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Basic components of ammunition

The basic components of ammunition are the case, primer, powder, and projectile.

  • Case: The container that holds all the other ammunition components together. It's usually made of brass, steel, or copper.
  • Primer: An explosive chemical compound that ignites the gunpowder when struck by a firing pin. Primer may be placed either in the rim of the case (rimfire) or in the center of the base of the case (centerfire).
  • Gunpowder: A chemical mixture that burns rapidly and converts to an expanding gas when ignited.
  • Projectile: The object expelled from the barrel. A bullet is a projectile, usually containing lead, fired through a handgun barrel.