firearms caliber question (serious)

The recent argument over .223 and 5.56 in another thread has reminded me of a question that's been lingering in the back of my mind for a while: Where
do these oddball sizes come from? I understand (pretty much) what they mea n, but what the hell, did somebody wake up one morning and decide that .22 (and where did THAT come from) is like a tenth of a percent too small, so I 'll start manufacturing .223?
Or did someone turn some stuff on his lathe and measure it afterwards?
There MUST be some interesting stories in there somewhere.
PS: The only things I have fired are: 22 (why not 20 or 25?) 38 (why not 35 or 40?) 177 pellet (why not 175 or 200 or even 180?) 9mm (because 8 was too small and 10 was too big?)
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On Tue, 7 Nov 2017 07:54:36 -0800 (PST), rangerssuck
It's a long history of completely arbitrary choices. Some have been based on bore diameter at the lands; others on bore diameter at the grooves (which usually is the same as bullet diameter); others have just been plucked out of the air.
A .38 Spl. bullet is actually .357 bullet and groove diameter. That's the same as a 9 mm. Etc. Etc. The .38 Spl. is named for the diameter of the case neck. <sigh>
Sometimes they just bumped an existing caliber designation up to signify a new cartridge. For example, the .223 followed the .222 Remington Magnum (Wikipedia said "222 Remingon Special." I'm pretty sure that's a mistake.) It's basically a revised version of the .222 Rem. Mag. -- one of my favorite varmint cartridges, although not quite as accurate as the smaller .222 Remington.
As for the arbitrary ones, there was the .218 Bee and the .219 Zipper, both introduced by Winchester in the same year, but each made for a different model of lever-action rifle. They both shoot the same .224-in.-diameter bullet. The Zipper was a much hotter cartridge.
Then you have the year of introduction: .30-03 and .30-06. And the necked down (or rarely necked up) versions of earlier cartridges: .22-250, .25-06, 7mm-08, 30-378 Weatherby Magnum.
In other words, it more or less means nothing. <g>

No.

There are. There are entire books written about some of them.

Long stories, some of them interesting.
--
Ed Huntress

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Speaking of pellets...>PS: The only things I have fired are:

Fairly common pellet sizes (badmiton birdie style) are
.177, .22, 5mm, .20, and .25
I happen to own .177, .22 and .25 pellet guns. Now there are a vast array of larger pellets, although is it fair to call a .45 that delivers enough energy to hunt big game a "pellet." LOL. Even my .25 delivers about 45 ft lbs of energy at the muzzle, with a proper pellet. Some .25s are tuned much hotter exceeding the energy of .22 long rifle cartridges, but with much heavier "pellets". More bullets really. There are big bore "pellet" guns that deliver as much energy (or more) as a 45 ACP pistol does.
Now one might argue about accuracy, but its easily possible at modest ranges. With no wind one of my .22 air guns has delivered golf ball sized groups at 135 yards with hand selected pellets. (lasered for range) Never mind the hold over... HA!
There. Thread-JACKED!
LOL
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wrote:

https://sites.google.com/site/fxgjkgf45/xfjdr7347/pdfdownloadcartridgesoftheworldacompleteandillustratedreferenceforover1500cartridgespopularbooks
This is THE BOOK of interesting stories about using them, not always well: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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On Tue, 7 Nov 2017 13:52:26 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

And this one, about my passion when I was into varmint rifles and wildcats:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Tue, 07 Nov 2017 11:28:35 -0500, Ed Huntress

Back in the day, Colt made a 36 cal cap and ball revolver. Then when cartridge weapons came along they made the .38 colt, whereupon S&W jumped on the band wagon with the S&W 38 Special.
All shooting essentially a .35 inch diameter bullet :-)

And of course the 45-70 and the various big guns like the 50-90 Sharps where the second number indicated the powder capacity.

--
Cheers,

John B.
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wrote:

Yes, but be careful with that one. The .30-40 Krag, for example, signified 40 grains of SMOKELESS powder, while the .45-70 signified 70 grains of black powder.
That only worked while there was just one type of smokeless -- straight nitrocellulose.
Meantime, the .32-20 Winchester signified 20 grains of black powder, while the .30-30 Winchester signified 30 grains of smokeless.
Then it starts to get complicated. d8-)

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On 11/7/2017 11:28 AM, Ed Huntress wrote:

Nice little history lesson! As far as wildcats, I had a .240 Gibbs. Best ballistics EVER! ---for a while.
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Jeez, you started your wildcat adventure with one of the wildest. I hope you had handloading lessons from someone who knew what he was doing.
What kind of rifle was it?
--
Ed Huntress

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-0500 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Some no doubt were based on another mode of measurement. E.G., the idea of measuring guns by the number of round balls of a pound of lead. (Or for cannons, the number of pound an iron sphere weighs).
    Then you get metric conversions - .30 ==> .303 ==> .308 ==> 7,62, Etc. -- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although far too often, Age travels alone."
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On Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:19:24 -0800, pyotr filipivich

It is a crazy mess. However, it's good for cracker-barrel conversations. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Tue, 7 Nov 2017 07:54:36 -0800 (PST), rangerssuck wrote:

In Olde times (Older than you and me ;-) ) barrels were made by hand, with hand tools, by the same guy who made the rest of the gun... the bullet diameter could end up being anything within the size range of what the weapons was purposed for. The smith would make a custom bullet mold for that specific gun.
In modern times -- with mass production, there's far more standardization; but if you inestigate, I think you'll find that there still are a lot of oddball calibers... sometimes as a marketing ploy, sometimes because a govenment, or somene, wanted to achive a particlar "engineered" result .
--
Email address is a Spam trap.

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On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 10:54:38 AM UTC-5, rangerssuck wrote:

of a question that's been lingering in the back of my mind for a while: Whe re do these oddball sizes come from? I understand (pretty much) what they m ean, but what the hell, did somebody wake up one morning and decide that .2 2 (and where did THAT come from) is like a tenth of a percent too small, so I'll start manufacturing .223?

Thanks, all for all the information. I surely am happy that I don't have to bothered with all of this. I already have enough esoterica in my head to l ast two or three lifetimes.
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