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Ball calibers and diameters make no sense.

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My black powder space in my gun closet is getting clogged with boxes of different balls of multiple calibers whose diameters for calibers seem to make no sense. For example, I have .44 caliber balls of 0.454 diameter for my cap 'n ball revolvers, and .45 caliber balls of 0.445 diameter for my flintlock rifles. Not to mention I have .36 caliber balls of 0.375 diameter for my 1962 Colt revolver and today got a box of .36 caliber balls of 0.350 diameter for my Le Page pistol. Confusing, to say the least, and doesn't seem logical. If anyone has a link to a good article or video that explains how this all came about and reasons for it, I'm all for some climbing the learning curve. Thanks!!
 
Makes perfect sense for the difference in diameter, but still doesn't explain the caliber designation. Why .44 for the revolver with the larger diameter than the .45 rifle. Seems they ought to be the other way around.
 
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If the .454 didnt work was looking at .457.
I suspect the .457 would work better if you have Ubertis, like me. I've been shooting .454 just fine through my Ubertis, but they tend to not shave quite a full circumference ring. I can get .454 locally. When I was looking for .457 I couldn't find any, even online. Maybe they're out there now; I haven't checked lately. My Pieta Remmy shaves .454 just perfect.
 
It was bore diameter of the barrel not the bullet diameters at first. 0r they used the actual bullet diameter in some cases too. But over time marketing and advertising got involved.

Plus in a few cases the actual bore size changed as things became more modernized too. The Colt .45 for example the manufacturer changed the actual bore size many years later. Some of the early revolvers used the actual ball size instead of the barrel bore too.

But otherwise no ryme or reason or logic. They just did like they wanted to.
 
Your comparing revolvers to pistols, then both of those to a rifle,, all three are different from each other.
In history each are separated by multiple decades in inception and manufacture, (the flintlock rifle and the revolver are separated by well over 200yrs)
The only commonality they have, is they are all called a gun.
Different legal patent issues though all those years also affected the way they could be made.
It wasn't until the early 20th century that SAAMI became accepted, bringing about what today's ammo market is;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporting_Arms_and_Ammunition_Manufacturers'_Institute
All of that is part of firearms history, and not so much confusing as just needing to be understood.
 
Didn't the early developers standardize calibers by how many balls to a pound of lead? At least for gauges, like 8 gauge would be 2 oz. each. I can see where people can be confused!
 
My black powder space in my gun closet is getting clogged with boxes of different balls of multiple calibers whose diameters for calibers seem to make no sense. For example, I have .44 caliber balls of 0.454 diameter for my cap 'n ball revolvers, and .45 caliber balls of 0.445 diameter for my flintlock rifles. Not to mention I have .36 caliber balls of 0.375 diameter for my 1962 Colt revolver and today got a box of .36 caliber balls of 0.350 diameter for my Le Page pistol. Confusing, to say the least, and doesn't seem logical. If anyone has a link to a good article or video that explains how this all came about and reasons for it, I'm all for some climbing the learning curve. Thanks!!
Buy a bigger gun safe or one for pistols, one for rifles!
 
My black powder space in my gun closet is getting clogged with boxes of different balls of multiple calibers whose diameters for calibers seem to make no sense. For example, I have .44 caliber balls of 0.454 diameter for my cap 'n ball revolvers, and .45 caliber balls of 0.445 diameter for my flintlock rifles. Not to mention I have .36 caliber balls of 0.375 diameter for my 1962 Colt revolver and today got a box of .36 caliber balls of 0.350 diameter for my Le Page pistol. Confusing, to say the least, and doesn't seem logical. If anyone has a link to a good article or video that explains how this all came about and reasons for it, I'm all for some climbing the learning curve. Thanks!!
i suspect that somewhere in the distant past a woman was involved in the process of naming calibers. my wife is number dyslexic, or aka Dyscalculia. she comes from a long line of shooters on both sides.
that is as far as i am concerned with the subject.
 
Buy a bigger gun safe or one for pistols, one for rifles!
I don't do safes. They're not big enough. I have two whole closets that have been safed and securitized and used to safely and securely store just the firearms. The ammo is stored separately under like safe and secure conditions on a totally different floor. What I really need is a whoie new house located in a free state, not some friggin metal monster gun safes!! Sorry.
 
Don’t forget that the ball size will change with the type of cloth or paper you use as a patch for it. Same thing for conical bullets too. It depends on the bullet design. A hollow base bullet might be a bit smaller for a more loose fit than a solid base bullet. A target rifle might have you more forcefully swage the bullet down the barrel for a tight fit too.

Mentioning gun safes, does anyone actually make a safe that would fit long muzzle loading rifles or smoothbores?
 
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