Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Long Guns > General Rifle Discussion > What makes a bullet a cannon?

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #11
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I consider any magnum round a hand cannon round. I just sold my desert eagle .44 magnum because it was a beast and just too damn heavy to be a good carry peice. I have a .44 magnum revolver that I love to shoot and it weighs considerably less than the DE. I consider the revolver a hand cannon as well.

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Old 12-18-2012, 03:46 PM   #12
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It depends on what realm you are looking for a definition in. The military (at least ours) considers anything over .50" bore to be a cannon. The ATF does not define cannon, but rather uses "Destructive Device" for anything over .50 AND capable of firing an explosive projectile. 12 ga is about .75 but is primarily designed for shot. 37mm "M-203" look alikes shoot flares and smoke canisters. There are not any 37mm explosive projectiles today.

The term cannon was originally applied to a specific size of artillery. It evolved to include all artillery and eventually large powerful firearms in general (a .44 magnum is a "hand cannon"). It has become a very loosly applied term with no specific definition (in common useage).

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Old 12-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by locutus View Post

If you've ever been to boot camp, you know a gun has wheels on it!
Thanks for the reminder. It has been 40+ years since BCT at Ft. Knox. I believe the initial post made reference to the .50 cal round. While .50 cal rifles have been issued in recent years, it's usually associated with the Browning M2, hardly a shoulder weapon.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post

The term cannon was originally applied to a specific size of artillery. It evolved to include all artillery and eventually large powerful firearms in general (a .44 magnum is a "hand cannon"). It has become a very loosly applied term with no specific definition (in common useage).
Exactly, Terminology and word meaning change. Up until about WW1, "rifles" has barrels over 26 inches.

26 and shorter were called carbines,

When I was in the military, you called your 1911 .45 a "sidearm." Any other term would result in 5 minutes of screaming from some senior NCO.

Hey, Donn, I enlisted in 1961, when did you go in??
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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A "gun" in military terminology included cannon, howitzers, shotguns and machineguns. A rifle was a rifle, weapon, or piece. The 1911A1 was a sidearm or pistol (sidearms can include sabres)

And Cannon has been adequately defined. The M203 is not a cannon, despite its bore diameter, since it is a Grenade Launcher.

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:45 PM   #16
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A "gun" in military terminology included cannon, howitzers, shotguns and machineguns. A rifle was a rifle, weapon, or piece. The 1911A1 was a sidearm or pistol (sidearms can include sabres)

And Cannon has been adequately defined. The M203 is not a cannon, despite its bore diameter, since it is a Grenade Launcher.

Ahh yes! Cannon and Howitzers. There was a definite distinction until recent times.

Interesting though, I never heard a machinegun called a "gun" and I never heard a sabre called a sidearm. (Of course, I was only in for 4 years, and I wore black shoes!)
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by locutus View Post
Cannon also fire cannister shot, (buckshot on steroids) sabot rounds and solids.

Also, in military terminology, a "GUN" is a cannon. The weapon you shoot from you shoulder is a "rifle."

If you've ever been to boot camp, you know a gun has wheels on it!
Yup, dont call an M16 a Gun, Drill Sgt would correct that quickly!
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