What Is The Firearm Caliber Of Your Ammunition?
Caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the firearm barrel, or the diameter of the projectile it fires.
I thought this might be interesting — to discover what the most popular firearm caliber choices are among those who choose to comment. Be it a handgun or rifle, what is the caliber of the firearms that you own? Feel free to post anonymously if you wish…
There sure has been quite a variety of caliber ammunition over the years. Lots of it obscure, some of them obsolete, while there are those which are quite common today.
Note: Given the topic of preparedness, SHTF, one might consider owning a firearm or firearms of a popular caliber or calibers…for better odds of ammo replenishment.
With that said, many specific firearm/caliber choices have their unique advantages (and disadvantages) based on their intended purpose or specific application. Lets find out some of the commonality of caliber choices between those who post a list of their own firearm calibers:
List your ammunition caliber(s)
Later, I will update with the most popular calibers based on your input over time…
Resource: Wikipedia List of handgun cartridges
Resource: Wikipedia List of rifle cartridges
12 ga 00 buck
12 ga slug
20k rounds may not be enough but I hope for the best.
Just wanted to add that I always look at long range guns but I realize when you live in the woods where line of sight is rarely more than 150 feet – I pass on that expense. But I still love to get a 338 some day – the prepper in me.
Suggestion, the recoil on 338 win mag is terrible, try a 375 H&H its recoil is at least 20% 30% less the 338 utilizes the 375 H&H case and has to be necked down for the 338 bullet, the 375 H&H case is almost straight lined which does not cause a recoil problem. I have had both girls and boys 12 and 14 shoot this gun they were wowed and very little felt recoil. Hope that helps.
Not sure about the Win Mag but I have tried the 338 Lapua Mag with a recoil suppressor at the end of the barrel and it felt fine to me. I can not afford a 50 cal (Barret or similar) so the second choice is 338.
I’d suggest an AR15 or Mossberg MVP Patrol rifle. Not knocking the utility of a 12 ga, but I’ve never seen a 12ga reach out to 150 yards. If you might have to shoot further than 50 yards, you really need a centerfire rifle. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
My thoughts, exactly!
Ditto for me ;-)
00 Buck 12 Ga
Slug 12 Ga
Stardust as a suggestion consider 000 buckshot over 00 buckshot a few less pellets but 000 is bigger size, worth a try and if you are hunting 2 legged critters might be a better choice.
I have found that 00 buck is easier to find than 000 buck – could be just the local – but generally one less shot 8 instead of 9 does not seem significant to me.
ooo buck in a 3 1/2″ magnum
Look up shot pattern sizes. I believe it’s about 1″ spread per meter of travel. At living room ranges, shot size makes little difference. Get the cheap shells (I try to stick to #6 or larger, as they can be used for hunting). You literally get more bang for your buck.
12 ga., 20ga. shotguns .22rifle , .40cal and .22/.22 mag. hand gun, still need more powerful long gun.
.38 (two 5 shot revolvers)
Plus I have an antique 32 caliber revolver that is probably unsafe to shoot and a BB gun (for the squirrels).
You said a BB gun for the squirrels, Ahhh, just wondering, will it big enough for the squirrels that are on TV? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
After too many years, and too many guns, I still prefer (for close quarters) my tried and true .38 Special revolvers. They will never fail!
12ga, 20ga, 410ga, .22, 9mm, .380, .223
308, 7mm Mag, 270, 30-30, 300 WSM, 22LR, 9MM, 45, 12GA, 20GA, 357.
Just picked up 500 rounds of hydra shock .40 from a guy who didn’t like shooting them for $100. Best prep of the week for me.
17, 22,30, 38, 50- 410ga, 28ga, 20ga, 12ga, 10ga,
plainsromer, 28ga. got to be a good one!
.177 pellet, .22LR, .223, 300 Savage, 30-30, 30-06, 410, 12ga. (2 3/4, 3 & 3 1/2″ various loads). 10ga., 54 cal black powder, 380
9mm (underwood extreme defender)
12 ga 00 buck
12 ga slug
9mm, .40, 22LR, 12ga, 223, (8mm got a good deal on a Yugoslavian M48 Mauser).
Anybody considering one of these should void the steel cased ammo, very hard to chamber in mine. PPU chambers like melted butter.
Lets all take time to reflect on what happened 15 years ago. Those of us who reside in the US tend to have short memories and we need to keep this memory alive forever. Sorry for veering off of the category Ken.
.22 LR, .380, .38, 9mm, .357, 20 ga.
22LR,5.56,7.62,and 45APC I like the stopping power of the 45
17, 22, 38/357, 9mm Mak, 9mm Luger, 223, 30-06. I don’t have thousands of rounds for each caliber, alas, but I have some for each tool.
410, 12g, 16g, 22, 270, 30-30, 44, 9mm, 40, 5.56
If conceal carry approval was easier to get, I would consider a discrete (very slim) 380 for those occasional shopping trips.
Here in Ga , you can open carry a good bit ,I wont get a ccw as I wont broadcast to the establishment that I am a potential target if/when things go south on gun ownership here
.22 pellets, .22LR, .357/38, 12GA, .30-30, 5.56, 7.62, .380, .40, .45
I use 9mm and .357/38 in my handguns. I am a big fan of 22lr for a good survival rifle. Although ATM I don’t own a 22lr…but hopefully I will soon!
.177 (pellet rifle)
.22 long rifle
.223 / 5.56mm (AR)
12 gauge 00 buckshot or deer slugs for me
.22,9mm,7.62X39, 7.62X54R,12 gage
I mainly have 9mm, 22LR (if I can find any) 223/556 and some 12 gauge. Definitely trying to get more of all them before the end of the year. Thank you California!
38 spec for revolver and levergun
357 magnum for same
12 ga slug/#4 buckshot
Perfect! Wise choices.
I reload a lot for my hand guns, so, for those, it is only .380, 9mm, .38/357 since they all are the same diameter for reloading, logistically attractive storing of components is a lot easier.
I also have the capability to launch .45 ACP rounds down range..
For long guns, I really like both the .22LR and the .22 Magnum rounds, and have enough of both I never worry about running out of either caliber for the rest of my lifetime(approaching senior citizen status).
Shotguns-12 gauge mall the way, makes logistics a lot easier.
Rifles-yeah, I have sufficient caliber and means to harvest game, if any is left, or to defend hearth and home and the loved ones.
We prefer being “logistically attractive” when it comes to components.
Hmm, good question, types and calibers of ammo. As an old fart and set in my ways, I’m staying with the .22 and .30 caliber and have a 12 ga waterfowl gun. Easy to find ammo when needed, hopefully.
On the subject of popular calibers. I’ve recently heard of a new re-loader for 22LR by an outfit called Sharpshooter. Comes with a mold for casting your own bullets and instructions on cleaning out the rim and repacking it. Does anyone have any experience with it?
Been thinning out things lately, but still have:
7.62 x 39
I think I’ll keep the ones I have left. Don’t want to get caught ‘short’.
House gun- 5.56
Bed room – 12 GA
Back porch-.22 pellets (danged ground squirrels)
Rifles in .22lr, 7.61x54R, 8mm Mauser, 5.56 and .223, 30-06 and .40 S&W
Shotguns in 12 and 20 Guage
Pistols in .380, .40 S&W, 5.56/.233, and .45acp
Sorry, its 7.62 x 54 R. Couldn’t remember and was off by 1/100th of a millimeter. Please have mercy on me my fellow gun lovers! If you don’t already have a rifle in this, it is seriously cheap and deadly ammo.
My Mosin cost me $89 and I purchase 880 rounds of AP sealed ammo for $200. It’s been about 5 years ago and prices have definitely gone up some, but still not much compared to other ammo. This is the gun that will stare down my 1000 foot lane and drop engine blocks of vehicles that are unwelcome. I have on multiple occasions put it through 1/2″ steel. It looked like someone drilled a hole through it. Anyway, the gun shoots great. I have not had any malfunctions or ammo issues. Don’t like the commies, but this one is a great SHTF home defense gun.
I picked up an M44 for $119. Already had synthetic stock and drilled and tapped for a scope. It’s one hell of a round and I love the fireball that comes out the shorter barrel.
12 GA – 00 Buck, Rifled Slug, #4, #8
1st time posting but grateful to Ken for all the pertinent and relevant info he has posted and also for the helpful responses by so many where one can learn even more!
Meanwhile, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has decreed that it’s okay to deny firearms sales to medical marijuana users.
(not sure about the guns that the user might have purchased in the past?)
12 guage (I prefer 3″ and 3 1/2″ Lightfield slugs. Will stop most non-armored vehicles)
308/ 7.62×51 Nato
12gauge-Double Buck and slug & Saboth
Last my 16 gauge, which is hard to find nowadays.
Consolidated most of my pistols to be 9mm. Redundancy in my mind.
Rifle .223,.308,7.62 39& 54
And a little probably of every caliber listed by folks above….
I’ve not gotten into .308 or 39 yet. I’m hoping to at some point as I think those will be some of the calibers that we will be able to find in SHTF.
22 Long Rifle..
22lr, 38/357, 9mm, 45acp, 5.56, 7.62×39, 30 carbine, 308, 270, 30-30, 410ga and 12 ga. Been preparing for a while. Reloading too.
Lol did I miss any?
Handguns : 9mm , .357 and .38 special.
Shotgun : 12 gauge , mix of bird shot and 00 buck.
Rifle : 5.56/.223 and 22lr.
.40S&W for both pistol and carbine. .410 and .22LR for small game.
Handgun 380 , 45acp
Shot gun 410, 12ga
Rifle 308, 22lr
Air 22 pellets
Unfortunately I had to sell all my weapons, ammo and my food preps. Times are tough. Hopefully I can get enough money together for a 22 or something to defend my family with.
Adapt and overcome.
Currently I have these calibers:
.22 LR, 9mm, and 12 gauge.
.22 LR is a designation, the actual caliber is .224, it’s metric caliber is 5.6mm
9mm is also a designation, the caliber is actually 9,03 which equates to .354 caliber when you convert to inch.
12 gauge is a powder size, shotguns are actually cousins to the cannon whose designations are based on the weight of gunpowder the specific cannon uses, i.e. 5lb, 10lb, 20lb, etc. A 12 gauge means it uses 1/12th of a pound of powder. 20 gauge is 1/20th, 10 gauge is 1/10th, 8 gauge is 1/8th, etc. This is of course the original way shotguns were designated when they were hand loaded like muskets and used black powder. Current shells use smokeless powder and a variety of “calibers” of shot. However, it is my understanding that the amount of smokeless powder they use in current shells is less by volume of powder, but has the equivalent amount of force as it were using black powder of the appropriate weight.
Side note: Cannons or “guns” are sometimes also designated by size, such as 5″, 10″, etc.
I believe Ken was asking us about calibers, so I took him literally. :)
Gauge refers to the number of spherical lead balls the diameter of the bore needed to weigh 1 lb.
12 gauge, 12 lead balls the diameter of the bore = 1 lb, etc.
38spl – Korth. A Beautiful Revolver. Smooth as glass.
12ga bird shot
22 lr (Primary)
223 Rem/5.56 NATO (Primary)
308 Rem./7.62 NATO
12 gauge (primary)
Let me see: Rifles: 30-06, 270 win, 223 rem, 44 magnum, 9 mm (carbine) , 22 Hornet, 17 HMR. 22 long rifle.
Handguns: 44 magnum, 45 ACP, 9 mm, 357 magnum and 38 special, 22 rimfire and 22 magnum.
Shotguns: 12 gauge, 20 gauge and 410.
I reload for all of the above with exception of: rimfires and 410 shotshells.
During the ammo shortage, I minimized my involvement in competition shooting. In rainy weather, I pull out the designated “Beater gun” to get wet, dirty and muddy. Internal parts of pump guns and lever actions are dried out with cotton cloth and sprayed with Silicone spray from hardware store after a day in the rain. Before going in the rain, I will seal my primers with lacquer or nail polish to prevent water or solvent intrusion.
Do not clean your firearms with penetrating oil or it can/has been know to deaden primers. I still use conventional gun oil or Break Free. I finally ran out of LSA: military grade light weapons oil. If you find any out there, grab it. The quart I had lasted me for over 10 years and I have a lot of guns that get used a lot.
I don’t admit to having thousands of rounds on-line but consider this: High level competition requires thousands of rounds to be fired every year in order to stay at the top of your game. The difference between being on the firing line on Sunday versus walking off the line on Saturday is on the order of 2500 – 3000 rounds fired over the course of 1 year. Time to reconsider archery or high end pellet rifles. If you go archery, consider refletching your arrows, gluing on arrow nocks and purchase quality/concentric broad heads.
Post Script: During the Ammo shortage of 2012-13, I taught many how to reload their shells. When it was difficult to find reloading components, I jumped back into the game of casting my own bullets.
Depending on how much time you spend chasing game, You may also consider going with either Black Powder fire arms an/or a low tech thumper like the 45-70(over 140 years worth of reloading data including black powder.) A lot of people put meat on the table each year with relatively primitive technology.
I love my Henry 45-70. It has low recoil for the caliber, you can reload practically any powder, and the shell is super easy to reload.
Air Rifles – .22, .357, .457
Revolvers – .17HMR, .22lr, .22WMR, .38Spec/.357Mag, .44 Spec/.44Mag
Pistols – .22lr, .22WMR, .380ACP, 7.62×25, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45ACP
Rifle RF – .17HMR, .17WSM, .22s/.22l/.22lr, .22WMR
Rifle CF – .223, 450 Bushmaster, .44 Mag, 25.06, .308 Win, 7.62×39, 7.64x54R
Shotgun – 12 Ga
I won’t state the calibers I think people should carry. However it would be wise to research what the military and law enforcement agencies issue their personnel.
I’d also recommend people consider that an enormous amount of the population are on various medications and or suffer from mental disorders. Makes a difference when your life is on the line.
I would go with a select few weapons and become proficient with them. Versus having dozens of firearms you’ll fumble with when it matters the most.
Amen. Nothing wrong with numbers and variety, but better to be exceptional with one than knowledgeable with many. You should not have to think of the process when defending yourself or others at close range in a hurry. Hunting equipment, not so much, being accurate is usually enough. Defensive weapons should not require that small amount of time for your mind to recognize the differences between your 1911 and say your Browning 92 or a Glock.
IF…I had any firearms I’d have;
5.56 x 45 NATO
But only IF I had any firearms.
God Save This Great Republic
I, like many others have a varity because of the differant needs.
7.5 shot/ 12gauge
* denotes my highest quantities
My preference on hand guns is Glock and tactical long gun is Colt AR-15.
Along with a fairly large supply of gun cleaning supplies and spare parts for each firearm. I stopped counting ammo when it got above 35K.
Most of us have been preparing by stock piling supplies, actually going out camping to test using our survival gear and some have taken tactical training. Here’s some food for thought that you might want to consider, except for those of you that were vets that have already had this exposure or training. I watch the “Captain Philips” movie bacause it provides a very vivid picture of what its like to be captured and the metal anglish one encounters of being a prisoner, even though its on water. Another is “Tears of the Sun” that shows very tragically how merciless war can be and also good tactical manuvers. I hope none of us are ever exposed to these these types of environments, however, mental conditioning of watching these movies just might strengthen you metally enough to be able to survive long enough to be rescued before giving up, to help you handle the stress enough to stay alert for possible way of escaping.
38 spec/357 mag
I reload extensively as well.
.177 .22 pellet
.38 Special / .357 Mag
.223 Rem / 5.56 x 45
7.62 x 39
7.62 x 38 Nagant
7.62 x 54R
30 x 30 Win
.308 Win / 7.62 x 51
.300 AAC BLK
6.5 x 55 Swedish
7.5 x 55 Swiss
Interested in an AR in .25 x 45 Sharps
300 Win Mag
Hand guns: 22lr, 9mm, 40s&w, 10mm, 45auto, 45LC, 410ga
Long guns: 22lr, 30-30, 444marlin, 5.56mm/223, 7.62mm/308, 12ga
EDC = .380
occasional carry = 9mm
shotgun = 12 ga.
Shotgun: 12ga, 16ga, 20ga, variety of shot & slugs
Pistol/Revolver: 45LC, .40, 9mm, 380APC, .25APC, .22LR
Rifle: 30-06, 6.8SPC, .556, 45LC, .22LR
reload most loads
Have or Do own 95% of every caliber out there (I like to shoot), even some that ya cant find ammo for now days. (The advantages of being old HAHAHA). Will not tell ya what or how many, but the Insurance has a separate policy on my firearms LOL and yes they are ALL locked and loaded, plus in safes or in tactical locations.
Ok, realistically my Caliber of choice and why.
.117 Pellet, quiet hunting of small game
22LR pistol and rifle with Silencers, it’s whisper quiet. Guess why
45ACP, EDC gun, slightly heavy, but has a LOT of knock down power with 13 round Mag and one in the pipe.
12GA Shotgun, 18″ barrel-short stock-extended tube (alternate 00-Buck and Rifled Slugs), (2) 5 round cuffs hanging on the side. Home defense gun.
5.56/223 AR15 30 round mag and one in the pipe. 10 spare Mags handy in the Tact Vest. Mid range, up to 400 yards MAX.
And for the long range, the Barrett 50 Semi-auto. Expensive, but I prefer to reach out and touch someone rather than getting up-close and personal, if you catch my drift.
An added 2¢, and unloaded firearm (even an empty pipe) is just a very expensive club. Pull the trigger go boom, none of this wracking to load crapo, if your attacked, you WILL NOT have time to load it.
Quote, “an unloaded firearm (even an empty pipe) is just a very expensive club. Pull the trigger go boom, none of this wracking to load crapo, if your attacked, you WILL NOT have time to load it.”
That is so very true. People may feel ‘safer’ with no chambered round, however there will be no (little) time in a surprise situation.
If the gun is properly holstered and handled, that gun aint going to go ‘bang’ even with a chambered round…
And it’s one less thing for your brain to think about during a ‘adrenaline rush’ scenario.
Question is,,,, Gotta Bug Out, what are you taking? Leaving anything behind? Better destroy it or somebody else is gonna use it… And you take it ALL. Now your on foot.. Now what??
@ Going Ballistic
Good question; if bugging out on foot, one is screwed anyways, so take the Bible.
If via BOV, take the EDC, the midrange, and the shotgun. Don’t forget the ammo.
Lock the Safes, and set the “Anti-Theft” devices. :-) :-) Good to have things that go BOOM!!! Of course I would not know of anything about that.
I’m good.. Thanks for the interaction!
Be well, Carry On!
Many hand guns and rifles, all with common calibers of ammo: 22lr, 9mm, 7.62×39, 12ga, 22cal pellet.
22LR (Rifle and pistol)
40S&W (x2, full size and compact semi-autos)
All my pistols and pistol carbines are standardized to .40 cal, (or .40P), so that I can use cross platform and focus on purchase of (1) caliber. However, I do stock some 9mm for “found” or “recovered” 9mm hardware during a SHTF or WORL situation.
Others are: .223/5.56, and .300 Winmag, 12ga in all formats, birdshot, OO buck, and slug.
22 LR – various round types
22 mag – just 200 or so – too expensive
7.62 x .39 – lots of cheap russian stuff – SKS loves it
12 ga. – all kinds
12 Ga (various shot)
To bad my hubby doesn’t post. He knows all about that stuff.
Now if you were to ask me what color DMC embroidery thread #310 is. I could tell ya.
Or what number sewing machine needle is best for cotton, #14 or #18. I could tell ya.
Trying to keep caliber straight wears out my poor old brain cells.
@grandee. Right, we do not own anything more dangerous than crochet needles.
Then you need to learn. Your life and those of your kids and grandkids may depend on it some day.
32 Win Spec
338 Win Mag
54 black powder
For got one 7.62X40
Where to begin
22 caliber pellet
7MM REM MAG
.338 WIN MAG
50 CAL B.P.
Now for the pistol calibers.
Reload all but the .22, .25
Almost forgot, 16 gauge and 12 gauge too.
Remember 1 is none, 2 is one. Lots of redundancy in all calibers.
Oh, forgot the .44 mag. Make my day punk.
Forgot the .22 mag also. Better take inventory again.
Forgot the hog hunter, my .308 AR10
And the .380 ACP
If I had any guns I would have
lead is a good investment and a good thing to throw at bad guys.
Remember shoot what your enemy is shooting at you and ammo will always be there
and a mystery for only me and the home invader to know :)
Trying to standardize, better chance of resupply. Now to get proficient…
You wish, I’m not telling you anything!!!!!LOL
I saw .25 listed a couple of times and can’t help but wonder, why bother? Very anemic pistol from my somewhat limited experience in treating people shot with them in the ER. I’ve only seen 2 victims of .25s and both survived just fine. One of them was shot three times in the head and not one bullet penetrated the skull. Could be a good defense if you had to go to court for shooting someone. Your honor I wasn’t trying to kill him, that’s why I used a .25.
.25 is a pretty anemic round but they are devestaitng on barn rats. You are correct though, a .22 LR. can do anything a .25 can cheaper and better.
The only 25 caliber I have is pellet. Much more quiet and legal to fire.
60 pound compound bow with 30 inch carbon fiber arrows.
I didn’t deliberately choose these calibers, I just happened upon great firearm deals and the caliber was what it was.
If I had my druthers I’d have a 1911 in .45 ACP and either an M1 in 7.62 NATO or a Mossberg MVP Patrol in same caliber.
But a nice FFP scope is next on the wish list.
.45ACP / 1911’s (4)
Will add another 223/5.56 and 12g shotgun in couple weeks. No hurry.
All my children have these calibers as well, and only these calibers. Makes prepping shtf ammo and spare parts much easier…
7.62×39 for all varmints and deer,with 12 GA buck on the side.
.22 LR, 30.06, .223, 5.56mm,
9mm, .45 LC, .45 ACP, .380
Chamber adapter for your weapons?
.22LR/.22WMR, 30-30, 7.62×39, 12 ga: OO, slug, APR, .38 special, 2000 assorted rounds of .22 pellets w 2 rifles and a pistol.
it is wise to have weapons that accept the same ammunition as your potential adversaries.
then the uncommon ones:
.22, .22 Mag, .223/5.56, 9mm, 40mm, 30-30, 30-06, .308, 45 ACP, 12ga in OOB, #4, #6. The .22 LR is my #1 survival gun/ammo choice. Can never have enough ammo or too many guns. I still love the 30-06 for a long range rifle and the power of a .45 ACP cannot be beat.
Let’s see, .177 air rifle, .22LR, .308, .38/357, 9mm at least 5K of all those. .32 auto, .32S&W Long, 20 gauge, around a couple hundred, with shotgun divided between half #6 & 7 ½ shot, and equal parts #3 buck and slugs. Gave Dad’s 12 gauge to my brother, and my .223 mini-14 to my youngest daughter when she got married. Haven’t replaced either of those or their ammunition. Recently inherited a .410, a 16 g SxS, and a .38 S&W. Have only a couple of boxes of ammo for those. Papa S.
Oh, and not to forget, a 100-year-old Mauser 7.62mm. Less than a box of ammo for it, currently getting appraised. -Papa S.
22LR, 380ACP, 9MM, 45ACP, 12GA, 5.56NATO and 7.62NATO
By rounds ready
7.62 x 54 R
40 S & W
.22 LR, 12 gauge (00 buck, 3″&2 3/4″ slugs), 7.62×39, 7.62×51, .30-06, .300 wrm.
762 x 39
762 x 54r
I consolidated arms quite a while ago – when ammo became scarce – and now only have:
.22LR – about 7500 rnds
9mm – about 2500 rnds
.223 – about 1500 rnds
And I am continuing to add to the counts.
love it! lol
.22lr (handguns and rifles)
.357MAG (handguns and carbines)
.44MAG (handguns and carbines)
12Ga (double and Pump)
Looking for nice .30-06