Most EFFICIENT handgun caliber?


PDA






shadow9
December 24, 2012, 08:02 PM
Not "BESTEST" or "BEST" or "MOST STOPPING" or "WHIZBANG!"

But...what do YOU consider (read: Opinion, math not necessary) to be the most efficient caliber?

By efficient - I am looking for design of case/cartridge, accuracy (both short and far), recoil handling, and ease of wear on the weapon.

For example - the 6.5x55SE I find to be a VERY efficient cartridge for hunting - it's smaller case size allows for a maximum charge with reasonable recoil. The long bullets can drive deep with moderate velocity (able to take game much larger than statistics should indicate), and it's use of smaller/lightweight bullets with high BC make for excellent ballistics. Also, being a intermediate cartridge with long seating, it can be chambered in any mauser-length long-action (versatility).

NOTE: Cartridge is/should be handloading-friendly, and it's usefulness in this manner can be used as part of consideration.

If you enjoyed reading about "Most EFFICIENT handgun caliber?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
918v
December 24, 2012, 08:16 PM
.22 Short

9mm Luger is pretty efficient for a centerfire, though.

rcmodel
December 24, 2012, 09:01 PM
Well, the first two that come to mind are the .38 Special and the .45 ACP.

Both have withstood the 100 year test of time.

And both have won enough Bullseye target & combat shooting trophy's to fill the swimming pool 10 times over at Bill Gate's house.

For "FAR" range?
Then you are looking at the .357 & more so, the .44 Magnum.
There isn't even a runner-up.

rc

Naybor
December 24, 2012, 09:04 PM
Tossup:

.22 LR
.357 weapon (shoots .38 Sp, .38 +P and .357 Mag)

gamestalker
December 24, 2012, 09:17 PM
.357 mag & 9mm. What one can't do efficiently, the other will.
GS

Hungry1
December 24, 2012, 09:22 PM
I like a cast 158 gr LSWC in .357 over 6 gr of Unique.

At regular handgun distances accuracy is more than acceptable and I know it sounds like a story,,,, but it's true I swear. I've been able to consistently hit a 3' wide x 5' high metal gas container at 200 yards with a 4" GP100.

Not that I would ever try and take game at that distance with a handgun or that load, but it sure is good "range fun". :)

Lost Sheep
December 24, 2012, 09:51 PM
I get about 12,000 miles per gallon out of my .357 using Unique and 158 grain lead semiwadcutters.:eek:

I am not sure how to calculate group size into that figure, much less the terminal ballistics.:confused:

If you want to measure groundhogs per gallon with 222 Remington or .218 Bee would you want by the pound or per head?:neener:

Lost Sheep:D

OK, seriously. I re-read your original post. You specified no math required, opinion desired. But I can't resist teasing you some about the folly of using the term "efficiency" with regard to something so difficult to quantify.

So, shooting fun per dollar spent? 22 rimfire

All-around practice value per round expended (as well as dollar spent) my handloaded .357 rounds. If limited to factory, probably 9mm or 45 ACP followed by 38 Special and maybe .40 S&W (but I don't shoot 40, so am just guessing that the price might be right).

For fast stops on dangerous game (bears, wolves, people, etc) larger is better.

You asked for opinion.

Regards,

Lost Sheep

edit: I see that your O.P. seemed focused on rifle cartridges. Most of the respondents talked about handgun cartridges, as did I. Sorry, I don't have anything approaching useful on rifles. Here's hoping some riflemen will respond soon.

hAkron
December 24, 2012, 09:55 PM
9mm is a very universal round. Easy to reload, guns are plentiful in the caliber, doesn't use much powder, bullets are cheap, and if I reached my hand down on the floor of the gun range and grabbed a handful of brass, 80% or more of it is probably going to be 9mm

56hawk
December 24, 2012, 10:17 PM
I think 9mm would be by far the most efficient pistol round. Does just about everything the bigger rounds do, but has less recoil and a higher magazine capacity.

cfullgraf
December 24, 2012, 10:36 PM
But...what do YOU consider (read: Opinion, math not necessary) to be the most efficient caliber?


I got to say, it depends on what your objectives are.

A 22 Hornet is not very good on dangerous game, but a 375 H&H makes a lousy small pest rifle.

1SOW
December 24, 2012, 10:46 PM
In the right pistol, I'd vote for 9mm "LUGER" (9x19):
1. Bullet types and weights available: all nose shapes and types, 90 gr to 150 gr+ by a wide range of companies
2. Bullet speeds are very versatile: 750 (or less) to to 1600 fps+ (Often Used by open class competitors with compensated bbls.)
3. Versatile with powder choices to match shooter requirements: VERY fast-burn powders to very slow burn powders with a wide range of choices for each.
4. Ammo is relatively inexpensive as it one of the most heavily produced calibers world-wide.
5. Reloading is inexpensive: Range cases-pickups are abundantly available free. Bullets are relatively inexpensive. Primers are SPPs and standard pricing. Powder charges are limited to the small case.
6. Acuracy: While 9x19 can be very accurate, 38 and 45acp are better known for their accuracy. If you are a full-time bullseye type shooter, then the need for precision accuracy would likely drive you to other choices. (9mm Luger "can" be a pretty darn accurate round.)
7. Range: Long range service-type pistol shooting is usually done with fairly heavy bullets. Lighter bullets don't carry as far accurately. The 9mm will shoot to 100 yds +, but maybe out to 50 yds would be in the 9mms more effective range.

Just my thoughts. Readily available, versatile uses, good accuracy and inexpensive to shoot; I see as "EFFICIENT"

GaryL
December 24, 2012, 11:24 PM
I don't know the answer, but I do know this: I have a 105mm case in the man cave given to me by my son (he was in the plane when it was fired). Out of curiosity I measured all the dimensions and compared the scaled values to handgun calibers. It scales almost exactly to a 357 mag.

Carry on.

Ky Larry
December 24, 2012, 11:32 PM
cfullgraf, the .375 H&Hn Mag is a far more efficient round for small pests than a .22 Hornet. Just think, you eliminate the step of picking up the dead ground squirells when you use a .375.:neener:

JLDickmon
December 24, 2012, 11:41 PM
I got to say, it depends on what your objectives are.

A 22 Hornet is not very good on dangerous game, but a 375 H&H makes a lousy small pest rifle.

which would you take with you into the crawlspace under the house looking for a water moccasin?

blarby
December 24, 2012, 11:53 PM
I throw my coppers in with RC and 45 ACP.

We all have different definitions of "efficiency"... With that said, I can feed it lots of powders, lots of primers, I find brass by the bushel, and can cast for it in multiple weights till the end of time.


Makes me wish I had more of them........

And to boot, it'll fit under that imaginary magazine limit we have floating out over the horizon.... unless you like an extra handle !

grumpy66
December 25, 2012, 12:15 AM
.45acp- cast 230grain, 5.3 grains Unique.

30-30- cast 150 grain, two throws of the powder handle (10.6 grains) Unique.

I'm working on a cast load for my .308 now.

Magnum Shooter
December 25, 2012, 10:10 AM
Most EFFICIENT handgun caliber?



357Mag, Can shoot 38s for pests, 158g JHP for deer, 180g match for plate ringing.

jack44
December 25, 2012, 10:43 AM
44 mag. and the 40S&W

kelbro
December 25, 2012, 11:21 AM
357 Mag. I almost said 38 special because it will do almost everything but the 357 is a 38 special + +.

918v
December 25, 2012, 11:37 AM
You're all wrong.

The 22 Short will get you the most power per grain of powder of any metallic cartridge.

243winxb
December 25, 2012, 11:47 AM
Thompson Center Encore that fires .460 S&W (2200fps) and the less powerful .454 Casull, .45 Colt(750fps efficient). Loads range from light target loads in the Colt, to long range hunting loads/scoped barrel. :)

Clark
December 25, 2012, 12:50 PM
In power supply design, the Greek symbol Eta in lower case is used to represent efficiency:
η
We spend a lot of time calculating it and never do much to improve it.

η = power out / power in

But for a cartridge is would be

η = kinetic energy out / chemical energy in


My 50CB wild cat can do 798 fps 186 gr .500" round soft lead ball squished 2.8 gr Red Dot, WLP, wax, air, adjusted doubled ended double press die.

η = 263 foot pounds / 2.8 gr powder = 94 foot pounds per grain

The reason I was striving for so much efficiency was to get the noise down. 798 fps is the most I can get out of it and still sound like a pellet gun. And it did get me making my own dies which has worked out for a number of other projects.

lykoris
December 26, 2012, 05:41 AM
extremely interesting and quite impressive!

Pilot
December 26, 2012, 06:42 AM
I have no data, but hte 9MM (9x19) cartridge seems very effecient, for case size, and power.

918v
December 26, 2012, 08:46 AM
Back in the '80's Guns and Ammo did an article on efficiency. Guess what it said...

Kachok
December 26, 2012, 09:05 AM
There is no point in efficiency if it does not to the job. For example my Mazda gets 42mpg but I am not pulling my boat with it! It would be neither safe nor efficient when put to that task. When it comes to self defense pistol cartrages life begins at 9mm which is a superbly efficient cartrage. My self defense load is a hefty 147gr XTP propelled by only 4.7gr of Longshot powder it squeezes out just over 1000fps.
I get more impressive numbers from the 40 S&W for sure but I am burning nearly twice the powder to do so.

918v
December 26, 2012, 09:16 AM
The 40 can be pretty efficient with 180s and Long Shot powder.

CountGlockulla
December 26, 2012, 09:25 AM
9mm

Surculus
December 26, 2012, 11:36 AM
In power supply design, the Greek symbol Eta in lower case is used to represent efficiency:
η
We spend a lot of time calculating it and never do much to improve it.

η = power out / power in

But for a cartridge is would be

η = kinetic energy out / chemical energy in


My 50CB wild cat can do 798 fps 186 gr .500" round soft lead ball squished 2.8 gr Red Dot, WLP, wax, air, adjusted doubled ended double press die.

η = 263 foot pounds / 2.8 gr powder = 94 foot pounds per grain

The reason I was striving for so much efficiency was to get the noise down. 798 fps is the most I can get out of it and still sound like a pellet gun. And it did get me making my own dies which has worked out for a number of other projects.
That's pretty cool! What's the original source 4 the brass?

CraigC
December 26, 2012, 01:53 PM
I've always considered the .44Spl and .45ACP to be very efficient. Unlike cartridges like the .357Mag and 9mm, the big bores do not need a lot of pressure or velocity to be effective. The ACP makes far better use of its capacity than the cavernous .45Colt. The .44Spl is much more useful than the .44Mag for most purposes. In mid-frame guns like the Colt SAA, it'll do everything the .45Colt will with less powder a greater safety margin.

mdi
December 26, 2012, 02:32 PM
Seems like a lot of posers have effeciency mixed up with versitility. How do you measure effeciency? Most energy to the target per charge of powder? Effecient as best preformance per dollar? :confused:

ranger335v
December 26, 2012, 06:28 PM
.22 Short. Centerfire would be the .25 Auto with a light bullet and charge.

readyeddy
December 26, 2012, 07:36 PM
I think it may be 40 S&W when looking at service cartridges. When looking at W231, it takes about 5.0 grains to drive a 180 grain bullet around 950 fps. It takes 6.0 grains to achieve 900 fps with a 185 grain bullet in 45 ACP. Whereas for 9mm, it takes 4.8 grains to get 1080 fps when using only a 125 grain bullet.

I know you didn't want math, but it looks like 40 S&W does a pretty good job efficiency wise when looking at service cartridges.

flipajig
December 26, 2012, 08:19 PM
My vote is for the 44 mag and my choice for Dilivery would be a Thompson Contender.
From mild to wild or mice to Moose it will get the job done.
As for powder several will work from fast burners for mild and slower for the wild.

Hungry1
December 26, 2012, 10:27 PM
Back in the '80's Guns and Ammo did an article on efficiency. Guess what it said...
I missed that issue, what did they say? :)

Thanks

jwrowland77
December 27, 2012, 12:33 AM
I would have to say that for pistols, 9mm would be my opinion of efficient.

I would have to say the .223 as well (contender with pistol grip. A buddy in the military and I used to shoot .223 with his contender all the time at cactus and jack rabbits in West Texas) For a small bullet, it can pack a punch.

Naybor
December 29, 2012, 08:04 PM
Earlier I mentioned .22LR, but thinking about it, for most small game + coyotes, I would consider a .22 Mag for "efficiency".

For practice, still .22 LR.

Hondo 60
December 29, 2012, 10:32 PM
Sorry, but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer.

The most efficient is the one YOU prefer & will practice with!

The gun I think is most efficient, you may not like.
And the only gun worth anything is one YOU will practice with.

918v
December 30, 2012, 10:30 AM
I missed that issue, what did they say?

22 Short

shadow9
January 1, 2013, 09:49 AM
Seems like a lot of posers have effeciency mixed up with versitility. How do you measure effeciency? Most energy to the target per charge of powder? Effecient as best preformance per dollar?

Most velocity for powder use, which can be affected by best use of case space. This, in theory, offers the best impact/terminal effect given recoil.

I focus on recoil largely because it generally determines the weight of your platform you can accurately shoot with (which, IMO, lighter-is-better for most general situations. Even in BR, a lighter-kicking caliber will still put the hole in the paper, and with less jostling to the shooter at the starting line)


To recap:
The "most efficient for harvesting X game" isn't necessarily being focused on, as a well placed 6.5 Grendel HAS dropped bison, and I'm sure there's more than one 1st-year deer out there that's either rotting or seriously wounded from a poorly-aimed .300WM that some 1st-year yahoo figured would be "most efficient" for deer.

With a well-placed shot (which is more easily accomplished with less recoil) the 6.5x55 or .308 CAN BE as effective as even the great .30-06, with a lot less resources used and recoil given (given, of course, use of a quality bullet).

THUS: 9mmP really seems to take it, and .45 Auto isn't too far off either.

CraigC
January 1, 2013, 12:23 PM
Seems like a lot of posers have efficiency mixed up with versatility.
Seems like many did not understand the question.

Hastings
January 1, 2013, 05:31 PM
I know this might create a bit of controversy, but if the 45acp is considered a possible second to 9mm in terms of efficiency based on case capacity, powder volume, bullet weight and velocity, I will have to put my vote in for 45gap over 45acp. Given the same bullet weight (up to 200gr) it takes me between .5 and .9 grains less powder in the 45gap to match the velocity of the same bullet in 45acp (depending on powder type, bullet weight, and desired velocity). I tested 45acp, 45gap and 45colt with the same bullets, same powder, and same goal velocity using a chrono to verify the results. 45gap was the most efficient while 45colt obviously has the most flexibility.

I'm not commenting on the versatility, availability, or platform options of the 45gap cartridge, but it definitely gives equal velocity for less powder with the lower weight bullets. By the way, it also works well with hardcast bullets up to 255gr. The velocity potential starts to drop as you get above 225gr in bullet weight, but a 255gr keith-style swc at 800 fps is nothing to sneeze at.

Before you pounce on me for mentioning this cartridge, let it be know I much prefer the 40s&w and the 45colt cartridges to any others.

Esoxchaser
January 1, 2013, 05:43 PM
Taking the wallet into consideration I would say the most efficient are the 9MM Luger and .22 rimfire. That's why they are 85% of my hand gunning.

Float Pilot
January 1, 2013, 07:17 PM
I see it as how much power you can develop with the smallest case (brass size)
Or at least no wasted space....

The old cartridges like the 45 colt have huge case sizes because they were developed for black powder.

The 9mm Luger is fairly good, as is the 40 S&W cartridge.
While I have not played with it much, I think the newish 327 Federal might be a contender.

The 500 S&W could also be considered since it delivers the power of old hunting rifles in a pistol size case.

The old 7.65mm Mauser (from the C-96 broom handle pistols) and the nearly identical Soviet cartridge are also pretty hot for their case sizes.

tbob38
January 1, 2013, 07:34 PM
9mm easily over the 45acp because it operates at a higher pressure. 40 S&W should be right up there too. Rimfires run at too low a pressure to compete.

MrCountyCop
January 2, 2013, 09:07 AM
I have always liked the 45 ACP....easy to load and easy to shoot

MrCountyCop
January 2, 2013, 09:09 AM
Back in the '80's Guns and Ammo did an article on efficiency. Guess what it said...
38 Special! They did another last year or the year before and 38 Special was 1st or 2nd in that one also.

USSR
January 2, 2013, 09:50 AM
I'm with Kachok. I don't worry about efficiency. Suitability for the task at hand and sufficient accuracy are my only concerns.

Don

CountryUgly
January 2, 2013, 12:13 PM
10mm, take it to the bank, done deal, nuff said.

Clark
January 2, 2013, 12:54 PM
Surculus

That's pretty cool! What's the original source 4 the brass?
56-50 centerfire brass cut down to .45" long.
I made the dies that use one press on top of another to form the lead ball into a bullet while in the case.

10 Spot Terminator
January 2, 2013, 02:04 PM
Make mine the 38 special...

Should be capable of handling +P loads to fit this bill like my K14 6

Mouse fart loads of 2.8 grs. of Bullseye and a 148 gr. LWC ( what recoil ? )

100 yd. accuracy load 4.2 grs. of Bullseye and a 160 gr. LRN ( 4 in. group )

162 gr. LSWCHP behind 7.2 grs. HS6 @ 1000+ fps ( Bad guy go away load )

145 gr. LSWCHP behind 7.0 grs. HS6 @ 1000+ fps ( accurate varmit load )

Cheap to shoot, pleasant to shoot and very dependable and durable as well. I am sure I could develope other loads as needed but I am happy with these.

popper
January 2, 2013, 04:08 PM
918v do they actually put any powder in a 22 short? I would have figured the 9mm Luger as it was developed as a 150 yd machine gun round.

GW Staar
January 2, 2013, 04:17 PM
Awe shoot, late for the party!
Efficiency?......efficient at what?
I'm not going to consider anything below 9mm...period...just not personally interested....okay except for chasing cans, shotgun hulls, and rabbits with a red dot-scoped Ruger 22 target pistol.:)


Least # rounds per kill....44 mag or bigger. (if you hit it)
# rounds per magazine.....9mm
Best efficiency on killing a drug-crazed enemy running at you in an Afghan cave with an existing service pistol.....45 ACP


Best compromise ...... 40 S&W. My opinion of course.:)

SDGlock23
January 3, 2013, 12:16 PM
It's not something I've looked at too much, but I do know the .40 S&W is pretty damn efficient. 6.5gr of Unique will shoot a 180gr JHP @ 1180 from a 6" bbl, which is almost 86 ft-lbs per 1gr of powder, or almost 43 ft-lbs per half grain. That's not max for the .40, but it's probably the most efficient load I can think of and it was loaded a little longer, had I loaded it to around 1.120-1.25" it could have hit 1200+ fps. I'm sure the 357 Sig can do similarly in terms of efficiency. I think the .40 is more efficient than the 10mm.

In terms of covering a broad range of options, the .40 does well too. You can load it light for a gamer load or small pest load, have a great selection of high quality factory JHPs, or load to essentially 10mm levels (with an aftermarket bbl) and use it for the woods if you wanted. I've had a number of 10mm's, but I don't think it really offers anything that the .40 doesn't. I mean yeah a hot 10mm has 100-150 fps advantage, but using logic, a 180gr @ 1400 fps (hot 10mm) isn't going to kill anything any deader than a 180gr @ 1300+ fps (warm .40). The .40 case is stronger than the 10mm case ( Clark knows this) and uses less powder to make good numbers compared to the 10mm. If someone likes the 10mm, that's great, it's a fine cartridge, I just don't think it's worth it or as efficient.

Hastings
January 3, 2013, 12:41 PM
SDGlock23

I agree with you on the 40s&w. I have a sentimental attachment to 45colt, but 40s&w is tops in my book. I reload from 155gr on up to 200gr in the 40, with excellent results. I wish they would make a levergun in 40. A nice little Rossi M92 stainless with a 18" barrel would be a very nice woods gun loaded with some WFNGC 200gr hardcast bullets, with a G22 carrying the same as a companion sidearm.

CraigC
January 3, 2013, 01:38 PM
I wish they would make a levergun in 40.
They do and due to its capacity, the .38-40 will beat the stew out of anything the .40S&W can do. Loaded warm in an 1892, 2000fps is easily attainable with 180's. Although the 180gr Gold Dot opens rather quickly at 1450fps.

Hastings
January 3, 2013, 03:25 PM
That's not quite what I meant, but it is interesting. Perhaps I'll have to pick up a 38-40 levergun. It would be convenient to purchase one bullet type/weight for both rifle and handgun. I currently do it with a 45colt Vaquero and Rossi M92, but the 40s&w is a lot less expensive to reload for.


How is the 38-40 for reloading, by the way? You've peaked my curiosity.

Thanks
Hastings

anothernewb
January 3, 2013, 03:35 PM
I'll have to jump on the .38/.357 bandwagon too. If I correctly understand the OP's intent - 38 loads in a solid revolver (like a GP100 or K/N frame) do not kick much at all, and a .357 in a carbine I think gives alot of accuracy, not to mention a 6" revolver along with a lot of energy downrange to the target.

Seems like revolvers last a long time too, but there are many, many 1911's with 5 and 6 figures down the pipe too.. But I'm sticking with the .357 if only for long range target energy/accuracy.

I think ease of handling and firearm longevity have to go to the .22

Pete D.
January 4, 2013, 07:52 AM
By efficient - I am looking for design of case/cartridge, accuracy (both short and far), recoil handling, and ease of wear on the weapon.
Sorry....it is kind of a silly question.....though it has generated three pages of discussion. Despite the attempt at qualifying "efficient", the are still too many variables to approach any kind of definitive answer - though cartridges in the caliber range of .355 - .357 appear most frequently.
How far is far? What is the intended use? Who is doing the using? What gun is being used?

918v do they actually put any powder in a 22 short?
Yes, they do. The lowly .22 Short is the oldest of the commercial metallic cartridges. Originally, it was loaded with four grains of something like modern FFFFg black powder. Nowadays....about 0.8 of a grain of a very fine grained canister powder (HV).

9mm Luger development... 150 yard machine gun round?
The cartridge, notice the name, was introduced in 1902 with the Luger automatic pistol. The first sub machine guns were not developed until later in WWI.

Hastings
January 4, 2013, 08:26 AM
I don't think the question is silly. I agree that choosing a cartridge purely because it is efficient is a rather odd way to pick a firearm, but there is another side to the question.

Take Glocks, S&W revolvers, and Browning Hi Powers. In the first two types (Glock and S&W revolvers) the size of the firearm is directly tied to the cartridge size. The J-frame and K-frame revolvers are much better for a CCW than an L, N, or X frame. In each frame size there is a fairly small range of cartridge options. If you can squeeze the most efficiency out of a cartridge it often means it is as small in case size as is possible for the caliber and bullet weight range. This translates to being able to fit the cartridge into a smaller firearm.

This is especially true with the Glock 37. I know there is not much of a fan-base for the 45GAP cartridge, but I think it is also true that there is a big fan-base for 45cal handguns. Many people find the Glock 21 to be overly large in the grip area, and it is certainly a thick pistol as well - challenging to carry in anything other than a duty or open-carry holster unless you wear parkas year-round. The Glock 30 is much smaller, but still pretty thick. By taking the 45acp cartridge and shortening it to the 45GAP dimensions, Glock was able to fit the cartridge into the G17/G22 size platform and even offer the G39 - which is a pretty small 45cal handgun.

I mentioned the Hi Power. I've owned both the 9mm and the 40s&w versions and I think the 9mm version is perfection while the 40cal is nice but can't hold a candle to the balance and feel of the 9mm. I've often wondered what the limit would be on upping the velocity and/or diameter of the cartridge in the 9mm version of the Hi Power without having to change the slide thickness, frame size, ...etc. Could you fit a 38 Super into the Hi-Power, and what would that be like? I like 9mm, but more velocity or larger diameter would be nice without loosing the balance and pointability of the original package.

I know this is long-winded, but many of our current handgun cartridges were born in the black powder era or designed to match black powder cartridge performance. Some of these have way more case capacity than necessary. Consequently, many of our current handguns are designed around cartridge lengths that are needlessly longer then they need to be. I'd love to see a totally new cartridge/handgun pairing that wasn't based on a parent cartridge or bullet diameter, but on a more holistic vision grounded in current powder capability, bullet design technology, handgun ergonomics, and performance.

If you made it to the end of this dissertation, thanks for persisting. To sum up, I think questions related to cartridge efficiency can help lead to new cartridge and firearms development and that excites me.

Thanks

CraigC
January 4, 2013, 11:25 AM
How is the 38-40 for reloading, by the way? You've peaked my curiosity.
Despite warnings to the contrary by those who have never done it, it is quite easy to load for. The only real disadvantage is that you have to lube cases. I use John Taffin's suggestion of just wiping a very light film of oil on the cases, rather than spray lubing. You just have to be careful seating bullets and crimping. Due to the very thin case necks, it is easy to crumple a case. That said, in 7yrs of loading for it, I might have ruined half a dozen cases. As long as you flare your case mouths correctly and make sure the bullet sits square when it goes into the seating die, problems are rare. Many suggest seating and crimping in separate steps but I don't.

It's a great cartridge and 1200fps is easily attainable from revolvers with 180's at standard pressures. That's nothing to sneeze at. A 180gr RNFP is running 1550fps from a 24" rifle without exceeding pressure standards.

Hastings
January 4, 2013, 11:58 AM
CraigC: That is helpful info. Do you use bullets with a cannelure or are they simply 40/10mm bullets? Do you get any bullet creep under recoil with the hot loads? I would think that loading for a levergun without cannelured bullets might lead to some compressed loads, but I have no frame of reference for what the recoil is like on the faster loads you mention.

This all sounds very interesting, but I don't have much experience reloading for shouldered handgun cartridges. I'm assuming the 38-40 headspaces on the case rim, not the shoulder or throat rim. I'd appreciate as much info as you are willing to share.

Thanks again.

Shadow 7D
January 4, 2013, 12:09 PM
I would posit that you will find the best is PURELY purpose driven

HOWEVER
while I'm an auto fan (and don't understand whirrly guns)
I would say that .357 Mag, .44 Mag and 10MM are very versatile round, with the revolver rounds have an even WIDER ability range, from LOW SPECial powder puff plinking loads to full bore hunting loads.

As to which is the most efficient, you have to quality WHAT. That wasn't done, .22 is the most efficient, as it lets you shoot the most for the least amount of money.

CraigC
January 4, 2013, 12:12 PM
There are 180-200gr cast bullets designed for the .38-40 with a crimp groove. Beartooth has a nice 200gr LBT and I've got some but haven't tried them yet. For jacketed bullets, I use a Corbin cannelure tool to put a cannelure in .40/10mm bullets. So far I've tried the 135gr Sierra (varmint bomb at 1600fps), the 180gr Gold Dot and 180gr RNFP's. All over 10.0gr Unique. All have clustered into an inch at 50yds. I also have some 3031 data to get a little more velocity.

Recoil is negligible, as is report. Case headspaces on the rim.

Captaingyro
January 9, 2013, 08:45 AM
Looking at all the answers that go back and forth between 9mm and 45ACP, it's too bad we don't have a cartridge less than a hundred years old that combines the best of both: most of the power of the .45 with the smaller frame size and larger magazine capacity of the 9.

Something that's been developed in the last couple of decades to take advantage of modern powders and metalurgy.

A caliber that would be so efficient, that police departments would take one look at it, and, not being constrained by the requirements of NATO allies, almost universally adopt as the obvious choice for their officers.

Something like, say, the .40S&W.

hueyville
January 9, 2013, 09:11 AM
While neither of these are my "favorites", to honestly answer the question, .357 mag in a 6" barrel and a 25-06 in a rifle. If had to narrow collection to only one rifle and one pistol those would be it. Would really miss my .22lr's....

With the .357 I can use 38 s&w (sucks) or .38 special, with a modified cylinder can even run 9mm through it. If stuck could pull down 9mm ammo and load the components into the proper case. Can load light range ammo or heat up loads that will efficiently dispatch medium game. 6" barrel can work for defense, target or hunting. Most versatile pistol IMHO.

With the 25-06 I can load it for everything from varmints, bench rest, long distance, medium and large game. Only rifle I have that I know I can do almost everything with and have. Can zap ground hogs and prairie dogs as far as I can see. Take it to the range with my pet load and nobody will completely embarrass me with anything. Load it a little heavier and deer fall like struck by lightning. In a pinch, with good heavy built bullet can take any game in the continental U.S.A. Yeah, grizzly bears would be borderline but with proper shot placement and bullet choice it would work. Since I don't live in Alaska or Africa don't have to worry about larger game. Only weakness is availability of components and off shelf ammo in the event of a shortage.

Queen_of_Thunder
January 9, 2013, 01:46 PM
I would go with the 41 Mag.

Pete D.
January 11, 2013, 12:32 PM
With the .357 I can use 38 s&w (sucks) .....
It is the rare .357 that will chamber .38 S&W. The case of the old cartridge is larger in diameter than the cases of the .357 mag and .38 Spl.
None of my .38/.357 will chamber the .38 S&W.
Shorter and fatter. The bullets, also are .361-.362 as opposed to .357-.358.

If you enjoyed reading about "Most EFFICIENT handgun caliber?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!