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The firearm was originally invented in China during the 13th century AD, after the

Chinese invented gunpowder during the 9th century AD. [1][2][3] These inventions were
later transmitted to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The world's first firearm in
history was the fire lance, the prototype of the gun. The fire lance was invented in
China during the 10th century and it is the predecessor of all firearms.
A cartridge (also called a round, ammo, or a shell) is a type
of ammunition packaging a bullet or shot, a propellantsubstance (usually
either smokeless powder or black powder) and a primer within a metallic, paper, or
plastic case that is precisely made to fit within the firing chamber of a firearm.[1] The
primer is a small charge of an impact-sensitive or electric-sensitive chemical
mixture that can be located at the center of the case head (centerfire ammunition),
inside a rim (rimfire ammunition), or in a projection such as in a pinfire or teatfire cartridge. Military and commercial producers also makecaseless ammunition. A
cartridge without a bullet is called a blank. One that is completely inert (contains no
active primer and no propellant) is called a dummy.
Some artillery ammunition uses the same cartridge concept as found in small arms.
In other cases, the artillery shell is separate from the propellant charge.
In popular use, the term "bullet" is often misused to refer to a complete cartridge.

A variety of rifle cartridges: 1).17 HM2 2) .17 HMR 3) .22LR 4) .22 WMR 5) .17/23
SMc 6)5mm/35 SMc 7) .22 Hornet 8) .223 Remington 9) .223 WSSM 10) .243
Winchester 11) .243 Winchester Improved (Ackley) 12) .25-06 Remington 13) .270
Winchester 14) .308 Winchester 15) .30-06 Springfield 16) .45-70
Government 17) .50-90 Sharps
1 Design

1.1 Purpose

1.2 Materials

1.3 Specifications
2 History

2.1 Integrated paper cartridges

2.2 Metal cartridges

3 Nomenclature

4 Centerfire

5 Rimfire

6 Semi-automatic vs. revolver cartridges

7 Bullet design types

8 Common cartridges

9 Reloading

10 Caseless ammunition

11 Trounds

12 Blank ammunition

13 Drill rounds

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links
The cartridge case seals a firing chamber in all directions excepting the bore.
A firing pin strikes the primer and ignites it. The primer compound deflagrates (that
is, it rapidly burns), it does not detonate. A jet of burning gas from the primer
ignites the propellant.
Gases from the burning powder pressurize and expand the case to seal it against
the chamber wall. These propellant gases push on the bullet base. In response to
this pressure, the bullet will move in the path of least resistance which is down the
bore of the barrel. After the bullet leaves the barrel, the chamber pressure drops to
atmospheric pressure. The case, which had been elastically expanded by chamber
pressure, contracts slightly. This eases removal of the case from the chamber.
Brass is a commonly used case material because it is resistant to corrosion. A brass
case head can be work-hardened to withstand the high pressures of cartridges, and
allow for manipulation via extraction and ejection without tearing the metal. The
neck and body portion of a brass case is easily annealed to make the
case ductile enough to allow reforming so that it can be reloaded many times.
Steel is used in some plinking ammunition, as well as in some military ammunition
(mainly from the former Soviet Unionand China). Steel is less expensive than brass,
but it is not feasible to reload and reuse steel cases. Military forces typically
consider small arms cartridge cases to be disposable, one-time-use devices.
However, case weight (mass) affects how much ammunition a soldier can carry, so

the lighter steel cases do have a military advantage. Conversely, steel is more
susceptible to contamination and damage so all such cases are varnished or
otherwise sealed against the elements.
One downside caused by the increased strength of steel in the neck of these cases
(compared to the annealed neck of a brass case) is that propellant gas can blow
back past the neck and into the chamber. Constituents of these gases condense on
the (relatively cold) chamber wall. This solid propellant residue can make extraction
of fired cases difficult. This is less of a problem for small arms of the former Warsaw
Pact nations, which were designed with much larger chamber tolerances
than NATO weapons.
Aluminum cased cartridges are available commercially. These are generally not
reloaded as aluminum fatigues easily during firing and resizing. Some calibers also
have non-standard primer sizes to discourage reloaders from attempting to reuse
these cases.
Historically paper had been used in the earliest cartridges as detailed further below.
Critical cartridge specifications include neck size, bullet weight and caliber,
maximum pressure, headspace, overall length, case body diameter and taper,
shoulder design, rim type, etc. Generally, every characteristic of a specific cartridge
type is tightly controlled and few types are interchangeable in any way. Exceptions
do exist but generally, these are only where a shorter cylindrical rimmed cartridge
can be used in a longer chamber, (e.g., .22 Short in .22 Long Rifle chamber, and .38
Special in a .357 Magnum chamber). Centerfire primer type (Boxer or Berdan, see
below) is interchangeable, although not in the same case. Deviation in any of these
specifications can result in firearm damage and, in some instances, injury or death.
Similarly, use of the wrong type of cartridge in any given gun can damage the gun,
or cause bodily injury.
Cartridge specifications are determined by several standards organizations,
including SAAMI in the United States, andC.I.P. in many European states. NATO also
performs its own tests for military cartridges for its member nations; due to
differences in testing methods, NATO cartridges (headstamped with the NATO cross)
may present an unsafe combination when loaded into a weapon chambered for a
cartridge certified by one of the other testing bodies. [2]
Bullet diameter is measured either as a fraction of an inch (usually in 1/100 or in
1/1000) or in millimetres. Cartridge case length can also be designated in inches or

Historic British handgun cartridges

Paper cartridges have been in use for nearly as long as hand-held firearms, with a
number of sources dating their use back to the late 14th century. Historians note
their use by soldiers of Christian I in 1586,[not in citation given] while the Dresden
Museum[which?] has evidence dating their use to 1591, and Capo Bianco wrote in 1597
that paper cartridges had long been in use by Neapolitan soldiers. Their use became
widespread by the 17th century.[3] The 1586 cartridge consisted of a charge
of powder and a bullet in a paper tube. Thick paper is still known as "cartridge
paper" from its use in these cartridges. [citation needed] Another source states the
cartridge appeared in 1590.[4] King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden had his troops use
cartridges in the 1600s.[5] The paper was formed a cylinder with twisted ends; the
ball was at one end, and the measured powder filled the rest. [6]

A modern cartridge consists of the following:

1. the bullet, as the projectile;
2. the case, which holds all parts together;
3. the propellant, for examplegunpowder or cordite;
4. the rim, which provides the extractor on the firearm a place to grip the casing to
remove it from the chamber once fired;
5. the primer, which ignites the propellant.

Schlieren image of a bullet travelling in free-flight demonstrating the air pressure

dynamics surrounding the bullet.
A bullet is a projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, slingshot, or air gun. Bullets do
not normally contain explosives,[1] but damage the intended target by impact

andpenetration. The word "bullet" is sometimes colloquially used to refer

to ammunitionin general, or to a cartridge, which is a combination of the
bullet, case/shell,powder, and primer. This use of 'bullet', when 'cartridge' is
intended, leads to confusion when the components of a cartridge are discussed or
Bullets fired from slings, slingshots, and many airguns (including BB guns) travel
well below the speed of sound (about 343 m/s or 1126 feet/s in dry air at 68
degrees Fahrenheit). Low-power handguns have muzzle velocities generally less
than the speed of sound (subsonic), while bullets fired from high-power handguns
(such as a .44 Magnum) and from rifles have an initial speed faster than the speed
of sound, meaning they are supersonic and thus can travel a substantial distance
and even hit a target before a nearby observer hears the "bang" of the shot. Bullet
speed through air depends on a number of factors such as barometric
pressure,humidity, air temperature, and wind speed.
1 History

1.1 Pointed bullets

1.2 The modern bullet

2 Design

3 Propulsion

4 Materials

5 Treaties and prohibitions

6 Bullet abbreviations

7 See also

8 References

9 External links

Lead sling bullets, ca. 100 g with a winged thunderbolt engraved on one side and
the inscription "Take that" () on the other side. Athens, 4th century BC.
The history of bullets far predates the history of firearms. Originally, bullets were
made out of stone or purpose-made clay balls used as sling ammunition,
as weaponsand for hunting. Eventually as firearmswere developed, these same
items were placed in front of a propellant charge of gunpowder at the end of a
closed tube. As firearms became more technologically advanced, from 1500 to
1800, bullets changed very little. They remained simple round (spherical) lead balls,
calledrounds, differing only in their diameter.

Matchlock musket balls, alleged to have been discovered at Naseby battlefield.

The development of the hand culverin and matchlock arquebus brought about the
use of cast lead balls as projectiles. "Bullet" is derived from the French
wordboulette which roughly means little ball. The original musket bullet was a
spherical lead ball smaller than the bore, wrapped in a loosely fitted paper patch
which served to hold the bullet in the barrel firmly upon the powder. (Bullets that
were not firmly upon the powder upon firing risked causing the barrel to explode,
with the condition known as a short start.) The loading of muskets was, therefore,
easy with the old smooth-bore Brown Bess and similar military muskets. The original
muzzle-loading rifle, on the other hand, with a more closely fitting ball to take
the riflinggrooves, was more difficult to load, particularly when the bore of the barrel
was fouled from previous firings. For this reason, early rifles were not generally used
for military purposes.
The first half of the nineteenth century saw a distinct change in the shape and
function of the bullet. In 1826, Delvigne, a French infantry officer, invented a breech
with abrupt shoulders on which a spherical bullet was rammed down until it caught
the rifling grooves. Delvigne's method, however, deformed the bullet and was
Square bullets, invented by James Puckle and Kyle Tunis, were briefly used in one
version of the Puckle gun. The use of these was soon discontinued due to irregular
and unpredictable flight patterns.
Pointed bullets[edit]

This bullet mold was designed for use with the .44 caliber Colt Army Model
1860 revolver. The mold includes chambers for casting round balls and conical Mini
ball. This mold is from the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Among the first pointed or "conical" bullets were those designed by Captain John
Norton of the British Army in 1823. Norton's bullet had a hollow base which upon
firing expanded under pressure to engage with a barrel's rifling. The British Board of
Ordnance rejected it because spherical bullets had been in use for the previous 300
years.[citation needed]
Renowned English gunsmith William Greener invented the Greener bullet in 1836. It
was very similar to Norton's bullet except that the hollow base of the bullet was
fitted with a wooden plug which more reliably forced the base of the bullet to
expand and catch the rifling. Tests proved that Greener's bullet was extremely
effective but it too was rejected for military use because, being two parts, it was
judged as being too complicated to produce.

Mini ball ammunition

The soft lead Mini ball was first introduced in 1847 by Claude-tienne Mini, a
captain in the French Army. It was nearly identical to the Greener bullet. As
designed by Mini, the bullet was conical in shape with a hollow cavity in the rear,
which was fitted with a little iron cap instead of a wooden plug. When fired, the iron
cap would force itself into the hollow cavity at the rear of the bullet, thus expanding
the sides of the bullet to grip and engage the rifling. In 1855, the British adopted
the Mini ball for their Enfield rifles. A similar bullet called the Nessler ball was also
developed for smoothbore muskets.
The small Mini ball first saw widespread use in the American Civil War. Roughly
90% of the battlefield casualties in this war were caused by Mini balls fired from
Between 1854 and 1857, Sir Joseph Whitworth conducted a long series of rifle
experiments, and proved, among other points, the advantages of a smaller bore
and, in particular, of an elongated bullet. The Whitworth bullet was made to fit the
grooves of the rifle mechanically. The Whitworth rifle was never adopted by the
government, although it was used extensively for match purposes and target
practice between 1857 and 1866, when it was gradually superseded by Metford's.
About 1862 and later, W. E. Metford carried out an exhaustive series of experiments
on bullets and rifling, and invented the important system of light rifling with
increasing spiral, and a hardened bullet. The combined result was that in December
1888 the LeeMetford small-bore (0.303", 7.70 mm) rifle, Mark I, was finally adopted
for the British army. The LeeMetford was the predecessor of the LeeEnfield.
The modern bullet[edit]

.270 ammunition. Left to right:

100-grain (6.5 g) hollow point
115-grain (7.5 g) FMJBT
130-grain (8.4 g) soft point
150-grain (9.7 g) round nose
The next important change in the history of the rifle bullet occurred in 1882, when
Major Eduard Rubin, director of the Swiss Army Laboratory at Thun, invented the
copper-jacketed bullet an elongated bullet with a lead core in a copper jacket. It
was also small bore (7.5mm and 8mm) and it is the precursor of the 8mm "Lebel
bullet" which was adopted for the smokeless powder ammunition of the Mle
1886Lebel rifle.
The surface of lead bullets fired at high velocity may melt due to hot gases behind
and friction with the bore. Because copper has a higher melting point, and

greaterspecific heat capacity and hardness, copper-jacketed bullets allow greater

muzzle velocities.

.303 inch (7.7 mm) centrefire, FMJrimmed ammunition

European advances in aerodynamics led to the pointed spitzer bullet. By the
beginning of the twentieth century, most world armies had begun to transition to
spitzer bullets. These bullets flew for greater distances more accurately and carried
more energy with them. Spitzer bullets combined withmachine guns greatly
increased the lethality of the battlefield.
The latest advancement in bullet shape was the boat tail, a streamlined base for
spitzer bullets. The vacuum created as air moving at high speed passes over the
end of a bullet slows the projectile. The streamlined boat tail design reduces
this form drag by allowing the air to flow along the surface of the tapering end. The
resulting aerodynamic advantage is currently seen as the optimum shape for rifle
technology. The first combination spitzer and boat-tail bullet, named Balle "D" from
its inventor (a lieutenant-colonel Desaleux), was introduced as standard military
ammunition in 1901, for the French Lebel Model 1886 rifle.
A ballistic tip bullet is a hollow-point rifle bullet that has a plastic tip on the end of
the bullet itself. This improves external ballistics by streamlining the bullet, allowing
it to cut through the air more easily, and improves terminal ballistics by allowing the
bullet to act as a JHP on impact.
As a side effect, it also feeds better in weapons that have trouble feeding rounds
that are not FMJ rounds.

A bullet in mid flight

Bullet designs have to solve two primary problems. In the barrel, they must first
form a seal with the gun's bore. If a strong seal is not achieved, gas from the
propellant charge leaks past the bullet, thus reducing efficiency and possibly
accuracy. The bullet must also engage the rifling without damaging or excessively
fouling the gun's bore, and without distorting the bullet, which will also reduce
accuracy. Bullets must have a surface which will form this seal without causing
excessive friction. These interactions between bullet and bore are termed internal
ballistics. Bullets must be produced to a high standard, as surface imperfections can
affect firing accuracy.
The physics affecting the bullet once it leaves the barrel is termed external
ballistics. The primary factors affecting the aerodynamics of a bullet in flight are the
bullet's shape and the rotation imparted by the rifling of the gun barrel. Rotational
forces stabilize the bullet gyroscopically as well as aerodynamically. Any asymmetry
in the bullet is largely canceled as it spins. However, a spin rate greater than the
optimum value adds more trouble than good, by magnifying the smaller
asymmetries or sometimes resulting in the bullet exploding midway in flight. With
smooth-bore firearms, a spherical shape was optimum because no matter how it
was oriented, it presented a uniform front. These unstable bullets tumbled

erratically and provided only moderate accuracy; however, the aerodynamic shape
changed little for centuries. Generally, bullet shapes are a compromise between
aerodynamics, interior ballistic necessities, and terminal ballistics requirements.
Another method of stabilization is for the center of mass of the bullet to be as far
forward as is practical, which is how the Mini ball and the shuttlecock are designed.
This allows the bullet to fly front-forward by means of aerodynamics.
See the articles on terminal ballistics and/or stopping power for an overview of how
bullet design affects what happens when a bullet impacts with an object. The
outcome of the impact is determined by the composition and density of the target
material, the angle of incidence, and the velocity and physical characteristics of the
bullet itself. Bullets are generally designed to penetrate, deform, and/or break apart.
For a given material and bullet, the strike velocity is the primary factor determining
which outcome is achieved.
Bullet shapes are many and varied, and an array of them can be found in any
reloading manual that sells bullet moulds. Mould manufacturers such as RCBS,
Paul Jones Moulds, and David Mos offer many different calibers and designs. With
a mould, bullets can be made at home for reloading one's own ammunition, where
local laws allow. Hand-casting, however, is only time- and cost-effective for solid
lead bullets. Cast and jacketed bullets are also commercially available from
numerous manufacturers for hand loading and are much more convenient than
casting bullets from bulk lead.
Propulsion of the ball can happen via several methods:

by using only gunpowder (i.e. as in flintlock weapons)

by using a percussion cap and gunpowder (i.e. as in percussion weapons)

by using a cartridge (which contains primer, gunpowder and bullet in a single



Expanding bullet loaded in a6.5x55mm before and after expanding. The long base
and small expanded diameter show that this is a bullet designed for deep
penetration on large game. The bullet in the photo traveled more than halfway
through a moosebefore coming to rest, performing as designed.
Bullets for black powder, or muzzle-loading firearms, were classically molded from
pure lead. This worked well for low-speed bullets, fired at velocities of less than
450 m/s (1475 ft/s). For slightly higher-speed bullets fired in modern firearms, a
harder alloy of lead and tin or typesetter's lead (used to mold Linotype) works very
well. For even higher-speed bullet use, jacketed coated lead bullets are used. The
common element in all of these, lead, is widely used because it is very dense,
thereby providing a high amount of massand thus, kinetic energyfor a given

volume. Lead is also cheap, easy to obtain, easy to work, and melts at a low
temperature, which results in comparatively easy fabrication of bullets.

Lead: Simple cast, extruded, swaged, or otherwise fabricated lead slugs are
the simplest form of bullets. At speeds of greater than 300 m/s (1000 ft/s)
(common in most handguns), lead is deposited in rifled bores at an everincreasing rate. Alloying the lead with a small percentage
of tin and/or antimonyserves to reduce this effect, but grows less effective as
velocities are increased. A cup made of harder metal, such as copper, placed at
the base of the bullet and called a gas check, is often used to decrease lead
deposits by protecting the rear of the bullet against melting when fired at higher
pressures, but this too does not solve the problem at higher velocities.

Jacketed lead: Bullets intended for even higher-velocity applications

generally have a lead core that is jacketed or plated with gilding
metal, cupronickel, copper alloys, or steel; a thin layer of harder metal protects
the softer lead core when the bullet is passing through the barrel and during
flight, which allows delivering the bullet intact to the target. There, the heavy
lead core delivers its kinetic energy to the target. Full metal jacket or "ball"
bullets (cartridges with ball bullets (which despite the name are not spherical)
are called ball ammunition) are completely encased in the harder metal jacket,
except for the base. Some bullet jackets do not extend to the front of the bullet,
to aid expansion and increase lethality; these are called soft point (if the
exposed lead tip is solid) or hollow point bullets (if a cavity or hole is present).
Steel bullets are often plated with copper or other metals for corrosion
resistance during long periods of storage. Synthetic jacket materials such
as nylon and Teflon have been used, with limited success, especially in rifles;
however, hollow point bullets with plastic aerodynamic tips have been very
successful at both improving accuracy and enhancing expansion. Newer plastic
coatings for handgun bulletswhere the muzzle velocity is lowerare making
their way into the market.[3]

Hard cast bullet (left), with gas check (center) and lubrication (right).

Hard Cast: A hard lead alloy intended to reduce fouling of rifling grooves
(especially of the polygonal rifling used in some popular pistols). Benefits include
simpler manufacture than jacketed bullets and good performance against hard
targets; limitations are an inability to mushroom and subsequent overpenetration of soft targets.

Blanks: Wax, paper, plastic, and other materials are used to simulate live
gunfire and are intended only to hold the powder in a blank cartridge and to
produce noise, flame and smoke. The "bullet" may be captured in a purposedesigned device or it may be allowed to expend what little energy it has in the
air. Some blank cartridges are crimped or closed at the end and do not contain
any bullet; some are fully loaded cartridges (without bullets) designed to propel
rifle grenades. Note that blank cartridges, at short ranges, can be lethal due to
the force of the expanding gas - numerous tragic accidents have occurred with
blank cartridges (e.g., the death of actor Jon-Erik Hexum).

Practice: Made from lightweight materials like rubber, Wax, wood, plastic, or
lightweight metal, practice bullets are intended for short-range target work, only.
Because of their weight and low velocity, they have limited range.

Less lethal, or Less than Lethal: Rubber bullets, plastic bullets,

and beanbags are designed to be non-lethal, for example for use in riot control.
They are generally low velocity and are fired from shotguns, grenade launchers,
paint ball guns, or specially designed firearms and air gun devices.

Incendiary: These bullets are made with an explosive or flammable mixture

in the tip that is designed to ignite on contact with a target. The intent is to
ignite fuel or munitions in the target area, thereby adding to the destructive
power of the bullet itself.

Exploding: Similar to the incendiary bullet, this type of projectile is designed

to explode upon hitting a hard surface, preferably the bone of the intended
target. Not to be mistaken for cannon shells or grenades with fuse devices,
these bullets have only a cavity filled with a small amount of low explosive
depending on the velocity and deformation upon impact to detonate. Exploding
bullets have been used on various aircraft machine guns and on anti material

Tracer: These have a hollow back, filled with a flare material. Usually this is a
mixture of magnesium metal, aperchlorate, and strontium salts to yield a bright
red color, although other materials providing other colors have also sometimes
been used. Tracer material burns out after a certain amount of time. Such
ammunition is useful to the shooter as a means of learning how to point shoot
moving targets with rifles. This type of round is also used by all branches of the
United States military in combat environments as a signaling device to friendly
forces. Normally it is loaded at a four to one ratio with ball ammunition and is
intended to show where you are firing so friendly forces can engage the target
as well. The flight characteristics of tracer rounds differ from normal bullets due
to their lighter weight.

Armor piercing: Jacketed designs where the core material is a very hard,
high-density metal such as tungsten,tungsten carbide, depleted uranium,
or steel. A pointed tip is often used, but a flat tip on the penetrator portion is
generally more effective.[4]

Nontoxic shot: Steel, bismuth, tungsten, and other exotic bullet alloys
prevent release of toxic lead into the environment. Regulations in several
countries mandate the use of nontoxic projectiles especially when hunting
waterfowl. It has been found that birds swallow small lead shot for their gizzards
to grind food (as they would swallow pebbles of similar size), and the effects of
lead poisoning by constant grinding of lead pellets against food means lead
poisoning effects are magnified. Such concerns apply primarily to shotguns,
firing pellets (shot) and not bullets, but there is evidence suggesting that
consumption of spent rifle and pistol ammunition is also hazardous to wildlife.
Reduction of hazardous substances (RoHS) legislation has also been applied to
bullets on occasion to reduce the impact of lead on the environment at shooting
ranges. United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that the
agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product (lead
bullets) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), nor is the agency
seeking such authority. NRA-ILA :: EPA Denies Ammo Ban Petition With some
nontoxic shot, e.g., steel shot, care must be taken to shoot only in shotguns (and
with chokes) specifically designed and designated for steel shot; for other,
particularly older, shotguns, serious damage to the barrel and chokes can occur.
And, because steel is lighter and less dense than lead, larger sized pellets must
be used, thus reducing the number of pellets in a given charge of shot and
possibly limiting patterns on the target; other formulations, e.g. bismuth, do not
present this disability.

Blended-metal: Bullets made using cores from powdered metals other than
lead with binder or sometimes sintered.

Frangible: Designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to

minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental
impact, or to limit the shoot-through danger behind the intended target. An
example is theGlaser Safety Slug, usually a pistol caliber bullet made from an
amalgam of lead shot and a hard (and thus frangible) plastic binder designed to
penetrate a human target and release its component shot pellets without exiting
the target.

Solid or Monolithic Solid: mono-metal bullets intended for deep penetration

in big game animals and slender shaped very-low-drag projectiles for long range
shooting are produced out of metals like oxygen free copper and alloys
likecopper nickel, tellurium copper and brass like highly machinable UNS C36000
Free-Cutting Brass. Often these projectiles are turned on precision CNC lathes. In
the case of solids, and the ruggedness of the game animals on which they are
used, e.g., the African buffalo or elephant, expansion is almost entirely
relinquished for the necessary penetration. In shotgunning, "slug" loads are
often solid large single lead projectiles, sometimes with a hollow point, used for
deer or wild pig hunting in jurisdictions which do not allow rifles (because a
missed slug shot will travel considerably less far than a rifle bullet).

Multiple impact bullet

This section
requires expansion.
(May 2015)

Treaties and prohibitions[edit]

Poisonous bullets were a subject to an international agreement as early as
the Strasbourg Agreement (1675).
The St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 prohibited the use of explosive projectiles
weighing less than 400 grams.[6]
The Hague Convention prohibits certain kinds of ammunition for use by uniformed
military personnel against the uniformed military personnel of opposing forces.
These include projectiles which explode within an individual, poisoned
andexpanding bullets.
Protocol III of the 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, an annexe to
the Geneva Conventions, prohibits the use of incendiary ammunitions against
Nothing in these treaties prohibits tracers or the use of prohibited bullets on military
These treaties apply even to .22 LR bullets used in pistols, rifles and machine guns.
Hence, the High Standard HDM pistol, a .22 LR suppressed pistol, had special bullets
developed for it during World War II that were full metal jacketed, in place of the
soft-point and hollow-point bullets that are otherwise ubiquitous for .22 LR rounds.
Some jurisdictions acting on environmental concerns have banned hunting with lead
bullets and shotgun pellets. [7] This creates issues for shooters because stainless
steel pellets are considered to behave sub-optimally in flight compared to lead. The
element bismuth is a safe alternative whose density is closer to lead than steel, and
ammunition made from it is becoming ever more widely available. [citation needed]
In December 2014, a federal appeals court denied a lawsuit by environmental
groups that the EPA must use the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate lead in
shells and cartridges. The groups sought to regulate "spent lead", yet EPA could not
regulate spent lead without also regulating cartridges and shells, per the court [8]



Bullet abbreviations


2F 2-part Controlled Fragmenting

ACC Remington Accelerator [9] (seesabot
ACP Automatic Colt Pistol
AE Action Express
AGS African Grand Slam (Speer)
AP Armor Piercing (has a depleted
uranium or other hard metal core)
APT Armor-piercing tracer
API Armor-piercing incendiary
APFSDS Armor-piercing Fin Stabilized
Discarding Sabot round
B Ball
B2F Brass 2-part Fragmenting [10]
BBWC Bevel Base Wadcutter
BEB Brass Enclosed Base
BJHP Brass Jacketed Hollow Point
Blitz Sierra BlitzKing
BMG Browning Machine Gun
BrPT Bronze Point
Bt Boat-tail
BtHP Boat-tail Hollow Point
C2F Civilian 2-part Fragmenting [11]
CB Cast Bullet
CL, C-L Remington Core-Lokt
CN Cupronicknel
CNCS Cupronickel-Clad Steel
CTFB Closed Tip Flat Base
DBBWC Double bevel based wadcutter
DEWC Double Ended Wadcutter
DGS Dangerous Game Solid (Hornady)
DGX Dangerous Game Expanding
DU Depleted Uranium
EFMJ Expanding Full Metal Jacket
EVO, FTX Hornady LEVERevolution Flex
Tip eXpanding
EVO RWS Evolution bullet [12]
FMC Full Metal Case
FMJ Full Metal Jacket
FMJBT Full Metal Jacket Boat-Tail
FN Dangerous Game Solid Bullets[dead
Flat Nose
FNEB Flat Nose Enclosed Base
FP Flat Point
FP Full Patch
FST Winchester Fail Safe Talon
GAP (G.A.P.) Glock Automatic Pistol
GC Gas Check
GD Speer Gold Dot
GDHP Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point
GM Gilding Metal
GMCS Gilding Metal-Clad Steel
GS Remington Golden Saber
GSC GS Custom Turned Copper Bullets
HBWC Hollow Base Wadcutter
HC Hard Cast
HE-IT High Explosive Incendiary Tracer
HFN Hard Cast Flat Nose
HP Hollow Point
HPBT Hollow Point Boat Tail
HPCB Heavy Plate Concave Base
HPJ High Performance Jacketed
HS Federal Hydra-Shok
HST Federal Hi-Shok Two

HV Low friction Drive Band

BulletsHigh Velocity
ID-Classic RWS fragmenta
tion bullet, exTIG after Brenneke-license
was not renewed.[13]
I-T Incendiary-Tracer
'IB Interbond (Hornady)
J Jacketed
JAP Jacketed Aluminium
JFP Jacketed Flat Point
JHC Jacketed Hollow Cavity
JHP Jacketed Hollow Point
JHP/sabot Jacketed Hollow
JSP Jacketed Soft Point
L Lead
L-C Lead Combat
L-T Lead Target
LFN Long Flat Nose
LFP Lead Flat Point
LHP Lead Hollow Point
LRN Lead Round Nose
LSWC Lead Semiwadcutter
Lead Semiwadcutter Gas
LWC Lead Wadcutter
LTC Lead Truncated Cone
MC Metal Cased
MHP Match Hollow Point
MK Sierra MatchKing
MRWC MidRange Wadcutter
MP Metal Point (only the
tip of the bullet is covered)
NP Nosler Partition
OTM Open Tip Match
OWC Ogival Wadcutter [14]
P Practice, proof
PB Lead Bullet
PB Parabellum
PL Remington Power-Lokt
PnPT Pneumatic Point
PPL Paper patched lead
PSP Plated Soft Point
PSP, PTDSP Pointed Soft
PRN Plated Round Nose


RBT Rebated Boat Tail

RN Round Nose
RNFP Round Nose Flat
RNL Round Nosed Lead
SJ Semi-Jacketed
SJHP Semi-Jacketed Hollow
SJSP Semi-Jacketed Soft
SP Soft Point
SP Spire Point
Sp, SPTZ Spitzer
SPC Special Purpose
SpHP Spitzer Hollow Point
SST Hornady Super Shock
SSp Semi-Spitzer
ST Silver Tip
STHP Silver Tip Hollow
SWC Semiwadcutter
SX Super Explosive
SXT Winchester Ranger
Supreme Expansion
T Tracer
TAG Brenneke lead-free
bullet (German: Torpedo
TBBC Carter/Speer Trophy
Bonded Bear Claw soft point
TBSS Carter/Speer Trophy
Bonded Sledgehammer Solid
TC Truncated Cone
THV Terminal High Velocity
TIG Brenneke fragmentatio
n bullet (German: Torpedo
TMJ Total Metal Jacket
TUG Brenneke deformation
bullet (German: Torpedo
TOG Brenneke deformation
bullet (German: Torpedo
UmbPT Umbrella Point
UNI-Classic RWS deformat
ion bullet, exTUG after Brenneke-license
was not renewed.[19]
VMAX Hornady V-Max
VLD Very Low Drag
WC Wadcutter
WFN Wide Flat Nose
WFNGC Wide Flat
Nose Gas Check
WLN Wide Long Nose
X Barnes X-Bullet
XTP Hornady Extreme
Terminal Performance