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Many times I have seen people say caliber when I think they mean cartridge- such as, "has anyone shot the new caliber 270 WSM?" The 270 WSM is a cartridge, not a caliber. Caliber has to do with diameter of bullet, right? Like 22, 24/6mm, 25, 26/6.5mm, 27, 28/7mm, 30, 338 etc. Just one of my pet peeves I guess. Rufous

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Caliber is the number of bore diameters in the length of the barrel. The 16" guns on the Iowa class battleships were 50 caliber. The 16" guns on the South Dakota class were 45 caliber. The 105 mm M68 gun on the M60 and early M1 tanks was 50 caliber. A .308 dia bore in a 24 inch barrel would be right near 78 caliber. Lately many confuse bore dia with caliber. It's become so common that now it is the accepted practice. Kinda like calling a magazine a clip.


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Caliber .30 correctly refers to bore size.

45-caliber correctly defines barrel length in calibers -- 16 x 45 = 720 inches for a 16-inch 45-caliber naval gun, for example.

� A .220 Howell cartridge uses a caliber .22 bullet in a caliber .22 barrel -- which on my rifle is a 118-caliber barrel (26 inches � .22 = 118.181818).


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More people misuse the decimal point than any other mistake.
There's 3 too many decimal points in the previous post.

Caliber .30 should be Caliber 30
.220 Howell should be 220 Howell
Caliber .22 barrel should be 22 caliber bbl

.22 bullet should be .224" bullet

Use the decimal point in measurement not in nomenclature.


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I believe that it makes a difference in what you mean to say where you stick the caliber word in the sentence.
IIRC the proper name for the Garand is US rifle caliber .30 M1. It has a caliber .30 bore but not a 30 caliber barrel. Common usage today is to say a .308 (for instance) is a thirty caliber. It may be or it may not be but it is a caliber .30. Am I correct or just confused ?


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Duh <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

BRC I,m confused too.

Don't you have to put the decimal point. Other wise it wouldn't be 30 hundredths of a inch it would be 30 inches.

Isn't the 300 WSM and 300 Win Mag .30 caliber, hence the name 300. Bullet diameter is actually .308, but is referred to as .30 caliber.

If this is wrong please let me know so I can contact Sierra Bullet company and have them correct there chart.

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />


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More people misuse the decimal point than any other mistake.
There's 3 too many decimal points in the previous post.

Caliber .30 should be Caliber 30
.220 Howell should be 220 Howell
Caliber .22 barrel should be 22 caliber bbl

.22 bullet should be .224" bullet

Use the decimal point in measurement not in nomenclature.


Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. ... Wrong.

You cite modern SAAMI convention, which even SAAMI didn't always follow. The decimal is correct as I've used it, according to my exhaustive study of classical international usage, going back over a hundred years. Believe me, I know whereof I speak.

SAAMI set its own weird standard, which governs only SAAMI's style.


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Boggy,

If we're going to shorten .308 to .30, then shouldn't we round up, to .31. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Man, now I'm confused! The only thing I know, is that if Ken say's his .220 Howell is a .220 Howell, then so it is (or be, or are...) <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Yeah, I concede,,,
If Ken says his is 22% of one caliber or maybe 220 thousanths of one '"', I won't argue the fact "." I'll let Ed Matunas do it for me.

Quote
Note: About cartridge names. For years it has been the practice of many publishers to place a decimal point in front of a cartridge name, i.e. .30-06 Springfield. This practice, despite widespread use, is erroneous. A cartridge name is a proper name equally as is Ed Matunas. It makes no more sense to print .30-06 Springfield than does to print .Ed Matunas.


I'm truly sorry for those not in the know of the English language mathmatically nor grammatically.


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Yeah, I concede,,,
If Ken says his is 22% of one caliber or maybe 220 thousanths of one '"', I won't argue the fact "." I'll let Ed Matunas do it for me.

Quote
Note: About cartridge names. For years it has been the practice of many publishers to place a decimal point in front of a cartridge name, i.e. .30-06 Springfield. This practice, despite widespread use, is erroneous. A cartridge name is a proper name equally as is Ed Matunas. It makes no more sense to print .30-06 Springfield than does to print .Ed Matunas.


I'm truly sorry for those not in the know of the English language mathmatically nor grammatically.


Then pity yourself, my supercilious friend.

This is not a matter of either language (which is spoken sounds, not ink squiggles and spots on paper) or of correctness but of convention that hasn't the rule of law anywhere.

I've discussed this often and at length with my old friend Ed, to whom SAAMI's standard is a golden calf that I do not accept as such. And I'm by no means alone in my disrespect for it.

I have but to go to a few of the many firearms classics on my shelves (just did exactly that, in fact) -- both miltary and civilian, both American and foreign, including books and official cartridge drawings -- that date back far before SAAMI wrought this "rule" of its own. Even some of my old SAAMI cartridge drawings use the decimal in those old cartridge designations.

I've been reading about guns and cartridges since the Thirties, in publications that date back as far as firearms have been designated by caliber. The decimal was integral to the oldest conventional designations. Omission of the decimal is a very recent "rule," very limited in its standardization. Use of the decimal in cartridge and caliber designations continues to be an honored convention born not of red-neck ignorance but of long- and well established usage.

Cartridge and caliber designations have always been based on mathematical expressions based in turn on the English inch or the European millimeter. If my name were a decimal fraction of an inch -- which "Ed" is not -- the decimal would be appropriate. But I'm not .338 Howell; I'm Ken Howell. Ed is not .338 Matunas, either. And please note that metric cartridges still use the decimal in designations that don't refer to full millimeters.

The decimal has been conventionally "correct" in cartridge and caliber designations as far back as I've researched the matter -- and is still conventionally "correct" in enough modern genres to preclude any universality of the modern SAAMI "rule."

Bias breeds gullibility, which in turn guarantees deception. Blind assumption that SAAMI's very limited "rule" equals universal correctness or is integral to the English language comes from nothing more respectable than sheer deception.


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M99ER, let me defer to you in another area, where I'm sure that you're a master, a veritable and enviable font of knowledge ---

About how much should I ask for a like-new operating lever for a straight-grip Model 99?

(My sincere apologies if "operating lever" is not the correct terminology for this part -- I'm sure you know which part I'm referring to -- the part that combines the trigger-guard bow, the straight finger loop, and the large, up-curving breech-opening-and-closing extension. It's blued and shows no obvious sign of having been used to open and close a Model 99 breech. I don't think it's ever been in a gun.)


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I was going to bet on the wrong horse in this one......

from THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY:

"b. The diameter of the bore of a firearm, usually shown in hundredths or thousandths of an inch and expressed in writing or print in terms of a decimal fraction: .45 caliber. "

From MERRIAM-WEBSTER:

"b : the diameter of a bore of a gun usually expressed in hundredths or thousandths of an inch and typically written as a decimal fraction <.32 caliber>"

Anyone else get the idea these dictionary guys read each other's books pretty closely?

Incidentally, using caliber to refer to barrel length is a rare use of "caliber". I referenced 10 dictionaries, and only one included a definition of caliber as a barrel length measure.

Secondly, as an aside, there is no reason why a proper noun should not include a ".". A name is a choice not governed by the spelling police, as any teacher is sure to be reminded of the first schoolday of every year.... Dutch.


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A name is a choice not governed by the spelling police, as any teacher is sure to be reminded of the first schoolday of every year.... Dutch.


A school-teacher friend told my wife of this first-day puzzlement over the spelling of a new pupil's name. The boy came to first grade, the first day of school, alone. When our friend asked him his name, he said it was "Gooey."

"What does your mother call you?"

"Gooey."

So the teacher asked the boy's older sister, in another grade.

"He name Gooey," the sister said.

So the teacher 'phoned the mother and asked her what the boy's name was.

"He name Gooey," the mother said.

The teacher sighed with resignation, already familiar with black mothers' special talent for coining kids' names, and asked the mother how to spell it.

"G, U, Y."


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The interesting string that runs through this entire thread is the insight into how and on what we tend to base our several views of the matter. In this case, SAAMI? long-established, voluminous international precedent? Ed Matunas? Ken Howell? dictionaries? adopted personal habit? Whim?

Interesting!


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Ok g.u.y.s, I just like to rustle feathers this close to Thanksgiving but it seems I might be the butterball here.



If the decimal is accepted practice, and freely to be distributed, that would make '.308' Winchester caliber work ok and be accurate. But would a '.300' Savage be not so accurate as it is more of a name and probably represents the bore rather than the diameter of the bullet? There's legions of other examples I'm sure. You can put ".308W" no prob but the converse (".300S") is not 'true'. I prefer the 'point' when discussing the barrel of, though not while discussing the name of, the round. Maybe it's just me and I will go crawl back under my rock...



So in this instance I can see it being ok with the Winchester but not the Savage. I personally feel it leads to less confusion if the decimal point is ommitted entirely whether or not it is accurate. JMHO If you are measuring, ok, if not, no dot.



Heaven knows the English language could stand just one way to simplify itself... It's apparent the decimal point is used by some, not by others, but is it ok, or needed to be proper? This is clearly a double standard.



And I am not 'pointing' any fingers! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />



Y'all have a good holiday.


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Mr. Howell,
You snuck in while I was preppin' a post. Your's is a good one. Thanks.


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I learned something here. Thanks Ken and others.

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The bottom-line fact is that there's no single, universal bottom-line standard. Use the SAAMI "rule" in whatever you write, if that's your personal standard -- but don't insist that it's a universal standard or that any other convention is wrong.

When Ed Matunas was one of my writers, and I his Editor, I suggested this compromise, which ever-amiable Ed readily agreed-to -- I wouldn't insist that he use the decimal in his manuscripts, and he wouldn't bitch that I was "wrong" to use it in the magazines. That's how we handled the matter.

And get over the notion that it's "language" or "grammar." It's neither. Either way is merely a printing convention, just as initial caps, periods, commas, etc, are unpronounced marks, not elements of language or grammar. (Language is what we speak -- sounds. Grammar is the way we arrange our words into meaningful strings called sentences. We don't say, for example, "Capital W when capital I go to town tonight comma capital I intend to buy a couple of sacks of potatoes period."


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M99er, might as well split hairs over this one. As I read it, the example you give: "a .308 Winchester caliber" would be either the 308 Winchester, or the 300 Winchester Magnum......

As English is my second language, I tend to be focused on this kind of confusion in words. I find the word "chambered" much less confusing that "cartridge" or "caliber". As in: " this rifle is chambered in 308 Winchester, which is a .308 caliber cartridge based on the miltary 7.62x51 cartridge". I wouldn't be surprised if that is an improper use of the word, especially when you concoct a phrase like: "the 308 Winchested chambering is a good one". Yet, it seems to describe most accurately what I am trying to get accross, most times. JMO, Dutch.


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Dutch, one assumption that's guaranteed to give you a lot of confusion -- an assumption that's only too natural for speakers of other languages who come to English later in life -- is that English is a language with a set of rules. Too bad and good thing this isn't the case.

One: English (especially since the U S's founding) is a blend of an uncountable number of languages, especially in its lexicon.

Two: English is much more flexible than other languages. It readily accommodates new forms of expression, including new uses of old words (for example, Shakespeare's use of "boy" as a verb -- wouldn't fly in French, probably wouldn't in German, either).

Three: The inherent grammar of English -- more flexible than scholars have been prone to acknowledge until recently -- is not the same type of grammar that's so nicely fixed in other languages. The failure of 18th-Century English grammarians to recognize this grammatical uniqueness has added immeasurably to the confusion. Semi-learned school-teachers and semi-attentive (or worse) students have compounded the confusion and outright erroneous teaching about English grammar.

I've been much blessed. First, several generations of very conscientious first-language English-speakers in my background rooted me firmly in both a good working knowledge of English and a radical determination to use it well (correctly and gracefully). Second, my formal education included good basic teaching from the beginning, continued through limited formal study of a few foreign languages, through undergraduate and graduate study and focused independent research in (a) the history of English, (b) the structures of English, (c) traditional and modern English grammar, (d) modern scientific linguistics, (d) classical literature, and (e) the craft of writing (exposition, novels, short stories). Third: My writing and editing experience -- beginning in the 1940s -- and my attitude toward my responsibilities as a writer and editor intensified all this and honed it all to an uncommonly keen edge. As an editor and publisher, I've also spent more than a little time in careful study of classical and modern conventions in printing and publication design. I'm not a hobbyist or in any degree casual about any of this. When I say something definite, what I say rests on much, much more than personal preference or private opinion. I strive to be right, not to be considered right, even in my own mind. I strive to be dependable, as a writer, an editor, a teacher of writing, and a style counselor -- not to be the focus of a reputation. I care mightily what God thinks of me, immeasurably less about anyone else's opinion of me.

FWIW


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