2018-08-09 15:54:01 UTC
Sometimes you will hear people on a rifle range say, “I’m out of bullets.
Please get me some more bullets.” Usually, these people don’t know
that they are asking for the wrong thing. Cartridges go into the chamber
of a firearm, while bullets go out the muzzle. A bullet is only one part of
The ammunition used in a rifle or handgun is called a cartridge
(or a metallic cartridge).
There are two general types of cartridges available today: centerfire and
Many years ago people used a larger number of different rimfire cartridges.
The rimfire cartridge gets its name because the primer is in the rim. Rimfire
cartridges cannot be reloaded. The most common rimfire cartridge used
today is the .22 Long Rifle.
The centerfire cartridge is the most common type of metallic cartridge.
The primer is in the (bottom) center of the ammunition. That’s why this
cartridge is called centerfire. Centerfire cases can be reloaded.
All cartridges—both rimfire and centerfire—have four main parts.
Case: The case holds the primer, powder, and bullet.
Primer: The primer compound explodes when struck by the firing pin
and ignites the powder.
Powder: The powder burns and creates gas to push the bullet through
the bore and out the muzzle.
Bullet: The bullet is the part of the cartridge that strikes the target.
bullet A single projectile fired from a handgun or rifle. It is one part
of a cartridge
centerfire One type of cartridge; holds primer in the center of the
ignite To set on fire
metallic Made of metal
primer An explosive compound located in small metal cup and used
to ignite powder;
sometimes called a cap
rimfire One type of cartridge; contains the priming compound in the
rim; typically a .22-caliber