ACP 765 x 17SR

The .32 ACP was introduced in 1899 by Fabriqué Nationale for the first successful semiautomatic pistol ever manufactured. It is used extensively in

Figure 5.20 Entrance wound of back showing absence of abrasion ring. The bullet was a semi-jacketed .357 Magnum.

Europe. Czechoslovakia manufactured a submachine gun for it, the Scorpion. The cartridge is semirimmed and will chamber and fire in a .32 revolver. It is generally loaded with a 71 gr. full metal-jacketed bullet, with a muzzle velocity of 905 ft/s. Winchester markets a cartridge loaded with a 60-gr aluminum-jacketed hollow-point bullet. Muzzle velocity is 970 ft/sec.

.32 Smith & Wesson and .32 Smith & Wesson Long

The .32 Smith & Wesson and .32 Smith & Wesson Long cartridges were introduced in 1878 and 1903, respectively. They are revolver cartridges. The .32 S & W is loaded with an 85-gr. lead roundnose bullet. Muzzle velocity is 680 ft/sec. The .32 S & W Long is loaded with a 98-gr. lead roundnose bullet. Muzzle velocity is 780 ft/sec. These cartridges were used extensively in cheap weapons of the Saturday Night Special design. They are essentially obsolete.

The .38 Smith & Wesson revolver cartridge was introduced in 1877 with a black powder loading. In Britain, it is called the .380/200. The cartridge is usually loaded with a 145-gr. lead bullet. Muzzle velocity is 685 ft/sec. A 200-gr. loading with a muzzle velocity of 630 ft/sec used to be available. The .38 S & W is essentially an obsolete cartridge. It is rarely seen in the United States.

.38 Special

Introduced in 1902, the .38 Special is the most popular centerfire handgun cartridge in the United States. The standard loading for more than 50 years was a 158 gr. round nose lead bullet having a muzzle velocity of 755 ft/sec. Since the mid-1960s, numerous high velocity semi-jacketed hollow-point and soft-point loadings have been introduced. Bullet weights are generally 95, 110, 125, and 158 gr. in these new loadings. Muzzle velocities range from 950 to 1200 ft/sec. Any weapon chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge will chamber and fire the .38 Special cartridge.

.357 Magnum

Introduced in 1935 by Smith & Wesson, the .357 Magnum is the .38 Special cartridge case lengthened about 1/10 in. so that it will not chamber in the .38 Special revolver. Standard loading was a 158-gr. lead semiwadcutter bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1235 ft/sec. New semi-jacketed loadings are generally 110, 125, and 158 gr. with muzzle velocities ranging from 1235 to 1450 ft/sec.

.380 ACP (9 x 17 mm/9-mm Kurz/9-mm Corto/9-mm Browning Short)

The .380 cartridge was introduced in the United States in 1908 by Colt and in Europe in 1912 by Fabriqué Nationale. Standard loading is a full metal-jacketed, 95-gr. bullet with a velocity of 955 ft/sec. Semi-jacketed hollow-point loadings are commercially available. This cartridge is increasingly popular in the United States.

9 x 18-mm Makarov

This cartridge was developed by the former USSR as their standard pistol cartridge. In power, it is slightly superior to the .380 ACP. It was not seen in the United States until the early 1990s when large quantities of Makarov pistols began to be imported from China, Russia, and other former Warsaw Pact countries. The standard military loading is a full metal-jacketed 95-gr. bullet having a muzzle velocity of 1060 ft/s. This cartridge is not a true 9 mm as the bullet has a diameter of 0.364 inches compared to 0.355 for the 9 x 19mm.

.38 Colt Super Auto (9 x 23SR)

The .38 Colt Super Auto cartridge was introduced in 1929 as an improved version of the .38 Colt Auto cartridge introduced in 1900. It has never really gained much popularity in the United States. Standard loading is a 130-gr. full metal-jacketed bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1275 ft/sec.

9-mm Luger (9-mm Parabellum/9 x 19-mm)

Introduced in 1902, the 9-mm Luger is the most widely used military handgun cartridge in the world. All modern submachine guns are chambered for this cartridge. A typical military cartridge is loaded with a 115-gr. full metal-jacketed bullet and has a muzzle velocity of 1140 ft/sec. Standard loadings are with 115, 124 and 147 gr. bullets, full metal-jacketed or hollow-point bullets. The 147 gr. bullet as loaded is subsonic. The 9 mm was considered by many American shooters as inferior to the .45 ACP. Studies by the military, a number of civilian government agencies as well as by private individuals have shown that this is incorrect; there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges. This cartridge became the standard pistol caliber for the United States military in 1985 and is used by many if not most police agencies in the United States.

.40 Smith & Wesson

This cartridge was introduced in early 1990. It is ballistically similar to the .45 ACP but the cartridge is closer in size to the 9-mm Parabellum. Because of the smaller size than the .45 ACP cartridge, weapons designed originally for the .45 ACP can accommodate more rounds in the magazine. This cartridge is popular with many police organizations. Standard loadings are with 155 and 180 gr. bullets. Muzzle velocity is 1125 and 990 ft/s, respectively.

The .45 ACP cartridge was adopted as the official military caliber of the United States in 1911. It has never been popular outside the United States. Adoption was based on a series of wound ballistics tests by the U.S. Army prior to its adoption. It was considered a great "man stopper," but more recent testing has shown it no more effective than the 9-mm Luger cartridge which has replaced it in the U.S. military. Standard military loading is with a 230-gr. full metal-jacketed bullet that has a muzzle velocity of 855 ft/sec. Semi-jacketed hollow-point cartridges are available. This cartridge should not be confused with the .45 Colt cartridge introduced in 1873 by Colt for their Peacemaker single-action revolver.

.44 Smith & Wesson Magnum

The .44 Smith & Wesson Magnum is the most powerful commercially successful handgun cartridge produced. It was introduced in 1955. Not only are a number of revolvers chambered for this cartridge but also a pistol and a number of carbines. The cartridge is loaded with either a 240-gr. lead soft-point bullet or a semi-jacketed hollow-point bullet. Muzzle velocity is 1180 to 1350 ft/sec. This cartridge is unpleasant to shoot for most individuals.

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