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Shooting Range Ammunition Basics; Bullet Parts, Handgun Cartridges & Difference Between Centerfire & Rimfire Ammo

Hitting the firing range has been proven to be beneficial to mental health, as well as physical well-being. Rifle enthusiasts, handgun devotees, and shotgun admirers have taken their passions and talents onto the firing range for continued training and marksmanship. With the firing ranges being engineered for nearly everyone, from military personnel, to law enforcement agencies, to armed security industries, down to concealed weapons carry, or just simple folks wanting to hone their recreational shooting techniques, the shooting range offers something to anyone. But a subject that often gets overlooked is understanding the basics of ammunition.

Shooting Range Industries would like to take a closer look at just a small handful of basic ammunition information.

The basic breakdown of a bullet is as follows;
Bullet Case: Usually made of brass, steel, or copper, the case is what holds all the components of a bullet together.
Bullet Primer: When struck by the firing pin, the primer is the explosive chemical used to ignite the gunpowder. Primer is frequently placed in the rimfire, or rim of the case, or in the centerfire, or the center of the base within the case.
Gunpowder: Once ignited, the gunpowder or a chemical mixture burns rapidly and is then converted to an expanding gas.
Projectile: The bullet or projectile is the object that is expelled from the barrel of your gun, which usually contains lead.

Difference Between Centerfire & Rimfire Ammo

The centerfire or rimfire ammunition can be a little confusing for beginners. But in a nutshell, centerfire ammunition is used in shotguns, rifles and handguns. As briefly mentioned, the primer is placed in the center of the base casing. In most cases, the centerfire ammunition is reloadable. Rimfire ammunition is when the primer is engineered in the rim of the ammunition casing. It is limited to low-pressure loads and is not reloadable.

Handgun Cartridges Chart

It is essential to know the handgun cartridge needed for the use of your handgun. The bullets in handgun cartridges have a number of various selections that include; design, size and weight. The bullet or projectile is made of lead, and the casing or jacket, is made of steel, copper, brass, or other metals.

Bullet Designs

The common designs of bullets are; roundnose, ward cutter, semi ward cutter, full metal jacket, and hollowpoint. Generally, bullets crafted for hunting, law enforcement, or personal defense posses soft or hollow point attributes, which are designed to expand (kind of like a mushroom-shape) upon impact. Bullets manufactured for shooting ranges are typically flat or solid points to make clean holes on targets.

Bullet Caliber Size

The caliber is used to describe the size of the cartridge designed for the specific bore. The most common caliber sizes are; .45,.44, .40 or 10mm, .357 or .380 or 9mm, .30 or .32, .22 or .25. It is critical you utilize the appropriate size caliber for the corresponding bore size.

Custom Modular Shooting Range with Indoor Bullet Traps & Target Retrieval Systems

There is more to ammunition than many beginners realize. If you ever are unsure, ask a knowledgeable expert for safety sake. We at Shooting Range Industries hope this was an informative look at the basics of handgun ammunition and in the future we will cover other firearms and the ammunition basic for them as well. Always apply safety precautions before during and after shooting range practice.

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