If we searchAmerican cartridge catalogs back before 1890, we discover a dismal paucity of.30-caliber rounds: a couple of rimfire pistol calibers and a .30-30 Wesson (nokin to the .30-30 WCF), all long forgotten. Americans' taste in calibers waseither for smaller bores, such as the .25s, or for .32s and larger. However,when Springfield Armory began experimenting with a new cartridge in 1889 (aconsequence of France's 8mm Lebel, the first smokeless powder militarycartridge) it hit on the .30-caliber. When the chief of ordnance requested thecommanding officer at Springfield to explain his choice, the C.O. reported itwas completely arbitrary and, in his words, "not from any special principleinvolved," just an "even" number to work with. Thus, simply for theconvenience of tool makers at Springfield Armory, the .30 was destined tobecome the all-American caliber--which, when you think about it, makes moresense than whatever impulse may have been the justification for several othercalibers.