Talk:Gauge (bore diameter)

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I'm pasting in a paragraph, most of which I just removed from cannon. Some of this material may not be in this article yet. Michael Z. 2005-09-18 21:46 Z

Shotguns were developed as essentially small cannons, having been first named in Kentucky in the 18th Century; their size, expressed in gauge, is expressed in the fraction of a pound that a round shot of a diameter equal to their barrel bore diameter would be. Hence, a 12 gauge shotgun has a bore that is equivalent in diameter to a round shot of lead weighing one-twelth of a pound; a 20 gauge shotgun has a bore equivalent in diameter to a round shot of lead weighing one-twentieth of a pound, and so forth similarly sizing for 16 gauge and 10 gauge shotguns. The choice of weight, instead of diameter, enabled the fabrication of accurately sized round shot that would accurately fit in the bore of a shotgun or a cannon, through easily measuring a pound of lead against a standard brass weight weighing exactly a pound by using a balance scale, and subdividing the mass of lead down in equal portions for shotguns with a knife before melting the shot into moulds, or, similarly, scaling up in equal portions for cannons. The need for a micrometer or other accurate linear measurement tool, for sizing round shot diameter, was eliminated in both instances. Note that the 410 gauge shotgun is somewhat misleading in name, as the barrel is .410 inches in diameter, and it draws its name from this rather than the weight of shot.

Wire gauge[edit]

Obviously, a 24-gauge wire doesn't have a 14 mm diameter, which is what I got running the calculation at the top of the page. Perhaps a link to AWG is in order? Jouster 19:06, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

That's already linked to the disambiguation page at Gauge. I'll add a "for other uses" link. scot 20:05, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Awesome, ty. Jouster 18:12, 6 June 2006 (UTC)


Is there any particular reason .410 is always referred to as ".410 bore"? Isn't "bore" just British for "gauge"? It seems to me that .410 is a caliber, just like .38 or .22 or whatever (albeit with a vaguely British third digit). Boris B 02:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

"Bore" is not well defined, as it just indicates some measure of the diameter of the bore, whether it be inches or gauge. This confusion is unfortunately very common in arms, and truly, using "caliber" is just as unclear. Take the artillery usage of "caliber", where you have a "16 inch 50 caliber gun", meaning a 16 inch bore and a length of 50 times the bore diameter. I guess the reason it's ".410 bore" is that the Brits tended to call them "12 bore", "20 bore", etc. (and to a significant degree still do) and it stuck, while the Americans were pickier and used the more accurate "gauge". It's all losts in the mists of firearms etymology, but the important bit here is that ".410 gauge" is in fact demonstrably incorrect, and "caliber" just implies a degree of precision that isn't there--of course so does ".410"... scot 00:28, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

12 gauge shell length[edit]

A discussion of the history of the 12 gauge shell, with dates of the introductions of 3" and 3.5" shells, is needed. It may not be appropriate for this article, although the 12 gauge page redirects you here. Yellowking 22:40, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Bore is an integer[edit]

How come we have 1,5 bore on the conversion table? Surely it has never been possible to purchase a pound of 1,5 bore rounds? Imagine a half that equals a whole. Gregorydavid 15:07, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

While you can't buy a pound of 1.5 bore balls, neither can you technically buy a pound of .410 bore (67.5 gauge) balls, either--in both cases you have to buy two pounds, getting you 3 and 135 balls respectively. Not that it really matters, since rarely does anyone load a shotgun with a single round ball; it will be either multiple smaller balls, or a non-spherical shape like a shotgun slug. The normal variance in shotgun bore diameter means that fractional bores don't make much difference until you get to things well over a 10 gauge bore. The .410 bore, for example, is readily fired in many .45 Colt firearms (like the Thompson Center Arms Contender), and that's firing a 67.5 gauge shell in a 51 gauge barrel, and the nearly 10% difference in bore diameter causes no problems. The difference between a 1 and 2 gauge bore, however, is 25%. This is a significant amount, so it makes sense to have a division in between. This source lists loading data for punt guns of 1 to 1 1/4 inch (4 5/8 to 2 3/8 gauge), 1 3/8 to 1 1/2 inch (1 3/4 to 1 3/8 gauge), and 1 5/8 to 1 3/4 inch bore (1 gauge to 1 1/8 pounder). If there were no fractional gauges, then there would be no need to list loads for anything between 1 5/16 inches (2 gauge) and 1 5/8 inches (1 gauge). scot 17:23, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Shotguns fire rounds of shot consisting of a number of balls called Lead shot which is packaged to be fired from weapons with various bore barrels. So here we have a barrel that excedes the bore of each individual piece of shot. Early muskets fired lead balls to suit the specific bore of the weapon. While the definition of bore refers to a particular number of whole balls, which may or may not have been available in the trade, one can understand the virtual concept of having fractions of balls. I think that when we deviate from the pure definition of bore we should adopt the system of refering to barrel diameter in terms of unit of length.Gregorydavid 08:14, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I had a look at the reference above and it appears as though the term bore is often used in the not so pure meaning of the word, by hunters and fishermen et alGregorydavid 08:23, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

12 Gauge[edit]

Why is it that no article exists on the 12 gauge shotgun shell itself? It makes about as much sense to have 7.62x39mm, 7.62x54R, and 7.62x25mm all deleted, and instead have one neutered "7.62mm" article.

The 12 gauge cartridge's omnipresence in the western world, both military and civilian, should make it deserving enough of it's own informative article. PaZuZu 09:47, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

But what would you say about it that wouldn't be almost wholly redundant with the shotgun shell, shotgun slug, and shotgun articles? The 7.62x39mm, 7.62x54R, and 7.62x25mm you provide as examples are all completely different cartridges (intermediate, rifle, and handgun) with completely different development histories, usually tied to the specifid firearm they were developed for. Shotgun rounds, on the other hand, weren't so much developed as they just grew out of the transition from smoothbore muzzleloaders to rifled breech loaders; the 12 gauge isn't most popular for any definable reason other than it's just the gauge that's "just right" to most people. Shotgun shells are also universal; look at "standard" 9mm handgun cartridges and you find a huge variety from country to country-9x18, 9x19, 9mm Largo, and many others; look at 12 gauge shotgun shells and they're all the same. I don't disagree in theory that the 12 gauge is important enough to justify an aricle, I'm just not sure there's enough specific information to justify it. scot 14:17, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
So why not a "gauge 12x??mm" article for the most common gauge 12 shotgun shell. (talk)
There at least needs to be a (should be largeish) section on the 12 Gauge. Check the .410 and 20 gauge articles for comparison - currently very incomplete. On second consideration - Pazuzu is plain wrong - this article should be on general definition of gauge - and shrunk to be so. There should be a seperate article as with other calibers.Corella (talk) 09:09, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
in fact, its been a long time, I (may get around to) doing this. Corella (talk) 09:16, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe for now someone could add sections for each of the major gauges in use. Arthurrh 21:44, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

el jugador[edit]

hola como estan!!espero q bien yo soy de Tucuman Argentina y soy unos de los grandea jugadores del conter y doy mi comentario.Es muy bueno el conter para mi y kisiera participar en unos de los grandes eventos, bue me despido chauuu!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Calibre or Caliber[edit]

Hello, I was wondering if someone could volunteer to make all the instances of calibre/caliber match a single spelling. (ie. all 'calibre' or all 'caliber') MoS says it should be consistent, and also advises that it should follow whichever style the article was originally written in. Personally, since I probably won't be reading this discussion page again any time soon, it doesn't seem appropriate to be the one to make the change, but if a regular contributer to the article could bring it up to spec, that'd be appreciated. (talk) 21:22, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Garden Gun[edit]

The link in the references section regarding the Garden Gun appears to be broken. I believe it may be refering to the following article [1]. (talk) 20:50, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. It should be fixed now. scot (talk) 20:55, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

4 gauge question[edit]

In the conversion guide, two different measurements are listed for 4 gauge. Why is this? Cerebellum (talk) 19:09, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering the same thing. We may want some type of footnote as to why. (talk) 04:10, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
This has to lay claim to being the most ambiguous page on Wiki, very few correct facts, and total confusion. Needs re-writing clearly and concisely, by an author who has knowledge of guns and not just hearsay.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob300w (talkcontribs) 18:02, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
The table appears to include a note as to the differences now. Surv1v4l1st (Talk|Contribs) 00:25, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

20-gauge preferred for...[edit]

...people who don't like the weight and recoil of a 12?

Purely anecdotal, of course, but I distinctly remember the 20 kicking much harder than the 12 last time I was playing around--and this is not an uncommon occurrence, either. But I can't remember the details (it's been five or six years?) and there may have been something odd about the 20 in that case...

Has anyone got a source for comparative recoil?

J.M. Archer (talk) 22:03, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Despite what a lot of people claim, felt recoil isn't something that can be measured easily, because it depends on so many different things. Generally speaking, 12 gauge shotguns produce more felt recoil than 20 gauge shotguns simply because 20 gauge is a smaller cartridge and usually contains less powder and less shot. However it is entirely possible to manufacture a 20 gauge shell that is more "powerful" than a 12 gauge shell. I imagine that a 20 gauge buckshot load meant for home defense is more powerful than a 12 gauge meant for light skeet work. Also remember that the gun's mass absorbs recoil, so it is also possible that a lightweight 20 gauge can recoil more than a heavy 12 gauge. And then there's also the size and shape of the gun, which also influences how much recoil is felt by the shooter. So, in short: it depends. But yes, in general, smaller gauges produce less felt recoil than larger gauges.-- (talk) 05:01, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Dubious claim about heavy 10 gauge loads[edit]

The article claimed that:

10 gauge is capable of 3 oz (85 g) of shot at 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s)[dubious – discuss] far more powerful than a 12 gauge 3.5.

I find this highly dubious, and in fact potentially dangerous to an inexperienced person who reads it. It is fundamentally improbable that a 10 gauge could outshoot a 3½" 12 gauge for the simple reason that it has a much lower SAAMI maximum pressure limit -- in fact, at 10,000 LUP / 11,000 PSI it is the lowest SAAMI pressure limit for any common shotgun gauge. In contrast, the much more recent 12 ga 3½" was deliberately designed to have a very high SAAMI pressure limit of 14,000 psi. (If you want to calculate pressure x bore area, you can see that the 3½" 12 ga. actually delivers 13% higher maximum force to the base of the wad with a maximum safe load.) Exceeding the SAAMI pressure limit is extremely dangerous. In a well-made gun in excellent condition you might get away with it a few times, perhaps even a few hundred times, but there is no way of telling when it will fail. And when it does, the consequences are far more severe than the tiny advantages of overpressure loads.

Now, I currently have the 1998 Lyman reloading tables open in front of me, and the heaviest listed 10 gauge load is 2¼ oz. -- described as a "magnum load." At SAAMI maximum pressures, loads of this shot weight are already at or slightly below 1200 fps -- and they are a lot lighter than this supposed 3 oz. load. In fact comparing to Lyman's 2 oz. loads, it appears that for similar pressures the extra ¼ oz. costs about 20 to 60 fps (depending on powder burn rate, slower being better here.) Conversely, to retain about the same velocity for the extra ¼ oz. of shot requires a pressure increase of 1400 LUP. Of course such interpolations are always approximate but it does indicate that a 3 ounce load that produced a m.v. of 1200 fps would be massively, dangerously overpressure: possibly somewhere around 13,800 LUP. Thus it is extremely likely that a load capable of pushing 3 oz. of shot to 1200 fps in a 10 gauge barrel would blow up a significant fraction of guns.

Because my Lyman's is 12 years old, I also checked some up to date figures on-line at Hodgdon's website: They are pretty much the same: no 10 gauge data for loads heavier than 2¼oz., and loads that produce m.v. around 1200 fps are already at or close to SAAMI max for 2¼oz; they have no chance of reaching 3 oz. without producing exceedingly dangerous pressures.

Also, all this is strictly with lead shot. For the same shot weight, a lower shot density exacerbates pressure problems (because they have less initial expansion room in the chamber), and so the situation is significantly worse with the non-toxic shot that was the reason the 10 had a revival. None of the powder companies that I can find publish a bismuth load for 10 gauge that is more than 2 oz., and for 2 oz. bismuth loads we are already reaching SAAMI max at 1200 fps.

So unless someone can come up with a highly reliable cite to substantiate this very improbable claim, I think it should be removed -- and quickly, before someone gets hurt. -- (talk) 04:34, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I've done some snooping around myself and, like you, I can find nothing to corroborate the claim. Sounds like an exaggeration of something that might have been done once, when the stars were aligned just right in the sky. For the sake of safety, as well as the fact it's directly contradictory with other parts of the paragraph, I have removed the claim. If, at a later date, someone can prove otherwise, then the statement can be reinstated, but I find that highly unlikely.

For the sake of completeness in this investigation, I've tracked down the revision where the claim was added: The claim was the only thing added/changed, and the user has no other edits to their name. Make of that what you will. --RagnarokEOTW (talk) 14:34, 30 September 2010 (UTC)