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Old March 14, 2019, 04:45 PM   #26
tipoc
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Can't believe 10mm is below 32acp and especially 25acp...
See post #17 above for a possible clue to that.

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I have a feeling whoever put together that list did so in a very haphazard manner. 45 ACP outsells 22lr? 12 Gauge is listed multiple times. "50 Black Powder" is listed at #18 overall along with 45, 54, 44 Black Powder whatever those are. You've got 45 Long Colt & 45 Colt, 40 Cal and 40 S&W...
Not haphazard just not drawn from all sources as has been said. The main sources were Lucky Gunner's report on what they sell on-line and possible a couple of others on-line retailers. So that skews the figures some. They are what they are...a rough idea.

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Old April 6, 2019, 09:45 AM   #27
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If ranking reflects sales of factory ammo, reloading skews the results all to hell.
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Old April 8, 2019, 06:54 AM   #28
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The list seems pretty accurate to me based upon the frequency of range brass I find on the ground at my gun club. I don't even bother picking up 9mm (or 223) anymore as I have a 5 gallon bucket filled of 9mm, and 2 buckets filled with 223. Next most common brass is 45acp, then things get randomly mixed. I seem to find a fair amount of 38 special too.
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Old April 8, 2019, 11:34 AM   #29
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I worked at an Austin, TX Academy store as a cashier over the holidays and observed the types of ammo we sold as I rang up the sales. In center fire ammo 9 mm was total king, very little 40 S/W was seen, some 45 ACP but only a fraction of the 9.

Of course .22 RF was sold but not sure what gun it was intended for.
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Old April 8, 2019, 12:20 PM   #30
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I do find this list interesting, but it also frustrates me a bit because it gives only a small angle of a snapshot and it leaves me asking more questions than it answers. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining at the information you've shown, but this is how it hits me.

The fact that it's a couple years old means that we see no evidence of the fall of .40 S&W and we also see no evidence of the fast rise in the popularity of the 10mm cartridge.

Also, and there is basically no way whatsoever to compile an accurate list, but I would argue that a huge share of passionate, high volume shooters that eat through lots of ammo are handloading, and we couldn't possibly get any way to measure that impact.

When it comes to factory ammo, handloaders can save money rolling their own 9mm and .45 ammo, but handloaders can save a monthly car payment worth of money when they roll their own magnum revolver ammo. .357, .41, .44, .454, .460 and .500 Magnum have stupid prices on factory ammo.

Again, I am coming off like a whiner, not my intention. But I see the list posted and I wish to see cartridge popularity, but what I actually see is what sells best in cheap factory FMJ, which isn't representative of cartridge popularity. That leaves me wishing for better or different info.

Even still, this is interesting stuff and makes for quality discussion!
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Old April 9, 2019, 10:37 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I do find this list interesting, but it also frustrates me a bit because it gives only a small angle of a snapshot and it leaves me asking more questions than it answers. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining at the information you've shown, but this is how it hits me.

The fact that it's a couple years old means that we see no evidence of the fall of .40 S&W and we also see no evidence of the fast rise in the popularity of the 10mm cartridge.

Also, and there is basically no way whatsoever to compile an accurate list, but I would argue that a huge share of passionate, high volume shooters that eat through lots of ammo are handloading, and we couldn't possibly get any way to measure that impact.

When it comes to factory ammo, handloaders can save money rolling their own 9mm and .45 ammo, but handloaders can save a monthly car payment worth of money when they roll their own magnum revolver ammo. .357, .41, .44, .454, .460 and .500 Magnum have stupid prices on factory ammo.

Again, I am coming off like a whiner, not my intention. But I see the list posted and I wish to see cartridge popularity, but what I actually see is what sells best in cheap factory FMJ, which isn't representative of cartridge popularity. That leaves me wishing for better or different info.

Even still, this is interesting stuff and makes for quality discussion!
I'm with you on all of those points and to reiterate, I would love to see the charts from 10 years ago and 20 years ago. The comparison makes all of the info that much more meaningful.

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Old April 9, 2019, 10:53 AM   #32
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Any data on ammo sales is incomplete without Walmart sales factored in. If one were to guess by their stock, 9mm, .380 have most variety so sales must be higher than .40 and .45


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Old April 9, 2019, 04:04 PM   #33
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Going by my personal wallet, my top 4 calibers that get my sales are...

1: .22LR (by far the most used caliber I use)
2: .38 Sp (+p included, my main carry caliber)
3: 9mm (mostly range toy)
4: .357 mag (for the bigger revolvers)
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Old April 12, 2019, 10:39 AM   #34
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But, but, but what about posters who swear the .40 S&W is dying; ya know, the same ones who sling propaganda that the 10MM is superior?

The .40 S&W came in 3rd. The 10MM didn't make the cut.
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Old April 15, 2019, 05:34 AM   #35
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calibers

The top seven handgun calibers:
1 - .355
2 - .452
3 - .400
4 - .357
5 - .429
6 - .311
7 - .251

How many calibers does that magazine hold?
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Old April 15, 2019, 09:23 AM   #36
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The .40 will move down the list eventually. A lot of people are replacing it with the 9MM. There are still a lot of .40 cal guns out there and many people who own them aren't shooters, they have them for self defense or stuck in the safe. I traded mine for an LC9.
A bunch were sold before people realized they's rather have a .45 or a 9MM.
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Old April 15, 2019, 11:32 AM   #37
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Just a reminder...This info comes from one or two sources (mostly Lucky Gunner) and only covers on-line sales of ammo. No retail stores, no gun show sales, etc. are counted and of course no way to count reloading. So it's limited.

But, it gives you a rough idea.

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Old April 15, 2019, 11:42 AM   #38
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No. .22lr and no 10mm? hmmmmmmmmm
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Old April 15, 2019, 12:36 PM   #39
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Go back and read the early posts. I did not list the 22 because it's already known to be the most popular handgun round out there and because it's the most widely sold long gun round as well. It's also rim fire.

The data is 6 years old.

The 10mm did not make the top 10 list on the original data. It is included in the original data though but well below the top 10. In fact it's below both the 38 Super and the 44 Spl. Which was about right for on-line sales a few years ago. 10mm being the 61 on the list of most ordered on-line.

http://knowledgeglue.com/what-are-th...ers-in-the-us/

A different view here...

https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...un-cartridges/

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Last edited by tipoc; April 15, 2019 at 12:47 PM.
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Old April 15, 2019, 04:06 PM   #40
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If ranking reflects sales of factory ammo, reloading skews the results all to hell.
This does give a snapshot of ammo sales from large online sources but it is a stretch to say that reflects the most popular handguns. If I was told that more 357 Sigs are being sold than 10mms for example, I would be surprised but okay that may be right. But to say 32 ACP, 25 ACP, and 44 Special guns outsell 10mm, that does not reflect what I see in gun stores, at the range and read on forums. YMMV
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Old April 15, 2019, 11:59 PM   #41
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They made millions of 32 acp, 25 acp, and 44 Special guns before the 10MM even came out!
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Old April 16, 2019, 08:41 AM   #42
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There was substantial reason Jeff Cooper, the de facto father of the 10MM, returned to a 1911-A1 .45 ACP after introducing the 10MM to American shooters.

In terms of self-defense, the 10MM offers zero above the .40 S&W. The dirge has begun for the 10MM. It's requiem is on the dead cartridge agenda.
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Old April 16, 2019, 10:45 AM   #43
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I think both the title of this thread and the premise of the opening post are pointing at something that's too general to quantify. "Top" or "most popular" is another of those things that depends on how you measure it and what you measure. Are we talking about most popular in terms of firearms owned, new firearms sold in the last year (or in the last five years), popular in terms of commercial ammunition sold in the last year, or most popular in terms of total rounds fired in the last year?

Some people may own a lot of guns (even in one caliber) but not shoot them that much. I hardly qualify as owning "a lot" of guns (except to those who think one is too much and two or more constitute an "arsenal"), but I own a couple of 1911s that haven't been fired for several years.

Other people buy ammunition in relatively huge quantities as a hedge against inflation, shortages, or their estimation of when Armageddon will occur. Does having a stockpile of more ammunition than they can shoot in a lifetime make that round more popular? I don't know.

If ammunition sales is your metric for determining popularity, how do you account for reloading? I haven't purchased .45 ACP ammunition for years, because I load it. I have 9mm dies, brass, bullets and small pistol primers. I can (and have) load for 9mm, but I don't shoot it a lot and it's sometimes more convenient to just buy a box rather than change my press over for a small batch. I also have dies and some fired brass for .40 S&W, but I don't think I have any .40 S&W bullets and I can't remember ever having loaded for it.

In short, I think if we're going to discuss "most popular" cartridge or caliber, we first have to be clear what metric we want to discuss as the basis for measuring popularity. The opening post for this discussion mentioned ammunition sales, so IMHO that's the metric we should be discussing. If you want to discuss most popular in terms of firearms sales, that's perhaps a topic for a separate discussion.
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Old April 16, 2019, 11:19 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
The .40 will move down the list eventually. A lot of people are replacing it with the 9MM. There are still a lot of .40 cal guns out there and many people who own them aren't shooters, they have them for self defense or stuck in the safe. I traded mine for an LC9.
A bunch were sold before people realized they's rather have a .45 or a 9MM.


I guess no one let Ruger in on the secret, they just released the PCC in .40 S&W


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Old April 16, 2019, 12:24 PM   #45
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Not surprised by the 9mm tally. As was pointed out, not real cost effective to reload. It does have it's attributes as well as being a LE favorite. Even though a .45 ACP fan very surprised as the other guys it came in second.

I am surprised by 38 Special coming in that low. Might have got lost in the shuffle as with 22LR ...Thanks for the heads up.
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Old April 17, 2019, 10:09 AM   #46
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I'm surprised that .25 and .32 made the list. I'm not surprised the .45 came in second. I look for the .40 to go down in the coming years.
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Old April 17, 2019, 12:59 PM   #47
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Over the past 110 years, there have been many millions of .25 and .32 autos made. Most are still out there, and they still do the same thing they always did.
.40 cal is what? 25 years old? There are nowhere near as many .40 guns in existence.
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Old April 17, 2019, 03:45 PM   #48
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In my area I have shot at several privately-owned indoor ranges, a public outdoor range, and a couple of private outdoor shooting clubs over the last few years.

I tend not to see a lot of revolver brass which makes sense since revolvers do not spit empty cases all over the place. Of course, the revolver caliber cases I find are nearly always 38 Special or 357 Magnum. Very occasionally I see a 44 Special or 44 Magnum case.

As for pistol calibers, not counting 22 lr, far and away the most commonly found spent cases are 9 mm Luger. I think part of this is due to the fact that even some of those who reload no longer bother to pick up their 9 mm brass, but there is no doubt that it is the most commonly-found center fire pistol cartridge case.

After that a fairly distant second place goes to .45 ACP but running almost neck and neck with .45 ACP is .40 S&W. Behind that a moderately distant fourth place goes to .380 Auto. I occasionally spot a 9 mm Makarov or a Tokarev case or a 357 SIG case.

As for .25 and .32, there might be a lot of pistols out there chambered for those but for what it is worth, I have never found an empty case. Nor have I found an empty 10 mm case, although I accept the possibility that this could be due to the fact that many who shoot 10 mm reload.

Of course, these are only my observations and could be somewhat unique to my locale.
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Old April 17, 2019, 07:42 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by pblanc
As for pistol calibers, not counting 22 lr, far and away the most commonly found spent cases are 9 mm Luger. I think part of this is due to the fact that even some of those who reload no longer bother to pick up their 9 mm brass, but there is no doubt that it is the most commonly-found center fire pistol cartridge case.
I have a friend who shoots 9mm in IDPA competition. He reloads, and is set up to load 9mm, but he says he can buy new ammo in bulk for not much more than it costs him to reload, so he would rather spend the extra couple of cents per round and have more time for family and other things.

I shoot mostly .45 ACP, and I can't buy ammo for anything near the cost of reloading my own.
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