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when you see a caliber like 45/70

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by glassman, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. glassman

    glassman Member

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    Noone has ever explained it to me. What caliber is a 45/70, 22/45, 30/06. I figure the first number before the "/" is the caliber but what about the second number?
     
  2. Smith357

    Smith357 Member

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    The xx/xx is a black powder cartridge designation the first number is the bullet diameter and the second in the grains of black powder. a 45/70 uses a .45 caliber bullet over 70 grains of BP.

    30-06 is not designated with a slash but a hyphen meaning 30 caliber designed in 1906
     
  3. Z71

    Z71 Member

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    Cartridge/caliber confusion!

    Doesn't have to make sense!

    The .45-70 means .45 caliber(.458), and 70 grains black powder. That was a fairly common way cartridges used to identified in blackpowder days.

    The .30-06 means .30 caliber(.308) bullet and was adopted in 1906. Based upon an earlier .30-03 cartridge.

    Never heard of the 22/45?

    Calibers and cartridge names can mean most anything. Such as the .44-40, has a 42 caliber bullet with 40 grains blackpowder! Don't know why they called it ."44"?

    Lots of misnomers in the ammunition nomenclature world. Some make sense, and some don't.
     
  4. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    For the most part this is true but there are some execptions.

    38-40 in a 40 cal with 38 grains/volume bp
    same with 56-50, .515 bullet.

    there are several others that I can not recall right now. Also the powder amount is specific to a particular bullet weight. 45-70 is 70 gr powder with a 405 gr flat nose bullet IIRC the old cases held more volume and the case was redesigned at some point so the volume on modern cases is slightly less.
     
  5. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    When cartridges first came into common use they were all prorietary and the companies that developed them could call them anything they chose. The 45-70 we know today had a full name of 45-70-405, designating bullet weight also. Another example of confusion is: 38-55 Ballard and Marlin and 38-55 Winchester, similar but different, or 40-70 Sharps bottle neck and 40-70 straight. and it goes on and on. Get yourself a "Cartridges of the World" and enjoy the confusion.
     
  6. glassman

    glassman Member

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    OK, I get the diameter/grains of bp idea but could I use a 45/70 bullet in a SAA or is that round specific to a certain gun?
     
  7. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    There is no universally accepted method of naming cartridges. The bore size (even lies like calling a .357" bullet a .38), the powder charge, the date of introduction and other factors have been used to designate calibers. The gun companies will name calibers after themselves as in the 45 Automatic Colt Pistol and the ammo companies will name a caliber they designed after themselves like the 44 Remington Magnum.

    The Europeans use bore size and cartridge length in millimeters, like 7x57 or 9.3x74. But with American calibers you sort of have to figure it out as you go along.
     
  8. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    the 45-70 is a .457 to .459 depending on the barrel IIRC I am not certian of the 45 pistol caliber sizes. The issue here would be usable case capicity. a 405 ge bullet is pretty long in compairson to pistol bullets.
     
  9. subierex

    subierex Member

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    22/45 isn't a cartridge at all. It's a 22lr pistol made made by Ruger.
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Diameter of a .45 caliber pistol bullet is around .451 (if jacketed) and .452 (if lead), although some people prefer a .454 lead bullet in some .45 caliber, single action revolvers. Bullets in .45 caliber (for handguns) run from 165 grains to 250 grains, with 230 grains being the "standard" for an auto-loader and 250 grains being the "standard" for a revolver. Some folks will use 300 grain bullets for hot revolver loads.
     
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    .45/70 is a cartridge, not a bullet. A cartridge is a package containing the four components necessary to shoot -- case, powder, primer and bullet.

    A .45 caliber rifle bullet is actually .458. The bore diameter is .450", the grooves are 0.004" deep, making a total bullet diameter of .458".

    A .45 caliber pistol bullet can be .454" (for the older .45 Colts) or .451" (for the .45 ACP and more modern .45 Colts.) Lead bullets may be about 0.001" larger than that.
     
  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    There are a couple of single action revolvers chambered in .45/70, but no, you could not use it in a standard .45 Colt revolver. The .45/70 cartridge is about twice the length of a .45 Colt and has a considerably larger rim and case head. Also, as mentioned, .45 caliber rifle bullets are .458", while .45 caliber handgun bullets are typically .451"-.452".

    With a very few exceptions, the markings on a firearm indicate the only cartridge than gun is designed to and capable of firing.
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    .45-70

    Here are a few .45-70-405 cartridges. The .45 Colt...aka ".45 Long Colt" is about the same length as a .44 Magnum.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    The origional 45/70 was acually the 45/70/500 and used in the Trapdoor rifle. When the carbine version came out the recoil was terrible! The carbine version of the cartridge was called the 45/55/400. Same case with 55gr of 2fg powder, a paper or cork filler and a 400gr cast bullet.

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Actually, oneshooter, the ORIGINAL .45 Government 1873 was the .45-70-405 shortly followed by the lower recoiling the .45-55-405 carbine load. The .45-70-500 did not come out until 1881.


    As to the O.P., it is not that there is no system for cartridge nomenclature, it is that there are several that agree (usually) only with themselves. A copy of Cartridges of the World would be educational and entertaining.
     
  16. Richbaker

    Richbaker Member

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    The Ruger 22/45 is a MkII/MkIII with polymer grip frame styled to resemble the 1911 and has the same grip angle and dimensions. It was made to mimic the 1911 for use as a practice arm...
     
  17. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    You know, it's the esoterica that makes shooting fun.

    "Sir, do you want '.45 auto'?--that's how the box is labeled"

    "No, you little monkey, I said I wanted .45 ACP !!!"
     
  18. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    And I want 9mm Parabellum, not luger, its for a Walther not a Luger.
     
  19. Intune

    Intune Member

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    And I want some 9mm Kurz. 9mm Browning Short. .380ACP

    Same round.
     
  20. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I remember this came up not too long ago.

    There was some fun explaining why .30-06 Sprg and 7.62 NATO use the same bullets (.308 diameter), but 7.62x39 used .311 diameter bullets.

    I believe the conclusion reached was essentially, "You can look, but you're not going to find a whole lot of consistency or reason in cartridge designations."

    I agree that there may be historical trends that were followed for a time, like the black powder grain reference, but these are far from universally true.

    The safest point was already made: The markings on the barrel indicate the caliber that gun was designed for. Substitutions are an invitation to disaster, with very few exceptions.
     
  21. akodo

    akodo Member

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    catridge names are about as logical as race horse names

    until you learn the story behind each cartridge, all you can do is make an educated guess.

    for instance, 30-06 means 30 caliber bullet being used, cartridge designed in 1906

    but 30-30 does NOT mean 30 caliber bullet being used, cartridge designed in 1930. In this case, it means 30 caliber bullet on 30 grains of smokeless powder

    44-40 means a 44 caliber bullet on 40 grains of blackpowder
    38-40 is the opposite, it means use 38 grains of blackpowder, and use a 40 caliber bullet.

    Sometimes the name harkens back to the parent catridge

    25-06 means using a 25 caliber bullet in the same case as a 30-06, just renecked

    sometimes numbers are chosen because they sound good

    357 magnum is a very famous and well respected round. When federal created a 32 caliber magnum, they chose 327 magnum, because it harkened to the 357 sound wise.

    I was always suprised that the 454 casull or the 460 SmithandWesson didn't use the name 457 magnum.

    "I got a 357 magnum!"
    "oh yea? I got a 4 57magnum!"
     
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    And wait until you see a British ammo box. A .450/.400 is NOT a .40 necked up to .45; it is a .45 necked down to .40. They give the parent caliber first, the result second, just the opposite of American "family history" type cartridges.
     
  23. ANDROTAZ

    ANDROTAZ Member

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    It's funny that I log on to see this thread today, because I just got done watching Fistful of Dollars, which led me to wikipedia to read about all the guns from the movie. This lead me to SAAs and 1873s, and 44-40, and .38-40, and .32-20...

    ...then I was reminded just how frustrating all of this is. So I pulled out Cartridges of the World...and it got worse.
     
  24. BruceRDucer

    BruceRDucer Member

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    Thanks for the clear explanation.:rolleyes:
     
  25. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    .22-45

    Also just happens to be the now non-emergency number of our local police department. People here call it "Little gun - big gun" to remember the numbers.

    I thought that was kind of slick when I first moved out here.

    Want to have some fun with this thread? Start talking about the European-style metric designations. 8 x 56R, etc...

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
     
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