What Makes a Caliber Become Popular??

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Trez, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    Just wondering why some calibers get popular and some are nothing more than a footnote in history?? :confused:

    It seems most military cartridges become popular for sporting...
    Why didnt any of the Japanese ones become adopted? I remember when it was impossible to find anything but surplus x54, but because the Mosin is cheap and popular they started to make it. I been told there was a time when Arisakas were plentiful and even cheaper, but for years only Norma made brass or ammo for them.

    I understand why 8mm Mauser is popular, but why are the 6.5 and 7mm versions too? Arent only Swedish ones 6.5? Spanish and Mexican ones in 7mm? Ive never even seen a Swedish or Spanish Mauser, but apparently their popular enough for the ammo to be carried in stores....

    Why is 40 S&W easier to find than 10mm? .38 Spl. and .357 Mag seem to be equally popular.. Why hasnt the 9x23 Mag ever really taken off?
    .... Why do calibers like .327 Mag and .356 TSW just disappear?

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  2. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    Most of the time it comes back to what the arms those calibers were used in. The 6.5x55, 6.5x54... are not equal. The 6.5 still has only a small following. Here in the U.S. we have been fixated on .30 caliber. If the original design for the M1 Garand in .276 Pederson had been adopted, the .30 caliber would have gone the way of the .30-40 Gov't and only used in existing rifles. 7x57 has a small following in the U.S., but the .280 is doing fairly well. The .260 is doing ok, and the 6.5x55 has a small, but dedicated following. Metric calibers have never been really accepted here. Even cartridges such as the .358 Winchester fall out of favor for bigger, faster, longer range even though the new cartridge is still only used in the same way on the same game at the same distances.
    The 8mm Rem mag is a great example of a cartridge that never caught on. When Loaded correctly w/ a 220gr bullet at 500 yards has the same energy as a .308 at the muzzle. For most obscure calibers you really need to roll your own.

  3. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    There is a performance pro and con for everything but Caliber popularity in the US boils down to 2 things... AVAILABILITY AND PRICE.

    ...and is typically dictated by the current Millitary and LEO choices.

    Ammo firms load large contracts first...the surpluss from these large Government runs is boxed up and sold to you and I on the private market.

    Compare bulk .308 Winchester prices to other belted .30 Cal loads. The .308 is cheaper because uncle sam is still cashing large orders for all of our NATO 7.62 MM rifles and light machine guns.

    Compare 9 MM with other popular calibers. I can always fnd it for less money than .380 ACP, .25 ACP, and certainly cheaper than .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Again, overflow from large Government contract spilling into the market and holding the prices down compared to rounds that are still very popular but not being loaded...or loaded less... For Uncle Sam.

    Getting into cartridges like the .327 Federal Magnum your talking about a round that is "almost" a boutique load. Ruger was involved with the development and it's a great caliber but it's purpose was to allow traditionally small framed 5 shot revolvers to be bored out for 6 rounds without increasing the frame size. Good concept. I own an SP101 .357 and would gladly take 6 rounds of .327 over 5 rounds of .357 BUT I represent a very small market and I'm not going for it when .327 is 40% more expensive.

  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Some lived on because the WORK! The 7mm and the 6.5 Swede have outstanding sectional density and bring down game much better than their dimunitive size might suggest. The Japanese rifles were well made, yet not "pretty" and Americans like pretty. The Japanese handguns were far too anemic for the power hungry Americans.

    The .40 S&W stumbled a bit at first with complaints of poor accuracy. The ACP loving Americans failed to embrace the .40. The LE adoption of the 10mm Short & Weak led to the acceptance by the rest of the Country.

    The .356 TSW was never marketed to the public. It was a "craft brew" for the S&W factory shooters to make IPSC Major power factor when the "9mm major" was outlawed. I have never seen pistols or ammo for sale to the public. I have a few rounds given to me by the Smith LE rep for my cartridge collection, but that is about it.

    What about the 9mm Federal? The rimmed 9mm round that should have supplanted the .38 Spl. It was a great idea that never caught on.

    Why does the .338 Lapua top the wish list of many people when most have no access to a range capable of realizing the potential of the cartridge. WHo really "needs" a .500 S&W, .50 AE, .460 S&W or even .454 Casull when a .44 mag is sufficient for most tasks? Do video games have something to do with the latest round of "more power" desire?
  5. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    Sam Colt to guns was what Harlan Sanders was to chicken. It is all about smart promotions. There were many people making fine handguns but Colt was giving his to men in power. Oliver Winchester was a maker of wool clothing but he was a salesman. What Colt and Winchester started has pretty much dictated the choice of arms and amunition for the past 150 years.;)
  6. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    I have a pistol chambered in .356 TSW... :p

    A rimmed 9mm? Awesome!
    I always wondered about the 9x23 mag...
    From what Ive read everybody loved it, the abillity to hold 9 rds in a 1911, that were as powerful as a .357 mag.. J. Phillips said it was his favorite caliber to shoot outta the Medusa..

    I donno... I quit playing the video game I played when they took out the Garand.... :(

    Why does everybody say Arisakas are so ugly?? Not saying they look great.. But better than a Mosin, and "ugly" doesnt keep people from buying them... :rolleyes:
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    In my mind you have a REVOLVER chambered in .356 TSW, not a pistol :rolleyes:

    I never considered the 9 X 23 to be a "Magnum".
  8. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    What one? Theres 9x23 Largo and 9x23 Winchester Magnum...

    So.... Is there any possibility of me finding .356 TSW? Can it be made from something else?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  9. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    Apparently not, I been reading about people that have them.. There were a few pistols and revolvers chambered in it...

    its just a 9x21.5mm?, People say they just use 9x21 brass, or 9x19 if you seat the bullet less...
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    The 7.7 Arisaka was hated because it was Japanese. There were a lot of hatred then from the people that fought and the people that lost family members. I dont know why the German rounds did not get the same treatment. It may have a lot to do about how POW's were treated. There are a lot of people that hate the 7.62x39 and for good reason but the cheap ammo and guns won over a lot of non combatants. I know a few people that cringe at the sound of an AK.
  11. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Active Member

    To a point your right about metric calibres BUT if the military said that we use 7.62 ammo and 5.56 ammo in most of our field weapons everybody KNOWs that they're using .308 and .223's but if I said that I'm using a 7.62 x63mm a lot of people will look at you with glazed eyes and say :"Your using a WHAT?" when in reality it's a 30/06.
    The 6.5 calibres have a reaonably good following here as it gets used on pigs,goats and deer and is a great little hunting round with some very good accurracy.

    Here in Australia metric calibres and your standard everyday calibres have a acceptance and as long as it makes big holes in things and drops a buff or pig or camel,etc nobody really cares and like most gun owners somebody will always have a obscure calibre that went out with the Ark but still gets used and you can in most cases neck down or up another calibre case to get your desired case or in Australia's case we have a company down here that makes cases for some obscure calibres especially in blackpowder.
  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    Unfortunately, I think popularity has been unduly influenced to a very great degree by the douche bags that sling bullsh!t in the gun rags.:(
  13. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member


    While there are many calibers I'd "like" to own, there are certain "must have" loadings that I will NOT be without simply because when the SHTF and scavenging becomes the only method of procurement left...well, that .460 Rowland might be a tad tough to feed.

    9 MM
    .40 S&W
    .45 ACP
    .38 Special/.358. Magnum
    7.62 x 57/.308
    7.62 x 39
    5.56 MM/.223 Remington
    12 G

    I still need to add the .308...saving for an M1A to fill the bill...:)