High Velocity Pistol Cartridges

Discussion in 'Caliber Talk: Ammunition, Reloading, and Shooting ' started by PilotPhill, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    Jun 9, 2018
    Hi All,
    I have been wondering, why does it seem that in pistols, one needs to tend toward huge diameter and heavy bullets in order for high velocities to be reached?

    9mm, 45 auto, even 10mm all seem to top out around 1,500 fps.
    It is not until cartridges like the 460 S&W Mag (2,500fps) that one can reach average rifle velocities.

    Besides things like the quite new 7.5mm FK, why are small high velocity pistol calibers not popular?

    If S&W can make the 460XVR, why cannot a small caliber 3k fps cartridge be designed? Since a=f/m and p=mv, one would think that would be much easier to do.
  2. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014

  3. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
  4. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
  5. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    Jun 9, 2018
    You guys are right, the 5.7x28 looks like just what I was curious about! Any ideas as to why it does not enjoy such popularity? I did not see any handguns chambered for it besides FNs own Five-Seven

    Are there other cartridges out there that push around 3k fps with bullets larger than 30gr?
  6. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
  7. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
    Nothing about the pistol is cheap. You're at $1100-$1300 for the pistol. The price of ammo is around 50 cents per round for range ammo, 38 cents on the low end. During the panic, prices were way higher.

    There are basically two choices of firearm - the FN 5-7 and the PS90. There is an AR variant, and I've seen one other pistol chambered in this round.

    I once spoke with a handgun designer about why he hadn't considered the 5.7x28. He told me he had considered it, and had done barrel testing, but the mags really were too complicated for his handgun design.

    They are fun to shoot. The handgun, plus 60 rounds of ammo (3 mags), weighs practically nothing. The light weight also makes them harder to shoot accurately - just like a small pistol, there is no inertia to hold the gun steady. My opinion - if you can shoot a FN 5-7 well, you can probably shoot any handgun accurately.
  8. Fatbob Frank

    Fatbob Frank Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Feb 5, 2014
    The .22TCM is basically a shortened .223 round and it is quite fast and fun to shoot.
    In fact, it will crater pistol rated steel plates badly and can even set off Tannerite.
    And while the pistols are reasonably priced the ammo tends to be comparable to 10MM in cost.
    But, ( as far as I know) only 1 company in the world makes ammo for it and I for one hate putting 'all my eggs in one basket' as it were for a source of ammo.
    One of the reasons the .327 Federal hasn't become more popular IMO.
    Babboonbobo likes this.
  9. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    9x25Dillon and 40Super can reach around 2k FPS with heavier pills.
  10. techiede

    techiede Active Member

    Oct 30, 2014
    Have shot both the 22tcm & the 5.7 and they are fun to shoot.

    Had considered getting the 22tcm but I like to hand load and didn't want to go through that process with a bottle necked handgun cartridge - too much work for me.
  11. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
    You can find some lightweight .357 Sig ammo that will come in just under 2k.
    The few times I’ve shot a Five-seveN I just haven’t been impressed. The gun itself is just a bit goofy feeling (and feels cheap to me) and I have to get through 2 mags or so before I get the feel for it and can get it accurate. The round itself is a spectacular design for full auto, but I’d never use one for SD. I’d be too worried about through-and-throughs
  12. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    Other than what? The FN and TCM are in the LOW 2000s. I don't think 3000 fps is in reach at the present state of the art. For service pistols, I don't count sawn off rifles for rifle cartridges in this sort of discussion.
  13. daved20319

    daved20319 Active Member

    Jun 27, 2018
    I think the simple answer, despite the exceptions mentioned in this post, is case capacity. The volume of a cylinder increases by the square of its radius, plus the big bore cases you mentioned are quite a bit longer than your typical handgun cartridges. Put simply, that means you can stick a lot more powder in them. But that also generally means a much larger gun, might be great for hunting bear, but for HD/SD/carry, not so much. Later.

    limbkiller likes this.
  14. Capthobo

    Capthobo NRA Endowment member Supporting Addict

    Nov 9, 2016
    To answer the main question is that pistol shooters don’t necessarily look towards hitting targets out 300 yards or further where the higher velocities are needed.

    Also note that the longer barrels are what help attain those high velocities.
  15. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    Armscor does sell cases and bullets in bulk for reloading, just FYI
  16. razorbacker

    razorbacker Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Dec 2, 2011
    I understand the joy shooting pistol calibers (.22, 9mm, .357, 45acp, .44 mag, etc) in carbines and rifles but never seemed pleasurable or practical shooting high velocity rifle cartridges through handguns. I guess T/C type handguns would be an exception.

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