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How do Cartridges Get Their Names??


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Old 12-31-2011, 09:38 PM   #11
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When the heck is your book coming out c3?
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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The case diameter of a 38spl is .379 and the 38 S&W was .386 so nominal case size was.38. The 357 Magnum is true to bullet size. The 357 Sig is a .355/9mm and was called 357 because it mimicked the 125gr 357 mag load. Most of the 35 cal rifles are .358. 7.62mm has several different bullet diameters. Most cartridges were just named because the person that invented it liked the name.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
Gents- the history of cartridges is one of marketing, hype, narcissism, one-ups-manship, humor, and history. There is no ONE answer to how they ALL got their names, some of the answers are contrary to other answers.

Yes, the 45-70 and the 30-40 used nominal caliber and charge of black powder. However, the 30-30 was never a black powder cartridge.

The Europeans are also not immune. There are a dozen different 9mm pistol cartridges- many of which are NOT 9mm. (Hint- check diameter of a Makarov and a Parabellum)

S&W created the .38 S&W Military & Police Special. For years, if you wanted to make a gun in THAT caliber, it would bear "38 S&W Special" on the barrel, which hacked off Colt IMMENSELY. That stranglehold lasted from 1899 to 1906, when Colt brought out the "38 Colt Special", identical to the S&W round in every aspect EXCEPT a flat tipped bullet (have one cartridge of .38 Colt Special with that headstamp) And yes, it is not a .38, but they did not want to revive memories of the fairly weak black powder .36 Navy ball and cap guns.

Colt had their own marketing moments- with the .25 ACP, .32 ACP, .38 ACP, and .45 ACP. Automatic Colt Pistol. Owning the rights to the name, ACP now went on guns made by others (keep the brand name out there)

9mm Parabellum was created for the P08 Luger- but the legal name is Parabellum (for war). But the Luger was about the sexiest pistol of the time, and caught the imagination of the public.

Study of the history of cartridges can fascinating- not only of the design and engineering, but of politics, dirty tricks, and sharp business dealings of the time. Do not overlook proprietary rounds from company like Merwin & Hulbert (one of the bigger and better gun makers in the US at one time- now a history footnote) the Webleys from England, Mausers from Germany, Mondragons from Mexico, Muratas and Arisakas from Japan, and Carcanos from Italy.

There were the non-rimfire/non centerfire dead ends- the Allen lipfires, the Moore & Williams Teatfires, the Crispins, and Plant cupfires- all created to avoid one patent. There is some really neat stuff out there where a cartridge is more rare than the gun that shot it.

My personal favorite? Seriously- the .307 Schneelock Triangular revolver cartridge. From 1872.
Very interesting. Thanks for the read.

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Originally Posted by trip286 View Post
When the heck is your book coming out c3?
I wouldn't mind a copy either.

I would like to add that some rounds are are named for their maker, for the gun they are chambered for, or for the year they were designed and produced. A good example of this is the 30-06 Springfield. It is a 30 caliber (.308 to be exact) round that was designed/produced in 1906. I believe it was designed for the 1903 springfield rifle.

But wait a minute, if the round was designed in 1906 and the rifle was being produced in 1903, what was used for the first 3 years? That would be the 30-03. It used the same bullet diameter, and a very simular cartridge. I cannot really tell you the difference in them other then the shapes of the bullets.

Here is a 30-03 Springfield.

How do Cartridges Get Their Names?? - The Club House

Here is a 30-06 Springfield

How do Cartridges Get Their Names?? - The Club House

Just thought I'd throw that in there. I though it was pretty interesting.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
rMy personal favorite? Seriously- the .307 Schneelock Triangular revolver cartridge. From 1872.
I do hope that you have both the gun and some cartridges for it.

Seriously, very good post. I could not begin to explain the confusion of cartridges out there and you did a very good job.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:55 AM   #15
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What about .454 Casull? Formidable round named for the guy who developed it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:12 AM   #16
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Alas, Dad, that had ONE revolver built- and a mere handful of cartridges. I do have a copy of the drawings, the patent application and a photo of one round. And it WAS the actual name of the round.

Concept was that in a round revolver cylinder, you could fit more triangles than circles (imagine slicing across a grapefuit, and looking at sections) The barrel had a triangular cross section that twisted as you went up the barrel, imparting spin.

Also folks, remember that Americans measure a bore one way, and Europeans another (land to land, or groove to groove?) So the American 7.62mm is nominally .308, but the Russian 7.62 is about .311.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:17 AM   #17
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The named for the developer syndrome has been strong for ages- the Johnson Spitfire (.30 carbine necked to .22 caliber) the various JDJ's for J D Jones, the Newtons (no relation to Issac or Fig), etc.

Me- I plan to build a .33 1/3 CTS (Chipmunk Thrasher Special)
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:19 AM   #18
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The marketing dept gives the name.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:46 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
Alas, Dad, that had ONE revolver built- and a mere handful of cartridges. I do have a copy of the drawings, the patent application and a photo of one round. And it WAS the actual name of the round.

Concept was that in a round revolver cylinder, you could fit more triangles than circles (imagine slicing across a grapefuit, and looking at sections) The barrel had a triangular cross section that twisted as you went up the barrel, imparting spin..
If I had the drawings and I had the desire to own one I would endeavour to make one myself.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:14 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by hiwall View Post
When new shells come out now(and probably always) I think they are named by the marketing dept not by R&D. The names are just names. Does your Ford Mustang look like a horse. Does your Yamaha Rhino have anything to do with that animal?
Yeah, but they dont call the motor a 300 when its a 302.... I understand "naming" the cartridge, but what about misleading numbers?
Thanks guys for explaining how some are measured differently, ie, from the case, or bullet...
But like on the 218 Bee, I cant find a single measurement of .218 anywhere on the cartridge.. What makes 218 "cooler" than 224? Wheres the .44 in a .44? The bullet is a .429 and the case is .457... or .356 TSW, it shoots a .355 bullet and has a .380 case, why .356, not .355 TSW or .38 TSW?
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