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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