So again, The Cambridge Dictionary is inaccurate. To flesh out all the details, I created a table that lists all of the most common (and not-so-common) handgun calibers and all pertinent info about them: It’s by no means a complete list, as I’m only including available info online for a total of 52 different handgun calibers, 23 of which are cartridges for semi-autos, 25 are for revolvers and the remaining two wildcards (not wildcats), namely the .22 LR and .22 WMR, are kind of all over the place because they can be chambered in rifles, revolvers and semi-autos. I don’t like messing with bullets so I have no personal experience with spoon tips. Penetration is decent. They felt that present handgun technology had reached its development peak, and sought a revolutionary change. The ultimate “big bore” pistol cartridge, the .45 has been a proven U.S. military cartridge as well as LE and civilian round for more than a century. The classic. We also carry 380 ACP ammunition. Yes, it is THE most powerful production revolver which also makes it THE most powerful production handgun in the whole world, and Smith and Wesson wouldn’t make such a grand claim if their 50-caliber revolver chambers anything that isn’t the most powerful 50-caliber round on the market, the .500 S&W Magnum. OUT OF STOCK (11) Kimber 1911 Custom TLE II 45 7rd 5. If you don’t already have a .40 Super handgun, don’t bother buying one. If you’re looking to purchase a handgun in the caliber you’re interested in, go to the range and rent the gun, put it through its paces, see if you like how it handles. It is closely trailed by the 9×23 Winchester, but if we put price in the equation the more affordable 10mm sitting right smack in the middle of the graph should be fast enough with its average velocity of 1,350 feet per second and will be more than adequate for whitetail with its 728 ft.lbf of muzzle energy. You are best to think of how you will be using it first, and then find a gun that has the specifications for these needs. Focusing exclusively on stopping power will yield too many variables to have a reliable metric. 9 MM LUGER SEMI AUTO 20 ROUNDS 4.9 BARREL NOT SPECIFIED LBS. The cheapest bulk 9mm ammo cost around $0.14 for steel cased ammo and $0.17 for ammo with brass casings. Pistol caliber ammunition is generally more affordable than rifle ammunition, particularly when talking about 9mm ammo. Personally I think the .500 S&W Magnum is just too much power for even the largest game animals in the planet. It is closely trailed by the .40 S&W, the .45 ACP and the .38 Super. Smaller 9 mm and .40 S&W guns are much more prolific, not to mention cheaper. With products made in America, Ruger offers consumers almost 800 variations of more than 40 product lines. Of course, the need for caliber does differ depending on the gun’s usage – whether it is law enforcement, concealed carry, personal defense, or more. The 460 Rowland, another similar powerhouse of a wildcat, is just a hair short of muzzle energy but it’s the most expensive medium game cartridge. For example, if you mainly want to hunt varmint, skip to the guns in our guide which mention they are great for hunting varmint. We’ll be more than happy to include them on our list. Brand. While in general, revolvers can only accept rimmed cartridges, some revolvers have a cylinder recess for moon clips out of the box, and moon clips allow for rimless cartridges to be chambered in appropriate-caliber revolvers. If you’re like me and you’re asking yourself the same questions, or if you’re new to firearms and you just want to expand your knowledge about handgun calibers in general, read on. With products made in America, Ruger offers consumers almost 800 variations of more than 40 product lines. The .32 ACP supplied the French Army by the hundreds of thousands during World War One. The cheaper the ammo, the more bang for your buck (literally). That is 17 out of the 52 handgun calibers on our list which comprises the majority of semi-auto cartridges in this analysis. If you don’t have a semi-auto handgun as a CCW and you’re trying to decide which among the most popular self defense rounds you should choose, always consider price (even if you’re too damn rich) because it affects two things: From the graph above, we can see that the 9mm is the cheapest at $0.15 a pop, followed closely by the .40 S&W at $0.21, the .380 ACP at $0.24, the .45 ACP at $0.25, and the .38 Super at $0.29. Also, do your homework on the caliber’s ballistic performance, launching platform and ammo availability. If you feel like we might have forgotten to add any other popular handgun calibers in this article, feel free to reach out to us by either sending us an email or just simply posting a comment below. Whether you're making bulk ammo for plinking, creating the perfect training round, or simply building the best ammunition for your needs, Midsouth has the right pistol bullet for your reloading recipe. Spin stabilization was provided by angling four tiny rocket ports in the rear of the projectile. The barrel simply provided the initial direction. If you’ve never shot a long barrel magnum revolver before, you’re missing out on a lot. Reflex sights and red dot sights are great for faster target acquisition but are expensive. 0 HK416 .22 LR Pistol. This is because of the longer distances where a hunter must take a shot (as opposed to 5- to 10-yards in typical self defense situations). However, it is also understandable that things can start to get confusing pretty fast! Instead, the bare minimum I would recommend for big game is the .357 Maximum, a more powerful version of the .357 Magnum. With the above information in mind, we recommend you consider one key thing before you make your decision – what do you want out of your gun? Handgun calibers for hunting will be further divided into three sub-categories: varmint, medium game, and large game. For guns, “caliber” means the diameter of the barrel and thus the diameter of the bullet that is going through it. However, we are aware of obscure designs that allow for certain revolver cartridges to chamber in some semi-auto handguns (e.g.