Hello and welcome from your friends here at THEGUNDUDE.COM.  Things have been flying at a tremendous pace and in an exciting direction!  We have mostly recovered from the GUN-Gasm that was SHOT Show, and have hit the ground running, ducking, dodging and weaving like the bosses we are.  With that said, we have many endeavors in the works, but the countrywide unveiling of the GLOCK model 42 is still a standout highlight at the Show.

The ecstasy of SHOT Show does linger though, kind of like the ringing in your ears through both muffs and plugs, and the tingling from your fingertips to your toes after you light off a large caliber rifle round; which happens to be today’s topic.

Rifle Ammunition

            We will be discussing the common defining characteristics of rifle rounds and calibers. An example can be found in the 22 Long Rifle  (LR) and the 22 Magnum (Mag).  While the number is the same, “magnum” indicates more powder than would be otherwise put into the brass casing. This extra powder will cause the projectile to reach its target at a more rapid pace.  The .22 caliber has another feature that differentiates it from other rifle rounds; it is a rim-fire.

A rim-fire rifle’s firing pin will strike around the edge of the brass at the rear of the bullet, on the “rim”, where a priming powder has been laced inside the casing thus igniting the powder. The ignition of the primer begins a chain reaction that ignites the main powder charge and the expanding gasses force the bullet out the barrel. This is compared to the more common center fire round.



A center fire round has much of the same dynamic, only different in that the firing pin strikes a “primer” oriented at the center of the casing in the rear.   The “primer” then ignites the powder in the casing, etc etc.

With the anatomy of the different rifle rounds explained, all that is left to discuss is the calibers, or diameter of rifle rounds, of which there are many.

Unlike the shotgun where as the number gets smaller the gauge gets larger, with the rifle round as the number gets larger (see below chart), the bullet gets larger.  From the meek but effective .22 all the way up to the .905, which is roughly $40 per round and almost twice as large as the commercial .50 caliber round.  Although bigger is sometimes better, it’s not always practical for everyday use.  To put this into perspective, think of the different sized hammers.  The right tool for the right job can make all the difference between a successful job and a cumbersome one.  You do not need a 30 pound sledge-hammer to roof a house.

Nowadays anything is possible with specialty ammunition which includes rifle ammo.  Some exciting examples include incendiary rounds, depleted uranium rounds, tracer rounds, and even rounds made from polyester and fiberglass. Without getting into the types of rifles that fire these rounds- a conversation to be saved for another log- it suffices to say that the proper round fired out of the right rifle will be effective down range.

Join us for our next blog where we will discuss pistol ammunition.