Maybe you’ve heard of AccuTrigger, maybe you haven’t. Sure, it sounds cool, but what does it actually mean? Is it just another name for any old trigger in a rifle?
In this article, we will talk about what AccuTrigger really is, and some advantages and disadvantages to using it.
Simply put, AccuTrigger is a two-stage adjustable trigger. More specifically, AccuTrigger is a specific trigger that the firearms manufacturer Savage Arms uses. If you’re hearing the term AccuTrigger, it refers to Savage Arms’ triggers, but it is also commonly used to describe other, similar triggers.
There were a few terms used there that maybe not everyone will be familiar with. First, let’s talk about what a two-stage trigger is.
Most triggers that you are probably familiar with are single-stage triggers. In this kind of trigger, there is only one motion that is made in the internals of the trigger mechanism. You pull the trigger back, and at some point, it fires. They are very simple.
In opposition to this, a two-stage trigger has more than one internal motion. The first stage of the trigger pull is pulling out the “slack” in the trigger. Once you’ve reached the end of the first stage, you hit a positive wall. Once you pull the trigger any further than this positive wall, you will reach the second stage of the trigger, which fires the weapon.
The next factor of the AccuTrigger is the fact that it is adjustable. While it may seem simple, al that this means is that you can adjust the weight of the trigger pull. You can make it either easier or harder to pull the trigger, which allows you to customize it to your needs.
Due to the fact that it is a two-stage, adjustable trigger, you will find that it is much easier to shoot.
Ever shot a weapon that you weren’t exactly sure when it was going to fire? When this happens, you subconsciously are anticipating the weapon firing, which can cause you to flinch, and shoot less accurately.
With an AccuTrigger, this is completely eliminated. You know exactly when the weapon will fire due to the positive wall in the two-stage functioning. This will prevent you from flinching, so you will be able to shoot more accurately.
Similarly, this is the same with the adjustable trigger pull. You will be able to fine tune the amount of pull it takes to fire the weapon, so that it meets your needs very precisely. These two things put together will allow you to be a noticeably more accurate shot.
However, this isn’t just with an AccuTrigger. This is applicable with any adjustable, two-stage trigger. While the AccuTrigger was one of the first, similar triggers are used in Ruger and Marlin weapons.
If you have never shot a two-stage, adjustable trigger, you should definitely give it a shot (no pun intended). We think that it will significantly increase your shooting abilities.
However, to say that this is absolutely necessary would be false.
If you are doing any type of precision shooting, a high quality trigger, such as AccuTrigger, is going to be extremely important to you.
But, if you are hunting, a high-quality trigger like this isn’t exactly necessary. It certainly won’t hurt, but you will be able to get by without it.
AccuTrigger, or any other adjustable, two-stage trigger is a great idea. However, if you aren’t a fan of Savage Arms (as many people aren’t), don’t feel that using an AccuTrigger is absolutely paramount. It will improve your shooting, but there are other choices. For those who don’t like Savage Arms, these other options would be worth looking into.
For many firearms users, this question can be a little confusing. Grain isn’t exactly commonly used anymore. So, in this article, we will clear up some of the confusion about what exactly a grain is, and then make some recommendations about what grain is best to shoot.
Continue reading to learn more about grains in ammo.
A grain is a unit of measurement for mass. It is an extremely small unit. In fact, 1 ounce is equal to 437.5 grains, just to give you an idea of how small it is. For another comparison, 1 gram is equal to 15.43 grains. Since 1 gram is approximately a paper clip, I’m sure this gives you an idea of how small a grain is.
Many people think that grain refers to something with the gunpowder or propellant used. However, it really has nothing to do with that. In ammunition, grains are used to say how large the projectile of the cartridge is.
So, when ammunition says it is 55 grain FMJ, it means that the actual bullet that will fly downrange weighs 55 grains.
Now that you know exactly what a grain is, and what it refers to in ammunition, let’s talk a little about how to choose which bullet size you will shoot.
Each caliber of ammunition generally has quite a few different choices for grain size. This number is only increased if you are handloading your own ammunition. Before making a decision, it’s important to know about all of the options available in the caliber you are thinking about.
When you’re trying to decide the size of the ammunition, there’s a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, what exactly are you shooting for?
If you’re hunting, you want a different round than if you are just shooting at the range.
For hunting and any kind of defense shooting, a larger grain is generally better. Larger grain, heavier bullets, generally perform better inside a target. However, there’s a lot more to consider.
For example, jacketed hollow point ammunition performs extremely well inside of a live target, while full metal jacket ammunition will not do as well.
If the choice is between heavier full metal jacket and lighter jacketed hollow point, I would go with jacketed hollow point every time. It expands on impact, and damages more tissue.
However, if there are multiple grains of jacketed hollow point ammunition, heavier is generally a little better. Just to caveat that, it’s not a set in stone rule. Your best bet is to try and find some ballistics testing or gelatin testing that others have done to see which performs better.
If you’re doing any type of competition or long range accuracy shooting, the exact projectiles can play a huge factor in the accuracy of the weapon. Most people choose match grade ammunition, but there are a couple things to keep in mind.
First, the shape of the bullet plays equally as important of a role. Aerodynamics are extremely important, especially over distance.
Next, there are some weapons that just don’t shoot some ammunition well. For whatever reason, some weapons seem to prefer some types of ammunition. The only way that you’ll know this is by testing and shooting multiple types of ammo.
If you are just plinking at the range, your bullet weight really doesn’t matter. If you’re going to be using the weapon for anything other than range shooting at other points in time, we recommend putting some of your actual choice of ammunition through the weapon, just to make sure it handles the ammunition well.
Now that you understand what grain means in ammunition, you will hopefully be able to make some better choices with what ammunition you are shooting. Unfortunately, there isn’t one exact answer since most calibers have so many different choices, but we have given you some recommendations to consider.
Essentially, just make sure you test out different kinds of ammo, and see which one offers the best performance for your use for your weapon.
How Many Magazines Should I Have? This is a common question among new firearm owners.
It is a fairly simple question, but it doesn’t really have a simple answer. The primary reason for this is because it depends entirely on what you’re using your weapon for.
In this article, we will talk more about this, and make some basic recommendations for you.
Before being able to answer this question, you must first identify what type of shooting you’re going to be doing with your new weapon.
Are you planning on hunting? If so, what type of hunting? Different types of hunting warrant having different numbers of magazines.
If you are using your weapon for self defense, what is the magazine capacity of the weapon? Are you planning on carrying concealed or open?
In a home defense situation, the same question applies. What is the magazine capacity of the weapon?
This really depends on what type of hunting you are doing. If you are doing nothing but deer hunting out of a stand, you really can get by with only having one or two magazines. In a traditional deer rifle, your magazine capacity is pretty low, but you also aren’t having to take many shots per day.
On the contrary, if you are doing any varmint hunting, coyote hunting, or hog hunting, there’s a good change you’re using a semiautomatic weapon with a much larger magazine capacity. With this kind of hunting, there’s also a good chance that you will be taking follow up shots in quick succession. As such, it’s probably going to be better for you to own four or so magazines, to be able to have plenty of ammo for the hunt.
If you are carrying a single stack 9mm pistol concealed, there’s a good chance that your magazine capacity is going to be in the neighborhood of 7+1. In this kind of situation, having more ammo could be the difference between life and death. If you only have eight shots to engage the target… well, you better be a good shot. Having an extra two magazines certainly won’t hurt.
But, if you’re carrying a larger weapon with a larger magazine capacity, you probably can get away with only having one magazine and one spare.
This one is kind of broad, because so many different weapons are used for this. However, my opinion on this is that you are going to be using the weapon in a stationary area. It’s not like hunting or carrying a weapon, where you have to carry the magazines and extra ammo on you at all times.
In a home defense situation, I would keep as many magazines loaded as you feel comfortable with. For any type of weapon, there’s really no reason that you can’t have six magazines loaded and ready to go, just in case. And you should keep your magazines in the best handgun safe for the money in your home, it will keep safe for your family.
This one depends entirely on how often you want to reload magazines. You can get by with one magazine at the range and change after every shooting iteration, or you can bring six and change less frequently. The choice is yours.
Personally, I like to bring three magazines to the range. It’s less to keep track of, and I don’t have to spend time between every shot group to reload a magazine. It lets me develop a better shooting rhythm.
As you can see, this is a somewhat general question with a somewhat general answer. It really depends on what type of shooting you plan to be doing. Hopefully this article has pointed you in the right direction, or given you a general idea how many magazines you should really own.
Looking to purchase a handgun, but not sure what caliber is best for you? In this article, we will go over some of the most common handgun calibers and make some recommendations for you about when to use each one.
Handguns are very widely used. They are commonly used for home defense, personal defense, and can be used for hunting as well. There are tons of different calibers out there, and it can get a little confusing.
We’ll get this started with common pistol calibers, from small to large.
Yes, the rimfire cartridge commonly found in bolt action rifles. While not all that common, .22LR can be found in both pistols and revolvers. They don’t see much personal defense or home defense use because the round is so small, but they are pretty fun for just plinking around.
Due to the fact that the ammunition is readily available and pretty inexpensive, most people like their .22LR pistols and revolvers for range shooting. However, some people do decide to carry them. You know the old saying, the gun on you is better than the one in the gun safe. If you’ve got nothing else, carry a .22LR by all means, but you can certainly do better.
Next up we’ve got another small round, the .380 ACP. These bullets are .355 inches in diameter, weigh between 90 and 100 grains, and are fired around 1000 feet per second. These projectiles are still very small, but the round is barely suitable for personal defense.
This round is commonly found in really small frame concealed carry pistols. Many of the pocket pistols and secondary weapons that you see are chambered in .380 ACP. I carry a .380, but only in the summer, when people are wearing less clothing. I would definitely recommend 9mm over .380 for personal defense, but .380 is acceptable.
However, for home defense, you aren’t worried about the size of the weapon, so I would recommend a larger caliber projectile.
Now we’re getting into more widely used rounds. 9mm is one of the most common rounds in the world. The bullets are .355 inches diameter as well, but they weigh 115 to 130 grains, and are fired around 1100-1200 feet per second. These bullets are much larger and are fired faster, so this is a better round for any defense purposes.
9mm is a great round for range shooting and any defense purposes. There’s an absolutely gigantic array of weapons available, ranging from tiny carry weapons to full sized weapons. You can get a single stack carry weapon in 9mm, but also a double stack weapon with a 17+ round magazine capacity for home defense. For range shooting, the recoil is manageable, and the ammunition isn’t that expensive.
While this round is not nearly as common as it used to be, .40 Smith & Wesson is a pretty good round. The projectiles are .4 inches in diameter, weigh between 135 and 165 grains, and are fired around 1100 feet per second.
.40 S&W is sort of on the way out, due to the fact that 9mm offers such similar performance in a smaller frame. 9mm is a smaller round, so you are able to fit a few more in a magazine, while achieving similar ballistic results to the .40 S&W.
However, despite this fact, I still think that .40 S&W is a great round for any defense uses. I would shoot 9mm at the range over .40 S&W, but I feel very comfortably carrying around a .40 S&W weapon. There aren’t quite as many weapons out there, but they are suited great for personal and home defense uses.
Now we’re getting into much larger cartridges. These projectiles are .451 inches in diameter, weigh between 165 and 185 grains, and are fired around 1050 feet per second, dependent on the round.
These are large, heavy bullets that are fired pretty fast. For this reason, they are great for defense uses and as a hunting sidearm.
Due to the size of the cartridge, there aren’t many .45 ACP weapons that are meant for concealed carry. There are a couple, but your magazine capacity is going to be extremely small. I would recommend .45 ACP for home defense, such as in a full-size 1911. This same weapon would be decent for a hunting sidearm, but slightly larger cartridges might perform a little better for this. .45 ACP will take care of smaller targets, but if you’re going to hunt deer with a handgun, you probably want a bigger round.
I’m not going to say you shouldn’t shoot .45 ACP at the range, but the ammunition is pretty pricey. Your wallet will probably thank you if you shoot a smaller cartridge.
This is the largest pistol cartridge we will talk about. There are some exceptions out there (looking at you, Desert Eagle), but 10mm is the largest pistol cartridge that is really commonly found. The projectiles are slightly smaller than .45 ACP, with a diameter of .40 inches. However, they are usually about the same weight, but are fired at 1200-1300 feet per second.
These projectiles generate a lot more energy because they are moving so much faster. In terms of terminal performance, .45 ACP is a larger bullet, so they create larger holes and damage more tissue, but these bullets are moving faster. It’s almost a tie between the two for which one does better in terms of ballistics.
However, I prefer 10mm for hunting because it retains energy over a longer distance. 10mm performs similarly to .45 ACP in terms of handgun hunting. Both are decent cartridges that can put a deer down, dependent on your shot. Personally, I like 10mm better due to the flatter trajectory, but both are decent.
Similar to the .45 ACP, 10mm is decent for defense uses. The round has a lot of recoil, so I wouldn’t recommend it for plinking at the range.
Let’s get into revolver rounds now.
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These projectiles are .357 inches in diameter, weigh between 125 and 150 grains, and are fired around 950 feet per second. In terms of ballistics, these bullets are larger and heavier than 9mm bullets, but aren’t fired as fast. For the sake of comparison, it definitely outperforms .380 ACP.
Due to the similar performance, I would recommend this for the same uses as 9mm. It’s great for home defense, self defense, and range shooting. It’s a pretty commonly carried cartridge, because there are some tiny revolvers that are available in .38 Special.
Up next is another great defense round. The bullets are also .357 inches in diameter, and are commonly 125 or 158 grains, but they are fired much faster than .38 Special ammunition. These rounds are fired closer to 1200-1400 feet per second. For this reason, it is an even better defense round. It will do a ton of damage in tissue.
The revolvers are usually not that large, so you can carry them somewhat easily. They are great for home defense as well, and would definitely be fun to shoot at the range.
These bullets measure .429 inches in diameter, weigh from 240 to 300 grains, and are fired between 1200 and 1400 feet per second. As you can see, these are some giant rounds that are being fired extremely fast.
While they aren’t as wide as .45 ACP pistol projectiles, they are significantly more heavy, and are fired significantly faster. This round is really devastating. However, as you can imagine, the cartridge itself is pretty large. It’s fired from much larger weapons, so you won’t find many people trying to conceal this.
When you get into these much larger revolver cartridges, you get more into handgun hunting. Due to the fact that the projectiles are so large and are fired so fast, many people do different kinds of hunting with these revolvers.
.44 Magnum is the first of our revolver cartridges that I would recommend hunting with. It will put down all different kinds of animals with relative ease. It’s an excellent choice.
However, this combination of size, weight, and speed also means that the round is good for home defense. While its certainly not my first choice to shoot at the range, it is a great revolver to have in the nightstand.
Similar to the pistols, we won’t talk about the absolute largest revolver cartridges available (such as .460 S&W Magnum), but we will talk about .454 Casull, which is absolutely giant. The bullets are .452 inches in diameter, and are usually over 300 grains. They are fired at 1500 to 1600 feet per second.
Once again, these are fired out of huge revolvers. You could definitely hunt with these, and you can definitely defend your home with it as well. They are huge bullets, and will do all kinds of damage within a target.
In this article we will review this extremely popular riflescope from Vortex Optics. Vortex is very popular in the industry, and for good reason. They produce some extremely high quality optics, and are available at a pretty reasonable cost.
We will fully review the optic in terms of pros and cons, and make some buying recommendations.
This optic measures in at 12.8 inches long with a 40mm objective lens. The magnification range is from 4-12x, and the eye relief is 3.1 inches. Your field of view through the scope is 32.4-11.3 feet at 100 yards.
In terms of size, this scope is not that large, despite its magnification range. It has some weight to it, but compared to other scopes with similar magnification, this one is definitely around the same size. The eye relief is somewhat short, but it definitely works for shooting this scope.
The scope offers some excellent optical features. The internals of the scope are fully multi-coated. This allows for maximum light transmission, especially when paired with the large 40mm objective lens. To put it simply, this light allows maximum light to go through, so you will be able to clearly see everything through the scope.
Another huge pro of this scope is that the reticle is on the second focal plane. This means that while you change the magnification range, the scale of the reticle remains the exact same. Especially when you are using the bullet drop compensating reticle at longer distance, this is a huge pro for you.
One other thing to consider with the optical features of the scope is how acute the adjustments are. Each click of the turrets allow for a ¼ MOA adjustment. This translates to ¼ inch at 100 yards. As you can see, this is very precise. The turrets also allow for an easy return to zero, once you are done shooting at long distance.
However, the best feature of this scope is the durability. It is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, and the internals are contained within an aluminum housing that is given a hard anodized finish. This makes for a very tough scope that can withstand the elements and any amount of recoil that you can imagine.
In terms of the optics though, there are a couple cons that we found. For one, dependent on the range at which you zero the rifle, the parallax at close range makes the scope nearly unshootable. However, this scope really isn’t meant for shooting at close range, as evidenced by the minimum 4x magnification.
Another con that we identified is that the eye relief is pretty unforgiving. While the scope can withstand the recoil, the eye relief is pretty difficult to manage, especially with larger caliber weapons. When using a higher magnification, this eye relief becomes difficult to manage.
Lastly, it can have some glare in it at some times. We would recommend adding a sunshade to optimize this scope.
We will compare this scope to some of its competition: the Leupold VX-R 4-12x40mm and Nikon P-308 4-12x40mm. This comparison will give you an idea about what to expect when purchasing the Vortex Optics Diamondback.
As is well known, Leupold makes some of the highest quality scopes on the market. When comparing the Vortex to the Leupold, the Leupold is clearly a better scope. The optics are way clearer, it is just as durable, and we found the reticle to be easier to use. However, Leupold scopes are notoriously expensive.
Comparing the Nikon and the Vortex is a much closer comparison. Nikon offers great optical features, but the scopes are extremely similar in the end. They are both very accurate and easy to shoot with. The reticles are comparable, and the scopes are nearly identical overall. We give a slight edge to the Vortex, but it is very close.
Upon first looking at this best scope for ar 15, it’s clear to see that it’s obviously meant for long range hunting or hunting with a larger caliber weapon. It is extremely durable, and it can withstand any recoil from the weapon. As such, it’s great for big game hunting or for use when shooting shotgun slugs.
However, that’s not to say that it’s impossible to use the scope for anything else. Due to how precise the adjustments can be on this scope, you could use this for longer range target shooting. After all, this scope does zoom out to 12x, and it does have ¼ MOA adjustments. For target shooting of this nature, the eye relief may not be as much of a concern either.
Overall, this is a quality scope that offers some great optical features. It is very clear, and extremely durable. While there are some shortcomings that are to be expected of a scope of this nature, it is a great product for multiple uses when it’s all said and done. Regardless of your use for the scope, you will pleased with its performance overall.
Red dot style sights are by far the most popular choice for AR-15s and other AR-frame weapons.
As such, there are hundreds of different options available on the market. Every single person has their own personal favorites, but we can all agree that it is very difficult to settle on one option.
In this article, we will review three of the top choices.
These optics are all great choices, and will serve your weapon very well.
We will talk about all three in terms of pros and cons, and then we will make some buying recommendations.
1. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope (Editor's Choice)
Continue reading for our full review of the best red dot sights for an AR-15.
Now that we’ve talked about the three scopes, lets make some buying recommendations.
Simply put, the Vortex is the best of the group.
If you are going to be shooting in low-light conditions or under night vision, the Vortex is your best bet. It will allow more light to pass through, and will be easier to see down.
For hunting, the Bushnell and the Vortex are both great options, due to how durable they are.
Hopefully our review of the best AR-15 optics was useful to you. When considering some of the things that we have mentioned, it should be way easier for you to select an optic for your weapon.
Buying a red dot for your AR can be an overwhelming experience. Choosing one of these, especially the Bushnell or the Vortex, will be a great choice for you.
If you are trying to build an AR-15 and avoid having to go through the process of getting an ATF-approved tax stamp, you’re going to need to know the legal barrel length for your weapon.
In the military, M4 barrels are 14.5 inches long. This was a vast reduction in size and weight compared to the 20 inch barrel of the M16.
However, what barrel length is legal in the civilian world?
Putting it as simple as possible, the answer to this question is 16 inches. However, as with many things in the firearms world, there are some workarounds to this.
The first workaround is a permanently attached muzzle device, such as a flash suppressor.
In this situation, you are able to buy a 14.5 inch barrel and a specific muzzle device, and have a gunsmith pin-and-weld the muzzle device to the barrel.
In most of these flash suppressors, it will be specifically stated that you are able to have it pinned and welded, so be sure to check if it’s possible before buying the muzzle device.
Essentially, pinning and welding the muzzle device makes it permanent, which in turn makes it part of the barrel. For that reason, you are able to count the extra length of the flash suppressor as part of your barrel length.
Keep in mind that this will come at an added cost, since you’ll have to purchase the muzzle device and also pay to have it welded on for you.
The 16 inch barrel length only applies to rifles, NOT pistols.
You are able to build an AR pistol in various pistol and rifle calibers, which would eliminate the need for the 16 inch barrel. If it is technically a pistol, the barrel can be much shorter.
However, when building an AR pistol, there are a few laws that you need to keep in mind. Since that isn’t the point of this article, we won’t go too much into them. It basically boils down to the buttstock of the weapon, and there are some specific design features that must be accounted for. Make sure you know your laws if you take this route!
Lastly, if you want a shorter barrel, you can always just get the tax stamp from the ATF. Once your weapon is classified as a short-barreled rifle (often called SBR), the length of the barrel won’t be a problem.
This is a somewhat length and time consuming process, but it is the only way to legally have an AR-15 rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches. Related that, if you are intending buy a scope for your ar 15, you should choose Nikon or Vortex, it’s my favorite.
To make a long story short, the answer to the question is 16 inches. Your AR-15 barrel must be at least 16 inches in length to be considered legal by the ATF. Anything shorter than that, and you will have to get an SBR tax stamp from them.
However, as we mentioned in this article, there are a couple workarounds you could pursue to avoid having to get the tax stamp. But, like with anything, make sure you know the laws about what you are doing.
For many reasons, shotguns are considered the ideal home defense weapon. At short range, they are extremely deadly. For home defense, this is an ideal situation. In the event that someone were to break into your home, a shotgun should be the first weapon you reach for.
However, shotgun shells can be a little confusing. What really is the best shotgun ammunition for home defense?
In this article, we will go over some of the best options, and talk about what makes them so great.
Shotgun ammunition can be a little confusing. There are three different main types, and beyond that, there are sizes for each.
The primary types of shells are buckshot, birdshot, and slugs. Birdshot has more, smaller pellets. Buckshot has fewer pellets, but they are significantly larger. A slug is one solid piece of metal, and they are usually very large in size. This turns your shotgun into a crude rifle, and is very effective for taking down big game.
Next up, there are numbers associate with each type. For example, there is 00 buckshot, #4 birdshot, 4 buckshot, #8 birdshot, and many more.
As the number increases, the number of pellets within the shell increases. However, this also means that the size of the pellet decreases.
So, for example, #8 birdshot has hundreds of pellets that are .09 inches in diameter. #2 birdshot has 90 pellets that are .15 inches in diameter.
#4 buckshot pellets are .24 inches in diameter, and 00 buckshot pellets are .33 inches in diameter.
Make sense so far?
As you can imagine, buckshot is the best for home defense. Birdshot has more pellets, but they are very small in size, and usually don’t penetrate deep enough to be effective against a human target.
Buckshot penetrates much deeper, and it has larger pellets to damage more critical tissue.
Slugs would be effective in bringing down a target, but they require much greater accuracy, and they penetrate too deep. If you were to miss your target, that slug would travel through anything in its way for quite some time. This can be dangerous in a home defense situation.
In general, 00-1 buckshot are more than effective rounds for home defense. If you aren’t interested in buying ammo specifically for home defense, any of these buckshot shells will work. In fact, the military and many police departments use simple 00 buckshot for their shotguns.
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However, there are some ammo choices available that are made specifically for home defense. Keep reading to check some of these out.
As previously mentioned, shotguns are absolutely key to home defense. However, due to how confusing shotgun shells can be, it is difficult to choose one specific ammo for home defense.
Generally speaking, buckshot is a great choice. While there are fewer pellets, they are much larger. However, if you are looking for a shell that is specifically for home defense, there are a few out there. Winchester specifically makes a great shell for personal defense.
You can’t go wrong with most buckshot, but getting a more specific shot for home defense certainly wont hurt. The extra cost will be worth it in the event that you need it.
Obviously, ammo is round in shape. However, what really is one round?
I’m sure most people have the general idea right. One round is one cartridge or one shotgun shell. However, the term is commonly mixed up with the term “bullet.”
So, in this article, we will cover the absolute most basic parts of ammunition. In doing so, you will understand what exactly a round is, and how it is different from a bullet.
When looking at a handgun or rifle round, they are really pretty similar. These rounds are composed of a bullet, which is located inside a casing, which is filled with a propellant.
The bullet is the “front” of the round. It is the actual projectile that will fly through the air. It is also the part that will enter the target, whatever that may be.
This bullet is crimped into the casing, which is the larger brass part that makes up a good portion of the round. This casing will be ejected from the weapon after the trigger is pulled.
The casing has a primer on the very back of it. When you pull the trigger, the firing pin in the weapon will strike the primer. The primer has a very sensitive igniter in it, which will light the propellant.
The propellant is located inside the casing. It is never seen by the normal shooter, because it is contained within the casing and is completely consumed after firing. After the primer is struck, the igniter lights the propellant. The propellant, or gunpowder, burns rapidly, which creates gas pressure. This gas pressure is what actually fires the bullet downrange.
All of these components added together are referred to as a cartridge. One “round” of ammunition is simply one cartridge.
Shotgun ammunition is slightly different. Instead of having a brass casing, shotgun shells have a plastic hull. These plastic hulls are crimped at the end opposite the primer.
Instead of one bullet, shotgun shells have “shot” in them. Shot refers to the pellets that are located within the hull. Shotguns traditionally fire many pellets, as opposed to only one bullet. The shot is actually inside of the hull, as opposed to rifle ammo, where you can see the projectile.
Shotgun shells also have what is called a “wad.” The wad is located between the powder and the shot. Its purpose is to protect the shot and trap the gas behind the shot, which allows the shell to work.
Other than these terminologies, shotgun shells work very similar to handgun and rifle ammunition. They have a primer, which ignites the powder and propels the shot downrange.
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As you can see, ammunition is pretty simple. One “round” simply means one cartridge or one shotgun shell. It’s really that simple.
Ammunition can get a little confusing, but understanding the basics will give you a better grip on ammunition as a whole.
Alright, so you’ve just got yourself a firearm. Awesome! You get home with your new weapon and a box of ammo, excited for a trip to the range. But…. Shoot. How can you store the ammo?!
Not to worry! This is a pretty common question to people that are new to the firearm scene. As you will see, ammo is relatively durable, so you don’t have much to worry about.
In this article, we will go over some tips for storing ammo, and make some general recommendations.
The Three Factors: Temperature, Moisture, and Location
It’s really this simple. These are the extremely simple factors that you need to keep in mind when thinking about storing ammo.
If you are storing ammo, we are going to assume it is for longer term. Most people don’t buy ammo to shoot it the very next day. Many people, like hunters and survivalists, will have a large quantity of ammunition stored up at any point in time.
So therefore, we are going to assume that preserving your ammunition is in your plans as well.
First and foremost, your ammo should be stored in a cool environment. If it is stored in a place that is too hot, the excessive heat can negatively affect the gunpowder inside the bullet.
It will be a slow process, but high heat can affect the actual chemical composition of the gunpowder. This will negatively affect your ammunition, and could make it unusable.
Next, your ammunition should be stored in a dry place. Water and moisture can rust the case and affect the propellant within the cartridge.
If the propellant is wet, it may burn slower, or not at all. This will degrade the effectiveness of the ammunition.
One thing to keep in mind with this, once your ammunition has been exposed to the outdoors, it is \ likely that it has experienced some moisture. This is multiplied if it was in a swampy area, or brought along on a rainy hunt. Any environment with high humidity has high moisture.
When we say location, we are talking about a couple of different things. The ammunition should be stored in a safe place, where no one will be able to get to it if they shouldn’t be able to. For example, children shouldn’t be able to get to the ammunition.
The ammo may also be stored in a secure spot, or under a lock and key. While not everyone will do this, it is a pretty common practice.
Another factor of the location is exactly what you are storing the ammo in. The cardboard boxes that ammo comes in aren’t meant to be a long term storage solution. These should be secured in a safe, or even better, in an ammo can.
Storing Ammo – Don’ts
Storing Ammo – Dos
Some people don’t like storing ammunition with the weapon. I don’t really have any issue with it, but it is something to keep in mind. I do store some ammunition in my gun safe, but not everyone likes to do this.
Following these extremely easy considerations will allow you to store your ammo effectively. Storing the ammo effectively will ensure that it lasts for a decade or more. For most people, this is a huge pro.
When in doubt, just think about the temperature, moisture, container, and location of the container. As long as you are thinking about these factors, you will have no issues.