Watch: How Are Cartridges Named?


Watch: How Are Cartridges Named?

Paul Harrell takes a look at cartridge names and designations in the video below.

45-70: 45 what? 70 what?

38 Special: What makes it special?

I learned early in life that cartridges are named in a most haphazard way. There’s not much that’s consistent or logical if you try to follow the thread of cartridge names through the ages. But in a way, that’s what makes them so great: Wildcatters and other cartridge developers have perfect freedom to name their rounds in whatever way pleases them most.

As he often does, Paul refers to his “speech impediment.” I have watched a passel of his videos and I have yet to detect any such thing.

There’s much more in the video than I can (or should) recap here. But suffice it to say that he explains the old hyphenated system (45-70, 44-40. etc), explores black powder handgun cartridges, verifies that there is NO SUCH THING AS A 45 LONG COLT, European (metric) method of measurement (7.62×39, 9×19, etc), and more.


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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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