What Are the Different Types of Ammunition That Exists Today?
Did you know that people have been enjoying firearms all the way back to 1364? The first firearm didn’t reach the New World until 1492.
If you’re a gun enthusiast, then you might wonder about the different types of ammunition, and which is best for your needs. While it might seem overwhelming trying to sift through the different information and pick out the best option, it doesn’t have to be. Read this guide on the different types of ammunition, and pick out the right one for your needs today.
Understanding Bullet Lingo
First, it’s important to answer the question, do bullets go bad? In order to understand the best ammunition, it’s important to learn different terms such as the caliber of the bullet.
The caliber is the diameter of the bullet that goes through the diameter of the gun. The entire part of the bullet is called the cartridge.
The grain defines the weight of the bullet. The heavier the bullet, the more impact that it’ll have.
There are 3 main groups which are Handgun, Rifle, and Shotgun ammo. If you’re using a shotgun then you have shotshells. Handguns and rifles use cartridges.
Shotshells have 3 main types, buck, bird, and slug shots. Slug shots are solid metal projectile. Buck and bird shots are metallic pellets.
Centerfire vs Rimfire
Centerfire cartridges have their primer in the center of the bullet. Meanwhile, rimfires have it built into the rim. Rimfires tend to cost less than centerfires.
Common Bullet Calibers
The gun industry makes larger bullets such as the .380 ACP. They’re a more popular option.
This bullet is a great option since it has low recoil. If you’re not shooting at a close range, then it’s probably not right for you.
Another option is the .22 LR. You can find it in both rifles and pistols. It’s a great starter round since it barely has any recoil. The .22 LR is better for shooting smaller animals than an attacker.
Which Bullet Should I Choose?
Once you determine the caliber, then you can choose the type of bullet that’ll work best.
3 common bullet types include:
- Soft point (mostly used for self-defense)
- Hollowpoint (mostly used for self-defense)
- Full metal jacket (mostly used for competition and target shooting)
Keep in mind that the best firearm ammunition will come down to the type of gun that you use.
Other Points to Consider
You’ll want to think about the soft point, boat tail, armor-piercing, or boat tail hollow point. The boat tail hollow point is a combination of the hollow point and boat tail features.
The rear end of the cartridge is used to stabilize the bullet in flight for the boat tail. Armor piercings have a core that’s composed of alloy instead of lead. Soft points have a tip that’s exposed lead.
The head of the case (bottom of the bullet) will normally tell you what kind of load it is. Headstamps often tell you the manufacturer, caliber, and sometimes other information. It might even include when it was produced.
Nickel vs Steel vs Brass Cases
Brass is the most common casing that you’ll find. Keep in mind that while it can reload many times, it can tarnish easily.
Nickel-plated brass-cased ammo is used for defense and hunting. It’s also more resistant to corrosion. If you’re going to be hunting in the harsh elements, then this might be the ideal choice for you.
Steel-cased ammunition might be economical but they tend to stick more. Meanwhile, hulls on shotgun shells are often plastic.
The Different Rifle Rounds
Popular semi-auto rifle rounds include 7.62 x 39mm, 5.56 NATO, and the .308 Winchester. The .308 Winchester is popular in classic battle rifles.
The 7.92x33mm is often seen in 122-grain loads. It’s a popular choice around the world.
You can find the 5.56 NATO in the AR-15. You can find them varying in size from 55-77 grain loads.
You can use them for both long and short-range shooting. They can be used in budget rifles as well.
Common Action Rounds
The .45-70 Government is an older centerfire rile. It has a smokeless powder with an efficient bullet that’s smaller. While they’re more popular with cowboys, there are still plenty of hunters who use them.
The .35 Remington is a great option for hunting bears, deer, elk, and others. It has a lower recoil to function within a small-framed carbine.
Common Pistol Cartridges
The .40 S&W was a popular option for personal protection and law enforcement. Even though it’s not as popular today, it’s still commonly found. It also has load ranges of 135-180 grains.
The 9mm Luger was popular in the military when it first came out. Over the years, the United States has embraced it as well.
Today, it’s similar to an 87-Octane. You’ll find that the FBI and most law enforcement use the 9mm Luger. The load runs between 115-147 grains.
12 Gauge Shotgun Shell
A 12 gauge is a rather large bullet. Birdshot is common ammo for the shotgun and is made up of small balls of metal. The metal balls are larger for buckshots.
If you’re looking for a solid piece of metal, go with the slug. For the heaviest firepower, go with the buckshot or slug.
Understanding the Different Types of Ammunition
After exploring this guide, you should have a better idea of the different types of ammunition out there. Take your time deciding which is the best option for your needs and the type of gun that you have.
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