the 44 special is considered a fighting round. It's a great round for self defense.

In the 1970's it became very politically incorrect for police to carry the magnums, just because of the name, so the 357 was a great police round, but 38 specials were issued since they didn't sound as bad.

The 41 magnum was developed without a 41 special being around. It was a great round for police, but because it came along in that era, it didn't catch on.Had it been called the 41 police or 41 special it would have been better accepted. Some police dept's requested guns labled as such, but it didn't happen. Soon into the 80's everyone started going heavy into the semiautos.
12/8/08 11:33 AM
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Dark Knight
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For a more powerfull round look at the 454 casual.

Take a 45 Long Colt, and do to it the same as the 38 and 44. Make the shell a little longer to fit just one type of gun due to the pressures and you have an outragously powerfull handgun.
12/8/08 11:41 AM
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Dark Knight
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BTW, if you buy a 44 magnum, and want a good home defense gun, buy 44 special rounds for it. The magnum is a little too powerfull to control (for most) and the 44 specials will be perfect.
12/8/08 1:53 PM
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ChangoBravo
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Thanks DK.

This is the type of info I am looking for.



Chango

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