American shooters love their handguns, but we definitely play favorites. While each new year brings with it a new centerfire rifle cartridge or two, new handgun cartridges are far more scarce. Order a custom bolt-action rifle, and you'll have the opportunity to choose from an extensive list of chamberings, sometimes hundreds of different options. Order a custom semiauto pistol, on the other hand, and you'll have four or five different caliber choices.
Handgunners like their new products and new toys as much as anyone, but when it comes to new cartridges they aren't so easily swayed. For years the 9mm Luger, .45 Auto, .38 Special and .44 Remington Magnum have dominated handgun sales. And because these perennial favorites account for such a large percentage of sales, gun companies tend to give the consumers what they want, which to some degree is what they already have.
Will one of these rounds rise up to prominence in the years to come? That's tough to guess, but for now, these high-achieving cartridges don't get the love they deserve.