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Old February 19, 2013, 05:16 PM   #1
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What does the grain of the bullet mean?

Hello, I have a noobish question that I know some haters will love to hag me on. But first, I know a lot about guns themselves, but I am teaching myself now about the ammo they take. I know the calibers but what is the grain? I know it is a measurement. Does the grain go for the whole round or just the bullet and not the powder/ case. So if I have a 40 grain .22 LR round, what does all that mean (obviously it' .22 long rifle but how much powder is charged in it and what is the weight of the bullet if measured in grains?) Is it also true that the more grains a bullet has, the less recoil? Thanks guys and I appreciate all the input on past posts!
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Old February 19, 2013, 05:30 PM   #2
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It's a unit of measurement for how heavy the bullet is.
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Old February 19, 2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Grain is a measurement of weight. In the case of a 40gr .22lr round, it means the bullet(the projectile) is 40gr, it does not refer to how much powder. Factory loads only(AFAIK) specify the bullet weight, like 115gr, 124gr, 147gr 9mm ammo etc. IIRC, all other things being the equal, yes a heavier bullet will have a lower perceived recoil. But the actual recoil may very well be higher.
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Old February 19, 2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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Both the bullet and the powder is weighed in grains. When you buy a commercial load they are referring to the weight of the bullet, not the weight of the powder or the weight of the case. The weight in grains of the powder on a commercial bought bullet is irrelivant to the shooter because you do not know what powder they used. On the other hand those who want to reload their own to optimize their bullets both the weight of the bullet in grains and the weight of the specific powder in grains is very important.
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Old February 19, 2013, 05:38 PM   #5
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Usually when discussing "grains" or cartridges, one is referring to the bullet weight. However, when reloaders are taliking among themselves they will interchange between the powder load AND the bullet weight.

A heavier bullet has MORE recoil generally speaking. Though, through meticulus tweaking of a load it CAN be made to recoil less,
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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If I recall correctly, in the days of black powder cartridges specific rounds cited caliber and powder in grains, as in .45-70, .30-30, .50-70, etc. The nomenclature carried over to some modern loadings, but is meaningless in identifying the propellant charge.

Nowadays (except, I just learned, for reloaders) nobody needs to be concerned much with anything but the bullet weight in grains.

The International System Of Units defines a grain as 64.79891 milligrams, if anybody's interested.
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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And just to put things into perspective, there are 7,000 grains in a pound.
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