Why so many different calibers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BigB, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. BigB

    BigB New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Hello all, I am new around here. I joined a couple of weeks ago. Found this place while trying to get some information and seem to check in and read the posts and put my two cents worth in once in a while. I am kinda new to firearms and hunting but in the last three or four years have become aquainted with both fields and enjoy them both. Lots to learn though. I am learning later than most about such things, I'm 51 and was never around either but have made friends that have shared these things with me.
    I am thinking that one thing that really gets my interest lately is the vast selection of different ammo. Every configuration of calibers you can think of. It is daunting. Some of the ammo choices are easy, like shotguns and .22s but from there it gets confusing. I would like to own a 30.06, I know it to be a long range accuracy round. But how does one learn what the characteristics are of all the other rounds and what they are good for. The guns I own are the basics, shotguns and .22s. How do I know what I might want in the future? Can anyone give me just a hint of preference might be. Thanks for any insight to a novice like myself. BigB
  2. Gewehrwolf

    Gewehrwolf New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Virginia
    It really depends on what you intend to do with a particular caliber.

    Do you want something for hunting, long range target shooting.......something like that??????
  3. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,053
    Location:
    South Carolina
    My wife would say there are so many just so I can put us in the poor house quicker... :D

    With that said, every caliber/loading combination (to some extent) has its niche. Some calibers/casings/loads/bullet weights are better for certain scenarios. I don't claim to be an expert at all on the issue. With every new application (sporting or hunting) that you find interesting, do a little research on what the opinions of others suggest. Read, read, read, read and read!!!... That's my suggestion. :) Subscribe to a good shooting magazine that suits your interests and just soak up all you can. Also, when you have a question about a new application, post it on TFF. There are plenty of seasoned pros to help you with most any shooting application. :D

    Welcome to the forum!! :D
  4. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,768
    Location:
    Wazzu WA
    Welcome to TFF BigB
    With a steady increase of different caliber's and configurations coming yearly it is truly daunting task just keeping up, I would consider the type of hunting you want to do ,take a deer sized animal, Any caliber from 243 through 300 win mag will do fine, Elk,moose sized should be 30.06 and up. Some will argue these, saying you can kill a moose with 22-250 and you should not kill deer with a 300 wetherby mag, Any hew you will notice that a 30.06 in my world will kill a deer, elk or moose. 30.06 is the most sold ammo per year,and therefor the most choices of firearms also.
    I miss my old mauser .06 :mad:
  5. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,490
    Location:
    THE FORUM MASCOTT...
    Why so many different calibers? Well let me give you a good Jewish answer...
    Why Not?!!! :D:D:D:D

    mike
    gn
  6. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    8,205
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Bid B,

    Welcome sir. I approached this same subject like this when I started off. I stayed with the military cals. The 223 and the 308. They are both great bullets and there are many different guns to choose from. The 223 works great as a varment load and the 308 works great for hunting. The avaliablity of ammo and guns is hard to beat in these two cals. The 308 is comprable to the 3006. Dont let the size difference fool you. The bullets are the same.

    I would pick up a good reloading manuel. They are full of info. Next gun show in your area look for a book. As far as you stated in your post you have the basics. Well the 223 and 308 are the next step in the basics in my opinion.

    Also when you buy a new gun, unless you have to have something small for a spacific purpose, buy the longest barrell you can. Everything else is an enabling elemant in getting the round off. Its the barrel that you are buying that will stablize the bullet and give you velocity. The longer the barrel the higher velocity you will get from your gun. The trigger, action, stock, site, although very important, it is the barrel that does the magic. Keep this in mind when you buy.;) thats my .02
  7. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    5,015
    Location:
    Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
    Nicely said, Cycloneman!

    Comparing ammo prices, you'll find the .223 while expensive, is cheap compared to .308. Both of these calibers are available in Surplus.
  8. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,859
    Location:
    New Iberia, Louisiana

    +2



    Art
  9. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    Most all the chamberings out there are the result of the gun makers competing with one an other for gun sales and not necessarily because the so called new calibers are really needed. In my view if a man had a 22 LR, a 30-06 and a 375 H&H he really would not need anything other chamberings. With that in mind wanting and needing are two different things meaning what do you want to do with the gun or guns? If you never intend to shoot a 1000 + pound animal you don't need a 375 H&H. If you never intend to shoot anything bigger than rabbits or squirrels you don't need anything bigger than a 22. If you intend to hunt deer, elk or even moose (I know can run a 1000 pounds)the 30-06 would be OK up to about 250 yards on the larger animals and out to about 400 yards for smaller ones. If you plan to hunt those same animals at longer ranges then you might want to look at one of the 300 or 325 magnums though you will then start to suffer recoil. Shorter distances you might want to look at the 308. That is my opinion which in my opinion is only valuable to me.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  10. bogus bill

    bogus bill New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    124
    Muddabers explaination is one of the biggest ones. Others were developed for different lengths of actions, then you had rimmed cartridges first, then rimless, than belted magnums, lots of forgien cartridges, ones that started out black powder etc.
    I dont know how many hundreds of different have been made, but in truth we probley could get by with a half dozzen! Maybe a few more takeing in consideration what type action you like. It does get confuseing. Then you also have the factor of tubelar magazines in levers and pumps where you about had to have a blunt nose bullet etc.
  11. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,490
    Location:
    THE FORUM MASCOTT...
    Oh yeah? From where?!! I've had a heck of a time finding .308 win....

    mike
    gn
  12. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,719
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    One way of looking at this question is to say that available calibers are a product of ongoing research and development and competition within the industry to come up with the "perfect" caliber for a given job. Some of these are "wildcats" or basically a hybrid caliber which started out in someones basement. The reality is that many would likely no longer exist but for one fact. A new caliber comes out and people want to try it. People buy the firearm in that caliber and ammo manufacturers have a market so they make more variations of ammo for it. Because that caliber ammo is available other gun manufacturers produce more models chambered for these calibers...and on and on. So in a way it's self perpetuating. There is a market for a caliber ammo because people own the firearms, and because the ammo is available there are more arms produced in that caliber.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  13. BigB

    BigB New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Thanks for all the replies. I learned something from everyone of them, sometimes having to read between the line a little. Like Bruce FLinch stating "plenty of .308 available" and then glocknut wondering the opposite. I'm thinking that since I have shotguns and .22 and that will kill everything I hunt now, I still have a desire to "round out" my collection with a larger centerfire. Currently I hunt pheasant, woodcock, and partridge, whitetails, and rabbits with one of two shotguns, a 20 and a 12 gauge. I don't NEED anything else. Rifle hunting here is forbidden, but the thought of going to northern Michigan and taking a whitetail with one appeals to me. Thus the NEED!!!
    OK, so I lean toward the .06 because after reading, reading , and reading, I have realized that that caliber is the most popular caliber of all time, more guns being chambered for that caliber than any other. Also making that caliber readily available and certainly suitable for taking a deer at long range. Am I on the right track?!
    I can see you guys are a great source of info. Sometimes it's hard to ask a question, thinking that the answer is too obvious. But then I have never been afraid to ask a stupid question. Thanks for the insight. BigB
  14. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,490
    Location:
    THE FORUM MASCOTT...
    I'm the Forum Antagonist... i can't help it... :rolleyes::rolleyes::D:D:D:D
    Or was that "forum smart@$$", i can't remember? LOL

    mike
    gn
  15. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,719
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    In light of your explanation of what you need I think a 30'06 would be fine. The 30'06 and .308 have similar ballistics, muzzle velocity, trajectory, and energy. If I remember right the '06 might be a hair stronger but not enough to make it more desirable IMO.

    You might want to also consider a 30-30 lever gun too. Not in the same league with the .308/30'06 but one of the most popular deer guns ever.

    lol I offer all this info based on my extensive experience not hunting. :D
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
General Discussion So many good things in this article-- Makes me proud to live where I do Sep 7, 2014
General Discussion Colorado Restaurant---We need many more like this Jun 29, 2014
General Discussion How many guns are to many Jun 12, 2014
General Discussion Just curious, how many here were in Scouting? Military? And when, where, ranks, experiences, etc. May 23, 2014
General Discussion How Many Members Here May 18, 2014

Share This Page