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Different Kinds of Ammunition and Its Components

Definition of Ammunition

Ammunition must match the firearm and varies depending on the type of firearm. Ammunition is made up of four parts, case, primer, powder and projectile. Handguns and rifles use a cartridge (case) containing a single projectile/bullet. A single piece of ammunition is sometimes referred to as a ’round’. Shotgun ammunition uses a shell (case) containing a large number of small projectiles (shot or pellets) or a single slug.

Components of Ammunition:

Case: The container that holds all the other components together. It’s usually made of brass or steel, shotshells are usually a combination of brass and plastic.   .450 bushmaster ammo

Primer: A very small but explosive chemical compound that, when struck by the firing pin ignites the gunpowder inside the case. Primer may be placed either in the rim of the case (rimfire cartridge) or in the center of the base (centerfire cartridge).

Powder or Gunpowder: A chemical mixture that, when ignited and converts instantly into a forcefully expanding gas. Modern smokeless powder will burn slowly if ignited in the open air (outside of the case).

Black powder: Far less stable than smokeless power and is explosive even when ignited in open air.

Projectile/Bullet: The solid object that is fired from the barrel of a gun at the target.

Slug: A solid projectile fired through a shotgun barrel, generally used for hunting large mammals.

Shot: Pellets, small beads of lead, steel, tungsten alloy, or bismuth pellets fired from a shotgun.

There are a few specialty rifle cartridges that are loaded with shot.

Bullet: The common name for the projectile, commonly made of lead, fired from rifles and handguns.

Bullets come in various shapes, sizes and different materials. The bullet is commonly made of lead or may have a lead core and a jacket (cover/coating) made of copper or a copper alloy.

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