The caliber ( caliber for short ; AE caliber, BE and French caliber, cal for short ) is a measure of the outer diameter of projectiles and the inner diameter of the barrel of a weapon. In solid runs is between the inner caliber (diameter between fields, the protruding parts of the barrel inner wall) and the outer caliber (diameter between the coatings differed, the cut parts of the barrel inner wall). Often the word caliber in the importance of Munitions - or cartridge type used.
As a sub-caliber projectiles are designated whose diameter than the lower of the pipe. One example of this is FAPDS ammunition.
Origin of the designation "caliber"
The word was adopted into German around 1600 from the synonymous French caliber . The French word is derived from the Arabic wordقالب / qālib / ' cobbler last '. The Arabic word for its part refers to the late Greek καλαπόδιον (kalapódion) - cf. gr. καλάπους (kalápūs) from κᾶλον (kâlon), "piece of wood" and πούς (pūs), "foot" - back with the same meaning. The motive for the change in meaning is a generalization of the specific term to shape, model and also size .
In the English-speaking world, the weight of a round ball made of lead that fit into the barrel of the weapon was and is often given as the caliber of a weapon; the caliber specification thus referred to a unit of weight and not to a unit of length. This is why the caliber was originally an old British measure of weight (1 caliber = around 453.6 g), and the caliber of a weapon was given as a multiple or a fraction of this unit of weight. This principle was also carried over to other measures of weight. The caliber specifications of historical guns relating to the pound are still common today ; for example, a two-pound cannon fired two-pound projectiles. This historically grown measure also had the practical aspect that the intended hit position could be calculated from the constant projectile weight and the variables barrel elevation and propellant charge, whereby the projectile diameter primarily had no influence on the equation. The weight of the bullet was therefore of much greater relevance for the artilleryman and the powder dispenser.
Caliber information and sizes
Apart from the shotgun calibers, the specification of the caliber in units of length has been in use since the late 19th century. Even today, units that are no longer in use were used for historical weapons. The caliber of the three-line rifle was given in the old unit line (= one tenth of an inch). Three lines correspond exactly to 7.62 mm. Today the meter (millimeter) and the inch ( inch = 2.54 cm) have established themselves as units .
As a small-caliber firearms are referred mm up to 6.5. Medium caliber, also called medium caliber, are cartridges over 6.5 mm and under 9 mm (like the rifle cartridge 7.92 × 57 mm used by the German military during the two world wars). Medium- caliber cartridges have the same caliber as the medium-caliber but have a shorter case length - like the 7.92 × 33 mm short for the 44 assault rifle . As a large-caliber weapons apply from 9 mm, for example, the cartridge 9.3 × 62mm for hunting rifles, standard cartridge pistols is the 9 mm Parabellum .
If the caliber of handguns is given in inches, this is usually done in the form of a decimal fraction according to Anglo-American notation, i.e. with a point instead of a comma. Depending on the type of ammunition, hundredths or thousandths of an inch are given. For calibers up to one inch, the leading zero is omitted: The small caliber .22 lfB ( long, for rifles and pistols , primarily for sporting weapons and for hunting small game) is, for example, 0.22 inches (pronounced caliber twenty-two ), corresponding to 5.6 mm × 15 mm. Other common calibers in inches are .380 ACP (9 mm short, metric 9 × 17 mm) and .45 ACP (metric 11.43 × 23 mm) for handguns and .38 Special (metric 9 × 29 mm) for revolvers.
A .308 Winchester corresponds to 7.62 mm (the caliber of the G3 , the former standard machine carbine of the German Bundeswehr ). The .45-70 Government caliber for rifles (0.45 inches) corresponds metric to 11.43 × 53.5 mm; the number 70 denotes the amount of black powder in grain , .50 BMG converted 12.7 mm. Caliber information in English can only be clearly identified using the additional designation.
Cartridges with the same bullet diameter, but different case lengths and ballistic properties, are often differentiated in the customs system by variations in the caliber specifications. For example, the specification .25 is used for relatively weak pistol ammunition in caliber 6.35 mm, while the designation .250 stands for a powerful rifle cartridge used primarily for hunting. The .38 and .357 revolver cartridges have the same bullet diameter despite their nominally different calibers, whereby the .357 is a much stronger magnum cartridge and may not be fired from .38 caliber weapons, but the other way round.
The smallest firearm caliber is a cartridge in caliber 2.7 mm, which was developed by the Austrian watchmaker Franz Pfannl and which was fired from the Kolibri self-loading pistol introduced in 1914 . However, this ammunition is no longer manufactured and, like the weapon, is a sought-after rarity. Commonly used civil handguns today range from .170 (a hunting cartridge) to 4 caliber shotguns (barrel bore about 26.7 mm) for elephant hunting.
Military grenade pistols and hand grenade launchers have a caliber of up to 40 mm. The calibers of mounted machine weapons and artillery range from 5.56 mm for machine guns to 914 mm for heavy mortars , but these were only built in very small numbers or as prototypes. The largest naval guns to date in the 460 mm caliber were installed on the Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi ; the largest land cannons to date with a caliber of 800 mm were the German railway guns Dora and Gustav . An experimental gun with the caliber 914 mm was Little David .
The diameter of rocket projectiles launched from suspensions or launch pads is generally not referred to as caliber .
With barrel weapons such as battle tank cannons or artillery pieces , the caliber length describes the length of the barrel in relation to the caliber. A cannon with 55 caliber lengths and a caliber of 120 mm is therefore 55 × 120 mm = 6600 mm long. The length of the caliber is usually indicated with an “L /” in front of it, in the example L / 55.
In Europe, caliber designations follow the international standard set by the CIP . The SAAMI takes on this task of standardization in the USA . You can also find common outdated designations that are not listed by CIP or SAAMI, as well as caliber specifications according to other, proprietary standards (such as NATO - STANAG ), unless they are also used as synonyms by CIP or SAAMI.
The name of the shotgun ammunition usually consists of the caliber of the shotgun and the length of the case. The indication 12/70 means caliber 12, case length 70 mm. The specification Caliber 12 ( English 12 Gauge ) (equal to 18.53 mm × sleeve length) means that twelve equal lead bullets give a mass of one pound sterling (about 454 g), so a bullet weighs 1.12 pounds. Since these are fractions, the larger the caliber of the shotgun, the smaller the diameter of the barrel bore.
Rifles with a rifled barrel are called a rifle . The ammunition designation consists of the nominal value of the caliber, which can be measured at different points (move after move, or field after field) or freely defined, and either the case length as in the German-speaking area or another clear designation such as. B. the year of introduction.
- The designation of the popular .30-06 cartridge contains the caliber (0.3 inch) and the year the ammunition was introduced (1906).
- The ammunition name .50 BMG indicates the caliber and the weapon for which it was designed (BMG = Browning Machine Gun ), the metric designation of this cartridge ( 12.7 × 99 mm NATO ) contains the caliber, case length and the addition NATO, carried by all NATO standard ammunition.
- A brand name can be found, for example, in the 7 × 64 mm Brenneke hunting caliber .
Some types of ammunition are only listed under their metric designations, for example 7.92 × 57 mm IS. For some cartridges there are fixed designations in both systems of measurement, for example 6.35 mm Browning = .25 ACP, 7.65 mm Browning = .32 ACP (ACP = Automatic Colt Pistol).
The caliber designation of some cartridges that were introduced as black powder cartridges indicates the caliber and the mass of the propellant charge. The .50-90 Sharps cartridge has a caliber of 0.5 inches and contains a propellant charge of 90 grains of black powder.
The following table shows a list of some common calibers in US (inch) and metric (mm) units. Due to different naming conventions and different manufacturers, the bullet diameters can differ significantly from the diameter mentioned. For example, there are differences of up to 1.15 mm between the smallest and largest cartridges with the .38 caliber.
|Caliber in inches||Metric face value||Typical bullet diameter||Common cartridges||comment|
|.107||2.7 mm||0.107 in (2.72 mm)||2.7 × 9 mm hummingbird||smallest commercially available cartridge|
|.17||4.4 mm||0.172 in||.17 Remington, .17 HMR||Small game hunting and target shooting|
|.177||4.5 mm||.177 lead, .175 BB||.177 Airgun|
|.20, .204||5 mm||0.204 in (5.18 mm)||.204 Ruger, 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum||Match rifles for target shooting|
|5.45 mm||5.45 × 39 mm (M74 AK-74)|
|.22, .218, .219 .220, .221, .222, .223, .224, .225, .226||5.5, 5.56, 5.7 mm||0.223 - 0.224 in (5.69 mm)||.22 Long Rifle, .222 Remington, .223 Remington, 5.56 × 45 mm NATO , 5.7 × 28 mm , .22-250 Remington, .22 Airgun, .22 Hornet||common small caliber ,
.223 is the new NATO caliber
Benchrest cartridges: .22PPC USA, .22BR (.22 Benchrest Remington), popular with small game hunting
|.228||-||0.228 in||.228 Ackley Magnum|
|.24||6 mm||0.243 in (6.17 mm)||.243 Winchester , 6 mm Remington, 6 mm plastic for air rifles||Benchrest cartridges: 6mm PPC, 6mm BR Norma, 6mm BR Remington|
|.25||6.35 mm||0.25 in (6.35 mm)||.25 ACP, 6.35 × 16 mm SR||.25 Auto and 6.35mm Browning|
|.257||6.5 mm||0.257 in (6.53 mm)||.257 Roberts, .25-06 Remington, .250 Savage .257 Weatherby Magnum||typical .25 caliber|
|.26||6.5 mm||0.264 in (6.71 mm)||6.5 × 55 mm Mauser , .260 Remington||commonly known as 6.5mm|
|.27||6.8 mm||0.277 in (7.04 mm)||.270 Winchester , 6.8mm Remington SPC||popular hunting ammunition|
|.28||7 mm||0.285 in (7.25 mm)||7 mm Remington Magnum, 7 × 57 mm Mauser 7 × 64 mm||commonly known as 7mm|
|.30||7.62 mm||0.311 in (7.90 mm)||.303 British , 7.62 × 39mm (M43 AK-47), 7.62 × 54mm R|
|.30||7.62 mm||0.308 in (7.82 mm)||
.30-06 Springfield ,
.300 Winchester Magnum ,
.308 Winchester ( 7.62 × 51 mm NATO old NATO caliber)
|American .30 caliber, typical sniper ammunition , also all common hunting calibers|
|.32, .327||7.65 mm||0.309 - 0.312 in||.32 ACP, .32 S&W, .327 Federal Magnum||.32 caliber for handguns|
|.32, .325||8 mm||0.323 in (8.20 mm)||8 × 57 mm IS / IRS ( 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser ), .325 WSM, 8 mm Remington Magnum, 8 × 68 mm S , 8 mm plastic for air rifles||.32 caliber for rifles|
|.338||8.58 mm||0.338 in||.338 Lapua Magnum , .338 Winchester Magnum, .338 Federal .338 Ultra Magnum||newer sniper ammunition; Long shot hunting caliber|
|.38, .380, .357, .35||9 mm||0.355 - 0.357 in||.38 Super , .380 ACP, .357 Magnum, .357 SIG, .35 Remington, 9 × 19 mm Parabellum , 9 × 18 mm Makarow||.355 for automatic weapons,
.357 for revolvers and rifles,
9 × 19 mm is the most widely used pistol ammunition in the world
|.375||9.5 mm||0.375 in (9.53 mm)||.375 H&H Magnum , .375 Ruger||Big game hunting|
|.38||10 mm||0.400 in||.38-40||old black powder cartridges|
|.40||10 mm||0.400 in (10.16 mm)||.40 S&W , 10 mm Auto|
|.404||10.25 mm||0.423 in (10.74 mm)||.404 Jeffery||Big game hunting|
|.405||10.75 mm||0.411 in||.405 Winchester|
|.408||10.4 mm||0.408 in||.408 Chey Tac||Long-range sniper ammunition|
|.41||10.25 mm||0.410 in||.41 Magnum, .41 Action Express|
|.416||10.6 mm||0.416 in (10.57 mm)||.416 Barrett, .416 Remington Magnum, .416 Rigby, .416 Weatherby Magnum||Long range sniper ammunition / short range big game hunting|
|.43||11 mm||0.43 in (10.92 mm)||.43 SL large|
|.44||10.8 mm||0.427 - 0.430 in||.44-40 Winchester, .44 Special, .44 Magnum||common large-caliber revolver ammunition|
|.45||11.45 mm||0.451 - 0.452 in (11.48 mm)||.45 Colt, .45 ACP , .45 GAP||.45 Automatic Colt Pistol (1911), .451 jacket bullets and .452 cast lead bullets|
|.45||11.6 mm||0.458 in (11.63 mm)||.45-70 Government||common .45 caliber for rifles; now popular hunting ammunition|
|.450||11.43||.450 Rigby||Hunting ammunition for big game hunting in Africa|
|.454||11.53 mm||0.454 in (11.53 mm)||.45 Long Colt , .454 Casull||.45 Colt (before World War II)|
|.458, .46||11.6 mm||0.458 in||.458 Winchester Magnum , .460 Weatherby Magnum , .458 Lott||Big game hunting at medium to long distances|
|.475, .480||12 mm||0.475 in (12.07 mm)||.480 Ruger, .475 Linebaugh||Large caliber revolver|
|.50||12.7 mm||0.500 in (12.7 mm)||.50 AE , .500 S&W , .500 Nitro express, .50 Beowulf, .50 GI||Desert Eagle , S&W Model 500 , .50 caliber paintball ammunition , big game hunting|
|.50||12.7 mm||0.510 in (12.95 mm)||.50 BMG ( 12.7 × 99 mm NATO ), 12.7 × 108 mm||M2 Browning machine gun and other heavy machine guns, for fighting hard targets or for distances of up to two kilometers|
|.57||14.5 mm||0.586 in (14.88 mm)||14.5 × 114 mm , 14.5 mm JDJ||Russian anti-tank rifle, 14.5 mm machine gun KPWT|
|.68||17.27 mm||0.675 - 0.695 in||.68 caliber paintball ammunition|
|.79||20 mm||0.787 in (20.00 mm)||20 × 102 mm, 20 × 138 mm width||Weapons for use against hard targets|
|.95||24.13 mm||0.950 in (24.13 mm)||.950 JDJ||.950 JDJ is the only known rifle cartridge over .79 caliber|
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- Ian V. Hogg: Ammunition - for light weapons, mortars and artillery. Motorbuch Verlag, ISBN 3-613-01259-6 .
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