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Types of Bullets

Learn about different types of bullets from Police Officer Keith Charley in this Howcast gun video.


Today we're going to talk about types of bullets and the anatomy of a bullet.

What's commonly referred to as a bullet is really called a shell or a cartridge. The bullet is actually just the end that will project out of a shell.

There's several types of bullets or shells or cartridges out there available. You have pistol ammunition, rifle ammunition, shotguns. We have several here to talk about.

We'll start with rifles. This is a typical rifle round. This is for a 308 rifle. The rifles are generally larger, more powerful rounds for longer distances. The cartridges are made up of several aspects here.

You have what's the shell which is the silver part you see here. The shell is full of gunpowder and the bullet or the projectile is inserted into the top.

On the rear of the bullet you'll see a round circle, right here, that's the primer. The primer is a small little explosive packet which makes a spark so when the firing pin for the gun strikes the primer, it creates a spark which will in turn ignite the gunpowder inside the round causing an explosion, forcing the bullet out of the barrel of the gun to your intended target.

There's several types of other kinds of bullets. We have shotgun bullets, which is pictured here. This is a 12-gauge double-ought buck shotgun round.

The way this works is there's about 8 or 9 large pellets inside this round. When fired, they will leave the barrel of the gun and spread out in a pattern covering a wider range.

We have several pistol rounds. First we have here, this is a 40 caliber hollow point round. Hollow points are generally used for law enforcement, security purposes. The reason for that is if you look here, it's hollow and there's little cuts in the round. What that does is when this round passes into a person or an object or whatever the intended target is, it will spread out and mushroom and stay inside the intended target causing maximum damage with these pieces because they splinter out, but it will not exit the intended target.

Another popular handgun round is what's called the full metal jacket round. This is a rounded ball-shaped projectile. This will pass through a lot of intended targets, especially at a closer range, while the bullet still has a lot of velocity. Very commonly used for target practice and general civilian use.

We also have, very popular, 22. This is a 22 rifle round. This is what's called a rim fire. If you look at the back, there's no primer in the back. The whole back of the casing is the primer. So wherever the firing pin strikes is good enough. There's no primer there. But this is a very, very popular round. Very inexpensive. Probably the most popular round out there today.

And that's an overview of bullets and the anatomy of the bullet.

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