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How Come there are so Few .40 Caliber rifles?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Special_K, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Special_K

    Special_K Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking about this for a while and there is a ton of .30 caliber cartridges out there but I don't know of many rifle cartridges that are of the .40-.499 caliber.

    So whats the deal?
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    The .45-70 is already perfect. No need to make 10 variants of it.:D

    But have you ever shot a .38-40? It's actually a .40, I think.
  3. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Well-Known Member

    In a single word-recoil.
    To get a .40 bullet up to any decent speed you need quite a bit of powder. Most cartridges in the .40-.499 range are considered "Dangerous Game" cartridges. 416 Taylor, 416 Rigby, 458 Win Mag, 460 Weatherby Mag, 450 NE, 470 NE, etc.
    There are a few straight-wall cartridges such as 45-70, 444 Marlin ect, but these can be loaded quite hot as well.
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Also, in the interest of flat trajectory, smaller diameter spitzer bullets became popular over 100 years ago.

    The .45-70 black powder cartridge from 135 years ago is probably a better game killer than anything short of the DG rounds TehK1w1 listed above. Yes, better. I've seen it do amazing things.

    The problem with it is that its trajectory is anything but flat and it's hard to hit anything past 150 yards, without a good deal of practice. What you hit, will go down, but its hard to hit anything when bullet drop is measured in feet, not inches!

    When the US military went to the .30-40 and the .30-06 soon afterward, the objective was a flat trajectory. When hunters adopted the .30-30 and the .30-06, they wanted the same thing. Higher velocities from smokeless powder made these rounds useful, and smaller bullets helped them shoot flatter.

    The real reason that the larger bullets are not so popular is that most everyday hunters shoot medium sized game at longer ranges (e.g. deer at 200+ yards) as opposed to large game at shorter ones (e.g. cape buff charging a few yards away).
  5. Anteater1717

    Anteater1717 Well-Known Member

    What about .45-75Win, .45-90Wcf, .45-100Wcf, .45-110Sharps, .45-120Sharps?
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    AFAIK the .45-75 was the same round, but Winchester wanted their own name on it.

    The others were failures that died soon after they were born.
  7. Anteater1717

    Anteater1717 Well-Known Member

    True, but they do exist.
  8. highorder

    highorder Well-Known Member

    dont forget the .416 barnes and the olde' .405 Winchester.
  9. coylh

    coylh Well-Known Member

  10. Rifleman 173

    Rifleman 173 Well-Known Member

    You might want to take a look at the K40-GL carbine by Olympic Arms. It uses Glock pistol magazines and the .40 S&W ammo. It might make a pretty decent home defense carbine even better than a .30 caliber carbine in some situations. The K40-GL also gives you the feel of an AR but with a bigger, heavier bullet to use. Just something to think about.
  11. Mr_Pale_Horse

    Mr_Pale_Horse Well-Known Member

    There were a tonne of 4X caliber rifles in the transition period of blackpowder single shot cartridge and tube fed cartridge rifles.

    Look and all the 10.X and 11.X Euro cartridges from that periond.

    Smokeless powder velocity gave better efficiency in shorter barrels and flatter trajectories with smaller diameter bullets, with almost all military rounds made in any number falling between .264 and .323.

    This relegated .4XX caliber to dangerous game cartridges, of which there are a few still around.
  12. Conqueror

    Conqueror Well-Known Member

    .408 CheyTac and .416 Barrett are available if you want a long-range target round; they can both reach out accurately to over 2000 yards.
  13. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    The 45/75 Winchester was not the same as the 45/70 Govt. It was an attempt by Winchester to upgrade its Model 1873 to fire the long cartridges in the big single shots like the Sharps, Remington, or Trapdoor Springfield.

    It had to use a lighter 300 gr bullet because the scaled up 1873, called the 1876 was not strong enough to take the recoil generated by the 405 or 500 gr 45/70.

    Take a look at an 1876 Winchester sometime. A fragile little toggle action holds the bolt closed.

    JMB designed the Model 1886 which was the first true high power lever action with the rear locking bolts similar to the Model 1894. That was chambered for the regular 45/70 Govt cartridge.
  14. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    We already have a boatload of .30 calibers that are a waste of good components, certainly no reason to add more of any other pointless caliber.


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