This post was last updated on January 29th, 2022 at 04:38 pm
Ideally, before anyone can consider owning or handling a firearm, there are some important questions that have to cross your mind regarding gun sizes, types of handguns, appropriate functions, the matchup of all the handgun sizes to the array of calibers of bullets available in the guns and ammunition retailer’s stores.
Besides, having the correct sizes of firearms with their respective bullet caliber, it would be equally important to know which among the popular calibers are recommended for women, young people, beginners, or regular male civilians?
The guide below aims to list and compare the product dimensions as presented by the respective firearm manufacturers as well as include the product description in detail to assist the reader gain enough information to make proper decisions in firearm choice if need be.
Popular HandGun Caliber Sizes
You may have noticed that bullet diameter, barrel diameter, and gun caliber are words used almost synonymously to refer to the actual gun or bullet capability. There could be slight variations here and there with these dimensions and the numbers used may not necessarily follow a linear progression but the general implication is that large caliber bullets or guns will generally deliver more energy with the exiting bullet as opposed to smaller caliber ammunition. The intended purpose as the table below indicates, helps show this fact.
|Handgun Caliber||Bullet Diameter in (Inches and Millimeters)||Bullet Weight in (Grams and lbs)||Bullet Velocity in (Feet/Second and Meters/Sec)||Average Price per Round||Suitable Purpose|
|.17 HMR||0.172 Inches 4.3688 mm||20 grams 0.044 lbs||2,350 fps 716.28 m/s||$0.20||Varmint, Pinking|
|.22 LR||0.223 Inches 5.664 mm||40 grams 0.088 lbs||1,070 fps 326.13 m/s||$0.09||Varmint, Pinking|
|.22 WMR||0.224 Inches 5.6896 mm||40 grams 0.088 lbs||1,477 fps 450.189 m/s||$0.20||Varmint, Pinking|
|.32 H&R Magnum||0.312 Inches 7.924 mm||85 grams 0.187 lbs||1,114 fps 339.54 m/s||$0.85||Varmint, Self defense|
|.38 Super||0.356 Inches 9.042 mm||115 grams 0.2535 lbs||1,300 fps 396.24 m/s||$0.29||Self defense|
|.400 Cor-Bon||0.401 Inches 10.185 mm||165 grams 0.3637 lbs||1.250 fps 381 m/s||$1.05||Self-defense, Medium game|
|.40 S&W||0.400 Inches 10.16 mm||180 grams 0.396 lbs||1,053 fps 320.95 m/s||$0.21||Self defense|
|.41 Magnum||0.410 Inches 10.414 mm||210 grams 0.4629 lbs||1,363 fps 415.44 m/s||$1.42||Medium game|
|.450 SMG||0.451 Inches 11.455 mm||230 grams 0.507 lbs||1,130 fps 344.42 m/s||$0.95||Medium game, Self defense|
|.460 Rowland||0.451 Inches 11.455 mm||230 grams 0.507 lbs||1,300 fps 396.24 m/s||$1.55||Medium game, Self defense|
|.44 Special (+P)||0.4325 Inches 10.9855 mm||250 grams 0.551 lbs||1,125 fps 342.9 m/s||$1.55||Medium game, Self defense|
|.50 GI||0.500 Inches 12.7 mm||275 grams 0.606 lbs||875 fps 266.7 m/s||$1.50||Self-defense|
|.45 Long Colt (+P)||0.454 Inches 11.5316 mm||300 grams 0.661 lbs||1,325 fps 403.86 m/s||$1.50||Large game, Self defense|
|.454 Casual||0.454 Inches 11.5316 mm||300 grams 0.661 lbs||1,780 fps 542.544 m/s||$2.00||Large game|
|.445 Supermag||0.429 Inches 10.8966 mm||310 grams 0.683 lbs||1,601 fps 487.98 m/s||$2.00||Large game|
|.44 Mad Max||0.429 Inches 10.8966 mm||315 grams 0.694 lbs||1,550 fps 472.44 m/s||$2.00||Large game|
|.475 Linebaugh||0.475 Inches 12.065 mm||400 grams 0.8818 lbs||1,400 fps 426.72 m/s||$2.70||Large game|
|.500 Wyoming Express||0.500 Inches 12.7 mm||440 grams 0.970 lbs||1,450 fps 441.96 m/s||$2.20||Large game|
|.500 S&W Magnum||0.500 Inches 12.7 mm||450 grams 0.992 lbs||1,707 fps 520.29 m/s||$2.50||Large game|
Gun Sizes Chart by Brand and Model
The dimensions of a firearm, that is whether it is a full-size pistol, a shotgun, or a full-sized handgun, is an important factor to consider with regard to mobility or handling of the firearm. Some are intended to be carried along at any time, others are too large to tag along every time for self-defense.
The gun sizes table below includes the barrel length to help the reader visualize the average size of the gun with respect to handling and mobility, without thinking about the actual bore diameter and other issues relating to gun caliber or operating capacity.
|Gun Brand||Size||Gun Model||Barrel Size (in Inches)||Barrel Size (in Millimeters)|
|Bersa||2||Thunder 22LR||3.5 Inches||88.9 mm|
|Bersa||2||Thunder 380||3.5 Inches||88.9 mm|
|Bersa||2||Thunder Conc. Carry 380||3.25 Inches||82.55 mm|
|Bersa||16||Thunder HC 9MM||4.25 Inches||107.95 mm|
|Bersa||16||Thunder HC 40SW||4.25 Inches||107.95 mm|
|Bersa||29||Thunder 9MM||3.5 Inches||88.9 mm|
|Bersa||29||Thunder 45||3.6 Inches||91.44 mm|
|Bersa||29||Thunder 40SW Ultra Compact||3.25 Inches||82.55 mm|
|Bersa||29||BPCC 9MM||3.3 Inches||83.82 mm|
|Bersa||29||BPCC 380||3.3 Inches||83.82 mm|
Revolver Caliber Chart
The revolver may not necessarily be the favorite caliber of pistols among the popular pistol calibers that are suitable for self-defense and medium game hunting or defense against the medium-sized game, though as the table below shows there are a number of revolver calibers that may prove important for other functions. The larger pistol calibers may be used as a defense against medium or large wild animals.
|Gun Brand||Gun Size||Gun Model||Barrel Size (in Inches)||Barrel Size (in Millimeters)|
|Ruger||7||LCR 357||2 Inches||50.8 mm|
|Ruger||7||LCRX 38SP||2 Inch||50.8 mm|
|Ruger||7||SP101 357||2.25 Inches||57.15 mm|
|Ruger||7||SP101 38SP||2.25 Inches||57.15 mm|
|Ruger||8||Super Redhawk||2.5 Inches||63.5 mm|
|Ruger||8||SP101 357||3 Inches||76.2 mm|
|Ruger||8||GP100 357||5 Inches||127 mm|
|Ruger||9||SP101 22LR||4.2 Inches||106.68 mm|
|Ruger||9||SP101 357||4.2 Inches||106.68 mm|
|Ruger||10||GP100 357||5 Inches||127 mm|
|Ruger||11||Super Redhawk||7.5 Inches||190.5 mm|
|Ruger||12||Super Redhawk||9.5 Inches||241.3 mm|
|Ruger||15||LCR 38SP||2 Inches||50.8 mm|
|Ruger||15||LCR 22LR||2 Inches||50.8 mm|
|Ruger||25||GP100 357||6 Inches||152.4 mm|
Long Rifle Caliber Chart
Depending on one’s needs a person may be in need of a firearm with a larger average magazine size or even larger nozzle sizes than the ones available in the aforementioned pistol sizes. The nozzle size mainly refers to caliber size though the actual caliber is a measure of the bullet diameter which is always slightly smaller than the cartridge dimensions.
The major benefit of the long rifle firearms in the table below is that in outdoor use, the outcome may vary depending on who is handling the firearm and how they use it but statistics imply that on a simple average, long rifles deliver more accuracy compared to pistols due to their impact on vital organs when a shot is fired on a large wild animal.
|Caliber in (inches & mm)||Cartridge||Gun sizes Capable of handling game up to|
|0.51’’ 12.954 mm||.50 BMG||Any living creature|
|0.429’’ 10.8966 mm||.444||Grizzly Bear|
|0.375’’ 9.525 mm||.375 Weatherby Magnum||Cape Buffalo|
|0.357’’ 9.525 mm||.375 H&H Magnum||Cape Buffalo|
|0.366’’ 9.296 mm||9.3 * 62 mm Mauser||Grizzly Bear|
|0.308’’ 7.823 mm||.300 PRC||Grizzly Bear|
|0.308’’ 7.823 mm||.30 Nolster||Grizzly Bear|
|0.308’’ 7.823 mm||.308 Winchester||Elk|
|0.284’’ 7.2136 mm||7 mm Weatherby Magnum||Grizzly Bear|
|0.277’’ 7.0358 mm||6.8 Remington SPC||Deer|
|0.264’’ 6.705 mm||.264 Winchester Magnum||Elk|
|0.243’’ 6.172 mm||6 mm Creedmoor||Deer|
|0.224’’ 5.6896 mm||.224 Valkyrie||Coyote|
|0.204’’ 5.1816 mm||.204 Ruger||Varmints|
|0.172’’ 4.3688 mm||.17 HMR||Varmints|
Shotgun Gauges Chart / Gun sizes Guide
Comparatively, the shotgun can well be classified among the larger calibers of firearms if you were to take into consideration the 12-gauge shotgun bore, the 20-gauge shotgun, and the 10-gauge bore. The smallest gauge in the shotgun category is the .410-bore shotgun.
|Shotgun Gauge||Bore Diameter in (Inches)||Bore Diameter in (mm)|
|.410 Bore||0.410 Inches||10.41 mm|
|.28 Bore||0.545 Inches||13.84 mm|
|.20 Bore||0.615 Inches||15.62 mm|
|.16 Bore||0.665 Inches||16.89 mm|
|.12 Bore||0.725 Inches||18.42 mm|
|.10 Bore||0.775 Inches||19.69 mm|
Handgun Caliber and Recoil Comparison Chart
Besides having the correct measurements matched as per the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations, having the right user for a particular gun is crucial. Women for example and young people may have to consider the felt recoil after firing a bullet.
This is often a function of the typical velocity of the fired bullet and the recoil impact on the one handling the firearm may cause injury to the handler especially if the pistol grip and the barrel grip in the case of long rifle guns is not firm enough.
|Caliber||Weight in (Grams & lbs)||Velocity in (Feet/Sec and Meters/Sec)||Felt Recoil|
|.22 LR||30 – 40 g 0.066 – 0.088 lbs||1070 – 1600 fps 326.13 – 487.68 m/s||Low|
|.25 ACP||35 – 50 g 0.077 – 0.11 lbs||760 – 900 fps 231.64 – 274.32 m/s||Low|
|.32 ACP||60 – 73 g 0.132 – 0.160 lbs||925 – 1100 fps 281.94 – 335.28 m/s||Low|
|.380 ACP||90 – 100 g 0.198 – 0.22 lbs||975 – 1125 fps 297.18 – 342.9 m/s||Low|
|.38 Special||100 – 158 g 0.22 – 0.348 lbs||900 – 1150 fps 274.32 – 350.52 m/s||Moderate|
|.357 Magnum||125 – 158 g 0.275 – 0.348 lbs||1240 – 1450 fps 377.952 – 441.96 m/s||High|
|.44 Magnum||240 – 340 g 0.529 – 0.749 lbs||1180 – 1425 fps 359.66 – 434.34 m/s||High|
|9 mm||115 – 150 g 0.2535 – 0.33 lbs||1150 – 1335 fps 350.52 – 406.908 m/s||Low|
|40 S&W||115 – 200 g 0.2535 – 0.44 lbs||1050 – 1400 fps 320.04 – 426.72 m/s||Moderate|
|10 MM Auto||135 – 230 g 0.297 – 0.507 lbs||1150 – 1600 fps 350.52 – 487.68 m/s||High|
|.45 ACP||145 – 230 g 0.319 – 0.507 lbs||835 – 1350 fps 254.508 – 411.48 m/s||Moderate-High|
|.44 Special||200 – 246 g||755 – 870 fps||Moderate-High|
Gun Sizes Explained (video)
Air Gun sizes
A detailed post about Airgun sizes for BB guns, pistols and air rifles you can find here
With a clear thought of your intended purpose or use of a firearm, having the correct caliber gun with the desired product features and combining that with frequent practice under a qualified instructor in a shooting range will ensure that you are going to efficiently and safely handle, store, and use a firearm without having any unintended or unexpected outcomes like self-injuries or wastage of ammunition due to low accuracy level of performance.
The gun sizes guide provided to you here will adequately inform you about the variety of gun caliber, appropriate use, weight, dimensions, and other functional properties like recoil impact, bullet velocity to assist you in matching your needs to the appropriate firearm.
If you enjoyed reading through this guide, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
Picture in this post by Jay Rembert on Unsplash