The term caliber refers to the size of the bullet that a rifle or pistol uses. This is the measurement of the diameter of the bore—the inner opening of the gun barrel. Often, you will see this measurement in either a fraction of an inch or millimeters. Below are a few popular pistol calibers you’re likely to encounter and how people commonly use them.
A Guide to Favorite Pistol Calibers
1. .22 LR
The .22 Long Rifle is the most commonly sold ammunition in the world due to its low price and ability to fit many rifles and handguns. Most experienced gun owners have at least one .22 LR pistol in their inventory to use for target practice. Additionally, because of its lighter weight and slower velocity, it has a much softer recoil and generates less noise—making it perfect for beginners who are trying to focus on marksmanship.
The 9mm was invented over 100 years ago and remains one of the most popular calibers today. It’s a relatively small cartridge, so guns can hold considerably more ammunition. Like the .22 LR, the recoil is relatively low compared to larger calibers, allowing new shooters can learn easier with it. However, the 9mm has more significant stopping power, which is why it is a favorite caliber among police and military personnel. It’s also a popular caliber in shooting competitions.
3. .40 S&W
The .40 S&W was originally designed in 1990 to be a law enforcement round. It is a compromise of the 9mm and the larger .45 ACP. Bullets tend to weigh between 135 and 200 grains and are 1.135 inches long. They can penetrate up to 14 inches on average and travel approximately 1,200 feet per second. This, along with its widespread availability, makes the .40 S&W an excellent self-defense cartridge.
Whether you are a new or experienced user, you can practice and hone your skills at Shooter’s Firearms & Indoor Range in Columbia, IL. This gun dealer features two six-lane indoor shooting ranges and hosts shooting competitions and leagues each month. They carry one of the largest selections of new and used guns in the state, and the knowledgeable staff will help with every purchase or trade. Visit their website or call them today at (618) 281-6393 to learn more about their services.