Why The .25-45 Sharps Is The Worst New AR Round

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This is one of those posts I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, but haven’t really felt the urge to write.

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The subject came up recently* in my comments, though, and I really enjoy responding to people, so I might as well kill these two birds with one stone. This won’t be an in-depth analysis like that infamous article I wrote on the 6.8mm SPC, but something a little more lighthearted.

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Because the last time I tried to be funny went SO well…

 

Have you ever seen the movie Kung-POW! Enter the Fist? I haven’t, but there is this scene in that movie:

.25-45 Sharps is sort of like Wimp Lo. Purposefully designed wrong as a joke. At least, I hope.

Sharps’ quarterbore round is based on the .223 Remington, using the same case head and brass, with the same case length and overall length – the only real change is that the caliber has been increased from 0.224″ to 0.257″. That means, to fit inside the cartridge’s envelope, bullets for the .25-45 Sharps have to be short and stubby for their size, a characteristic shared by such ballistic wonders as the .30-30 Winchester, and .30 Carbine.

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You know, I’ve always thought to myself “I really wish 5.56 had worse ballistics.”

 

Unlike .30-30, though, .25-45 Sharps is a new caliber, and one that shooters have to go out of their way to use, at that. Let’s face it, the ol’ .30-30 WCF has the ballistics of a dropped potato, but at least it makes up for that with ubiquity. The .25-45 Sharps? Nope.

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MidwayUSA doesn’t even carry it.

 

Sharps Rifle Company (or rather, the company that is wearing Sharps’ tanned skin on their face name) claims that the .25-45 Sharps is capable of high velocities of around 3,000 ft/s with 87 gr bullets, although there seems to be some confusion as to what barrel length gives those velocities:

 

 

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broadswordgroup.com, site of the parent company of SRC.

 

Those are coincidentally the exact numbers originally advertised for the much larger .250-3000 Savage round when it was introduced in 1915, a cartridge that has a dramatically larger case with much greater internal volume – 47 grains H2O, versus the 31 grains of the .25-45 Sharps, to be exact. Somehow, Sharps found a way to get the .25-45 to perform like a round with 50% more internal volume, possibly through mystical Eastern arts involving a backspace key.

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SAAMI, on the other hand, does not seem to have unlocked the secret of magical unicorn fart propellant yet.

 

So what’s the point of a rifle cartridge that you can’t find, that can only fire dumpy, low-BC bullets, and which probably won’t give its advertised performance from your rifle? Well, Sharps claims:

Just like the famously brush-busting .250-3000, right?

Finally, we get to the name. Sharps takes the Dream of the 1890s to a whole new level with “.25-45”, mimicking the 19th Century naming convention of caliber followed by charge in blackpowder. Apparently not content with the name “.25-27”, however, Sharps altered the format by changing the number after the dash to the case’s length in millimeters, further proving that hipsters can’t decide which is cooler, Europeans, or the Time of Cholera.

Really, at that point why not just name it the 32.5 Microfurlong Center Fire?

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One nice thing I will say about the .25-45 Sharps, the 100gr “Swine Smasher” load looks delightfully retro. Sort of like a teeny weeny Patrone M88.

 

More seriously, the .25-45 Sharps isn’t really that bad, and I’m sure that someone somewhere will get some use out of it (it’s legal for deer hunting in all 50 states! Something Sharps was sure to stamp all over their marketing lit), but it doesn’t really seem like there’s a strong case for the round to exist. Sharps has tried very hard to convince us that the .25-45 is an old friend, like the .45-70, .44-40, or .30-30, even going so far as to appropriate the name of one of America’s great & gone gunmakers in the process. The problem for Sharps is that we put up with the dumpy performance of calibers like the .30-30 not only because they follow naming conventions dating to the time of our great-great-great-grandparents, but also because we can find them on the shelves of every gun store in America.

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Pictured: Proof that Joe McCarthy was right, Communism is winning.

 

So, I ask: What’s the point of an uninspiring newcomer like the .25-45 Sharps? Besides selling uppers for SRC, I mean.

*EDIT: This actually has been sitting in my drafts folder, completed, for over a month. Better late than never, I guess!

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Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Gambler X

    Kung Pow reference….outstanding.

  • Giolli Joker

    It’s refreshing to see nonsense marketing being exposed.
    Entertaining article!
    I went through it looking for a comment on the BS naming… I wasn’t disappointed.

  • Goody

    You forgot one thing it has over 223: A bigger hole. Still, both are pretty mild and there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be better off with a 243, 6.5creed, 6/7/30br or any number of other cartridges if additional terminal effect is required.

    • Bigger holes – especially marginally bigger holes – are highly overrated.

      • Joseph Goins

        @nathaniel_f:disqus Bigger holes allow people to hunt larger game. In my state of Virginia and several others, “rifles used for deer or bear must be .23 caliber or larger.”

        • Right, I mention that indirectly in the article.

    • Anon

      Are you one of those guys who would take a .45 ACP over a 9mm because of “knockdown power” by any chance?

      Just curious.

      • Goody

        Knockdown power happens when animals are hit by projectiles quite a bit over 87 grains. Like, probably millions, usually they have headlights. So um, sorta?

    • Austin

      Or if you want to stay in a standard AR action .458 SOCOM

  • vaquero357

    Forgive me for being suspicious, but that 100gr load looks like someone seiated the bullet upside down in the case…

    • vaquero357

      -seated the bullet-

      • Xtorin O’hern

        its a miniaturized A-square bullet similar to what is most famously used in big game hunting

  • If I ever got a Norinco 84s and hired a especially deranged Texan gunsmith to convert it to .25-45 Sharps and fed it exclusively “Swine Smasher”, I’d probably have the most niche firearm in the world.

  • Independent George

    Speaking of Sharps, what’s the word been on their bolt since the recall? I know there was much brouhaha when their super-duper extra strong bolt started shattering (and deservedly so), but they also responded very quickly with a recall and sent out replacements without prompting. I’m just curious to see how the new bolts are holding up.

    • Dave Y

      I have a few friends with them and I have a couple as well. Mine has probably 2500-3000 rounds through, no problems and none reported from my friends.

  • marathag

    I think you are holding back, Nathaniel.
    Better tell us how you really feel about this cartridge.

  • marathag

    ‘Now with Smokeless Powder’

    Heh- would like to see a load with Triple 7 or real BP so you can get the real ‘Sharps’ smokepole effect

  • PK

    Caveman units/arm-lengths. I vote that in for the new standard comparison of cartridges.

    • Xanderbach

      “The new Hornady .007 Cubit round hits hard, with plenty of power to multiple fathoms.”

      • PK

        …plenty of inch-grams to dozens of fathoms! Arbitrarily using antiquated units of measure could be exceptionally amusing…

        • Bill

          Speed should be measured in furlongs per fortnight.

          • Austin

            Do you not already?

          • Cmex

            I want leagues per jiffy.

      • Devil_Doc

        My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I like it…

        • Jack

          Abe?

        • ARCNA442

          Only 10.5 feet to the gallon? What are you driving?

          • zardoz711

            “The rod or perch or pole is a surveyors tool and unit of length equal to 5 1⁄2 yards, 16 1⁄2 feet”

            “Eventually, a hogshead of wine came to be 63 US gallons (52.5 imp gal; 238.5 L), while a hogshead of beer or ale is 54 gallons”

        • SoulInvictus

          So’s my exwife.
          Badumpbump 😉

      • Sgt. Stedenko

        If you want to impress the ladies, tell them you shoot 65,278,000 angstrom rounds out of your AR.

        • El Duderino

          Okay, now for Planck lengths.

          • Cmex

            Be sure to put muzzle energy in Roentgens!

      • marathag

        New Russian bullet weight measured in fractional Puds

  • cwp

    “legal for deer hunting in all 50 states”

    That would be a remarkable achievement indeed, since Massachusetts doesn’t permit deer hunting with anything other than shotguns, muzzleloaders, and bows.

    • PK

      That came to mind for me, as well. I haven’t been back in over a decade, but I can’t imagine that particular state is any friendlier toward guns than they used to be. ARs especially.

    • Shane

      Ohio only allows rifles that fire straight walled catridges

      • Kivaari

        Funny to think the .30-30 is too flat shooting and high velocity.

    • Evan

      New Jersey is also a no rifles state. And I think Indiana or Iowa or one of those I states is too, but I’ve never been to any of them, I just read that somewhere.

      • marathag

        Only southern Iowa counties allow centerfire rifles, larger than .224

        No rifles elsewhere, but fully rifled shotgun Barrels is fine, but no 410 slugs.

        A 38 S&W could be used for handgun, since it’s a straightwall cartridge with a .357 diameter bullet.

        ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Kivaari

          The .38 S&W is even bigger, up to .362.

      • Kivaari

        So flat or so dense makes any such places unlivable.

      • John Redman

        Indiana recently changed their rules. Twice in the last few years. First it was any pistol round (.44 mag, .357) that could be fired from a rifle. Then a

    • To be fair to Sharps, the error there is mine not theirs. The exact wording they use is “Makes any MSR legal for big game hunting in all states where centerfire rifle hunting is permitted.”

      • cwp

        Ah, well, fair enough then. I can’t really blame you for not being up to date on all of Massachusetts’ byzantine firearms-related laws …

        • Actually, I lied. Check it out, the box in the title image says “LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES!”, and no, I didn’t photoshop that particular bit on there. 😉

          Technically true, I guess, as no state has actually banned the .25-45 Sharps, but we all know they mean for hunting.

          • Jwedel1231

            I’m pretty sure that Ohio requires “straight wall” centerfire cartidges for deer hunting. Meaning all manner of revolver and pistol rounds (excluding bottleneck rounds like 5.7×28, .357 Sig, and the 7.62 Tok), 30-30, 45-70, and shotgun slugs.

            NOTE: .25-45 Sharps is notoriously absent from that list.

          • How in the hell does .30-30 qualify as a “straight wall” cartridge?

            Also, those Ohio laws should totally lead to a .32-40 Ballard resurgence.

          • How in the hell does .30-30 qualify as a “straight wall” cartridge?

            Also, those Ohio laws should totally lead to a .32-40 Ballard resurgence.

          • Jwedel1231

            Oops, my bad. Replace with .32-40 Ballard as needed.

          • Oh, I thought you were saying the gov’t of Ohio considered .30-30 to be straightwalled for some reason. That would be deliciously insane!

          • Kivaari

            .25-45 probably isn’t SAAMI spec.

          • The Broadsword Group is a SAAMI member. The cartridge was standardized by SAAMI as early as 2012.

          • Read the article. I cited that it is.

          • Kivaari

            My crutch, old age enhanced HUAS.

      • Can’t hunt with semi-automatics in Pennsylvania, so that’s still incorrect as stated.

        • Evan

          Not necessarily. If someone made a non-semiauto rifle in .25-45, it would be legal in PA. I think what they’re saying is that some states ban deer hunting with 5.56, whereas .25-45 isn’t specifically banned for hunting in any state (except, of course, states that don’t allow rifles at all)

          • Then it probably wouldn’t be MODERN Sporting Rifle (MSR).

          • Evan

            Not in PA. But you could theoretically have a bolt action in the same caliber. I don’t know if anyone makes one, and my 8mm Mauser works for me, so I wouldn’t buy one if they did, but still.

      • Tim

        NY & IL are also no rifles. Still have my Dad’s 16ga with slug barrel.

        • Evan

          NY allows rifles. I hunt with rifles in NY and know several others who do as well. I think that there are certain jurisdictions where rifles aren’t allowed, but they are upstate.

          • Tim

            Thanks, Evan.
            My info is old. Either they changed it in the last 50 years or, as you say, it varies by jurisdiction. Interestingly, my Dad hunted downstate (the Catskills) with his shotgun and at that time, it was required.

          • Evan

            Ha, I consider the Catskills upstate. I’m from NYC originally (though I now live in a reasonable state). But yeah, my family owns land in the Catskills area, and I hunt there with a rifle.

            Here’s a map of what’s allowed where in NY. I hunt in Delaware county, where any implement is allowed:

          • Tim

            Yeah, I checked and Westchester and Long Island are no rifles just as your map says. He spent time in Westchester, hence the rifled slugs. Back in the day, Westchester was pretty rural. He used to say it sounded like WWII on the first day of deer season though.

          • Evan

            I haven’t been in Westchester in years, but last I was there, Yonkers and White Plains were urban and the rest was pretty suburban, for the most part. Not exactly a safe place to hunt with rifles. According to the map, it’s bow only in Westchester now.

          • Tim

            Amazing how many counties are no rifle now on that map. Everything north of NYC and most others with any medium size cities upstate.

      • Mr Evilwrench

        No projectiles between (yes, between) .243 and .308 (.25-45 no worky) for deer in Indiana according to the new law, but I can use my 7.62×35 (300BLK)! With a 16″ barrel 🙁 need a new one (SBR’d mine). Previously it was ≥ .35 with cartridge ≤ 1.8, leading to the .358 Hoosier wildcat, and why I got a .458SOCOM upper. Also, you can’t have more than 10 rounds with you. It’s still dumb, but somewhat less dumb than it was before.

  • Anon

    Now, I wonder if anyone out there got free stuff because they said nice things about this round…

  • TC

    If you build it, they will come. Here’s the official list of all rifle cartridges you need.
    .22 lr
    .223
    .270
    7.62 X 39
    .308
    30-30, to feed your lever action
    and one larger mid 30’s caliber for big game
    maybe 45-70, but only in blackpowder
    That is all.

    • Evan

      My lever action is a .44.

    • Austin

      A .22 mag lever or bolt action, a 6.5mm CM and a .45-70 easily your whole list

    • DrewN

      Sigh. .22, 12 ga, 6.5 x 55, 9.3 x 62. Now that’s really all you need.

    • Marcus D.

      You missed the .30-06 and a 12 gauge. The former for everything but varmints, the 12 gauge for the birds. I don’t know of any gun for fishing, just TNT.

      • TC

        .308 is ballistically the same as the 30-06, but a shorter case. 12 gauge is not a rifle cartridge.

  • DIR911911 .

    ok ok , you talked me into it. I’ll buy two!!

  • meadmkr

    Reminds me a lot of the 6mm/7mm TCU. Too bad those rounds never gained much traction outside the Metallic Silhouette circuits…

  • Austin

    I never saw the possible market for this round with 6.8 spc, .300blk and 6.5 grendel around

    • throwedoff

      If you are building an AR or changing calibers of an existing AR15, you do not have to buy a proprietary bolt. The .25-.45 uses the standard AR15/m16 bolt as does the .300blk. I bought a .25-.45 barrel and dies from SRC. I enjoy the weapon. It shoots great, and the accuracy has been acceptable during my load development. It has been a chore to work up loads though as there isn’t a whole lot of load data out there. Sizing the .223/5.56 necks up to .25 is easier than sizing a .223 case. I have found that different brands of brass have different powder capacities. I have a number of Perfecta .223 cases that I necked up only to find that they will only hold about 27.5 grains of Xterminator while Remington, Federal, and even Lake City will hold 30 grains without it being compressed. If I get tired of .25-.45, all I have to do is change the barrel. I can even neck the brass back down to .223. Let’s see you do that with your .300blk!

      • Austin

        First, I’m pretty lazy so I would probably just get a second upper and switch those. Second, even trusting that 3000fps number the 6.5mm Grendel is just better all around plus I can find ammo for it.

        • throwedoff

          Yeah, I’ve often thought about a 6.5 cause I like being different, but I reload my ammo and have a ton of .223/5.56 cases to play with. I can also use a lot of the same powders as my .223 loads. It’s easy to neck the .223’s up to .25 for .25-45, and I don’t have to do any extra trimming as is the case for the 300Blk. I’ve never really been sold on the 300Blk or the 6.8 SPC either. The biggest reason I chose the .24-45 route is that it is different. It’s not something you see everyday at the range.

          • Austin

            You could go full special snowflake and have a barrel made for your 6.5mm-.223 wildcat that you do yourself.

          • throwedoff

            Yea, I know. Probably better ballistics too. It just doesn’t have the cool moniker though. I was really excited when Remington announced the 30 AR with “virgin” brass to be marketed for the reloaders. The bad thing about it was the case wasn’t based off of any other available case. It was a proprietary design. No forming your own brass for it, but there was the promise of brass for loading. Remington let that one die on the vine. They produced a couple of factory loads and one or two models of rifles for a year or maybe two and let it die off. I’ll probably go Grendel with my next non-standard build. Just what I’ll need more dies and different powders taking up space and money.

  • Bill

    I’m pretty sure that approximately 99% of all cartridges were designed because somebody thought it was a Good Idea or Because They Could or It Sounds Cool. What’s so Special about a .38 Special? Why isn’t it a .357 Special? Why isn’t there a true .38 called the Actual .38? Why isn’t the .357 Magnum the .38 Extraordinary?

    • oldman

      Why is it called the 38 in the first place when it is a 36 or a 35 and a bit?

      • Austin

        The case neck diameter is .379

        • oldman

          I know that but one does not base caliber on case neck it is supposed to represent the bullet diameter not the case.

          • Well, the origin of the designation used a heeled bullet, so it was accurate.

          • oldman

            I understand that but you have to admit when talking about ammunition it can be confusing at times.

          • Marcus D.

            And it all started with cartridges (mostly). The first .38 cartridge pistols were Colt Navies with a nominal .36 caliber barrel. The ball is usually .375 to start, shaved down a tad when loaded, and then shrunk even more when going through the forcing cone when fired. When the Richardson-Mason conversion used the same cylinder, with the back cut off and a slight increase in cylinder bore diameter to accept the casing.

          • oldman

            Thanks I tend to learn a lot about firearms reading the posts on TFB keep up the good work.

      • ARCNA442

        This was an interesting question so I did some quick research.

        It looks like it goes back to .38 Short Colt which had a .38″ diameter case and a .38 heeled bullet like a .22LR. When heeled bullets fell out of fashion, it was loaded with .36 bullets but kept the name. From there, every other .36 revolver was named .38 so that it didn’t sound weaker.

        • oldman

          Thanks I never knew that it even makes sense which it not always the case when talking about ammunition.

      • Jim_Macklin

        I think it goes back to 36 NAVY Colts. When converted to fire metallic cartridges they called then 38. The bore size is .357-.358 but the case is a .38 approximately with the heeled bullets replaced with an inside the case lubed bullet for clean carry.

    • Austin

      .38 special is an improved.38 LC

    • Paul

      There was a true 38 named 9.65 Browning. Never made it into production.

  • guest

    Slightly off-topic:
    about 90% or more of ALL “specialty” rounds, or “boutique” rounds, does not matter if they are intended for military or civilian use, are completely or almost completely redundant as there are existing alternatives that are more plentiful, cheaper, and will perform just as well.
    So basically .22LR, 9mm/.357SIG, 5,45/5.56, 7,62×39, 7,62×51/x54R, 12.7×99/12,7×108 and 12 gauge alone will probably cover 98% of ALL military, sporting and hunting needs that are known to man, given they have the required bullets which will also be a very small selection: ball, AP, HP and some very few special need high BC/monometal ones and give or take some other very minute variations but still within the same calibers. That’s it!

    To even venture outside of this “ammunition envelope” is to invite higher cost, redundant performance, availability issues etc… all with the “advantage” of some very minute tailoring and customization which almost always is task-specific meaning whoever choses 25-45 or some other nonsense is just inviting trouble.

    • ARCNA442

      I’d probably drop the .357SIG and 7.62×39 and add some sort of magnum cartridge for long range shooting and big game hunting but your primary point is a good one.

      • guest

        I’d personally drop the 9mm even, and have the SIG alone. Face it: 9mm is a fine cartridge, in p+ or +p+ loads it has more than enough muzzle energy and can penetrate 10mm RHA. If Sig case would be used, with an even hotter load: there’s your future-proof “pdw” round that would probably have 800m/s Vo with very light AP bullets, and probably sport either level III or *almost* level III penetration, which is somewhere around 12mm RHA or there abouts.
        The civilians can on the other hand enjoy a cartrdge with more kick.. with just a slightly decreased mag capacity.

        As far as “big game/magnum” – well what is the .50 for?? Very heavy bullets, deliberately fast burning powder and not a wholly filled case – and there is your “slow” magnum that is not too hot, has relatively mild recoil, and won’t blow a 1 foot hole in your heavy game. That round alone will cover everything from elk to elephant.

        • ARCNA442

          While good in theory, .357SIG has some issues in practice. Almost no one uses it so it’s considerably more expensive and most of the defensive ammo for it seems to be loaded with 9mm bullets that slightly underperform at its higher velocities.

          Plus, existing 9mm AP loads can already penetrate Level IIIA armor and with the trend towards 4″ duty pistols you have even less ability to take advantage of higher case capacity so your really just loosing a round or two of capacity.

          As to .50BMG, while you could in theory use it as your long range/big game round, very few guns are manufactured for it compared to the hunting magnum cartridges and most of the ones that are are ridiculously heavy.

          • guest

            I have loaded .357 sig with completely stock 9mm round nose bullets (124 and 112 gn) and they worked like a charm. The point with using a very hot .357 Sig round versus say a +p+ 9×19 is that the latter can in some cases have level III (not IIIA!) penetration with very light AP bullets, that look very much like subcalibre rounds that were a precursor to APFDS rounds during WW2 that tanks used. Using .357 Sig makes that much more sense since it is already more powerful, and if +p+9×19 has an almost 600m/s Vo then I’d wager the Sig can do even better.

            As for the .50 BMG, as I wrote my hypothetical “the less calibers the better” concept revolves around the commonality and availability of both common ammo and guns that shoot it, hence the .50 would get a major boost as it would be the only “big” cartridge available.

          • ARCNA442

            Ultimately, .357SIG is just a bulky 9mm that you can safely get +P+ velocity out of. The trouble is that an extra 100 fps just isn’t going to have any meaningful effects when compared to other factors like bullet design.

            With FMJ they will both over penetrate. With JHP they are very similar, with .357 expanding a bit more and 9mm going a bit deeper. Level IIIA armor (level III is rifle plates), which is tested against 9mm FMJ at 1400 fps, both will be stopped when loaded with standard 115-147 grain bullets and both will punch through with high velocity or AP bullets.

    • Evan

      You’re ignoring handgun hunting, for which a 9mm won’t cut it. Long distance shooting/hunting as well. Add 10mm to that list, plus a magnum revolver caliber, plus like .338 Lapua or something, and you’re a lot closer.

      • guest

        Handgun hunting is a pointless way to avoid hunting with a real weapon like a hunting rifle. I’d solve that issue very simply by banning every means of hunting that is nothing but pointless entertainment like with handguns, shotguns, bows, crossbows, air powered guns and all other nonsense.

        • Evan

          So any use for guns that you don’t do personally should be banned? How delightfully Stalinist of you. I don’t hunt with handguns myself either, but lots of people do. I imagine they do it for the additional challenge. What I do want to get into is hunting boar with a spear, which is certainly within your “ban it because I don’t do it” wheelhouse. Another thing I like to do is camping, in bear country. Does carrying a defensive weapon (10mm Glock) in bear country offend you as well?

          • guest

            Yeah, that is Stalinist of me, as Stalin was as brutal as he was practical. If you go out hunting – fine, why not. I am not a hunter but I am definitely not against it. But the plethora of “arms” and “methods” people use for hunting has gotten out of hand the same way all those gazillion cartridges (not counting the infinity of wildcats).
            But when viewed from the purely practical side – hunting small to large game with rifles/slugs and hunting small animals and birds with buckshot is perfectly fine.

            On the upside, as was my initial argument, you would NEVER EVER see a shortage of ammo, have to backorder/preorder some exotic cartridge, and have interoperability due to commonality up the wazoo. But since 10 gun owners put together will never agree on 90% of all things that they “think” are good/work, this will never happen, but my concept is illustrated none the less.

            This is like saying that gasolene and diesel are “too boring”, and you need f***ing stone coal for that steam car from the 1890’s you bought. Sure, fun stuff, but either there are few things and they are extremely common, or you have a gazillion things and they are all rare or overpriced. Chose your poison.

          • Evan

            First, “Stalinist” is never meant as a complement. At least not by me. And if you think Stalin was practical, I’d suggest reading a couple history books, or looking up things like armed trains and the T-35.

            So, basically, your point is that unless ammo fits into one of the few basic calibers you said, it should be banned. That’s absurd. Your reasoning for it is absurd as well, and ignores a broad range of firearms and uses for firearms. For instance, I like WWII military rifles, as do lots of other people. But, by your logic, I should be banned from buying ammo for my Kar98K or my Lee-Enfield, because they don’t fit into the incredibly narrow range of calibers you find acceptable. And companies that produce ammo should listen to your ranting, instead of market forces which say that if you make 8mm and .303 British, people will buy it.

            The way the market for ammo (and anything else for that matter) works is that people want things. Companies who want to make money then try to fill the needs of the consumers. If they make products that people like, people will buy those products, and the companies will make money. If not, the company will either discontinue that line or they’ll go belly up. As for ammo shortages, the exact same principle would apply in your world of restricted calibers as it does now. With fewer calibers, you would just have more people trying to feed more guns on a slightly larger supply. The shortages would likely be worse.

            Again, just because you don’t do something doesn’t mean it isn’t rational (or even just popular) to do it. For instance, your list does not include any magnum handgun cartridges. Even if, for argument’s sake, I accept your premise that handgun hunting should be banned because it’s less efficient than rifle hunting (I don’t accept this premise at all, but hear me out), magnum cartridges are still quite useful for bear defense. Or should someone fishing for salmon in Alaska have to choose between a 9mm or a .308 rifle?

            Another thing you’re forgetting when you suggest banning all calibers/hunting methods that you don’t understand is that leisure activities like hunting aren’t always about the most efficient way of doing things, they’re about enjoying yourself. For some hunters, a rifle no longer presents a challenging hunt, so they switch to less effective weapons to deliberately make it harder on themselves. Personally, I’m not an experienced enough hunter to need to do that. But some other people are. On a similar note, I really enjoy beer. As a beer enthusiast, I’ve taken the next step and gotten into home brewing. About a month and a half ago, I brewed a Russian imperial stout, a type of very strong beer. Due to the characteristics of the style, it needs to age for several months to mellow out, or it won’t taste particularly good. So I have two cases of beer sitting in my basement that I don’t plan to drink until November. This is not efficient. I could have easily just gone to the store and bought a couple cases of Old Rasputin or something and had it immediately. I did it myself because it’s far more enjoyable for me to drink a beer that I made myself than just to buy some. It’s the exact same thing. The more work you put into your hobbies, the more enjoyment you get out of them.

            Your statement about having to choose between “few things” or “a gazillion rare and expensive things” is completely false. Case in point here is the beer market, something I know quite a bit about. 20 years ago, your choices were Bud, Miller, Coors. Nowadays, you walk into any beer store, and you have literally hundreds of choices. Most of these beers that are on the market now are neither rare, nor particularly expensive (they’re more expensive that Bud/Miller/Coors, but that’s mainly because they’re using significantly more barley malt and hops, and no flaked rice. Things it costs the company more to make will cost the consumer more to buy. Either way, the American beer drinker is far better off than he was 20 years ago, because the options have vastly expanded.

    • retfed

      You omitted the bestest round ever, the super-awesome .45 ACP. The super-awesome .45 ACP is known to throw bad guys through the nearest plate glass window if it strikes him anywhere, even the finger, so it solves 100% of all self-defense needs and 30% of all military needs all by itself. But it can ONLY be used in the finest product of the Taft administration, the super-awesome 1911. Shooting someone with a .45 from any pistol designed since the Titanic sank is sacrilege and negates the super-awesome power of the .45.

      • Cymond

        Meh, the 45 ACP is great, but I don’t need all that. As long as it “hits like a brick through a plate glass window” then I have nothing to worry about, so I’ll continue relying on the good ‘ol 32 ACP. It’s gotten me through every gunfight I’ve been in for over 30 years.

  • Raoul O’Shauhnessy

    Oh, look…they re-invented the .25 TCU….*yawn*

  • Joseph Goins

    I think there is an error in the statistics from American Rifleman. I have never seen a cartridge gain energy as it loses velocity (0 yard energy is 1739, 100 yard energy is 1834).

    • Gyrojets? 😉

      • Joseph Goins

        Touché.

    • Silly…after you fire you have to use The Force. I mean, who doesn’t know that!!!

  • burner

    you’re using different ballistic coefficients to campare? G7 vs G8? G1 vs G7?

    • I am glad someone noticed. I used the appropriate drag models for each bullet. Mk. 262 and (most) 7.62×39 are closest to G7, while the round nosed flat-based bullets for .30-30 are closest to G1 or GL, and the pointed flat-based bullet of the Sharps is closest to G8.

      Using the appropriate drag model for each bullet is the best way to get as accurate results as possible, that’s why I used different drag models.

      I wrote an article on this subject, as well: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/05/13/ballistics-101-ballistic-coefficient/

  • FarmerB

    Micro furlongs, giggle. I used to work on a computer that dealt with time as micro-fortnights.

  • Cats Are Good

    This was the most entertaining article on TFB in a good long while (which isn’t a slight on TFB — you inform, primarily, and entertain second) and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this round taken apart. There may be room for caliber improvement in the AR15, but this one isn’t it.

  • Joe Schmo

    I like weird cartridges for the AR platform, but not enough to buy them. The .25-45 never really struck me as useful, it didn’t seem to fill a niche that needed to be filled. I guess they found a niche, but it doesn’t seem to do all that well in that field.

    • Austin

      What does it do better than .300 blk supersonic or .30AR if you want a special round

      • Kivaari

        Flatter shooting.

    • marathag

      It’s an answer to a Question no one ever asked.

  • valorius

    Nothing i would ever buy, but im sure getting smacked by a .25-45 is highly unpleasant.

  • Cal S.

    I always wondered how they got more velocity out of a shorter cartridge pushing a bigger bullet. My physics brain wasn’t liking what it was hearing.

    • Austin

      Unless they are using just stupidly high pressure loads but then it would be a nickel case

      • Kivaari

        Nickle plating is for anti-corrosion more than strength.

        • Austin

          Weren’t the original.38super cases nickel to accommodate the higher pressures

          • Kivaari

            Anti-corrosion. Plain brass cases reacted making the green (copper) deposits that look like wax. Police needed nickel to stop that reaction. It is why self defense ammo for the most part is plated. Leaving ammo in loops or pouches “grew” ugly stuff. Since the .38 Super became a popular police round and needed identification to show it should not be used in .38 Colt Auto pistols, the “Super .38” (not the more common and identical “.38 Super”) got plating. Not many cops carried the original Colt autos. Once the Super .38 appeared it became a popular round for SW police officers. It punched through auto bodies better than the .45 and before the war was used in Mexico, where military caliber ammo and guns could not be owned.
            All of our issue JHP ammo was plated. It’s not as critical now that so many pouches are nylon. Leather reacts fast with plain brass.

          • Bill

            Nothing says old school like a 12-loop cartridge carrier with green cartridges in it along with a swivel holster.

          • Kivaari

            In the revolver era it wasn’t too uncommon to see some lazy cops with junk ammo. That’s a good reason to use only nickle plated cases and coated bullets.

          • Kivaari

            Some old timers said they had guys they worked with that never changed ammo in 20 years. The drop boxes (remember those?) were a solid block of verdigris and ammo. Even in the gun there would be growing things. I’ve worked with a couple guys that did that with service pistols, until we required cleaning and INSPECTIONS.

          • Bill

            At my first agency we were required to wear dump boxes as speedloaders looked scary – so of course we all carried them in pockets and wherever we could hide them, and bunches of speedstrips.

            I actually had a swivel holster that had the cartridge loops on the belt hanger I begged from a REAL old timer. Detachable, non-thumb-break safety strap, eventually disappeared.

          • Kivaari

            I had the boxes with Groggan Spedi-Strips.

  • Jerry_In_Detroit

    Hi Nathaniel,

    Actually, I worked on this in 1976 as a way to make an AR cartridge that would qualify as a deer cartridge. Back then, .22 caliber was verboten in my state. The .250 Binkley would have met that requirement and certainly had more oomph the the .30 Carbine round that many hunters used at the time but was nothing particularly wonderful either.

    Jerry

  • Uncle Festet

    99% of all new cartridges solve a problem that was solved at least 20 years ago.

    • Kivaari

      Except for powder and jacket material most was solved over 100 years ago.

    • Cmex

      And often better, IMO. Short range barriers? 7.62×39. Light recoil light round that flies? 5.56×45 or 5.45×39 — take your pick. Round that hits hard and flies far? Take any 7mm or 8mm rifle round that isn’t roundnosed. What noone has done, however, has come up with a handgun round that matches 7.62×25. Light recoil, appreciable power, great penetration, and scales excellently into carbines.

      • Bill

        Well, experiment with enough stuff and something is bound to happen. Maybe somebody needs to invent the .42 Action Express TSW JDJ Subsonic Improved Belted Non-Magnum.

      • Jwedel1231

        The .357 Sig not have enough appreciable power for you?

        • Cmex

          7.62×25 performs about the same at 357 Sig in terms of power. The difference is that 357 Sig rounds are fatter, flatter-faced, and recoil harder without quite reaching the same velocity or power of 30 Tokarev and won’t fly quite as well, even from carbines. As I said, nobody has quite managed to top 7.62×25 as a light combat pistol round.

          • Jwedel1231

            Yeah, fair enough. I think the .357 Sig would have poorer ballistics, and the 5.7×28 might have too small a projectile for its velocity. The 7.62 Tok is a pretty slick round.

          • Cmex

            I won’t bash 357 Sig; it’s got the handicap of using a case modified from one designed for the fat ‘n’ slow school of handgun cartridges. If it was maybe necked down a bit more down to something like 8mm or 7mm (think of a .33 or a .30) , and used lighter bullets, it would probably blow everything else out of the water. It’s the result of compromise — using a 40 S&W case for a 9mm projectile. There’s plenty of room for powder, but what it’s trying to launch is the weight of a medium large rifle round.

      • Paladin

        7.5 FK might be able to give it a run for it’s money in that category, though TBH it’s probably too powerful for a service handgun.

        What we really need are modern 7.62×25 handguns and ammunition.

  • Mud

    Watch out you don’t get “Fire Cleaned”!!!

  • Edeco

    Whoa, Mr F have bits of the 25-45 in his stools after mauling it this thoroughly.

    • Kivaari

      You mean of course he used his shop stool as a target holder, and bits of projectiles remained in the wood.

  • Kivaari

    The 6x45mm has always interested me. But, a heavy slug in the 5.56mm does great. Idaho permits using .22 centerfire rifles and handguns for hunting.

    • There’s an article in the works much like the 7.62x39mm one I just published for 5.56mm. People who argue the .223/5.56 are at the limits of their development won’t know what hit ’em. 😉

      • Kivaari

        Excellent.

  • Kivaari

    They probably used .25-45 because none of us can remember what the metric diameter is for a .257 diameter bullet. The .30-30 broke convention as it used 30 grains of smokeless.
    The .30-30 has staying power since it works and there are probably 10 million or more of them out and about. 7.62x52mmR just doesn’t roll of the tongue like thirty-thirty.

    • 6.35mm, off the top of my head. But then I am a weirdo. 🙂

      • Kivaari

        That is the true bore of 0.250″.

  • That “swine smasher” round looks like they put the bullet in backwards on an entire press run by mistake and tried to justify it after the fact with new packaging.

  • Oldtrader3

    Is this forum being run by Tweenies?

  • oldman

    I have once again learned that my ignorance out weights my knowledge. You have reduced my ignorance a bit more So to those I have ben talking to thank you all for helping me rectify my lack of knowledge.

  • John

    Normally you run very loose with the facts and science to the point of being mildly annoying. The post appears to be the worst yet, seemingly devoid of any rational thought.

    It was designed as a hunting cartridge that drops into an AR (MSP) with only a barrel change. Comparisons to the 5.56 are not entirely appropriate since the 5.56 cannot be used to hunt larger game in many states. Additionally your graphs demonstrate that it is superior to the 5.56 in the typical hunting ranges.

    Your comparison to the .30-30 shows a lack of rational thought given that is also designed to be a hunting cartridge and a good one given the ubiquity you indicate that it has. While the .30-30 is not a long range cartridge it is certainly better than the dropped potato for hunting larger game. Additionally the .25 caliber is not a new caliber, it has been around for at least 100 years (see info on .250-300 Savage)

    If you bothered to read the American Rifleman article, you would find that the author was able to obtain approx 3000 fps out of a 20 in barrel. Even the author that found a small deviation felt it was an acceptable deviation.

    The explanation of similar performance despite different case volumes is easily explained by the pressure differences in the cartridges. The .250-3000 is a lower pressure cartridge that requires more case volume to achieve the same performance. The 9×19 Parabellum cartridge produces a much faster bullet velocity compared to a .38 Special cartridge even though the .38 Special has a much larger case volume. This is due to the much lower pressures in the .38 Special.

    I am unsure what the name has to do with why it is a bad cartridge. Bore diameter and case length is a very common way to refer to cartridges nowadays (eg 5.56×45). There is no common metric equivalent to the .25 caliber and citing the metric equivalent would make people wonder whether there truly was a new caliber. Neither the .30-30 nor the .250-3000 follow the 19th century naming convention either. While volume and length are related based on cross sectional area, the 3000 in the .250-3000 refers to velocity. Does that make the Savage cartridge bad also?

    I think it fills a narrow niche related to hunting with an AR (MSR) with minimal changes . It won’t be as ubiquitous as the 5.56, but that does not mean it is the worst new AR round.

    • Laserbait

      Someone didn’t put on their sarcasm & humor detector on today!

      • Cmex

        LOL! True. Fun argument, though. I upvoted both cuz of the lulz.

    • What, do you work for Sharps?

      You can disagree with me about the .25-45, that’s fine. Since, when, though, is stating facts about the round’s characteristics (like the fact that the only objective source, SAAMI, quotes numbers far, far lower than the factory and reviews advertise, along with a 60KPSI MAP) not being objective and rational? Yeah, I decided to wrap this post up in a little humor to make it go down easier, and maybe that turned you off, but the facts are there, all properly sourced and well supported.

      “It was designed as a hunting cartridge that drops into an AR (MSP) with only a barrel change. Comparisons to the 5.56 are not entirely appropriate since the 5.56 cannot be used to hunt larger game in many states.”

      Yeah, sp it’s competing directly against .300 Blackout, 7.62×39, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, and .30 RAR, all previously established and far more capable drop-in hunting calibers for AR-15s.

      “Your comparison to the .30-30 shows a lack of rational thought given that is also designed to be a hunting cartridge and a good one given the ubiquity you indicate that it has.”

      Really? Bringing up a successful hunting round shows lack of rational thought? Could you maybe take us through your thought process on this one, because it’s not exactly self-evident.

      “While the .30-30 is not a long range cartridge it is certainly better than the dropped potato for hunting larger game.”

      You are correct. It is literally better than a dropped potato.

      “Additionally the .25 caliber is not a new caliber, it has been around for at least 100 years (see info on .250-300 Savage)”

      You seem to have said this just to make yourself sound smart, as I never said anything to the contrary in the article. Congratulations, I guess. Might as well correct you while I’m at it, actually the .25 caliber is far older than that, dating at least to the 19th Century with the .25-20, .25-36 Marlin, and .25 Stevens.

      “If you bothered to read the American Rifleman article, you would find that the author was able to obtain approx 3000 fps out of a 20 in barrel. Even the author that found a small deviation felt it was an acceptable deviation.”

      Do you trust every number you see in a gunrag review? Let’s see, if SAAMI is quoting a MAP of 60 KPSI for 2,850 ft/s with an 87gr bullet from a 24″ test barrel, and AR says they got 3,000 ft’s with an 87gr bullet from a 20″ barrel, and you claim it’s a matter of “pressure”, then what sort of pressure do you think the AR cartridges were producing? Over 60,000 PSI? By how much? Adjusted for barrel length, the AR numbers give about 18% higher energy than the SAAMI numbers, and energy is closely correlated to pressure. So, what, was the ammunition used in the AR review running 70,000+ PSI? That seems hard to believe…

      “The explanation of similar performance despite different case volumes is easily explained by the pressure differences in the cartridges. The .250-3000 is a lower pressure cartridge that requires more case volume to achieve the same performance.”

      You haven’t been paying attention. The .250-3000 is a lower pressure cartridge, yes, but not by that much; not by enough to make up the massive difference in case capacity. You know how I’m so sure? Because SAAMI agrees with me!

      “The 9×19 Parabellum cartridge produces a much faster bullet velocity compared to a .38 Special cartridge even though the .38 Special has a much larger case volume. This is due to the much lower pressures in the .38 Special.”

      Again, you’re not paying attention. The .250-3000 runs about 50,000 PSI MAP. The .25-45 Sharps runs about 60,000 PSI, a healthy 20% increase.

      9mm Luger runs a 33,000 PSI MAP, per SAAMI. .38 S&W Special runs a 17,000 PSI MAP. That’s a +94% pressure jump for the 9mm. So yeah, it produces significantly better performance even with 2/3s the case capacity.

      “I am unsure what the name has to do with why it is a bad cartridge.”

      “Bore diameter and case length is a very common way to refer to cartridges nowadays (eg 5.56×45).”

      Not in two separate systems of measure, they’re not!

      “here is no common metric equivalent to the .25 caliber”

      WRONG. It’s 6.35mm, has been for ages.

      “citing the metric equivalent would make people wonder whether there truly was a new caliber.”

      Well, you’re sort of right about this. Metric designations have historically not played as well with the American shooting public.

      “Neither the .30-30 nor the .250-3000 follow the 19th century naming convention either.”

      Yes, but their names at least make a modicum of sense!

      “While volume and length are related based on cross sectional area, the 3000 in the .250-3000 refers to velocity. Does that make the Savage cartridge bad also?”

      No, because the Savage can actually reach 3,000 ft/s with a 24″ barrel, unlike the .25-45. But, I’d still probably make fun of it if it were called the .250-915 Savage.

      “I think it fills a narrow niche related to hunting with an AR (MSR) with minimal changes .”

      You mean like .300 Blackout?

      “It won’t be as ubiquitous as the 5.56, but that does not mean it is the worst new AR round.”

      No, its compatibility with AR components does not make it the worst new AR round. Everything else about it does.

      • John

        “Since, when, though, is stating facts about the round’s characteristics (like the fact that the only objective source, SAAMI, quotes numbers far, far lower than the factory and reviews advertise, along with a 60KPSI MAP) not being objective and rational?”

        When you dismiss the other sources because you think they are simply biased is a good indication. Without additional information, it may be that the SAAMI numbers are based on an old formulation (the drawing date to 2011). There are no max velocity criteria from SAAMI, just max pressure requirements. An objective manner would have simply stated that there is information to indicate that the exact numbers may not be achieved (just like most other cartridges)

        “Yeah, so it’s competing directly against .300 Blackout, 7.62×39, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, and .30 RAR, all previously established and far more capable drop-in hunting calibers for AR-15s.”

        You did not mention them, but they are not equivalent because most of them require more than a barrel change. The only one that requires the same modifications is the .300 Blackout. It is worse than the Sharps in terms of BC, mass, velocity combinations.

        “Really? Bringing up a successful hunting round shows lack of rational thought? Could you maybe take us through your thought process on this one, because it’s not exactly self-evident.”

        You basically stated that because the .30-30 sucks, the .25-45 sucks also. I stated that this is incorrect due to the popularity of the .30-30 that works for specific instances ie hunting. You need to explain why the .30-30 sucks for hunting because a large number of people seem to believe it is perfectly adequate. I acknowledged it is not a good long range cartridge.

        “Additionally the .25 caliber is not a new caliber, it has been around for at least 100 years (see info on .250-300 Savage)”

        You seem to have said this just to make yourself sound smart, as I never said anything to the contrary in the article. Congratulations, I guess. Might as well correct you while I’m at it, actually the .25 caliber is far older than that, dating at least to the 19th Century with the .25-20, .25-36 Marlin, and .25 Stevens.

        Try reading your own writing, specifically this sentence. “Unlike .30-30, though, .25-45 Sharps is a new caliber, and one that shooters have to go out of their way to use, at that.” The 100 year part does not really need correction because the 19th century is at least 100 years ago. Thanks for the clarification though.

        “Do you trust every number you see in a gunrag review? Let’s see, if SAAMI is quoting a MAP of 60 KPSI for 2,850 ft/s with an 87gr bullet from a 24″ test barrel, and AR says they got 3,000 ft’s with an 87gr bullet from a 20″ barrel, and you claim it’s a matter of “pressure”, then what sort of pressure do you think the AR cartridges were producing? Over 60,000 PSI? By how much? Adjusted for barrel length, the AR numbers give about 18% higher energy than the SAAMI numbers, and energy is closely correlated to pressure. So, what, was the ammunition used in the AR review running 70,000+ PSI? That seems hard to believe…

        “The explanation of similar performance despite different case volumes is easily explained by the pressure differences in the cartridges. The .250-3000 is a lower pressure cartridge that requires more case volume to achieve the same performance.”

        You haven’t been paying attention. The .250-3000 is a lower pressure cartridge, yes, but not by that much; not by enough to make up the massive difference in case capacity. You know how I’m so sure? Because SAAMI agrees with me!”

        What I trust depends on the likely source of information. In the case of American Rifleman, they clearly stated in the article that the muzzle velocity numbers were independently verified by the author, yet you chose to ignore that information.

        With respect to pressure, it is not simply about the max pressure. You are ignoring the pressure curve and the volumetric efficiency of the propellants. The Sharps can handle higher pressures, which allow faster burning, more volumetric efficient powders to be used. Additionally the Savage was designed 100 years ago when powders were much less efficient. I have no idea how full a Savage cartridge is with more modern powders.

        “WRONG. It’s 6.35mm, has been for ages.”

        Forgive my ignorance, but what cartridges are denoted 6.35mm? All the ones I know of are labeled .25 caliber. I also know about 6 and 6.5mm cartridges ,but not 6.35mm

        • “When you dismiss the other sources because you think they are simply biased is a good indication. Without additional information, it may be that the SAAMI numbers are based on an old formulation (the drawing date to 2011). There are no max velocity criteria from SAAMI, just max pressure requirements. An objective manner would have simply stated that there is information to indicate that the exact numbers may not be achieved (just like most other cartridges)”

          I am dismissing the sources because their numbers make no sense, not because they are biased. If Sharps Rifle Company has a magical powder that can create a 26% efficiency increase over the .250-3000 Savage, what in sam hell are they doing making hunting rifle cartridges? Get NASA on the phone!

          “You did not mention them, but they are not equivalent because most of them require more than a barrel change. The only one that requires the same modifications is the .300 Blackout. It is worse than the Sharps in terms of BC, mass, velocity combinations.”

          Nobody is converting their rifles with just a barrel change. All of those can be used with an upper swap.

          The .300 Blackout performs very similarly to the Sharps, actually. Very similar muzzle energy and BC. The Sharps is flatter shooting, but only after 300 yards.

          “You basically stated that because the .30-30 sucks, the .25-45 sucks also. I stated that this is incorrect due to the popularity of the .30-30 that works for specific instances ie hunting. You need to explain why the .30-30 sucks for hunting because a large number of people seem to believe it is perfectly adequate. I acknowledged it is not a good long range cartridge.”

          I said neither use particularly aerodynamic bullets, actually, which is true. The .25-45 Sharps uses an atrocious bullet that’s no more aerodynamic than the smaller and lighter Sierra 55gr .223 FMJ. Rather than an extended discourse on bullet shape and aerodynamics, I chose to just say “look, see how cartridges with dumpy bullets don’t retain their energy well?”

          “Try reading your own writing, specifically this sentence. “Unlike .30-30, though, .25-45 Sharps is a new caliber, and one that shooters have to go out of their way to use, at that.” The 100 year part does not really need correction because the 19th century is at least 100 years ago. Thanks for the clarification though.”

          .25-45 Sharps is a new caliber. It’s not compatible with anything else. I think you are getting confused with the definition of caliber I am using in that sentence, which is fine as that’s a confusing word. Here’s an article I wrote explaining the different definitions and where they came from: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/04/30/ballistics-101-what-is-caliber-exactly/

          Note that I’m using definitions 4 and 5 in the sentence you cite, whereas you’re approaching the issue using definitions 2 and 3.

          Instead of being condescending and telling me to read what I’ve written (guess what? I do), you could have instead just asked me what I meant.

          “What I trust depends on the likely source of information. In the case of American Rifleman, they clearly stated in the article that the muzzle velocity numbers were independently verified by the author, yet you chose to ignore that information.”

          I ignored it? It’s right there in the article!

          “With respect to pressure, it is not simply about the max pressure. You are ignoring the pressure curve and the volumetric efficiency of the propellants. The Sharps can handle higher pressures, which allow faster burning, more volumetric efficient powders to be used. Additionally the Savage was designed 100 years ago when powders were much less efficient. I have no idea how full a Savage cartridge is with more modern powders.”

          Actually, I’m not ignoring them. Going out on a limb here, I reckon I actually have a much clearer idea of how efficient different rifle propellants are than you do, because it’s a major part of my research. So when I say “these don’t look like plausible factory performance figures for the round given the propellants and the pressures”, I actually have a very good idea why I am saying that.

          “Forgive my ignorance, but what cartridges are denoted 6.35mm? All the ones I know of are labeled .25 caliber. I also know about 6 and 6.5mm cartridges ,but not 6.35mm”

          The numerous 6.35mm designated experimental cartridges aside, that is the common designation of .25 caliber cartridges in Europe, for example the .25 ACP is usually called the 6.35x16mmSR in Europe.

          Now, you’re right, nobody calls .25 caliber commercial rounds “6.35mm” in the United States, but I also never suggested they call it that; it was you who said there was “no metric equivalent name”. What I criticized was the silly unit mixing just to make a contrived old-timey sounding name.

      • Austin

        Just to pile on, I’ve also seen ARs chambered in the WSSM family

  • It is awesome for one thing… it makes the .30 Remington AR cartridge look fantastic.

    • Ever notice that the .30 Remington AR cartridge is nearly the spitting image of the Swiss experimental 7.5x38mm GP47 cartridge?

      • I did notice that back when I first handled and fired a Remington AR chambered in the .30 RemAR… We got one in the shop and I sold it to a friend and we went shooting. It was good. But the whole time I was thinking – this is really where an AR in 7.62×39 would shine. And now… we have those.
        The PSA Hybrid is calling me.
        Advantage – common, easy to find ammo and nothing strange and proprietary like this stuff.
        Also – The Swiss was ahead of their time.

  • Laserbait

    I’m making a new round to take the title “Worst new AR round” It’s the 358-223 Breachbuster. Development is going slow though, as I have to buy barrels by the dozen, and the brass has an annoying tendency to split on the first firing.

  • Paul

    A .257 bullet is much better suited to the 6.8 SPC family of cartridge cases. You could call it the 25 Remington Short.

  • redsr

    This article is very underwhelming. And I don’t own anything in the caliber nor do I have any product (insofar as aware) or connection to sharps.

    Agree that the 25-45 is likely to not be widely adopted… But that alone doesn’t negate its merits.

    Further, I very much agreed w/ your 6.8 spc article you reference here. But in that read, you talked up the 77gr 5.56 round. Worth noting that Army marksmanship unit has used 90 grain Bergers and 80 grain rounds are common for ARs in the precision world in the .223/5.56 caliber… Yes, the bc is a little less with the 25 than the 223s w/ heavier bullets. But the 25-45 sharps will not be nearly as awful as you indicate.

    The big or bigger but is that it is legal to hunt with… And one should never underestimate the marksmanship skills of the average member of the hunting public — know more than a few that have their gunsmith zero/sight in their hunting rifle each year and then they only pull trigger when game is w/in sight.
    Point being, flatter shooting is always better for humane kill of animals with inexperienced shooters… .300 blk is not flat shooting, especially when taking longer shots, which again, the average hunter usually takes longer shots than they probably should relative to skill level… 7.62×39 while sufficient for white tail deer is actually a little too much bullet (penetration) even in 120 gr quality US expansion loadings out to 200 yards (lot of through and throughs). Also not as flat shooting as the 25-45 sharps.
    And 50-70 grs in .223 strike me as insufficient but have never taken a shot w/ one. 80-100 gr bullets for white tails everywhere except the upper midwest (with their monster bucks and even females 50+ lbs heavier than we see in TX) should be a pretty ideal bullet weight, given controlled expansion, for taking white tail/human sized game, while minimizing recoil and wasted weight and energy.
    YMMV.

    • Hi redsr,

      Criticism of any of my articles is definitely welcome.

      I admit I am having trouble seeing the merits of the .25-45, certainly to the extent that Sharps advertises them. A short 87gr .25 cal bullet at about 2,850 ft/s from a 24″ barrel is just… Underwhelming. Especially when there are cheaper, easier to find loads for the 5.56 and .300 Blackout calibers that do exactly the same things the Sharps does well (i.e., energy at short range).

      So why did Sharps bother? Well, I think they bothered for much the same reason that most new rifle calibers are introduced, because people don’t want to be like everyone else and want something different. That’s fine, but that doesn’t change the fact that the .25-45 Sharps really isn’t an impressive performer at all.

      You look at, for example, .300 Blackout*, and it has exactly the same advantages that the .25-45 Sharps does, except with far greater versatility, ammunition availability, etc. The .300 Blackout is actually just strictly better. Sharps will point out that the .25-45 is flatter-shooting, well that’s an advantage that really only manifests beyond 300 yards, by which point either caliber has become marginal for medium game, and the Sharps marginal for varmints (as it’s dropped below the ideal velocity for varmints). So what does the Sharps do that the older, much less expensive, and much more common .300 Blackout doesn’t do? And there’s quite a bit that the .300 Blackout can do that the Sharps can’t!

      *.300 Blackout fans take note, this is one of the few times I will ever sing the cartridge’s praises. 😉

      So I mention the Mk. 262 repeatedly in my 6.8 SPC article not because I want to talk it up as some kind of wunderkart (though it’s very good), but because the 6.8 SPC was originally designed to supplant it. In my opinion, it would have made a very poor replacement, and the article explains why.

      I want to address something you said directly:

      “Yes, the bc is a little less with the 25 than the 223s w/ heavier bullets. But the 25-45 sharps will not be nearly as awful as you indicate.”

      The .25-45 Sharps’ 87gr projectile has an abysmal BC when compared with .223 firing bullets of the same weight. Not only does it suffer from a massive reduction in sectional density, but it also uses a much stumper bullet of poor aerodynamic shape. You can compare it visually to see what I am talking about; here’s the 87gr .25 cal bullet they are using alongside the 90gr Berger .224 VLD:

      http://lghttp.43736.nexcesscdn.net/8018B26/selway/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/3c6c9e445245619e944b6b308a3af530/7/4/746618.jpg

      http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880×660/Primary/346/346672.jpg

      It should be immediately obvious that the latter bullet is far, far more aerodynamic. And the numbers back this up; the .25 cal 87gr Hot-Cor has a G8 BC of about 0.154, which is roughly equivalent to a 0.149 G7 BC, or about the same as a 55gr Sierra .223 FMJ. The 90gr Berger .224 VLD has a G7 BC of 0.274, meaning it is basically half as draggy (twice as efficient).

      “The big or bigger but is that it is legal to hunt with… And one should never underestimate the marksmanship skills of the average member of the hunting public — know more than a few that have their gunsmith zero/sight in their hunting rifle each year and then they only pull trigger when game is w/in sight. ”

      That’s absolutely correct, most hunters are not exactly Camp Perry winners. But I ask, what was wrong with .300 Blackout? 7.62×39? 5.56, where that’s legal? .308? .243? Etc.

      “Point being, flatter shooting is always better for humane kill of animals with inexperienced shooters… .300 blk is not flat shooting, especially when taking longer shots, which again, the average hunter usually takes longer shots than they probably should relative to skill level… ”

      Either .300 Blackout or 7.62×39 are flat-shooting enough for medium game out to 300 yards. With an AR-15 and its sight height zeroed for 25 yards, you’ll still need basically no adjustment out beyond 300 yards. Even better, if you zero instead for 100 yards, you’ve got a very flat trajectory with .300 Blackout out to 200 yards, which is definitely all the deer-killing range you need.

      “And 50-70 grs in .223 strike me as insufficient but have never taken a shot w/ one. 80-100 gr bullets for white tails everywhere except the upper midwest (with their monster bucks and even females 50+ lbs heavier than we see in TX) should be a pretty ideal bullet weight, given controlled expansion, for taking white tail/human sized game, while minimizing recoil and wasted weight and energy.”

      I’ve killed two whitetails with 62gr. Mk. 318 SOST, which is a much more common round than the .25-45 Sharps. 😉

      Anyway, thanks for your comments, and thanks for reading!

  • Scott Wagner

    As someone that sells guns, I love the way that you wrote this article, mostly since I can’t say this kind of stuff to my customers, because they might not give me any money 😀

    Finally though, somebody mocking a cartridge as it deserves.

    • Austin

      Well obviously sugar coat it but do give your opinion if you have some real concern that a customer is wasting money. Its why I keep going to my normal LGS.

  • Cmex

    Not sure if I should laugh or rebut. So I’ll just post GG and grin. GG. :]

    • Heh. I’d be interested to hear your rebuttal, especially your suggestion of what round would be worse. 😉

    • Heh. I’d be interested to hear your rebuttal, especially your suggestion of what round would be worse. 😉

      • Cmex

        Certainly I’ll post my rebuttal to you about 25-45 Sharps both here in reply and in the main stack of comments.

        On the subject of performance, 25-45 Sharps suffers more from perhaps vaguely deceptive marketing practices than outright impotence or fabrication. Most people who just see AR15 are going to assume it’s for a 16″ barrel instead of the 20″ barrel that the company used for the numbers on 25-45 Sharps. Granted, 16″ seems to be just assumed for tactical applications and unspecialized AR’s and other carbines in general, but I have no idea if hunters, for whom this round seems to be intended, go with longer barrels as a matter of course.

        In dimensions, 5.56×45 has a bullet diameter of 5.7mm, or .223″. 25-45 Sharps has a bullet diameter of 6.5mm, or .257″. Equivalent length wound channels will favor 25-45 sharps. Let’s do some math to find the volume of 1 inch of wound channel for the different rounds. First, let’s do 5.56×45. Formula: V=Pi*r^2(h)
        r=.223in/2 = .1115in; h=1in
        So
        V=3,14x(.1115^2in)x1in
        V=3.14×0.01243in^2x1in
        V=.039in^2x1in
        V=.039in^3
        So the volume of 1 inch of wound channel of 5.56×45 is .039 cubic inches.

        Now for 25-45 Sharps
        r=.257in/2 = .1285in h=1in
        V=3.14x(.1285^2in)x1in
        V=3.14x(0.0165in^2)x1in
        V=.052in^2x1in
        V=.052in^3
        So the volume of 1 inch of wound channel of 25-45 sharps in .052 cubic inches.

        5.56×45 = .039in^3
        25-45 Sharps = .052^3

        And now for surface area of the wound channels per inch of length.
        Formula: 2pi(r)h+2pi(r^2)
        For 5.56×45:
        A=2×3.14x.1115inx1in+2×3.14(.1115^2in)
        A=.7in^2+6,28(.01243in^2)
        A=.7in^2+.078in^2
        A=.778in^2

        For 25-45 Sharps:
        A=2×3.14x.1285inx1in+2×3.14(.1285^2in)
        A=.807in^2+6.28(.0165in^2)
        A=.807in^2+.1037in^2
        A=.911in^2

        5.56×45 = .778in^2
        25-45 Sharps = .911in^2

        25-45 Sharps has a proportional wound channel a full 25% larger than 5.56×45. Per every inch of wound channel, 25-45 Sharps destroys 25% more tissue And when it comes to surface area of the wound channel which can bleed, 25-45 Sharps creates roughly 15% more surface area to bleed, which is in line with the comparative proportions of the rounds.

        Note that these numbers assume both rounds are behaving as FMJ’s which do not deform. Lack of deformation is a frequent occurence in 5.56×45 FMJ’s even under ideal conditions. For 25-45 Sharps, all the information I can find indicates that only SP ammunition is sold for it. These numbers should be taken as baselines for tissue destruction, as tissue destruction will be higher in reality with the expanding ammunition used for hunting.

        At the muzzle, 3000FPS and 1739FtLbs for an 85gr bullet is very zippy and quite stout.. I’d rather do these in meters per second and joules, but I do not wish to misrepresent data by botching conversions. Let us establish a baseline. 5.56×45 from a 20″ barrel in its 62gr SS109 loading indeed gets 3100FPS and 1303FtLbs, I am using SS109 / M855 because data for it is more current, it is the most ubiquitous standard 5.56×45 round, and its performance numbers beat the 55gr M193, which does achieve roughly the same velocity from the same length 20″ barrel, but is more distant and therefore harder to compare to 25-45 Sharps. Anyway, Green Tip from 20″ gives ~3100FPS and ~1300FtLbs while 25-45 Sharps from the same gives ~3000FPS and ~1700FtLbs, so the velocities are extremely similar while Sharps has a roughly 33% power advantage, a 25% tissue destruction advantage, and a 15% wound surface area advantage. So 25-45 Sharps indisputably hits harder and inflicts more damage.

        Now we get to your arguments, which focus on ballistics. For internal ballistics, we start with your critique of 25-45 Sharps somehow squeezing out performance in a small case which compares to the performance of the larger 250-3000 Savage, you admit that 250-3000 Savage was introduced in 1915. Ammunition technology has improved significantly since back then. Firearms technology has improved significantly since then. Modern cases are sterner, modern actions can handle more pressure, and modern propellants can push harder. Indeed, your shapshot of what SAAMI claims backs this up, with 25-45 Sharps hitting 2850FPS according to them, which is not very far from what is advertised, proving that modern rounds can do more with less. In the famous example of 7.62×39 and 30-30, 30-30 has a case capacity of 45grH2O while 7.62×39 has a capacity of 35.6grH2O. Both of these rounds have median muzzle velocities of around 2300FPS. As for 25-45 Sharps and 250-3000 Savage, the numbers I’m looking at for Savage with its 47grH20 case capacity indeed show 3000FPS+ performance attaining just under 1700FtLbs for light 75gr bullets from a 24″ barrel, and for heavier loads from 90gr-117gr, the median velocity is around 2800FPS with energy averaging around 1800FtLbs. From a quick look at things, it seems as if 25-45 Sharps and its 31grH20 case capacity is living up to the velocity and power levels with a smaller case and a shorter barrel. The performance of 25-45 Sharps is nothing magical or peculiar — for a round of its weight with its case capacity. 5.56×45 has a case capacity of 28.5grH20. You’re forgetting that 7.62×25 gets an 85gr round going 1600fps with a case capacity of 16grH2O from a barrel just a tad shorter than 5 inches. 25 Remington, introduced in 1906, gets only about 2200 FPS with 100gr bullets from a 41grH2O case. 25-25 Stevens, introduced in 1895, has a capacity of 29grH2O but can only muster 1500FPS with 86gr projectiles. 6.5 Grendel has a case capacity of 35grH20 and can push 90gr projectiles to about 2900FPS from a 24″ barrel. 6.8 SPC has a case capacity around 38.5 and can push a 110gr bullet out to 2500FPS from a 16″ barrel. 25-45 does not have any special magic to which makes it perform above and beyond its weight and propellant in a barrel.

        Now we get to external ballistics. 25-45 Sharps flies alright for what its destined role seems to be. 25-45 Sharps, and that is a medium game round. It hits hard enough for the role, In term of ballistic coefficient, 25-45 Sharps flies flatly within the 300Yd envelope, which covers most hunting shots taken by people who aren’t sadists, and fits within the marketing of it as a brush cartridge, which means relatively short sightlines and ranges. It hits with comparable energy to things like 6.5 Grendel, which I know you just love hearing about. So now to figure out the point of this cartridge.

        It’s at this point I can’t really find any reason for this cartridge to exist, other than to cram a 30-30 into 5.56×45 brass or finally make a 250-3000 Savage or 257 Roberts analogue for the AR15. This does give it a purpose, allowing a swap from 5.56×45 to a stouter 6mm caliber for hunting without having to change magazines or bolts. That actually ought to draw in some buyers. But from the perspective of bringing 6mm calibers to the AR15, that’s already been done more than once, and 6.8SPC can fit in the STANAG magazine. 6.5×39 and 6.8×45 are both more affordable and more abundant, and they perform better. However, I like the idea of being able to easily change to a different caliber with as few swaps as possible. I could argue that 25-45 Sharps is the start of a new breed of AR cartridges here by allowing the same bolts and magazines to be used, only necessitating a change of barrel. However, its lack of standout characteristics, will make it always just a niche cartridge. Say hello to small bore 375 Reaper!

  • mazkact

    I like my sights graduated in cubits,arshini is to modern.

    • Austin

      But fathoms are so much simpler to use

  • jerry young

    Just a minute are you sure this is legal for hunting deer in all 50 states, Ohio has just recently started allowing the use of rifles in the last couple of years but they have to be chambered in the handgun calibers allowed I don’t think this falls in line with Ohio’s guidelines

    • Austin

      Some states are shotgun slug or archery only as well

  • Michael Lubrecht

    I totally agree that this cartridge has not much to offer. That’s why I’m going to have to wait until they come out with the Tactical version! 🙂

  • Bierstadt54

    I was kinda excited when I first saw the .25-45. In the sense that it had the Sharps name and that delightful old-style name. Of course that only lasted until I read a bit more about what it was, after which I felt pretty much like Nathaniel.

  • Jwedel1231

    I think it has a place. That place is wherever a person wants to use an AR, can’t hunt with .223, doesn’t want to use an AK, and thinks .300BLK isn’t for them. It’s a small niche, but it probably exists.

    • Austin

      It just doesn’t do it as well as other options for the AR

  • Anonymoose

    .25-45 Sharps came about because of Tennessee deer hunting laws that used to say you had to use a boolit of .24 caliber/6mm (such as .243) or bigger. It’s the same as the .358 Hoosier (a chopped down .358 Winchester case, necessary because of what Indiana laws used to call a “pistol-caliber carbine”). If your company’s biggest claim to fame was a proprietary hunting cartridge, do you think you’d drop it from your lineup? I mean, they’ve only got that and the Reliabolt…
    Also, this “50 states legal for deer” stuff is BS. I know for a fact you can’t use .25-45 in Ohio or Indiana, PA is manual-action-only, and I’m pretty sure Illinois and the Upper Midwest are all slug states.

    • I don’t think I called for them to drop it from their lineup, I just said it wasn’t very good. As I noted in the article, I am sure someone somewhere will get some use out of it.

    • I don’t think I called for them to drop it from their lineup, I just said it wasn’t very good. As I noted in the article, I am sure someone somewhere will get some use out of it.

  • Goosey

    From what I’ve read, those SRC loads aren’t making merely 2,850 ft/s from a 24″ barrel. Multiple chronograph tests have shown higher velocities (+30-120 fps) from 20″ barrels. It would seem the factory ammo can meet or beat 2,900 from a 20″. Overpressure?

    • Hi Goosey,

      I don’t know what the actual practical velocities look like for .25-45 Sharps, because I have not done independent testing. However, there are a few things that we can see right off the bat:

      All three outlets (Broadsword Group, American Rifleman, and Sharps Rifle Company) report exactly 3,000 ft/s from three very different barrel lengths with 87gr bullets, numbers that coincidentally look exactly like the old .250-3000 Savage. Not only do those numbers sound really high (esp. from a 16″ barrel as in the BSG review), but it’s hard for me to believe thst those two reviewers would just so HAPPEN to get the EXACT same numbers as in SRC’s marketing lit, from different barrel lengths, and those numbers just happen to be the same as a venerable, popular old round? That smells of a marketing drive to me, especially since BSG owns Sharps!

      Now, the only pieces on info we have that are pretty obviously independent are SAAMI, who lists 2,850 ft/s from a 24″ test barrel at a 60KPSI MAP, and AR15Hunter.com, who lists 2,885 ft/s from a 20″ barrel, no pressure given. Either of those seem plausible, although the SAAMI numbers probably more closely reflect true “factory” ammo performance, unless Sharps is taking really great care in loading each round just “so” for maximum performance while staying under MAP.

      Note that both of these figures are way below what BSG and SRC report, but at least the AR15Hunter figures are roughly consistent with AR’s “3,000 from a 24″ bbl” figure. Note that AR15Hunter got their rifle (and I presume ammunition) as a T&E unit from SRC directly. This doesn’t mean they’re dishonest, but it doesn’t make them a totally independent source, either.

      The whole thing smells to me. I can easily imagine SRC telling AR “publish these numbers” (which are literally exactly the same down to the retained energy figures, check them out in the post) so they publish them but list them with a more plausible 24″ barrel. The SAAMI and AR15Hunter data indicate that SRC and BSG are lying about their numbers, or the numbers don’t come from real factory ammo. That sort of thing happens all the time, too; performance was “massaged” with 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, .30 RAR, and .30 T/C, just going by memory, and in two of those cases the numbers were accompanied by claims that the new round “equalled” an older standby (.30 RAR “equalled” .308 Win, .30 T/C “equalled” .30-06). There’s a pattern here, in other words.

      Finally, could the SAAMI figures not reflect the actual performance of .25-45 factory ammo? Yes, it’s possible. Powder choice, pressure curve, and how close the manufacturer is willing to skirt the MAP are all factors in how much velocity it will produce in practice, and these factors could differ in the production rounds.

      But they sure as hell aren’t getting 3,000 ft/s with an 87gr bullet from a 16″ barrel without running 70KPSI or so!

    • Hi Goosey,

      I don’t know what the actual practical velocities look like for .25-45 Sharps, because I have not done independent testing. However, there are a few things that we can see right off the bat:

      All three outlets (Broadsword Group, American Rifleman, and Sharps Rifle Company) report exactly 3,000 ft/s from three very different barrel lengths with 87gr bullets, numbers that coincidentally look exactly like the old .250-3000 Savage. Not only do those numbers sound really high (esp. from a 16″ barrel as in the BSG review), but it’s hard for me to believe thst those two reviewers would just so HAPPEN to get the EXACT same numbers as in SRC’s marketing lit, from different barrel lengths, and those numbers just happen to be the same as a venerable, popular old round? That smells of a marketing drive to me, especially since BSG owns Sharps!

      Now, the only pieces on info we have that are pretty obviously independent are SAAMI, who lists 2,850 ft/s from a 24″ test barrel at a 60KPSI MAP, and AR15Hunter.com, who lists 2,885 ft/s from a 20″ barrel, no pressure given. Either of those seem plausible, although the SAAMI numbers probably more closely reflect true “factory” ammo performance, unless Sharps is taking really great care in loading each round just “so” for maximum performance while staying under MAP.

      Note that both of these figures are way below what BSG and SRC report, but at least the AR15Hunter figures are roughly consistent with AR’s “3,000 from a 24″ bbl” figure. Note that AR15Hunter got their rifle (and I presume ammunition) as a T&E unit from SRC directly. This doesn’t mean they’re dishonest, but it doesn’t make them a totally independent source, either.

      The whole thing smells to me. I can easily imagine SRC telling AR “publish these numbers” (which are literally exactly the same down to the retained energy figures, check them out in the post) so they publish them but list them with a more plausible 24″ barrel. The SAAMI and AR15Hunter data indicate that SRC and BSG are lying about their numbers, or the numbers don’t come from real factory ammo. That sort of thing happens all the time, too; performance was “massaged” with 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, .30 RAR, and .30 T/C, just going by memory, and in two of those cases the numbers were accompanied by claims that the new round “equalled” an older standby (.30 RAR “equalled” .308 Win, .30 T/C “equalled” .30-06). There’s a pattern here, in other words.

      Finally, could the SAAMI figures not reflect the actual performance of .25-45 factory ammo? Yes, it’s possible. Powder choice, pressure curve, and how close the manufacturer is willing to skirt the MAP are all factors in how much velocity it will produce in practice, and these factors could differ in the production rounds.

      But they sure as hell aren’t getting 3,000 ft/s with an 87gr bullet from a 16″ barrel without running 70KPSI or so!

  • Cymond

    I genuinely laughed out loud at “the ballistics of a dropped potato”.

    Maybe that’s because I’m a weirdo, and “potato” is my favorite word.

  • Ian Bardoorian

    I’m pretty sure most people realized that when we saw the Sharps name that they were trying ride the cost tails of the lengedary Sharps rep. Its too bad they didn’t really come up with something worthy of the name.

  • bigun in Il.

    Do more on your research, not all 50 states can use rifles on deer,i ts’ illegal to use a centerfire rifle in Illinois.

    • You saying that to me or Sharps Rifle Company? 😉

  • Jake Dorsey

    Love this. And I’m a fan of dropped potatoes!

    This is the kind of content I like most. Well researched and informative, but bites through all the marketing BS and just calls it for what it is.

    Well done, TFB.

    • Thanks, Jake! It seems like a lot more people enjoyed this one than the last humor article I wrote, so I must be getting a little better, hah.

      • Jake Dorsey

        As a former journalist, I might have a skewed appreciation for good commentary!

  • Frank Nowakowski

    I recall a wildcat called the .25 Copperhead in the 60’s. But IIRC it was built on either the .222 Rem or .222 Mag case. So this ctg really isn’t very original.

  • Bob Smithsonian

    dude I volunteer to be your proof reader. wow!

    • Was there an error? Could you point it out to me?

      • ostiariusalpha

        Too much capitalization, obviously. A lot of unnecessary commas also.

        • Oh I am the king of unnecessary commas, I fully admit that. Partly because that’s just a flaw of my writing, but also because I think in some cases it improves clarity.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Well, if you were to just follow Bob’s example and not use commas at all, you could avoid all that clutter. Clarity is so dry anyways, a certain amount of ambiguity lends the writing a sense of mystery like an e e cummings poem. 👌

          • Bob Smithsonian

            Comments and articles two different things. Besides I’ll let experts like you proof it from now on. Smart ass.

          • ostiariusalpha

            No problem, friend. By the way, I think you meant to write “Comments and articles are two different things.” But, of course, this is why I’m an expert grammar nazi.

          • Easy guys no need for insults and open challenges.

      • Bob Smithsonian

        More seriously, the .25-45 Sharps isn’t really that bad, and I’m sure that someone somewhere will get some use out of it (it’s legal for deer hunting in all 50 states! Something Sharps was sure to stamp all over their marketing lit), but it doesn’t really doesn’t seem like there’s a strong case for the round to exist.

  • nova3930

    I’m totally stealing “microfurlong” when I design a rifle cartridge…..

  • Larry

    Guess what, 99.9% of the comments, along with the writer, are just hot air. Using the percentage, have never even shot the round. Always the arm chair quarter backs, running their mouth. I choose to shoot this round, for no other reason it is American. An old saying says “It is better to keep your mouth shut and have people wonder if you are an idiot that open it and prove that you are one”. Member: Benefactor

  • d s

    Will it take out a zombie. If not use it for a door jam.

  • lowell houser

    “More seriously, the .25-45 Sharps isn’t really that bad, and
    I’m sure that someone somewhere will get some use out of it (it’s legal
    for deer hunting in all 50 states! Something Sharps was sure to stamp
    all over their marketing lit), but it doesn’t really doesn’t seem like
    there’s a strong case for the round to exist.”

    Actually, I think that is the entire reason. The reason we have .308 Winchester as opposed to 7.62 NATO is because the cartridge had to be commercialized because there were several places in America where firearms that used current military ammunition were outlawed. This round allows the use of an AR EVERYWHERE, and guys that want to use their AR for everything can.

    Personally, after the upcoming civil war and resulting physical removal of Democrats and other r-selected left wing vermin, I say we legalize all guns for hunting with no restrictions. I want to use an AK to take a deer and then be able to send the 29 remaining rounds into the grizzly that’s charging me to maul me so that it can take my deer carcass.

    • Lowell, that is incorrect. The reason .308 Winchester exists is because Winchester purchased the rights to the .30 Light Rifle cartridge in 1952, two years before the .30 Light Rifle would be standardized by NATO as the 7.62x51mm. It has nothing to do with laws against military cartridges – in fact, I am not aware of a single such law in the United States!

      As for your last paragraph, that’s not appropriate conversation for TFB.

  • SoulInvictus

    Funniest article and comment thread on a gun topic that I’ve read in long time.
    Well done.

  • SGTDUSMC

    No comparison is fair without mentioning the chamber pressure allowed by sammi. the 30-30 first chambered in the mod 94 Winchester, and is limited to about 36,000 psi, most modern rifle are allowed 50,000 or more. keep it to apples and apples.

    • The fact that .30-30 is limited to those pressures is why it performs so poorly, though. No higher pressure factory loads for .30-30 exist.

  • Drake Becksted

    Let me to be the first to say that as a 25-45 Sharps believer and what could be called a “25-45 cultist”, this article was for me at first click bait. Then it became infuriating (yes, I let the butt hurt flow through me), then I had a good laugh and enjoyed the article. However, it did make me think. After considering all the points Nathaniel F. touches upon in this article, I believe that there is validity to his argument as well as some omissions.
    The truth is, the factory cartridge is disappointing. The velocity of the flagship load is 5% below advertised out of a 20″ barrel and the current offerings from the factory are limited in number– as of June 2016 a total of 4 –and have to be ordered from Sharps (although Federal is making it for them and one would think it would be offered more widely by them too). Though, when you ring out the cartridge to its full potential as a hand loader, it is honestly a fantastic option among the other popular intermediate cartridges that only concedes what can be called the upper end of “marginal” energy– about 10.5% –to the 6.5 Grendel.

    With this exception of the 6.5 Grendel taken into consideration, from the muzzle to 1000 yards when comparing one of its best factory loads to my 25-45 “perfect load”, there are interesting results. My “perfect load” is the Barnes 80gr TTSX backed by a stiff charge of Accurate 2200 powder. Out of an 18″ barrel I am achieving a rough average of 3050fps at the muzzle, equaling 1653 ft-lb of energy. Comparably, one of the best factory loads, the Hornady 123gr SST, advertises 2600fps and 1847ft-lb at the muzzle. When the proper BC’s and formulas are punched in to a trajectory calculator for the bullets in both cartridges, the 25-45 actually shoots slightly flatter than the 6.5 Grendel and holds a commendable amount of energy in comparison.

    Considering the 43gr lighter bullet slows to around 1500-1550fps at 1000 yards when accounting for zero wind factor, it is deserving of acknowledgement in comparison. The funny thing is, the “best” deer hunting or terminal performance round offered by a manufacturer for the .223 Remington (in my opinion being the Federal Fusion/MSR 62gr load at 3000fps) holds a significantly higher trajectory than both aforementioned cartridges out to the same distance. But in reality, neither cartridge is “great” for use on living targets past 600-800 yards, as is the nature of intermediate rounds.

    Yes, the Grendel has the upper hand and is the largest competitor to the 25-45 with notable mention to its 15 years of establishment in the community. However, the detractors of the added expense of the non-standard AR components, special/non-standardized brass (in a sense that it is harder to find/obtain and cannot be just picked up off the local range), slightly reduced capacity and still the need for hand-loading or expensive “custom” ammo to achieve the utmost performance leaves plenty of room for the 25-45 to establish itself and become a fond friend of many shooters. What needs to happen to see this cartridge blossom is more manufacturers offering better loads in addition to more and better .257 bullets. If this occurs, we will see the cartridge finding its way onto gun store shelves; after all, the venerable 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC I and II didn’t show up magically overnight in every gun store in America, it took a little time and a lot of marketing. Long story short, Nathaniel F. is right in his regard that It’s not that bad. In fact, it’s better than expected. =P

    • Hi Drake,

      First of all, I’d like to thank you for a top notch comment; I really enjoyed reading it.. I am glad you liked the article in the end, even if we disagree about some things.

      You bring up an interesting point about the .25-45, which is that the same thing – with other names – has been a handloader’s honey for quite some time. .25 caliber wildcats of .223 are far from new, and lots of people find enjoyment fiddling with them and getting the most out of them. To anyone like this, this article was not written for you.

      Indeed, my criticisms essentially center around the .25-45 as a factory cartridg. While a handloader might be able to run such around right up against 60,000 PSI to squeeze that extra muzzle velocity from it, a factory round has to sit enough below the MAP in pressure to be accepted while being produced in large numbers. This means that all of the different variations in case dimensions, volume, bullet seating depth, crimp force, etc all add up, and result in factory rounds that run anywhere between 50,000 to 60,000 PSI. There is – currently – no way for factories making ammunition to circumvent this problem; if a round is made in large enough quantities, it must on average produce pressures well below the MAP.

      Another primary criticism with the .25-45 lies with its bullets, which are stumpy and not very aerodynamic. This is because the cartridge has a very, very short space for the ogive thanks to the long case, a length that was probably chosen because it was the maximum case length that would still be compatible with the 87gr Speer Hot Cor bullet that Sharps wanted to use. The Hot Cor’s not a bad bullet (though it’s very draggy), especially for hunting at normal distances, but one criticism of it is that at factory .25-45 velocities the bullet is probably flying slower than it was designed to. I don’t really anticipate this being a major problem however, and I do think it will kill an antelope or whitetail stone dead (as a 5.56 will, in my experience).

      Now, Sharps has gone beyond “this is a pretty decent hunting round” to saying it’s a great LE round, and it’s got more range than 5.56mm. That’s just bollocks, for all the reasons I state in the article (even M855 has more energy beyond 400 yards than the .25-45 Sharps does!) Since I tend to pay more attention to military and LE developments than hunting developments, those statements in particular stood out to me.

      Where I think the .25-45 falls flat as a hunting round is really its availability. Ballistically, it’s fine, if not quite the equal to .250-3000 that Sharps wants you to believe it is.

  • Archie Montgomery

    Is this a joke?

    • I don’t know, Archie, what do you think?

      • Archie Montgomery

        I should have been more precise. I was asking about the round itself.

        If the round is a joke – made up or a pretense – suppose that would put the article in the position of being ‘satirical’. But I wasn’t asking if the article itself had ‘invented’ the round. (Which reminds me of the .222-.50 BMG satire of some years ago.)

        So my question is honest.

        I cannot see any reason to develop a commercial round which duplicates the ballistics (more or less, almost, nearly? – pick a word) of the 5.56mm NATO round AND functions in an AR-15 type rifle.

        My first thought was the .22-.45 Sharps was a .45 (something) Sharps necked down to .22 caliber. That immediately confused me as the title implied it was to be used in an AR type rifle. Which struck me as ‘odd’.

        So I read the article, noted the graphs and such, deciding this was a bit too elaborate to be a mere joke. The picture of the “Swine Smasher” ammunition changed my notion about a necked down .45 (anything) Sharps. The proportions are wrong (bullet to case) and the case is rimless in the accepted sense.

        So my comment. Presuming the cartridge is as serious as the article, I have to agree; that round is pretty pointless. It may work ‘well’, but so what?

        • Oh, I misunderstood you. Pardon, please.

          I think I have a good guess as to why the round was developed; after all, .250-3000 Savage performance in an AR-15 using all the same components except the barrel sounds pretty good, right (if you like AR-15s)? During load development, Sharps probably did get 3,000 ft/s from the round at some point, either because they weren’t paying close attention to pressure or were at one point or another running it right up against the MAP. My bet is at that point they swallowed their own kool-aid.

          The devil is in the details for Sharps: Details like, the round doesn’t actually equal .250-3000 in factory form, and .223 loads exist now that are almost the equal of the ol’ Savage round, and .300 Blackout exists, and it seems no other manufacturer wants to slap their name on it.

          • Archie Montgomery

            Misunderstanding granted. I’m known to object to some things from time to time. But not just out of habit.

            I am not an AR-15 fan. Not since I was issued the military version some years ago. Great to carry on a route step hike, rather sad to shoot at a hostile.

            As you imply, I too fail to recognize the need to transform the AR-15 platform into a ‘universal’ rifle by changing uppers and magazines as needed.

            If I feel the need for something in the .250-300 category, I’d prefer a solid bolt gun. Or, if I feel the need for a .250-3000 cartridge in a light machine gun, how about a M-60 rebarreled – not a complicated feat, that – to .250-3000? (Rather silly idea, really, but obviously achievable.)

            Still, I hate to stifle experimentation and creativity. This particular round in question seems a bit mediocre, however.

  • David Steber

    Were you born a malicious jerk or did you have to work to become one?
    Either way you mastered it.

  • Ritterbruder

    It’s good to finally see a gun writer who is not riding the hype train and promoting this gimmick. The name of the company itself turned me off to their products. Then came the stupid name of their new cartridge that is adopting obsolete nomenclature as yet another marketing strategy. As an avid reloader, I knew right away there is now way you can stuff 45 grains of powder into a .223-sized case.

    Thanks for doing a detailed breakdown on the performance aspects of this round.

  • T-Sizzle

    WHY ISNT ANY PRIVATE PARTY TESTING THEIR BALLISTICS CLAIMS? I’ve yet to see gel tests, expansion, anything other than claims the manufacturer is putting out.

  • Cmex

    As promised, Nat, here is my rebuttal to you but posted in the main stack of comments.

    On the subject of performance, 25-45 Sharps suffers more from perhaps vaguely deceptive marketing practices than outright impotence or fabrication. Most people who just see AR15 are going to assume it’s for a 16″ barrel instead of the 20″ barrel that the company used for the numbers on 25-45 Sharps. Granted, 16″ seems to be just assumed for tactical applications and unspecialized AR’s and other carbines in general, but I have no idea if hunters, for whom this round seems to be intended, go with longer barrels as a matter of course.

    In dimensions, 5.56×45 has a bullet diameter of 5.7mm, or .223″. 25-45 Sharps has a bullet diameter of 6.5mm, or .257″. Equivalent length wound channels will favor 25-45 sharps. Let’s do some math to find the volume of 1 inch of wound channel for the different rounds. First, let’s do 5.56×45. Formula: V=Pi*r^2(h)
    r=.223in/2 = .1115in; h=1in
    So
    V=3,14x(.1115^2in)x1in
    V=3.14×0.01243in^2x1in
    V=.039in^2x1in
    V=.039in^3
    So the volume of 1 inch of wound channel of 5.56×45 is .039 cubic inches.

    Now for 25-45 Sharps
    r=.257in/2 = .1285in h=1in
    V=3.14x(.1285^2in)x1in
    V=3.14x(0.0165in^2)x1in
    V=.052in^2x1in
    V=.052in^3
    So the volume of 1 inch of wound channel of 25-45 sharps in .052 cubic inches.

    5.56×45 = .039in^3
    25-45 Sharps = .052^3

    And now for surface area of the wound channels per inch of length.
    Formula: 2pi(r)h+2pi(r^2)
    For 5.56×45:
    A=2×3.14x.1115inx1in+2×3.14(.1115^2in)
    A=.7in^2+6,28(.01243in^2)
    A=.7in^2+.078in^2
    A=.778in^2

    For 25-45 Sharps:
    A=2×3.14x.1285inx1in+2×3.14(.1285^2in)
    A=.807in^2+6.28(.0165in^2)
    A=.807in^2+.1037in^2
    A=.911in^2

    5.56×45 = .778in^2
    25-45 Sharps = .911in^2

    25-45 Sharps has a proportional wound channel a full 25% larger than 5.56×45. Per every inch of wound channel, 25-45 Sharps destroys 25% more tissue And when it comes to surface area of the wound channel which can bleed, 25-45 Sharps creates roughly 15% more surface area to bleed, which is in line with the comparative proportions of the rounds.

    Note that these numbers assume both rounds are behaving as FMJ’s which do not deform. Lack of deformation is a frequent occurence in 5.56×45 FMJ’s even under ideal conditions. For 25-45 Sharps, all the information I can find indicates that only SP ammunition is sold for it. These numbers should be taken as baselines for tissue destruction, as tissue destruction will be higher in reality with the expanding ammunition used for hunting.

    At the muzzle, 3000FPS and 1739FtLbs for an 85gr bullet is very zippy and quite stout.. I’d rather do these in meters per second and joules, but I do not wish to misrepresent data by botching conversions. Let us establish a baseline. 5.56×45 from a 20″ barrel in its 62gr SS109 loading indeed gets 3100FPS and 1303FtLbs, I am using SS109 / M855 because data for it is more current, it is the most ubiquitous standard 5.56×45 round, and its performance numbers beat the 55gr M193, which does achieve roughly the same velocity from the same length 20″ barrel, but is more distant and therefore harder to compare to 25-45 Sharps. Anyway, Green Tip from 20″ gives ~3100FPS and ~1300FtLbs while 25-45 Sharps from the same gives ~3000FPS and ~1700FtLbs, so the velocities are extremely similar while Sharps has a roughly 33% power advantage, a 25% tissue destruction advantage, and a 15% wound surface area advantage. So 25-45 Sharps indisputably hits harder and inflicts more damage.

    Now we get to your arguments, which focus on ballistics. For internal ballistics, we start with your critique of 25-45 Sharps somehow squeezing out performance in a small case which compares to the performance of the larger 250-3000 Savage, you admit that 250-3000 Savage was introduced in 1915. Ammunition technology has improved significantly since back then. Firearms technology has improved significantly since then. Modern cases are sterner, modern actions can handle more pressure, and modern propellants can push harder. Indeed, your shapshot of what SAAMI claims backs this up, with 25-45 Sharps hitting 2850FPS according to them, which is not very far from what is advertised, proving that modern rounds can do more with less. In the famous example of 7.62×39 and 30-30, 30-30 has a case capacity of 45grH2O while 7.62×39 has a capacity of 35.6grH2O. Both of these rounds have median muzzle velocities of around 2300FPS. As for 25-45 Sharps and 250-3000 Savage, the numbers I’m looking at for Savage with its 47grH20 case capacity indeed show 3000FPS+ performance attaining just under 1700FtLbs for light 75gr bullets from a 24″ barrel, and for heavier loads from 90gr-117gr, the median velocity is around 2800FPS with energy averaging around 1800FtLbs. From a quick look at things, it seems as if 25-45 Sharps and its 31grH20 case capacity is living up to the velocity and power levels with a smaller case and a shorter barrel. The performance of 25-45 Sharps is nothing magical or peculiar — for a round of its weight with its case capacity. 5.56×45 has a case capacity of 28.5grH20. You’re forgetting that 7.62×25 gets an 85gr round going 1600fps with a case capacity of 16grH2O from a barrel just a tad shorter than 5 inches. 25 Remington, introduced in 1906, gets only about 2200 FPS with 100gr bullets from a 41grH2O case. 25-25 Stevens, introduced in 1895, has a capacity of 29grH2O but can only muster 1500FPS with 86gr projectiles. 6.5 Grendel has a case capacity of 35grH20 and can push 90gr projectiles to about 2900FPS from a 24″ barrel. 6.8 SPC has a case capacity around 38.5 and can push a 110gr bullet out to 2500FPS from a 16″ barrel. 25-45 does not have any special magic to which makes it perform above and beyond its weight and propellant in a barrel.

    Now we get to external ballistics. 25-45 Sharps flies alright for what its destined role seems to be. 25-45 Sharps, and that is a medium game round. It hits hard enough for the role, In term of ballistic coefficient, 25-45 Sharps flies flatly within the 300Yd envelope, which covers most hunting shots taken by people who aren’t sadists, and fits within the marketing of it as a brush cartridge, which means relatively short sightlines and ranges. It hits with comparable energy to things like 6.5 Grendel, which I know you just love hearing about. So now to figure out the point of this cartridge.

    It’s at this point I can’t really find any reason for this cartridge to exist, other than to cram a 30-30 into 5.56×45 brass or finally make a 250-3000 Savage or 257 Roberts analogue for the AR15. This does give it a purpose, allowing a swap from 5.56×45 to a stouter 6mm caliber for hunting without having to change magazines or bolts. That actually ought to draw in some buyers. But from the perspective of bringing 6mm calibers to the AR15, that’s already been done more than once, and 6.8SPC can fit in the STANAG magazine. 6.5×39 and 6.8×45 are both more affordable and more abundant, and they perform better. However, I like the idea of being able to easily change to a different caliber with as few swaps as possible. I could argue that 25-45 Sharps is the start of a new breed of AR cartridges here by allowing the same bolts and magazines to be used, only necessitating a change of barrel. However, its lack of standout characteristics, will make it always just a niche cartridge. Say hello to small bore 375 Reaper!

  • Owen Oswald

    This is legal for hunting in Ohio?? Better do some more research man, it’s not.