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What caliber has killed the most people?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by coosbaycreep, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    near Roseburg, Oregon
    If I had to guess, this would be my list;
    1. 7.62X39mm
    2. 7.62X54R
    3. .303 british
    4. 9mm
    5. .308
    6. 8mm mauser
    7. .223
    8. .45acp
    9. .30-06
    10. .30 carbine
    11. 22lr

    1. I would guess 7.62X39mm first, simply because of how prolific AKs and SKSs have been the past six decades, even though they missed out on being used in both world wars, which were by far the bloodiest conflicts in history. I'm sure the popularity of rifles chambered in that caliber being used by gangs, guerillas, and third world nations probably helps close the gap though.

    2. 7.62X54R has been around for ever. Mosins killed a boatload of people in WWII, and there's still people being killed with Mosins and Dragunovs.

    3. Even though it's not nearly as common today, .303 british has been killing people since the beginning of time.

    4. 9mm has been around over a century, and is still the most common handcun caliber in the world today. It's been a common caliber for sidearms and SMGs in almost every conflict, by almost every nation, and it's killed a lot of people in civillian murders too.

    5.. .308 has been used by NATO for a very long time. It saw action in Vietnam and Korea with Americans, and has seen action worldwide by all kinds of third world folks using G3s, FALs, etc.

    6. 8mm mauser, simply because of how many people were probably killed with it during both world wars. It was also adopted by other nations, and is still used today.

    7. .223 because it's been the main cartridge of NATO for a long time, even though the conflicts it's been involved with haven't been as bloody as the conflicts that most of the older .30 cal. cartridges were involved in.

    8. .45acp just because of longevity, and the fact that it was chambered in 1911s, thompsons, etc. It's killed a lot of people in the civillian world too, although still not as commonly used as 9mm.

    9. .30-06 because of the M1 Garand, 1903, and BAR, all of which saw a ton of service. It was used by lots of other nations as well, and is still one of the most common hunting calibers, even though not too many people get killed while hunting.

    10. .30 carbine because of it's use during WWII and Korea. The M1 carbine is the most highly produced small arm in American history.

    11. .22lr because of how cheap and common it is, even though it's never been the official caliber of any nation's standard weapons, it's been killing people across the globe for a long time, and will never become obsolete.

    Again, I'm just guessing about all of this, but am curious if anyone has a better idea of what small arms caliber has caused the most death and destruction throughout history.
  2. Treo

    Treo member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Co. Springs
    I've always heard .22 LR has killed more people than any other round on the planet, but who would compile such statistics?
  3. High Planes Drifter

    High Planes Drifter Participating Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hmmmm tough one. I think the .75 caliber Brown Bess should replace one of the selectons on the list.. I also think the .50 BMG should replace one of the selections.

    Maybe the .45 and the .30 Carbine should be replaced (IMO). Pistols and pistol carbines actually play a very, very tiny role in actual combat.
  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v Senior Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    The 7.7 Jap was used to kill an awful lot of people, tons of them were helpless civilians or POWs.
  5. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Mentor

    Sep 15, 2007
    S.E. Minnesota
    What rounds did the Russians use in the WW's?
  6. doc2rn

    doc2rn Senior Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    SW Florida
    .22 lr is the winner according to all the data I could find. It seems the cheapest and most widly available caliber is in fact the deadliest.
  7. pbearperry

    pbearperry Active Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
    My guess is 9mm and I am sticking to it.
  8. cbrgator

    cbrgator Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Without any facts or stats to back this up, I'd have to say 7.62x39. It is used in the world's most popular assault rifle and is used to kill thousands every day. Be it the middle east, or practically the entire African continent, I would have to believe more people have died at the hands of that cartridge than anything else. Obviously it's not the world's most popular cartridge, but it is the most common in most of the worlds troubled regions and conflict zones.
  9. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Arlington, Republic of Texas
    That data is specifically talking about domestic murders and the like

    I think the OP is including wars and military deaths. Since no military uses .22lr, I think his list may be right on.
  10. abrink

    abrink Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Moyock North Carolina but i go to VA a lot also.
    My guess is also .22LR. Very good killer, very poor stopper.
  11. Auburn1992

    Auburn1992 Participating Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    From all that I know was the 7.62x54R (their rifle/machinegun cartridge) and the 7.62x25 (their SMG/pistol cartridge. There is also the 7.62 Nagant (the revolver). Guess they really like the 7.62mm bullet...
  12. Noxx

    Noxx Participating Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    As they should. In 54mm it's a fantastic rifle round, in 39mm it's proved an effective carbine round.

    Frankly we should have just adopted the damn thing ourselves.
  13. SN13

    SN13 Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    .22lr is the winner for MURDERS. It's the favorite for hits and assassinations as the small lead bullet deforms and fragments into an un-traceable projectile when fired into the cranium of a target. Revolvers chambered in .22 leave no casing to be analyzed and without a projectile to compare ballistically, it's impossible to link the gun with a crime.

    7.62x54R is the winner over all. Think about it. the x54R is STILL in use. SVD's, PKM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PK_machine_gun).


    Created in 1891 and still in use today. Was used in the Russo-Japanese war, WWI, the Russian Revolution, The Winter War with Finland, WWII, Russia's Invasion of Afghanistan, etc.

    Also consider that in the revolution, 7.62x54R was being shot by both sides against each other, same in the war with Finland that left hundreds of thousands dead.

    Not to mention that every Republic in the U.S.S.R. was issued Hundreds of thousands of Mosin Nagants and x54R ammo to fight with. Russia supplied China with the x54R as well.

    Basically the ONLY Round used in every major conflict in the past 120 years: X54R

    So it wins most deadly in my opinion.
  14. jfountain2

    jfountain2 New Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Memphis, TN.
    Bullets don't kill people. People kill people.
  15. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Sorry I'm going to have to call you on that one. The SKS was issued to a few front line units in WW2 as well as a prototype sniper version. If I am not mistaken it was about like the Henry rifle use in the Civil War, not a main combat weapon but a weapon that saw service.
  16. RP88

    RP88 Senior Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    if I had to try and make a random guess in order...1 being most:

    1. 7.62x39
    2. 7.62x54R
    3. 7.62x51
    4. .30-06
    5. 8mm Mauser
    6. .303 Brit
    7. .45acp
    8. 9mm
    9. 6.5 Arisaka
    10. whatever the hell muskets were made in
  17. SN13

    SN13 Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    If i had to guess "Fired most rounds" I'd agree with the 7.62x39.

    But (not saying AK's are innaccurate because a good condition one is plenty good enough to hit a man at 500yrds) but have you ever seen the 3rd worlders SHOOT the AK? They SUCK at it. Spray and Pray... the Spray is to put bullets in the Air, the Pray is to put them on target by divine intervention.

    x54R was used by MANY troops to shoot and kill Germans, Fins, Russians, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Americans, Afghanistanians, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans, Communists, Capitalists, Bolsheviks and Royalty.

    My top 10:

    8mm Mauser

    Wait, you know what? The question was What "Caliber"

    SO I'm gonna say ".30 Cal"

    Covers the 7.62x54R, x39, 30-06, .308, .303, .30 carbine....

    I think I win :)
  18. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Senior Member

    May 26, 2007
    Northern California
    I read somewhere it's .22LR. I'm not sure if the stat included wars.

    Anyway, the inclusion of wars would not be interesting to me because the soldiers do not have choice of ammo. I'd be interested in the stats taken of only shooters who had choice of ammo.

    Actually, I take all that back. This stat is not that interesting at all regardless how it's sliced.

    (This same question question pops up about every 3 months.)
  19. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    I'd go with
    1. 7.62x54
    2. .303 (lots of dead Indians and Zulus not to mention wars)
    3. 30-06 (WW1,WW2, and Korea)
    4. 7.62x39 ( Vietnam, South America, Middle East, Africa)
    5. 9mm (lets not forget submachine guns Sten,MP40, etc.)
    6. 45ACP
    7. 45LC
    8. 8mm Mauser
    9. 88mm (you didn't say small arms caliber)
    10. I'll throw in the 68 caliber musket round
  20. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Senior Member

    May 25, 2006
    MA :(
    dont forget Uncle Joe (Stalin) killed more people than hitler.
    most of those were probably with X54r, X39 or X25

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