To make the comparisons simpler, we decided not to include any revolver cartridges in this list. The .38 Special standard pressure round will be cheaper but except for a very few misfits who carry old alloy revolvers, the majority of handgunners consider it pointless. This was a great idea in theory, but the qualification scores FBI agents plummeted. Rimless, Semi-Rimmed and Rimmed Bullets semi-auto handguns and revolvers; and on their intended purpose: whether they’re only for plinking, self defense, hunting or combinations thereof. Those large guns that were custom-built for 10mm. Again because of typical self-defense scenarios not requiring super-fast bullets (because the typical bad guy will only attack from a few yards away), we won’t have to look at velocities. Handgun Calibers Comparison: From Smallest to Largest [2020] To me it was just another never-ending debate, but it was the number of times both of them said “caliber” that I found amusing — and mildly irritating as well. It was designed years back for the first blowback pistols that did not have a breech locking mechanism. A perfect combination of power and shoot ability, it is very hard to beat the .357 Magnum cartridge. The last complication with the .357 sig is cost. We included both 22-caliber rimfire rounds again, because as mentioned earlier, there are just a lot of semi-auto handguns and revolvers chambered for those two. Keep in mind, this is a revolver cartridge. Pros: Very common round. Harder to shoot than auto pistols. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'gunnewsdaily_com-leader-4','ezslot_14',125,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'gunnewsdaily_com-leader-4','ezslot_15',125,'0','1'])); The 9×25 Dillon takes the lead in the velocity department (highest orange bar, third from left) when comparing semi-auto handgun calibers intended for hunting medium game, which is not surprising — it’s like the .357 SIG on steroids. It was carried by the US military for almost 70 years and was the original caliber for the 1911 pistol. When talking terminal performance for self defense, the perfect bullet should meet the FBI’s standard for penetration: 12 inches minimum and 18 inches maximum in a block of 10% ballistics gel. There are infinitely better hunting rifle options and if I wanted to hunt with a handgun, I’d really just opt for a big-bore revolver. That performance doesn’t come free. As a special mention, Ruger’s SP101 revolvers in .327 Federal Magnum holds six rounds while those chambered for .357 Magnum only holds five. Dirty & unreliable ammo. My top 5 calibers for self-defense are 380, 12 gauge, 9mm, 40 cal, and 357 mag. Tons of choices in ammo & guns. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'gunnewsdaily_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_3',112,'0','0'])); To make the comparisons easier, we’re categorizing handgun calibers based on their launching platforms i.e. With a suppressor, it is hearing safe. The 460 Rowland, another similar powerhouse of a wildcat, is just a hair short of muzzle energy but it’s the most expensive medium game cartridge. As with semi-auto plinking calibers, we only want to consider price when shopping around for revolver plinking rounds. Ammo in the .22, .25 and .32 calibers, commonly called “mouse gun” calibers, will not stop most motivated attackers. This is one of the most beloved self-defense cartridges of all time and continues to be one of the most effective CCW calibers in existence. Compounding the fact, it is very difficult to control in a lightweight polymer pistol. Bullet shapes and designs, firearm sights and barrel rifling are really broad topics and we are not talking about those in this article. Majority (17) of the handgun calibers on our list are semi-auto rounds for self defense. However, it is bulky and takes up more space in a magazine leading the last rounds. All the ballistics from all manufacturers, finally... in one place. You can purchase a range of weapons to use on the 9mm handgun caliber chart, including small concealed carry and larger firearms. We will not be covering that topic in this analysis. Some studies attribute falling down or “knock down” to solely psychological re… In addition to gun weight, it is influenced by many factors. This is one of the oldest firearm calibers in existence. Both 14-in and 16-in navy guns were common in World War II. You might be surprised at how little you know about this often used term. The graph above shows the two .22 rimfire cartridges edging out their other two competitors when it comes to affordability. You can use this gun for everything from cowboy action shooting, to hunting, to a powerful everyday carry gun. Game animals on the other hand, well there are just too many species to compare. Ergo accuracy as a metric will not be used. I send this out (for free) to about 15 people every few months. Ok recoil. In the heavy all steel guns it was originally chambered for, it was a sweet shooting cartridge that was the best of its time. As far as terminal performance is concerned, when comparing handgun calibers within the same category, bullet design trumps muzzle energy. • Small (CXP1) – mostly rodents like rabbits, tree squirrels and such. As a recommendation, the 9mm or the 357 Magnum is going to be two of the best cartridges to start out with. Plus, more people are buying pistols as their first gun than they did in years past. More guns are making their way onto the market and ammunition is getting cheaper. For most people, the fact that you can buy this round for almost the cost of rimfire ammunition means they will get to shoot the most. Scopes are real accurate for long range shots but rendered useless for bullets with poor ballistic coefficient. Tons of guns on the market. This round is the absolute best penetrator of all the semiautomatic guns. I personally wouldn’t want a revolver in .45 Long Colt though. However, it is overkill for CCW. The type of sights on a firearm also have a direct influence on accuracy. There are a ton of handgun calibers available out there. Furthermore, ammunition is expensive for training ammo! • Small Predators (CXP1) – foxes, coyotes and bobcats are tougher than the other two small game and varmints. From the classic Colt revolvers of the 19 th century to John Browning’s beloved 1911 design and beyond, handguns occupy a special place in American culture.. Everyone has their favorite, of course, and often that shows by way … This centerfire pistol caliber is semi-rimmed and straight walled. Here’s a list of where the old favorites and handgun rounds currently lie. The portion of the bullet that makes contact with the rifling grooves inside a barrel’s bore as it is propelled by burning gunpowder is, indeed, measured in inches or millimeters and is commonly referred to as “caliber”. You’ll also find this round is harder on guns than other rounds. However, over penetration is a serious concern with this cartridge. If you don’t already happen to own one of these .357 Maximum revolvers, then you’ll have to move up in the caliber spectrum. This was the primary law enforcement caliber up until very recently. That combined with, more women joining the ranks of law enforcement meant many had trouble gripping the massive circumference of the large guns. Round per round, the .38 Special +P isn’t that much more expensive compared to the .357 magnum, it’s only a $0.07 difference at most. Although you may hear people caring these guns for self-defense, this is a horrible idea. Well, it’s because of its popularity, due to the fact that it’s a proven manstopper and there are a huge lot of revolvers manufactured to chamber it. Because of its lighter bullets, recoil shouldn’t be as heavy as that of its bigger 50-caliber brother. A good compromise between diameter and magazine capacity. Our list is extensive, with many different options, so reading it over without knowing what you are looking for might leave some confusion. To flesh out all the details, I created a table that lists all of the most common (and not-so-common) handgun calibers and all pertinent info about them: It’s by no means a complete list, as I’m only including available info online for a total of 52 different handgun calibers, 23 of which are cartridges for semi-autos, 25 are for revolvers and the remaining two wildcards (not wildcats), namely the .22 LR and .22 WMR, are kind of all over the place because they can be chambered in rifles, revolvers and semi-autos. Big game is eaten while the varmints are not including any semi-auto handgun cartridge in United. I think will be more accurate and more common this subsonic handgun round is so prolific, firearms... 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