Why Do So Few New Calibers Manage to Become Popular?

Despite known gaps in performance between popular cartridges, very few new calibers ever really take off. Some find niche acceptance for certain applications, but almost all of the most popular calibers these days were devised before 1960; some before World War I.

According to a Lucky Gunner post from 2013, the 10 most popular cartridges people ordered from them were – in descending order – 9mm, .223 Remington, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .22 LR, 5.56mm NATO, 12-gauge, .308 Winchester/7.62x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm and .38 Special. Of those, only .40 S&W was devised after 1965 and half were invented before 1910. Three were created before 1900.

courtesy altersozluk.com

Granted, there are plenty of popular niche calibers among certain segments of shooters, and what’s wildly popular overall is something else entirely. Ask long range shooters and you’ll find that 6.5mm Creedmoor has basically become an institution at this point. However it’s a long, long way from being anywhere near as popular as .308.

The most recent handgun cartridge to achieve widespread popularity was .40 S&W. But fewer police officers are carrying it these days and fewer civilians are buying guns chambered in the caliber. Go into any gun store, you’ll usually find the .40 pistols going for a bit less than the the more popular 9mm models.

Sure, 10mm has its fans to be sure. A number of people out there still carry a .357 SIG, and God bless ’em. Along the same lines .38 Super has been limping on since its inception. You may find the odd duck carrying .45 GAP. There are even some folks with, say, a converted GLOCK in 9x25mm Dillon, and maybe the occasional 1911 in 9x23mm Winchester.

Among the revolver set, a few magnums have come along and found limited acceptance. The .327 Federal, for instance, probably should have had more fans than it does, given that it has more zip than .38 Special and can squeeze six rounds where you’d normally find five. But .327 has pretty much fizzled and only Ruger and Freedom Arms still make guns in this caliber.

In rifles, a raft of new cartridges comes along regularly, but only a few last for more than a few years before being consigned to the brass pile of history. Some cartridges worthy of note that have been unveiled in the past decade include .224 Valkyrie, 6.5mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm SPC, 6.5mm PRC, .26, .28, .30 and .33 Nosler, 300 BLK…and so many, many more. All will find some limited adoption, but not all will still be here in a few decades.

Some will make it, though; .280 Remington has a niche, especially among handloaders. A few rogue outfits still make ammunition in 7mm Shooting Times Westerner. Long-range shooters and big game hunters that don’t mind sore shoulders have taken to .338 Lapua. The 7mm-08 Remington won a good number of fans with its accuracy at long range and efficacy in the field.

In fact, 7mm-08, according to a 2014 NRA rifle match survey, was the third-most popular caliber. Number one on their hit parade was was .260 Remington.

The only thing that’s really happened with shotguns in the past 50 years is the advent of the 3-½” 12-gauge magnum loads. More people are buying 20-gauge shotguns rather than 16- or 28-gauge guns. Hardly anyone buys anything in .410 anymore, it seems, unless they’re buying a Taurus Judge.

You get the idea. There’s someone out there for every caliber under the sun. People who will swear up and down that their favorite is the greatest thing since smokeless powder. They wring their hands at their inability to convince the rest of the shooting world that their pet round should really be the NEXT BIG THING.

Clearly, tooling and other manufacturing costs don’t appear to deter manufacturers from making new guns in new calibers as it’s done all the time. Handgun makers seem a bit more skittish than rifle makers, to be sure, so you see fewer unusual chamberings there. It certainly isn’t efficacy; most new rounds take standard dimension bullets – it’s the powder load and the case that changes most of the time – so newer rounds will and do definitely work.

Why do you think this is? If asked, I’d guess it’s just the cost of buying and the availability of new and relatively rare (anything new will usually be scarce) ammo more than anything else.

How about you? Are you shooing a rare or esoteric caliber or wildcat round regularly? Let us know!

 

Sam Hoober is a contributing editor at Alien Gear Holsters, as well as for Bigfoot Gun Belts. He also writes weekly columns for Daily Caller and USA Carry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

    Cost and availability?

    Back when I bought my .40 S&W P229 in 1994 I thought it was great that I could just drop in a .357 SIG barrel and have that caliber available, too. Have I ever done it in the 24 years since then? No.

    1. avatar Strength & Honor says:

      Boy are you missing out… find a used 357sig barrel and give it a try.

      1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

        Just went on Gunbroker and prices for new barrels (no used ones there) range from starting bid of $99 to $200. I remembered them being cheaper. Then again, it was a while ago.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          I’m pretty sure that a large majority of cops still carry 40S&W. I know there have been some high profile (like the FBI) moves to 9mm, but most cops still carry 40.

          I don’t currently own a 40, but don’t have anything against them either. I liked my old G22 well enough.

  2. avatar dph says:

    You can only introduce so many kinds of wheels before people say they’re just wheels. Plus, as a reloader it can get hard to keep up with them all, thus .223, .308, 9mm, .45, .357/.38 special.
    Also, WTEOTWAWKI happens I want to own guns that I can find ammo for anywhere I go.

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      And you nailed it there.
      I was just having this conversation yesterday with a customer who was examining a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 creedmore. He was asking an opinion for either 6.5 or the .308 flavor – I suggested 5.56mm and reasoned the cheaper cost and relative availability of ammo being the reason. Why? This guy was no hunter and had no intention of using the rifle at any distance beyond 200 yards… “shooting a 6.5 at 100 yards at the local Gun range is like driving a Ferrari through a school zone – it looks cool but you’re not really using it to its full potential.” This lead to the philosophical discussion for why the chambering exists at all… Yes, most anything new from now on will be a reinvention of a wheel that rolled along quite nicely long ago and will never deliver results that the older wheel failed to do.
      It’s why I am always sceptical of any newfangled cartridge that comes along and contentedly keep using the tried and true ones.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Indeed, especially since the .260 Rem had already been around for a decade. The 6.5 Cree dmoor is by far the most popular completely pointless cartri dge yet. Should have met the same quick but merciful death that the .308 TC met.

    2. avatar Dan H says:

      Doesn’t SHTF argument go both ways? If you are the only one with a phased plasma rifle in a 40 watt range, you are the only one who is going to need the power packs for it. Even in relatively limited commercial supply compared to 9mm, you’d have that lane to yourself, wouldn’t you?

      1. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

        Well that just means no one will be trying to kill you for your ammo (for other things just not ammo) but whom do you kill to resupply your stock? What happens when your stock pile is exhausted and you haven’t been able to scavenge a single charge pack from anyone you’ve had to defend yourself from?

        1. avatar Sir Zog says:

          They’ll just kill you and then be bummed that they wasted THEIR useful ammo to get YOUR useless ammo.

          No one is going to shout “What kind of ammo you got there chief?” before shooting.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Should a situation arise where it is not only necessary but *urgent* to pick up ammo off the ground, I want guns which will fire the ammo most likely to be found on the ground. Currently I’m well heeled in 9mm, 5.56, and 7.62 NATO. I suppose common sense would indicate some 7.62×39 etc.is required.

      2. avatar Icabod says:

        The G11K2 used caseless ammunition. You won’t find a lot of it around. The more common the caliber, the more likely you’ll find ammunition for it
        http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/11/18/itll-never-happen-caseless-ammunition-looking-back-brief-thoughts-002/

  3. avatar TommyG says:

    The popular cartriges listed are the most cost effective and they are general purpose – they don’t do any particular thing the BEST but they do a lot of things WELL.
    Your niche cartridges tend to be the other way around. They cost more, are usually the BEST at something, but being the best at something means sacrificing other qualities.
    I own a lot of rifle cartridges, but the fact of the matter is I could do everything that I like to do with 223 Remington and 308 Winchester.
    The other ones I got because I was bored.

    1. avatar DaveDetroit says:

      +1

    2. avatar Tex Patriot says:

      Exactly.

    3. avatar Dug says:

      Duh! And yes! If any of the “new” rounds provided cost effective performance increases then they would win out. With 9mm at $.19/rnd and .223 at $.32/rnd why would I buy anything new?

  4. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

    No caliber introduced something that some other caliber already does better really, mixed in with the excessive cost most new calibers bring to the table. Why pay $0.50+/ round when I can get something already established for much, much cheaper cost overall?

    That’s kind of ultimately what it comes down too. Until there’s a round that is 9mm sized and packs the same power as a full house 357 magnum with the recoil of a 22LR, we’re not exactly going to see much straying away from what already exists

  5. avatar pwrserge says:

    It’s largely a round count issue. In order to really familiarize yourself with a firearm, you need to put a few hundred rounds down the pipe on a regular basis. When you’re talking about a long-distance shooting where an entire match might add up to 100 rounds, it’s not a big deal. When you’re shooting a pistol or tactical carbine match with 300+ round counts, it becomes far more relevant. Not only is cost a major issue, but you also have to be able to FIND the ammo in question. Not a big deal if you roll your own, but I’d love to have the free time to hand-load 1000 rounds per month.

    1. avatar Rory T. Wilson says:

      Cost to practice certainly does count. I sold the most accurate rifle I will ever own. It was a first generation .257 Weatherby Vanguard, ugly synthetic stock and all. The test target they sent along was 3 shots in one ragged hole, .154 center to center. Why get rid of something that shot better than I ever would? $5 a round makes practice a rare thing.

      1. avatar Red in CO says:

        Very true. For the most part, I simply can’t bring myself to spend $500-$1500 in a firearm whose ammo is so expensive/rare that I only bring it out a few times a year

        (Historical firearms being the exception)

    2. avatar Icabod says:

      Ran across a FN 5.7 pistol. I liked it and asked the cost of ammunition. It was $50 for a box of 50 rounds! Now it’s down to “only” $30. Plus, the round doesn’t lend itself to reloading.
      The pistol “could be converted to 9mm” if you bought a barrel. Oh wait, a gunsmith had to do some work.
      In other words, the 5.7 wasn’t going to to be a round that would cheap to fire, much less become proficient. No matter how great the caliber, it’s not practical.
      I have X-change kits for my P226 that are drop in and give me multiple calibers. Much easier.

      1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

        Where are you buying your ammo? I’ve got over 5,500 rounds of 5.7 and I only paid $14 per box of FN (or $13 per box for Federal). Buy online, on sale. Companies like AIM and PSA have sales all the time.

        You can reload 5.7, at least some do, but I don’t reload anything.

  6. avatar PK says:

    In short, sunk costs and availability. People don’t want to have to re-buy an entire firearm every time they can’t locate the required ammunition. That just isn’t a problem, provided you stick with the popular chamberings.

    And so, the problem perpetuates itself.

  7. avatar Sid says:

    Because there is really not that much new under the sun. Any new innovation or creation can easily be incorporated in an established caliber. Like a new bullet design, make it in an established caliber and sell out of it.

  8. avatar TexTed says:

    NATO and military calibers are popular. Billions of rounds being produced makes them so. .308 and 9mm and 5.56 and .45 auto.

    Next to that are cop rounds — millions and millions of rounds being produced and sold yearly makes them so. Which is why .40 managed to join the 9mm and .45 in the list, and .38 special still clings to relevance.

    And price makes the .22 popular. 4 cents a round cannot be beat, ever.

    Brand new cartridges? What’s the point? What problem are they solving, that we don’t already have a NATO or US military equivalent or cop round that’s produced in the hundreds of millions each year? You’d need to have a really, really good answer in order for a new round to catch on.

    1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      Yes, military and police decisions on firearms and caliber drive sales, and also result in surplus and overruns. People want to own the so called “weapons of war” so if the US army picks a new rifle/caliber people will want to own it. Also the FBI decision for and then later against .40s&w affected that caliber greatly, when really, why should you care what caliber the FBI is using? Except people DO!

      It is very important that we not only keep existing weapons from bans like AWB, but also the ability to upgrade to whatever future weapons are developed, or we will be blocked out of “civilians don’t need careless ammo or polymer case ammo or laser guns.” We could get stuck with present technology if we can’t make the jump to whatever is next.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        People didn’t care so much about the FBI’s choice except when people read in the gun rags of old that they chose 10mm, but even then the 10mm wasn’t that popular. What got the .40 going was all the police departments buying them from the early 90s until today. Sure a lot of people have “jumped ship” and gone back to 9mm, but a lot of police departments that were using Glock 17s, 19s, and 9×19 P226s, etc 5 years ago, just recently got .40s, so they will probably not go back to 9×19 for at least a little while.

  9. avatar Kenshinwulf says:

    The next 2 “big” inventions won’t be a new calibre. They will be in terms of propellant and sound suppression.

  10. avatar michael in ak says:

    I don’t usually go for the “latest and greatest” until it has been shaken out and proven its worth.

  11. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Because most folks are happy with just good enough. And because of a whole lot of myths and legends.
    And because they don’t reload, since they hate America. Which is the only reason not to reload.

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      Bullshit. I love America. I’m just too damn lazy to reload.

      ‘Are you naked, sitting in a bean bag chair and eating Cheetos?’ I’m that lazy.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        I want you to know that I’ve pulled 3 straight 18 hour days working, and I’m some kind of exhausted.
        But the fear of that visual creeping into my nightmares will keep me from falling asleep on the job far better than the crackiest of crack rocks ever could.
        Well done good sir, well done.

      2. avatar Kenneth says:

        Close, but I’m not going to send you a thousand dollars.
        Thought you were talking to me for a second…

      3. avatar billy-bob says:

        I’ve tried that, but the Cheeto’s bits always end up in my crack for some reason, and it’s just too uncomfortable.

      4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        You’re going to have to make it either a beer or Captain Crunch (out of the box of course) to get me to that party. Or both.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          cap’n crunch and beer. saw that in carbondale during halloween.
          never thought i’d hear the two mentioned in the same set again.

          maybe wash the cheeto’s off before the spice channel comes on. or you’ll never get rid of that tennis elbow.

        2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          No offense, guv. But I don’t want you at any party where I’m naked. So I’ll stick to Cheetos and root beer.

    2. avatar Hunter427 says:

      Oh that’s funny I don’t care who you are that’s funny I love America and I reload I have 260 why would anybody want a 6.5 Creedmoor it’s the same bullet about the same casing 260 got more powder

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        As a proud new owner of a .260 I also wonder that. It seems to me like the .260 did so well at long ra nge somebody (Hornady) just had to make it 0.01% better for the 1000 yard ran ge and rip the market in two (three if you count the 6.5×47 La pua). Now it’s the .260 that looks like it may be the boutique car tridge when it should be the other way around. We’d all be paying less for factory am mo if they had just left well enough alone.

  12. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Lets see here:
    -Ammo cost on inception. Look at 300blk vs say 7.62X39. The latter uses more metal, but is still way cheaper per round. You have to get past the inflection point where the ammo price goes down.
    -The military doesn’t change ammo often, and it drives a huge portion of the market. Out of all rounds listed only one wasn’t used by the US Military at a point and that’s .40 which was used by a lot of PDs. Look to first point.
    -Adequate is adequate. To get me to trade my 9mm, .357 or .45 ACP for another gun you have to do something pretty significant to a caliber to make it better. Even then you introduce compromises. .357 Sig is bottlenecked which means no easy reloading, and it has less capacity than a 9mm. I’d rather have a rimless .38 Super carry gun. More capacity easy reloading.
    -Expanding on the above point, there has to be a viable purpose your round serves. Otherwise it will be doomed to be a boutique round. Even 500S&W has a purpose (besides bears, being in a gajillion clickbaity videos of clueless people shooting 500S&Ws.) I seriously think that the Desert Eagle appeal was considered when making it.
    -The used market perpetuates rounds. None of the handguns I’ve bought were new. They have a long shelf life, so why not?
    -Manufacturers typically don’t adopt new rounds universally. Examples include the .45 GAP, .357 Sig and the .327 Federal. S&W had a couple guns made in the .327, but shortly discontinued them and are now $$$ because that’s the way discontinued S&W revolvers go. Your only option is Ruger for those now. I’d love to see a 7 shot K or an 8 shot L frame in .327. I can buy a Kimber revolver with .357 capacity (cheaper ammo, way more bullet selection) that holds 6 for not too much more in the weight department and likely make the cost up in ammo if I practice regularly.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I don’t understand the argument that a bottleneck case is harder to reload. It’s 30% less work to reload than a straight wall case. Expansion and forming are done in one operation. There’s no need to expand the case mouth.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        You don’t lube straight walled brass before resizing in most cases, then you don’t clean the lube off after.

        I use a powder through expander as well typically. Kind of makes the difference up since I use a progressive.

      2. avatar Mr. savage says:

        other than the swaging process I generally enjoy loading bottleneck cases over straight wall any day, plus that’s where money generally gets saved in my case, .44 mag is the only straightwalled case In my collection that has any noticeable savings.

        1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

          I shoot a large proportion of my ammo in .38/.357. That stuff is disproportionately priced compared to say 9mm. I even load 9mm though, mostly because I home cast. After doing such I’m in the $3-4 a box range which is pretty decent savings even for 9mm. Besides it gives me something to do while listening to gun vids or recordings.

  13. avatar Texheim says:

    6.5mm SPC?

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Don’t forget that ever elusive 7.62X45 NATO round

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Before there was a 6.8SPC, there was a 6.5SPC. MSG Steve Holland actually tried the 6.5mm and 7mm bullets first, before splitting the difference with the .277 110gr NAB projectile.

      1. avatar rocketscientist says:

        I love my 6.8 SPC. I really hope it doesn’t go all Betamax on me. Thought the US military might actually cave in and change the NATO standard offering worldwide by making the leap…I should have known better.

        1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Just buy a shitload of brass and don’t even think about how popular it is or isn’t. I recently got into .243 WSSM but I bought 800 new cases first. In the end it was unnecessary because the production drought ended at the same time my upper arrived. Gonna buy at least another 1000 while they are here though. Another bolt or two too. I don’t care how queer most people think that cartridge is. It does exactly what I want it to. It is wonderful for load experimentation.

  14. avatar NJ2AZ says:

    I feel like there’s a specific term for this, but of course i can’t think of it. anyways,

    the existing popular calibers have such widespread adoption and usefulness that its extremely hard for a new caliber to try and carve out market share.

    just like how MS Windows dominates (though this seems to be eroding very slowly) , or why if i try and launch a youtube channel now it won’t go anywhere. too many established options that get the job done. just too late to the party

  15. avatar Ken says:

    It’s because of cost, availability and future availability. I shoot 22LR because it is the cheapest rimfire. I shoot 9 because it is the cheapest centerfire handgun ammo. I shoot 223 because it is the cheapest centerfire rifle and I shoot 12 gauge because it is the cheapest shotgun shell. They will also be around for many years after I have left this earth.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      You should add .308 to your list. It is the cheapest full power rifle round (now that surplus 7.62x54r seems to have dried up).

      5.56/.223 is great, but it is nice to have a bigger gun too. I don’t have a .308, but do have .270 and 7.62x54r.

  16. avatar No one of consequence says:

    My guess?

    Because there hasn’t been a major, non-incremental advance in propellant technology since the dawn of the last century.

    Several optimum-ish tradeoffs between mass, velocity and recoil were rapidly established and led to the cartridges we still use. The only really major game-changer has been the development of computational fluid dynamics and other calculation/predictive means of designing better bullets, but those still have to work within the limits and framework established by the propellants available.

    When we start getting to all-electric weapons practical for man-portable applications, then things will start to change rapidly again.

  17. avatar rocketscientist says:

    Because people of the gun are among the most stodgy, distrustful, and stubborn “market” of all time. Design something vastly superior, they hit you with “not massed produced enough to be cost effective”, or you get the prepper “well if everything goes to shit you want something you can forage from other owners” thing. We would rather thump our chests and assume if it ain’t a 100yr old caliber designed on the slide rule, it ain’t worth investigating. I mostly jest (mostly) but this is a market pretty much the opposite of the cell phone/tekkie folks who have to get the newest of everything and if they have to pre-order it a year before it’s first release date, all the better. I suspect the best way is probably somewhere in between. arent we pretty much stagnating advancement? Military is almost as bad…they have seen better intermediate cartridges than the 5.56 nato they just refuse to take the big leap and keep putting silk hats on that same old pig.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      It’s the difference between science and engineering. In the real world, cost-benefit analyses are things. It makes no sense for .mil to spend hundreds of billions of dollars necessary to completely retrofit their small arms if it will only yield a marginal, if not situational increase in the effectiveness of said weapons. For example… what does .300 AAC do that 5.56×45 does not?

      Sound suppression? Not really a major consideration for .mil.
      Better barrier penetration? That’s what 77gr and AP rounds are for.
      Better terminal ballistics? Are they enough better when compared to implementing the M855A1 at a tiny fraction of the cost?

      Unfortunately, economies of scale are both an advantage and a disadvantage. They provide massive cost savings in bulk, but also introduce a massive amount of inertia to the system.

      The way I see it, the 5.56×45 round will remain the general purpose cartridge for individual weapons in the US military until a major revolution in either weapons or body armor technology. The 7.62×51 will remain the GPMG round in much the same way. Specialized cartridges may get adopted for extremely niche applications, (such as what happened with .338) but the technology has more or less peaked.

      1. avatar rocketscientist says:

        I think you are right..sadly. The US could make it happen as we are probably the only nation capable of moving the needle in new NATO adoption, and we have a history of doing wasteful things…It just seems like a shame to be pigeonholed into the same round for so long when literally every other piece of equipment is regularly updated. It really is going to take something along the lines of caseless advancement or radiation weaponry to get major procurement changes in primary weapon ammunition. As an engineer this kills me and makes me wonder if they are even TRYING at this point to upgrade something. Even NASA is going back to the tin can model of space flight and rocketry. stagnation is brutal.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          The point I’m trying to make is that the implementation of new systems has to bring a distinct and quantifiable battlefield advantage. Changing the cartridge of your small arms is not going to have nearly as much impact as replacing your fleet of obsolescent tanks and aircraft. What you’re going to see is probably an improvement in targeting systems long before any change in the fundamental cartridge. A micro-camera linked to a heads-up display, for example, would have orders of magnitude more impact than any change in the weapon itself baring major advances in opposing force body armor.

          The 5.56×45 round and the rifles that fire it are mature technologies. There is no way to significantly move the needle in battlefield performance with existing materials science and chemistry.

          Let’s take another example…

          The F22 provides a revolutionary advance in air superiority. A single squadron of F22s can dominate an engagement against an entire WING of 4th generation air superiority fighters. Can any change in rifle cartridge provide the same scale of benefit? Because it would have to in order to justify the cost of replacing millions of weapons and an entire support infrastructure built around them.

          As for NASA… they have been a joke since the late 1990s. Quite frankly, the few times I’ve dealt with the guys doing work for them, I’ve realized that they are years, if not decades, behind the civilian technology curve in both IT and manufacturing technology. Orbital launch technology has stagnated for basically the same reason that small arms technology has. There are only so many ways to skin any particular cat. When you have to shell out orders of magnitude more cash for an incremental increase in performance, it makes no sense to do so.

      2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        I thought it was the fact that it was more efficient in shorter barrels, does more damage at subsonic velocities, and required only a barrel change from a 5.56 that made it attractive. I don’t own one or a 5.56 either but if I had to buy one or the other, only my significant stash of M855a1 would steer me to the 5.56. I don’t imagine that I’ll be in many 100+ round gun fights or, so I don’t care about the ammo weight. Actually, I don’t really think it matters much which of the popular AR-15 intermediate cartridges one chooses for self-defense, they are all adequate. For the military I suspect you are quite correct though.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          We’re talking about .mil. Oh, and you might want to check out Mk262… it basically does everything that 300AAC does except sub-sonic applications.

        2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          I am indeed very impressed by the M262. I was quite surprised when I first saw gel tests.

      3. avatar IdahoBoy says:

        The 300 AAC can feed from a 5.56×45 magazine into a 5.56.45 barrel.

        That is a recipe for disaster. No way will the Feral Gubment switch from 5.56×45 to 300 AAC. Too much chance of kabooms on existing weapons that are in service.

  18. avatar Keltex78 says:

    What can cheaply and easily be bought in reasonable quantities at Wal Mart?

    I have nothing that shoots an obscure or esoteric round. 9mm/380/38/357/.22lr/45ACP. They usually get the job done.

    And when I’m able to buy my hunting rifle, it will be either a .308 or 30-06.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      This is a very valid point. I did not buy a 300 blackout until Walmart started carrying the ammo.
      What else do we need apart from .22lr, 9mm, 5.56,308, and 12 gauge?
      Other calibers are fun, but the above mentioned can do 99% of the self defense, plinking, hunting work in the USA.
      Instead of developing new rounds lets utilize what we have, how about bringing back 455 Webley, or 303.
      Bolt guns in 5.7×28, 5.45×39, or in pistol calibers?
      Nothing new has been a big leap forward. 5.7×28 has better penetration, but lacks terminal effects. 300 blackout is great suppressed, but a suppressor will do the same job.
      So we need a new round that is better, cheaper and that Walmart will carry

  19. avatar 3 of 11 says:

    As Ian I’m forgotten weapons has stated. The real advances of firearms in the last 30 years has been OPTICS which in my mind is just as important if not moreso than optimizing your caliber. Why blow money on an expensive to shoot caliber when you can use something that’s 85% optimal (223 versus 6.X) when you can get a good optics that allows you to place those rounds where you want them to go either far away or super fast.

    Seriously though here is a list of 12 rifle rounds. Ought to be able to do just about anything you’d expect a rifle to do with one of these:
    5.56
    7.62×39
    7.62×51
    .243
    .260
    6.5 Swede
    7mm-08
    .300 win mag
    .338 Lapua
    .375 H and H
    .45-70
    .50bmg

  20. avatar Strength & Honor says:

    357sig is the best carry round.

    Let me go find my bag of popcorn.

    1. avatar Dave says:

      I’ve liked .357SIG a lot when I’ve shot it, but it’s just rare and expensive.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        here in australia .357 sig is quite popular in IPSC due to caliber restrictions. still expensive though due to all the BS red tape on everything shooting related in this godforsaken country

    2. avatar Nine_10 says:

      My 10mm could kick your .357 Sig’s ass… if it’s not a 10mm, might as well be a .380.

      *passes popcorn*

  21. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Problem is, things like 4.6×30 haven’t been, should I say, available AT ALL to the general public. People who haven’t sought out the caliber and know generally what it’s capable of, don’t care. They’ll never see the only gun in existence that’s chambered for it, so it’s a moot point.

    Things like 327fed mag, I have a feeling were more for a niche market to begin with. Sort of a “357 without the recoil” kind of thing. People just said, “buy 38 if you can’t deal with 357”.

    5.7×28 has held on for a long time. Granted, police/federal gov use P90’s, 5.7’s, there’s a decent civilian market that has clung to it.

    357sig is a fantastic cartridge in a 9mm/40 sized handgun. Why it’s not popular? Cost. Why does it cost so much? Not that popular. It’s an interesting concept. 300blk was touted as the greatest thing ever, and we’re now just seeing pricing come down to levels people don’t hav to mortgage the house to afford.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Well said, and I’d add that the ONLY reason .300 blackout has come down significantly in price is that it provides benefits that aren’t massive niches. You lose no performance out of a short barrel, you can shoot it out of an AR with only a barrel change. And even with those in mind, I would imagine that the round would not have taken off in popularity if not for the spike in people willing to jump through the hoops of the NFA, especially since the round is utterly pointless out of a full size barrel and/or unsuppressed

  22. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    I bought one of those 327 LCRs. Never could find a box of 327 ammo. I could find 32 SW Short, 32 SW Long, 32 ACP, and 32 H&R. Even the online places I have bought some were always out except for the most expensive stuff. I ended up selling it and bought another 1911.

  23. avatar Specialist38 says:

    327 federal is fairly usedul for a hunter and reloader.

    32 H&R Magnum filled that role for me, so I dont see a need to jump past 1100-1200 fps for 110 grain 32 pill.

    327 is an almost 357 magnum, but the ammo scarcity and cost limit practice for defense. Just more good 357 ammo out there to find.

    The 9mm Federal could have been a thing for CCW revolvers. Could have shorter cylinders like the Terrier instead of the Chief Special. Alas, someone realized that rimmed 9mm would fit into a 38S&W chamber at about triple the pressure of the old round. Can’t have that.

    The 40 made it big cause the FBI/LEO market. Shooter need to thank them and take advantage of the cheaper gun and ammo prices. As the Police skedaddle back to the 9mm, the ammo prices will increase. Tik tok

    Dont reload rifle stuff so I have a 308, 223, 7×57, and 8×57 with at least 200 rounds dor each. If I cant do it with one of the those, to hell with it.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      I really wish Speer hadn’t stopped making the 100gr Gold Dot for it. That was the bullet that really sold me on the cartridge.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        I am with you on that.

  24. avatar Moltar says:

    They don’t catch on because they don’t offer a distinct enough all around advantage to really justify their existence. Remember 300 blackout? It used to be the super cool kid round with alleged 7.62×39 ballistics in a super supressable package. Yes it does excel at being suppressed but outside of that what does it offer that the standard 5.56 or 7.62×39 doesn’t? NOTHING it does nothing that those two rounds already don’t. Why run a super niche round like 300 blackout, 475 Cheytac, or 224 Valkyrie when you can get by with 308, 5.56, or 50 BMG?

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      The .300BLK is mostly for people that want better short barrel and suppressed performance and already have everything but the barrel, no?

    2. avatar Red in CO says:

      Short barrel, dude. Nearly all comparable rounds lose HUGE performance out of a sub-10” barrel

  25. avatar N8thecowboy says:

    For me personally it’s just cost. I’d like that .327 LCR and I would take a .40 over 9mm, but you can’t beat the price of 9mm.

  26. avatar Smith Wesson says:

    .38spl forever!

  27. avatar Gun Gal says:

    With “shoot” what you are most accurate with in mind. In my case, as senior citizen comfort is a consideration. Also cost for quality handgun is secondary considered. If ever used for SD, Law Enforcement is going to seize tool you used. If when or if you get it back.

    So with that in mind, caliber is 9mm Luger Bersa Thunder9 Ultra Compact $450.00 replacement readily available. It’s an acceptable weight to be felt recoil for my aging hands

    For automobile carry Ruger 22lr pistol loaded with 10 round magazine with CCI minimag hollow point in driver side holster in open bin.

    Both calibers readily available at reasonable prices

  28. avatar Paul m says:

    The reason most new calibers don’t take off is that we don’t need them. The same ballistics that would stop an aggressor, or a big game animal, in 1900 will stop them today. My gig game rifles are chambered in .375 H&H, 7mm Remington mag, 30-06, .308, 270, etc. Why? Because I can walk into any Mom & Pop in Backwater, USA and buy ammo for them. Same with handguns. The new calibers are to sell new firearms. And the gun rags push them because, oh yeah, they pay for the advertising.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      I was waiting for someone to say it, and earlier someone nearly did when they spoke of evolving armor against small arms: The nature of the shooter and the target(s) haven’t changed. We are still limited by our ability to carry, present and manage recoil the same as we have been forever, and we are as susceptible to GSW as ever, barring the wearing of armor.

      If ammunition popularity, and thus economic feasibility, is driven by military adoption, then an examination of modern military small arms doctrine is needed in order to understand how we arrived at where we are.

      As it is, 5.56×45, 7.62×39 and the like are already defeated by commonly available battlefield armor. If such armor were in standard use by our current and likely enemies it might drive adoption of something different, or even drive innovation. The problem here is that the state of armor development versus cartridge development is such that the only way currently available to ‘step up’ to true AP against it is to adopt cartridges common to the world wars: 30-06, 8mm and the like in their AP configurations will penetrate it, but lesser rounds cannot reliably do so. Here, the limitation is on weight and recoil: It isn’t currently possible to produce the volumes of fire necessary in modern combat from platforms with so much power. The weight of the weapons and ammunition, plus the recoil of such weapons, particularly in automatic fire make them unsuitable.

      The manifest problem is that the current state of small arms and doctrine for their use advocates (necessitates?) volume of fire over terminal effect or even accuracy. That is, in our current state, the emphasis isn’t on the ability of the cartridge to cause damage, or even to hit the targets(s), it is driven by suppression. Effective suppression allows maneuver, and advantageous position drives successful outcomes. Thus, as it is, our current military cartridge will not penetrate our current armor, and yet there is no real move to upgrade the ammunition, perhaps because the relative wounding potential and accuracy of small arms ammunition isn’t germane to how these arms are used in modern combat. The current (US)military doctrine calls for large volumes of fire from relatively small numbers of combatants, generally with one of two aims in mind: Either fix the enemy in position until indirect fires can destroy/disperse them, or fix them in position while maneuver brings part of the force into a position of superiority to, again, destroy/disperse them. This doctrine of dependence on the volume of fire to have the desired effect favors light weight cartridges with little recoil, with all other characteristics (accuracy, terminal effect and armor penetration) being subordinate.

      We tend to think in terms of the individual rifleman with marksmanship and terminal effect being pillars of success. However, these concepts are seriously outdated, more WWI thinking than a consideration in modern combat doctrine. The development of portable automatic weapons forced changes in doctrine to volume of fire at the expense of the accuracy and effect of any individual bullet. At the micro end of the scale, weight of ammo and weapon, and ability to rapidly discharge numerous rounds wins engagements, while at the macro end long lasting, inexpensive rifles with less costly ammunition wins the logistics war. In order for this paradigm to change, something radical would have to happen in the development of armor or weapons.

      If, for instance, armor were available that allowed sufficient maneuverability while providing total protection for the entire body from current small arms ammunition, then a change would be not only warranted, but critical.

      At the same time, if there existed an effective cartridge/weapon system that allowed for substantially higher volumes of fire, such as caseless ammunition or something having similar effect , that was otherwise suitable for military use, this might drive adoption.

      Neither of these possibilities is terribly remote, and at some point (not necessarily in my lifetime) I would expect to see some change in 1st world military small arms ammunition due to one or both of these developments.

      Outside of military use cost and the associated availability of ammunition is a major factor for the majority of shooters, and this seems unlikely to change. Couple that with the reality that currently available ammunition is already more than adequate for most tasks and it becomes clear that the current fixation on a relatively few ‘standard’ cartridges is bound to continue.

      I suppose the answer to the original question, ‘Why do so few new calibers manage to become popular?’, which I take to mean ‘why do so few new CARTRIDGES manage to become popular?’ is three fold: Cost and availability being the first, and has already been well covered by others here.

      The second is a lack of need. Which is to say, what is it that is needed but not accomplished by currently popular cartridges? Certainly in the field of defensive pistols there is room for improvement in lethality, but it must not come at the price of shootablity. Frankly, we lack the technology to significantly improve the terminal performance of defensive handgun ammunition without sacrificing some other essential characteristic. This carries over into virtually all types of ammunition; Any improvement almost invariably comes at the cost of some other desirable characteristic. Furthermore, I seriously suspect that if we were honest, the majority of us would consider lower cost to be a more desirable change than anything else one could possibly do with current ammunition technology.

      With current technology, we are deeply into the realm of diminishing returns with almost any change to ammunition, and until there is some technological breakthrough, we may well already be using the best ammunition possible.

  29. avatar former water walker says:

    I am far from an expert(7 or 8 years shooting) but an old friend advised me to avoid exotic caliber’s. And I have done that. I’ve owned 9mm,40,38special,380 and 12gauge. After Newtown it was difficult to get 9mm too. It’s “good enough” for my purposes…

    1. avatar Toni says:

      i have one exotic caliber. it is the 8x56R that was only ever chambered in the Styer M95 straight pull rifle that was issued to the austrian army. other than that i have a .223 and a .30-06 and a .22LR. would love to get rid of the .30-06 and get a .308. the 8x56R is almost impossible to get ammo for though sometimes you can get very expensive brass for it and that quickly sells out with people who love the rifle and cartridge. all i have at present is some of the old berdan primed stuff that can be a pain to reload.

  30. avatar Kenneth says:

    “Are you shooing a rare or esoteric caliber or wildcat round”
    Do .45 Colt and .32ACP count? How about .300 H&H? They’re not exactly rare, but certainly unusual.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      They sell a LOT of Taurus Judge. 45Colt…

    2. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

      I can get both of those in Federal and Winchester brand at my local Walmart. Those do not count as exotic of wildcat.

  31. avatar TruthTellers says:

    The thing about .327 that I don’t understand why more people haven’t accepted it is that it can shoot more than just .327 Magnum. .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum are just shorter .327 cases that aren’t as high pressure. I can understand .32 H&R Magnum not being used much because it’s not common, costs more than .327 and .32 Long, but the .32 Long… it’s nearly as cheap as .38 Special is. Yeah, it may not be found at Walmart, but it’s easy to get online.

    IDK, maybe if .32 S&W Long were available at Walmart, we’d see an increase in popularity of .32 revolvers.

  32. avatar Mike N says:

    How about the .375 Winchester ? I had a Savage model 99 with rotary mag chambered in .375 Winchester back in 1980. Winchester introduced it and another round that never took off, the 307 Winchester; both used in the BigBore model 94 lever rifle.

  33. avatar TP says:

    6.’8′ SPC.

  34. avatar cisco kid says:

    Caliber popularity often results from many factors. If the very popular and professional gun writer Jack O’Connor had never praised the Win. .270 the caliber might just have drifted off into obscurity. As a matter of fact the .280 Remington as Jack Admitted was actually the better caliber just because of the fact it was available in heavier bullet weights and still is today but the general public only follows trends and advertisement hype, seldom do they do any research themselves, its too much effort.

    Cost is a factor as well. The Remington .222 Magnum was and is a superior cartridge to the ubiquitous .223 Remington aka 5.56mm. What killed the 222 Magnum was dirt cheap once fired .223 brass and the prestige and appeal of its adoption by the Militay’s of the world.

    Recoil is another factor. The average Joe can only tolerate so much recoil and he does not like getting the fillings knocked out of his teeth with a super day dream fire spitting magnum when the ubiquitous 3006 can and has killed everything on the planet and at less cost and less recoil and in weapons costing far less as well.

    Myth is often another factor. In regards to the .45 acp lurid stories about the Philippians invasion by U.S. troops in 1899 filled magazines with fantastic tails that even to this day can be recited by people who never owned a pistol in their entire lives which was that the .45 acp was so powerful it blew men off their feet, or spun them around like a top or made them disappear in a red puff of mist. All ate up by a gullible and ignorant public no more educated today even with the internet than they were back in the early 1900’s when such charlatan prostitutes of the arms makers like Col. Charles Askins and Elmer Keith were bullshitting their way into gun writer immortality and taking home much payola and free weapons from many of the gun manufactures.

    As old Jack O’Connor once said “All the average Joe would ever need was a good .22 rifle, ad 12 gauge shotgun and a 3006 rifle. He did not mention pistols but I would add for self defense a small hide out 9×19 and a .22 rimfire pistol for plinking and practice is all one would ever need.

    Many of today’s “latest and Greatest” calibers are nothing more than warmed over inventions of past calibers. The hottest 6.5mm now is the 6.5 Creedmore but it does nothing a whole host of old time 6.5 mm European calibers were doing back in the very early 1900’s. And ditto for the short magnums that only duplicated what was available in other calibers decades and decades ago. And as far as the super magnums that burn 90 plus grains of power and have only an 800 round barrel life few people are skilled enough under field conditions to ever benefit from their added reach being as the average Joe is hard pressed to hit anything over 200 yards away in the field and even the old time 3006 can and does kill big game easily out to 300 yards.

  35. avatar Hannibal says:

    What we’ve got does the job at a reasonably price with good availability.

    Marginal performance gains for increased cost and scarcity don’t make sense for the common consumer. Not to mention that, for many purposes, it is difficult to objectively quantify performance when you have multiple shifting variables.

    The .40 is an outlier that got pumped up by police and government contracts due to a perceived benefit to penetration, especially against vehicles and glass. If the military actually ever drops the 5.56 then the new cartridge will get a similar jump. But other than big contracts the market already has so many options that anything new is likely to fail to achieve mainstream status because other similar options will be cheaper and easier to obtain.

  36. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Every caliber I have works great for what I need it to do. New caliber introductions not targeting some super specific niche market are just trying to move merchandise, not solve problems.

    Just watch, once they’ve saturated the market with plasma rifles in the 40 watt range and they need to goose sales, then all of a sudden they’ll come out strong at SHOT Show 2048 singing the praises of 50 watts and how everybody needs to upgrade.

  37. avatar Neil K. says:

    Yes, I,m old school. Like my 50’s S&W 32 longs and S&W 38 ( not 38 Spl ) revolvers and have a Win 94 in 32 Spl. Am able to reload or purchase a variety of different reloads for these old revolvers. Have an ample supply of 170 gr for the 94.

  38. avatar Healy Burnham says:

    .41 Swiss converted to center fire for my Vetterli. Had to build a taller front sight.

  39. avatar Grumpy old man says:

    Back In my day we used musket balls and powder. Had to pack each shot by hand, and we liked it! Kids these days…

  40. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    With reasonable care a firearm will last just about forever. The oldest gun in my collection was made around 1914 and it still works as well as the day it was made. So there really isn’t much of a market to replace “worn out” guns because good quality guns that are cleaned and lubricated every so often just don’t wear out. So the manufacturers come up with new features and new calibers to convince me that my model 1914 .300 Thumb Buster needs to be replaced by the all new and improved .301 Thumb Buster that fires an unobtanium bullet that’s 2 grains heavier than the old model and has 10 more feet per second of muzzle velocity. They tell me that bad guys will surrender and handcuff themselves when they hear that I’m armed with the .301 and deer will be gutted, skinned, dressed and wrapped for the freezer by the all powerful .301 round. Most of the new rounds are just advertising hype and solutions in search of a problem.

    I’ll admit that I have an eclectic collection of “oddball” calibers – .25 auto, .32 acp, 7.62 x 25, .303, 7.5mm Swiss, .25 – 06 and I’ve got maybe a hundred rounds of each caliber. If I get a desire to shoot my CZ-52 I can go out and put 50 rounds through it just because.

    My major ammunition stock is in calibers which are readily available from commercial sources. They’re also calibers that I should be able to find should stuff ever hit the fan: 5.56mm, .308, .30-06, 12 gauge. My pistol rounds are .380, .38/.357, 9mm and .45. The .38 rounds are going away for law enforcement duty carry but lots of officers still use them as back ups and just about every small town hardware and sporting goods store still sells them. .45 acp is available pretty much everywhere. .380 has occasionally been a little hard to find and is surprisingly expensive. Everybody carries 9mm – on the store shelves or on their belt.

    I reload 5.56, .308, 06 and 12 gauge. I remember stories of how the guerillas in the Philippines did pretty well with two lengths of iron pipe and 12 gauge shells. I’ve got lots of pistol brass, bullets and primers and can stay in business for a long time in the common calibers. In these uncertain days I believe the best idea is to stick with common calibers.

    The only ammunition I buy these days is .22. I remember the post Sandy Hook shortages and I have an adequate supply of good quality rounds and a bunch of the cheaper stuff that I can use for plinking and trade stock should it ever come to that.

  41. avatar Chris M says:

    What the hell is 7.62x45mm NATO?

  42. avatar Shane Niemann says:

    .458 Socom is my personal favorite, I love to flip pigs over with it. I have a BRO upper on a standard lower with a 308 kynshot buffer system. Reloading for .23 cents a shot, slinging 350-600 grains bowling balls!

  43. avatar GS650G says:

    .9 mm in bolt action with a 2 inch barrel

  44. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    The .223 is the most practical round ever I just don’t see another caliber dethroning it. As much popularity as the 6.5 has gained I hear owners of the round are buying new barrels faster than they expected.

  45. avatar Josh says:

    I wanted an AR-15 for some time but the thing that held me back was not being able to use 5.56 it 223 for big game hunting. I started looking at other less popular chamberings. I waited years for 6.5 Grendel to get popular enough for me to put one together. I plan to reload but it’s nice to walk into a gun shop at times and just buy ammo.

  46. avatar Daniel Fruechting says:

    Despite its’ lack of popularity, the .38 Super is a far superior cartridge than the 9mm Parabellum. Superior in every way

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Not rimless. That said would love a 17rd glock factory with it.

  47. avatar David Elliott says:

    I’ve developed my own cartridge, called 357 Ring Of Fire!
    It uses .357 diameter bullets from 125 to 200 grains.
    125 grainers run 1580+ fps
    158 grainers run 1320+ fps
    200 grainers run 976+ fps.
    I get 18 rounds in 15 round 10mm magazines in a Glock 20.

  48. avatar John Clark says:

    I shoot my 17 HMR pretty regular and really like it. I also really like my 6mm TCU but everything else I shoot is an old standard, I guess some might consider my 45/70 weird.

  49. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    Given the number of crimes committed with a .9mm handgun (cough), I’m surprised it isn’t a more popular round used by gun enthusiasts. I imagine reloading might be a fragile enterprise however, maybe that’s why it didn’t make the cut.

    But seriously there is so much overlap in caliber performance, especially when factoring in different bullet styles. Most people just want something that’s multi-functional, meaning fun on the range with potential to hunt or defend oneself. Anti gunners totally miss the SPORT and FUN of guns. IMO they are people who can’t comprehend fun in a general sense. There was already tremendous experimentation with calibers followed by improvements in powder, bullet shapes, and especially consistency in performance. Of course, I would be willing to look at an 8-shot revolver chambered in .556 NATO. Try THAT with a pistol, lol!

  50. avatar Aaron says:

    answer: the “classic” calibers are ”good enough”, and their installed base means they provide economy of scale.

    there will eventually be a technology leap that makes our current chemical energy, pressure-vessel weapons obsolete. until then, most new calibers just ain’t enough juice for the squeeze.

  51. avatar Stereodude says:

    So am I the only person who chose the calibers/cartridges I’ve bought guns in based primarily on the price of the ammo the gun shoots?

    Right now that’s:
    .22LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x39mm, .308/7.62x51mm, 12ga

    I have no interest in buying something that shoots rounds that are over $1 each. I’ll give up a tiny bit of ballistic performance vs. the esoteric rounds for affordable ammo.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “So am I the only person who chose the calibers/cartridges I’ve bought guns in based primarily on the price of the ammo the gun shoots?”

      I have a somewhat similar criteria for caliber choice –

      Is it sold at WalMart? Meaning, it should be available nearly anywhere…

  52. avatar Justin Case says:

    I bought a Ruger LCR in .327 Fed Mag after I finally convinced my wife to learn to shoot. I had her try everything I had in a handgun but autoloaders were “too complicated” & the J Frame was just the right size but kicked like a mule and was “too scary”. The LCR would start her out on the diminutive .32 S&W, then up to the .32 Long. As her comfort lever grew, I introduced her to the .32 H&R Magnum which is no slouch, and soon she’ll be ready for the full house .327 Fed Mag. Each new step is a new challenge and a new victory and she’s having fun doing it.
    To get around the high prices for all those flavors of .32 cartridges, I bought dies & everything I need to reload them all. No big deal since I already reload .380 acp, 9mm, 45 acp, .38 spl, .357 mag & .223.

  53. avatar mike hanes says:

    Keep the 30-30 and the 45-70 around.they will geter done and ammo is everywhere.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      If you want an open sighted rifle there’s no point (for 99% of us) to anything else. .30-30’s a lot cheaper and has a bit flatter trajectory, so I went with that, but I still want a Marlin 1895G.

  54. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Availability in the gun and ammo influences my decisions. I have used, and still do use, a number of oddball cartridges, with .303 British and 8×57 Mauser being among the most used. I was using 6.5×55 before it was really popular.

    With all my using calibers, I have reloading equipment and supplies. But even then, the most used calibers are .223 Remington and .308 Winchester which are easily replaced.

  55. avatar Lane Hansen says:

    I tend to look for the firearm that works best for me, leaning towards the price/availability of the ammo. For example, at mid-range (rifle), I absolutely LOVE my Mosin Negant sniper rifle. Have yet to find another rifle that I can hit a 6″ disc with consistently at 300yds with iron sights. Might be old tech, but it’s freaking amazing.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      2 MOA out of a mosin nagant is impressive. if you can land those shots with a mosin you can land them with just about any half decent bolt action. try out one of them new savages, I think you’d be impressed

  56. avatar Robert Jordan says:

    Is the actual complaint one of cost? performance? availability? or a combination of all 3? Personally I have several different calibers of weapons and enjoy the differences shooting them gives me. I carry a 5.7×28 it is lightweight accurate and has a large capacity mag plus it is moving at neatly AR velocity. Popular nope but I buy the green tips and can guarantee you that they will penetrate most body armor and automobiles if needed. My other calibers. 45 acp 7.62×39 .22LR .223 .38 SPL, 30.06, I shoot them all and enjoy the challenges and yes enjoyment each one brings by just being what they are! Isn’t that the whole idea about firearm ownership!?

    1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

      I also carry 5.7. It is also my wife’s favorite caliber, although she doesn’t carry one. My BUG is a Kahr K40, which weighs more than most people’s primary

  57. avatar C. Navek says:

    6.5 Grendel as the in-between round which can be hand-loaded using reformed 7.62×39 brass. The .264 bullets handle windage and go fairly flat. Like the Creedmoor, Rem .260, etc…more efficient rounds make sense, but lacking the resources to reload leaves us with manufacturing and marketing supply/demand always bringing us back to the bulk stock piles of NATO and Russian rounds for cost effective shooting. I like the more efficient rifle rounds, except for the pesky costs/availability. That’s where reloading and/or .22 “practice” plinking makes sense. There are a lot of .22 SHTF fanboys, my dad is one, and yes having a LOT more rounds is compelling, but consider punching paper and ringing steel is a lot different than taking the needed source of food, or stopping an advancing foe. That’s where .22 just won’t do.

    1. “…taking the needed source of food, or stopping an advancing foe. That’s where .22 just won’t do.”

      Actually, WTSHTF, in a survival situation, you’ll be much better off hunting for food with a .22 LR than with a .306. Why? Because there just aren’t enough large animals (such as deer and bear) to feed a community, but squirrels and rabbits breed like, well, rabbits! Hunting small game such as squirrels and rabbits with a .306 will only get you a bloody-soaked pile of fur, but a .22 will preserve the meat. A shotgun is also good for small game, but it’s easier (and cheaper) to stockpile thousands of rounds of .22 than thousands of rounds of heavy, bulky 12 gauge.

    2. avatar Martin B says:

      More “humans” killed every year by .22 than any other round. Mind you, how many were self defense, and how many were stopped instantly isn’t known. We had a murder case recently where the killer (a cop) shot his wife dead with a .22, then her boyfriend (twice), but the guy didn’t die and fought him off. Otherwise it would have been the suicide/murder he planned to stage. Now he has 17 years to sit in jail pondering his choice of calibre.

  58. avatar AZRob says:

    Probably because there is no clear advantage of many new cartridges over existing cartridges.
    The firearms industry feels compelled to always come up with new products for the shooting public.

  59. avatar Mark Holbrook says:

    The “reason” we have not a clue! Most of us are just joining in because. Bandwagoners if you please. I never fired a weapon until i joined the corps, and then for 30 years after i didnt own a firearm. Now…well…. i have a small collection with thousands of rounds. I still dont know the difference between half the gear i own. I find this to be very common and i live in a military town.

  60. avatar Chris says:

    if I have to search 4 brick and mortar stores before giving up and getting my ammo from the internet, I’m just not interested. ammo availability is already keeping 2 of my guns away from the range, I sure as shit don’t need a third one that I can’t feed.

  61. avatar Anymouse says:

    New calibers need to offer some advantage over what’s currently available. Today, that really means fitting a very specific niche, which doesn’t mean much volume. .500 and
    .460 S&W offer lots of power over other revolvers, but how many people need to shoot 500 grain bullets or go 2400 fps? Not many, but those that do appreciate them. For general carry, 9mm and .45 are good enough for most people, especially with modern bullets. What is a new rifle cartidge going to offer? .224 Valk/Nosler have distance in an AR, but how many people shoot 1000 yds so that the advantages over .223 are noticable? There’s a million .30 cartridges from .30-30 to .300 Win Mag, so what’s something new have to push out one of the old guard?

  62. avatar Keith says:

    I occasionally deer hunt with .300 savage I never thought of it as a particularly weird round but I’ve had more than one gun store owner/cashier stare blankly at me when I asked if they had it in stock usually they go “I think you mean .300 Winchester”. I like it the recoil is light and at the distances I shoot deer in fairly heavily wooded areas in northern MN it works great now I prefer my 30-06 as I think it takes deer more humanely as it tends to drop them where they stand but dang the recoil is a heck of a lot more but eh when you usually only need one round to fill your tag that’s always nice. Also for what it’s worth I like my .40 S&W pistols although for certain applications I can see the benefits of 9mm or .38 spl (usually hearing concerns/close quarters)

  63. avatar burley says:

    I think someone already hit on this, but if you need meat and you possess this trio: .22lr, 12ga, and the venerable .30-06, one can dispatch the entire range of tasty critters, globally, and out to several hundred yards.
    If you expect SHTF: 9mm/.45acp/.38/.357 and 5.56×45 or 7.62×39 can do whatever business needs doing. All widely available, all affordable, and all eminently lethal. If well placed shots from any of them don’t end the conflict, you’re not undergunned, you need backup.
    Should you ever need to stop a charging rhino, the .375H&H has proven itself for 100 years, and most can handle the recoil.
    If you need to stop a charging automobile, the .50BMG has been getting that done for nigh unto a century.
    There have been no significant, meaningful or advantageous ballistic improvements in over 50 years. To sum up: if you “need” to hit a “target” beyond 1000 yards, you’re in deployment in a hot zone and probably are in an elite group whose percentage is so far to the right of the decimal point that your input is statistically insignificant. After all, the .30-06 is more capable of long range accuracy than most shooters; if you can’t score at 1K with .30-06, you won’t score at 1.5K with 6.5Creedmor or even a .416 barrett.

  64. avatar MIO says:

    I’m laughing at the fanboy cartridge users trying to justify their cartridge. Many statements are based on feelings and not fact.

  65. avatar Kevin says:

    Why show a box of 6.5 Sweedish and say nothing about it
    . Also, I think the.410 is not seen as much as it used to be is because young boys don’t hunt like they used to. I grew up in the Flag panhandle and now live in SoFla with people from the south and NE Yankees too,and no one has ever even heard of a squirrel dog, and they equate eating a squirrel to a rat. I had loads of fun hunting squirrels with my dog. Such a shame that others are missing out.

  66. avatar Tom says:

    How about my own wildcat…the 6x10mm. A .915 long case for firing 55gr 243cal Varmint bullets. Slightly more case capacity than an Ackley Hornet but it fits in a Tokarev magazine.

    http://www.garagesmithing.com/photos_800x600/loaded_6x10sp.jpg

    I wanted a magazine fed, load powder (hence quieter) “Varmint Pistol” and I wanted to learn to make my own reamers so there you have it. Velocity is higher than 22TCM with the same weight bullet. Another largely useless caliber never to be adopted by anyone else.

  67. avatar Steve says:

    Excellent replies as is the question. Regardless of what social media is trying to make us, we are not clones of one another, don’t have the same interests as others (one of my big pet peeves is when someone tries to get me to change how I do something by saying: “MOST people would……..”. A. I’ve serious doubt anyone knows what more than half (AKA “most”) others do, and B. I’ve not once in my life desired to be like ANYONE else, let alone “most people”. The point is entirely moot, IMO.

    I agree that it SEEMS the majority of people I know go with “what has been proven over the years to work AND locally available at a reasonable price. Their reasons are their own and I’ll defend their right to do just that with my dying breath, that said…….that just is too boring for me. I rapidly grow weary of the “same ol’, same ol'” cartridges except for perhaps in a carry firearm that is for protection and rarely shot.

    In hunting rounds, the sky is the limit. Altering any round to give me what I LIKE better, taking the time to assemble a rifle or rifle components to create an efficient hunter goes hand in hand with a huge part of why I load anything. Satisfaction.

    IMHO, satisfaction is THE main goal of any hunt, regardless of what parameters one uses to reach that level. For some, hunting with grand-dads rifle with iron sights just as he did and humanely taking an animal will bring a great deal of satisfaction to the table. If my grand-dad DID hunt, and I was able to end up with his rifle…it would be a top priority for me, for sure.

    For me, there are many “reasons” to create my own round but the satisfaction gotten walking up on the first game animal taken with YOUR OWN cartridge will always stand tall and proud in my life.

    Yes, it takes a lot of time, a lot of studying, more money than I’d prefer and could always end up being a futile effort, but it would have to be completely unusable for me to feel that way.

    Contrary to what most posts indicate (IMO) there doesn’t always “need” to be humongous speed/power improvements. The one I’m working on now WILL give me about a 9 percent capacity increase over the round it’s closely imitating but it all started when I was looking at rounds of that caliber and looked at one a lot seem to love the RESULTS gotten using it and also results I desire.

    My first thought holding that cartridge was ” Good God, is that ever a butt-ugly round! I can build one “better” (IMO).”

    So I’m doing so. *grin*

    God Bless!

  68. avatar Ryan T. says:

    I shoot 8x56r regularly as a hunting round out of my Styer M95, and I have a Remington 700 in .222 rem that I handload and use for precision a lot as well. Everyone always talks about “feasibility” or “practicality”, but some people go way too far with that argument. Not EVERY gun in your arsenal has to be practical, and not every round that you use has to be easy to find. Both of those cartridges can be hard to find, but does that make them any less fun to shoot? No. The 700 in .222 is one of the most accurate guns I’ve ever shot under 125 yards with, and it’s the best gun in my arsenal that I’d use for relatively short range precision. I’ve hunted white tail with everything from a .223 all the way up to a 30-06, and I find that I’ve gotten more one shot drops with my M95 in 8x56r. Does that mean it’s a better cartridge than others? No not necessarily, it could all just be circumstantial evidence. Are there more accurate guns than the M95 from WWI? hell yes there are. But does any of this mean it’s any less fun to shoot and hunt with? No. Not every gun you own has to be practical, and not every round you use has to be easy to find. Just shoot your damn guns and have fun.

  69. avatar CJ says:

    Ruger and Freedom Arms still make revolvers in 327, but Henry makes also a lever action in 327.

  70. avatar Roman of Texas says:

    Greetings TTAG! Been awhile. I carry a 357 sig, but own a lot of calibers.

    762×25-toks and pps43s
    9×18 mak-maks, p64s, pa63, cz82, ect
    32ACP-scorpion, vzor 70
    9×19-loads
    762x38R-nagant rev
    357 mag-rev
    357 sig-my edc, sigs
    45 ACP-1911 (had to have one)
    380-sig 238 🙂
    30 carbine-m1
    5.7-PS90
    762×39-aks, sks
    556-fs2000
    762x54R-mosins, veprs
    8mm mauser-k98, vz24
    12 gauge-assorted shotguns

    in short…yeah.

  71. I think .308 (and 7.62 x 51 NATO) needs to go the way of the do-do bird now that 6.5 Creedmoor is out.
    Contrary to what some people say about new calibers being “niche rounds” while old calibers “do everything well,” 6.5 Creedmoor does everything well, and is the closest thing to a “magic bullet” in recent years.
    Compared to the .308, the 6.5 Creedmoor has far longer range, more power (except at short range where .308 still shines), more penetration, better armor-piercing capability for military use, all with far less recoil than .308, thanks to its high ballistic coefficient and high sectional density! It does all this with a bullet that’s the same length as a .308, so it fits into short action bolt-action rifles, fits the AR-10 platform, and can be adapted to military MGs such as the M240. Plus, it’s lighter weight than the 7.62 x 51, so soldiers can carry more ammo.

    I also like the 6.5 Grendel, so I hope it sticks around and grows in popularity. It has many of the same advantages as the 6.5 Creedmoor, but it’s the same length as the 5.56mm / .223 Remington, so the 6.5 Grendel fits any AR-15 with just a change of barrel, bolt, and magazine. The 6.5 Grendel starts off with the same muzzle energy, velocity, and weight as the 7.62 x 39, but has a much higher BC and sectional density, so it retains its velocity and energy at far longer distances, so it’s actually more powerful than a .308 at 1,000 yards! Some people say the 6.5 Grendel could replace all military small arms and machine guns currently chambered in 5.56 or 7.62 NATO, but I doubt that will happen in USA because of the inertia of the word’s biggest bureaucracy, the Pentagon. Serbia is adopting the 6.5 Grendel as their standard service round, and you can buy Wolf ammo in 6.5 Grendel for the same cheap price as 7.62 x 39 ammo!

    As for old rounds, the 30-30 deserves a mention, because it isn’t going away as long as people still use lever-action rifles (in other words, as long as America exists, since the lever-action is truly America’s rifle!)
    I like other old rounds too, including the .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, and .45 Colt, which will be around as long as there are revolvers.

    The .22 LR and .22 Magnum will be around a long time, too, although I really wish they had brass the same diameter so it would be easier to fire a .22 LR in a .22 Magnum gun without a chamber adapter or a spare cylinder (or risking mucking up your chamber if you try without an adapter). I wish they would resume making the .22 WRF (22 Winchester Rimfire, a.k.a. 22 Remington Special), which was the same diameter as a .22 LR so it safely fires in .22 Magnum rifles and revolvers without an adapter or spare cylinder. My local gun club only has an indoor range, which doesn’t allow any Magnums (not even .22 Magnum!) so whenever I see any .22 WRF ammo for sale, I snap it up to use in my .22 Magnum guns, but it’s been years since I’ve seen any for sale, sadly.

  72. avatar Damien says:

    Its pretty easy to understand. I got a 45acp, 45lc, 40, and 357/38. Never bought a 9, cause if i wanted those ballistics i would just use 38s in the 357. For rifles, i have 30-06, 7.62 nato, 7.62x54r, 7.62×39, and 22lr. Never bought a .223, because 22lr works for anything up to coyote, and one of the thirty calibers will drop most anything else. I consider the 30-06 and 7.62 nato to be redundant, but i got them in case 7.62x54r dries up, which is already happening. I have no idea why some calibers exist, like 270 or 300blk.

  73. avatar SL says:

    Really wish the .327 Fed Mag was more popular. I like that Henry is making a rifle in this caliber, but doubt it will sell much.
    (Not a new caliber, but also wonder why the 7mm-08 isn’t more successful. From my perspective, much better than the .243 Win…and I have both.)

    1. avatar miforest says:

      I hope the .327 mag gets enough sales to remain available . It has real advantages in using the 32 s&w rounds and the 32 H&R . the added advantage of an extra round in a self defense revolver. I am thinking of getting a ruger single seven in it. guess I’d better hurry.

  74. avatar Naturalist says:

    In Revolvers I prefer a .41Magnum. More power than a .357mag and the ballistics are superior to the .44 Magnum. More loads are available in that caliber now but if you reloaded you had more choices. In Semi-Autos I prefer .45 ACP and 10mm.

  75. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Great discussion. I started reloading 45+ years ago when I bought a BSA Martini Cadet sinigle-shot rifle in .310 Cadet – uses .32-20 cases cut back and straight-walled in my RCBS dies, plus a .318 lead cast bullet (slug the barrel on those old guns!). Also reload .43 Spanish for a Remington rolling block, .577-450 for a Martini-Enfield, .45-70 for a bunch of different rifles, and the usual suspects – .38/.357, .45acp, 9mm, .223/5.56, .308, .30-06, .32-20, .44 S&W, .44 Russian, .45 Colt, .22-250, .32S&W, .32H&R, and my latest – .327 Fed for a Ruger LCR. I bought the last one because my arthritis in my right hand/thumb joint no longer tolerates a .38/.357 in a very light handgun, but the highly effective 85gr HP bullet in the .327 Fed is actually comfortable to shoot, even with the arthritic thumb joint. I haven’t tried to reload any .22LR, although I see ads for reloading tools for that round.

    What’s the point? Reloading is a fun hobby, it lets you shoot a whole bunch of old, nifty guns, and it saves me money on shooting. Plus, it provides a great excuse to go to the range – “Just have to see which one of these loads is most accurate.” And it also keeps me out of the bars and Friday night fights. Plus, you can develop some pretty accurate loads for your guns.

    1. avatar Martin B. says:

      I recall reading that in the UK the .30 calibre was popular in the early 20th century for pest control, in very mild cartridges that did the job but only just. When these were banned after World War Two, pest control devolved to the .22 cartridge. This had much higher velocity than the former .30 projectiles, and there were quite a few fatalities due to ricochet etc, as those experienced in the old style bullets had to learn more safety rules. And now it is so hard to legally use a firearm that most have forgotten how, and the British Army largely fights with rhetoric.

  76. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    … because once Glock-brand Glock perfection was made in 45cal (meaning .45mm caliber, high-power rounds that take your blood, and soul) there’s no room for improvement until the tech for phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range. Conveniently, by then, the Kill-bots will also be ubiquitous, so “Why would anyone need that?” will answer itself.

    If there’s anyone left to answer. Or ask.

  77. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Because Bloomie’s bots haven’t started chipping away at this caliber or that, yet? Or they have?

    I am so confused.

  78. avatar Jackass Jim says:

    A few sentences in, it became painfully apparent this article was devoid of logic, reason, or utility.

    A quick glace at the by-line revealed it as yet another Hooberist babble fest.

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