Centerfire Handgun Cartridge Overview
- 25 Auto
Standard or common load is a 50 grain full metal jacket bullet with a muzzle velocity of 760 feet per second. While centerfire cartridges generally have a slight edge over rimfire cartridges in terms of reliability of the primer,
The 22 long rifle cartridge is probably a better choice for a defensive round than the 25 ACP.
- 32 Auto
Used primarily in blow back semi automatic pocket pistols, it is also used in the Czech Model 61 Scorpion machine pistol.
0.308 inch diameter 71 grn FMJ bullet
Cartridge case is semirimmed.
- 32 NAA
Developed by North American Arms and Corbon. This cartridge uses a necked down 380 auto case 60 grain bullet with mv of 1200fps It is designed to provide better penetration as well as reaching a muzzle velocity in which a hollow point bullet will expand reliably. Used in NAA guardian pistol
- 380 auto
Also known as the 9 x 17mm, this low recoil cartridge is chambered in many concealable blowback semiauto pistols.
Actually closer to 36 caliber. Bullet diameter is 0.355 inches.
Considered by many firearm authorities to be the smallest cartridge to be considered for a defensive weapon.
Standard bullet weight is 95 grains. Produced by all major ammunition manufacturers. Load choice is more limited than 9 mm luger.
- 9mm Luger
Probably the most popular and common pistol cartridge in the world it is in use by police and military forces
Also known as 9mm parabellum and the 9x 19 NATO, it is primarily a cartridge for semiautomatic pistols although a few revolvers have been chambered for it.
Using a slightly tapered straight wall case, it was originally used in the German Luger pistols.
Bullet diameter is 0.355 inches.
Standard U.S. Military/NATO load is 115 grain Full metal jacket bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1155 feet per second. Probably the most popular and common pistol cartridge in the world it is in use by countless police and military forces
Dismissed by some as being underpowered. This round has good penetration and has been used effectively in many confrontations.
Loaded by all major manufacturers. The cartridge can use bullet weights from 95 to 158 grains.
The Israelis used 158 grain FMJ bullet in their UZI submachine guns. For reloaders the limited case capacity restricts the choice of powders to the denser faster burning types
- 38 S&W Special
Brought out in 1902, the 38 S&W Special or 38 Special uses a lengthened 38 Long Colt case.
Since its introduction, millions of revolvers and other firearms have been made for this cartridge.
During most of the 20th Century, the 38 Special was the most widely used chambering in police weapons in the United States.
One of the most flexible cartridges to load for, it can also be quite accurate.
The most common loading was a 158 grain lead round nose or the 148 grain lead semiwad cutter bullet with a muzzle velocity out of a 4 inch barrel of about 750 feet per second.
38 special chambered revolvers have also been used by the U.S. Military to a limited extent.
The M41 Ball 38 Special load used a 130 grain full metal jacket bullet which attained a muzzle velocity of 968 feet per second when fired from a 4 inch long barrel.
- 357 Magnum
Jacketed bullet diameter 0.357", Cast bullet diameter is 0.358"
- 38 Smith &Wesson
Also known as 380 Webley, 38 S&W, 38 Colt new police This once popular now obsolete round has been chambered in many revolvers over the years
- 40 S&W
Introduced in 1990 by winchester as shortened version of the 10 mm.
It is good compromise between the 45 ACP's heavy bullet and the 9 mm Luger's velocity.
- 45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol )
Used originally in the Colt 1911 pistol it is now chambered in a variety of pistols.
While the muzzle velocity of the cartridge is somewhat less than 9 mm luger the bullet weight of the standard 230 grain bullet is twice the weight of the 115 grain bullet used in 9mm pistols.
Hollowpoint ammunition is available in bullet weight of 155 grains to 230 grains.
Bullet diameter 0.452 inches