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.410 shotgun shell: caliber or gauge debate

mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
edited December 2017 in General Discussion
.410 shotgun shell

I always referred to it as .410 gauge

But it's not a gauge - incorrect classification

It's supposed to be .410 caliber cause it's a caliber

Parse your words - nomenclature nonsense

I stole from his topic from a magazine cause it irritates me

The system of gauges and how they are classified and we're the number come from is quite interesting

It's capacity of lead shot of a certain size and weight - based on a standard length of hull

Every other shotshell is a gauge but the .410 is an / a caliber per the rules

Why??? And if you used the original formula or approved classification method what gauge would the .410 caliber be???

I suppose it's a meaningless technicality

What say you - how about an old fashioned back and forth debate that results in name calling and members declaring they are leaving or folks getting a time out from the good Capt or locked out.

A pot stirring thread maybe.

Mike

Comments

  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 12,566 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If I read you correctly, you're wrong about gauge. It has nothing whatever to do with hull length or capacity. Gauge refers indirectly to bore diameter because gauge is based on the number of pure lead balls of a given diameter that equal one pound. That's why a 10 gauge is a whole lot bigger than a 20 gauge - it takes half as many larger lead balls to make that pound.

    And yes, the .410 is a caliber, written with a decimal and referring directly to bore diameter in inches. We just got in the habit of calling all shotgun sizes gauges.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think you have it better than I do...

    I have seen ammo and guns marked as .410 gauge which of course is wrong...

    Plus there is a 9mm rimfire shotshells that is part paper hull and part cartridge case that also does not get named as a gauge either I think...

    Don't get me started on American verses European cartridge naming systems...

    Or why a the .38 special and .357 magnum both use the same diameter bullet but were named differently

    Please continue

    Mike
  • Ricci WrightRicci Wright Member Posts: 9,670
    edited November -1
    Kinda like .45 Long Colt. No such animal but we have to use the term or folks get confused.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Gauge is the number of lead balls the diamter
    of the bore it takes to weigh one pound
  • SCOUT5SCOUT5 Member Posts: 16,195 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Why create a debate where none does, or needs to exist? Saying something one way or another doesn't change the reality of what it is.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 12,566 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Perry shooter's definition is correct, and is the one most commonly found. But it gives the impression that ball diameter is set by bore size, when in fact it's just the opposite. It's ball diameter that determines gauge, and the bore is then made to match.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • bullshotbullshot Member Posts: 12,909 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Who cares!
    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you"
  • iceracerxiceracerx Member Posts: 8,872 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mrmike08075

    Or why a the .38 special and .357 magnum both use the same diameter bullet but were named differently

    Please continue

    Mike


    Both the .38 Special and the .357 Magnum use bullets of the same diameter. The '.38 Special' uses the OD of the case for a 'size'.
    The .38 Special also pre-dates the .357 Magnum by quite a few years (decades).

    In the past I tried to explain this to a German engineer and his Physics prof neighbor since the GE has a Marlin 38/357 rifle. This led to the PP asking if he could shoot 30-30s, 270s, and 308s out of his 1903 Springfield.
  • notnownotnow Member Posts: 1,638 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    By gauge standards, a .410 is a 36 gauge.
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 8,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The ".410" as we know it today, came from the diameter of the shot filled wooden bullet loaded in the .44/40 shot shell. That evolved into the .44XL shot cartridge, which in turn became the .410. So it did start as a "caliber", and "gauge" was added to indicate a shot cartridge.
    Harrington Richardson's first ".410" was marked .44/.410, so it appears maybe they were confused too.[:)]
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 8,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by forgemonkey


    One of these days I'm gonna research the 'shot shells' and their usefulness in the center of the below display ,,,,,,,,


    bhUNhvB.jpg

    forgemonkey, that's a Nice collection!
    Those little ones were for "Garden Guns", light weight single shots, so Ma could keep the varmints out of her garden.
  • savage170savage170 Member Posts: 37,207 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A 410 lead ball is around 103 grains and there is 7000 grains to a pound I come up with about a 67 ga
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 12,566 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yup. There is fact a 36 gauge. I have a shell for it somewhere in my "Photo Cartridge" collection. Also in there are some 9mm shotshells and a 14 gauge pinfire.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • 35 Whelen35 Whelen Member Posts: 15,200
    edited November -1
    FWIW, I love the .410, and have two different firearms chambered in it; a 1970s Remington Wingmaster, and a Stevens Model 59B bolt action. I honestly can't say enough good about both, and they're absolutely perfect for grouse around here.
    An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    67 gauge is as close to correct as you are going to get.

    As far as the NAMING of cartridges, you have to remember that in some cases, the MARKETING department had a hand in things, and logic does not always apply. Look at how many rounds include the name of a gun company- no matter who made the gun, the name or initials of the creating company got marked on the gun. Millions of revolvers NOT made by Smith & Wesson bear the mark 38 S&W CTG.

    And do not discount human vanity. I'm convinced that the .45 GAP cartridge was created just so that Gaston would have his name on a cartridge. [:D]

    And frankly, it is easier to say 8mm Mauser than "seven point nine two Mauser" and a "Nine point three mm Makarov" just does not have the same snappiness as a 9mm Mak.

    Rocky, have never seen a 36 gauge shotshell, but have half a box of 32 gauge birdshot. Popular in South America. Also have 9mm shotgun shells- close to 36 CALIBER.
  • roswellnativeroswellnative Member Posts: 9,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I love it but can't hit much with it
    Although always described as a cowboy, Roswellnative generally acts as a righter of wrongs or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses.
  • Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,493 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That shotshell board looks like a Scattergun Pachinko machine..[:o)] I like it!

    And isn't it ".410 Bore?" ...as in .410" bore diameter?
  • cbxjeffcbxjeff Member Posts: 16,292 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Nice collection forgemonkey. Did you ever consider turning it into a wall clock?
    It's too late for me, save yourself.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    OK you went and made it worse...

    So now it's gauge and caliber and bore to choose from or use incorrectly

    I am sticking with gauge cause that's what my brain goes to and makes sense to me even if it's grammatically incorrect

    Mike
  • Horse Plains DrifterHorse Plains Drifter Member, Moderator, Sr. Moderator Posts: 37,619 ***** Sr. Moderator
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mrmike08075
    OK you went and made it worse...

    So now it's gauge and caliber and bore to choose from or use incorrectly

    I am sticking with gauge cause that's what my brain goes to and makes sense to me even if it's grammatically incorrect

    Mike
    Yep, it's really .410 caliber, but the industry has changed the term to 410 Ga. That just happens sometimes with things. Why do we purchase motor oil, and put it in an engine?
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,729 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It's like the old questions: Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway? Why do we have hot water heaters when hot water is already hot and does not need heating? etc, etc [:D][:D]
    Common usage beats out logic almost every time. [;)]
    I think the next time I am in my local gun store I will request a box of 67 gauge shotshells and take a look at the clerk's expression of confusion. [;)]
  • OakieOakie Member Posts: 38,824 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Rocky Raab
    If I read you correctly, you're wrong about gauge. It has nothing whatever to do with hull length or capacity. Gauge refers indirectly to bore diameter because gauge is based on the number of pure lead balls of a given diameter that equal one pound. That's why a 10 gauge is a whole lot bigger than a 20 gauge - it takes half as many larger lead balls to make that pound.

    And yes, the .410 is a caliber, written with a decimal and referring directly to bore diameter in inches. We just got in the habit of calling all shotgun sizes gauges.


    That is exactly what my dad taught me.
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 8,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Many years ago I was told by an old timer that spent his youth in Africa as a safari guide, about "bore" and "gauge" and how the words were used.
    SxS's and Drillings were common firearms. 12 Gauge, would be a smooth bore shotgun barrel, and a 12 Bore, would be a rifled 12 gauge barrel. SxS's could have one or both barrels rifled, in either case he referred to them as a 12 bore. No rifling in either barrel, a 12 gauge.
    We got on the subject when he was showing me some brass cases that were loaded with slugs, and pulled a small artillery round out of the box and called it a 4 Bore. He had the 4, 8, 10, 12, and 16 bore rounds.
    One of the 4 bore cartridges was loaded with a conical bullet, the other with a round ball. When I asked about the round ball, he said they worked better in the smooth bore gun. "But why is it called a 4 bore if the barrels aren't rifled?" I forgot what my question was when he pulled out an ornately engraved Cape gun, and never got his answer.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    Trap- just to really muddy the waters- from the time before the Nitro Express big game cartridges- was the Paradox. While they were rifled, the size was given as "bore".

    Started off as a smoothbore, and partway down the barrel, rifling started.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_and_shot_gun
  • fugawefugawe Member Posts: 1,542 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Same reason a .44 Magnum isn't even a .43.
    Same reason the 218 Bee, 219 Zipper, 220 Swift, 221 Fireball, 222 Remington, 223 Remington, 224 Weatherby and 225 Winchester all use .224 diameter bullets.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,292 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Gauge comes from the British tradition, the .410 is a US shell, and called by a US caliber.
  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 10,741 ******
    edited November -1
    I would just like to know why the shells for a puny little .410 cost more than the much bigger 20 & 12 gauge shells???[:0]
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 8,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    1,250 grns at 1500fps! I've shot a SxS 8 Gauge with shot loads...once![B)]
  • Sam06Sam06 Member Posts: 21,060 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I believe .410 bore is the proper nomenclature.
    RLTW

  • carbine100carbine100 Member Posts: 3,163 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Riomouse911
    That shotshell board looks like a Scattergun Pachinko machine..[:o)] I like it!

    And isn't it ".410 Bore?" ...as in .410" bore diameter?


    That's what I always refer to it as.
  • pip5255pip5255 Member Posts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have always just called them a 410 period...............
    just because you could doesn't mean you should
  • mlincolnmlincoln Member Posts: 5,039 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mrmike08075
    .410 shotgun shell

    I always referred to it as .410 gauge

    But it's not a gauge - incorrect classification

    It's supposed to be .410 caliber cause it's a caliber

    Parse your words - nomenclature nonsense

    I stole from his topic from a magazine cause it irritates me

    The system of gauges and how they are classified and we're the number come from is quite interesting

    It's capacity of lead shot of a certain size and weight - based on a standard length of hull

    Every other shotshell is a gauge but the .410 is an / a caliber per the rules

    Why??? And if you used the original formula or approved classification method what gauge would the .410 caliber be???

    I suppose it's a meaningless technicality

    What say you - how about an old fashioned back and forth debate that results in name calling and members declaring they are leaving or folks getting a time out from the good Capt or locked out.

    A pot stirring thread maybe.

    Mike


    This is pretty much what we do best!!!!
  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 10,741 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by pip5255
    I have always just called them a 410 period...............


    [:D] That's what my ole lady used to call her time of the month![:0]
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