f> Designed for bullet - Ruger Forum

Ruger Forum

Designed for bullet

This is a discussion on Designed for bullet within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Can anyone tell me where I can find info on what the original bullet weight for cartridges; what size they were designed for? Like originally ...


Go Back   Ruger Forum > Firearm Forum > Reloading

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes

Old January 14th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #1
 
mdi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orygun
Posts: 139
mdi is on a distinguished road
Designed for bullet

Can anyone tell me where I can find info on what the original bullet weight for cartridges; what size they were designed for? Like originally 45 ACP was a 200 gr. RN, and 38 Special was a 200 gr. RN, but I'd like to find a source of info to find other calibers data. Tried a few google searches and wikipedia, but no luck so far...



mdi is offline  
Advertisements
Old January 14th, 2017, 10:41 AM   #2
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,517
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

Try this: Cartridges of the World https://www.amazon.com/Cartridges-Wo...XYQW5GJDADWNPK
Iowegan is offline  
Old January 14th, 2017, 10:53 AM   #3
 
Sr40ken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,742
Sr40ken has a spectacular aura aboutSr40ken has a spectacular aura about
Wow! nice book, I may pick that up!
Sr40ken is offline  
 
Old January 15th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #4
 
mdi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orygun
Posts: 139
mdi is on a distinguished road
Doh!, I totally skipped "Cartridges of the World". Ordered it. Thanks...
mdi is offline  
Old January 18th, 2017, 10:46 AM   #5
 
mdi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orygun
Posts: 139
mdi is on a distinguished road
FWIW; Got my new copy of Cartridges of the World yesterday and spent about 4 hours pouring over it. Tons of interesting info, but no indication of what bullets/bullets weights were in the original design of the cartridges. Good book though and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in reloading, shooting, or just firearm history...
mdi is offline  
Old January 19th, 2017, 02:10 PM   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 147
gwpercle is on a distinguished road
That's surprising , I would have thought that info would be in there.
But I just looked at the 45 acp in my copy and there is no mention that it was originally loaded for the US Army with a 230 grain RN FMJ . Lots of other info in there.
The 38 special was a 158 grain RN bullet.
Just keep reading , some of the histories are outlined in reloading manuals , especially the older ones....check out those for more info.
Gary
gwpercle is offline  
Old January 19th, 2017, 05:16 PM   #7
 
ColoradoExpat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: 4 Corners
Posts: 883
ColoradoExpat is on a distinguished road
The appendix to Philip Sharpe's book The Rifle in America has a listing of centerfire rifle and rimfire cartridges available as of about 1947; many of the descriptions include bullet weight(s) for the factory ammo of the time, and some of those include the original bullet weight.

It's not a "one-stop", though; many lesser-known cartridges are given short entries - for example, the bullet weight for the .25/36 Marlin is not given, but the .25 Remington description cites a 117 grain bullet.

Although the 3rd edition came out in 1953, the book has been reprinted since then, so you may be able to find a copy for a reasonable price.

Last edited by ColoradoExpat; January 19th, 2017 at 05:23 PM.
ColoradoExpat is offline  
Old January 19th, 2017, 11:10 PM   #8
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,517
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

I find cartridge history very interesting. Where all the action started was during the 25 year transition from black powder to modern smokeless powder .... from about 1895 to about 1920. A lot of new cartridges came on the market, each manufacture claiming their new cartridge had more to offer than the competition. At the time, each cartridge was patented and could only be manufactured by the patent holder or the patent holder's licensee. Of course this brought on many law suites because one company directly copied another company's cartridge and just gave it a new name. It got so bad that Federal courts got involved and decided to pull the cartridge patents from all manufacturers. The problem was .... the load data for each cartridge had previously been protected by patent laws so one company had no idea what another company used for load data .... or chamber dimensions, bore diameters, bullet diameters, or chamber pressure. The Government's intent was to allow any ammunition manufacturer to make ammo for any brand of gun and for any gun manufacturer to chamber their guns in any cartridge they chose. In 1925, the Patent Office was transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Commerce, where it is today. The new Patent Office got involved but the task was well beyond their expertise so the floundering gun and ammo manufacturers were forced to come up with a solution at the Federal Court's direction. The solution was .... develop a non-Government organization that was made up of gun and ammo manufacturing members from the shooting industry. Thus in 1926, the Small Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute (SAAMI) was formed.

SAAMI's first task was to collect information from ammo and gun manufacturers that formerly held patent rights. Because SAAMI found cartridges with more than one name, each different cartridge got an official SAAMI name. Of course the same basic thing happened with gun manufacturers concerning chamber dimensions, bore diameters, etc. When the information was finally collected, SAAMI came up with a set of standards for each different cartridge to include: case dimensions, bullet diameter, bullet weight, velocity, and chamber pressure. This information was provided to all ammo manufacturers just as the data for the gun's chamber and bore specifications were provided to all gun manufacturers. Technically, SAAMI standards are voluntary but the US shooting industry has placed such a priority on compatibility that it's really mandatory compliance.

Back in the late 20's, nearly all handgun cartridges used lead bullets .... the exception being military cartridges such as a 9mm Luger or 45 ACP. Because the bullet weight and style was part of the patent, handgun cartridges were only made with one single weight bullet. As time went on where patents no longer applied, ammo manufacturers started loading cartridges with different weight bullets to make their products more appealing to customers. As more different burn rate powders became available, the civilian market and the military also made changes for rifle and handgun cartridges that produced loads with better terminal performance.

Today, much of the old pre-SAAMI "patent " data has been lost in the shuffle. As firearms and ammo companies teamed up to either upgrade older cartridges or design new ones, they spent a considerable amount of time and money to determine the best overall performance. Customers just wouldn't pay hard earned money for cartridges that were not accurate or were less powerful than advertised. This included proper function in guns, bullet weight, accuracy, velocity, and terminal performance. Many cartridges that started out with a heavy lead bullet were upgraded to much higher velocity lighter jacketed bullets. In reality, original bullet weights are just fun history lessons. With today's vast powder options, it is not unusual for a specific cartridge to be available with several different bullet weights in different configurations ... most of which didn't even exist back in the 1920's. These include wad cutters, semi wad cutters, FMJ, lead and jacketed hollow points, half jackets, round nose, flat tip, and many more. Further, many of our current cartridges did not exist back in the 1920's.

John M. Browning gets a huge amount of credit for designing guns .... well over 100 in all that were marketed by many different manufacturers. What most people don't know is .... JMB was also a fantastic ammunition designer. Most of his designs are still popular today. These include: the 9mm Browning Short (later renamed by SAAMI to 380 Auto), 25 ACP (SAAMI renamed to 25 Auto), 32 ACP (32 Auto), 38 ACP (38 Auto and it's upgraded near twin ... the 38 Super Auto), and finally the 45 ACP .... renamed by SAAMI to 45 Auto. Colt got much of the credit for JMB's designs .... they called it a joint venture between Colt, UMC (ammo manufacturer) and John Browning. In other words, JMB did most of the work, UMC made the ammo, and Colt took credit and put their name on the cartridges.

One of my favorite cartridges has changed every single attribute since it was first introduced .... even the name .... 45 Colt. Back in the day, there were at least 3 different 45 cal military cartridges .... 45 Colt, 45 Automatic Colt Pistol and a 45 Schofield. To avoid confusion, the military called the cartridge a 45 Long Colt and the name stuck like glue. SAAMI renamed it 45 Colt in 1926 but old names die hard.

Starting with the powder, 45 Colts were loaded with 40gr of ffg black powder. This was later changed to a mid burn rate smokeless gun powder. The original 45 Colt had a "balloon head" case that was used until well after WWII. It then was changed to a solid head case .... much like other modern revolver cartridges. Primers started out with mercury fulminate. These primers were not reliable and corrupted the bore with very corrosive mercury. Primers were later changed to another type of corrosive primer .... Potassium chloride. Primers changed again to non-corrosive with the invention of Styphnate Primers. Bullets started out as 255gr LRN with a diameter of .454~.455". In 1951, S&W petitioned SAAMI to change 45 cal revolver bore diameter to accept .451" jacketed bullets .... the same as a 1911. The reason being .... S&W produced a new "Model of 1950" DA revolver (later known as a Mod 25) that was chambered in both a 45 ACP and 45 Colt. By 1952, all SAAMI handgun manufacturers had changed the bore diameter to accommodate .451" jacketed bullets or .452" lead bullets. As lever action rifles became popular in 45 Colt, the bullets were changed to lead round nose flat tip .... to prevent primer detonation in the tube magazine. So powder, cases, primers, and bullets have all changed since 1873 when Colt first introduced it.

Last edited by Iowegan; January 19th, 2017 at 11:13 PM.
Iowegan is offline  
Old January 20th, 2017, 02:36 AM   #9
Ruger Tinkerer
 
Waveform's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,339
Waveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to behold
Very interesting stuff Iowegan - thanks for posting.
Waveform is online now  
Old January 20th, 2017, 10:18 AM   #10
 
mdi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orygun
Posts: 139
mdi is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
Very interesting stuff Iowegan - thanks for posting.
Yes, thanks..
mdi is offline  
Old January 21st, 2017, 09:50 AM   #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,175
Bob Lewis will become famous soon enough
Very interesting lowegan.

One other book I find informative is the Ammo Encyclopedia it also talks about the bullet v cartridge issue as well as a lot of other stuff.
Bob Lewis is offline  
Old January 25th, 2017, 06:17 PM   #12
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,517
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

I got a PM today from a member wanting to know about "How are the initial bullet weights that calibers are 'designed' around initially determined."

I pulled out my gunsmith school notes .... from about 44 years ago and found the magic formula for revolvers. Here was my answer:

The absolute minimum bullet weight for a handgun is based on the weight of a single lead ball that is bore diameter. Anything less than bore diameter would not seal in the bore. The optimum bullet weight is the added weight of two bore diameter lead balls. As an example, a 44 cal round lead ball weighs 120gr so that would be the absolute minimum bullet weight. Two 44 cal round lead balls weigh 240gr, which is the optimum bullet weight. From there, the "15%" rule can be used ..... meaning the typical range of bullet weights for a 44 cal (.430" bore) would be 240gr plus or minus 15%. 240-15% is 204gr and the maximum would be 240+15% is 276gr. 38 Special/357 Mag round lead balls weigh 69gr. Two would weigh 138gr, which would be the optimum bullet weight. Again using the 15% rule, 138+15%=158gr, which has become the most popular bullet weight .... but not optimum. A 41 cal round lead ball weighs 105gr so the optimum weight would be 210gr. The range would be 210-15% or 178.5gr and the max would be 210+15% or 241.5gr.

Optimum bullet weight can easily be trumped by popular bullet weight and a 38 Special is a perfect example where 158gr has become the most popular weight, even though 138gr is the optimum weight. Nothing says a bullet 15% heavier than optimum is the max bullet weight. The 38 Special is also a good example where bullets as heavy as 200 gr have been used. Ammo manufacturers tend to go with optimum bullet weights with a spread of +or- 15%. This range of bullet weights provide the best velocity and accuracy without exceeding chamber pressure limits.

I don't think there is any such "formula" for rifle bullets ..... I think the designers did a lot of experimenting and went with the bullet weight that provided the desired velocity with the best accuracy.

BTW, here's Beartooth Bullet's web site if you want to calculate round lead ball weights: http://beartoothbullets.com/rescourc.../roundball.htm

Last edited by Iowegan; January 25th, 2017 at 06:23 PM.
Iowegan is offline  
Old January 29th, 2017, 08:41 PM   #13
 
trainking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 67
trainking is on a distinguished road
This is one of the most interesting threads I have read in a long time.
Even after 40 years of reloading, this old dog learns new tricks
Thank you Iowegan and everybody else.
trainking is offline  
Old January 30th, 2017, 09:22 AM   #14
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,517
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

Just in case you tried the "two ball" formula for a 45 Colt ... it doesn't work. Likely because Colt came up with 250~255gr bullets long before the word "optimum" was used. A .452" lead ball weighs 139gr so two of them would weigh 278gr. Even if you used the -15% rule, it would come out to 236gr. Hard to say where Sam Colt came up with 250gr??? That said, reloaders have found 278gr bullets shoot pretty darn good in a 45 Colt.

Bullets for semi-autos don't conform to the 2-ball formula either but they do come fairly close to the 15% rule. As an example, a 45 ACP was designed for a 200gr bullet. +15% would be 230gr (now the most popular bullet weight) and -15% would be 170gr, however 170gr bullets were too light to operate the slide reliably so the minimum weight was set at 180gr. 9mm Luger follows a similar trend where the cartridge was designed for a 124gr bullet. A +15% would weigh 142.6 and the industry standard is 147gr. A -15% would weigh about 105gr but like the light 45 ACP bullet, it didn't develop enough slide thrust so 115gr became the light weight standard.

I wouldn't doubt if John Browning or other early semi-auto cartridge designers just kept trying different bullet weights until they found a weight range that developed the right slide thrust at the desired velocity.
Iowegan is offline  
Old January 30th, 2017, 01:59 PM   #15
 
ColoradoExpat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: 4 Corners
Posts: 883
ColoradoExpat is on a distinguished road
It is probably kinda farfetched, but maybe one of the reasons Colt standardized on the 250 grain bullet was that one can get exactly 28 bullets to a pound of lead? (7000/250 = 28)
ColoradoExpat is offline  
Reply

  Ruger Forum > Firearm Forum > Reloading

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Ruger Forum Discussions
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kershaw Emerson Designed CQC-2K Knife - $19.55 shipped slickguns Slickguns.com 0 July 26th, 2016 06:56 AM
Hilljak.com re-designed website launch! Hilljak Hilljak 0 May 31st, 2014 01:21 PM
Allen Elishewitz designed Folder from Hogue... Surf Knives 13 February 2nd, 2011 02:01 PM

Top Gun Sites Top Sites List
Powered by vBulletin 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Ruger Forum. All rights reserved.
Ruger Forum is a Ruger Firearms enthusiast's forum, but it is in no way affiliated with, nor does it represent Sturm Ruger & Company Inc. of Southport, CT.