Biggest cartridge flops ...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Swing, Apr 24, 2014.

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  1. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    The 7-30 Waters and the .375 Winchester both filled useful ballistic nitches in lever action rifles like the 94 Winchester and the 336 Marlin. Both were introduced with fanfare in the late '70's but only lasted a few years as factory chamberings. Factory ammo is still available, but I bet a large portion of that is shot in Thompson/Center Contender pistols and carbines!
     
  2. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Most anything with "Action Express"...

    41AE, 50AE, 9mm AE -

    and then most anything with "Ackley Improved".
     
  3. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Member

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    The .357 Max was a failure in any gun. The late Ted Wilcox, another gun writer from the Northwest, and I had this chat about the .357 Max. he said some were claiming it would make the .41 Magnum obsolete and I had a good laugh over that one. Right up front I predicted it would be a flash in the pan and that turned out to be more right than I could imagine. The fire out of that bloody thing began eroding the inside top of the frame of every revolver for which it was chambered.

    I'll take the .41 mag any day.
     
  4. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    The 17WSM is floundering in spite of it being a good concept. Combining the scarcity of ammo with an even greater scarcity of good rifles, it was doomed from the start.
     
  5. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    After reading this thread I threw a blanket over my .223 WSSM in embarrassment. What ever will I do with it?:uhoh:
     
  6. natman

    natman Member

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    Stock up on brass now if you can still find any.

    Understand that many cartridges that flop do so not because of a lack of merit, but because of other forces such as poor marketing, strong competition and / or poor support from the companies that originated them. The WSSMs suffered because Winchester introduced them in 2004 and promptly went bankrupt in 2006.
     
  7. Detachment Charlie

    Detachment Charlie Member

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    .348 Winchester...great cartridge and carbine for black bear and big bucks in the Eastern woods. It would also make an almost perfect hog gun. Now, all I have to do is find one!
    A flop? Certainly not!
     
  8. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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  9. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    .348 Winchester is such a successful cartridge that there's only been one gun chambered in it.
     
  10. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    I hope you guys are calling these cartridges flops because of sales figures, not because of their performance. For instance a .357 Max is great out of a contender. It rivals a 35 Remington(I know, another one). Lots of the unpopular ones made it into the contender lineup. I never did see the hoopla in the super short magnums, did they outperform the old ones? The 22 Jet, yup, didn't really work out, great concept though, a hot 22 centerfire out of a 6inch revolver. Wow! I wanted one bad. Same thing with the .219 Zipper, basically a 22/250 out of a Winchester 94. How about the Accelerator line of sabot'ed ammo? The .327 Federal looks like a hot rod, why not? Way back in the early 1900's, there was a lot of cartridges that came out that were improvements over the popular cartridges of the day, there has been very little actual improvement since then in my opinion. We could get the job done with only a few in most hunting situations. Almost everything was based on the .44/40, .30/30, .308 or the .30/06. The 222 Remington brought us a new case size, thank you very much for that. Then came the .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum and the .300 Winchester Magnums. These were off of the H&H cases of the late 1800's! Then the 6mm BR, with the small primer pocket and the small flashhole, hmm, lots of benchrest guys seem to like em.
     
  11. 223man

    223man Member

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    376 Steyr ?
    375 RCM ?

    They dropped out of sight so fast, there wasn't even a burp or splash.. I don't remember anyone mentioning them in this thread.. Or did I miss something?
     
  12. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I don't think you can call the 375 Ruger a flop, if that's what the 375 RCM is. My understanding is that it has been fairly well accepted because it gives H&H performance in a standard length rifle.

    Flop is certainly relative in this case, because a 375 rifle was never destined to have a lot of use inside the CONUS.
     
  13. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    We are. At least for the most part although some performance issues could be a contributing factor to the sales figure. If someone is posting based on performance they are missing the point of the thread.
     
  14. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    Another important point for what has been a great thread.
     
  15. natman

    natman Member

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    I'm not sure how the 348 detractors are defining a "flop". How many different rifles have been chambered in it is irrelevant. Whether or not you can buy an AR15 in it is irrelevant. What matters is how long the cartridge is/was available. I've already said that the 348's success has been modest and I'll even go so far as to admit that the 348 has ridden on the coattails of its rifle, the superb Model 71.

    Nevertheless, any cartridge that lasts for 79 years is NOT a flop, even if they stop making it tomorrow.
     
  16. natman

    natman Member

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    Absolutely. Lots of cartridges fail despite their merits. As much as it pains me to say it, the 260 Remington and the 338 Federal are teetering on the brink of flophood, and they are both excellent cartridges. The 6.5 Remington Magnum was way ahead of it's time, but it was a flop. Etc, etc, etc.

    It's not enough to just be good, you have to be different enough to carve out a niche in a very crowded market.

    Now some cartridges deserve to be flops. The 9mm Federal was the most ill conceived cartridge I can think of. It was a rimmed version of the 9mm Parabellum, offered in the Charter Arms Pit Bull revolver. The problem was that the exact same revolver was already offered in the more powerful, more versatile and wildly popular 357 Magnum and there was absolutely nothing the 9mm Federal could do that the 38 Special / 357 Magnum couldn't do better, easier and cheaper. Needless to say the 9mm Federal flopped so hard it bounced.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  17. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    In the US.

    If the target market was a country where civilian ownership of guns chambered for any sort of military ammo is forbidden (e.g. Mexico), a civilian-legal 9mm might have significant merit.
     
  18. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    The 9mm Win Mag had the bad luck to be chambered in only two factory weapons, the Wildey and the IAI/AMT Automag III. The Wildley was simply too big, too heavy and too expensive. The Automag III was done in by corporate self destruction. The brass was also only available from one source; Starline.
    Another is the .360 Dan Wesson. This cartridge had the misfortune of being introduced as a factory load (it was a wildcat for a number of years and is almost identical to the old Winchester .351SL) just prior to someone buying the Dan Wesson rights and scrapping revolver production in favor of a producing a 1911 clone. The .414 SuperMag was also killed at the same time. Another problem with the .414 is that, unlike the .360 DW which is the .357 Maximum shortened to 1.415", there is no parent brass to make the .414 SM from.
     
  19. natman

    natman Member

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    I'm quite familiar with the forbidden military cartridge concept; I cited it in post #120 as a possible use for the 45 GAP. I suppose that limited use in Victory models qualifies 38 Special rounds as "military". If the ban included civilian use of police cartridges the 38 Special would certainly be banned.

    Nevertheless, the foreign civilian market failed to keep the 9mm Federal from flopping big time.
     
  20. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    A further qualification might be the use of Cartridge, Caliber .38, Ball Special, M41 by the USAF.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  21. modwerdna

    modwerdna Member

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    17 mach2 ? why a flop?

    17 mach2 ? why a flop? That one I don't get, is the 17 mach2- It does what it really was designed to do, an ultra accurate flat shooting squirrel, rabbit, woodchuck, small game rifle without destroying meat. My t/c contender in 21 inch delivers less than 1 moa all the time and the shells don't cost 14 a box like the over-bloated 17 hmr. WHICH what in the world can you do with the 17 Wmr except destroy small game? it's way over rated as a coyote or predator gun- It's mathematically driven to fast for best accuracy - and every box of shells is better than 14 bucks, if 22 wmr is marginal for varmits and coyotes, a 17 hmr is better?--- and best I can tell the added velocity hype of the 17 hmr rained out the success of the 17 Mach2.- Just my thoughts, and I own a 22 wmr, and rarely use it because it is inaccurate, expensive to shoot, and destroys way to much meat in small game.
     
  22. natman

    natman Member

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    Again, saying a cartridge was a flop does not necessarily mean it's not a good, useful cartridge. Lots of flops were very good, useful cartridges. They just didn't catch on for one reason or another. In the 17 HM2's case it was overshadowed by the phenomenally successful 17 HMR.

    As flops go the 17HM2 is a special case. On the one hand it's not technically a flop because Savage is still making guns and ammo is still available, at least in theory.

    OTOH, it was probably the most over hyped cartridge in history and spectacularly failed to live up to sales expectations.

    Anschutz tried it and dropped it. CZ tried it and dropped it. Marlin tried it and dropped it. Remington tried it and dropped it. Browning tried it and dropped it. Winchester tried it and dropped it. Ruger tried it and dropped it. Magnum Research tried it and dropped it. TC tried it and dropped it.

    You get the idea. Take solace in the fact that one of these days 17 HM2 guns will be collector's items and everyone will want one then. ;)
     
  23. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    Indeed, great cartridge. But, the Maximum likely would have been an even more dismal failure, were it not for the IHMSA support. T/C and Dan Wesson guns chambered for the cartridge abounded at IHMSA.
     
  24. mac66

    mac66 Member

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    I think one has to make a distinction between a flop and a cartridge that is simply obsolete. Some cartridges are flops, 45 GAP etc some are just not popular anymore but were very popular for a long time i.e., the 300 Savage. It may be somewhat obsolete but it was never a flop.

    I certainly wouldn't call the .30 Carbine a flop or obsolete. If the ammo was affordable it would still be popular.
     
  25. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Member

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    After reading six pages of "flops" I realized I own or have owned most of the "flops". The upside to owning a safe full 'flops' you ask? While everyone was panicking and wiping the shelves clean of ammo, brass and projectiles to feed their "favorites" and leaving many with nothing to shoot I never missed a range trip. There was plenty of components for me to keep shooting my 'flops'.
     
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