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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  USFA CSS (Moderator: Capt. John Fitzgerald)  |  Topic: Are some calibers more accurate? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Are some calibers more accurate?  (Read 1863 times)
LonesomePigeon
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« on: December 08, 2016, 11:08:29 pm »


 Do some calibers tend to be more accurate than others? In particular .45 colt vs. .44-40 vs. .38-40 since I find historical calibers appealing.
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 02:07:01 am »

For the ones you mentioned they are all equally "accurate."  Assuming no basic design problem with the particular cartridge accuracy is determined by the gun and shooter's skill.
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The Trinity Kid
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2016, 02:41:31 am »

"Only accurate rifles are interesting."  --Whelen

The rifling will have way more impact on accuracy than the cartridge, especially with handgun calibers like the three you mentioned.  None of those cases have the power (and therefore range) for the "inherent accuracy" of the cartridge to make a difference. 

However...

If you are talking about getting into longer range shooting with rifle calibers, there 'technically' are some that are more accurate than others (mind you, we are talking extremely small difference) due to case dimension, bullet diameter, powder burn rate etc. etc.   The average Joe won't be able to tell the difference.

Short Answer:  Yes, some are, but not in this context.

--TK
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"James shook his head and twirled his Colt into it's holster with a smile.  There was some coffee left in the pot, so he poured it in his cup and leaned against the wall by the door.  The sun was setting in the distance, creating a beautiful sunset. 
   “Texas has better sunsets.”  He heard Terri say next to him.  He turned to face her.
   “Of course it does.  But we gotta get what we can in the mean time.” He said with a lopsided grin.  She smiled back and pulled her Colt, stuffing the barrel into his belly.
   “Yer' getting slow.  Better work on that.”  She said and walked back into the house with the empty coffee pot. 
   “We saw that, y' know.”  Clint Rounds said laughing.   James turned red and tried to hide his embarrassment."   Excerpt fromTHE FLOPPY HAT FROM TEXAS," being written by yours truly.



   I was told recently that I'm "livelier than a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest."    Is that an insult or a compliment?
LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 03:41:48 am »

Thanks. The reason I asked is because I thought I had read something about .44-40's that were made with the same barrels as the .44 special and I wondered if that would make them less accurate.
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The Trinity Kid
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 10:05:14 am »

After a brief search, I found that the 44 Special has a bullet diameter of 0.432, while the 44-40 Winchester has a bullet diameter of 0.427.  With soft lead bullets, I don't think there would be an accuracy problem, since the land diameter of the 44spl is .417 and the grooves are a .429.  Jacketed bullets would probably be a different animal.

--TK
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"James shook his head and twirled his Colt into it's holster with a smile.  There was some coffee left in the pot, so he poured it in his cup and leaned against the wall by the door.  The sun was setting in the distance, creating a beautiful sunset. 
   “Texas has better sunsets.”  He heard Terri say next to him.  He turned to face her.
   “Of course it does.  But we gotta get what we can in the mean time.” He said with a lopsided grin.  She smiled back and pulled her Colt, stuffing the barrel into his belly.
   “Yer' getting slow.  Better work on that.”  She said and walked back into the house with the empty coffee pot. 
   “We saw that, y' know.”  Clint Rounds said laughing.   James turned red and tried to hide his embarrassment."   Excerpt fromTHE FLOPPY HAT FROM TEXAS," being written by yours truly.



   I was told recently that I'm "livelier than a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest."    Is that an insult or a compliment?
Pettifogger
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 11:00:38 am »

Thanks. The reason I asked is because I thought I had read something about .44-40's that were made with the same barrels as the .44 special and I wondered if that would make them less accurate.

The .44-40 is over 100 years old.  I have original .44-40s with bores ranging from .423 to .435.  The design bore size is .427.  The .44 Mag and modern .44s are standardized at .429.  Soft lead will fill either.  Original .45 Colts were .454.  After WWII they standardized the barrels using the same .451 bore size as the .45 ACP.

Here is a chart with the nominal bore dimensions for Uberti and Pedersoli.  Notice there are some anomalies.  For example .38 Special/.357 Magnum is listed as .355.  That is 9mm.  The American bore size is typically .357 although some US guns also have .355 barrels.

http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/bore-groove-twist


99.9999% of the shooting public has no idea what the bore size is on their guns.  Don't worry about it UNLESS you are actually having accuracy problems.  Then you might want to slug the bore and adjust your bullet size to fit the barrel on that particular gun.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2016, 11:50:54 am »

Plus ONE to Pettifogger.

There is always the technically correct relationship of the bullet to the bore.  I get concerned when the cylinder throats are undersize which can create some accuracy problems.  For the most part however, as pointed out by Pettifogger, most don't have a clue what their bore size really is and as long as they are hitting the target, don't really care.

Coffinmaker
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 12:08:09 am »

The .44-40 is over 100 years old.  I have original .44-40s with bores groove diameters ranging from .423 to .435.  The design bore groove size is .427.  The .44 Mag and modern .44s are standardized at .429.  Soft lead will fill either.  Original .45 Colts were .454.  After WWII they standardized the barrels using the same .451 bore groove size as the .45 ACP.

Here is a chart with the nominal bore (and groove) dimensions for Uberti and Pedersoli.  Notice there are some anomalies.  For example .38 Special/.357 Magnum is listed as .355.  That is 9mm.  The American bore groove size is typically .357 although some US guns also have .355 barrels.

http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/bore-groove-twist


99.9999% of the shooting public has no idea what the bore groove size is on their guns.  Don't worry about it UNLESS you are actually having accuracy problems.  Then you might want to slug the bore and adjust your bullet size to fit the barrel on that particular gun.

 
Plus ONE to Pettifogger.

There is always the technically correct relationship of the bullet to the bore groove diameter.  I get concerned when the cylinder throats are undersize which can create some accuracy problems.  For the most part however, as pointed out by Pettifogger, most don't have a clue what their bore groove size really is and as long as they are hitting the target, don't really care.

Coffinmaker

 

 Where bullet fit is concerned, we're primarily concerned with the groove diameter of the barrel rather than that of the bore.

 So to put this into perspective, a Uberti firearm chambered in 44-40 will have a bore diameter of .4215" and a groove diameter of .429".

 To answer the OP's question, not really. I will say though that I have a far more difficult time finding consistently accurate revolver loads for a 45 Colt than a .44 Special. The .44 just seems less picky about what works. Cannot begin to explain why. On the other hand, I have a couple of ancient '73 Winchesters in 38-40 that at 200 yds. are as accurate as an 1866 Uberti 44-40 that's 100 years newer.

  CHT
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 01:39:45 pm »

CHT is spot on.  Often (me included) mistakenly describe "bore" diameter when we are actually trying to discuss the Groove diameter.  That is a classic "oops."  When slugging a barrel to determine what size bullet to use, the most important number is the groove diameter.

An example is a 45.  If the groove diameter is .451, the bullet should be 4515 or 452 for best results.  For revolvers, it's very important that the cylinder throats does not size the bullet smaller than the groove diameter.  Ruger, for example, is famous for undersize throats.  This can result in more felt recoil, leading and poor accuracy.

Coffinmaker

PS:  Some guns will still shoot well, even with undersize throats.  Not optimum, but well enough.
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 04:38:01 pm »

There's tech talk and then there is conversation.  When Lorne Green sings "and I was looking down the bore of the deadly .44" in the song Ringo did he mean lands or grooves?
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St. George
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 06:05:00 pm »

Probably meant he was about a foot and a half away - you know - normal SASS distances...

Scouts Out!
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 06:15:22 pm »

Probably meant he as about a foot and a half away - you know - normal SASS distances...

Scouts Out!



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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2016, 06:28:59 pm »

Plus ONE to Pettifogger.

There is always the technically correct relationship of the bullet to the bore.  I get concerned when the cylinder throats are undersize which can create some accuracy problems.  For the most part however, as pointed out by Pettifogger, most don't have a clue what their bore size really is and as long as they are hitting the target, don't really care.

Coffinmaker

I believe that the biggest problem re: revolver accuracy are over large chamber throats, notably on .45 Colt revolvers.

Colt Pythons were noted for their tight .455 bores.
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2016, 06:33:06 pm »

I believe that the biggest problem re: revolver accuracy are over large chamber throats, notably on .45 Colt revolvers.

Colt Pythons were noted for their tight .455 bores.

This is why some websites do not allow posting of loading data.  A typo could be catastrophic.  Pythons never came in .45 Colt.  The number should probably be .355.
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2016, 06:56:13 pm »

This is why some websites do not allow posting of loading data.  A typo could be catastrophic.  Pythons never came in .45 Colt.  The number should probably be .355.

  I don't think he was insinuating that the 45 Colt was chamber in the Colt Python, and if he has fat thumbs like I, he likely meant .355. However, a .355" bore diameter in a .358" barrel would make for some mighty short lands!

  I'm of the opinion that if a handloader bases his decision on powder charges on Internet forums without verifying the validity, he or she should probably sell their equipment and take up pinochle.

  CHT
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2016, 07:11:44 pm »

I'd suggest knitting.  However, that involves "sharp" objects. 

Coffinmaker
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2017, 07:26:26 am »

In general  44/40 is more accurate than 45 Colt according to own experience and to target shooters compiting in Bullseye with historical weapons, or at least it seems easier to get an accurate load with it, but it is a matter of using a  slow burning BP , a bullet weight that your gun likes, and a good original revolver to get top accuracy from 45 Colt with BP.

All 44s tend to be accurate....like 44 SW Russian, a favorite cartridge by top shooters of the time..

in Muzleloading revolvers, 44 is famous for being more accurate than 36 at 25 meters ( at lower distances, all cartridges seem equal...).

In general the 38 spl is specially accurate, more than 9mm. In most countries  where ISSF is popular, getting   580 points and more  out of 600 maximum in national  ISSF Center Fire championships is usual (60 shots X 10 o'ring) with 38 spl wad. and 32 SW wad......while in  9mm calibre, scores  are normally below 580 points.

32 SW and 7'62 Nagant and  all calibers around that size like 7, 65 parabellum are specially accurate....the 25 meter Centerfire ISSF  World  record was stablished by Russian shooters using Toz 49  revolvers in 7,62 Nagant and remained unbeaten for years...until a German
 shooter got 595 out of 600 points in 2015... probably with a 32 SW. wadcutter pistol.... It seems impossible...but he made it.

All British 455 and continental European 11 mm like French or Spanish calibers seem specially accurate mainly because they don't have huge cases and you can load a perfect ponderate load with them using minimum  or no fillers. and  also thanks to short cilinders with minimum free bore, ..it is also truth that there are no replicas available in those calibers and they are shot only in original revolvers, which in general, are more accurate than Italian replicas with BP.



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G Bulldog Grainisland III
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 02:57:36 am »

There's tech talk and then there is conversation.  When Lorne Green sings "and I was looking down the bore of the deadly .44" in the song Ringo did he mean lands or grooves?

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