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What Is a Gun's Caliber?

Learn what is meant by a gun's caliber from Police Officer Keith Charley in this Howcast gun video.


Today we're going to talk about what is a gun's caliber. A commonly heard word is "caliber" of a gun. You hear whether it's a 45 caliber or you hear sometimes in metric is a 9mm.

Basically a caliber is the diameter of the projectile fired or the barrel itself. It's broken down and so if you see, this for example is a 44 magnum shell for the very popular Desert Eagle. It showing .44 but it's pronounced 44 caliber, when you're pronouncing it you're going to drop the decimal point. And what that means is it's .44 of an inch. So 44 caliber is .44 of an inch. And typically, the larger the caliber of a gun, the more powerful the gun is. You have 22's, which are a very small caliber, .22 of an inch, up to for pistols 44 and 50 caliber. And then you of course have your rifle calibers.

They have several subtle different difference, but typically the caliber is the diameter of the barrel or the projectile being fired. And I drop the decimal point to pronounce it. I hope that clears up any questions you might have of what is a gun's caliber.

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