This is a discussion on Ammo size chart? within the Ammo Dump forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Ok, probably a typical noob question, but I have to ask. Tried the search, but didn't really know exactly what to search for. There appears ...
Ok, probably a typical noob question, but I have to ask. Tried the search, but didn't really know exactly what to search for. There appears to be a bewildering number of calibers and sizes for pistol/revolver rounds. (Don't even want to get into the rifle rounds). Does a table exist somewhere that would display the sizes. Also a number of guns can shoot multile types of rounds (example: 38sp, 357 mag). Where can I look to find this type of info.?
Not critical at all. I'm just trying to get a handle on all this size thing.
Papadicky, One of the best resources is a good reloading manual. They are filled with information, even if you never plan to reload. Speer #14 and Hornady 7th Ed are a couple of the better ones.
It does indeed get complicated because the "naming conventions" don't follow any particular regimen. To complicate issues, there are several cartridges that share calibers but are far from being compatible. An example would be a 357 Magnum and a 357 SIG or a 38 Special and a 38 Super. Further, some cartridges have several names such as a 9mm, 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, 9x19, 9mm/08, and 9mm P/08. Another is the 380, which also goes by 9mm Browning Short, 9mm Kurz, 380 ACP, and 9mm Corto, not to be confused with 380 Rim, which is the same as a 38 S&W but totally different from a 380 ACP.
Some cartridges are named for their true bullet diameter (ie 357 Mag) whereas some are named for their case diameter (ie 38 Special), and still others are named for their bullet and black powder charge weight (ie 44-40 ... 44 cal, 40 gr of black powder). Some are totally misnamed such as a 357 SIG, which has a .355" bullet and a 40 cal case.
In general, semi-auto cartridges are not compatible with any other semi-auto cartridge. By that I mean if you have a "name compatible" cartridge like the 9mm example above, it will only safely chamber and shoot one cartridge. You can not shoot a 9x18, 9x21, 38 Super, or 9mm Largo, or any of the 380 cartridges in the same gun, even though they all share the same bullet diameter. That's because all semi-auto cartridges head space on the mouth of the cartridge so length is critical. In revolvers it is quite different. As long as the bullet is the same diameter, case diameter is the same, and the chamber is long enough, shorter cartridges will shoot just fine. Some examples are: a revolver chambered for 357 Max will also shoot a 357 Mag or 38 Special. A 44 Mag revolver will shoot a 44 Special, or a 454 Casull will also shoot a 45 Colt or 45 S&W Schofield.
Specifically for Ruger revolvers:
An SP-101, GP-100, or Blackhawk chambered for 327 Fed mag gun will also shoot a 32 H&R Mag, or a 32 S&W Long.
An SP-101, Security-Six, or GP-100 chambered for 38 Special will also shoot 38 +P Specials.
A Blackhawk chambered for 357 Maximum will also shoot 357 Magnums or 38 Specials.
Any revolver chambered for 357 Magnum will also shoot 38 Specials or 38+P Specials.
Any revolver chambered for 44 Magnum will also shoot 44 Specials.
Any revolver chambered for 45 Colt will also shoot a 45 S&W Schofield
Any revolver chambered for 22 Long Rifle will also shoot 22 Long, 22 Short, or 22 CB.
Ruger also makes Single Action Convertibles with an extra cylinder chambered for semi-auto ammo or other rimmed cases. These include: 45 Colt/45 ACP, 44 Mag/44-40, 38-40/10mm Auto, and 357 Mag/9mm. 22 Cal Convertibles have a 22 LR and a 22 WRM cylinder.
Many cartridges have a "full name" that gives credit to the originator. As an example, the full name for a 357 Mag is a 357 Remington Magnum, likewise with the 44 Remington Magnum or 40 Smith & Wesson. Firearms manufacturers don't like putting some other manufacturer's name on their guns so you will see 40 Cal instead of 40 S&W, 357 Magnum instead of 357 Remington Magnum, or 45 Cal instead of 45 Colt, etc.