Dead and Dying Cartridges...

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
6,410
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
In my most recent G&A...
There's an article about gasping cartridges. I don't always agree with gun writers, but sometimes I read the article anyway.

They've printed a short list of cartridges that are on their last legs. Some I agree with, some I don't . And some I am surprised.

The .40 S&W ... The cartridge everyone loves to hate. It is professed by many to be an unneeded anemic cartridge. But when I've questioned cops, I find many, especially in rural departments, that carry and prefer the .40 to the other choices. I greatly prefer the .40 to the Mister Wonderful 9mm Parabellum cartridge.

Here's the bigger surprise. The .327 Federal. This is a cartridge that does nothing for me, but I respect that it does have quite a following. Bottom line... I am surprised that the gunwriter(s) are professing this cartridge to be going away. This caused me to look to my ammo supplier, and they have zero .327 cartridges available for sale.

A few more on the list.
.357 SIG, .32ACP, .45GAP, and finally, the .30SC. Most are niche cartridges, having their followers. And there's no doubt they are decent performers. The .32ACP is the exception to me. There are many thousands of .32 autos left over from previous eras. And a few more recent releases. Although unpopular for most purposes, this is a cartridge that I just don't see ever going completely away.
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,572
Location
Houston metro area, TX
Add the .480 Ruger to the list, since nobody makes brass for it any longer. Starline insists that they'll make some brass, sometime, maybe, for it, but I don't believe them. The .357 Sig could go away pretty easily, since no major organizations use it any longer and only Glock chambers for it these days. Same with the .45 GAP. I know that the .30 Super Carry appears to be dying, but I agree that there are simply too many .32 ACPs out there for it to go away.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,197
Location
the Great State of Wide-open (WY)
In my most recent G&A...
There's an article about gasping cartridges. I don't always agree with gun writers, but sometimes I read the article anyway.

They've printed a short list of cartridges that are on their last legs. Some I agree with, some I don't . And some I am surprised.

I think your comment about many thousands of existing guns is spot on. And some companies are still chambering guns for so-called "dead and dying" cartridges, so numbers are actually increasing, albeit more slowly than for the "me too" cartridges like 9mm. I would guess that none of the cartridges listed are going away anytime soon, with the possible exception of .30 SC, which is brand new & lacks an "installed base".

Some folks insist the "unneeded anemic" .40 S&W is dying - I just laugh, and continue buying my 40 caliber firearms & reloading supplies for less than they're paying for 9mm products. There's a cost associated with riding on a bandwagon!
:)
 

Don Lovel

Hunter
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
2,580
Location
Red Dirt Oklahoma, Go Cowboys
I think 357 Sig in an SBR or even 16"AR would be much better than 9mm in CQB situation.
Bottleneck design feeding better and terminal penetration better.
Yeah 9mm cartridge popularity around the world and ammo availabilty go to the 9mm.
I would like to see a side by side comparison on Barrier, water jugs and Gel of 16" carbines or 10.5" SBR
 

BearBiologist

Hunter
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
2,640
I agree that few, if any, cartridges ever "die". I've loaded 32 Win. Spl., 38-40, 38 Long Colt and 41 Long Colt, 30-40 Krag, 405 Win, and others! Hunted with some of them!

I've converted all of my 40 S & W Glocks to 357 Sig. Get better accuracy (1.5-2" groups @ 7 & 10 yards). Ammo can be pricey but I pretty much carry Underwood ammo in my "carry" pistols, including 45 Colt OM Blackhawk in grizzly country.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
1,028
Location
Vinita, OK
IMO, the only time a cartridge is "really in trouble" is if the brass is somehow unique. .357 SIG... for instance... if they 100% quit making the brass... I could just make my own. It would be a pain and then I would have to try to find them after the gun ejected them ... but possible. When you need brass for something like .357 MAX or .480 Ruger or my Remington 700 Classic in .350 Remington Magnum... then it can be a problem.

Yeah, I suppose .327 would be like that if they quit making brass. I have quite a bit... and a lot more .32 H&R Mag that I could use. When I bought my .350 RM back in 1985, I bought reloading dies and 100 pieces of brass. I don't know if I've ever thrown any of that away after reloading... and at least half of it is still virgin... so I hate the fact that it never caught on... but it doesn't really affect me. (Never did buy any factory ammo for it...but that's true of 95% of my guns.)
 

BULL'S-EYE

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Messages
1,177
Location
Indiana
It's important to remember that the 41 Magnum has been "dying" for decades now, and it turns 60 this year, and still has plenty of dedicated followers. (myself included!)

The 40 S&W is a FINE cartridge. I still have my first S&W 4006 that I purchased in 1992, and several other 40's in my stable as well. Plenty of brass, bullets & molds...So, it's NOT "dying" for me anytime soon.

The 30 Super Carry...I've never seen more derision, and flat out hatred, directed at a newly introduced cartridge in my life. Yeah, it has a stupid name. (I'd have named it .32 Super) But, I bought a Shield EZ so chambered, and it's become a favorite range toy of mine...Also, I wouldn't hesitate to use it in self defense if the need should ever arise.
Not to mention, it's only been around for a couple of years, and only offered in relatively few firearms, so predicting it's demise at this point is premature. But again, I've amassed plenty of brass and reloading components for it as well...

Cartridges themselves, only actually die for the non handloader types.
 
Last edited:

Johnnu2

Hunter
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
3,102
Location
NYS
Well, get ready for the next batch. I just looked thru my latest issue of Shooting Times and there was an article, or may be articles, announcing or touting several new whiz-bangers. I was so disinterested that I didn't even read beyond the first few paragraphs; and threw the whole magazine away so I can't let you know what to hide from.
J.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
26,102
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
First off,,, it's a "gun magazine writer." Their job is to write stuff, to create interest & feedback to the magazine. It doesn't mean it's all true or gospel.
but from what I see of factory ammo availability, the following are still available.
.40 S&W
.357 Sig. (A major user,, the NC Highway Patrol.)
.327 Mag
.480 Ruger

And I know others that may be listed are still made.

Just because the bottom of the supply chain being the handloaders,, doesn't mean ammo isn't being made. Starline,, like so many other companies suffered employee loss during the covid crap. Plus, the expenses of running stuff that is in lower demand than the higher demand stuff is not good business sense.
The .480 Ruger,, while brass hasn't been available in a while,, doesn't mean it's dead. I spoke with Starline at SHOT a few weeks ago,, and as they catch up on other stuff, it too will return.

Heck,, the .357 Maximum hasn't had any real mass produced guns for that caliber in a long while,, yet it too has a strong enough following that brass is still being offered from time to time.

Remember; "Supply & demand!"
In business,, bigger contracts get priority.
The general demands are as follows;
Military
Government
LEO's
Ammo makers
Handloaders.

We handloaders are at the bottom of the supply chain demands.

Gun writers,,,,,,,,,, well,,,,,,,,,,, to heck with what they try & "claim" !
 
Top