What is the most popular handgun caliber?

9mm World-Wide

In my neck of the woods I'm not at all sure that the 9mm is the most popular.

The semi-autos in my collection are made for .25 (6.35mm), .32 ACP, .380 ACP and .45 ACP. Note: ACP is the acronym for Automatic Colt Pistol. In the revolver category, I have handguns chambered for .22 Long Rifle, .32 NP (New Police), .38 Special and .357 Magnum. The Colt .32 NP (flat nose) is functionally the same as .32 S&W Long (round nose). And finally, I have a combination over/under gun that fires .45 Long Colt and .410 Shot Shells.

The only 9mm I've ever purchased or owned was the Colt All American Model 2000. It was short-lived, as I gave it to my son within two weeks. The .40 S&W has gained in popularity since its debut in January 1990, but I personally have never owned one.

If I had to choose a favorite caliber, it would be the .45 ACP. I currently have three handguns and one carbine that fire that cartridge. I have three revolvers that fire the .38 Special and two that fire the .32 New Police. There are two .380s and two .32 ACP pistols. So these are the most popular calibers in my collection at this time.

Most Popular Handgun Calibers at GUN.C.C.
  • #1 .45 ACP
  • #2 .38 Special
  • #3 .380 ACP

Technically, my .357 Python will fire .38 Specials so I could have included it in that count, but I never fire .38s in it. I've written before about all of my friends firing my old Python, but in real terms, it hasn't been fired a whole lot. And it's not because I don't have that many friends. My good friend at the gun store was telling me about his neighbor and three teenage kids burning through a thousand rounds within a few hours the other day. I don't do that.

A big day at the range might consume 200 rounds of .45 ACP ammo each if my two son-in-laws are with me and I buy it in bulk for $100 bucks per 200 rounds.

Bulk .45 Ammo

Bulk .45 Ammo

Handgun Cartridge Sizes

Caliber Examples

1908 Colt Vest Pocket .25

.25 ACP

The genuine Mother of Pearl grips added $5.75 to the $16.50 base price of the gun for a total new purchase price of $22.25 in 1916.

1903 Colt .32 Pocket Hammerless

.32 ACP

The Pocket Hammerless was produced from 1903 to 1945.

1992 Colt Mustang .380

.380 ACP

It's like a baby 1911. This gun has a nickel finish and real factory Mother of Pearl grips.

Colt Gold Cup

.45 ACP

These were produced from 1983 to 1996.

Colt 1961 Kansas Centennial Single Action .22

.22 Long Rifle

Colt 1961 Kansas Centennial Single Action .22

Colt Detective Special

.32 New Police

Colt Detective Special .32 NP

.38 Special

.38 Special

The most carried gun from my collection.

1962 Colt Python

.357 Magnum

All of my family and friends have fired this old gun.

Bond Arms .45/.410


This Bond Arms was purchased specifically to carry on my walking trail.

Back To Top