Before starting with the description of the different types of short arms, I think it would be convenient to spend a little time, given its complexity, on the issue of “cartridge” or ammunition.
The function of a cartridge is to ensure that one of the elements that make it up (the bullet) can be launched, in conjunction with the weapon, at a certain distance, with precision, and with a determined remaining energy. The cartridge is made up of the case, where the gunpowder and the starter capsule are located, and the bullet.
The first major classification of cartridges is by the material they are made of, so there are metallic, semi-metallic, and plastic ones (except for the capsule, which is always made of metal). The metallic ones are the common ones for short and long-rifled weapons; the semi-metallic ones are commonly used in shotguns.
The cartridges are defined by their name and do not have a caliber. The common name is usually included in parentheses, for example, 9×17 mm. Browining-court (9 short), obtaining a said name from the diameter of the bullet times the length of the case, followed by the name of the designer, manufacturer, or other agreed.
In shotgun ammo, the caliber of the weapon is expressed first, followed by the chamber length (which is equal to the fully open cartridge). For example, 12-70 cartridges (known as 12 calibers). Their use can classify them: salvo, exercise, sports, test, grenade launcher, special, accessory, detonating, and small shot. Many manufacturers make cartridges following their own criteria, so you can find everything in cartridges.
Ammunition identification is sometimes somewhat more difficult than it may seem at first. Ideally, the cartridges should be in their box, which is almost never the case. The ammunition can present a multitude of problems for its identification, or because it is very old and out of use, or very recent and not having it cataloged, it can be ammunition made practically to measure by an anonymous manufacturer from North America, Asia, and even Africa.
Some cartridges are called “wildcat,” and that is nothing more than adaptations of other calibers; obviously, the easiest thing is to cut the sheath.
As already mentioned, the caliber of the cartridge is determined by measuring the diameter of the bullet and the length of the case. There are several systems: European, British, and American.
The European gives the measurements in millimeters, like 9mm ammo. However, on many occasions, it is also followed by a name, which can be that of the designer, of the weapon for which it is intended, or something like the region where the first ammunition factory was located (for example, “parabellum”).
English is the least used, perhaps due to the low number of British cartridges on the market. They are expressed in thousandths of inches; the 375 caliber is 0.375 inches. The measurements are followed in most cases by a name, which, as in the other systems, can be the manufacturer, designer, weapon to which it is directed, or the sheath if it has a name. It is also sometimes found in millimeters or hundredths of an inch, making the subject more complicated.
The American is given in hundredths of inches, although it can also be given in thousandths of an inch or even in millimeters. As in the previous cases, a name also usually accompanies the measurements (Smith-Wesson, Winchester, etc.). In addition to the same as in the previous cases, this can add the weight of the load in grains or if they are more powerful (Magnum). As I have already repeated, everything exists in the world of ammunition. Still, it is enough to remember the 30-06 Springfield caliber, where the last figures are the year of its invention.
Different types of ammo
Some common types of ammunition are:
- Cartridge of the 12, (Battery), .454 Casull, .45 Winchester Magnum, .44 Remington Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .45 ACP, .38 Super, 9mm Luger, .32 ACP, .22 LR
- 50 Action Express, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 9 mm Luger Parabellum, .22 Long Rifle.
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