3 Most Prevalent Auto-Pistol Calibers


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StrikeFire83
September 21, 2006, 03:28 PM
Hereís the question. Iím NOT asking which is the ďbestĒ caliber, if there truly is such a thing. Rather, what are the 3 major players in the US market? Which 3 calibers are the most bought/stocked by ammo merchants? Iím not including rim-fire cartridges like the .22 long rifle because itís something different altogether.

And my choices...
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- .45 ACP
- 9mm
-.40 S&W

The top two, .45 ACP and 9mm were the first obvious choices, but I struggled a bit with number 3. For me, it was a toss up between .380 and .40, but because of PDs and the proliferation of .40 in 9mm frames, anecdotally Iíve seen more .40 on store shelves.

Please, talk amongst yourselves.

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SolaScriptura139
September 21, 2006, 03:40 PM
I think this poll might be asking for the obvious, not trying to complain, just give constructive criticism. It might have been better to ask for our 3 favorite calibers, would get a better variety in poll and responses. I voted for the same because they are the most commonly used calibers. I personally don't foresee too many of the other calibers becoming a bigger contender than these three.

dracphelan
September 21, 2006, 04:17 PM
I think you left out an auto-pistol caliber 22LR. I know that caliber is very commmon.

Oops, just read the rest of the post. Nevermind.

HorseSoldier
September 21, 2006, 04:31 PM
+1 on the obvious angle.

I don't think anyone can really dispute that the US semi-auto handgun market is currently dominated by 9mm, 40S&W, and 45 ACP. I would suspect that those three put together account for 90%, maybe 95% of the center-fire semi-auto handguns sold in the US each year, and similar amounts of ammunition.

Jack19
September 21, 2006, 04:34 PM
9mm, .45ACP, .40SW

For me, Nine is Fine.

ron8903
September 21, 2006, 04:34 PM
The results speak for them selves.

Oregongundude
September 21, 2006, 04:35 PM
I have the 9mm, 40 S&W, and the 45. acp. I usually carry my .40 S&W subcompact for conceal carry. However, I really like all three of my automatics.

:)

EdLaver
September 21, 2006, 04:41 PM
Of course i voted 9mm, .45 ACp, and .40 S&W... but wheres .22lr in the vote? I know you didnt want to include it but I'm sure it would have been the 4th by far.

Essex County
September 21, 2006, 05:06 PM
I'll guess There may be more .32 ACPs floating around the country than 40 S&Ws. To be sure, they don't get shot a lot, but the number of guns must be staggering....Essex

RNB65
September 21, 2006, 06:11 PM
9, 40, 45. The only numbers you have to remember.

crunker
September 21, 2006, 07:07 PM
I dislike .40S&W. It mixes the high velocity and penetration of the 9mm with the high stopping power of the .45ACP, and you end up with a bullet that goes half-assed with either aspect, and excels at nothing.

I'd take a .357SIG over a .40 any day, so that at least I'd have good penetration.

denfoote
September 21, 2006, 07:28 PM
Judging from the fact that just about everybody and their dog makes platforms for them, I picked 9mm parabellum, .45acp, and 9mm kurz (.380acp).

Bazooka Joe71
September 21, 2006, 07:39 PM
I think it depends on the situation, if im going to the range for 3 hours and firing 500-600 rounds, then im gonna want to take a 9mm. But for self defense, i dont think theres any question that i want a .45acp in my pistol.

mattw
September 21, 2006, 08:14 PM
You forgot .22 LR

rection47
September 21, 2006, 08:18 PM
He said in his post he was excluding rimfire.

horge
September 21, 2006, 08:36 PM
What, no 9mm Largo?
:p

kir_kenix
September 21, 2006, 09:03 PM
9, 40, 45. just like everybody else. those have to be the 3 biggest in the us. excluding rimfire, ill bet these 3 make up 75% of the us gunsales.

possum
September 21, 2006, 09:46 PM
i choose 9mm which is cheap to shoot, .40 which happens to be my absolute favorite caliber out there as far as handguns are concerned! and .45acp because everyone seems to be in love with it!

Johnny Guest
September 21, 2006, 10:50 PM
SolaScriptura139, you wrote It might have been better to ask for our 3 favorite calibers, would get a better variety in poll and responses. With all respect, I think not. Please re-read StrikeFire83's original question: Rather, what are the 3 major players in the US market? Which 3 calibers are the most bought/stocked by ammo merchants?
By his use of are, the present progressive plural (Is that the proper term?) I infer he means at present, currently, RAT NOW, or, at most, within the past year or so.

Really, the title of this thread may be misleading. "Most prevalent" might well include the calibers of all the autopistols in current circulation. In THAT case, the .32 ACP would certainly be in the top three, if not number one.

We needn't quibbble about whether or not the .22 rimfire SHOULD be included. StrikeFire83 specifically said not to consider it.

I wonder is the question hasn't been asked and answered satisfactorily? And "Which Caliber Is Best" is certainly off topic, as is any variation of ""+1." :rolleyes:

Johnny

SolaScriptura139
September 21, 2006, 11:42 PM
And "Which Caliber Is Best" is certainly off topic,

Respectfully, I never said that it should be which caliber is best. No one can say with absoluteness that any caliber is "best". What I was saying was that the answer to the question is pretty obvious, and that to ask what our three favorite calibers would be would bring out a more varied response.

StrikeFire83
September 21, 2006, 11:51 PM
I think a little clarification is in order. I see .22 rimfire as much a rifle caliber as a pistol caliber. Maybe I should have said “Center fire auto pistol calibers” or something like that.

The original purpose of the poll would be to see if my perception of the Big 3 self-defense/major calibers was in line with everyone else’s. The idea being that the best choice for an “everything” utilitarian pistol SHOULD be chambered in a common caliber, one which has high ammo availability.

I like the 9mm and the .45 personally, as my pistol lineup would indicate. Personally, I have no use for .40 S&W…but I have to admit that its popularity and proliferation make it a major contender.

SolaScriptura139, I didn't take any offense at your post, but the answer wasn't as obvious to me as it was to you, or I wouldn't have posted the poll.

Onmilo
September 22, 2006, 10:19 AM
Are you asking this question as it relates globally?
If the answer is yes then the answer is easy,
.25acp
.32acp
9mm

I guess I should add that if you figure in ALL the target pistols in the world, the .22LR would probably beat the .32acp or come real close to it.

mr.trooper
September 22, 2006, 02:20 PM
is it OK if we voted for all of them? :D

slicknickns
September 22, 2006, 05:25 PM
Unread Yesterday, 05:07 PM #11
crunker
New Member


Join Date: 09-09-06
Posts: 23

I dislike .40S&W. It mixes the high velocity and penetration of the 9mm with the high stopping power of the .45ACP, and you end up with a bullet that goes half-assed with either aspect, and excels at nothing.

I'd take a .357SIG over a .40 any day, so that at least I'd have good penetration.
crunker is offline

Damn i hate using copy and paste, why can't this website have a 'quote reply' button. Well, anyways the .40 was never designed as a intermediate between the 9 and .45. It's a 10mm light. Just a smaller, 10mm. The cartridge was never designed with a comprimise in sight. Unless you count FBI agents who couldn't controll the 10mm.

When the hell will people stop considering the .40 a comprimise?

10-Ring
September 22, 2006, 05:53 PM
I would think that the top 3 calibers are 9mm, 40 & 45 acp.

shield20
September 22, 2006, 05:54 PM
Its OK slick, if the .40 is a compromise - its a GREAT one. Capacity, caliber, cost, power, expansion, selection, availability and AWESOME results all help make it #1.

.45 and 9mm are cool too.

camp_gunner
September 22, 2006, 06:10 PM
The 32ACP is actualy the most used cartridge in the world capturing about 35% of the usage. The 9mm is by far and away the second most poplar cartridge at about 30%, and the 45ACP gets about 25% of the usage in the world. The 40 cal cartridges are only popular here in the states, they have about 9 or 10% of the usage. This assumes that the 9MM in question is the 9MM Luger. The 9x18, 9x21 and so on have very low usage.

defiant73a
September 22, 2006, 06:35 PM
The 9x19 and .45 ACP are pretty much no-brainers for one and two. I had a hard time picking three because there are two possible contenders: .40 S&W (present) and .380 ACP (historically). (Of course, if we considered revolvers, the .38 Special would trump them all by a large margin.)

"Compromise" is a good description for the .40 S&W. It was designed to package a larger (calibre) bullet in 9x19 size handgun and to increase capacity over the .45 ACP. Perhaps, it would do well to point out the 10mm was adopted by the FBI as a compromise between two opposing camps: one which wanted more capacity (9x19) and one which wanted a larger calibre (.45 ACP). BTW, it's not accurate to attribute the failure of 10mm with FBI to recoil--size, weight and early reliability problems were the culprits.

CornCod
September 22, 2006, 06:47 PM
In the US it would be 9mm Parabellum, .45ACP and .380ACP. Everywhere else it would be 9mm Makarov, 9mm Parabellum and .32ACP I guess.

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