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  1. #1
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    ok i have an oddball question for you fact nuts out there

    How exactly did the .357 magnum get its numeric name? It is obviously not a 357 caliber in measurement. Just a weird question that I've always wanted to know the answer too. Btw I know where the magnum comes in as it has a magnum action to fire said round. Please fill free to chime in on what you know about the histoy of the round and how the well-known name came to be.
    45Sidekick

  2. #2
    bruce333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45Sidekick View Post
    How exactly did the .357 magnum get its numeric name? It is obviously not a 357 caliber in measurement.
    aaaa...yeah it is...the bullet diameter is .357 inches. This is actually one of the few cartridges where the name is a good description of the round.

    A magnum cartridge is a firearm cartridge larger than, or derived from, a similar cartridge.
    In this case the 38 Special (which also has a bullet .357 inches in diameter)
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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  3. #3
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    Really? So a 9mm is a .357 inch diameter bullet too? Cuz I've always heard read and assumed that they where just 30 caliber rounds with different hulls, weights, and powder quantities that made the real overall difference

  4. #4
    usmcj's Avatar
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    The majority of 9mm bullets measure right at .355 +/- .001

  5. #5
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    I thought they where all straight .30 calibers but then again I don't reload and have never miced them either....

  6. #6
    usmcj's Avatar
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    I just mic'd several bullets, both factory, and components, and they all measure .3545" to .3555" .... YMMV

  7. #7
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    Hmm well I've learned something new

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce333 View Post
    aaaa...yeah it is...the bullet diameter is .357 inches. This is actually one of the few cartridges where the name is a good description of the round.

    In this case the 38 Special (which also has a bullet .357 inches in diameter)
    And correct me if I'm wrong, but the reason the .38 Special was called .38 and not .357 was because they previously used heeled bullets. So the bullet diameter was .38 to match the case. Today's .38, as well as the .357 and 9mm are all basically the same diameter bullets in cases of differing lengths.

    Am I right? Am I? Am I?

  9. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Yup, you're correct...except for the 9mm.


    FYI:
    9mm = 0.354" (but uses .355" bullets)
    .30 = 7.62mm
    .32 = 7.65mm (it's actually a .301)
    .357 = 9.07mm
    .380 = 9mm (it's actually a .35)
    .44 = 10.9mm (it's actually a .43)
    .45 = 11.43

  10. #10
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    Neat I'm learning new stuff

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Yup, you're correct...except for the 9mm.


    FYI:
    9mm = 0.354" (but uses .355" bullets)
    .30 = 7.62mm
    .32 = 7.65mm (it's actually a .301)
    .357 = 9.07mm
    .380 = 9mm (it's actually a .35)
    .44 = 10.9mm (it's actually a .43)
    .45 = 11.43
    Actually, it's a little known "fact" that all these dimension anomalies have been carefully concocted over many decades, yea, even centuries, to to confuse and befuddle reloaders.
    And drive them back to buying factory ammo.

    It's just another one of the myriad conspiracies planned and executed by minions and peons of the Maximum Leaders to drive the average human mad.
    And if you think this "ammo dimension deal" is bad, you should have been in the auto industry.

    Why do you think there are cars with English(nee American) nuts and bolts. And metric nuts and bolts. And "Torx". And "Star". All on the SAME VEHICLE ! ! !
    It's due to a conspiracy between auto manufacturers gettng the cheapest fasteners, and the tool makers needed to fill gigantic red and black "roller boxes" to subjugate downtrodden mechanics.

    Thank the Lord we have seen the last of Whitworth nuts and bolts. That died with the English vehicle manufacturing demise. Good RIDDANCE to them. And to Lucas Electrics.
    Lucas was(is) aptly named. Do you think it is "just an accident" that the Devil in Hell is named Lucifer ? NO ! NO WAY !
    Lucas Electrics were a stoke of genius the Devil used to try and strike down all mankind. He would have succeeded if the Brit's hadn't built such crappy cars. Check the junkyards.
    You can't find the British car part you need to keep it running. Because EVERY Brit car in the yard has had the same failure. Ask any junkyard owner. Careful, watch his dog.

    And now you know another round of the "inconvenient truths". You're welcome. Thanks are not necessary, but greatly appreciated.

  12. #12
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    lol thats hilarious as i am very familiar with the automotive industry. totally made my day reading such a protest against huge corperate greed lol

  13. #13
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    ...Thank the Lord we have seen the last of Whitworth nuts and bolts. That died with the English vehicle manufacturing demise. Good RIDDANCE to them. And to Lucas Electrics.
    Lucas was(is) aptly named. Do you think it is "just an accident" that the Devil in Hell is named Lucifer ? NO ! NO WAY !
    Lucas Electrics were a stoke of genius the Devil used to try and strike down all mankind. He would have succeeded if the Brit's hadn't built such crappy cars. Check the junkyards.
    You can't find the British car part you need to keep it running. Because EVERY Brit car in the yard has had the same failure...
    Back when I was into sports car racing and rallying, we used to say, "...And every part that falls off was built with superb British design and engineering."

    Rumor has it that Whitworth threads were invented to give employment to mechanics, since a British car's nuts and bolts had to be re-torqued at least once a week. It's a wonder to me that WW2 Spitfires didn't just fall from the skies, shedding Whitworth hardware all the way down.

    That many years ago, I had a female friend who drove a MG-Y, which was a TC with four seats. Every time she put it into reverse, she would break a rear axle, since the rear of the Y was too massive for its spindly TC axles versus its stump-pulling reverse gear. Her father kept a supply of rear axle halves in their garage, and could change a broken one pretty quickly. But whenever I was with her when she had to parallel park, we hand-pushed her car backwards into the space.

  14. #14
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    hahaha thats a good story to tell lol btw mr. steve please check out my automatics vs. revolvers post and chime in if you find a chance. same with everyone else btw

  15. #15
    aarondhgraham is offline Member
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    This is what my old "Basics of Gunsmithing" book told me,,,

    In any gun there are three dimensions:
    • The size of the bore measured from the outside of the rifling grooves (The largest measurement).
    • The size of the bore measured from the inside of the rifling grooves (The smallest measurement).
    • The size of the projectile itself (Somewhere in between the other two measurements).


    There is no industry standard as to what the gun must be called,,,
    Manufacturers may call it any thing they want.

    For example, the .38 special name uses the largest of the measurements.
    The diameter of a .38 special bullet is .357 (+ or - .001 inch).

    S&W simply decided to use those numbers because they marketed it differently than a .38 special.

    Back when the .38 round was developed advertising/marketing was in it's infancy,,,
    No one thought of "cool sounding numbers" as marketing factors.

    Take this point as an example,,,
    .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 special, and .357 magnum all have different names but essentially the same diameter bullet.

    Another example is the venerable 45 Colt,,,
    The bullet diameter is .454 inches,,,
    They simply rounded down.

    But the 454 Casull is basically an elongated case 45 Colt,,,
    But it's actual bullet diameter is .452 inches.

    The makers call it whatever they think is the best sounding name.

    The point I am trying to make is,,,
    Do not look for any rhyme or reason in cartridge numbers because there isn't any.

    Aarond

  16. #16
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    ...Except that you have included an error.
    The 9mm and the .380 ACP use a different-size bullet (0.355") from that used in .38 Special and .357 Magnum (0.357").
    The difference is small, and can be ignored under some circumstances, but there is a difference.

  17. #17
    aarondhgraham is offline Member
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    That's why I used the word,,,

    .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 special, and .357 magnum all have different names but essentially the same diameter bullet.

    Aarond

  18. #18
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aarondhgraham View Post
    .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 special, and .357 magnum all have different names but essentially the same diameter bullet.

    Aarond
    remind me not to shoot any of your reloads.... or stand near you when you do

  19. #19
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aarondhgraham View Post
    .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 special, and .357 magnum all have different names but essentially the same diameter bullet.

    Aarond
    When you set out to answer a technical question, please be very certain of your facts.
    The answers to technical questions do not normally include approximations or guesses.

    Please see post #9 in this thread.

  20. #20
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    once again i agree with ted ill be sure to be clear of any scrapnel lol, and id probably follow steve's quick guide if i start reloading myself for reference

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