Components of Ammunition: Ammunition 101


Components of ammunition can be confusing, complex, and intimidating to understand. Read on to learn more about ammunition basics and types.

Ammunition 101

The History

The history of ammunition can be tracked all the way back to the invention of fireworks. This was discovered around 900 AD in China. The Chinese created black gunpowder complied of saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur. They later used this gunpowder as a weapon. The gunpowder was attached to a tube at the bottom of spears to propel it forward. This was used against enemies in war. After the first firearms were used in China, they began to spread westbound to Arab countries.

Later, gunpowder was developed into the cartridges we know today because of Europeans taking on the innovation of gunpowder into ammo. With the invention of muzzleloaders, the Europeans proceeded to downsize ammunition to a size fitting for hand cannons. This ammo design also worked for the first rifles. Next, the design of the cartridge was next. Bullets began modifying from musket balls into the cylinder bullets we are familiar with today.

Basic Components of Ammunition

The basic components of ammunition consist of a case, powder, primer, and projectile. The three components of ammunition, primer, powder, and projectile are included inside the casing. Shotgun shells have an extra component referred to as wad.

  • Casing: The case is what holds the materials and can be made out of polymer, brass, or steel.
  • Primer: The primer is the firing component for the propellent. It can be seen as the round dimple on the base of the cartridge.
  • Powder/Propellant: The gunpowder.
  • Projectile: This is the actual bullet. This piece is the “shell”.
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Common Types of Bullets

Bullets come in many types, shapes, and forms that fulfill particular demands. These bullets are all used for different purposes and may work with certain guns.

  • Lead Round Nose (LRN)
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)
  • Semi-Jacketed (SJ)
  • Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP)
  • Wad Cutter (WC)
  • Semi Wad Cutter (SWC)
  • Special (RCBD)

It is always smart to ONLY use ammunition that is compatible with your firearm. Also, be sure to use ammo that is properly working. Using defective or bad ammunition can result in a bad situation. If you have questions about determining the ammo you need, contact us today!

Advanced Ammunition Manufacturing Technology

What is Polymer?

Polymer is a material composed of a few synthetic/natural components. These elements are forged together as large molecules referred to as macromolecules. Polymer is a strong material that can resist water. Polymer is used to produce items such as picked textiles, select fibers, grocery bags, vinyl flooring, water bottles, soda bottles, electronics, electrical installation insulation, and several auto parts. In addition, polymer is used to create certain fencing, PVC, and lawn chairs and/or furniture.

Advancements In Components of Ammunition

Bonding between the macromolecule chains results in a strong substance. Polymer’s strength is comparable to certain metals. Polymer is frequently used for creating various firearm products, gun frames, gun parts. Polymer casings create light ammo for any use! Learn more about the strength of polymer bullets and the #1 ammo choice today.

Learn Further About Ammunition and the components of Polymer Cartridges

Ammunition can be confusing to understand and extremely overwhelming if you do not have any knowledge about firearms and the components of ammunition. Luckily, it does not have to be this way. Our team of experts is here to educate you with the facts and specs about ammunition. Virtus strives to provide gun owners and operators with the best information. We can help answer your questions.

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Additionally, we understand how difficult it can be to choose the right ammunition for your gun and ammo needs. To learn more about how you can benefit from the use of True Velocity polymer cased ammunition, contact the ammo experts at Virtus today!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>