Why are there so many gun models using the same calibre? Doesn’t the bullet determine most of the lethality and range, while the gun is just the vehicle that fires it?

2.81K views

Why are there so many gun models using the same calibre? Doesn’t the bullet determine most of the lethality and range, while the gun is just the vehicle that fires it?

In: Physics

7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

If the shooter isn’t comfortable, they’re not going to shoot straight.

If the machinery of the gun rattles around during operation, it’s going to affect machinery.

Longer barrels = more time in the compression chamber = faster/straighter bullet. Mosin Nagant rifles were extra long so they could double as a spear/pike line against cavalry charges while being accurate out to 2km.

Shorter barrels = more concealment/portability so you can force march 20 miles and sneak it into the meeting.

Heavier weapons are nice because they don’t recoil as much (accuracy), plus if you run out of ammunition you can just hit somebody with it.

Light triggers make for accurate shooters – and accidental firings with stupid shooters.

Plus, guns that look cool sell better than guns that don’t.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s sort of an idea that there are well established calibers out there like 9mm, 7.62, 5.56, 45, etc. If you want consumers to buy your firearms you need to make firearms in the caliber most people own. Then you get a piece of that market.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Caliber is only a measure of bullet diameter, and there are a lot of other factors to consider when deciding what gun is right for the job. .30 Carbine and .30-06, for example, are the same caliber (more or less) but wildly different cartridges.

Even guns in the same cartridge may have many different uses. An AR pattern rifle in 5.56mm/.223 with a 12″ barrel is a nice thing to have if you’re fighting from an armored vehicle, but isn’t a good choice for taking White Tail deer.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The cartridge itself is the main factor in terminal ballistics, but barrel length is also important – a longer barrel gives the bullet more distance to accelerate, to a certain degree.

That aside, there’s also plenty of other factors in a gun. Ergonomics, rate of fire, price, the action and lock type, materials, safety, other features to improve reliability or ease of use, the list goes on. Also, some models may be updated versions of older designs, direct competition to a similar model or just an improved but more expensive luxury version.

Think of it like there being lots of models of cars that use the same fuel.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I feel like this is similar to golf clubs. Ball stays relatively the same, and the clubs are the vehicle with which to whack. Branding and slight variances aside, all clubs are just metal sticks.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s like all guitars using the same string sizes. They all do the same thing, but theres a big difference between a $50 no name starter pack guitar and a $3000 dollar custom shop guitar from a major manufacturer. And to the experienced player theres preferences to take into account even in the same tiers of quality and budget. Same with guns.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I feel like this question is massively indicative of the way many people think about guns. Nothing against OP at all, but the use of guns varies between a huge swath of uses, from very specific personal defense scenarios, to hunting, to a huge variety of competitive disciplines. Different guns are designed for different things. One caliber can handle many different jobs, but it’s The characteristics of the gun launching it that make all the difference. You wouldn’t use a 24 inch barreled 5.56 gun for personal defense in your vehicle because it’s too damn big and you’d never get it pointing at your target from inside of a vehicle, but, you wouldn’t use a short-barreled 5.56 gun for long range precision, because you’re losing so much velocity with the short barrel and your round is going to slow down too much by the time it reaches a distant target. There are design considerations for size, weight, reliability, ergonomics, features, aptness for certain environments, aesthetics, velocity, accuracy, and any other number of considerations, not to mention, patents! Some people would even be shocked to see the vast array of different bullet components just within a single caliber! There are currently dozens, if not hundreds of different .223 bullets available on the market currently, and that’s just the bullet. Never mind the primer types, the powders used, or the casing. You could hand load a .223 cartridge in any one of thousands of combinations. People literally will hand load specific rounds for their specific gun. Not just their particular model of gun, but that specific barrel in that specific action, on their specific gun. Unfortunately, the general public only knows about guns from TV, movies, and video games, but that doesn’t give an accurate picture of the real shooting world. It’s easy to see, how some people can spend their entire lives shooting, amass a massive knowledge base, and never get bored.