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  #1  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:01 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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What are the most common rifle calibers?

I know they've made dozens of different calibers over more than a century. But what would be, say, the ten or twelve most common calibers produced today? (I'll count incompatible cartridges with the same bullet diameter as two different calibers.)
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:13 PM
beowulff beowulff is online now
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Since the US uses .223 for the M16, and AK47s use .308 (as do M60s and HK-91s, etc.), these two calibers must account for some large percentage of all the ammunition produced every year.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:16 PM
ivn1188 ivn1188 is offline
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.223/5.56 NATO
.308/7.62 NATO
7.62x39
.30-06
.270 Winchester
5.45x39
.22LR
.243 Winchester
7mm Magnum
.300 Win Mag
.45-70
.30-30

These are in no particular order, though the military cartridges at the top certainly will be among the most produced, though by sheer numbers, .22lr is probably number 1 since it's so cheap.

I also have no cite other than seeing what's usually in stock at most stores.

Finally, I am aware there are some differences between the NATO rounds and their civilian counterparts, so that some rifles will only shoot one or the other, but I'd still group them together.

Last edited by ivn1188; 04-01-2010 at 07:18 PM..
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:17 PM
GaryM GaryM is offline
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I'd say that in civilian hands anyway, the most common caliber is .22 Rim-fire. And most likely for total rounds fired as well.
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:17 PM
ivn1188 ivn1188 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Since the US uses .223 for the M16, and AK47s use .308 (as do M60s and HK-91s, etc.), these two calibers must account for some large percentage of all the ammunition produced every year.
The AK-47, etc use 7.62x39, which is a different cartridge than the .308/7.62 NATO.
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:18 PM
PatriotGrrrl PatriotGrrrl is offline
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7.62 by 39 may be .308 in diameter but .308 normally refers to .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm NATO. In the same way, .22 generally does not refer to .223.

Last edited by PatriotGrrrl; 04-01-2010 at 07:19 PM..
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:19 PM
beowulff beowulff is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivn1188 View Post
The AK-47, etc use 7.62x39, which is a different cartridge than the .308/7.62 NATO.
The OP specifically asked for caliber, not cartridge size.
I own an HK-91, so I'm well aware of the difference.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:22 PM
ivn1188 ivn1188 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
The OP specifically asked for caliber, not cartridge size.
I own an HK-91, so I'm well aware of the difference.
I am assuming the OP wasn't actually asking about caliber, but simply different cartridges, since he mentioned them in his post. If the OP wanted caliber only, then you are correct.

Last edited by ivn1188; 04-01-2010 at 07:23 PM..
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:24 AM
sweeteviljesus sweeteviljesus is offline
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I used to reload for my Mini-30, and if I recall correctly, the die had two interchangeable mandrels or swages or whatever they are called that would open the mouth up to accept either a .308 or a .311 caliber bullet, the latter better suited for Russian weapons like the SKS and its clones.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:35 AM
Gbro Gbro is offline
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I have done an Online Pole in a gun forum when I set up a Power Point "Family Feud" game for my firearms safety students.
This was then for the "Most Popular Deer Cartridge/Gun.
1. 30- '06 Springfield
2. 30-30 Winchester(30WCF)
3. .270 Winchester
4. 12 Gauge w/slug
5. .308 Winchester
Those were the most common and were used in the game. The Firearms safety class(11 & 12 year molds only missed the .270 a couple weeks back.(this was the 1st night) I like to access the overall knowledge of the class early on.
Other close entry's were,
7mm Remington Magnum
.243 Winchester
25-06 Remington
7mm-08 Remington
300 Savage
again this reflects Deer Hunting only.

Last edited by Gbro; 04-02-2010 at 09:37 AM..
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2010, 12:09 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Did you mention that there are more deer poached every year using .22LR than are legally taken with any other cartridge?
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2010, 12:15 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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In one of Jeff Cooper's books he opined that there are way too many calibers. He said we could easily get by with just half-a-dozen calibers (total) for rifle and handgun. I would agree.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2010, 12:50 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Where's the fun in that? If there were only 6 calibers, we couldn't argue for eons over which was best in what situation. Come on, dude! get with the program!


silenus
- who owns more than a half-dozen calibers just in Mausers alone.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2010, 05:14 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
In one of Jeff Cooper's books he opined that there are way too many calibers. He said we could easily get by with just half-a-dozen calibers (total) for rifle and handgun. I would agree.
Probably true, except the debate over which half-dozen has led to endless variation.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:18 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Where's the fun in that? If there were only 6 calibers, we couldn't argue for eons over which was best in what situation. Come on, dude! get with the program!
Or more relevant, where's the profit in that?

Arms manufacturers make much of their money from making & selling ammunition, or licensing others to do so for their guns. If they used a standard cartridge, people could buy them from the cheapest supplier, rather than their brand name ones.

Just like ink cartridges for inkjet printers -- we could easily get by (and customers would save money & irritation) with just a dozen or so types. But every printer company tries to introduce new, patented/restricted cartridges for each new printer.
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2010, 10:39 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Where's the fun in that? If there were only 6 calibers, we couldn't argue for eons over which was best in what situation. Come on, dude! get with the program!
LOL.

I belong to a number of gun-related message boards. Every few months a newbie will start a thread entitled, "What should I carry: 9 mm or 45 ACP?" I will never participate in a thread like that. Another is, "Which is better: .223 or .308?"

Threads like that go on for a nauseating 20 pages. I've learned my lesson... I don't even click on those threads.
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2010, 10:42 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
LOL.

I belong to a number of gun-related message boards. Every few months a newbie will start a thread entitled, "What should I carry: 9 mm or 45 ACP?" I will never participate in a thread like that. Another is, "Which is better: .223 or .308?"

Threads like that go on for a nauseating 20 pages. I've learned my lesson... I don't even click on those threads.
I don't see the problem.

It's the .40 S&W.

d&r
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  #18  
Old 04-03-2010, 04:13 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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.25 ACP. The pumice stone in the rock pile of the gun world.
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2010, 02:17 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
I don't see the problem.

It's the .40 S&W.

d&r
No, the .40 S&W is definitely underpowered compared to the 10mm or .41 Magnum. <JK!>
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  #20  
Old 04-03-2010, 02:40 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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I'd never use a .22 for deer hunting. There's too much risk it'll run off and die in the brush.

I've always hunted with a .30-30. I try my best to find any deer that gets into the brush. My family eats what I hunt. Killing an animal and wasting it would bother me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Did you mention that there are more deer poached every year using .22LR than are legally taken with any other cartridge?
You could be right about poachers. I let the fish and game officers take care of them.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-03-2010 at 02:41 PM..
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  #21  
Old 04-04-2010, 12:19 AM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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A related question: is the .30-06 the most widely used cartridge? Popular with civilian hunters, wasn't it also used in .30 cal Browning machine guns, BAR's, etc. on the military side?
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  #22  
Old 04-04-2010, 06:55 AM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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It probably was the most widely used, for sporting purposes, on the North American continent. I suspect its place may have slipped in recent years, given the popularity of .223 Rem and .308 Win and their military equivalents, and military manufacture will have pretty well ceased around the world given that no new designs have appeared for it in many years and that the WW2 generation of smallarms is slipping out of military usefulness.
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  #23  
Old 04-04-2010, 08:48 AM
Gbro Gbro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo Ostragoth View Post
A related question: is the .30-06 the most widely used cartridge? Popular with civilian hunters, wasn't it also used in .30 cal Browning machine guns, BAR's, etc. on the military side?
Yes it is the same chambering used in all .30 cal machine guns up until the M-60, put into service in 1960 (M-60) the .30-'06Spring. (7.62x69) was shortened to 7.62X51 NATO.
The .30-'06 was also the same as the .30-'03 except for the bullet shape (spitzer, pointed).
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2010, 11:58 AM
butler1850 butler1850 is offline
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One should note that for the .308, .30-06, .30-30, and similar, are all 30 caliber bullets. As Gbro indicates, the shapes and weights (.30-30 comes in 150gr & 170gr as the most popular, but other weights are available) may be different, but the actual bullet diameter is still 30 caliber. The cartridge behind the bullet can be any one of many designs.

The .40S&W & the 10MM are the same diameter, but the cartridge behind it is different (10mm is a bigger load). .357 & .38 are actually the same as well.

Cartridge naming conventions are as inaccurate as anything I've ever seen, and are often nothing more than the fancy of the inventor of the cartridge.
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  #25  
Old 04-06-2010, 04:33 PM
sqweels sqweels is offline
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How common are rifles with a caliber larger than ~.30 and smaller than the .50 cal.?
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  #26  
Old 04-06-2010, 07:17 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqweels View Post
How common are rifles with a caliber larger than ~.30 and smaller than the .50 cal.?
From here.
Quote:
One bottom line here; if it is dangerous game that you have come to harvest, the .375 caliber is the minimum prescribed by law in most African countries.
There are quite a few rifles in the .33 to .400 range, some in the .408-.416 and scattering above that to the .480.

Wiki-list of rifle cartridges.

Last edited by running coach; 04-06-2010 at 07:18 PM..
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