Your Introduction To Bullets And Cartridges

Even useful in Europe.


Why are bullets named .22, 9mm, .44, .50 cal and so on? How does it all work? Let’s break it all down and get a basic understanding of bullets and cartridges.

The Slang Range

Quite often people refer to cartridges as bullets, shells, projectiles, rounds, the term is thrown around almost interchangeably, but what is it really? A cartridge is the complete package, consisting of a bullet, the casing, powder/propellant, rim and primer.


Referring to the image:

  1. The bullet, AKA the projectile
  2. The case, this is what holds the contents
  3. The rim, this is where the extractor on the firearm is given a place to grip and remove the empty shell

Mine’s Bigger Than Yours

Now that we have a better understanding of what a cartridge is, how do we measure the bullet size? With a ruler, seriously. Bullets are often measured in either an imperial or metric system and referred to as a…

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