In some firearm cartridge reference material, the caliber designation has the decimal point, e.g., ".223 Remington," ".308 Winchester," etc. In other material, it is omitted, e.g., "223 Remington," "308 Winchester," etc. I believe I looked through a Speer reloading manual one time that specifically addressed the issue, stating that the decimal point should be omitted. Anyone know the reason behind that?
Personally, I think it just sounds better to ask for a box of "223 Remington" than to ask for a box of "point 223 Remington".
I don't know if theres a technical reason, I think its just the accepted vernacular. Similar to how the .38-40 is really a .40 caliber bullet, with 38 grains of black powder behind it.
Just my two cents.
The point Speer was making wasn't that one shouldn't say "point such-and-such caliber" but rather that the decimal point should be omitted even in print. Here's an example of that policy in an online update of reloading material:
Now although there are minor differences in nominal designation and actual bullet diameter--a "223 Remington" bullet has an actual diameter of .224"--why should it be "223 Remington" and not ".223 Remington," it being understood that the ".223" in ".223 Remington" is a close approximation of bullet diameter in inches?
I just don't see Speer's logic in maintaining that "223 Remington" in print is correct and ".223 Remington" in print is not.
Just a shot in the dark (hehe), but the Speer literature you quote seems to be implying that without the decimal, it's a name - with the decimal, it's a measure; in the case of the 223 Remington, that measure would be inaccurate. Seems logical enough to me.
But I don't believe the Speer manual I had looked at so long ago had made a distinction between a cartridge name and an actual bore or bullet diameter. I'm going to try to track the passage down and see what their reason was.