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January 08, 2013

Why Do They Call It That?

By David E. Petzal

A former editor of Field & Stream once asked me to explain the American system of cartridge designation, and if it was possible for him to familiarize himself with the weird and wonderful assortment of cartridges that we stuff in our firearms.

“You’d do better to try and learn Finnish,” I said. “Unless you start memorizing the lexicon of cartridges before your teens, your brain has already hardened too much to absorb it.”

Until the 20th century, American ammo makers were sometimes rational in picking names for their cartridges. The .45/70, for example, was so-called because it was .45 caliber and held 70 grains of black powder. However, the signs of rot were already present. The .44 was actually .429. Why call it a .44? Possibly because .429 doesn’t rhyme well, and cowboys couldn’t write songs about it.

The first cartridge to take wings on flights of fancy was the probably the .22 Hornet. Then came the .220 Swift (actually .224), because it was very fast, and the .257 Roberts, named after the guy who invented it, and all the magnums (The term “magnum” comes from a big champagne bottle.), and the pure flights of fancy such as the .577 Tyrannosaur, so-called because it’s better to be eaten by a T-rex than to shoot one of these monster cartridges.

My favorite is not an American round. Rather, it’s the .22 Velo Dog. This obsolete French handgun cartridge was about the equivalent of a .22 LR, and was supposedly designed for bicyclists to shoot annoying canines as they pedaled along. Or so the story goes.

In any event, if you’re a new shooter, and are looking for some sort of logic, or order, or common sense in how we name cartridges, you’re wasting your time. 

Comments (44)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Here lies,
Al Fienne.

Four slugs,
Four-twenty-nine.

Now Al's,
Not Fienne.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

A maddeningly convoluted subject - thankfully we now have the internet and wikipedia to help sort things out - because, you know, if someone has taken the time to explain how a cartridge got its name and put it on the internet you can surely trust that explanation to be right.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Trust the internet? Al Gore invented it?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RPeterson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

This is completely off topic but I hope you don't mind, but I need some sage advice to prevent a very expensive mistake and feel that there is no better person or God to ask other than yourself.

I am new to the sport of hunting. On your advice, my first big game rifle was a Nosler Model 48 Custom in 30/06 with a 24" barrel.

I am current dealing with a gentleman named Will Parker from Montana Rifles for purchasing a Timberline in 270win and an Alaskan in .338win. I have listened to your advice about shorter barrels (unfortunately I found this advice only after purchasing my M48) and whole heartily agree with it. Now I will be using these 2 rifles mostly in the Canadian (Northern Ontario) bush for deer, moose and maybe bear. I do hope to have at least one Sheep/Ram hunt in the mountains of the Yukon/NWT with the 270.

Based on this, would you be so kind as to offer some advice on barrel length and contour for these two rifles? Do you suggest sticking with the 24" barrel so I become accustom to shooting the 24" barrels for all my rifles or do you suggest I move to the shorter and handier 22" barrel?

If you do suggest the handier 22" barrel, do you suggest cracking the Cerakote on my M48 and have it shortened to 22" as well or just leave them be?

Thanks kindly,
Ryan

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

RPetersen,
Dave Petzal may say different but I certainly would not take 2" off of that Nosler Model 48.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

To RPetersen: All three of the rifles you mention are stocked for 24-inch barrels, and if you lop off 2 inches, the barrels will be too short in proportion to the fore-end. Twenty-two inches is handy, but only if the rifle is designed for that length barrel in the first place. As it happens, I have all three rifles you mention, have used them a lot, and would not think of changing them.

Let well enough alone, and good hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RPeterson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Thank you very much for your input. Just one more question. When you ordered your Montana 270 did you upgrade to a #3 contour or did you stay with the factory #2 contour?
Thanks again,
Ryan

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Cartridges of the World by Frank Barnes will either educate you or confuse you beyond hope when it comes to knowing the name of a cartridge.

If there was a system that made sense, it would not be as much fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

RPeterson: I'd leave the barrel length at 24".

Dave Petzal: As you once wrote, one learns cartridge designations at age nine, or he doesn't learn them at all. At least that is what I remembered you writing, and it makes complete sense, unlike the naming of cartridges. I wrote an article on the subject for my column in the Jamestown (ND) Sun a few years ago.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Near the top of the heap for nonsense nomenclature sits the .218 Bee. The bullet is the usual 22 cal (actually .224 caliber) but in this case the cartridge name is derived from the diameter of the barrel's bore diameter not the bullet as is usually the case.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Nice topic indeed Mr.P., Learn the ways of gun history, even if cartridge names have no rhyme nor reason, it is part of our GUN NUT culture!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

If any gun nut thinks this is confusing, what can you imagine is going though the already weak and dazed minds of the anti crowd?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CCMJS wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I have a decent cartridge collection. One of my favorites is the 22 velodog, very unique.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Cartridges of the World is one of my favorite books ever. You would be appalled at how dogeared the covers are, because I frequently fall asleep reading it in bed. As much as I read it, I still wouldn't say I was even close to being able to explain how some cartridges were named.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

It is interesting how cartridge designers find a niche to slip in a new design between existing cartridges. And get superior performance to capture the interest of the shooting public. What to attribute this to ? Better powders and bullets ? What a great shooting industry we have.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack1466 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

"David"loved your explanation/story,,especially the 2nd paragraph....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

To RPetersen: I stayed with the #2 contour barrel. The only place for a #3 is on a hard-kicking rifle like a .338, where you want it to come in at 9 pounds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim in nc wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

From a tombstone in (where else?)Tombstone:

Here lies Lester More
Four shots from a .44
No Les, no More

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

OHH,
I believe you are referring to the bore diameter as measured across the lands, not the groove diameter. The .219 Bee and all the listed .22 centerfires except the .22 Hornet have a bore diameter of .219 according to ANSI/SAMMI 2299.4-1992 Performance Standards.

Another odd duck is the obsolete .303 Savage which has neither a .303 bore or groove diameter yet shoots a .311 bullet. Bore is .300 and groove is .308, same as a .30-30 Winchester. Who'd a thunk it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Fortunately my brain had already hardened by the time the short action ultra mags and short magnums and ultra mags arrived. Not only do they not make sense, they seem totally unnecessary to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

And adding to the stupidity list are cap and ball revolvers, where a "44 cal" shoots a .454 ball.

Go figure......

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert Dawson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

If your looking for a rational system go to metric. But even there what we call the 8mm Mauser is actually two different 7.9mm cartridges.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I think another obvious question is why did the original cartridge designer choose a caliber like .429? Why not just a simple .44 especially if you're gonna call it a .44? I know there were already predecessors, but?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

WAM, it is a 218 Bee not 219 Bee. Perhaps you are confusing it with 219 Zipper which Winchester also developed about the same time in the late 1930s. I presume there is some minute difference between the two bullets and bores because the 218 fired a .224 caliber bullet while the .219 Zipper fired a .2245 bullet. Both were blunt nose because they were developed as lever action varmint guns. Not very smart! One would have thought that Savage should have dominated the lever action varmint market with their spitzer-tipped 22 High-Power cartridge introduced twenty years earlier for the Model 99 rotary feed. Sadly, the 22SHP was over-hyped resulting in too many highly publicized incidents of white hunters getting mangled because they used it to shoot things it wasn't designed for (like tigers!). It got a bum rap and nary a round for one can be found today. In 1937 I guess Winchester decided to take up the slack left when the Savage 22 HP died on the vine. Dumb idea with their tube feed guns but at least the 218 Bee seems to have somehow survived while the 22SHP has not.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

DEP, Perhaps you can do your best to correct the most egregious of all errors- why in the world does everyone within earshot of a microphone insist on calling a magazine that loads from the bottom of a magazine well a clip? Last I knew, from my good old Army training (thanks to Drill Sgt's Brown and White of B/5-10 INF FLW. MO'95) a clip was a device that when loaded with ammunition was itself placed into the weapon from the top (such as an M1 Garand), whereas a magazine was loaded with ammunition and loaded into the weapon from the bottom or magazine well.

If I hear "high capacity clip" or "assault rifle" one more time, I am gonna just start slapping the people who say it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

TYPO ALERT!

Yes, It is a .218 Bee with bore diameter of .219 as stated. My bad. I don't think any bullets are manufactured to +/- 0.0005 tolerance, even today. At least ones that we could afford.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

idahoguy- I like your thought about the 7.92 series or 8x57IS "Mauser" rounds. Only in the US are they called 8mm Mauser. Just like the 9mm Luger rounds. In Europe, we go by cartridge diameter (the 7.92mm for the rifle round or the 9mm for the pistol round) and then case length (x57mm for the rifle and 19mm for the pistol) to alleviate any confusion. The Mauser and Luger monikers were added by GI's in WWII that just wanted to call things like they saw it. For instance, when you picked up a Mauser rifle, and it was chambered in 8x57IS, you probably would have said you had an 8mm Mauser. Likewise with the 9mm bullets found in popular Luger pistols.

Like you said, the Germans came up with a few variations of the 7.92mm cartridge, and their are dire consequences for anyone who attempts to interchange them indiscriminately between weapons. 8x57IS and 8x57IRS are not compatible and will result in injury or death to one foolish enough to attempt firing from a weapon not specifically chambered for that round.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The difference between .2245 and .2240 is not really anything to consider. Both shoot .224 caliber bullets, of which you will see a few different numbers added on to the end.

As to the 38 special/44 magnum question, here is a link to a good address of the issue:

www.vintagepistols.com/357_vs_38.html

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Jaeger:

Considering this statement:

" ...a clip was a device that when loaded with ammunition was itself placed into the weapon from the top (such as an M1 Garand), whereas a magazine was loaded with ammunition and loaded into the weapon from the bottom or magazine well."

How would you characterize the Japanese Type 99 Light MG? Clip? Magazine? Edsel?

I think it would be more accurate to state that a clip is a handy way of holding together several rounds of ammunition, and is often used to charge a magazine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Check out P.O.Akleys two volume set. He has some GREAT wildcat names.My favorite is the Loudenboomer. What a guy !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

.220 Swift

Parent cartridge is the 6mm Navy-Lee Rimless.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

All the more reason to use the KISS method when buying a rifle. Nothing wrong with the standards and the ammo is easy to come by.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

To Heidelberg Jaeger: Educating the average news nitwit about anything is hopeless. They refer to the Congressional Medal of Honor when it's simply Medal of Honor, confuse Marine and soldier, and generally get nothing right. Their command of basic English is non-existent. This evening Brian Williams referred to the "pre-New Town era" when he meant to say "post-New Town era." He, and his colleagues, make grammar mistakes that I would have been called down for in the third grade. Clip/Magazine? No chance.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Heidelburg,
I hate perfectionist, they are a bore. Clip, mag, drum, etc., when true gun people talk to me I know what they mean even if it isn't grammatically correct in gun talk. Why stand there pontificating on correct terms just to show how smart you are. In reality you must be a hoot to be around. jmo

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Oh,
The most thing in military terms that bothers me is when someone says for example Pvt. Joe "WON" a Purple Heart. You earn a Purple Heart.
Stuff like that is when I get grammatically correct.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

wait until you get to the big bores. you would think they would be more precise in that market considering the kind of game you shoot with the rifles.
.400 Jeffery (rimmed) - .411
.404 Jeffery - .423
.425 Westley Richards - .435
.500 Nitro-Express (as well as most .500's) - .510
.577 N-E - .585
.600 N-E - .620

there's also the confusion of the different .450's, and the .470(.475), .475(.476), .475 No. 2(.485"!).

and then you have the exceptions:
.416 Rigby (and all .416's that followed) - .416
.505 Gibbs - .505

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Actually, I think a medal is "awarded."
Many medals are earned without being awarded.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,

Medals like the Purple Heart are "awarded", not earned or won. I suppose campaign medals and National Defense Service Medals, and other such "been there" badges are perhaps earned. I think my Combat Infantryman's Badge was "earned" for prescribed conditions of service during combat operations, but then again it is not a medal. Aside from that, the others are awards. Oh, true gun people don't call things out incorrectly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

One suggestion to differentiate between to funny furrin' cartridges: Lets call the 7.62x54R the 7.62x54R Russian and the 7.62x39 the 7.62x39 Soviet. And BTW, don't confuse these with the 7.62x51 NATO.

Dave, it sounds like you had an outstanding third grade teacher. I hope she is still collecting a pension some place warm.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Sorry about the wrong "to" in that last post.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

WAM, I have met quite a few "true gun people" who know every minute exact moniker for anything to do with guns. However, same individuals never shot anything of consequence in their life but lots of sh*t across the counters at the gun shops.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Does it really matter whether people refer to it as a clip or a magazine? In our modern-day vernacular, it is the same.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tenderfoot wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I vote for the Metric system of designation, much simpler, albeit not as colorful or dramatic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

OHH, True enough. I was only referringto the "true gun people" comment from Jim. Some of the biggest ignoramuses around work the retail gun counters. I heard a clown the other day tell a customer that he could use 7mm Weatherby Magnum cartridges in a 7mm Remington Mag but not vice versa. Jeez...

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Amflyer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Here lies,
Al Fienne.

Four slugs,
Four-twenty-nine.

Now Al's,
Not Fienne.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

A maddeningly convoluted subject - thankfully we now have the internet and wikipedia to help sort things out - because, you know, if someone has taken the time to explain how a cartridge got its name and put it on the internet you can surely trust that explanation to be right.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Trust the internet? Al Gore invented it?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

To RPetersen: All three of the rifles you mention are stocked for 24-inch barrels, and if you lop off 2 inches, the barrels will be too short in proportion to the fore-end. Twenty-two inches is handy, but only if the rifle is designed for that length barrel in the first place. As it happens, I have all three rifles you mention, have used them a lot, and would not think of changing them.

Let well enough alone, and good hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RPeterson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

This is completely off topic but I hope you don't mind, but I need some sage advice to prevent a very expensive mistake and feel that there is no better person or God to ask other than yourself.

I am new to the sport of hunting. On your advice, my first big game rifle was a Nosler Model 48 Custom in 30/06 with a 24" barrel.

I am current dealing with a gentleman named Will Parker from Montana Rifles for purchasing a Timberline in 270win and an Alaskan in .338win. I have listened to your advice about shorter barrels (unfortunately I found this advice only after purchasing my M48) and whole heartily agree with it. Now I will be using these 2 rifles mostly in the Canadian (Northern Ontario) bush for deer, moose and maybe bear. I do hope to have at least one Sheep/Ram hunt in the mountains of the Yukon/NWT with the 270.

Based on this, would you be so kind as to offer some advice on barrel length and contour for these two rifles? Do you suggest sticking with the 24" barrel so I become accustom to shooting the 24" barrels for all my rifles or do you suggest I move to the shorter and handier 22" barrel?

If you do suggest the handier 22" barrel, do you suggest cracking the Cerakote on my M48 and have it shortened to 22" as well or just leave them be?

Thanks kindly,
Ryan

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CCMJS wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I have a decent cartridge collection. One of my favorites is the 22 velodog, very unique.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Cartridges of the World is one of my favorite books ever. You would be appalled at how dogeared the covers are, because I frequently fall asleep reading it in bed. As much as I read it, I still wouldn't say I was even close to being able to explain how some cartridges were named.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

To RPetersen: I stayed with the #2 contour barrel. The only place for a #3 is on a hard-kicking rifle like a .338, where you want it to come in at 9 pounds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim in nc wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

From a tombstone in (where else?)Tombstone:

Here lies Lester More
Four shots from a .44
No Les, no More

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

DEP, Perhaps you can do your best to correct the most egregious of all errors- why in the world does everyone within earshot of a microphone insist on calling a magazine that loads from the bottom of a magazine well a clip? Last I knew, from my good old Army training (thanks to Drill Sgt's Brown and White of B/5-10 INF FLW. MO'95) a clip was a device that when loaded with ammunition was itself placed into the weapon from the top (such as an M1 Garand), whereas a magazine was loaded with ammunition and loaded into the weapon from the bottom or magazine well.

If I hear "high capacity clip" or "assault rifle" one more time, I am gonna just start slapping the people who say it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

WAM, I have met quite a few "true gun people" who know every minute exact moniker for anything to do with guns. However, same individuals never shot anything of consequence in their life but lots of sh*t across the counters at the gun shops.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

RPetersen,
Dave Petzal may say different but I certainly would not take 2" off of that Nosler Model 48.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RPeterson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Thank you very much for your input. Just one more question. When you ordered your Montana 270 did you upgrade to a #3 contour or did you stay with the factory #2 contour?
Thanks again,
Ryan

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Cartridges of the World by Frank Barnes will either educate you or confuse you beyond hope when it comes to knowing the name of a cartridge.

If there was a system that made sense, it would not be as much fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

RPeterson: I'd leave the barrel length at 24".

Dave Petzal: As you once wrote, one learns cartridge designations at age nine, or he doesn't learn them at all. At least that is what I remembered you writing, and it makes complete sense, unlike the naming of cartridges. I wrote an article on the subject for my column in the Jamestown (ND) Sun a few years ago.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Near the top of the heap for nonsense nomenclature sits the .218 Bee. The bullet is the usual 22 cal (actually .224 caliber) but in this case the cartridge name is derived from the diameter of the barrel's bore diameter not the bullet as is usually the case.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Nice topic indeed Mr.P., Learn the ways of gun history, even if cartridge names have no rhyme nor reason, it is part of our GUN NUT culture!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

If any gun nut thinks this is confusing, what can you imagine is going though the already weak and dazed minds of the anti crowd?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

It is interesting how cartridge designers find a niche to slip in a new design between existing cartridges. And get superior performance to capture the interest of the shooting public. What to attribute this to ? Better powders and bullets ? What a great shooting industry we have.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack1466 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

"David"loved your explanation/story,,especially the 2nd paragraph....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

OHH,
I believe you are referring to the bore diameter as measured across the lands, not the groove diameter. The .219 Bee and all the listed .22 centerfires except the .22 Hornet have a bore diameter of .219 according to ANSI/SAMMI 2299.4-1992 Performance Standards.

Another odd duck is the obsolete .303 Savage which has neither a .303 bore or groove diameter yet shoots a .311 bullet. Bore is .300 and groove is .308, same as a .30-30 Winchester. Who'd a thunk it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Fortunately my brain had already hardened by the time the short action ultra mags and short magnums and ultra mags arrived. Not only do they not make sense, they seem totally unnecessary to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

And adding to the stupidity list are cap and ball revolvers, where a "44 cal" shoots a .454 ball.

Go figure......

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert Dawson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

If your looking for a rational system go to metric. But even there what we call the 8mm Mauser is actually two different 7.9mm cartridges.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I think another obvious question is why did the original cartridge designer choose a caliber like .429? Why not just a simple .44 especially if you're gonna call it a .44? I know there were already predecessors, but?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

WAM, it is a 218 Bee not 219 Bee. Perhaps you are confusing it with 219 Zipper which Winchester also developed about the same time in the late 1930s. I presume there is some minute difference between the two bullets and bores because the 218 fired a .224 caliber bullet while the .219 Zipper fired a .2245 bullet. Both were blunt nose because they were developed as lever action varmint guns. Not very smart! One would have thought that Savage should have dominated the lever action varmint market with their spitzer-tipped 22 High-Power cartridge introduced twenty years earlier for the Model 99 rotary feed. Sadly, the 22SHP was over-hyped resulting in too many highly publicized incidents of white hunters getting mangled because they used it to shoot things it wasn't designed for (like tigers!). It got a bum rap and nary a round for one can be found today. In 1937 I guess Winchester decided to take up the slack left when the Savage 22 HP died on the vine. Dumb idea with their tube feed guns but at least the 218 Bee seems to have somehow survived while the 22SHP has not.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

TYPO ALERT!

Yes, It is a .218 Bee with bore diameter of .219 as stated. My bad. I don't think any bullets are manufactured to +/- 0.0005 tolerance, even today. At least ones that we could afford.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

idahoguy- I like your thought about the 7.92 series or 8x57IS "Mauser" rounds. Only in the US are they called 8mm Mauser. Just like the 9mm Luger rounds. In Europe, we go by cartridge diameter (the 7.92mm for the rifle round or the 9mm for the pistol round) and then case length (x57mm for the rifle and 19mm for the pistol) to alleviate any confusion. The Mauser and Luger monikers were added by GI's in WWII that just wanted to call things like they saw it. For instance, when you picked up a Mauser rifle, and it was chambered in 8x57IS, you probably would have said you had an 8mm Mauser. Likewise with the 9mm bullets found in popular Luger pistols.

Like you said, the Germans came up with a few variations of the 7.92mm cartridge, and their are dire consequences for anyone who attempts to interchange them indiscriminately between weapons. 8x57IS and 8x57IRS are not compatible and will result in injury or death to one foolish enough to attempt firing from a weapon not specifically chambered for that round.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The difference between .2245 and .2240 is not really anything to consider. Both shoot .224 caliber bullets, of which you will see a few different numbers added on to the end.

As to the 38 special/44 magnum question, here is a link to a good address of the issue:

www.vintagepistols.com/357_vs_38.html

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Jaeger:

Considering this statement:

" ...a clip was a device that when loaded with ammunition was itself placed into the weapon from the top (such as an M1 Garand), whereas a magazine was loaded with ammunition and loaded into the weapon from the bottom or magazine well."

How would you characterize the Japanese Type 99 Light MG? Clip? Magazine? Edsel?

I think it would be more accurate to state that a clip is a handy way of holding together several rounds of ammunition, and is often used to charge a magazine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Check out P.O.Akleys two volume set. He has some GREAT wildcat names.My favorite is the Loudenboomer. What a guy !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

.220 Swift

Parent cartridge is the 6mm Navy-Lee Rimless.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

All the more reason to use the KISS method when buying a rifle. Nothing wrong with the standards and the ammo is easy to come by.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

To Heidelberg Jaeger: Educating the average news nitwit about anything is hopeless. They refer to the Congressional Medal of Honor when it's simply Medal of Honor, confuse Marine and soldier, and generally get nothing right. Their command of basic English is non-existent. This evening Brian Williams referred to the "pre-New Town era" when he meant to say "post-New Town era." He, and his colleagues, make grammar mistakes that I would have been called down for in the third grade. Clip/Magazine? No chance.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Heidelburg,
I hate perfectionist, they are a bore. Clip, mag, drum, etc., when true gun people talk to me I know what they mean even if it isn't grammatically correct in gun talk. Why stand there pontificating on correct terms just to show how smart you are. In reality you must be a hoot to be around. jmo

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Oh,
The most thing in military terms that bothers me is when someone says for example Pvt. Joe "WON" a Purple Heart. You earn a Purple Heart.
Stuff like that is when I get grammatically correct.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

wait until you get to the big bores. you would think they would be more precise in that market considering the kind of game you shoot with the rifles.
.400 Jeffery (rimmed) - .411
.404 Jeffery - .423
.425 Westley Richards - .435
.500 Nitro-Express (as well as most .500's) - .510
.577 N-E - .585
.600 N-E - .620

there's also the confusion of the different .450's, and the .470(.475), .475(.476), .475 No. 2(.485"!).

and then you have the exceptions:
.416 Rigby (and all .416's that followed) - .416
.505 Gibbs - .505

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Actually, I think a medal is "awarded."
Many medals are earned without being awarded.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Jim in Mo,

Medals like the Purple Heart are "awarded", not earned or won. I suppose campaign medals and National Defense Service Medals, and other such "been there" badges are perhaps earned. I think my Combat Infantryman's Badge was "earned" for prescribed conditions of service during combat operations, but then again it is not a medal. Aside from that, the others are awards. Oh, true gun people don't call things out incorrectly.

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

One suggestion to differentiate between to funny furrin' cartridges: Lets call the 7.62x54R the 7.62x54R Russian and the 7.62x39 the 7.62x39 Soviet. And BTW, don't confuse these with the 7.62x51 NATO.

Dave, it sounds like you had an outstanding third grade teacher. I hope she is still collecting a pension some place warm.

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Sorry about the wrong "to" in that last post.

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from hermit crab wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Does it really matter whether people refer to it as a clip or a magazine? In our modern-day vernacular, it is the same.

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from Tenderfoot wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I vote for the Metric system of designation, much simpler, albeit not as colorful or dramatic.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

OHH, True enough. I was only referringto the "true gun people" comment from Jim. Some of the biggest ignoramuses around work the retail gun counters. I heard a clown the other day tell a customer that he could use 7mm Weatherby Magnum cartridges in a 7mm Remington Mag but not vice versa. Jeez...

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