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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 10 years ago

Question about bullets?

I know what calibers are (the diameter of the bullet) but what does the whole YxZ mean. If you say like a .22 roundt, a .243 round, or a .308 round i can picture those in my head. But if you said a 5.56x45mm round i would be completely lost. what do those numbers represent and how can i picture the size of that round? PS (i know the 5.56x45mm is close to .223 just by looking it up)

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  • Herbli
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, the first number is the nominal bullet diameter, usually metric, and the second number is the length of the empty case, also metric. So your 5.56x45mm is the .223 NATO and the 8x57 is the classic German 8mm military cartridge. There are wildcats and custom jobs, so without the metric definition, what is the difference between a .284 Winchester or a .280 Remington or a 7mm STW or a 7mm Dakota? There is enough variation in cartridge size & terminology to drive most people crazy, and new stuff keeps coming out each year. Go to the library & get a copy of Barnes' "Cartridges of the World".

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  • 10 years ago

    When you look at the metric numbers you need both the diameter and the case length to tell which round you have. For example 7.62x39 (russian AK47) 7.62x 51(NATO, .308) 7.62x54rimmed(russian, Moisan-Nagant) and 7.62 x 63 mm(.30-06)

    In some cases the diameter and the case length are the same and you need to add a note so that you can tell them apart.

    Often you also need another identifier to tell you about differences in the weight or style of the bullet too. Things like if it is tracer, soft point, full jacket.

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  • 10 years ago

    caliber is the diameter of the bullet. .223 is in inches (.223rds of an inch wide) while 5.56 is the diameter of the bullet in millimeters (the bullet is a bit more than 5 and a half millimeters wide). But a good rule of thumb is if the decimal comes before the number then its in inches, but if its after the first number its in millimeters. I know that the way i put it is confusing, but hope i helped!!!

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Millimeters Vs. Inches. 5.56 is the diameter and 45 is the length of the cartridge. In the USA we are a bit lazy and just speak of the diameter, but in inches .223. Then we come up with a tricky name for the length instead of measurement like Winchester, S&W, Long or Short. Those of us who speak gunease know the length of cartridge by those descriptions.

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  • 10 years ago

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliber

    That link should tell you everything you need to know about Caliber of bullets.

    If you don't want to read that here:

    Metric calibers for small arms are usually expressed with an "x" between the width and the length; for example, 7.62x51 NATO. This indicates that the cartridge uses a 7.62 mm diameter bullet, loaded in a case 51 mm long. S

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