Weapon Ammunition and Common Bullet Sizes

a woman shooting a gunGuns can serve military, civilian, or recreational purposes. You can explore the recoil strength and stopping power of the different bullet calibers at Peak Firearms.

Components of a Bullet Cartridge

A bullet cartridge comprises a bullet, propellant (usually powder), casing, and primer. The bullet itself only refers to the metal projectile located at the end of the cartridge. Cartridges are covered by metal jackets. For bullets coated with a full metal jacket, the lead core is covered by a hard metal like steel or nickel. They have high stopping power and are usually used for military purposes. On the other hand, the lead core of semi-jacketed bullets is exposed at the tip.

Caliber refers to the internal diameter of the barrel that a bullet is to be fired from. It is slightly smaller than a bullet’s diameter. This is why bullets squeeze down on the barrel and the barrel becomes much hotter during firing.

The primer is distributed at the base of the cartridge in two different ways. Ammunition with a rimfire cartridge has a primer built into the rim at the cartridge’s base. Rimfires are relatively cheap and are often restricted to smaller calibers. On the other hand, a centerfire cartridge has a primer built well into the center of the caliber.

Common Bullet Calibers

A “grain” is a unit of weight for bullets. Bullets at high grain levels are considered to have high stopping power. This refers to how many bullets it will take for a target to drop. Of course, this will also depend on where one gets hit and aiming often goes to the largest target spot like the center of the mass or chest. Different calibers apply to different weapons and have varying ranges of recoil strength and stopping power.

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The 9mm caliber is similar to the .380 and is commonly used for pocket pistols and concealed carry. Ammunition with this caliber tends to have lower recoil and is the standard type of round for most police forces around the world. Magazines for 9mm guns often contain about 15-17 rounds and has a range of 115-147 of variable stopping power.

The .308 caliber is a good and popularly used hunting round because it has high stopping power, moderate recoil, and bullets that range from 150-208 grains. The most popular shotgun round is the 12 gauge. The gauge refers to the number of lead balls that can fit into a barrel. These metal balls vary in terms of size and amount. Recoil can be moderate or high depending on the round. The stopping power of a shotgun round is great at short range.

The .50 caliber is the most powerful of all handheld firearms and this round is not commonly meant for civilian use. It is huge in comparison to other types of ammunition, has powerful recoil, and an incredible range. Confirmed kills have been found with ranges over 2km. It also contains about 660 grains of pure stopping power.

There are many different caliber sizes for bullets depending on the particular weapon and its use. Gun operators need to choose a gun caliber based on whether the gun will be used for military, civilian, or hunting purposes.