Pistol Cartridge Velocity from Carbine vs Pistol


August 14, 2006, 12:30 AM
Has anyone here ever chronographed the velocity of a pistol cartridge from a carbine and compared it to that same cartridge from a pistol. I looked at a Beretta Storm carbine in 45-ACP and was curious about how much additional velocity would be generated by its 16.5" barrel.

Thanks - TEX

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August 14, 2006, 12:33 AM
Lord, I've been really good. Can you please provide me with a 10MM carbine with a 16" barrel, utilizing 15 round Glock magazines? Please, Lord. I'll attend church, be good, and never irk anyone on THR ever again! Eh, Lord?

August 14, 2006, 01:13 AM
I have a Kel-Tec Sub2000 9mm carbine that takes Glock17 mags which also fit my Glock26. The KT site says you pick up about 200fps with the 16" barrel as opposed to a typical pistol (I'm guessing 4" barrel), bringing the 9mm up to .357 magnum energy and velocity levels. I have read on GlockTalk that the heavier the bullet the better this actually works, so you might not get that with 115gr for example.

Oh yeah, welcome all, my first post. I've been posting on GT for years under G26man (which is already taken here :() and only lurked here until now.

August 14, 2006, 02:06 AM
This has been discussed many times.
There are a number of threads with actual chronograph data from a number of different cartridges from a number of different barrel lengths.
Just punch it in the Search function.

August 14, 2006, 08:49 AM


August 14, 2006, 09:31 AM
Lord, I've been really good. Can you please provide me with a 10MM carbine with a 16" barrel, utilizing 15 round Glock magazines? Please, Lord. I'll attend church, be good, and never irk anyone on THR ever again! Eh, Lord?

you could buy a Mech-Tech Carbine unit that fits on your 10mm Glock frame


I have a .45 unit for a 1911.

August 14, 2006, 09:45 AM
Oh, amen to this thing being done to death, but I'm a glutton for punishment on Mondays I guess. Please search and read the other threads, but for a really short answer...... it depends. :barf:

You're going to pick up a little velocity in barrels a little longer, like .45 ball moves MAYBE a couple hundred fps faster out of a TC Contender 10" barrel than out of a Colt Commander 4", but it all depends on the barrel lengths you're comparing and the powders you're using. Most pistol ammo is optimized for short (pistol) barrel lengths and the powder's mostly burned up before the bullet leaves the barrel. If you're handloading for carbines, you can use slower powders that will safely give you more boost because they're still burning and generating gas when the bullet is say, ten inches down a sixteen inch barrel.
That doesn't mean you can expect your .45 High Point (or whatever) carbine to all of a sudden perform like a .45-70 buffalo gun. You can squeeze some performance out of your longer barrel, enough to be worth it for some of us, but there's practical limitations on what you should expect. :banghead:

August 14, 2006, 12:20 PM
I have participated in most of these threads and provided quite a bit of chrono data.
It has been my experience that whatever load gives you the highest velocity in a given platform will give you the highest velocity in any platform. In other words, whatever load gives you the highest velocity in a pistol will also give you the highest velocity in a carbine or rifle.
You don't tailor the powder or load to work better in a carbine or rifle length barrel. The fastest load is the fastest load, even if it is on a cow :D

I have done a fair amount of load testing like you ask about. However, I have never done it for the .45 ACP cartridge. If I was a betting man, and I am; I would bet that the .45 ACP cartridge would perform closer to the 9mm than it would the .357. In other words I think the .45 ACP cartridge is pretty efficent. I think you would get a modest boost from a carbine length barrel. With revolver cartridges like .357 you get huge increases from a carbine barrel.

August 14, 2006, 02:14 PM
here's an example

a 45acp load (not a particularly good one, just an example)

from 1911 with 4.1" barrel: 777 fps mean
from HK USC with 16" barrel: 987 fps mean

another load from the same guns was

877 fps
1073 fps


both of those loads indicate about 25% increase in velocity when going from pistol to carbine

The Real Wyatt
August 14, 2006, 02:14 PM
is that i get from 220 to 300 fps more velocity from my 20" Rossi carbine than from my 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk depending on bullet weight. The lighter the bullet the greater the velocity increase all things else being equal.

With lighter bullets, 240 gr. and under, the increase is 300 fps or a little over that. With the heavier bullets, over 300 gr., the velocity increase stays right around 220 fps.

In all cases, I'm talking about fairly stiff loadings.

August 14, 2006, 06:30 PM
I dunno - I don't use some powders for pistols that I use in my carbines. I use a ballistic program (Quickload) that tells me, for example, my .357 load with 12.0 grains of Blue Dot is burning 60-something percent of the powder in a 4-inch barrel but 99.xx percent in a 16 inch barrel. To me, that means I'm losing something in the revolver. Non-scientific evidence (e.g., huge blue/orange fireball:eek: ) from the revolver bears this out. I can plot the pressure curves with the program, and all things being equal, I can get lower pressures with the slower powders and still get the higher velocities from the carbine. I can still get hot velocities with faster powders - like Bullseye - to do the same thing, but why would I? Lower pressures contributes to case life. So maybe we're picking nits, but I'm sticking with the 'puter on this one and tailoring loads. :D

August 14, 2006, 06:41 PM
Well, you can base your opinion on computer software, or on the fireball you get at the muzzle.
But, there is really only one thing that can give you a REAL answer. That is a chronograph. See what load gives you the highest velocity in your handgun. Try them all. Don't be stingy. Then do the same thing in your carbine. Fire every one of them over a chronograph. I bet you dollars to donuts that the fastest load in the carbine will also be the fastest load in the handgun.

You see, you may very well have a huge fireball at the muzzle. Conventional wisdom indicates powder burning outside the barrel. Powder that is being wasted. Powder that is not being used to propel the bullet. The computer tells you the same thing.
BUT, none of this says anything about the muzzle velocity you are getting. It doesn't matter if a lot of powder is being burned outside the barrel if that load is still giving you the highest velocity.
A strictly hypothetical question. Let's say load "A" gives you 2000 fps muzzle velocity along with a huge fireball. Let's say load "B" gives you 1500 fps and no obvious muzzle flash. Which one is giving you the better performance ?
The fireball at the muzzle of a handgun might actually be a good indicator of a load that might improve dramatically when fired in a carbine.

I guess I should say that by tailoring a load to a carbine or pistol, I made the assumption that we are talking about tailoring it for the highest possible performance (aka highest velocity with a given bullet). If you are simply tailoring the load to minimize muzzle flash or some other criteria, my apologies.

FWIW, here is yet another thread on this same subject: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=45283&highlight=Chrono

August 14, 2006, 10:44 PM
Um, actually, I DO tailor loads to deliver performance with the minimum flash and report, which kinda explains why I use an M1917 Enfield with a .45ACP barrel on it... :what:

I'll agree with you that chronographing is an answer. I also do, like I said, consider pressures when I load - I know computers are bounded by things like the formulae (and sometimes THAT is buggy) but no, I don't care to generate excessive muzzle flash or anything else that spooks game or attracts attention if I don't have to. I don't poach, but it does irk my neighbors when I unleash a .22-250 in my backyard, so I've learned to try to launch projectiles as quietly as I can, and lighting up the dusk sky when I shoot isn't a cool idea here, either.

The deal with pressures is about useful brass life. Slower powders in loads that get you to the same velocity tend to stretch the brass less. I've cratered my share of primers in my day:scrutiny:

I know there's an alternate vein of thought here that says if you're loading fast powder (like Bullseye, for example) in those long barreled weapons, the gases should be cooling by the time the bullet leaves the barrel and MAYBE the shot will be quieter... but I don't have the sound measurement gear to prove that. We discussed this in a rimfire forum a month ago and it looks like the kind of gear you need to measure that runs over $5K just owing to the actual type of sounds that a gunshot causes.

August 14, 2006, 10:56 PM
Info Tables for the 5.7x28mm Ammunition

Muzzle velocity:


SS90 |-----(2800 fps)----------------------------------------------------|
SS190 |----(2350 fps)-----------(2550 fps)-------------(2050 fps)-----|
L191 |-----(2350 fps)-----------(2550 fps)-------------(2050 fps)-----|
SS192 |----(2350 fps)-----------(2575 fps)-------------(2050 fps)-----|
SB193 |----(1000 fps)-----------(1150 fps)-------------(800 fps)------|
T194 |-----(2350 fps)-----------(2575 fps)-------------(2050 fps)-----|
SS195 |----(2350 fps)-----------(2575 fps)-------------(2050 fps)-----|
SS196 |----(1800 fps)-----------(1950 fps)-------------(1575 fps)-----|
SS197 |----(1950 fps)-----------(2100 fps)-------------(1675 fps)-----|

August 14, 2006, 11:05 PM
Don't get me wrong. I completely agree that there is no reason to load for absolute maximum velocity all the time. I am a huge fan of light loads, silent loads, cartidge adapters, cast bullets, CB caps, and suppressors.
But, in a thread where we are talking about whether or not we get a performance increase when going from a handgun to a carbine, I just assumed we were talking about max loads.

August 14, 2006, 11:23 PM
possibly irrelevant to your discussion, but i'm a huge fan of pistol/carbine combos in the same caliber.

see pic here (http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=38263&d=1144721641)

but the point of them to me, is carrying a handgun and long gun that use the same ammo. if you use different loads, and thus force yourself to carry two types of ammo, why not go with more appropriate cartridges? (e.g. a full-power rifle cartridge in the long gun)

edit: that said, i do actually use different loads at the range for some reasons. for instance, i'll shoot lead through my 1911 all day, but can't shoot lead through the HK carbine.

August 15, 2006, 08:28 AM
:fire: The net ate my answer to Taliv and 444. Two pages worth of ranting blown away by the computer.:banghead:

No, guys, we're not disagreeing, we're looking at different angles. 444, I'm not loading for max velocity - I am working hunting loads backwards from 'what I want' to 'how I get there.' That starts me with loading hunting ammo for a carbine that just so happens to shoot .357 ammo. I usually load a few hundred rounds of hunting ammo each year but thousands (and thousands) :evil: of 38/357 'plinking or range' fodder for the handguns. The carbine gets hot 125gr Rem Gold Dot HPs this year; the handguns get a few of those (with fireball :what: ) but mostly they get range time and cast lead bullets for paper targets. I didn't at all assume we were trying to get to hottest loads.

So - for Taliv - I'm only 5 minutes from the range, not packing mules for Lewis and Clark, so I don't even care if they fire the same cartridge. Since I load a LOT (10-15k/yr handgun ammo) I DO care that it's a common caliber for brass and other components. I load cast wadcutter stuff for revolvers that I don't even try to stick into the mag tubes of my carbines.

I'm not saying either of you guys are wrong - at all - we're just looking at it the same way for different reasons. My wife does that to me all the time :scrutiny:

August 15, 2006, 11:07 AM
That makes perfect sense.
One of the nice things about talking to other people is to get their perspective on things. I never thought about it like you just explained. Obviously you are tailoring a load for the carbine and strictly for the carbine. Maybe I am the one that is not tailoring loads for the carbine since I am simply shooting the same load in rifle and pistol. :eek:

August 15, 2006, 01:05 PM
Yes, I've found a couple of really interesting things about the internet and trading information. First, you really DO get the advantage of picking the minds of people who (a) know more than you do about one thing or another or at least have looked at something you're pondering from an entirely different angle and (b) you get a great opportunity to miscommunicate. I try to be careful about what I write but I know I don't always get the point across.

For what it's worth, I've found QuickLoad (reloading program) a lot of fun in reloading. It's particularly useful for tuning loads 'cause reloading manuals just don't have the smarts to tell you, for example, whether your favorite load in a four inch barrel is going supersonic for you when you put it into your Contender.
Chronographing's great for proof, but when you're at your bench while it's a dark and rainy night, it's nice to crank a few possibilities through the software to get some ideas.

I do a lot of my hunting in dense cover, fairly populated areas, so 50 yard shots are all I sight some weapons for (okay, NOT my .22-250 or 7mm-08) and noise/flash are a consideration. If I lived in Wyoming it'd be an entirely different ballgame.

So... for those of you who've run afoul of my opinions... blanket apology is offered. I reserve the right to be wrong, even stupid at times - and I sure don't take it to heart when one of you proves me wrong or makes me rethink what I thought was solid.... as one TV guy (Red Greene, a Canadian equivalent of Tool Time's Tim Taylor) says.... "we're all in this together." ;)

August 15, 2006, 05:23 PM
sorta my thoughts, it's nice to be able to use the same ammo in both.
FYI if you are going camping like I do to places like the UP of MI it's handy having to only carry one type of ammo

August 15, 2006, 09:01 PM
Here's some data I found last night, I forgot which board it was so I can't give proper credit but its several years old. Looks like he's getting about 150fps more on average with commercial ammo.

Posted by: Joe Mamma

Here are some of my recent tests out of a Glock 17 (4.5" barrel) and a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 carbine (16.1" barrel). I used the Kel-Tec because I was curious to see how much velocity would be gained by a longer barrel with the various ammo that I tested. Everyone has a theory but, one test is worth a thousand theories.

If it matters, testing conditions were about 40 degrees farenheit. All testing was done on the same day.

I am by no means an authority on ballistics. I welcome all feedback and comments.

Ammo Description (Product Code)
average velocity with G-17, average velocity with Kel-Tec Sub 2000

1. Federal NATO, 124gr FMJ (M882)
1114, 1231

2. Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr +P+ JHP (P9HS3G1)
1167, 1321 (:))

3. Winchester USA Brand ("White Box") Hollow Points 115gr JHP (USA9JHP)
1149, 1305

4. Winchester USA Brand ("White Box") Hollow Points 147gr JHP (USA9JHP2)
1020, 1117

5. CCI Blazer Brass 115 gr FMJ (5200)
1120, 1299

6. CCI Blazer Aluminum 115gr FMJ (3509)
1153, [did not test in my Kel-Tec b/c aluminum cased ammo is not recommended; but, I was tempted . . . ]

7. Sellier & Bellot 115 gr FMJ (80166-00902)
1162, 1296

8. Geco/Dynamit Nobel 124gr (23364-12585)
1129, 1256

9. Magtech 147gr "FMC-FLAT" (891798-001347)
969, 1096

August 15, 2006, 09:28 PM
What of a revolver cartridge like a 44 rem mag out of say a 51/2" barrel and a 16" lever action barrel?

August 15, 2006, 10:26 PM
i've previously posted chrono data from 480ruger in a 8" taurus revolver and a 16" rossi model 92. i think someone above linked to one of the threads that was in. if not, a search should do it.

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