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Leigh Sylvester
Leigh Sylvester

Frank C. Barnes' Cartridges of the World, 5th Edition: The Essential Resource for Gun Enthusiasts


Cartridges of the World, 5th Edition Frank C. Barnes: A Comprehensive Guide for Gun Enthusiasts




If you are a gun lover, you probably know how important it is to choose the right cartridge for your firearm. A cartridge is the unit of ammunition that contains the bullet, the propellant, and the primer. It is also known as a round or a shell. Choosing the right cartridge can make a big difference in your shooting performance, accuracy, and safety.




Cartridges Of The World, 5th Edition Frank C. Barnes


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But how do you know which cartridge is best for your needs? With so many types, sizes, and calibers of cartridges available in the market, it can be overwhelming to find the one that suits your purpose. That's where Cartridges of the World comes in handy.


Cartridges of the World is a book that covers everything you need to know about cartridges. It is written by Frank C. Barnes, a renowned gun expert and author. It is considered to be the most authoritative and comprehensive reference on cartridges ever published. In this article, we will review the 5th edition of Cartridges of the World, which was released in 1976. We will also explore the history, types, and uses of cartridges in general.


Introduction




What is Cartridges of the World?




Cartridges of the World is a book that contains detailed information on over 1500 different cartridges from around the world. It includes descriptions, specifications, illustrations, photographs, ballistic data, and historical notes on each cartridge. It also provides useful advice on how to select, load, and shoot various cartridges.


The book is divided into three main sections: rifle cartridges, handgun cartridges, and shotgun shells. Each section is further subdivided into categories based on caliber, design, or origin. For example, rifle cartridges are classified into American standard rifle cartridges, European standard rifle cartridges, British standard rifle cartridges, wildcat rifle cartridges, obsolete American rifle cartridges, obsolete European rifle cartridges, obsolete British rifle cartridges, military rifle cartridges, rimfire rifle cartridges, and metric rifle cartridges.


The book also has several appendices that cover topics such as reloading data, bullet weights and diameters, powder charges and velocities, pressure standards and conversions, headstamp markings and codes, glossary of terms and abbreviations, bibliography of sources and references, and index of cartridge names.


Who is Frank C. Barnes?




Frank C. Barnes was born in 1918 in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in a family that loved guns and hunting. He started collecting cartridges at an early age and became fascinated by their history and diversity. He also developed a passion for writing and publishing. He served in the US Army during World War II and later worked as a journalist, editor, and publisher.


In 1965, he published the first edition of Cartridges of the World, which was based on his personal collection of over 3000 cartridges. The book was an instant success and received rave reviews from gun enthusiasts and experts. Barnes continued to update and expand the book with new editions until his death in 1992. He also wrote several other books on guns and ammunition, such as The ABCs of Reloading, Black Powder, Pig Lead and Steel Silhouettes, and Muzzleloading for Deer and Turkey.


Barnes was a respected authority and a pioneer in the field of cartridge research and development. He contributed to the advancement of cartridge design and performance by creating several wildcat cartridges, such as the .308 x 1.5" Barnes, the .25-284 Barnes, the .458 x 2" American, and the .460 Weatherby Barnes Supreme. He also helped popularize many obscure or forgotten cartridges, such as the .30-40 Krag, the .303 British, the .45-70 Government, and the .577 Nitro Express.


What are the features of the 5th edition?




The 5th edition of Cartridges of the World was published in 1976 by DBI Books. It was revised and edited by John T. Amber, who was the editor of Gun Digest at the time. The 5th edition added over 200 new cartridges to the previous edition, bringing the total number of cartridges covered to over 1500. It also updated the information on existing cartridges with new data and photos.


The 5th edition introduced several new sections and features to the book, such as:



  • A section on metric rifle cartridges, which covered over 100 cartridges from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.



  • A section on military rifle cartridges, which covered over 50 cartridges used by various armies and police forces around the world.



  • A section on rimfire rifle cartridges, which covered over 40 cartridges from .17 to .22 caliber.



  • A section on wildcat rifle cartridges, which covered over 200 cartridges that were modified or custom-made by individual shooters or gunsmiths.



  • A section on obsolete American rifle cartridges, which covered over 100 cartridges that were no longer in production or common use.



  • A section on obsolete European rifle cartridges, which covered over 100 cartridges that were no longer in production or common use.



  • A section on obsolete British rifle cartridges, which covered over 50 cartridges that were no longer in production or common use.



  • A section on handgun cartridges, which covered over 300 cartridges from .22 to .50 caliber.



  • A section on shotgun shells, which covered over 100 shells from .410 to 10 gauge.



  • An appendix on reloading data, which provided information on powder charges, bullet weights, velocities, pressures, and accuracy for over 500 cartridges.



  • An appendix on bullet weights and diameters, which provided information on bullet dimensions for over 1000 cartridges.



  • An appendix on powder charges and velocities, which provided information on muzzle energy and trajectory for over 500 cartridges.



  • An appendix on pressure standards and conversions, which provided information on how to convert between different units of pressure measurement.



  • An appendix on headstamp markings and codes, which provided information on how to identify the manufacturer and origin of a cartridge based on its headstamp.



The 5th edition also improved the layout and design of the book, making it more user-friendly and attractive. It used a larger font size and a clearer typeface for better readability. It also used more color photos and illustrations to enhance the visual appeal. It also added more tables and charts to organize and summarize the data. It also added more cross-references and footnotes to link related topics and sources.


The History of Cartridges




The origins of cartridges




The earliest form of cartridge was invented in the late 14th century by Chinese gunsmiths. It consisted of a paper tube filled with gunpowder and a lead ball. The tube was inserted into the barrel of a hand cannon or a matchlock musket. The tube was then ignited by a slow-burning fuse or a lit match cord. This type of cartridge was called a fire-lance or a paper cartridge.


The evolution of cartridges




The fire-lance or paper cartridge was improved and modified over time by various inventors and gunsmiths. Some of the major developments in the history of cartridges are:



  • In the early 16th century, the Spanish developed a metal cartridge called a cartucho. It consisted of a brass or iron case filled with gunpowder and a bullet. The case had a hole at the base that allowed the ignition of the powder by a flash from the pan of a flintlock or a wheellock firearm. The cartucho was faster and safer to load than the paper cartridge, but it was expensive and difficult to make.



  • In the late 16th century, the French developed a breech-loading firearm called a fusil. It used a metal cartridge called a chamber. It consisted of a brass or iron cylinder that contained gunpowder and a bullet. The cylinder had a hole at the base that allowed the ignition of the powder by a matchlock or a flintlock mechanism. The chamber was inserted into the breech of the fusil and locked in place by a lever or a screw. The fusil and the chamber were more accurate and reliable than the cartucho, but they were also expensive and complex.



  • In the early 17th century, the Dutch developed a paper cartridge called a kardoes. It consisted of a paper tube filled with gunpowder and a bullet. The tube had a hole at the base that allowed the ignition of the powder by a flintlock or a wheellock mechanism. The kardoes was cheaper and easier to make than the cartucho or the chamber, but it was less durable and prone to moisture.



  • In the late 17th century, the British developed a paper cartridge called a cartridge. It consisted of a paper tube filled with gunpowder and a bullet. The tube had no hole at the base, but it had a small amount of powder exposed at one end. The cartridge was loaded into the muzzle of a flintlock or a percussion cap firearm. The exposed powder was ignited by the spark from the flint or the cap, which then ignited the rest of the powder in the tube. The cartridge was simpler and faster to load than the kardoes, but it was also less accurate and consistent.



  • In the early 19th century, the French developed a metal cartridge called a pinfire. It consisted of a brass or copper case filled with gunpowder and a bullet. The case had a small pin protruding from its side that acted as a primer. The pinfire was loaded into the breech of a pinfire firearm. The pin was struck by a hammer or a firing pin, which ignited the primer and then the powder in the case. The pinfire was more reliable and convenient than the cartridge, but it was also more expensive and dangerous.



  • In the mid-19th century, the American developed a metal cartridge called a rimfire. It consisted of a brass or copper case filled with gunpowder and a bullet. The case had no primer, but it had an annular groove around its base that contained an explosive compound. The rimfire was loaded into the chamber of a rimfire firearm. The rim was struck by a hammer or a firing pin, which ignited the compound and then the powder in the case. The rimfire was cheaper and safer than the pinfire, but it was also weaker and less powerful.



  • In the late 19th century, various inventors developed metal cartridges called centerfire. They consisted of brass or steel cases filled with gunpowder and bullets. The cases had primers in their centers that were ignited by hammers or firing pins. The centerfire cartridges were stronger and more versatile than rimfire cartridges, and they became the standard for modern firearms.



The classification of cartridges




Cartridges can be classified into different categories based on various criteria, such as:



  • The type of firearm they are used in: rifle cartridges, handgun cartridges, shotgun shells, etc.



  • The type of ignition system they use: rimfire cartridges, centerfire cartridges, etc.



  • The type of bullet they use: lead bullets, jacketed bullets, hollow-point bullets, armor-piercing bullets, etc.



  • The type of propellant they use: black powder cartridges, smokeless powder cartridges, etc.



  • The type of design they have: standard cartridges, wildcat cartridges, obsolete cartridges, etc.



  • The type of origin they have: American cartridges, European cartridges, British cartridges, etc.



  • The type of caliber they have: metric cartridges, imperial cartridges, etc.



The Types of Cartridges




Rimfire cartridges




Rimfire cartridges are cartridges that have an annular groove around their base that contains an explosive compound. The rim is struck by a hammer or a firing pin, which ignites the compound and then the powder in the case. Rimfire cartridges are cheaper and simpler to make than centerfire cartridges, but they are also weaker and less reliable. They are mostly used for small-caliber firearms, such as .22 rifles and pistols.


Examples and characteristics




Some of the most common rimfire cartridges are:



Name


Bullet diameter


Case length


Muzzle velocity


Muzzle energy


.22 Short


5.6 mm (0.22 in)


10.7 mm (0.42 in)


330 m/s (1080 ft/s)


105 J (77 ftlbf)


.22 Long


5.6 mm (0.22 in)


15.2 mm (0.60 in)


370 m/s (1215 ft/s)


142 J (105 ftlbf)


.22 Long Rifle


5.6 mm (0.22 in)


15.6 mm (0.61 in)


380 m/s (1250 ft/s)


168 J (124 ftlbf)


.22 Magnum


5.7 mm (0.224 in)


26.9 mm (1.06 in)


570 m/s (1870 ft/s)


472 J (348 ftlbf)


.17 HMR


4.5 mm (0.17 in)25.4 mm (1.00 in)780 m/s (2550 ft/s)363 J (268 ftlbf)Advantages and disadvantagesRimfire cartridges have some advantages and disadvantages over centerfire cartridges, such as:Rimfire cartridges are cheaper and easier to manufacture than centerfire cartridges, because they do not require a separate primer.Rimfire cartridges are lighter and more compact than centerfire cartridges, because they have thinner cases and smaller bullets.Rimfire cartridges are quieter and less recoiling than centerfire cartridges, because they have lower pressures and velocities.Rimfire cartridges are less reliable and consistent than centerfire cartridges, because they have a higher chance of misfiring or dud rounds.Rimfire cartridges are less powerful and accurate than centerfire cartridges, because they have lower energies and trajectories.Rimfire cartridges are less versatile and adaptable than centerfire cartridges, because they cannot be reloaded or modified.</ul Centerfire cartridges




Centerfire cartridges are cartridges that have a primer in their center that is ignited by a hammer or a firing pin. The primer then ignites the powder in the case. Centerfire cartridges are stronger and more reliable than rimfire cartridges, but they are also more expensive and complex. They are used for most modern firearms, such as rifles, pistols, and shotguns.


Examples and characteristics




Some of the most common centerfire cartridges are:



Name


Bullet diameter


Case length


Muzzle velocity


Muzzle energy


9mm Luger


9.0 mm (0.35 in)


19.2 mm (0.76 in)


360 m/s (1180 ft/s)


570 J (420 ftlbf)


.45 ACP


11.5 mm (0.45 in)


22.8 mm (0.90 in)


260 m/s (850 ft/s)


490 J (360 ftlbf)


.223 Remington


5.6 mm (0.22 in)44.7 mm (1.76 in)990 m/s (3250 ft/s)1780 J (1310 ftlbf).308 Winchester7.8 mm (0.31 in)51.2 mm (2.02 in)840 m/s (2750 ft/s)3520 J (2600 ftlbf).50 BMG12.7 mm (0.50 in)99.1 mm (3.90 in)880 m/s (2900 ft/s)18300 J (13500 ftlbf)Advantages and disadvantagesCenterfire cartridges have some advantages and disadvantages over rimfire cartridges, such as:Centerfire cartridges are more reliable and consistent than rimfire cartridges, because they have a lower chance of misfiring or dud rounds.Centerfire cartridges are more powerful and accurate than rimfire cartridges, because they have higher energies and trajectories.Centerfire cartridges are more versatile and adaptable than rimfire cartridges, because they can be reloaded or modified.Centerfire cartridges are more expensive and complex to manufacture than rimfire cartridges, because they require a separate primer.Centerfire cartridges are heavier and bulkier than rimfire cartridges, because they have thicker cases and larger bullets.Centerfire cartridges are louder and more recoiling than rimfire cartridges, because they have higher pressures and velocities.


Shotgun shells




Shotgun shells are cartridges that are used in shotguns. They contain multiple pellets or slugs that are fired from a smoothbore barrel. Shotgun shells are different from rifle or handgun cartridges, because they have plastic or metal cases that are crimped or folded at the end. Shotgun shells are also measured by gauge instead of caliber, which indicates the diameter of the barrel.


Examples and characteristics




Some of the most common shotgun shells are:



Name


Gauge


Pellet size


Pellet count


Muzzle velocity


Muzzle energy


.410 bore


67 (.410 in)


#6 (2.6 mm)


113


550 m/s (1800 ft/s)


680 J (500 ftlbf)


20 gauge


15.6 (.62 in)


#6 (2.6 mm)


225


390 m/s (1280 ft/s)


1100 J (810 ftlbf)


12 gauge


18.5 (.73 in)#6 (2.6 mm)378410 m/s (1340 ft/s)2000 J (1500 ftlbf)10 gauge19.7 (.77 in)#6 (2.6 mm)492430 m/s (1410 ft/s)2700 J (2000 ftlbf)Advantages and disadvantagesShotgun shells have some advantages and disadvantages over rifle or handgun cartridges, such as:Shotgun shells are more effective and versatile than rifle or handgun cartridges, because they can fire multiple pellets or slugs that can hit different targets or penetrate different materials.Shotgun shells are more suitable and convenient than rifle or handgun cartridges, because they can be used in smoothbore barrels that are easier to maintain and load.Shotgun shells are less accurate and consistent than rifle or handgun cartridges, because they have lower velocities and trajectories.Shotgun shells are less reliable and durable than rifle or handgun cartridges, because they have plastic or metal cases that can deform or corrode.


The Uses of Cartridges




Hunting




Hunting is the activity of pursuing and killing wild animals for sport, food, or other purposes. Hunting requires the use of cartridges that can deliver enough power and accuracy to kill the animal humanely and efficiently. Hunting also requires the use of cartridges that can match the size and behavior of the animal, as well as the distance and environment of the hunt.


How to choose the right cartridge for hunting




The choice of cartridge for hunting depends on several factors, such as:



  • The type of animal: different animals have different sizes, shapes, and vital organs. For example, deer have thin skin and large lungs, while bears have thick skin and small lungs. The cartridge should be able to penetrate the animal's skin and reach its vital organs with enough energy to cause fatal damage.



  • The behavior of the animal: different animals have different reactions to being shot. For example, some animals may run away or charge at the shooter, while others may drop dead or stay still. The cartridge should be able to stop the animal's movement or aggression with enough force to prevent further harm.



The distance of the hunt: different distances require different levels of accuracy and trajectory. For example, long-range hunting requires a cartridge that has a flat trajectory and minimal wind drift, while short-r


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