We banter about the terms, and use them daily. My 1911 is chambered in .45 ACP, and I typically shoot 230 grain bullets, but on occasion I’ll load up some 185 grain … What does all this mean, and how do we determine, in terms we can understand, what something actually weighs? I mean, I know that my 230 grain lead weighs about a half an ounce, but is it more or less than a half ounce, and by how much?
Well — here’s some help.
Use the chart below to convert weights from pounds to ounces to grams to grains
As you can see in the chart below, there’s not a tremendous difference among the major pistol calibers listed. None of the pistol calibers approach the capacity of a rifle. Period. Note the bottom entry: a .22 caliber rifle. A bullet one half the weight of any of the pistol calibers, producing three and four and five times the amount of energy. The reason: its velocity is triple that of any of the pistols. The reason for the increased velocity: lightweight bullet in a long barrel.
It’s clear that the weight of the bullet matters, but velocity has more influence than weight on the energy produced. Weight and velocity work together in the formula of ‘stopping power,’ and they have an influence on each other. Continue reading →
An Overview of Handgun Calibers, Ballistics, and Stopping Power —
Trying to put an end to the endless confusion
The moment we begin the discussion of caliber and caliber choices, you can hear the age-old rumblings of the ongoing debate between 9mm vs 45, vs 10mm vs 357, etc etc ad nauseum.
We are not going to delve into that discussion; not now anyway.
A Sampling of Ammunition Calibers
In preparation for the day when we do, it’s important to first understand the terminology, and second, to have a rudimentary grasp of the physics behind it all: ballistics. Continue reading →