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Old 07-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default What does grain mean?

I had no idea where to post this, so I posted it in handguns due to the fact when ordering .40 S&W ammo I always see different grain. I'm new to the technicalities of firearms and such, so I was wondering. What's the difference in grains? Right now, for example, I see 165, 170 and 180 grain for .40 S&W ammo. What's the difference?

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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A 'Grain' is unit of weight. A 180 gr. bullet is 15 grains heavier than a 165 gr. bullet. 15 grains doesn't sound like much considering there's over 400 grains per ounce, but it translates into a bullet's momentum and impact forces. Given the same caliber and same load of powder, a heavier gr. bullet will be less affected by wind over distance, but have more of a trajectory drop than a lighter gr. bullet, which would be more affected by wind, but less affected by gravity.

You'll need this for the quiz on Monday.

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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That's a good question I'm not 100 percent certain my self but I think it has to deal with how much force the bullet will have when its fired I am new to all the technicalities of it also I just recently purchased a 1911 .45 and I would like to know the actual answer myself

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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Thanks vincine I guess I was close

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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Oh okay, I was wondering if it had meant something to do with weight. I deal silver and I'm always dealing with grains, ounces and grams so I have a good understand of how much weight grains are but I didn't really expect it to be that simple when it comes to guns! Thanks a lot

So you can't really practice with one grain in order to become a good marksmen with all grain, could you?

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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7000 grains = 1 lb.

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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Good God, a grain to pound conversion is insane... If you deal silver or other precious metals and you're familiar with Troy Ounces, just know that approximately 480 grains is equal to a Troy Ounce. Also, a Gram is about 15.5 Grains. There are 31.103 Grams in a Troy Ounce.

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelcowboy View Post
That's a good question I'm not 100 percent certain my self but I think it has to deal with how much force the bullet will have when its fired I am new to all the technicalities of it also I just recently purchased a 1911 .45 and I would like to know the actual answer myself
If you expand the differences in bullet weights, it becomes easier to comprehend the principals involved:

A paper clip is light, launched easily with a rubber band and quite fast across a room. It is also easily stopped and/or deflected. A mile long freight train being pulled by three locomotives is heavy, may only be moving at 5 mph, but should it jump the tracks, it may take a half mile or so to stop.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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. . . . . So you can't really practice with one grain in order to become a good marksmen with all grain, could you?
As big as the difference is between shooting my .22 and my 9mm, and it’s a BIG difference, it’s nothing compared to the difference between shooting my 9mm and nothing at all. My .22 groups are getting tighter faster, but my 9mm groups are also getting tighter, albeit slower.

It’s also easier for me to see the effects differences in position, hand grip, sighting, etc. are with my .22 than it is with my 9mm.

Ultimately you do have to shoot with the gr. you wish to become good with, but practicing with a lighter caliber is far from wasted.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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rjd is correct. The classic 38 wadcutter load is a 148 grain wadcutter bullet in front 2.8 grains of bulleye power.

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