When buying ammo for home protection, target practice, or hunting, there are a lot of different types and brands to choose from. Some states have different rules and regulations that make buying ammo a bit more difficult, and a bit more expensive.
Parts of a Bullet Cartridge
A bullet cartridge is made up of four components, the case, a primer, some gun powder for the propellant, and a projectile.
Bullet Cartridge Components
•Case •Primer •Gun Powder •Projectile
The bullet case is typically made from steel, brass, or nickel.
This primer is the ignition for the propellent which fires the projectile through the gun barrel.
Bullet Powder Propellant
The propellant in a bullet cartridge is gun powder, which is highly flammable, and ignites when the primer goes off to fire the projectile through the gun barrel.
The projectile is the actual bullet that shoots out of the gun to hit the object or animal that you are aiming at. The Projectile has for the longest time been made of lead, but with advancements in technology the industry is moving more towards non-lead bullets. Lead bullets fragment when they hit their target, where as non-lead bullets stay together. Non-lead bullets are typically made of copper or a copper alloy. Non-lead ammo is more expensive, and they typically come in smaller quantities in a package.
Bullets come in a variety of different, each of which are used for different purposes. Examples of bullet types are shown below: Lead Round Nose (LRN) is the cheapest and most common type of bullets. The bullet is made of lead, and is rounded. It has no copper or hard metal jacket. Wad Cutter (WC) is a flat nosed bullet with no taper. It is crimped totally into the case, it is a big lead plug inside the cartridge that doesn't stick out above the shoulder of the case. Semi Wad Cutter (SWC) is an all-purpose bullet commonly used in revolvers and pistols. The SWC combines the features of the wadcutter bullet and traditional round nosed revolver bullets. It is used in revolver and pistol cartridges for hunting and target shooting. Semi Jacketed (SJ) unlike a full metal jacket that completely encases the bullet in a coating of metal alloy, the semi-jacketed leaves a portion exposed that expands on impact that creates a greater surface area for the most damage. The semi-jacketed bullet fouls up the barrel of a firearm less than non-jacketed bullets do. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) has a projectile consisting of a soft core, which is often lead, encased in an outer shell or jacket of harder metal. The bullet jacket allows for higher muzzle velocities than bare lead without depositing significant amounts of metal into the bore, which lessens damage to the barrel over time. Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) is a bullet designed to give you all the stopping power and expansion of a normal hollow point bullet, but gives you more penetration. The partial jacket creates a uniform mushrooming effect of the bullet upon impact with a target. Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) benefits performance by providing smoother feeding in a semi-automatic weapon, which lessens the rate at which the bore fouls. This design increases the penetration of the target, and controls the expansion of the bullet so that it occurs in a reliable fashion. Soft Point (SP) the soft point bullet tip is exposed lead. Armor Piercing (AP) the armor piercing bullet is composed of alloy instead of lead. Boat Tail (BT) the boat tail bullet is where the rear end of the cartridge is tapered to stabilize the projectile during flight. Boat Tail Hollow Point (BTHP) is a combination of the boat tail and hollow point bullet features.
In a rimfire bullet, the primer material is around the "rim" or base of the bullet and the primer strike which ignites the powder is on the outside edge of the bullet. The most common types of "rim fire" ammo are the 22LR, 22MAG. and .17HMR. Due to the size of rimfire bullets, and how they are made, they typically cannot be reloaded.•Federal Premium V-Shok Varmint Magnum Rimfire Ammo •Winchester Super-X 22 WIN MAG Rimfire Ammo •Hornady .17 HMR 20gr XTP Rimfire Ammo •Winchester Varmint HV 17 HMR V-MAX Rimfire Ammo
Centerfire Rifle Bullets
A centerfire bullets primer is located at the center of the base of its casing. The centerfire primer is typically a separate component that is seated into the recessed primer pocket in the case head and is replaceable by reloading. •Nosler Trophy Grade Ammo •Federal Premium Edge TLR Rifle Ammo •Federal Varmint & Predator Rifle Ammunition •Federal Premium Terminal Ascent Big Game Centerfire Rifle Ammo
Shotgun Shell Bullets
A shotgun shell is a type of rimmed, cylindrical cartridge that is used specifically in shotguns, and is typically loaded with small pellet like spherical sub-projectiles that are referred to as “shot”. A shotgun shell can also contain only a single large solid projectile known as a slug. The shotgun shell hull usually consists of a paper or plastic tube, typically covered at the base by a metallic head cover which retains a primer, and the shot charge is typically contained by a wadding or sabot inside the case.•Kent Bismuth Upland Non-Toxic Shotshells •Winchester USA Game and Target Load Shotshell Ammo Value Pack •Browning TSS Tungsten Turkey Shotshells •HEVI-Shot HEVI-Metal Waterfowl Shotshells
Handgun Pistol Revolver Ammo
•Winchester USA Handgun Ammo •Hornady Custom Pistol Ammo •Federal American Eagle Centerfire Handgun Ammo •Barnes TAC-XPD Personal and Home Defense Ammo
Lead Free Bullets
•Buffalo Boare Lead-Free Centerfire Rifle Ammo •Federal Premium V-Shok TNT Green Lead-Free Centerfire Rifle Ammo •Winchester Varmint X Lead Free Centerfire Rifle Ammo •Hornady Varmint Express NTX Lead-Free Rimfire AmmoAbout The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Bullets, Ammo, and Ammunition Shopping Experience Awaits!