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Popular UK Rifle Calibres

I’ve been looking around to see what the most popular calibres in the UK are so I can prepare by having reloading capabilities for these calibres.

I went about it in a very unscientific way. From a suggestion I looked at what was for sale secondhand on GunTrader and from shops local to me. Basically any score above 60 was included as there were dozens of calibres at less than 60 units, 60 being >1%. There were a total of 6286 for sale which gives me an idea of what is being traded and gives me an idea on what is out there.

From collating sources and totalling calibres for sale it appears that the most popular calibres are;

Calibre Number Percentage
.22LR 1396 22
.243 1282 20
.17HMR 860 14
.308 740 12
.223 620 6
.22 250 366 6
.270 216 3
.222 158 3
.30 06 124 2
.25 06 64 1

I must confess I am surprised by where the .243 is on there but the rest of it makes sense. The .22LR and the .17HMR are two major calibres which most have on a FAC but I was surprised with the .243 being so high up. I would guess though that the top 5 are the most popular calibres, at nearly 75%, so I’m going with those. I now need to put a variation in for a .308. Wonder how the Stasi are going to take that.

Pity I can’t reload .22LR or .17HMR which is the most popular. Rimfire is an issue but is cheap enough to buy atm when it is available.

10 comments to Popular UK Rifle Calibres

  • northern raider

    If you GOOGLE ” Reloading 22 rimfire” you will get videos and web pages on how you CAN reload them.

  • Fred

    Why are you surprised by the .243?

  • midnitemo

    I’m a bit surprised at how good a showing there is for .243 , I guess if you’re a one gun shooter then .243 makes a lot of sense in the UK as it meets the minimum legal requirements for all breeds of UK Deer and some Constabularies will allow you to use it for Fox too….I would have one if there was anybody supplying FMJ ammo off the shelf but sadly it’s all expanding that I ever see and approaching a pound a round , a lot more pleasant to shoot than .308

  • Skean Dhude

    NR, DOne. There is even a kit you can buy which I have ordered from the US.


    I didn’t think the .243 was that popular but Midnitemo has a good theory on why it is which makes a lot of sense.


    Good theory and especially with the FLO in Cheshire who want to apply their own gun control efforts having a smaller calibre is better than some of these scary guns out there.

  • Mike

    Northern Raider, I use a .22LR and I can tell you categorically that even if you could reload rimfire ammunition it isn’t economically viable. I pay a little over six pence a round for hollow point sub sonics when I buy a brick. You can pay more for air rifle pellets.

  • Ysbryd

    .243 is so popular because it is the minimum caliber recommended for use in deer control in England and Wales. Deer stalking is becoming more popular as deer get more widespread.

  • Ysbryd

    Midnitemo, all the .243 is expanding for exactly the same reason, it’s recommended for deer stalking because it maximises energy transfer.

  • Ysbryd

    Just to clarify the .240 apex also called .240 H&H actually has a .245 calibre bullet meaning it has a larger calibre than a Winchester .243, its name is misleading.
    It grinds my gears to be corrected by some wannabe who is just plain wrong.

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