A pistol cartridge is a pre-assembled firearm ammunition that contains a projectile, a propellant substance and an ignition device. The cartridge is packaged in a metal, plastic or paper case. This allows for easy storage and identification of the cartridge. It also makes it easy to reload a firearm. view it
The term “bullet” is often misused to describe the entire cartridge. A pistol cartridge consists of a metal case, primer, and propellant. When a gun is fired, the primer ignites the powder within the cartridge case, causing the bullet to travel in the path of least resistance down the barrel. Once the bullet leaves the barrel, the chamber pressure will be reduced to atmospheric pressure and the case will contract slightly.
A pistol cartridge may be either rimmed or rimless. Its rim diameter is equal to or slightly larger than its body diameter, and the extractor engages the rim by entering a cannelure at the base of the cartridge. Semi-rimmed cartridges, on the other hand, have a rim that is slightly larger than its body diameter. These types of cartridges also feature a headspace on the mouth of the case, which prevents the round from entering the chamber too far.
While the term “ball round” originally referred to round balls in early muskets and artillery, it is now used to describe a basic non-specialized bullet. Another term used to describe a pistol cartridge is “board dummy”. This is an inert specimen cartridge used for promotional display boards. They are usually worth much more than their regular counterparts.
Pistol cartridges differ in terms of bullet diameter and length. Bullet diameters can vary by a few thousandths of an inch, while the case length is measured in millimetres. While the actual diameter of a pistol cartridge is often recognizable, the length of the case and the operating pressure vary greatly.
Twenty-five and thirty-two calibers occupy a unique niche in handgun ammunition. They are relatively light and short, but they don’t offer impressive ballistics. For this reason, twenty-five and thirty-two cartridges are rarely recommended for everyday use. They have their place for self-defense, but are considered too expensive for plinking.
The metal case of a pistol cartridge can be either brass or steel. Brass is commonly used as the case material, and is resistant to corrosion. It can also be work-hardened and withstand high pressures. Unlike steel or plastic, a brass case will not crack under the pressures of firing. A brass case can also be easily annealed and reformed.
The most common pistol cartridge is the 9x19mm Luger, which was initially developed for military and police use. Its high velocity and small size make it the preferred pistol cartridge for police officers. It also remains the most commonly used submachine gun cartridge.
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