Obsolete Ammo: The Name Game


22LR, 22 WMR, 22S oh my! There are so many calibers and ammunition available that all sound the same with so many firearms choices now! This variety is great but can lead to some confusion or worse a potentially fatal situation.

Firearms that utilize self-contained ammunition have been around a long time. In fact, commercially available “cartridges” have been available since the mid-1800’s. Constant technical change coupled with military and free market competition have spawned thousands of once common cartridges that are now merely the stuff of gun periodical quizzes. Likewise, with no objective standard for the naming of ammunition many a round has more than one name despite having the same design specificities.

A prime example of this would be the thirty-two caliber “smokeless” revolver cartridges that became popular in the early 1900’s. Most notable of these is the .32 Colt New Police which is/was interchangeable with .32 S&W Long and chambered by many manufactures throughout Europe and the Americas. This type of corporate rivalry coupled with the differences in American and European methods of measurement have made the identification of many cartridges and the firearms that chamber them something only a gunsmith can do.

If you have a firearm and you’re not sure of the actual chambering, don’t trust ammo that “seems to fit”. Have a qualified gunsmith, like Ross here at HNR Gunworks, check it out.

Improper ammunition loaded into an older, defective or poorly maintained firearm can be a recipe for disaster. Don’t risk your safety – “see Ross first!”

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