HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 01 - HUNTING BASICS
Shotshells (used with shotguns) and cartridges (used with rifles and handguns) consist of the same basic parts.
- The primer is a small cup that holds a chemical mixture called priming powder. When the primer is struck by the firing pin, the reaction will fire the bullet.
- Powder is the chemical mixture that’s inside the case. It produces the gases that force the projectile out of the barrel.
- Wad (shot shells only):
- This is a paper or plastic disk or cup that’s used to separate the powder charge from the shot or slug. The wad seals propellant gases behind the charge and holds the shot together in the barrel.
- The case or ‘casing’ is the outer container of the cartridge and it holds all the other parts together. The case is usually made of metal, but can be paper or plastic with a metal head.
- A projectile is a bullet, shot, or slug that is propelled from a firearm. Bullets (single projectiles) are designed to pass through a rifled barrel. Shot (multiple pellets) and slugs (single projectiles) are designed for a shotgun barrel.
Check This Out: Ammo Performance
The performance of modern ammo depends on the following factors:
- The bullet weight or shot size.
- The design of the projectile.
- The materials used to manufacture the projectile.
- The type and amount of gunpowder.