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Old July 22, 2014, 03:43 PM   #1
oldknotty
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Ammunition

I have a question about ammo , when a round is called a 30-06 or 30-30 what does that denote besides the caliber ?? i was told the first two numbers were the caliber the second the date it was developed .I find this a bit hard to believe ???
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Old July 22, 2014, 03:51 PM   #2
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cartridge names are tricky.
in the case of 30-06 it means that it's a 30 caliber cartridge adopted by the military in 1906.

in the case of 30-30, it is a 30 caliber bullet loaded with 30 grains of powder(early measurement practices).

when you start getting into metric and all of the very inaccurate bullet diameter names, it starts to get really fun and confusing.
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Old July 22, 2014, 03:52 PM   #3
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This is also the information I have been told and a quick Google search confirmed the information from several places but here is the Wikipedia page for reference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-06_Springfield

The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet, and the "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted—1906. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30-40 Krag cartridges.
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Old July 22, 2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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Sometimes that true. The 30-06 is a 30 cal that was adopted by by the US Army in 1906. Others, not so much. 7mm Mag, 338-06, .270, .308 and many others.
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Old July 22, 2014, 04:00 PM   #5
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oh man I forgot about wildcats.
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Old July 22, 2014, 04:41 PM   #6
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There are very few hard and fast rules in naming cartridges......in fact, it seems there are NO rules
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Old July 22, 2014, 04:57 PM   #7
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The hyphenated ones are easy at first but then it gets confusing.

30-30
30-40
30-06

Eventually you move to ones like 7.62x54 6.5x50 and those are "Caliber" or rough caliber and then the length in millimeters.

Reloading books usually have a brief explanation of history and what is meant.
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Old July 22, 2014, 06:20 PM   #8
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444 marlin, 338 federal, 7x57 masuer, everything goes when it comes to cartridges.
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Old July 22, 2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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Some have more than one name
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Old July 22, 2014, 08:45 PM   #10
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now old scot stop trying to confuse the OP any worse than he already is... he was clearly just asking for information on 7.62x63mm and 7.62x52R.... I mean 30 springfield and 30 winchester center fire...
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Old July 22, 2014, 08:51 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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Many cartridge names carry over from black powder days.

.25-20, .38-40, .30-30 and .45-70: The second number denotes the weight in grains of black powder as loaded by the factory. (These are just a few. Many more...)
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Old July 22, 2014, 09:46 PM   #12
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Buy yourself a copy of "Cartridges of the World" and read it cover to cover.
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Old July 23, 2014, 12:53 AM   #13
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Well, the first one is roughly the caliber, as in the case of the 222 Remington (which fires a .224" bullet) or the 444 Marlin (which fires a .429" bullet). Wait, that is just more confusing. But it gets easier as you move into pistol cartridges: for example, there is the venerable 38-40 (which is a .40" bullet over 38 grains of powder) and the 44-40 (which is a .427" bullet over 40 grains of powder). Okay. those may not be the best example. Hmm, how about 38 Special, which fires a .357" bullet . . .no, that isn't any good either.

Sounds to me like the OP is trying to start a fight!
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:42 AM   #14
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Or scorch, how about this. There's the .218 bee, the .219 zipper, the .220 swift, the .221 fireball, the .222 remington, the .223 remington, the .224 weatherby, and the .225 winchester, all of which take .224 bullets.

When is comes to guns and the shooting sports, the only valid generalization I can find is this: "You can't make any generalizations."
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Old July 25, 2014, 01:49 PM   #15
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If you want to know (sans experience) then you just google it on Wickipedia.

The famous 270 is .277 caliber. Hmm, why not 280, who knows.
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Old July 25, 2014, 02:54 PM   #16
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"Many cartridge names carry over from black powder days.

.25-20, .38-40, .30-30 and .45-70: The second number denotes the weight in grains of black powder as loaded by the factory. (These are just a few. Many more...)"

Art,

The .30-30 was never a black powder cartridge, it just used the old naming convention.

I had always said that there were 3 cartridges that started out life as smokeless powder cartridges but which, for various purposes, were saddled with the old blackpowder nomenclature.

Those were the .25-35 Winchester, the .30-30 Winchester, and the .30-40 Krag.

Those are only the ones that have stuck with us.

Over the years I've learned that other cartridges were so named...

.30-30 Remington and .25-35 Remington were the rimless cartridges for Remington's self-loading rifles.

Early Model 8 Remingtons are so marked, but it didn't last for long because of the confusion that was caused.

Imagine if you had a Model 8, walked into a gun shop and said "Give me a box of .30-30 Remington."

You very likely would get a box of Remington loaded .30-30 Winchester ammunition.

Remington dropped the -30 and -35 from its cartridges and rifles within a few years.

I've also come across a very few references to the early .30-03/.30-06 being called the .30-45. I had never seen that until researching some information for another post here about a year ago.

In the case of the Winchester cartridges, Winchester didn't call them -30 and -35, other makers did (Marlin, maybe Savage) who didn't want to put the competitor's .25/.30 Winchester Center Fire (the proper name for the round) on their guns.
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Old July 25, 2014, 02:56 PM   #17
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Hey Hammie,

How about the .22 Savage High Power, which used a bullet diameter of...

.227.

As far as I know, only Hornady produces those bullets regularly.
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Old July 25, 2014, 03:18 PM   #18
Bart B.
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In the beginning, when the American cartridge Gods first created them, "caliber" referred to and meant the bore (not groove) diameter in hundredths of an inch.
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Old July 25, 2014, 03:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart B.
"caliber" referred to and meant the bore (not groove) diameter in hundredths of an inch.

Don't forget "Caliber" is also barrel length as a multiple of the bore diameter

On edit, Wikipedia actually has a decent overview of the naming conventions, and their changes over time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliber

Also, They have lists of rifle and handgun cartridges most of which will explain the choice of name.

Last edited by emcon5; July 25, 2014 at 04:11 PM.
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Old July 26, 2014, 04:08 PM   #20
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emcon5, gun calibers on naval ships sure do have caliber length barrels. I had to laugh at such an issue aboard a ship I was privy to. I was the Officer of the Deck on the quarterdeck and my Petty Officer of the watch was giving our Messenger some instructions regarding his .45 ACP he wore. He told our messenger that Colt semiauto's barrel was measured in calibers just like the 5"/54 caliber gun on our stern. To which the messenger replied "I thought is was measured in inches; 5, to be exact." "Not exactly." Replies the POOW. That gun mount on our stern uses 5"/54 ammo because its a 5" fifty-four caliber long barrel. Right? Divide 5 by that M1911's bore diameter then tell me the answer."

The messenger took paper and pencil, did the math then said "Eleven something." The POOW then stated: "That pistol was finalized on the 19th day of the month and its barrel is about 11 calibers long; close enough for government work. Hence the model number decided on was "nineteen eleven."

That young, inexperienced messenger just stood there quietly and I had to walk away a bit doing my best to keep from bursting out laughing as those two just stood there looking at each other.

We all soon went back to routine duties on that mid watch. At at 0345 hours after we'd been relieved by the morning watch, that young Seaman came up to me and seriously asked it all that was true. I answered as I winked at him: "Yes, I suppose so. But ask him sometime if any Navy ships have 80 caliber gun barrels. If he answers 'no,' clue him on that our Small Arms Locker has several that were designed by John Garand." He smiled then replied that he'd been tricked and understood my '80 caliber' barrel reference. Then said he's looking forward to pulling that one on some shipmates starting with that POOW on our mid watch.

A few days later our paths crossed and I asked him if he had done so. He grinned saying: "Yes, and with all his buddies watching!! I got him good."
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Last edited by Bart B.; July 26, 2014 at 04:15 PM.
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Old July 26, 2014, 05:48 PM   #21
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I vaguely recall from my early days of reloading for my '06 that "0.3085" was significant. Would this have been the "ideal" bullet diameter for a good seal in a bore of 0.3080? Or what? My Phil Sharpe's "Guide..." is packed away in the Great Somewhere.
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Old July 26, 2014, 06:47 PM   #22
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Art, that's the diameter of the arsenal 172-gr. match bullet used in M72 .30-06 and M118 7.62 NATO match ammo. It shot much more accurate in NM barrels than the smaller diameter ball, trace and AP ammo bullets at .3080" and smaller. NM barrels' groove diameters were .3082" to .3083 on average. The broach rifler when new, made them about .3085" but many barrels later it had worn down and groove diameter was down in the .3075" range. In comparison the broach used rifling the 7.62 NATO Garand barrels for the USN and USAF were air gauged and those in the .3075" to .3079" range were set aside for match conditioned Garands.

Most barrels need bullets at least .0003" larger than groove diameter for best accuracy. And even .0015" larger will do just fine. I and others have shot .3092" bullets from .3075" groove diameters with excellent results.
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Old July 26, 2014, 09:31 PM   #23
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I see Palma barrels at .307" groove mentioned.
Is this for the 155 gr bullets now used in international Palma or is it a throwback to the days when Palma was shot with hardball?
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:04 PM   #24
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Don't forget the US gov. also had 3 number designators for the .45-70's such as .45-70-405 one of the early standard rifle rounds .458 bullet 70 grains of powder behind a 405 grain bullet, sometime around 1879 (I think anyway) this round was changed to .45-70-500. Now the carbines had their own loads that were different from the rifle loads in bullet and powder weights. I will have to dig out some info on these, Can not seem to recall what they were right now but am thinking .45-50 (maybe 55)-330 was one.

Last edited by sgms; July 26, 2014 at 11:09 PM.
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:26 PM   #25
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The 1873 carbine load was .45-55-405 versus the rifle load of .45-70-405.

The later .45-70-500 was an outgrowth of the Sandy Hook extreme long range tests. They really liked the .45-80-500's ballistics but did not want to change over to its longer case and chamber.

Modern BPCR shooters tend towards even heavier bullets, 520 to 540 gr .45s are common. I am shooting a 404 gr .40 cal and will be going up to 420 when my supply of Snovers is gone.
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