Talk:Cartridge (firearms)

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Powder to energy[edit]

Therefore, a bullet with twice the powder, going twice as fast has four times the destructive energy.

This can not be generally true, because the total energy in the powder is proportional to the amount. Patrick 09:44 Dec 29, 2002 (UTC)
In practical terms depending on the burn rate of the powder, twice the powder can cause detonation (picture the breach bursting, bent operating rod, etc.) instead of a controlled explosion. With slower burning powders, not only can detonation occur, the powder will burn outside the barrel and can cause a large muzzle flash as the powder burns outside of the barrel, wasting its potential energy. --Buster 19:01, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)

Error in Photo Caption[edit]

The smaller cartridge on the right is a 9mm Luger Parabellum. A .40 S&W has a flat head, this one has a rounded head.

Use of Britannica without credit?[edit]

At least a part of the material on cartridge manufacture appears to have been lifted verbatim from the 11th (1910) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, with no credit given. I am sure this is contrary to Wikipedia's policy, and would like to see it corrected.

Marc de Piolenc

Technically, Britannica is in the public domain, which means that it can be used freely with no attribution needed. Attribution is only done as a courtesy. =) --Jtgibson 22:25, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
It most certainly is NOT. Every single word and all material is copyrighted. Besides too many Britannica articles are in error. No encyclopedia is considered an authoritative source.Digitallymade (talk) 09:23, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


Is it only shotgun shells that have wadding between the projectile(s) and the propellant, or do rifle/pistol rounds have wadding as well? I do recognise that the bore of a shotgun is much larger than the bore of a rifle or pistol, so I imagine that too much gunpowder would be more dangerous to the firer -- the reason shells have wadding in the first place -- but I'm curious whether a thin wad is also included in the manufacturing process of regular cartridges or whether they simply load the bullet flush with the powder. (Like many other action-movie and gunplay afficionados, I don't tend to know the truth behind the fiction. ;-)) --Jtgibson 22:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Wadding is not often used in pistol rounds, but is often seen in older black powder rifle rounds such as the .45-70. These cartridges were designed to be filled nearly to capacity with black powder when they were first invented. Adding wadding to them, many people use Dacron, the "stuffing" found in many plush toys, to take up extra space present inside the cartridge when loaded with smokeless powder to promote uniform ignition.

There are too many thousands of cartridges to say what is in each of them with regards to wadding. Blanks use wadding to hold the powder in. There are probably some special purpose rounds that have wadding in pistol rounds (not only shot shells). In the latter part of the 20th century Shot Shell design advanced greatly. The Shot Shell was, in fact, the first firearm component to use polymers in it's construction. The Brass on a Shot Shell is a cosmetic, not a structural feature. In early firearms cartridges the wadding was necessary to keep the bullet in contact with the powder charge to prevent a possible catastrophic explosion and to enhance accuracy. In shot shells the wadding cups used now have the effect of tightening up the pattern by reducing flat siding on the soft lead pellets. Earlier Shot Shells were made of Brass and Paper.Digitallymade (talk) 09:30, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


(i.e. brass or hull) It was said on the casing page that it was discussing merging it with the cartridge page. This would not be a good idea being that the case or hull is only one component of a complete cartridge. The casing is not a cartridge without the primer, the propellant, the wad (in shotshells) and the actual projectile or projectiles. Much more could be elaborated on the casing or hulls. Some rifle rounds do require wadding to take up space. A few in particular would be the 45-70, 45-90 and the 45-110. 05:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)Driftpin74.69.252.224 05:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

"Casing" is a word that has for years been misused in regards to the case of a cartridge...aka [the correct term is] "cartridge case". "Casing" is a housing used for sausages. "Casing" should not be used in reference to any part of a firearm or it's projectiles.

I reload my own cartidges and have an extensive reloading reference library. I don't have ANY referencees to using wadding in rifle rounds. In particular, I do load the .45-70 and it definitely does not use wadding. Some recommend the use of fillers such as cornmeal or babypowder, but others recommend against it. In a rifle if the load is sufficient to propel the bullet and the primer is correct for the powder/load/case combination, wadding is not needed. Filler seems to be in some dispute as to it's necessity. Arthurrh 18:08, 6 July 2007 (UTC) because they are components,perhaps they belong in the page,unless they have too much info,like sufficient to fill something a whole lot bigger than a stub or page section or something,andprimer could be an eception,because it is used in muzzleloaders as well,not just cartridges.haha,i just realized everything but th case is,but they should have a little detail on this page,with more on the case.Keserman (talk) 17:26, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


The history doesn't seem to really cover the transition from blackpowder to smokeless powder, I wonder if that should be elaborated here. Arthurrh 18:10, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Not as such. The transition from component to paper cartridge to metallic cartridge needs to be improved greatly as most of it's missing. Digitallymade (talk) 09:32, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


I agree that the Firearm brass article should be merged here. I've never done a merge, so if others are in agreement, maybe someone can do it. Arthurrh 22:41, 11 July 2007 (UTC)


I've moved the whole Problems section here for now. The first claim is spurious, the other two have more to do with firearms than with cartridges, and belong elsewhere. == The conventional cartridge also adds certain problems to the gun.

The casing is both expensive and heavy, and the single most difficult part to manufacture. Generally, they were manufactured by deforming a disk of brass with a series of progressive dies. Cases are generally round, and this decreases the volumetric efficiency of the gun's magazine. A caseless cartridge can have the propellant molded in a square shape.

The gun has to have an ejection port to eliminate the spent cartridge-case. Dirt and fluid can enter the gun through the ejection port and adversely affect functioning. Stoppages can occur if a badly cleaned or maintained weapon fails to properly eject a spent casing, which will subsequently block the passage of the next live round from the magazine to the chamber.

The primer, and associated firing pin add a short delay between the time the trigger is pressed and the time the bullet leaves the barrel. Experiments had decisively demonstrated that this delay reduced accuracy for most shooters. Light replacement firing pins and hammers have been produced to minimize the delay. == Arthurrh 20:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I apologise if I get the syntax wrong here, I really don't know how to leave well-formed comments on a talk page.

As you can see from the information "Arthurrh" pasted, firing pins introduce firing delays; this is mentioned in the article on electrical firing, which this page links to. It explains that electrical firing uses electricity to replace the firing pin in activating the primer. On the other hand, this article claims that electrical firing does away with the primer. One of these two pages must be wrong, since either there is still a primer or there isn't, or if there is some sort of pseudoprimer, that should really be explained in the electrical firing page. I'm leaving this comment here since I think the most likely case is that this article has it wrong, but I'm hardly an expert. 04:59, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Electrically-fired cartridges still have a primer. Instead of using a percussion-sensitive chemical, they use an electrically-sensitive chemical to ignite the main charge. BBODO (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Timing is off here 46 comes before 55 not later... and which was it 46 or 47?

"This cartridge was introduced in England by Lang, of Cockspur Street, London, about 1855. Later in 1846, M.Houiller, another Paris gunsmith, improved on the system by introducing a fully metallic cartridge in 1847.[6]"

D Fortini 20:14 14 Dec 08 EST —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:14, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Case definition lacking[edit]

I just spent some time now trying to understand what happened with the case here ?
First I have been surprised to see that the case article disappeared. Probably it became enormous over the time. But now, we are on the other extreme, there a no definition anymore of what a case is !
Even worth, there is an paragraph about caseless ammo !
I don't understand why this whole discussion here about caseless ammo. The only caseless ammo on the market today is the 5.7mm UCC Voere, not a big deal man :-)

I'm going to work a bit on this article today. At least provide the official cartridge classification as seen by the CIP. I have updated this CIP page yesterday so that in the references, it points directly to the official 2007 cartridge list (as seen from all European CIP member countries). A *very* good job we could do here is to provide a clear comparison table between Saami and CIP data.

--Michel Deby (talk) 12:13, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

What is this 'gameplay' you speak of?[edit]

Several times in this article, in the sections on jacketing and caliber, the phrase 'for gameplay puropses' (or some variant thereoff) is used. I was under the impression that this was an article on firearm cartridges and not on video games. (talk) 18:20, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Have addressed this jargon, replacing "gameplay" with metallic silhouette. Good catch. Yaf (talk) 04:30, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

The whole part on cartridges is filled with errors because they appear to be based off of playing video games. Some of the cartridges listed have never been used in combat like the 4.6mm. (talk) 07:08, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

It appears that at one time in the past, large portions of text in this article were lifted directly from the "NATO 3.0 Manual" written by myself and Garret Polk back in 2000-2001. It was part of a modification for the game Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear. You can see the old webpage here: On the positive side, most of the copied text has been edited out of the article over the years. --D.E. Watters (talk) 17:06, 4 July 2014 (UTC)


The 'Jacketing' and 'Calibers' sections sound like role-playing game descriptive text, and contain a lot of vague and very dubious information. Many or most of the rounds and concepts dealt with in these sections have their own articles, featuring far better information. I would recommend these two sections be deleted or summarised. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

"The Hague Accords - The Hague Accords ban the use of expanding projectiles against the military forces of other nations. Some countries accept this as a blanket ban against the use of expanding projectiles against anyone, while the U.S. feels free to use JSP and HP against terrorists and criminals.[1]" despite the reference needs citation and/or context as I believe it is incorrect at least in a military context. Also several nations' police use hollowpoint ammo domestically. Do you think this should be organized--possibly with applicable jacket types (i.e. JSP,HP,frangible)and not thrown in so haphazardly? Hereward777 (talk) 03:14, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

The Calibers section is just a listing of cartridges and has little to do with calibers.Hereward777 (talk) 03:34, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I suggest the Caliber section be reduced to a brief definition of what caliber means and then finish the section with a link to the caliber page: Lrenh (talk) 05:23, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

In need of work...[edit]

This article is overly long and disorganized. Here are some thoughts on things that could be done to tighten it up and make it more readable.

  1. Remove the lists, as suggested above. This article is too long to have such lists in it.
  2. Move the History section up in the article. Understanding why cartridges are the way they are requires some background on the subject.
  3. Put in a short section up at the top, directing to main articles on things like paper cartridge, rimfire, centerfire, caseless ammunition blank (cartridge), Dardick tround, and other specific sub-topics that users who end up here might be more interested in.
  4. Shotgun ammunition should not be mentioned here, other than as a "see also"; shotgun ammunition is called "shells" not "cartridges", and is covered in shotgun shell.
  5. "Drill round" needs to point to military dummy
  6. And, of course, references are needed.

Anyone have any additions or comments? I going to stick this article on my "to do" list... scot (talk) 15:55, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

  1. Shotgun shells ARE cartridges, and they're even called so on the shotgun shell page. A google search for shotgun cartridge also confirms this use. Shotgun shells should be reintroduced and covered as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

History section in need of work...[edit]

On the History section, in particular, I'm in agreement with scot, 14 Aug 2008. I had to re-read the History section quite a number of times to get a feel for the overall history of the cartridge, and I still feel a bit confused about some points. The narrative of the history of such a well known object should be sufficient in itself for a normal well-educated reader to gain a basic understanding of the subject matter without requiring them to make frequent side-missions of research. Not the case with this article. And after two hours I still couldn't tell you why "Integrated paper cartridge" merits a heading, or even really what such a thing is.

Feel free to contact me via email if you'd like to collaborate with me in fixing up the History section. (I'm not a confident solo wikipeditor) - Permacultura (talk) 14:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Cartridge made with aluminum cases[edit]

The article writes:"Some ammunition is also made with aluminum cases (see picture)".Well, there's advantages (and at least one problem} with cartridge made with aluminum cases.The article hasn't deepness about aluminum cases.Agre22 (talk) 22:59, 2 September 2009 (UTC)agre22

should be moved,perhaps?[edit]

just to suggest,perhabs this article would be better moved to "firearms cartridge".it seems better and more understandable,in situations in real life where the word "cartridge" may be confused in definition,"firearm(s) cartridge seems more proper,especially in speech.thanks,Keserman (talk) 17:26, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

No, Cartridge (firearms) is a good example of the appropriate use of mediawiki naming and the use of a disambiguator (in brackets). No-one calls them "firearms cartridges", so there is no real value to an ability to directly wikilink as firearms cartridge. Within the context of firearms, they're called "cartridges" pure and simple, so a wikilink and WP:pipe trick allows cartridge to link easily. If they have to be linked from elsewhere, under any name we can't predict in advance, we can still pipe links manually, e.g. "bullet (sic)" Andy Dingley (talk) 08:44, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Long calibers section[edit]

The section titled "Calibers" has become extremely long and has many obscure rounds. I think it might be better to trim it down to most notable cartridges and then using the "main article" tag send it to something like "List of rifle cartridges" and "List of pistol cartridges" or something similar. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 03:01, 22 August 2010 (UTC)


Exactly what happened here? (talk) 00:26, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Missed the bull[edit]

I deleted this:

"Most high-powered firearms launch relatively light bullets at high velocity to achieve a specific desired level of kinetic energy. To achieve any given level of muzzle energy, a relatively light bullet at high velocity is more desirable than a relatively heavy bullet at low velocity because the lighter bullet will generate less recoil. This is true because bullet energy increases in direct proportion to bullet weight (at any given velocity, if the bullet is twice as heavy it caries twice the energy) but energy increases in proportion to bullet velocity squared (for any given bullet mass, if the bullet is moving twice as fast if carries four times the energy), see physics of firearms). But, gun recoil is proportional to bullet mass (weight) times muzzle velocity. So, for any given muzzle energy, in any given gun, the lighter (and faster) the bullet is, the less recoil is generated and recoil is always an issue. Also, lighter bullets can shoot flatter across the useful range and offer other advantages.
"Bullet speeds are limited by maximum chamber pressure, which in turn is limited by strength of the case and sometimes the gun chamber. At least among rifle designs, most modern guns and cases have a similar pressure limit. Up to a point, larger cartridges in any given bore size can generate more velocity with any given bullet. However case size has practical fundamental limits related to how the best feasible modern propellants burn and to the fact that as case capacity increases bore damage with each shot increases. At some point, increasing case size merely creates a design that will destroy the barrel before one could develop a safe and useful load. See Cartridges of the World, various articles and discussions in various editions.
"Velocity is also limited by fundamental characteristics of the propellant gases (mean molecular mass). With conventional propellants, within feasible pressure limits, a limit exists at about 6000 fps (1830 mps), regardless of case size or barrel length. See Cartridges of the World, various articles and discussions in various editions."

because it's more about ballistics than cartridges... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 01:39, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Good delete. Definately "ballistics", not "cartridges" and the stuff about recoil is untrue anyway. Energy in one direction always means the same energy in the opposite direction. Can't get something for nothing.BBODO (talk) 07:57, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

MAJOR Re-write[edit]

This article's a mess. MANY changes today. Rearranged. Deleted a lot of superfluous stuff. Corrected a lot of bad info. Added many links. Fixed all the bad "Primer" links i could find. (Primers aren't "Percussion caps", they're "Primer (firearm)". Tried to excise the opinion. Still needs more chopping. Hope to add an original wikicommons diagram to illustrate cartridge parts. Bit off more than i could chew this round.BBODO (talk) 09:57, 7 November 2012 (UTC)


Centrefire and rimfire have been covered prehaps pin fire should be as well? Pinfire — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fdsdh1 (talkcontribs) 18:42, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Done. When I checked just now it was already mentioned in the lede. I also added it to the beginning of the section on all-metal cartridges. — ¾-10 17:09, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

"citation needed" tags...[edit]

The article currently has 20-odd inline tags requesting citation/clarification. My knee-jerk reaction is just to go through the text and remove any content that ain't adequately referenced, but maybe it would be better if those of you out there who know more about this subject sort it out first to ensure that no essential content gets removed. --Technopat (talk) 10:48, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

I think we need to trim out the tags, not the info. Many of them fall under the "sky is blue" rule, and are attached to quite obvious bits of info. Eg, the bit about firing a flintlock is fairly standard information about the system. The sentence about cartridges being almost universally used is another titbit that doesn't need support. --Dmol (talk) 11:22, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Revolver cartridge in automatic firearms[edit]

Was there ever a type of automatic firearm that used revolver cartridges? I know that SMGs use semi-auto cartridges, but have never heard of a similar weapon firing revolver cartrdiges. (talk) 14:49, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes there is. It's not automatic as we think of it. The Webley-Fosberry revolver recoils on it's frame to cock the hammer for the next round to fire.Digitallymade (talk) 09:36, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
What's a "revolver cartridge" though? Do you mean a rimmed cartridge? These were used by most of the early semi-automatic handguns, the better-feeding rimless or semi-rimmed cartridges were invented to give better feeding from these stack magazines. You still see this today with large calibre handguns, such as the Desert Eagle, chambered for oversize 'revolver' calibres like .357 Magnum.
Revolvers can used rimmed, semi-rimmed, or rimless cartridges. The cartridges most often associated with revolvers are the rimmed ones, such as .45 Long Colt. But .45ACP and 9mm Parabellum have also been used in revolvers by the use of a half moon clip that engages the grooves and allows easy extraction. Rimmed cartridges are rare in self loaders, the only one that seems to still be around is the .38 Super. The problem with .38 Super was a lack of accuracy that was solved by changing where it headspaced. Rimless cartridges headspace on the case opening. Rimmed cartridges usually headspace on the rim. There may have been a self loader that used rimmed cartridges, but I am not aware of any. (There are so many thousands of variations I wouldn't rule anything out)
Full-auto firearms tend to use belt or magazine feeds rather than simple stacked boxes and these will feed rimmed ammunition happily. However they're larger than revolver calibres. SAW / LMGs use simple box magazines, but again these are rifle calibres and so the simple length / width ratio of the cartridge helps keep them in place in the magazine. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:04, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Rimmed ammunition tends to jam easily if not loaded with great care. One of my favorite cartridges is the .220 Swift which is semi-rimmed. If you don't put the cartridges in the magazine in the correct fashion, you get a failure to feed that locks up the entire magazine. Worse yet, it can damage the bullet of the jammed cartridge. The rotary guns don't have this problem but magazine loaders do. The only difference between a self loader that is semi-automatic or full-automatic is the trigger sear group. As an aside: If you own ANY variation on an ARtype rifle owning ANY ONE of the pieces of the fully automatic sear group that could be used to convert an AR to full automatic fire is a Federal Firearms violation. The MOST effective small arm used in WWII, seldom gets the credit it deserves as we (in the West) tend to concentrate on the "glamor" guns that we are the most familiar with. The most effective small arm in WWII proved to be the Soviet PPSH (a submachinegun). I always wondered how a 7.62mm pistol caliber ended up as the most effective round used in WWII until recently when I realized that the Soviet's were loading the 7.62mm round to power levels similar to the original 7.63mm Mauser round. The PPSH was most often seen using a drum magazine for greater capacity. The Thompson Submachine gun had the ability to use box or drum magazines and had drums of 50 and 100 rounds.
US M249, Belgian Minimi, 5.56mm Nato

The most common configuration of a fully-automatic rifle is the carbine. The Germans just switched from the HK G36 to the HK 4xx series (not sure which one) carbine. The most common magazine is the 30 round box. It's only in the squad automatic weapons (US M249, Minimi) that you see multiple capabilities such as being able to use typical 30 round magazines or the 200 round box magazines. If you've ever handled an M249, it's not light. Add 200 rounds of ammunition and it's even heavier. The medium machine gun (US M240) is even heavier and is fed by disintegrating link belt. Boxes, drums, snail drums, and belts are commonly in use. The higher capacity magazines get very heavy.

Why is this article limited to small-arms?[edit]

Don't artillery pieces, naval pieces, tanks, etc. use cartridge, too? --Badger151 (talk) 02:27, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Indeed they do. Info can be added if anyone gets time. — ¾-10 19:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I think that would be a mistake IMO. The article title clearly says "Cartridge (firearms)". The Firearms article here is limited to small arms. On the other hand, the Shell (projectile) and Artillery articles go into detail about what you are referring to. Maybe we just need a Main article link or something similar. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 06:48, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh yeah, Scalhotrod is right, I didn't think long enough before babbling my reply above. Even though the concept is exactly the same, it would not go in this article because small arms and artillery are handled separately. But the family resemblance is clear—the cartridges for some field artillery look just like "scaled-up" small arms cartridges. — ¾-10 23:46, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
hatnote added to that effect --Badger151 (talk) 00:32, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Awesome hatnote. Great idea. Thanks. — ¾-10 02:17, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Need picture of cartridge showing differing parts, including rim[edit]

This article needs a schematic illustration of a cartridge showing its different parts, including the rim. Thomas.Hedden (talk) 02:34, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Paper Cartridge[edit]

Chassepot paper cartridge.jpg

Prior to the development of metallic cartridges were paper cartridges. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Digitallymade (talkcontribs) 14:48, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

(also called a round or a shell)[edit]

A round is a loaded cartridge with a primer, propellant and a projectile. Same with a shell. Just because someone misuses these terms doesn't justify including them in the article. This is also the case with "shell casing". This text should go. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:45, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

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The pages on paper and metallic cartridges are miscategorized.[edit]

Cartridges are used by the Military, and in some part of the world there are more soldiers using firearms than civilians. In the USA (for one example) there are 80,000,000 firearms owners compared to only about 750,0000 soldiers. The VAST majority of cartridges sold are used in recreational Shooting Sports. Shooting Sports generates more money than any other participant sport in the USA. Some European Nations also have significant number of shooting sportsman.

Categorizing cartridges as a Military item is wrong and will prevent people from finding these pages, which is just as well since they largely full of errors, are incomplete, misleading and amateurish.Digitallymade (talk) 14:44, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Just because more cartridges are used by civilians, for plinking, doesn't mean that the cartridges used by the military, for combat, are less significant. Combat has a greater effect on the course of human events than punching holes in paper targets.
That said, paper cartridges were an intermediate technology that is only of historical importance. Felsic2 (talk) 16:09, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
You talk like someone who is NOT from the USA and so doesn't have the same perspective as someone who is. In the USA, particularly, the firearms industry drove development as a result of civilian use of firearms first. The US DOD has tried to develop cartridges on their own in the past, usually based on what some wealthy POI (often congressmen) had invested money in. The US DOD has at this point in time, been working on a replacement for .50 BMG now almost since it's creation. They finally got sensible with regard to handguns and continued using 9mm (a German Army development from 1902). However, it was the stated objective by DOD during XM17 procurement to start using more off the shelf products. There is a grudging acceptance that US development of small arms has been substandard. A lot of the failure to adopt new arms is due to Politics, especially with the extremists in this country of the last 8 years. While the US does NOT have a replacement for 9mm x 19mm Nato, at least they know why and they've decided to address the situation with the proper causative solution. The US today lacks:
  • A high quality rifle
  • A high quality carbine
  • A high quality grenade launcher
  • A capable heavy machine gun caliber
  • A superior design of heavy machine gun
  • ANYthing near a submachinegun
There are two bills in Congress which may address some of the lack of ability of US companies to design decent forward looking firearms. One is the repeal of the 1934 NFA (the other repeals part of it). Now GETTING TO THE POINT: In the industry, the lack of ability to sell full-automatic rifles and submachines to the public is seen as a reason for a near total lack of development in the USA of superior solutions. The German government has just adopted a HK 400 series rifle to replace the G36. The USA actually produced an order for an HK XM8 rifle, which was promptly cancelled as not being necessary. So the reality is that Civilian development of cartridges has far outpaced DOD procurement of superior munitions and firearms and is, at least in part, due to unnecessary restrictions aimed at honest law abiding citizens (a plague against the people of this nation).
In the USA the DOD does not drive development in the firearms industry. Sporting goods are a huge industry here and they ARE driving development in all areas of firearms, archery, fishing, hunting, and most importantly target shooting.
To continue to characterize cartridges as a military product is false and misleading as well as having the look of political bias. There are MANY hundreds and thousands of military topics, which have little to nothing of value to offer the Sportsman (except of course the .223 Rem (etc) where US procurement had driven prices down). Of the (far more than) 80,000,000 admitted firearms owners in the USA, there are probably only a handful who regard their Sporting Goods as military in nature.

Digitallymade (talk) 18:41, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Remember, this is not the USA Wikipedia. It is the Wikipedia for the whole (English-speaking) world.
So then the suggestion that ANYONE can edit Wikipedia is a LIE! What an arrogant statement. We speak 192 languages in this nation of nearly 300 million people. Like most of the rest of the Western World, we use English (I also use some French, Dutch, and German, rarely).
Also, remember that this is not the shooter's encyclopedia. It is a general interest reference work that's not intended to help sportsmen or any other group.
Very Good Point. There is very little anywhere on Wikipedia that is complete or concise and there never will be due to their being legitimate sources, such as the Shooter's Bible, Etc. which can be quoted only to support minor points. The reader would be far better served to go to a local library where there is at least a hard copy of the many mistaken beliefs which can be blamed on a publisher who has too little knowledge.
There are a number of widely accepted references on the history and characteristics of firearms cartridges, starting with Barnes. The best way to improve this or any article is to find the best sources and work from them. Felsic2 (talk) 18:53, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I have Barnes .40 S&W loaded into my Sig Sauer P320 right now, laying on my desk as I write this. I spoke directly with a Barnes Representative no long ago. Have you?
Re-reading your post I'm not sure what part of the article you're talking about. The Wikipedia categories, "Pistol and rifle cartridges" and "Ammunition", don't limit it to military or civilian users. Most of the text goes back and forth between various users and inventors. Felsic2 (talk) 19:11, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
as far as military ammunition is concerned there really isn't much to talk about. It's the civilian market that is complex.
You don't seem to understand the significance that sloppy categorization can have. And by trying to lump military and sporting firearms together, a VERY BAD FALSE impression is created. Now you've changed from providing information to dealing in POLITICS, which is the ART OF DECEPTION by deliberate misuse of words and terminology, a disease throughout the world today. Most of the firearms owners in the Western World, have no military use of interest in firearms technology. Hundreds of millions have Sporting interests which is amply displayed by the $billions spent annually. You obviously don't understand how important being accurate and not using political catch phrases can be.
Didn't I see that you have been banned from editing? Have you heard the expression "Are you still beating your wife?" (a comment about word meanings being manipulated)

Digitallymade (talk) 20:18, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Do you mean Wikipedia:Categorization? If not, what kind of categorization are you referring to? I don't know what editing ban you're referring to. Please see WP:BATTLEGROUND and WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Felsic2 (talk) 21:34, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

The first line is incorrect.[edit]

The first line reads: "A cartridge is a type of ammunition packaging a bullet or shot, a propellant substance (usually either smokeless powder or black powder) and a primer within a metallic, paper, or plastic case that is precisely made to fit within the firing chamber of a firearm.[1]"

Correction: A firearms cartridge is a package which contains one more more projectiles and a powder charge loaded in the correct order in which the insertion of a cartridge into a firearms chamber in the correct orientation results in a loaded firearm that is partially or completely prepared for the ignition of the powder charge which will result in the high speed ejection of the projectile(s) from the firearm.

Improper Reference:

The reference pointed to says nothing about paper cases.

Paper cartridges evolved prior to the modern metallic cartridge. The Paper Cartridge did not contain a primer. Early paper cartridges contained powder and projectile wrapped in paper. The paper itself was used to hold the projectile firmly in contact with the powder. Early paper cartridge firearms used an external powder charge which was projected through a pilot hole in the chamber of the barrel in order to ignite the main powder charge which in turn propelled the projectile(s) out of the barrel.

In the Mid 19th century guns such as the Sharps rifle introduced a falling block action that removed the necessity for the user to rip off the top of the cartridge. The cartridge was inserted into the chamber, the loading lever was returned to it's upward position causing the block to slice off the tip of the cartridge, exposing the powder change to the firing nipple's porting. A percussion cap was then placed onto the firing nipple while the hammer was at half cock to prepare the weapon for firing. This was vastly faster than the way paper cartridges were used in muskets and rifled muskets at that time.

During the US Civil War the Spenser rifle used a strip of primer caps (which are extremely similar to a child's cap gun caps) in an automatic process which loaded a primer when the ammunition was loaded, which increased the rate of fire even more.

The Dreyse Needle gun used a cartridge that was a precursor to the modern metallic cartridge. The Dreyse cartridge contained power, primer, and projectile (in that order). A long needle was thrust through the powder charge to ignite the primer which was located at the base of the bullet. This design proved to be very superior to other cartridge designs of that time.

The early metallic cartridge cases used a projecting pin to ignite the primer mixture. This slowed loading considerably and led to malfunctions. The Pin Fire cases gave way to the modern metallic case we now have which has a cup type primer pressed into the base of the cartridge case. The case contains the propellant charge, which could be black powder, pyrodex, cordite, or smokeless powder in modern cartridges.

Digitallymade (talk) 15:17, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

More errors[edit]

First section:

"Military and commercial producers continue to pursue the goal of caseless ammunition"

Prove it!

"A cartridge without a bullet is called a blank."

So what good is a cartridge without a projectile (which is technically NOT true for blanks, which have been known to kill people).

"Some artillery ammunition uses the same cartridge concept as found in small arms. In other cases, the artillery shell is separate from the propellant charge."

While this is somewhat true, the cut off point in how cannon ammunition is handled has to do with weight and size. The largest naval guns to use cartridges are about 5" The smallest cannon to use fixed ammunition are the 20mm (which is the cut off point for small arms cartridges). When a man cannot handle an assembled round of ammunition by himself then the components are generally separated.

The section titled, "Design" does not talk about design, it talks about function instead. It's also inaccurate and incomplete.

The Purpose of a Cartridge is to provide a munition that is readily able to be loaded into a firearm to prepare it be used. Modern Cartridges are mostly:

  • Complete and ready to fire once loaded
  • Moderately waterproof
  • Climatically tolerant
  • Available in many variations for use in different tasks
  • Facilitate the rapid reloading in self reloading weapons

There are NO references for any part of the "Design" section.Digitallymade (talk) 15:57, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

The lack of suitable sources is a problem across firearms topics. Felsic2 (talk) 16:10, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Misuse of the term cannelure[edit]

under semi-automatic vs. revolver cartridges

"An extractor engages this rim by entering a cannelure near the base of the case."

A cannelure is an indentation around the circumference of a bullet. A cartridge case has a groove around it's base. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Digitallymade (talkcontribs) 16:02, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Section called nomenclature[edit]

This section is name nomenclature but is actually about cartridge naming conventions.

The first line: The name of any given cartridge does not necessarily reflect any cartridge or gun dimension.

Could not be more false.

The second line: The name is merely the standardized and accepted moniker.

Is an obvious statement. We name cartridges the way we name children. Sometimes we use the same names over and over again adding them together who we can tell jimmy joe bob from jimmy james ray...etc. But there is far more to naming cartridges that just this much. John I is 6' tall. John II is 6'6" tall. John II is called Big John.

The next part: SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) and the European counterpart (Commission Internationale Permanente) and members of those organizations specify correct cartridge names. Cartridge names, when correctly presented, never include a naked leading decimal point."

This statement is false also. Both organizations exist to provide for safety testing of cartridges in firearms and to ensure interchangeability of cartridges based on their designated caliber/name. SAAMI specifies pressures considered to be safe for US manufucturers and CIP speicfied proofing standards.

The goal of both is standardization to ensure safe use. SAAMI also has USA lobbying activities to protect the industry against nuisance legislature.

Digitallymade (talk) 21:51, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Cartridge Power Levels/Safety[edit]

This section has no sources whatsoever. Further, it repeats information already in the article. How many times do we have to be told that cartridges are composed of "


The first paragraph, and several subsequent ones, is mostly text that doesn't add any information. The section reads like an essay rather than an encyclopedia entry. I suggest deleting it entirely. Felsic2 (talk) 17:04, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

By all means, delete it. But let me ask you this? Is the information not true, does it fail to add knowledge? Are you wanting to delete it without researching the truth behind it? And since it has no sources, why don't you add some? If you delete a section devoted entirely to safety, are you going to address the issue and replace it with something that provides that value? Digitallymade (talk) 17:13, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
To answer your question there may well be redirects from other pages that do not include the first part of an article. Branching to this section on safety isn't necessarily going to have noted that a cartridge has four main components. Digitallymade (talk) 17:15, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
While it's not uncommon for links from other articles to connect with specific sections, that is no reason to repeat basic information over and over. Are there any links to this section?
Where did the "knowledge" contained in this section come from? Your memory? Even granted that there is some useful material there, it could be said in far fewer words, and would need to have citations to reliable sources.
Rather than writing what you think is interesting, the better way to write encyclopedia articles is to find reliable sources and then summarize their information. Felsic2 (talk) 18:27, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Revert to 6 February[edit]

This article has been frequently edited over the last month, and I've been remiss at following the changes. The article has increased by 50 percent, but it does not seem to have improved. My gut instinct at this point is to revert the article to the version of 6 February. It's not that I think 6 Feb is a great revision, but rather many of the changes since then are suspect. The article is diverging from being an appropriate encyclopedia entry to a treatise on cartridges that contains too much detail. Factoids such as "Hornady loads match ammunition into steel cases" don't belong in the article.

The article's first sentence is sickening: "A cartridge is an assembled package that contains the components that constitute a firearm's ammunition, mostly for small arms." That's circular: what it says is "a cartridge contains the components that make up a cartridge". The February lede isn't great, but it at least lists the components. (WP's Ammunition article disagrees; it has ammunition being just the bullet rather than the cartridge. Merriam-Webster says ammo is the bullet or the cartridge.)

A modern cartridge consists of the following:
1. the bullet, as the projectile;
2. the case, which holds all parts together;
3. the propellant, for example gunpowder or cordite;
4. the rim, which provides the extractor on the firearm a place to grip the casing to remove it from the chamber once fired;
5. the primer, which ignites the propellant.

WP has a better description of a cartridge at the Bullet article.

The history of the cartridge should not be the first section. A reader who wants to learn what a cartridge is should not do a deep dive into its history.

The tone of the article is shifting to something that is more folksy.

Instead of writing prose, statements are made in bulleted lists.

The new headings do not follow the manual of style.

Reliable sources have been replaced with blog entries. A reference with a url and an archive url had the url replaced with the archive url. One source, The Evolution of the Shotshell, appears to be an unpublished 1983 term paper for a college anthropology course.

More pictures of cartridges have been added, but they do not add to an encyclopedic explanation.

The laundry list of common cartridges has grown rather than shrunk. Pick 5 significant ones. And don't list both .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO. Why would the typical WP reader care about varmit cartridges?

This article is about cartridges. It does not need to go into detail about bullets and what they are made of. WP has a bullet article. WP also has a Shotgun shell article.

The "Reloading" section is odd. Didn't frontiersmen cast their own bullets? The article doesn't detail the manufacture of cartridges, so handloading should just be a see also entry.

Revert the article. If material should be reinserted, then use non-blog references and good prose.

Glrx (talk) 17:13, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

You're right. The article had gotten way over-written and began to go far afield of the subject. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:21, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Agree. Felsic2 (talk) 15:11, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Agree. Miguel Escopeta (talk) 21:29, 24 March 2017 (UTC)