As youngsters we found packlabels of firecrackers the most interesting, in addition to the mysterious Chinese signs also odd fractures and " marks, what's all this about? China began a few centuries ago by expressing lengths in the unit inch, and therefore also the sizes of firecrackers. That is until the day actually remained so even though the size of the firecrackers often not get listed on the label or wrapper. In Europe we use the millimeter to express lengths so when we where young, 40 years ago, the unit 'inch' was very mysterious. Ofcourse; one inch equals 25.4 millimeters, the fractures as 3/8 meant to be express lengths less than one inch. (over here in Europe we use digits after a comma to express figure smaller than 1). All this is true for classical Chinese firecrackers, Spanish crackers, nitrate bangers, match crackers from germany, Poland, etc. do not hold themselves to this standard, especially the modern crackers does not. The table also shows the model number,  the most famous in the Netherlands is the 450; literally billions of these firecrackers are set off during the New Years eve festivities.

 

The table summarizes the firecracker dimensions 'known to man. Nowadays; if you measure your bangers you'll probably discover that there are all wrong; manufacturers use wide tolerances in the dimensions, as is the 480 size firecracker much thinner than the 4 "x 9/16" in de seventies or eighties, when the diameter was indeed the full 14mm.
 
In green the sizes mostly common in the Netherlands.
 
Dimension in inches: Dimension in mm: model code:
 11/16" x 1/8"  18 x 3,2 302 
 7/8" x 1/8"  22 x 3,2 303
 7/8" x 1/6"  22 x 4,2
 15/16" x 5/32"  24 x 3,9  
 1" x ¼"  25 x 6,4 390
 1-3/16" x 7/32"  30 x 5,6  
 1½" x  ¼"  38 x 6,4 410
 1½" x  11/32"  38 x 8,7  
 1-9/16" x 3/8"  40 x 9,5 438
 1-5/8" x ¼"  41 x 6,4 422
 1-5/8" x 5/16"  41 x 8
 1-5/8" x 11/32"  41 x 8,7
 1-11/16" x 5/16"  43 x 8 220
 1¾" x ¼"  44 x 6,4 430
 2" x ¼"  51 x 6,4 444
 2" x 3/8"  51 x 9,5 420
 2" x 7/16"  51 x 11 425
 2" x ½"  51 x 12,7 440
 2½" x ½"  63 x 12,7 450
 3" x ½"  76 x 12,7 455
 3" x 9/16"  76 x 14,3 460
 3" x 5/8"  76 x 16 270
 3" x ¾"  76 x 19 484
 3½" x ¾"  89 x 19 470
 4" x 9/16"  102 x 14,3 480
 4" x ¾"  102 x 19 485
 4" x 1"  102 x 25,4 490
 5" x 1"  127 x 25,4 500
 6" x 1"  152 x 25,4 510

 

To get things more visable a overview with a number of different sizes firecrackers, from smallest 'chicken fart' (as we use ti say in Holland) to the large 4" x 1". Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the image.