Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Caliber?

In yesterday’s Question of the Day: Is There A Woman’s Perspective on Guns? TTAG commenator MamaLiberty asked “Why so many silly questions these days? I’d rather go back to the silly old caliber/gun brand wars.” This website is nothing if not responsive to our regular readers’ advice. Enquiring minds want to know: what’s you favorite caliber — for fun and/or self defense — and why? While we’re at it, what’s your least favorite caliber? Mine’s .40.


  1. avatar Dick says:


  2. avatar Manse Jolly says:


  3. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    22LR for fun. 45acp for serious none fun.

  4. avatar John says:

    .357 Guess I wasn’t’ the first one.

  5. avatar Brad says:

    9mm favorite, least 40

  6. avatar NineShooter says:

    Favorite: 9mm (duh, screen name).

    Least favorite: whatever is currently being pushed as the latest/greatest Caliber.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:


      So now VigLink can change one of the words in MY RESPONSE (above) to make it a link, making it appear as though I entered that link as part of my response?


      I’m thinking I won’t be participating here much longer.
      Hope it was worth the short-term revenue TTAG.

      1. avatar Warren says:

        It’s not even consistent, which only lends to the illusion that it’s the commentator leaving the link. For example, the word “caliber” shows up several times elsewhere in other comments on this post, but not all instances are linked. I’ve had the word handgun linked before, to something from brownells. I comment less and less on TTAG these days, and more on competing sites, due to nonsense like this. Those competitors have been around just as long or longer, and have managed to deal with their ads in a much more sane manner. Whatever. I still come around here, just far less frequently.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          I hope Robert is not blowin his $ on this viglink BS. Even “stupider” that the typical web “monetization” scheme. Does ANYONE actually intentionally clic on and BUY anything from this nonsense? But then some people think they are “investing” when they buy google or amazon stock. Like the bubble crash of 1999 never happen (but then many of these internet wizers were still in preschool).

      2. avatar Ing says:

        It’s been a thing for several months now. The principle of these things offends me too, a little, but the practice is easy to deal with.

        At least it doesn’t get in the way of the actual reading experience or offend the eyes. It’s not hard to sort out the ad links from the real content. Plus, ad blocking is a thing.

      3. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        It doesn’t make it look like you did it. It says “link by Viglink” when you pass over it. Still it does suck. I doubt this site could make it on Patreon donations like Forgotten Weapons, InRange, or AvE does.

      4. avatar Ralph says:

        Send TTAG a check every month and RF won’t need VigLink.

        Which isn’t going to happen, since the real truth about guns is that gun guys want everything for free.

        1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

          Google and Amazon shareholders have done quite well, thank you.

        2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          Tell that to Ian McCullom and Karl Kasarda. The get enough Patreon donations that they don’t have any ads or even monetize their youtube channels. I myself donate $5 to each of their channels every month to avoid the stupid irritating ads like TTAG has. At it’s best TTAG produces as high quality content as they do, but only occasionally. I don’t really even come to TTAG for the content. I probably come just to blather a bit. Jeremy may be the consistent exception and I do often take JWTs advice.

      5. avatar Don says:

        µBlock. That is all.

  7. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    Anything that goes BANG!!!

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      What about BOOM! or POW!

      1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

        That might work too. Hell, even Pew Pew.

  8. avatar Desert Dave says:

    Revolver: .41 Mag
    Pistol: 9 MM & 10 mm depending on use.
    Small cal Rifle: 5.56
    Large Cal Rifle: .30 06
    Magnum Rifle: 7 mm Mag

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      “Caliber” — singular.

      Pick one.

      1. avatar Desert Dave says:

        How can you possibly pick just one! I can’t. that was the short list.

      2. avatar Big Bill says:

        One? Only one?
        OK, anywhere from .177 to 12 gauge, depending on what I’m shooting at the time. The one I’m shooting right then is my favorite.
        Right then.

  9. avatar RSic says:

    Favorite Handgun caliber 40s&w fully charged, least 9mm, overall, toss up between 308 & 6.5

  10. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Favorite still has to be the 7mm08, purely because of it’s versatility and performance across a wide range of bullet weights.
    Least has to be the 300BLK. So much hype for such a limited value.

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    Pistol: .40
    Carbine: 5.56
    Longer range: .243 Win

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      A man after my own heart!

      My apologies strych9 if you are a woman … I cannot tell from your moniker.

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        Not even science can solve that riddle;-)

  12. avatar RCC says:

    .22 for fun
    9 mm for fun and serious
    30-06 with 240 grain hand loads for very serious

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      “.22 for fun.
      9mm for fun and serious.
      30-06 with 240 grain hand loads for serious fun.”

      There, FIFY.

  13. avatar Rimfire says:

    Favorite…..22WMR; least favorite .9mm of course. The one the news loves the most. Yes, that mythical caliber, lol

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      You beat me to it!! I love the comments whenever the mythical .9mm is used – now that’s fun.

      My favorite to shoot? Plain old 9mm, because that’s what I carry.

      Least favorite? .32 for the tiny revolver that was my first handgun. Horrible to shoot in that small gun… but it would likely do the job if that’s all I had.

      Thanks, Robert! :):):)

  14. avatar ucfgrad93 says:


  15. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Probably 22TCM for the giggle factor and Marvin-class Ka-BOOM!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Right? Zero recoil, loud as hell. Makes no sense.

      1. avatar No one of consequence says:

        It’s great for new shooters, in between having them shoot .22LR (mild pop, no recoil) and 9mm/.357SIG/.45ACP etc (loud bang, noticeable recoil).

        It helps not having to train not flinching both the boom and the bang at the same time.

      2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        I hardly notice the report of my 5.7 and I suspect (and QuickLoad guesses) its uncorking pressure is over 11,000psi with my hand-loads. Maybe my muffs are really good. I do keep a suppressor on it while I am in my home though, just in case.

  16. avatar Ed says:


  17. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    .357 for handgun, and 7mm for real guns

  18. avatar Jim Pat Flowers says:


  19. avatar Tile floor says:

    Favorite overall? .22 LR. Grew up shooting it and I don’t hear cash registers going off every time I pull the trigger.

    Specifics are

    Rifle-toss up between 5.56/223 and .30-30

    Least-.300 BLK

  20. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Whatever is cheap and plentiful.

  21. avatar GaPharmD. says:


    Rifle- Remington 260

    Least favorite – 10gauge… far!

  22. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Handgun-.357 Magnum. IMO one of the most versatile handgun systems ever made.
    Rifle-Undecided, lean towards something 6mm
    shotgun-12ga, just because common.

  23. avatar john says:

    .357 can be used effectively in a hand gun and rifle.

  24. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    All time favorite, .375 H&H.
    Least favorite, the ones that go “click”

  25. avatar Cogline says:

    The .357 Magnum. Can handle any 4 or 2 legged critter down here in the Southeast and comfortably plink with it depending on the load.

  26. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Don’t have one. Any can be fine.

  27. avatar neiowa says:

    A screaming yellow Vette and no suggestion of 36D?

  28. avatar Scott Lloyd says:

    Favorite: All of ’em!

    Least favorite: Haven’t found it yet.

  29. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    What is my favorite caliber for fun and/or self-defense? Yes.

  30. avatar Big Al says:

    Fun? hands-down favorite = 22lr
    Serious handgun = 45ACP
    Serious rifle = 223
    Serious & fun shotgun = 12ga

  31. avatar Hank says:

    .44 mag is my favorite by far. 9mm is my least favorite, because I like to flame you feminine weak 9mm fans. ?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I loves me some .44 Magnum myself. With the right firearm and technique, recoil is a breeze.

      I like the option to shoot a “light for caliber” 180 grain bullet out of a large revolver with a velocity of almost 1,700 fps … all the way through the option to launch a 320 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1300 fps out of same large revolver.

      When it comes to self-defense, the mantra, “There is no replacement for displacement.” really tickles my fancy … which is why I am a .44 Magnum fanboy.

      1. avatar Hank says:

        Yeah. Out of a full size revolver recoil really isn’t bad. I love the thump and the power of it. Like driving a muscle car. And yeah the ammo options are amazing. From cute .44 specials, to 300 grain behemoths, and those fast 180s.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          If you allow for .44 Special in a .44 Magnum revolver, you have a pretty wide range of bullet and velocity options.

          Here are some examples for a revolver with a 6-inch barrel:
          .44 Magnum, 180 grain hollowpoints, 1700 fps
          .44 Special, 200 grain flat point bullets, 850 fps
          .44 Special, 200 grain jacketed hollowpoints, 900 fps
          .44 Special, 240 grain semi-wadcutters, 900 fps
          .44 Magnum, 240 grain softpoints, 1150 fps
          .44 Magnum, 240 grain softpoints, 1500 fps
          .44 Magnum, 300 grain hardcast, 1330 fps
          .44 Magnum, 320 grain hardcast, 1300 fps

          That is a range of bullet weights anywhere from 180 grains to 320 grains, and muzzle velocities anywhere from 850 fps to 1,700 fps. And if you start shooting any of them in a rifle, the upper end of the velocities approaches 2,100 fps on some of the loads!

    2. avatar GSLer says:

      Suffer from SPS much hank?

  32. avatar None says:

    120mm Smoothbore

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      As long as your Uncle is buying the ammo…

      1. avatar Snatchums says:

        Anyone know what the $$$/boom rate is for the DU rounds?

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          $173 x10 to the 8th, plus tax, carry the 1. . .


  33. avatar Ing says:

    I’m partial to .30-30, myself. It can do anything you’re likely to need a light, handy rifle to do…and NOTHING beats running a lever-action rifle.

    1. avatar matty 9 says:

      agreed on 30-30

      I do like my .44 rem mag for wheel gun work.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Since I bought my first .30-30 a year and a half ago, I’ve become a huge .30-30 fan. IMHO it’s the perfect caliber for an unscoped ri-fle (except perhaps in large bear country). Went out yesterday and was hitting the 12″ gong at 200 yards about 60% of the time. With a little work I think I can make that 90%.

  34. avatar Ironhead says:

    Semi auto pistol =45acp
    Revolver =357 magnum
    Rifle = 308 winchester. Bolt or Semi auto
    Least favorite = 40 s&w, and 500 s&w.

  35. avatar kap says:

    Hand guns:
    Favorite is a .44 special, least is 9mm.
    Favorite 7mm08, . least is 5.56 x45mm

  36. avatar rdsi64 says:

    My favorite pistol caliber is 9mm. The reason is it is affordable enough that I can shoot enough to acquire and maintain proficiency with my pistol. two favorite rifle calibers are 223 and .308. I love 223 for the same reason as 9mm. I love .308 because it hits like a freight train for not a lot of coin.

  37. avatar Parnell says:

    .40 S&W

  38. avatar Mark N. says:

    .45 .45 Colt for revolvers, .45 ACP for semiautos. Just love they way it feels when you shoot it. Admittedly, though, I carry a 9 mm compact, because it is so much lighter and easier to concealed.

  39. avatar former water walker says:

    9mm…cheap and available. So are the g uns I have that shoot it. I hope we don’t have a repeat of the ammo famine of 2013. 40 was my favovote THEN…

  40. avatar -Peter says:

    I guess I get to be the first to say 300 BLK. I resisted it for a long time, but once I bought a suppressor and tried it, I was hooked.

  41. avatar Jeremy in AL says:

    7.62×25 tokarev

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      Roll Tide.

      Now if only I could get a Scorpion in 7.62 Tokarev…..

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      this one. the roller lockup on the vz52 is bringing serious fun.
      when i can find/ build a pps/h 41 i will be complete.

      until i need a 10mm…

  42. avatar canuck_in_ca says:


  43. avatar Ralph says:

    For handguns, anything that starts with a 4. 9mm is for Euro-sissies.

    For rifles, anything that starts with 7.62 or .30.

  44. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Overall, .22LR or 9mm, just for fun’s sake. Both can be used to defend oneself. If I was only allowed to own one, it would be 5.56 for sure. Can be used in close and medium ranges, and everyone has one.

  45. avatar JDC says:

    .357 Magnum

  46. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Whatever I’m closest to, if I need a firearm.

  47. avatar James Ivy says:


  48. avatar James Wilson says:

    Favourite calibre? 6.5 (efficient, bucks the wind, low recoil until you hit Nosler/Weatherby velocities…and even those are probably manageable)
    Least favourite? 30. (Inefficient, if ubiquitous.)

    You said caliber (calibre), not cartridge 😉

    Maybe it’s just my hipster/europhile (unless we’re talking politics…then I’m 110% MAGA) sensibilities.

  49. avatar little horn says:

    .30 ( yes im being vague on purpose)
    funny we see alot of rounds instead of calibers.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      A “round” is a general term.

      The question should have been “What’s your favorite cartridge?”

  50. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    Revolver: .357
    Pistol: .45
    Rifle: .30 06

    Least favorite
    Revolver: .32
    Pistol: 9
    Rifle: .223

  51. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Anyone who has scrounged brass on a pistol range knows that 9mm Luger is pretty darn popular. It’s easily 80% of what I pick up.

    Cheap and effective. What’s not to like?

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      All that 9mm brass isn’t so great when you don’t have a 9mm in which to use it. Still, I too, collect and store it.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Your local firearms retailer should be able to solve that problem for you.

        Honestly, most of what I pick up I’m planning on selling locally for scrap price. But I’m saving .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor for when I have a gun to shoot them with.

  52. avatar KENT B says:

    5.7 for now, but I would like to get into the .357 sig

  53. avatar Mustrum says:

    .45 colt long
    .38 special
    in that order

    1. avatar Kahlil says:

      I do enjoy shooting the .45 Colt out of my Henry carbine, almost no kick and a fun round to plink with. Wish I had space and could get into reloading cause I can’t afford to shoot it as much as I’d like to.

  54. avatar Bill B says:

    Most, toss up between .357 and .45 long colt.
    Least, 300 Winmag. Frickin’ shoulder still hurts.

  55. avatar Cknarf says:

    It’s kind of a toss up between most glorious 7.62x54r, and .45-70 Govt.

    My dad’s old lever gun is a blast to shoot, when I can afford ammo for the damn thing.

    Anything else that makes big booms is fine, too. All part of the fun.

    1. avatar Shawn Graber says:

      Haven’t shot any 45-70 Govt but I do love 7.62x54r. Your comment is the first to mention that caliber; I checked them all because I was going to mention the ol “rimmed for the extractor’s pleasure” cartridge as my favorite. Love that pungent odor when you pry open a full spam can.

  56. avatar penis_is_a_social_construct says:

    0.9 mm for CC, 380mm for home defense.

  57. avatar Darrelle L says:

    9mm since i can’t afford anything else currently

  58. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    .45 gap.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    2. avatar MyName says:

      So you’re the guy they made that for.

  59. avatar tiger says:

    The question about the views of females on guns seems more thought provoking than this fluff. Favorite caliber? Just to mix it up, .30 carbine.

  60. avatar BC says:

    454 cuz it’s a big ass engine and a big ass round.

    Okay, I’ve never driven a car with a 454 and never shot a .454 Casull. No one is reading this far down anyway.

    1. avatar JSW says:

      Since no one reads to the bottom, I’ll stop here and say…

      Favorite? Toss-up between .22, .357 and .308.

      Lately, it’s been the Tactical .22 events I’m getting hot about.

      For handgun steel, it’s .357 GP100.

      Varmints and bigger wildlife, .308.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      The great thing about the .454 Casull is that it’s the most powerful handgun in the world. Yes there are other ‘handguns’ that are more powerful, but they’re not really handguns. More like buttstockless rifles.

  61. avatar Lance F says:

    Favorite handgun: .44 mag
    Rifle: 7mm Rem. Mag.

    Least favorite: .22 short

    Why make them, when there is LR. I have a box from the ammo shortage, they hit 13 in. lower at 75 yards then LR. Aaaaaaa.

  62. avatar Mark in NM says:

    6.5×55 Swedish

  63. avatar Kahlil says:

    Miss my .303 British, but love shooting 6.5 creed. As far as what I currently own I have a strong fondness for .40 while for rifle plinking I’ve taken on the .45 Colt in my Henry Big Boy. I think least fav would have to be .380, I never took a liking to that round.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      The Garand might have been ‘the greatest battle implement ever devised’, but before it existed that title had to go to the Lee-Enfield.

  64. avatar Middleagedmama says:

    For cheap fun, handgun or rifle: .22 LR
    Handgun: 9mm

  65. avatar Stusherman says:

    Handgun: 9mm
    Rifle: 25-06. 117 gr Hornady XTP handload is awesome!

  66. avatar bastiches says:


  67. avatar jwm says:

    .38 special. First 95 comments were by amateurs and the ignint. .38 special is the perfect cartridge.

    I don’t care for the 8mm mauser. Shot a boat load of it when it was cheap surplus and the 98 mauser is a hell of an action. Just don’t like that round.

    1. avatar JSW says:

      .38 Special is the parent of the perfect cartridge– .357.

      (Fixed it for you.)

      Just as the ’06 is parent to the perfect rifle cartridge– .308.

  68. avatar TexTed says:

    Favorite – how do you define favorite? I love my .454 Casull, it gives me a handgun that hits way hella harder than a .223 rifle, with a gigantic .45″ bullet and each bullet weighs more than 5 rounds of .223.

    On the other hand, the .223 might be a baby rifle, but it IS a rifle, and you could buy six cartridges for it for the cost of one .454 Casull cartridge.

    That said, I like big fast bullets. 10mm, .454, .308 — that’s how I roll.

    Least favorite: any little/small caliber that people argue is “just as good” as a bigger, more powerful caliber.

  69. avatar Joe R. says:

    Making or shooting?

    Really like making 7.62 x 40 WT, and super-sonic 208 grain A-MAX 300 BLK rounds. Really really like making sub-sonic rounds of any caliber.

    Like shooting .40 S&W, because it’s snappy. Like shooting 12 ga.

    Love shooting 37MM or kinda love 26.5MM flare rounds, because our neighbors called the ATF&E doesn’t trust us with 40MM without a hassle.

  70. avatar Survivordude1090 says:


    If i can’t stop it with 30-06, someone call the Air Force, ’cause I need an airstrike.

  71. avatar barronthefarron says:

    Fav: 9mm
    Least Fav: .45 acp

  72. avatar Sam says:

    If we’re interpreting “caliber” to mean “cartridge”, I’ll go with 30-06. It does a lot of things really well. Lest favorite cartridge, .22 magnum due to its high cost for such limited utility.

  73. avatar .250 Savage says:

    .250 Savage

  74. avatar bent says:

    semi auto: 10mm
    revolver: .41 Magnum
    rifle: 7.62×39

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i just don’t get you.

  75. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Definitely partial to the magnum revo-lver calibers. Probably give the edge to .357, but love the .44. Never owned one, but maybe the .41 is the perfect compromise (like the .40 S&W?).

    Love my .30-30 and my .303 and my .308 so I guess I’m a .30 caliber guy. But I’d like to see a resurgence of the quarter bores, specifically .250 Savage and .257 Roberts (the Roberts btw fits in a .308 length action, unlike the other Mausers).

    Surprised by the lack of love for the humble .22LR. I guess a lot gets lost between 4 cents and 10 cents per round.

  76. avatar jrcanoe says:

    food 6mm TCU
    fun 22lr

  77. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Not a caliber but got to say “tracers”.

    * Is there any reason way someone would put a sticker like that on a panel seam/break and not on a flat spot? Cuz aesthetically it is not working for me.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      rust hole.

  78. avatar Ross Harvey says:

    300BLK for Rifle. 9mm for Handgun

  79. avatar Ross Harvey says:

    300BLK for Rifle. 9mm for Handgun

  80. avatar Phil LA says:

    22lr & 45 colt

  81. avatar Timothy Noecker says:

    9mm JHP 124 OR 147 GR!!!
    5.56 For AN AR-15…

  82. avatar Scoutino says:

    Favorite hangun caliber – .40 s&w for autos, .44 Remington magnum for revolver. Least favorite 9 mm.
    For rifle 5.56 so far, but it may change soon. I just bought Howa 1500 in 6.5 creedmoor.

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