A size of wine bottle which has twice the capacity of the usual wine bottle. Since the international standardization of the wine bottle at 750 milliliters, the magnum contains 1.5 liters. A double magnum has four times the usual bottle's capacity.
Applied to ammunition, the word suggests a powerful round, but it is largely a term of hype without any exact meaning. It cannot even be relied upon to distinguish a more powerful from a less powerful round; for example, when the .357 magnum was introduced, there was no other .357 round. According to Jan Libourel, Executive Handgun Editor of Guns and Ammo, the word “express” was used for the same purpose in the past, and may be making a comeback.
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Last revised: 8 March 2008.