Industry Standard Naming Convention

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by lklawson, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Have you ever wished that the firearms industry would agree on a semi-official convention for handgun sizes?

    Something like:

    Full Size = dimensions > X, Y, Z
    Compact = < Full Sized and > X, Y, Z
    Sub-Compact = < Compact and > X, Y, Z
    Micro = < Compact

    When I was a kid, I remember that a USGI spec 1911 was considered "Full Size," a Commander was "compact," and a Walther PPK or .38 Snub was considered "Sub-Compact" (maybe... by some people...).

    It'll never happen for a lot of reasons, most notably because it would make it harder for gun manufacturers to hype their latest product based on size, but it sure would be helpful for us consumers in that we could have a quick, back-of-the-napkin comparison. Maybe we could get an interested but (supposedly) neutral party with some industry clout such as the NRA or Gun Tests magazine to take up the banner?

    Ah well. Just wishful thinking, really.

    Peace favor your sword,
  2. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    It would help some.... But you'd have to add mungo sized, for HiPoint pistols.

  3. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Yeah. They call the C9 a compact and, except for width, it is smaller on the X and Y than a 1911, ims.

    Peace favor your sword,
  4. Branth

    Branth Member

  5. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    My son has the PS3...., I miss all the fallouts!
  6. I kind of wish we would talk more about guns in terms of weight than just size.

    A lot of revolvers will fit in your pocket.... and then pull your pants down. The C9 is kind of the same way.

    We always hear, it will fit in a good holster but its just so heavy.

    similarly you know a really light gun (sub 15oz) is going to be a small one.

    But yeah it would be nice if some 3rd party starts a standard for there reporting.

    sick of seeing HK's "compact" weigh 3 lbs. while people now call a commander 1911 compact, right there beside a Kel-tec PF9
  7. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I know. It just makes the whole idea that much more complicated, doesn't it?

    Peace favor your sword,
  8. Liberty

    Liberty Shhh! Lifetime Supporter

    Plus you have to adjust for caliber. A .22 vs. a .45 you need more beef.
  9. So maybe a small bore and large bore categories. With more describe sub category?

    Large bore compact is expected to have more heft than a small bore compact.

    I mean really there is definitely a way to classify this. We just need one main body that people follow to pick one.

    I'll gladly take ownership of this action item, for the NRA. All I ask is my lifetime subscription be free :p
  10. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    To my mom my PK380 is huge, she is 5' tall and 110 pounds, to me it is medium to small. So how do you set a standard when peoples perceptions will vary, level of comfort vary(mom likes shooting my c9, minimal kick, PK380 is snappy, she is also 82).
  11. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    It's not about comfort or fit to an individual, it's about having a common and understood sizing convention; like shoes.

    You don't go to the store and pick up a pair of shoes in size 8 1/2 Men's and literally lay them on top of a pair from another manufacturer so that you can figure how how big each are. That's the point of a common size convention. But we do exactly that when we want to compare the size of guns. One manufacturer says, "Compact Handgun" and another says "Sub-Compact" but we still have to set one on top of the other and look up the exact stats available only on the manufacturer's website and NOT typically in the glossy magazine advert.

    I can't tell you how many times my wife has complained about incompatible sizing conventions between different brands of women's clothing. Most women I know do. But every one is satisfied when gun manufacturers do the same thing.

    It would be nice to be able to know that when some manufacturer says their gun is "Compact" or "Micro" that means it falls between so many inches wide, tall, and high.

    Peace favor your sword,
  12. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    All of that.^^^

    And then HECK NO! about adjusting for calibers.

    If your .45 pistol won't fit the subcompact numbers, then it is NOT a subcompact! Deal with it!:cool:
  13. you are probably correct.

    But i like the idea of a large bore compact can be a little bigger than a small bore.

    But then what happens with derringers? in .45/.357

    funny thing is. We kind of classify derringers as a standard.

    No matter what caliber, if its the tiny single/double shot flip pistol. Its a derringer. (or so we say)
  14. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    No. That is wrong. A compact is a size. If your gun can't make the size requirements, it isn't that size, no matter what the caliber, or size relationship to other guns in the caliber.

    You don't call a Ford F150 a compact, just because it's smaller than an F650.

    Nothing. They are derringers.

    Well, yeah. Because they are a standard, a standard of design.

    Sort of like every gun with a cylinder that revolves is called a revolver.;)

    Derringer doesn't actually mean "small", people just think it does. It's small because the design requires so little extra stuff, and a long barrel defeats the purpose of the design...which was to be small.:p
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  15. GoesBang

    GoesBang Supporting Member

    I find myself thinking about this quite often.

    For example: The Springfield XD9 comes in a sub-compact and a compact. Each has a ten round magazine. They are not the same magazine, but the compact mag will work in the sub-compact.

    At least Springfield makes a product line with naming conventions that are buyer friendly.