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What is the most common centerfire handgun cartridge?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by MikePGS, Nov 17, 2012.

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  1. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    Is there a site or source of info I could use to find objective numbers of the most sales of handguns by caliber? Is there a way to research data seeing what caliber is the best seller year by year? Any information or insight into this would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    Sounds interesting, I hope someone has a link. As for a guess I am going to put up 9x19.
     
  3. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    9MM. Can't prove it though.
     
  4. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    9mm is also my guess, but finding proof of this is something I'd like to find out.
     
  5. il.bill
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    il.bill Member

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    A number of questions come to mind. Most popular caliber in the world or in the USA? How do you measure most popular - by number of new individual handguns sold in each caliber, by number of handguns currently owned, by number of rounds sold, by number of rounds fired, by number of rounds stockpiled, by availability for current purchase, by including only new factory ammo or reloaded cartridges too?

    By several of those criteria I would suspect 9x19 mm Parabellum; by several others I would suspect .38 spl. I would not be surprised at .45 ACP being in the top two of some of those categories.

    I am curious too.
     
  6. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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  7. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    That's a good point il.bill, I mean in the U.S.A., and should have specified that. What i mean specifically is if that was the proverbial TEOTWAWKI scenario, what caliber would you most commonly find amongst the population. The most common chambering of handguns would be what I'm looking for specifically I guess.
     
  8. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    Thanks for the link ApacheCoTodd
     
  9. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    To go with Apache's post...

     
  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    From 1973 to 1993, U.S. manufacturers produced--

    6.6 million .357 Magnum revolvers

    6.5 million .38 Special revolvers

    5.4 million .22 caliber pistols

    5.3 million .22 caliber revolvers

    4.5 million .25 caliber pistols

    3.1 million 9 millimeter pistols

    2.4 million .380 caliber pistols

    2.2 million .44 Magnum revolvers

    1.7 million .45 caliber pistols

    1.2 million .32 caliber revolvers.


    I wonder how many of the 6.6 million .357s only get shot as .38s as most of mine do?
     
  11. crazyjennyblack

    crazyjennyblack Member

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    Well, from that data it would seem that in "service" calibers (ie. not .22) the .38/.357 is most common, followed by 9mm. It seems like everyone's mom and grandpa has a .38 lying around somewhere...
     
  12. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    That's only up to 1993 though, and it's entirely possible that in the last 19 years auto pistols may have outsold revos
     
  13. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    They have.... I was bored at work today (your evening)

    so here is from 1998 -2011 using their data. Of course we dont have distinctive breakdowns, but its close enough. Cannot find any data for 93-98

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  14. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    9mm
    called 9mm Nato
    addopted by most militaries and most police....
    REMEMBER FOLKS
    the US is the odd duck, most places ONLY they military and cops have guns
     
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The question was "Most common centerfire handgun cartridge", not handgun. We need to be looking at ammo sales unless I misnderstand the OP's question.

    With no documentation to back it up my guess would have been 38 Special prior to sometime in the late 80's or early 90's with 9mm leading the pack after that.
     
  16. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    The title doesnt match his question though..
     
  17. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Agree. Surely there must be stats somewhere? Are they a trade secret? No manufacturer is talking?

    Hey I suddenly remember reading some stats in a gun rag this year. I will need to dig around........
     
  18. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    Without having objective numbers, it would be very hard for me to believe it is NOT the 9x19mm. Being the standard issue of NATO and used world wide sets a high bar.
     
  19. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Member

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    The OP was curious about most common as it may pertain to post pocyclypse scrounging, which would be a crapshoot.


    I've pulled everything from .25 ACP to 10mm off streetrats I've arrested. The 9mm is the most common.

    In the barrio it's not uncommon to see revolver with it's cylinder filled partially with undersize cartridges, wrapped in tape, to give an interference fit. EX, a .25 ACP wrapped in tape and crammed into a .38 spl revolver cylinder. I don't know what would happen it the handler attempted to fire it. Barrio guns are often for show, most I get are at best partially loaded.


    At any rate, I'd recommend spending time doing cardio versus worrying what caliber I might scrounge for free, post pocyclypse.
     
  20. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    After a few responses, I realized my initial post was poorly worded. I am asking what is the most widely used/most popular centerfire handgun cartridge in the U.S.
     
  21. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Anyone have the November 2012 Shooting Times issue?

    I was all excited when I found it, but the author only gives Federal's rifle ammo sales and for handgun cartridges just lists RCBS die quantities sold. Kind of a let down.

    .45ACP is #1 in die sales for RCBS. (But I think we already knew that)

    Of course .223 is #1 rifle for Federal sales. In 1992 it was 30-06 for rifle!
     
  22. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

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    What are popular guns chambered in?

    9mm Luger, .45 ACP, and .40 S&W are the three most common chamberings. 9mm is probably at the top.
    .380 is probably pretty high, as are .38 Special and .357 magnum, but my money is still on 9mm Luger.
     
  23. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    THE LAST NUMBERS I SAW on the most popular selling pistol ammunition noted that 25ACP and 32ACP were at the top. This was when I was in the ammunition business some years ago and those numbers were from the biggest ammunition producers in the USA.
     
  24. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    and the criminals....
     
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