Which Handgun Caliber(s) Do You Think Would Be the Last To Go Extinct? The First?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by LookAtYou, Jun 8, 2022.

  1. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Specifically the "common" calibers seen in the USA.

    In my opinion, I feel like 9mm would be the #1 caliber that isn't going anywhere, any time soon. Along with 9mm, I'd also throw in .357 mag, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 Spl, and .380 ACP.

    I feel that calibers like .25 ACP and .32 ACP have the highest chance of completely being phased out. Namely the .25 ACP. I feel .22LR has it's place as the "smallest" caliber for easy shooting. It's solidified it's popularity in this regard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
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  2. CharlieFox42

    CharlieFox42 Member

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    The two that will never die would be 9mm and.45 ACP. Otherwise no-one would have anything to argue about;)
     
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  3. starnbar

    starnbar Member

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    In the U.S. large calibers have allways been popular 44.45 the 357 was a major improvement over the 38 the 9 is a more recent addition compared to the 44 and 45. First to go away I would say the 25 the last might be the 380 it is all most a 9. The 32 is popular in many countries in Europe.
     
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  4. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    Last to go will be 22lr
    First will be 45 gap.
     
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  5. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    Could be that 9mm is the first to get taken away with it's reputation for blowing lungs clean out of people.
     
  6. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    Look at MidwayUSA and other supplier’s list of dies for “obsolete” black powder and older smokeless cartridges, the list is a mile long. So even caliber created in the last 25 years will still be going.


    But if you mean calibers that are commonly produced by gun and ammo manufacturers, I think it will depend on the political situation and any new laws that will be voted in. If we get another AWB 1994 situation, then you might see the 45GAP and 40SW become main stream again! It’s what prompted the both of them, 45GAP, to have factories put their products. Common thinking was, if I can only have 10 I want the 10 biggest bullets I can get. Add the fact that there might very well be a caliber restriction as well. If the 9mm goes bye bye to civilian use, I could see a Glock 48 size pistol in 45GAP! And then we might see the 357SiG become very popular again if the 9mm is banned.

    Someone mentioned the 25ACP. I would have first said no way. It’s very reliable in very small pistols. But with the improvements to 22lr reliability, it may well go out of production. Well, that is if you don’t rely on Super X or Thunderbolts as your main 22lr ammo. LOL
     
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  7. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    It would be just like law makers to ban the 9mm cartridge but allow the 357Sig cartridge!:thumbup:
     
  8. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    It’s like they almost don’t understand physics or ballistics.
     
  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Stay: .38/.357, 9mm, .45 ACP. .357 is the youngster of this bunch, at 88 years old, but since they can shoot .38 Spl. (as well as .38 Colt & .38 Long Colt) I'd say those guns would still be shooting long into the future.

    Go the way of the Dodo: As has been pointed out by Lefty Red, rounds like the .45 GAP won't completely disappear, but it was quite the flash in the pan. What has (so far) saved the .327 Fed. Mag. and .32 H&R Mag. from total extinction is the .327 fires both, plus .32 SW & .32 S&W Long.
    I don't see the HK 4.6 PDW gaining foot hold in the commercial market, simply because only one gun is commercially made for it (the CMMG AR upper in 4.6) the HK (AFAIK) is a select fire only. A pistol like the 5.7 FN might save it yet. (Ruger? You know HK won't do it, unless it's a VP70-type Machine Pistol.)
    You never know, the 10mm was on the canvas with an eight count and was revived, anything can happen.

    Or terminal ballistics. Blow a lung out....:p
     
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  10. mcb

    mcb Member

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    "No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it."

    There are very few truly extinct cartridges that use modern Boxer priming system, especially if you are a reloader. I am still loading and can still buy 455 Webley and 38/200 ammunition. I never worry about this issue. If it's a gun/cartridge I am interested in I will figure out how to buy or make ammo for it.
     
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  11. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    "Go Extinct" How would that happen? What event(s) are you thinking that would precipitate this?

    So here's one scenario: Gun Control. Eventually all semi-auto's become outlawed. 9mm would go first since it will blow your lungs out. ;) The others would follow. Which would leave revolver calibers. (basic revolver calibers. You know what I mean.) .38spl I think would be the survivor. The magnums and larger calibers would be viewed negatively and manufacturers would cave on .44s and .357s and above.

    Is this likely? No. But then 100 years ago, when people were ordering any firearm they desired to be "mailed" directly to their house, did anyone imagine the state of gun control we now have? Let's go with 1907 (thinking the Win 1907 semi-auto). In only 61 years we went from almost no restrictions to the 1968 GCA. And now we're 54 years displaced from that event. Who knows what the legal landscape will look like in 7 more years?
     
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  12. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Why do you feel 22lr would be the last to go?
     
  13. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I don’t we’ll see any dramatic changes until the introduction of the phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range…:D
     
  14. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    1st? Maybe 8mm Nambu, or maybe 7.6nagant or 11mm Swiss Ordnance.

    Really, if a firearm is still for sale, some place, some one will want ammo for it.

    About the only cartridges that are truly "extinct" are the pinfires, Volcanics, and the rimfires larger than .22
     
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  15. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    Survivors; .380 acp, 9mm

    losers; everything else
     
  16. The Happy Kaboomer

    The Happy Kaboomer Member

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    Wrong on both counts. The 40 S&W grew out of the Miami-Dade shootout After which Federal officers and police officers went to the 10mm. BECAUSE the little 9 just didn't cut in that gun fight. The 10 was too much so the 40 was born in the 1998-1999 time frame. The glock 45 gap was introduced by glock to be their proprietary cartridge to allow more rounds per magazine in a smaller grip diameter gun.
     
  17. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    We will disagree on the “failure” of the 9mm in that shootout, which was most likely just a failure of tactics and weapon selection. When you go against rifles, bring rifles.

    The 40SW hung on due to the AWB of 1994. Back then, they were mostly in 45 sized pistols due to the higher pressures. Then Glock squeezed it into there 9mm frame, with a long record of failures and in the fly “improvements” for the next ten years. But if the 40SW was going to survive, it was going to have to be in a 9mm frame. The gunrag poets all mimicked the mantra, “if you can only have 10, have the ten biggest ones.” 1911s even become very popular during that time. LDA triggers from Para was all the rage. The AWB kept the bigger than 9mm bullets alive.

    And the the 45GAP came around, to compete against the 40SW. It’s a step child that never got the love that it’s step sister, the 40SW, got. Everyone tried to find a way to get bigger diameter bullets into a smaller 9mm frame. Polymer pistols were the new standard, but the grip had to be small enough for average folks. Longer calibers with proven street records were repackage into shorter cases and given new names. But the 45GAPs problem was it needed a heavier and thicker slide, to handle all of the God given power that the 45 brings. And those that liked the 45, well they normally don’t like foreigners and their plastic pistols. They don’t take the Lord’s Caliber in vain, they keep it in blued steel and wood grips. So the poor GAP sits at the end of the bench, kind of like the Green Party. Just loved by one maker, the one that bares its name. The GAP doesn’t allow for more rounds per magazine, just look at the capacity compared to the 40SW in the same sized pistol from Glock. The GAP just allows a bigger caliber bullet to be used in a 9mm sized frame, but like I said before, it’s heavier and thicker slide kills it for most folks.
     
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  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I think the 25 ACP probably won't be the first to go. I'm thinking the 45 GAP will be gone before the 25 Auto. Maybe even the 357 Sig will go before the 25 Auto but I'm not totally convinced about that because of the interchangeably of the 40 S&W and 357 Sig in the same gun with a barrel change.

    I have to disagree the .32 ACP will follow. It is still popular in Europe and I have 2 handguns chambered for it. If factory ammo disappears I can always reload for it. I already have the dies and components.

    As for the last one to go, I'm really not sure. The 9mm, 45 ACP and the 38/357 are all very popular so who knows???
     
  19. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I see few cartridges becoming really extinct but more becoming inconveniently expensive and hard to find.

    9mm has a stranglehold now because it’s used by about everyone, and tends to get purchased in very high volume by both institutions and the recreational shooters. It’s now in the interesting position of being “too big to fail” just because it’s so universal. By contrast, there are millions of .32acp pistols out there but most are shot never at all, and the few owners who do shoot them tend to be collectors who might run a box through a given gun in a year. It won’t disappear first but may never again be as affordable as it was in 2019.

    .45 requires, on average, twice as much lead as 9mm, so is proportionately more expensive. It will remain popular but become a bit more niche as it’s devotees shoot less and get older.

    .380 is very popular but again tends to be purchased by the one box a year (or one box a half-century) crowd.

    Rounds that are already fairly niche will inevitably become more so unless a new gun is made for them, which won’t happen unless they prove ballistically excellent for some heretofore un-thought-of application. This is especially true of semi-auto rounds that are less conducive to reloading due to brass attrition. .41 mag can soldier on just fine for a century with its 200 devotees, but getting anyone to make a run of 7.63 Mauser (or even 7.62 Tok) will be harder and harder, even though there are hundreds of thousands of guns in the country chambered for them. I doubt there’s been any 8mm Nambu made by a major manufacturer in a long time. And the even more obscure 9mm Jap for the Japanese type 26 revolver was, to my knowledge, last made in the ‘80s.
     
  20. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    No caliber truly goes away. Hell, you can still buy rounds such as 300 Savage and 7.5x55, as well as a lot of others, at any good sized gun shop. As someone said above, it takes a little digging, but you can still find .455 Webley and 38/200 for sale for guns that are over a century old.

    The only way something will go fully extinct will be if the DC idiots do something to make a caliber go away. But then that will just be a US thing and not something that will extinct a caliber in the rest of the world.
     
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  21. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    IMHO we are in different reality, the old world is gone.

    Looking forward there’ll be dwindling commodities and demands for lead, brass and copper will increase and ammo won’t be first in line.

    Also CC is what’s hot, attracting new shooters whose preference seems to run to .380-9mm so naturally ammo makers would want to meet those needs first.

    Times they are a changing and .45acp,44mag may still exist from boutique manufacturers or at gunshows in crusty old boxes for an arm and a leg.
     
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  22. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    .38super is toast. Average age of a 1911 shooter in that caliber is 87. And grandpas gun will be something you put on display maybe, not shoot. Because almost all 1911's produced today are far better shooters. So it's the combined extinction of the guys that enjoy the round, and the obsolescence of the pistol itself.

    Last to go, is hard to say. But it won't be 9mm lunger, lasting the longest. We live in a nation where the vast majority of politicians are taking their cues from the work of Joseph Goebbels. Military calibers will eventually, inevitably, be outlawed.

    .45, 10mm, and .40 are easy to make out of lead wheel weights. And don't require JHP to be effective. These might last the longest, because outlaws will be making their own from scratch. If I'm risking 10 years of prison time for making ammo, I'm making something more powerful than 9mm. That's for sure.
     
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  23. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    No opinion on the subject other than as long As I’m on this side of the grass the .327FM ain’t going anywhere.
     
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  24. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    There are many calibers developed in the last 30 years or so that should be extinct, but aren't due to the amount of guns in circulation in those calibers and how well the guns are made. As a result, there is limited selection and availability of those calibers, which in addition to everything else going on right now, makes shooting them more expensive (assuming the ammo can be obtained in the first place). Rounds like 45 GAP and 357 Sig fall into this category. The 38 super and 10mm have many fans, but nothing like 45 ACP and 9x19. All of those calibers fall into a small niche compared to the more popular ones. In the shotgun world, the 10 gauge (pretty much made extinct by 3 1/2" 12 gauge, in modern designed guns designed for any length 12 gauge round), the 16 gauge, and 28 gauge all struggle to remain relevant, available, and affordable- with the 12, 20, and 410 doing almost all the work in scattergun-land.
     
  25. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    I know it’s not in the hand gun class but around here it seems like you can’t give away a .300 WSSM.
     
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