Modern Ammunition. Key Topics. What is Ammunition? Match Firearms & Ammunition How a Firearm Works Know Your Firearm’s Range. Objectives. You should be able to… Know how to identify modern ammunition Identify and name the components of rifle and pistol ammunition
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Modern ammunition varies depending on type of firearm. Rifles and handguns use acartridge containing a single projectile (bullet).
Shotguns use ashotshellcontaining either a single slug or a large number of small projectiles (shot).
The basic components of cartridges and shotshells are very similar.
Rifle and handgun ammunition
Ammunition used for rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Primer located in center of casing base.
Ammunition has primer contained in rim of ammunition casing. Rimfire ammunition limited to low pressure loads. Rimfire cartridges not reloadable.
Basic components are the case, primer, powder, and projectile(s). Shotshells have an additional component called wad.
Critical to select correct cartridge for your rifle or handgun. Compare data stamp on barrel of the firearm against description on ammunition box and the stamp on each cartridge.
Bullets used in rifle and handgun cartridges come in various designs, sizes and weights. The bullet is made of lead, but sometimes has a copper jacket. Bullets for hunting may have soft or hollow points designed to expand (mushroom) upon impact.
Bullets for target shooting usually have solid points that make smaller holes.
Shotgun shells (shotshells) use a slug or shot as the projectile(s)
Shotshells must exactly match the gauge and shell length specified by the manufacturer. This information is usually found on the barrel of the shotgun. Shotguns may be chambered for 2 ¾-inch, 3-inch or 3 ½-inch shells. This refers to the length of the shell after it has been fired.
Must choose correct type and size of shot for the shotshell. As size of your target decreases, you should decrease the diameter of the shot you use.
Steel shot pellets react differently than lead when shot. Steel weighs about two-thirds that of lead, but is much harder. Steel does not deform and is not as unstable in flight. It will produce a tighter pattern than lead shot.
If using steel shot for hunting, choose a steel shot size one to two sizes larger than the lead shot you would select.
Non-toxic shot is required throughout the U. S. for waterfowl hunting. Studies showed that many waterfowl died each year due to lead poisoning. Lead pellets from traditional shotshells were picked up and digested by waterfowl. The toxic effect spread to other birds, such as the bald eagle, who consumed the poisoned waterfowl.
Not always easy to correctly match proper ammunition to your firearm – but getting it right is critical. If you match wrong ammunition to your gun, you can cause an explosion, injuring or possibly killing yourself and any bystanders.
Purchase only correct ammunition for your firearm. Buy exact caliber or gauge and length of ammunition which your rifle, handgun or shotgun was designed. Data stamp on barrel of shotgun identifies which length of shells can be used.
shotgun, which causes an
Hangfires happen when firing pin has struck primer and there is a delay before it fires. This can occur for several reasons such as a faulty firing pin or spring, defective primer or other cartridge related problem. Misfire is when primer fails to ignite the powder.
Always treat “misfire” or “hangfire” as if firearm is going to discharge at any second. Leave action closed and retain your shooting position. Most importantly, maintain muzzle control in a safe direction at all times. Failure to follow these safe handling practices could result in a tragedy.
Same physical process used to fire shotshells from shotguns or cartridges from rifles or handguns. Pulling the trigger causes firing pin to strike and explode the primer in the base of the cartridge or shotshell. Fire from the primer ignites the gunpowder that burns rapidly, converting to a gas. Gas rapidly expands and drives projectile(s) through barrel with great force.
A cartridge is inserted into the chamber.
Knowing your firearm’s range is critical – tells at what distances firearm’s projectile could cause injury or damage to persons, animals or objects. When hunting, knowing the range lets you immediately assess when shot will give clean kill.