Chart of All Rifle Cartridges by Case Capacity

All of the components of a rifle cartridge: a primer, the case, the gun powder, and a bullet.

Knowing the internal volume of a rifle cartridge, or its water capacity, is a valuable metric for understanding the cartridge’s potential for velocity because of increase space for powder.

The following chart shows the usable case volume of all popular rifle cartridges, measured in square inches. By “usable case volume,” I mean the internal area of the body of the case, and the shoulder. This would be the space occupied by powder in a case if a flat-based bullet is used that doesn’t protrude into the powder column.

The chart is ranked from the largest internal volume (.50 BMG), to the smallest internal volume (.22LR). The caliber and case length are provided for reference.

CartridgeCaliberUsable Case Volume (in2)Case Length (in)
.50 BMG0.512.90983.95
.338-378 Weatherby Mag0.3381.21482.91
.416 Weatherby Magnum0.4161.19292.91
.378 Weatherby Magnum0.3751.18892.91
.30-378 Weatherby Mag0.3081.09302.91
7mm RUM0.2841.06662.85
.300 RUM0.3081.06522.85
.338 Lapua Magnum0.3381.05962.72
.338 RUM0.3381.02252.76
.416 Rigby0.4161.00252.90
.26 Nosler0.2640.96472.59
.28 Nosler0.2840.96352.59
.30 Nosler0.3080.93902.56
.27 Nosler0.2770.93792.59
.458 Win Mag0.4580.93312.50
7 STW0.2840.92322.85
.375 Ruger0.3750.91522.58
.416 Ruger0.4160.91102.58
.416 Remington Magnum0.4160.90822.85
6.5-300 Weatherby Mag0.2640.90072.83
.300 Weatherby Magnum0.3080.90052.83
.340 Weatherby Magnum0.3380.90042.83
.300 PRC0.3080.89402.58
.33 Nosler0.3380.89272.46
.300 Win Mag0.3080.84672.62
.375 H&H0.3750.82852.85
.338 Win Mag0.3380.82642.75
.264 Winchester Magnum0.2640.79172.50
7mm Rem Mag0.2840.78822.50
7mm Weatherby Magnum0.2840.77982.55
.270 Weatherby Magnum0.2770.77982.55
6.5 Weatherby RPM0.2640.77982.57
.257 Weatherby Magnum0.2570.77972.549
.338 Weatherby RPM0.3380.77592.55
7 WSM0.2840.76482.10
7mm PRC0.2840.76332.28
.45-70 Govt0.4580.76152.11
.270 WSM0.2770.74712.10
.300 WSM0.3080.74552.10
.325 WSM0.3230.74472.10
.444 Marlin0.4290.71892.23
6.8 Western0.2770.70722.02
.280 Ackley Improved0.2840.67912.53
7 SAUM0.2840.67862.04
.300 Ruger (RCM)0.3080.67632.10
9.3 x 62mm Mauser0.3660.66282.44
6.5 PRC0.2640.64642.03
.280 Remington0.2840.63382.54
6.5-284 Norma Match0.2640.62902.17
.25-06 Remington0.2570.61792.49
.270 Winchester0.2770.61612.54
.30-06 Springfield0.3080.61282.49
.35 Whelen0.3580.60592.49
.240 Weatherby Magnum0.2430.59702.50
.450 Bushmaster0.4520.59641.70
7mm Mauser0.2840.55282.24
.277 Sig Fury0.2770.53122.02
6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser0.2640.52812.17
6mm Remington0.2430.51892.23
.243 Winchester0.2430.50472.05
.260 Remington0.2640.50312.04
7mm-08 Remington0.2840.50162.04
.308 Winchester0.3080.49852.02
.338 Federal0.3380.49562.02
.22 Creedmoor0.2240.48401.92
6mm Creedmoor0.2430.48321.92
6.5 Creedmoor0.2640.48241.92
.220 Swift0.2240.45682.21
.22-2500.2240.42701.91
6mm GT0.2430.40951.73
.350 Legend0.3570.36991.71
.30-30 Winchester0.3080.35712.04
.22 Nosler0.2240.33991.76
6mm BR0.2430.33101.56
6.5 Grendel0.2640.32161.52
6.8 Remington SPC0.2770.31911.69
.204 Ruger0.2040.30661.85
6mm ARC0.2430.30251.49
7.62 x 39mm0.3080.29241.53
.224 Valkyrie0.2240.29131.60
.223 / 5.560.2240.27911.76
.222 Remington0.2240.24401.70
.300 Blackout0.3080.19821.37
.17 Hornet0.1720.12881.35
.22 Hornet0.2240.10311.40
.17 WSM0.1720.09621.20
.22 Mag (WMR)0.2240.08411.06
.17 HMR0.1720.06801.06
.22lr0.2230.03540.61

Measuring Case Capacity of Rifle Cartridges

Usually, rifle cartridges are measured by the water capacity of the case. This is a good measurement because it only looks at the internal volume instead of looking at the exterior dimensions of the case.

However, it has a major limitation of making it difficult to measure the capacity without including the neck volume. Neck volume shouldn’t be included in case capacity calculations because it isn’t space that can be occupied by powder.

Consequently, I am showing the case capacity of all popular rifle cartridges by actually doing the math from the published drawings of the case to determine the precise internal volume of each cartridge.

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4 Comments

  1. Francisco J. Briseno says:

    Great analysis.
    How many granules of Hodgdon H1000 powder are there in one grain of that gunpowder?
    Reason being, I notice that the loaded bullet is several thousandths of an inch bigger in diameter, so I wanted to calculate how many granules of gunpowder are there to squeeze the original bullet into the caliber diameter bullet. Obviously, gunpowder does not burn, or pressurize linearly, but a small snapshot window can be taken between two close loads. Say between two or six grains of gunpowder, e.g., 55 grains and 59 grains with a certain bullet weight, barrel length, case, lead, throat, jump, twist rate, etc..
    You are a wealth of information.
    Thank you for all your hard work into the sport and science I love.
    Godspeed and stay safe.
    FJB Out!

  2. Tim Brennan says:

    Hi Jim, Tim here. Long-time Income School member, fellow creator, read your book, big all-around fan. Wondering if you are still using Ninja tables for the tables in this blog and if you would recommend it. I’m going to create 50-100 spec sheets for a tech focused blog and was hoping to get your thoughts before I go down a rabbit hole. Would also love to hear how you are doing. Cheers, Tim Brennan

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Hey Tim! Thanks for your kind message. Im not using Ninja Tables anymore. The formatting was unreliable. I’d sometimes come back to a page after a few months that looked good when I made it, and find the formatting all screwed up. I haven’t found a good replacement.

  3. John Rambo says:

    Square inch is a measure of area not volume.

    Also grains of water is more common.