What Caliber to Choose
Three points are to be considered in determining the caliber of small arms: 1st. It should be as small as possible to enable the hunter or soldier to carry the greatest number of cartridges. 2d. To diminish the amount of ammunition required, and to prevent the confusion liable to arise from a variety of calibers, there should not be more than two for all arms of the same service, viz., one for the rifle and the carbine, and one for the pistol. 3d. This point relates to the force and accuracy of the projectile, and to the flatness of its trajectory. The introduction of the elongated projectiles afforded the means of increasing the accuracy and range of firearms, without increasing the weight of the projectile, simply by reducing the caliber, which diminished the surface, opposed to the air. Too great reduction of caliber, however, gives a very long and weak projectile, and besides the effect of a projectile on an animate object depends not only on its penetration, but also on the shock communicated by it to the nervous system, or upon the surface of contact. These considerations have led to a general reduction of caliber of rifles.
Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.
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