Ammo Survey: Gun Owners on Calibers And What Makes Them Popular

HB4116

I do love skulking around and asking people questions about guns and ammo. In fact, talking about calibers is one of my favorite pastimes. There’s just so much knowledge and insight that can be tapped into when you allow a person to express their true, and often unsubstantiated beliefs.

For my latest little survey, I decided to spend some time at a local gun hangout and talk calibers with the clientele. The goal here was to see how up-to-date the general gun population was with their one of their favorite pursuits.

I talked to 100 people of all ages and backgrounds for this little piece and asked them a few very simple questions designed to see how well they recognized what is available today and what their view on it was.

#1- What’s the newest caliber you can name?

#2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers?

#3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity?

#4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently?

#5- What calibers will never die off?

With these simple questions in hand, I jumped right in and was instantly rewarded with chaos. I really love doing these little surveys, but I was unprepared for what I ran into here.

Questions #1-#3 were essentially about the same caliber. Thirty-two people named the 6.5 Creedmoor as the newest caliber they had heard of. That isn’t a surprise, but the 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t exactly a new cartridge. In fact, it dates back to about 2007.

I had five people mention the .224 Valkyrie. They were self-described gun nerds. I also got answers like .300 Blackout and a few oddballs like .300 Norma Magnum, which aren’t particularly new either.

The remainder of the people I talked to apparently had no idea when any particular cartridge was designed or introduced. I had answers ranging from 9x19mm to .338 Lapua. It became obvious during this mostly incoherent portion of the survey that most people have no idea as to how long certain calibers have been around.

I had a few good laughs when I told them that the 9x19mm had been around for well over 100 years. Most reacted with disbelief. People know that some guns are old old designs, but old ammo designs is a foreign concept to them.

In context, the 9x19mm is only about 30 years removed from the .45 Colt, which is something that most people don’t know. I received looks of confusion and lots of questions about this. Virtually none of the people I talked to didn’t know that the 9x19mm is as old as it is.

The question I got in response was why anyone would make modern guns using such an old caliber. Many people thought that the 9mm was invented in the 1980s. That’s because the Beretta M9 was adopted in 1985 and Lethal Weapon came out in 1987, both of which were crucial events in establishing the popularity of the 9mm cartridge.

When it came to ‘new’ calibers that were identified by name, such as .450 Bushmaster, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .300 Blackout, .224 Valkyrie, and .500 Smith & Wesson, and others, there were many reasons as to what made them ‘good’ or not. The most common answers I received was that they were designed to meet a legal requirement, a military use, or a new sport. No answer I received was 100% correct.

What was most interesting to me was the perception of new calibers. Most people that I talked to invested in what I called ‘legacy’ calibers like .308 Win, .30-06, .270 Win, .243, .223, 7.62x39mm. The reason most frequently give was because of the massive amount of aftermarket support and knowledge about them.

When I talked about rounds like the 6mm Creedmoor as an example, most people were confused by why it existed and stated that they wouldn’t want a gun made in an “oddball” caliber like that for fear that it would become unpopular over time like others had.

The self-identified hunters in the group experienced short magnum craze of about ten years ago or so and hadn’t forgotten it. In fact, many hunters I spoke to swore off the new stuff because they’d gotten burned by some now-forgotten wonder cartridge.

The real creativity of my sample group came out when I asked the what they would want in a new caliber. People knew that this would be posted to a national audience on a popular gun site, so they went all-out.

I have to say that I was surprised at the results. I could write an entire article from these results alone. What I will present here is an interesting look at what it is that people think would be popular or sell well.

The first thing that most of the hunters I talked to mentioned was a more easily adaptable straight-walled case for AR rifles, something along the lines of a .357 Max. In many states there are new regulations that mandate the use of straight-walled cases while hunting deer.

Michigan is just such a state. We have the ever-popular .450 Bushmaster, but some folks wanted a more easily adapted version that allowed the use of standard mags and the same bolt face as .223. That makes sense as these were the same selling points as the now very popular .300 Blackout. I did some research and found that there are versions of this available, but nothing that’s really standardized.

Another interesting one that people mentioned was a purpose-designed concealed carry cartridge. I heard it over and over in this group. Despite great options like 9mm, .380 ACP, and .38 SPL, there’s  desire out there for less recoil and better performance out of small guns.

What would this round look like? Nobody seemed to know. All I know is that there’s demand for a cartridge with less recoil than a .380 but more power than a .45 ACP. Sadly, the laws of physics stand in the way of anything like that. The best we can hope for in this category is better bullet design in existing calibers.

My last question was about calibers that we’ll never see go the way of the dodo. This one I only allowed one single answer for along with one reason. The most frequent answer: .22LR. Yes, most people (56) went for the low-hanging fruit, but that’s a very valid response. Like death and taxes, the .22LR will likely always be with us as it’s one of the most common rounds available worldwide.

The remaining calibers mentioned were all over the board, which again surprised me. I received a couple .45-70s (2), some .30-30 (4), lots of .223/5.56mm (20), 9mm (11), and a handful of single answers like .30-06 and .45 ACP.

Almost all the answers I received had practical reasons behind them. .30-06 is still a massively popular chambering, and while hardly new, it’s highly trusted by a large number of sportsmen and shooters.

Think about these questions and let me know how well-versed you are in today’s latest ballistic offerings. What old calibers do you think will never stop being made? What’s the next fad to pass into history? I’m curious to see what the audience here at TTAG thinks.

comments

  1. avatar johnny go lightly says:

    First off, try calling them “cartridges”, not calibers.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      Yeah, whatever you do, make sure to go off on some useless, pedantic tangent over the relative correctness of arcane terminology, instead of merely using commonly-accepted words used by virtually everyone in the firearms field to describe a certain small-arms chambering as a ‘caliber,’ and not as taking a particular ‘cartridge.’ I mean, we should be standing around in a big circle, arguing over whether it’s ‘correct’ to even USE the word ‘caliber’ to describe an aspect of small arms, when CLEARLY it’s intended to measure the length of cannon barrels by dividing that length by the bore diameter, stating the dimension as ‘caliber’ and not as ‘length,’ such as in 5″ 38 CALIBRE antiaircraft guns used on WWII aircraft carriers. Right?
      NObody ever asks their buddy what ‘caliber’ their new pistol is, do they? EVERYone always asks, “Hey, Dude, what cartridge does your new pistol chamber?” And you always reply, “Why, Friend, it chambers the 9x19mm Parabellum CARTRIDGE, first designed by Georg Luger in 1902, of course!”
      Jeezus, Man, get a grip.

      1. avatar cris says:

        thank you. i needed that 😉

      2. avatar johnny go lightly says:

        I showed my dad your reply. He laughed and said you had #### for brains. Said the web is full of rough tough bullies like you. Have a nice life.

      3. avatar Kroglikepie says:

        Oh okay, so “fully-semi-automatic” and “high capacity clips” are just fine too. Words have meaning, herp derp.

    2. avatar Rob says:

      Don’t you just love the expert millenials? They don’t even know the difference between a caliber and a cartridge and they think every one else is ignorant.

      1. avatar Rick says:

        I know a few millennial ‘preppers through my ham radio hobby. I find them to think that a few videos on youtube are sufficient to be experts on firearms and I have also found that many of them are very thin skinned. As a range officer, I will sometime offer advice and millennials don’t want ANY help. I’ve been an NRA firearms safety instructor for over 35 years an RSO for 20 years and both High Power and Bullseye competitor for a LONG time, but I’ve been told that I have no clue…..

        1. avatar Randy says:

          As someone who’s old enough to be one of those millenial’s grandfather — I strongly dislike unsolicited “advice” or “coaching” or “suggestions” from RSO’s on the rare occasion I go to a public range. In fact, there are probably just as many patronizing, know-it-all RSOs as there are clueless millenials.

          If someone asks for advice, by all means give it. But unless I’m doing something unsafe (unlikely, as I’ve been an RSO myself), please keep your advice to yourself.

        2. avatar Tom Moscone says:

          I brought a first time shooter to the range and I was showing him the thumbs forward overlapping pistol grip. Some ~55 year old guy came over unsolicited, talking about how he “used to be” a competitive shooter and that wasn’t the correct grip and proceeding to instruct my friend on a one handed grip with the other hand cupping the bottom of the gun. WTF it goes both ways who the hell holds a pistol like that.

    3. avatar Hoth says:

      Agreed. Words have meanings. Abide by them.

    4. avatar tmm says:

      You know, I can appreciate calling out the use of caliber when cartridge would have been more appropriate, but seeing the responses to your post makes me realize that there is no argument too petty for the internet.

  2. avatar Warlocc says:

    Huge article just to say “Most gun owners are luddites, particularly with their bullets.”

    1. avatar MyName says:

      There is certainly a bit of a luddite tendency among many POTG but it is also true that there is just not a whole lot of things one can do with a gun for which there is not already a suitable cartridge.

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Sort of, but when he mentions the obscure calibers going the way of the do-do, he’s not wrong. Out of all the new calibers That bloggers have been oozing over lately, how many do you think will be here in 20 years? Some of us are old enough and have enough experience to know the shooting world has fads just like the fashion world. Some of us have seen multiple fads come and go. A caliber has to find a real spot for repetitive use to maintain production. Out of the the latest and greatest rounds, I’ll be good money that only one, maybe two, last beyond the next decade. You know what calibers I can garuntee will be here in 40 years and more? 30-06, .308, 5.56, .45, 9mm, and .22. Why bother buying a new expensive niche round that likely won’t be around in a decade?

      1. avatar Kevin says:

        I suspect and hope 38 sp and 357 mag rounds remain in production. A lot of people including myself enjoy shooting revolvers a lot more than automatics. Revolvers are timeless and unlike the cheap plastic autos will last forever if kept dry and lubed. I would also be very disappointed to see 44 sp and 44 mag bite the dust but the cost is discouraging new users.

  3. avatar Mike in OK says:

    Eventually they will all fade into history. However, the ones that will last the longest will be those most widely used, and for the most part that means the most widely used military rounds. So .308/7.62×51, 7.62×39, 5.56×45, 9×19, 12 Guage, and the non-military .22LR. At some point there will be a radical new technology that will be far more efficient than any current weapon…or civilization will completely collapse. Until one of those things happens I feel pretty confident those calibers will continue to be popular.

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      7.62×39 is slipping from what I’ve heard. We’ve been arming enough “moderate” rebels and “allies” that run and leave warehouses of guns there’s plenty of 5.56 guns to go around now in the middle east. Norinco’s AR clones don’t hurt that supply either.

      1. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

        Yeah, and all the Eastern European AK factories are still mass producing AKM variants to arm those same groups. Multiple Russian ammunition factories are still producing enormous volumes of 7.62x39mm for export and even the Russian military still uses it in niche roles for the same reasons the US Marines are looking at .300 BLK. With 60,000,000+ AKs chambered in it, 7.62x39mm isn’t going anywhere.

  4. avatar Tim Shaw says:

    What state were you in or Country?

  5. avatar Over-Educated Economist says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name? 416 Spike.

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers? It’s like 300 AAC with 308 cases and a real expensive bullet.

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity? Fade into obscurity.

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently? 500 Phantom. YOU LEFT US TOO SOON.

    #5- What calibers will never die off? 9mm, 7.62×39, .223, .308, .45ACP, 22lr, 12ga, list probably goes on.

    1. avatar Rick says:

      I am fond of the 32-20, the .45 Colt, the 45-70 , the 41 Mag and the 10mm, but all have been pronounced dead by the gun press. I collect the brass and load my own just in case.

      1. avatar DrewN says:

        Well at least 2, and probably 4 of those aren’t going anywhere. .41 and 10mm (and .38 Super for that matter) all have a pretty hardcore fan club. And if .45 Colt and 45-70 haven’t gone away yet, they sure aren’t going to now.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        I saw a .32-20 at a LGS and couldn’t quite think what to make of it, having never heard of it before. My first impression was that it wouldn’t be big enough for anything larger than a coyote, with only 20 grains of black powder pushing a heaver bullet than a .36.Curious, I looked it up on the interwebs, and learned that it had quite a heydey 100 years ago, and though the cartridge is still available, it can be harder to find. From what I’ve read, it is difficult to reload too. That said, my LGS had a rack full of beat up old
        Winchesters, one of which might make an entertaining rehab project.

  6. avatar SurfGW says:

    .22 for cheap practice, .308 in a bolt action with a scout scope for hunting, 12 ga for turkey and birds, 9mm for cheap handgun practice. Covers 80 percent of everything a common gun owner needs and the .308 is the newest and still 60 years old

  7. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    What really makes me laugh is the lower recoil/higher power round. It was the 327 Federal mag. It was a flop.

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name?

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers?

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity?

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently?

    #5- What calibers will never die off?

    Newest caliber I can name is probably the 224 valk, I’d say 327 Federal behind that. I’m not too much into flavor of the week.

    I’d rather answer this about 327 Federal and therefore I will. 🙂 327 Federal offers lower recoil for the performance while giving an extra round in a typical J-frame sized gun.

    It’s already flopped. Easy answer. Will say the same thing about the 224 as well.

    There’s not a lot. I’d like to see a hyper velocity 6mm, think 220 Swift velocity with say 85 grain pills. No reason for this save the novelty thereof. Barrel life would have to be crap though and fade into obscurity.

    There’s a lot of calibers that will likely not die off as long as the concept of a firearm shooting brass, steel or plastic cased ammo is what’s modern. We’ve hit a plateau currently, and have since the advent of smokeless powder really. “Never” is a long time. That said, 22lr, .38 Special and it’s elder cousin the .357, .44 mag, 9mm in handgun. In rifle, 243, 223, 308, 30-06, 22-250. They’re ecconomical to shoot, readily available ammo, have track record with them and are well established in their use cases.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Why care if it is popular, if it works for you? I own a 4.2″ SP-101 chambered for it and think it is a superlative combination. I have a shit ton of brass and don’t care if the cartridge’s popularity fades further or not. Shooting isn’t a popularity contest.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        You end up having to hoard bras which isn’t a big deal by its self. I’m a reloader, and as such I would feel comfortable taking on either a wild cat or less common caliber. Not everyone is like that. Due to that (especially that I cast too) I would consider a lot of calibers viable that many wouldn’t for reasons of availability or economics. They even make pinfire reloading stuff for cryin out loud.

    2. avatar Timothy says:

      Hopefully the .224 Valkyrie doesn’t fade into obscurity. I just finished building an AR chambered for it. If a longer range option comes out for the AR-15 platform before the Valk gets established, then it’ll die off for sure. As long as Federal still produces the round at or below their current cost though, I’ll keep the gun.

      1. avatar Robert says:

        There already is a round that eclipses the performance of the .224 Valkyrie. It is the .22 Nosler.
        However, I believe the. 224 Valkyrie will outlast the .22 Nosler only because it has a better name. Though I doubt that it will be around much longer because the 5.56×45 is just too cheap to shoot.

  8. I will wait for the discussion on the latest ray-gun designs.

  9. avatar Vendetta says:

    This article reads like: I am an asshat who believes myself superior to everyone else.

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Yes, yes it does.

      1. avatar Willard says:

        I will third that.

  10. avatar DJ says:

    .9mm forever. forever ever

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      The dreaded .09 will supersede the .9!

  11. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    meplat. ogive.

    cannelure.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      Watch the language there!

  12. avatar The Rookie says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name? 22 TCM.

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers? Big fireballs, 18+1 rounds in a 1911.

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity? It’s a niche round, but I don’t think it’s going to go away anytime soon.

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently? Not sure. 38 ACP maybe? I’m curious to see how the cartridge performs.

    #5- What calibers will never die off? Most of the mainstream ones.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The .38, .380, .357 and 9mm all have the same diameter bullet. Why would anyone want to make a .38 ACP when there are two other similar rimless cartridges to compete with it? Plus, if you stuck with the case length, that would be a whole lot of slide coming back.

    2. avatar MG says:

      38 super? Smith & Wesson Model 52 ?

  13. avatar Jon in CO says:

    1. 224 Valkyrie.
    2. Seems like a good choice for an AR15 sized gun to reach out beyond 1000m.
    3. So far, it seems to be the newest and greatest thing. If it really is as good as everyone says it is, it should be a big hit for guys and gals who want to reach out to those distances.
    4. I would love to see a Five Seven type handgun in 4.6×30. Would also like a 10/22 takedown in 17HMR. Caliber wise, I’m not sure. 4.6 exists, but nothing to shoot it with, so it’s not a really heavily produced caliber.
    5. The main stays, 30-06 for hunters, 308, 270, and the like. 9mm, 45 ACP, and 38/357 I think will be here until metallic cartridge guns are an archaic tech. Then, who knows. Once the burnt powder projectile is gone, I think the lighter/faster projectiles will win the day.

    1. avatar NCA says:

      I for one think .224 is all hype. Reason, barrel length. It won’t ever be replacing 5.56, because out of a 14.5 – 16 in barrel it’s not offering that amazing level of ballistics. At least, that’s what I keep seeing. All the great ballistics being reported are out of 24in barrels.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        And that is a problem…why? This is, after all, designed as a long range cartridge, not CQB, so the long barrel is not an issue. And of course the .223 was designed for a 20″ barrel, and .308 has peak performance out of a 20″ as well….

  14. avatar Robert Shirley says:

    A cheap mass produced, .30 rimfire cartridge.

  15. avatar SurfGW says:

    Pairing of rifles with caliber matters. For pigs and elk at close range with low recoil, I want a .338 caliber .300 whisper style round sending 250 grainers at 1200 FPS in an AR or a Ruger 96 style lever action. As long as the Ammo is not prohibitively expensive, I would love something like this and I could practice at local ranges that are 25 yards also.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      .338 Specter will do that but I am not sure that that there are any 250gr .338 bullets that will expand at 1,200fps and below. 290g and 300gr are covered though. Why not 300gr at about 1050fps? It is subsonic all the way and not as affected by transonic issues.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        Lehigh has their 232gr subsonic fracturing bullet if you are into fracturing bullets. I’m not and stick the the heavier expanding ones, myself. All are about a $1 each though. One can practice with non-expanding 300gr bullets for about $.52 each though. The trajectories are close enough for subsonic ranges.

        1. avatar SurfGW says:

          Now I am intrigued by the .338 Specter. Too bad no manufacturers make a lever action in this caliber. Must see how available it is and also if there is a TC Encore barrel for it

        2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          The 458socomforums have a .338 Specter sub-forum. People discuss what they have done there. I suspect that it is least expensive and most developed in an AR-15 configuration. The barrels and brass are available from southern ballistic research. The bolts are 6.8 SPC bolts. The best bullets I have tried myself are from Maker. Ballistics info and images of expanded bullets are on the forum.

  16. avatar Big ed says:

    Favorite is the OLD 45 Colt!!! With modern loads in new model guns it is amazing!! I don’t think any of the millitary calibers will fade out.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      It ain’t nothing to sneeze at with the original load of 40 grains of black powder either. It is more powerful than a .44 cal Colt 1860 Army. In fact, the Army thought it was too hot and had the load lowered to 35 grains. You have to be pretty careful with smokeless, though, because the case capacity is huge and it isn’t too hard to blow up your gun. I also prefer cast lead bullet, since you can crimp the cartridge and keep the bullet from moving around. I had a bunch of jacketed flat points from Freedom Munitions that pushed into the case just by being handled. The crimped cartridges also feed a lot better in a lever actions gun. At least in my Winchester, the uncrimped cases often catch on the feed ramp while the crimped ones slide right in.

  17. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Probably depends if you can go in a store and buy some. The nation used to have an ammo registration law sort of like California’s current law. You had to show ID and sign a registration paper log. Mail order was next to impossible. If the gun store did not have it, you were not buying it.

  18. avatar Chris says:

    newest cartridge I can think of off the top of my head is .30 Remington AR. I guess it’s a lot of hurt in a pretty small package, but that’s nothing its parent case doesn’t provide. it kinda already has faded into obscurity.

    I’d like to see a .308 necked up to 9mm, something like the old 9×57 mauser cartridges. 9×57 took a lot of real big game in its time, even up to elephants if you gave them a bell shot, and had nice low recoil, excellent accuracy up to 300 yards, and packed a big wallop. I think a modernized version could be a hell of a cartridge for hunting some of the nastier critters in North America, bears, hogs, and elk are all notorious for being hard to drop and a 9×51 jsp of around 250 grains could give them a good hurt.

    as for cartridges that’ll never die off, I think 12 gauge will outlast .22lr by a mile.

    1. Chris, your wish has been granted. The .358 Winchester is a .308 necked up to 9mm and nicely matches the classic 9×57 Mauser. It was possibly the first variant of the .308 to hit the market (unless the .243 came first). Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone is currently offering a factory rifle in .358, which is a pity.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        You are mistaken sir. Wilson Combat makes ARs in the .358 Winchester cartridge. It is one of Bill’s favorites.

  19. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    As the tiny voids between cartridges grow ever tinier the advantages of new cartridges grows ever more minuscule. Unless someone invents a totally new kind of propellant, projectile or c ase there’s no point in new cartridges and there hasn’t been in at least a decade, probably 2.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      This is precisely correct. There is just not that much vacant land left to build on in cartridgeville. Until someone comes up with a fundamentally new form of ammo, or of a critical ammo component, all the advancement available amounts to splitting between two already closely matched neighbors.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        It’s gotten kind of ridiculous IMHO. For example, back in the 90s, Re mington took the 6.5×55 and shrunk it down to a .308 ca se, while giving it a slight boost. Turns out that combo worked so well for 1000 yard shooters that they (Hornady and Lap ua) did it again, twice! If you’re not spending tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and shooting competitively where an eighth inch tighter group at 1000 yards is the difference between winning and losing, there is NO advantage to the latter two over the first. But they split the market so everybody ends up paying more for their am mo. It’s one thing to make a boutique cartri dge for serious competition, but don’t screw over the average shooter in the process.

        I could bitch on. Short magnums weren’t short enough so they made the ‘super short’, but then you could only fit 2 rou nds in a b olt action rifle because the ca ses are thick as 2x4s. Half the cartridges out there are completely pointless, but now if they start weeding out the superfluous cartridges there will be a lot of people screwed with weapons they can’t buy am mo for. So PLEASE, stop making new cartridges!

  20. avatar Robert Wickey says:

    I really enjoyed your article. I am from Long Island NY and I was kinda happy to see a caliper named after a famous long distance shooting range. 1000yrd. In the mid 1800’s the NRA leased the land from NY who bought the land from Creeds farm. NRA built it into a shooting range this was where the Palma trophy started a world wide event (sport target shooting). Creedmoor in the early 1900’s NY bought back the lease from the NRA . NY built The Creedmoor psychiatric hospital which is there today. Hence the 6.5 Creedmoor

  21. avatar Felixd says:

    Find someone who knows a little bit about research methods and have them do this for you. The questions, the selection of participants, the number of respondents, etc, are really questionable. So much so that the results of the “survey” are without value.

  22. avatar Johnston says:

    9×19 because NATO and case taper.

  23. avatar NxSW says:

    I’m amazed no one seemingly mentioned the .40 S&W among the cartridges that should go away forever. It’s filling a niche that no longer needs to be filled, in my opinion, because terminal ballistics for modern defensive 9mm ammo is perfectly serviceable. And if you don’t like the diameter, just bump up to .45 ACP.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      That and the whole 10mm thing. I don’t really have an opinion on .40 SW but, I do have an opinion on 10mm – I like it.

    2. avatar Omnivious says:

      .45 is a slug, 9mm, if you have the same technology applied to the bullets, doesn’t hold to a .40sw, 9mm will do almost adequate but a.40 will get it done. Check the ballistics testing.

  24. avatar Nanashi says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name?
    224 Valk
    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers?
    It’s a long range cartridge that will fit an AR lower.
    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity?
    No idea
    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently?
    If it counts, 45 lead ball could use some more support.
    #5- What calibers will never die off?
    22lr is the only thing I could really say that will “never” die except maybe 12 gauge. All the NATO calibers (9×19, 5.56, 308, 50 BMG) are in no danger of becoming hard to obtain in our lifetime: We replaced 30-06 64 years ago and not only is 30-06 still obtainable, a specific period load of 30-06 (M2 Ball) is obtainable because [i]one[/i] firearm requires a reversible modification to use “normal” 30-06. Hell even 30 Carbine is obtainable and only one firearm, plus a few after-thought rechamberings to exploit once cheap surplus, ever used that and the M1 Carbine isn’t remotely as popular as the Garand. 38 and 357 aren’t likely to go anywhere as long as cartridge revolvers remain, as them 22LR and 44 magnum are the only post-1900 calibers left for revolvers.

    Speaking of 44 magnum, it’s worth noting how much of its enduring popularity is due to just one movie. Any time a 44 mag shows up in a video game the description is pretty much always a Dirty Harry reference. The movie very much deserves its place on the National Film Registry.

    7.62×39 will likely last as long as slugthrowers do in some capacity, but I suspect it will gradually diminish in popularity. Between NATO giving people guns all over the world (especially the middle east) and Norinco making ARs 5.56 has been replacing it over the past few years. In the US import bans and supply drying up have been gradually choking AK popularity. The only thing it has going for it is cost (and better woodland performance if you’re Finnish), and that’s only due to production inertia (it technically has a few other uses, like varmint removal, but they’re all tied to cost). It’s more likely to wind up like 30 carbine than 30-06.

  25. avatar Mike jensen says:

    I’ve been around since dirt was new. I cut my teeth on firearms and enjoy them still. I appreciate the vast diversity that exists. I am fortunate enough to choose whatever I want and have experience with many cartridges. My personal favorite is the .30-06 Springfield. In my opinion, there is none better.

  26. avatar Keltex78 says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name?
    .224 Valkyrie

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers?
    Supposed to be flat shooting with good energy retention at long range.

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity?
    Probably fade.

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently?
    I want a Big Bore hunting rifle round that isn’t a Magnum dangerous game round. .450 Bushmaster is close, if popularity will pick up. Especially with the Ruger American Rifle chambered for the round.

    #5- What calibers will never die off?
    9mm. 5.56 NATO. 30-06. .38 Spcl. .45 ACP.

  27. avatar Wood says:

    I like heavy and slow. All the new whiz bang cartridges are designed and marketed for one purpose. To sell new guns. Beyond achieving a flatter trajectory, there’s precious little purpose for most new stuff. It’s already been don’ befo. The newest cartridge I use is the .223/5.56. Next is the .44mag, then it’s a stretch back to the beginning of the century.

    Long live the .38-55!

  28. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    What new caliber would I like to see?
    I would like to see a rimless version of .357 Magnum specifically for magazine-fed semi-automatic carbines with 16 to 18 inch barrels. Such a platform would be an outstanding home-defense firearm. It could also be an excellent platform for urban warfare and house-to-house fighting where typical engagements would be under 50 yards and maximum engagements would be 100 yards.

    What calibers will never die off?

    rimfire:
    .22LR

    rifle:
    .223 Remington / 5.56 x45 NATO
    .243 Winchester
    .270 Winchester
    .30-30 Winchester
    .308 Winchester / 7.62 x 51 NATO
    .30-06 Springfield
    .300 Winchester Magnum

    shotgun:
    12 gauge
    20 gauge

    handgun:
    .380 ACP
    9mm Luger
    .38 Special
    .357 Magnum
    .40 S&W
    .44 Magnum
    .45 ACP
    .454 Casull

    1. avatar =BCE56= says:

      “Rimless .357 Magnum for mag-fed semiauto carbines.” I like it..
      Call it 9mm Magnum.
      .38 Super. or 9X23 Win. might fly.
      .30 M1 Carbine is essentially a .30 caliber .357 Mag.
      .357 Magnum works fine in tube-fed carbines, great in a ’92/’94 Trapper.

    2. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Ya’ fergot 7.68×54r…

      Still in limited military service after 127 or so years; if that’s not imortality, then it’s damned close.

      Lotta other 7.68×whatevers out there that’ll still be with us long after Captain Kirk retires, too.

  29. avatar Montesa_VR says:

    Speaking of trends, I see 6.5 Creedmoor on the shelf, even at places like Wal-Mart. It’s much easier to find variety and sale prices on .380 than .38 special. I could buy a lever gun and revolver in matching .327 but my local places don’t carry the shells. I wish 7mm-08 was available in more firearms.

    We all have our ballistic limits. If you can hit anything with all five rounds from an LCR firing .357 Magnum, you’re a better man than I am. If you can shoot a five shot group from a bench using a .338 Winchester Magnum without flinching, I salute you.

    David Petzal says rounds like the old 7×57, the 7-08, the .270, and the .280 are much more deadly on large game now because of the advances in bullets. I think most of us probably can shoot them better than even a 30-06, let alone the magnums.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      An old boss of mine has been hunting elk annually for 30 or 40 years with the same .270, and the only thing he upgraded was the glass—which cost more than twice what the rifle cost. In that time, he has failed to get his elk only once–and that had to do with the people he was with, not the rifle or the round.

  30. avatar J Kushner says:

    What a wast of a read , wast my time , you have a platform to show up on my iPhone top things that follow,
    And you wast my time as well as everyone else’s that read it really.
    In my mind you sir , you are lost and should find another field .

    1. avatar Jack Gordon says:

      I wast thinking duh same think butt den I rekonsidered ant wast purswadud udderwhyse.

  31. avatar Phil LA says:

    I like this article.

  32. avatar Arc says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name: .510 BECK (Whatever became of it?)

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers: Its a short range 50 cal with more BOOF that .50BEO

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity: I think it already died.

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently: A cartridge that focuses purely on packing as much armor piercing potential into the smallest possible package. Lightweight AP hot loads.

    #5- What calibers will never die off: 9MM, 7.62×39, 5.56

  33. avatar Matty 9 says:

    The biggest flop I can thinknof is .30 carbine. That round sucks! The If the .44 rem mag was around then AND the M1 carbine was chambered in said round, that woulda beeen AWESOME!! But yeah, like everyone said, the common military rounds will be around Fo Evah! And all the new onea are in search of a purpose. All applications have been solved by ammo designers.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      An M1 Carbine has long been on my list of “get one some day,” despite its suboptimal round. For a while, someone made them in .223, and that would be an awesome little gun (and much prettier than the Ruger Mini.).

  34. avatar Mark N. says:

    The 9 mm is the most popular handgun cartridge in the US at this time, and with good reason. There is a huge number of guns in every size and capacity, and more concealed carry subcompacts than any other caliber. Almost anyone can handle the recoil, unlike the .357mag or 44s, .40 or even the .45 ACP. With modern bullets, it is more than sufficient for defensive use, and practice ammo is usually abundant (except during the Obama drought years and that had more to do with hoarding than production) and cheap. Cost being a huge factor in shooting sports, I do not see the 9 mm disappearing for many may years.

    1. avatar Jack Gordon says:

      I agree; price, availability, and effectiveness argue in favor of the 9 Luger. Among those smitten by revolvers (a recently acquired taste on my own part) I think the .357 will be around forever because of its versatility. It’s easy to practice with .38s and then carry .357, a more effective round for self-defense, at least as far as the fist shot is concerned. (I’ve found revolvers easier to carry in pocket holsters and even in IWB holsters than semi-autos. No safety, no manipulation of any kind except pulling the trigger is a very attractive feature.)

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Long live the wheel gun. No failures to extract, no failures to eject. no stovepipes, No problems with slides opening or closing all the way.
        And as stated above, no problems with safeties. Instantly ready to fire (except single action). Yes, revolvers can have some problems. There is no perfect world!

  35. avatar Ted Shaver says:

    For I little while I thought the 45 long colt was going to be disappearing because I couldn’t find them any where. .38 and 357 have become a little pricey. Used a S&W .357 as a duty weapon back in the day. I pretty much think they will be sticking around for a while still. Along with .22, 9mm, .223/ 5.56, and 30-06. Also 12 Gage.

  36. avatar Gene Yohannan says:

    I think the new 17 Winchester magnum cartridge is a neat NEW interesting one. I’d love to see it used in a lot of new an old style guns. As far as old cartridges here to stay, I’d say 45-70 is the one for me. I love it in a lever gun, & who wouldn’t enjoy some time on the range thinking of the Quigley Down Under movie whilest behind the rifle from down under 🙂
    I’d always love to speak to the author of this article about this and other relevant topics. Always fun, feel free to contact me

  37. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name?
    A: .224 Valkyrie

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers?
    A: It’s an intermediate round that stays supersonic longer than others.

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity?
    A: Most long range shooters will go with a full power caliber like 6.5 Creedmoor, so I expect .224 Valkyrie to fade into obscurity.

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently?
    .22 Johnson/Spitfire. It’s a .30 Carbine necked down to .223. A blowback bolt for it would only weigh ~1.5 pounds. Imagine a carbine in the same price range as a Hi-Point chambered for a caliber with the close range performance of .223.

    #5- What calibers will never die off?
    The ones with lots of popular guns chambered for them: .22LR, 9x19mm, .45 ACP, .223/5.56x45mm, 7.62x39mm, .308, 7.62x54R.

    Adopting a new caliber isn’t as easy as buying a box of the new ammo. At the very least it requires a new gun. Usually, also new magazines and new accessories for that gun. A reloader also needs dies for the new caliber at the very least. There’s a lot of logistical advantages to sticking with the well established calibers.

    It helps if new calibers are compatible with existing firearms with minor modification, are compatible with common magazines, can be reloaded with readily available projectiles and can have their cases formed from cases of another common caliber. .300 BLK checks all these boxes and looks like it will be sticking around a while.

  38. avatar OregunianC96 says:

    #1- What’s the newest caliber you can name?
    9 mm Kurtz.

    #2- What makes it good or different than other similar calibers?
    It’s sounds more Euro than 9 mm Short, and doesn’t use acronyms, like .380 ACP.

    #3- Do you think it will stay popular or fade into obscurity?
    No. Extrapolating current trends, .25 ACP will be the dominant CC caliber within the next 50 years.

    #4- What calibers do you think should be made that aren’t currently?
    Gyrojet Microjets.

    #5- What calibers will never die off?
    .30 Mauser. .455 Webley.

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