380 VS 9mm: Ammo Comparisons, Guide, And Review

380 vs 9mm Ammo Comparisons

There is a reason why gun enthusiasts keep comparing popular ammunition. While some of them clearly win over the others, there are a few of them that are equally popular and hold the fort equally well for their side.

The long-brewing comparison between the 380, or the .380 ACP, and the 9mm, or the 9x19mm Parabellum, falls in the above category. Both are used for self-defense and have been winning over ammo buyers for years now. However, there are slight differences that make one better over the other, with regards to ballistics performance, recoil, price and more aspects.

Ahead, we’ll see a comprehensive comparison between the .380 ACP and 9mm. Before we begin, let’s look at a quick overview of both the self-defense cartridge.

 

.380 ACP: Overview

380 ACP


Introduced in 1908 by Colt in the U.S, .380 ACP was designed by John Browning, hence it is also called as the 9mm Browning at times. It was built for self-defense purpose, having a rimless case and being straight-walled.

It is known by several names, including 9mm Browning, 9mm Short, 9x17mm, due to the fact that it has the same bullet diameter as that of the original 9x19mm Parabellum, 9mm.

The .380 ACP features 9,5mm base and rim diameter and a case length of 17.3mm and overall length of 25mm. It has a shooting velocity of about 1050 feet per second and primarily used as a self-defense cartridge. It is also used as a backup pistol by police officials and by beginners due to its low recoil.

 

9mm: Overview

9mm


The 9mm or the 9x19 Parabellum features German engineering, designed by Georg Luger and was launched in 1902 by the firearms brand DWM for their Luger semi-automatic pistol. Over time, it went through various iterations and different variants were launched.

It was primarily designed for military use and till date is the standard cartridge used by NATO forces and by other law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and other countries, along with being highly popular in self-defense domain.

The 9mm features a rimless but tapered case with a bullet diameter of 9mm. The overall length of the cartridge is considerably longer at 29.69mm and case length of 19.15mm. It features a shooting velocity between 950 to 14,500 feet per second, depending on the ammo used.

 

380 VS 9mm: Comparison

While the .380 ACP is often considered interchangeable with the 9mm due to the same diameter, it’s not, really, due to different shell length and structure.

Let’s take a look at their distinct features and how they compare against each other.

Performance

The 9x19mm Parabellum wins when it comes to performance. With a heavier cartridge which has a longer shell length and produces more energy, the 9mm creates a maximum velocity of 1,400 feet per second as opposed to the maximum 1000 feet per second produced by the .380. The longer shell length means the cartridge has more powder capacity and hence the higher velocity and more power.

Consequently, the bullet fire by 9mm does more damage than the one fired by 380. The stopping power of 9mm is higher and it packs a lot more pressure to expand the bullet more than 380 could.

Recoil

man firing a gun in the forest


While the performance of 9mm is better than the 380, the fact that it produces more force and higher velocity also means that is a higher recoil which can be inconvenient to inexperienced shooters and not very handy in case of an emergency.

The .380 ACP, while produces lesser energy and does lesser damage, it has lower recoil than the 9mm and is easy to use by beginners during self-defense situations. Since the gunpowder used is lesser, the force produced is less intense and the recoil gets set off, making it easy to reacquire the target.

Target Penetration

Target

The extent to which the projectile can penetrate is what decides the scope of damage that can be caused to the target. The 9mm has considerably more penetration power than the .380 ACP.

9mm fires with more force and has a sleeker shell which builds more firepower. Therefore, all factors combined, the cartridge is able to over penetrate to 13 inches and cause substantial damage. The .380, on the other hand, packs lesser force and lower velocity shooting power which limits its penetration to 9 inches.

Therefore, 9mm has an edge over the .380 ACP in the sense that the bullet fired through 9mm has more chances and scope of tearing down the target by traversing completely through it.

Shooting Accuracy

When it comes to self-defense, firing with accuracy is one of the most important factors to prevent yourself from harm.

Since the .380 fires with less force and has lower recoil, it fires with more accuracy since there is a steadiness while using it. When you have less power against you, the pistol fires with greater accuracy. However, the .380 ACP is mainly for very short ranges due to the low velocity and pressure and can’t be expected to hit a long-range with equal accuracy.

In the end, though, the accuracy highly depends on the experience and the skill of the shooter.

Size

The .380 ACP rounds, being shorter in size, do a better job at concealing your firearm than the 9mm that is larger and needs a bigger pistol.

The .380 rounds are shorter and fire with lesser force, therefore, they can be used in pistols of subcompact size which can be concealed while carrying easily. This is why the 380 is more used as a backup handgun since it remains hidden and can be drawn out with ease being lightweight.

Pricing

The increasing popularity of the 9mm cartridges has made them widely available and hence, lowered their rates. Currently, you can buy them at a cheaper price than the .380 since the .380 are used lesser and for a very specific purpose. Therefore, the economics of supply and demand come into play and since the 9mm is greater in supply and the demand for .380 is specific.

The rounds for .380 are expensive when compared to the 9mm. On an average, it costs $20 to buy a round of ammo for the .380 as compared to $12 for a 9mm.

Practical Use

Due to shorter size rounds and subcompact guns, the .380 ACP is mainly used as a concealed carry gun for backup. Since the ballistics performance is not up to the mark when compared to the 9mm, it is not usually used as a primary weapon. The smaller size makes it easy to carry, though, and easier to conceal.

The 9mm is used as a standard ammo by the NATO armies and the other non-NATO militia, along with major law enforcement agencies. It is available in compact pistols and has more magazine round capacity, therefore, it is ideal for self-defense as well as military use.

Ammo Used

There are many options available for both, 9mm as well as .380 ACP. Both are used for self-defense and military operations, with 9mm being more dominant in the military end.

The top options of ammunition for the .380 include Liberty Civil Defense 50 grain SCHP, Hornady Custom Ammunition 90 grain, Remington 88 grain HTP and SIG Sauer 90 grain 380 V-Crown JHP. All these bullets are ideal for self-defense and have short rounds, that are suitable for pocket pistols. For a pocket pistol using .380 ACP, a 90-grain projectile will have the best case in terms of defense since it will have more penetration capability and higher velocity.

The best options of ammunition for the 9mm include Federal HST 9mm 124 grain, Federal HST 9mm 147 grain, American Eagle 9mm 115 grain and Blazer Brass 9mm. Notice that the weight of the bullets is a lot more than the ones used for .380 ACP due to more caliber and a case length of 19.5mm. The penetration of these bullets ranges between 12 to 18 inches.

 

Are .380 And 9mm Interchangeable?

While the 380 ACP and the 9x19mm Parabellum are perceived to be used interchangeably due to their same bullet diameter, they are inherently too different to be used in place of the other.

Yes, the diameter for both the cartridges is 9mm. However, the 9mm has a considerably longer shell length than the .380. The longer length means larger powder capacity and more power. The .380 has smaller size and length which makes it unsuitable for firearms suited for the 9mm.

When you use a more powerful ammo in a firearm not suited for that power, it can backfire and damage the firearm. Therefore, using a shorter .380 case in the magazine built for a longer 9mm case is evidently not a wise choice.

PRODUCT

IMAGE

RATING

PRICE

380 ACP

380 ACP

9MM

9mm

 

The Conclusion

9mm wins over the .380 in terms of performance and power, clearly. The German-engineered cartridge packs more power due to a longer shell length and more caliber, with higher shooting velocity. It used heavier bullets that expand more, thereby holding better penetration.

 

The .380 is better in terms of ease of use since it has a lesser recoil due to less force exerted. It is also used with subcompact pocket pistols which are easier to carry and do a much better job at concealability. Also, even the .380 pushes out lesser force, with the right ammo used, it is a solid cartridge for self-defense.

 

While 9mm is a great possession in case of any emergency or self-defense or attack circumstances, as evident by their adoption by the military and the law enforcement agents, the .380 is best suited for close-range self-defense shooting. Take your pick according to your purpose, and you won’t go wrong with either.

6.5 Creedmoor VS 308s: Ammo Comparisons And Review

6.5 Creedmoor VS 308s

If you are an ammunition enthusiast and keep reading about the various types of bullets and cartridges, you’ll be familiar with the ever going debate on which of the long-range rounds is better, the 6.5 Creedmoor or the .308 Winchester (or 208, as it is called). Some have also hailed the 6.5 Creedmoor as the new 308, considering the time of their respective launches and the performance.

6.5 Creedmoor has gained immense popularity amongst the medium to long range target shooters, between 500 to 1000 yards. Both ammo, while having a similar base, differ quite well in their performance, mainly ballistic and recoil.

Ahead, we’ll compare the 6.5 Creedmoor against the .308 Winchester and see whether it really is the upgrade you were looking for. Before that, let’s take a quick overview of both the ammo.

308 Winchester: Overview

308 winchester

Launched in 1952, .308 has long been the preferred short-action ammo for target shooters and hunters. It is a rimless cartridge and was used to derive the 7.62x51mm NATO rifle, commercially. Therefore, it has been used by civilians as well as military agents alike.

Due to its short case, the .308 Winchester became very popular with and suitable for the short action rifles.  If loaded with an expanding bullet, the round tears into the target and therefore, the 308s are ideally extensively used for hunting large targets as well, like a black bear, whitetail deer or even an elk. The 308 load has more drop at longer ranges, resulting in lower muzzle velocity.

6.5 Creedmoor: Overview

creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a newer launch, having released in 2007. However, it has taken over a lot of market share due to its high ballistic performance and lower recoil than other rounds. It is a centerfire rifle cartridge, with a length of 2.825 which can accommodate short-action bolt rifles as well as AR-10 semi-automatic ones.

The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed for long-range target shooting and can deliver as further and beyond as 1,200 yards. It has also taken over the .308 Winchester in terms of being highly accurate in its aim. It also has a lesser recoil, making it a preferred choice over other long-range rounds among target shooters since lesser recoil means faster re-aiming.

6.5 Creedmoor VS 308 Winchester

6.5 Creedmoor VS 308

6.5 Creedmoor is hailed as the upgraded version of the 308 Winchester, one that offers a lot more in the same domains. Even the parent cartridge of 6.5 Creedmoor was derived from the 308. 

Let’s compare both these rounds in terms of their performance, availability, price and ballistics, and see which one comes out looking better.

Ballistics Performance


The 6.5 Creedmoor is sleeker and longer, making it ergonomically more aerodynamic. It can shoot as further as 1,000-1,200 yards, while the 308 is bounded to approximately 500 yards.

The 6.5 Creedmoor propellants weigh 120 grains whose muzzle velocity after 500 yards is 2,078 feet per second, which is brilliant for long-range target shooting. The 308 uses bullets in the 150 grains weight range and the muzzle velocity drops to 1,963 feet per second after 500 yards.

The difference between the two can be a huge deciding factor when it comes to precision shooting. They both start at a similar velocity, with 6.5 CM firing at 3,010 feet per second and the .308 Winchester firing at 3000 feet per second, but the .308 considerably slows down to the projectile weight and structure. The longer and thinner bullets of 6.5 CM allow it to keep its fast velocity stable over long distances.

Cartridge Case


6.5 Creedmoor has a substantially shorter case than the 308 Winchester. The case for 6.5 CM is derived from its parent cartridge, the .30 TC. The shorter case means a longer bullet, which is why it performs better in terms of ballistics.

6.5 cartridge

There is a difference in the sharpness of the shoulders of the two as well, which is why the recoil varies. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a 30 degrees shoulder angle as opposed to the 20 degrees of .308, making it sharper. The length of the shell casing of 6.5 CM bullet is 48.8mm.

When used for longer periods, there is another difference that comes to light that brass in 6.5 Creedmoor lasts longer than the .308 Winchester, making it more durable.

Available Ammo


The bullets for the .308 Winchester weight about 150 grains, while those for 6.5 Creedmoor weigh 30 grains lighter at 120 grains. There is a huge variety available for both. The cost does not differ much, with the ammo for both at similar price levels.

The bullet selection for .308 Winchester is essentially more than the 6.5 Creedmoor since it has been there for about 60 years, but the performance of the projectiles used by the latter is a lot better, having better ballistic caliber and more speed. They have a lower drop. The 6.5 Creedmoor bullets also have a better density which results in higher penetration into the target. For the 6.5 Creedmoor, a bullet weighing 140 grains has a higher caliber of .526 and a velocity of 2710 feet per second, which is more than what .308 has to offer.

Some bullets available for the 6.5 Creedmoor are Hornady ELD Match 120 grains, 147 grains; Nosler Match Grade Custom Bullet Tip 140gr; Nosler Ballistic Tip 140gr, etc.

The .308 Winchester uses Federal Fusion Ammo 165 grains, Fiocchi Barnes TTSX Load 168 grains, Federal Premium Vital-Shok 165 grains, and a whole lot more choices.

With most brands, the ammo for the .308 Winchester is cheaper and more readily available than the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Recoil And Lifespan


The 6.5 Creedmoor definitely sees a lesser recoil due to the lighter weight of the bullets used. This makes the shooting considerably easier and takes lesser time in reacquiring the target, which is why it is preferred by the target-shooter and becoming more popular with the hunters as well.

The barrel lifespan is more for the .308 Winchester. Due to a smaller bore of the 6.5 CM and the fact that it has a higher firing velocity, the barrel life is a little shorter than its rival.

308 barrel


Rifles Available


As with the ammo, the rifles for 6.5 Creedmoor are not very easily available due to its recency in the launch. On the other hand, there is a huge availability of all short-action rifles style you’d want for the .308 Winchester. For example, if you take Savage rifles, they have about 10 models suitable for the 6.5 CM while a whopping 36 for the .308 Winchester.

Also, the 6.5 Creedmoor being a dominantly long-range round, the rifles available are a little difficult to find because they are all precision, high-quality rifles, which cost more and have a specific use. Still, in the current market, the precision rifles for the .308 are a lot more easy and widely available than for the 6.5 CM.

There are some precision rifles that do are apt for both cartridges, for instance, the Ruger Precision Rifle. It is also a beginners rifle for long-range shooting, so the fact that it caters to 6.5 Creedmoor should really punch up its popularity further.

Pricing


There isn’t a lot of difference between the pricing of 6.5 Creedmoor and the 308s. However, on an average, a round of 308s will cost about 10 cents less than a round of 6.5 Creedmoor.

For example, with the Federal Premium Gold Medal Berger, a round of .308 Winchester costs $1.47 while a round of 6.5 Creedmoor costs $1.57. On the other hand, the Hornady American Whitetail ammo costs the same for both, priced at $1.07/round. However, the 6.5 Creedmoor is made by Hornady, therefore, any ammunition that comes from the brand is bound to be cheaper for the CM.

PRODUCT

IMAGE

RATING

PRICE

308 Winchester

308 winchester

6.5 Creedmoor

creedmoor

The Conclusion

The main difference between the 308s and the 6.5 Creedmoor lies in the range delivered and the precision. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a longer range and better accuracy, in short, a better ballistic performance. For long-range target shooter, the high velocity due to the aerodynamic build of the cartridge does a better job.

The .308 Winchester is, however, more deadly when it comes to tearing the target down and has a longer barrel life. The ammo is widely and more readily available and there is a wider selection of rifles built for it. The bullet is more deadly and does more damage as well due to wider diameter. It falls short when it comes to long-range shooting when compared with the 6.5 Creedmoor due to heavier bullets and the structure.

If you are looking for a round to target anywhere within 500 yards and have a restricting budget, .308 Winchester should be your go-to choice.

For anyone looking at precision shooting at a range longer than 500 yards, 6.5 Creedmoor is a clear choice. It is definitely a little more expensive considering it’s still in its nascent stage of popularity, but the accuracy and the performance offered surpasses the long-standing reliability of .308 Winchester.

9mm VS 45: What Is The Difference Between The Two?

9mm vs 45 Ammo Comparisons


Choosing your gun is amongst one of the most crucial decisions you make in your life. Usually, depending upon the intended purpose of the weapon, common considerations that guide a gun buying decision include its size, shooting range, ease of firing, sound produced on firing, weight and the cost. For instance, if you need the gun for your safety and protection at home, then you might be okay with a big gun like a shotgun or a rifle as long as it comfortable to fire. If you intend to carry the firearm on your person then you would want it to be compact and easy to conceal.

However, another important factor that can influence your decision is the kind of cartridge the gun uses and what will you need. There are many different kinds of ammo. So many that a first-time buyer can get thoroughly confused. For the sake of dialing down the confusion, we are only going to pitt a 9mm vs 45 in this article.

 

What Is A Cartridge?

Commonly confused with a bullet, a cartridge or ammo actually has these components:

  • A bullet which is the actual part of the cartridge that impacts the target.
  • A casing which holds the primer and powder and makes the shell of the cartridge.
  • A primer which helps ignite the powder.
  • A powder that explodes.

At the bottom of the cartridge is the primer. It is a chemical compound which is struck by the firing pin at the base of the cartridge when the gun’s trigger is pulled. This creates a spark and ignites the powder. The powder catches fire and explodes. This explosion creates a large amount of pressure that throws the bullet out of the cartridge and ultimately out of the barrel of the gun resulting in the weapon firing.

The empty cartridge needs to be removed from the weapon to make room for the next cartridge to be fired. Some weapons do this automatically while some need to be emptied manually.

 

How Does Ammo Differ?

gun ammo


If it is your first experience with owning a gun, the sea of options in ammo can make it very difficult to choose the right ammo for you. But there are two broad differences that can help you out.

The first is whether you want a rimfire or a centerfire ammo. In the centerfire cartridges, you’ll be able to see the primer in the center of the base of the bullet. If the base of the cartridges is flat with no primer in the center, it is a rimfire ammo.

It just means that firing pin will hit the center in the case of centerfire ammo and it will hit the rim in case of the rimfire ammo. Though, the rimfire bullets are much cheaper, you will usually find them only small caliber.

This brings us to the second big difference - the size of the ammo. There are many different sizes of cartridges - 9mm, .40 S&W, 45 ACP, 12 Ga, .50 BMG and the list goes on.

 

Why Size Matters

Ammo contributes significantly to the choice of gun you make because of its size. Guns that use larger cartridges have more stopping power - that means a greater impact on the target. At the same time, they are slow to fire continuously because of the higher recoil. Their size may also decrease the magazine capacity, which we will talk about later, and their follow up shots are also limited.

Guns with smaller cartridges offer the advantage of fast follow up shots and more room for multiple shots. Also, their stopping power is less, which is safer for first time users.

As promised, let us understand and compare the 9mm and 45 to help you understand which one is the cartridge for you so you can choose the right gun for yourself.

 

History

Both, the 9mm and 45 go back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Actually named the 9x19 Parabellum, the 9mm was designed by George Luger way back in 1901 and went into production a year later. It was adopted by the German Navy and German Army in the years 1904 and 1906, respectively. It was also used by the German forces in World War 1.

In the year 1904, John Browning developed the .45, commonly called the 45. Many countries including the United States used it during the World War 1.

Both cartridges have been popular amongst the worlds’ armed forces since then.

This is pretty much where the similarities between the two cartridges end. Both are so popular with patrons rooting for them equally that besides a few common factors it is always the 9mm vs 45.

 

9mm vs 45 man firing a gun


9mm VS 45: What’s The Difference?

Let’s get to the why these cartridges are so different.

Origin

The 45 was made in the United States of America while the 9mm was made in Germany.

Diameters

  • Bullet Diameter: The bullet diameter, also known as the caliber, determines the whole it makes in the target. The 9mm as the name suggests has a diameter of 9.01 mm whereas the .45 has a diameter of .452 inches or 11.01 mm. You will often find guns being named in a caliber. That is because of the diameter of the gun’s barrel and hence, of the cartridge.
  • Base Diameter: The 9mm has a base diameter of 9.93 mm, while the 45 has one of 12.1 mm.
  • Neck Diameter: The 9mm has a base diameter of 9.96 mm, while the 45 has one of 12.2 mm.

Case Type

There have been no significant findings to prove the effect of casing design on a bullet’s velocity or ballistics. Yet, some manufactures claim that their design makes a difference. In case of the 9mm, you’ll find the casing to be tapered while the 45 has a straight one.

Case Length

The case length can affect how far inside a bullet is seated in the cartridge.

You will find a case length of .898 inches in a 45 and of .754 inches in a 9mm cartridge.

Expansion

The 9mm expands .36” to .72” while the 45 expands .45” to .79”.

Length Of The Cartridge

A cartridge length should be able to accomodate the following:

  • The neck should be long enough to give the cartridge a comfortable seating and enough hold.
  • The cartridge should not be too big for the gun’s magazine.

The 9mm ammo is 19.15mm long while the 45 is 32.4mm long.

Pressure

The pressure is one of the contributors to how far and how fast the bullet is projected from the cartridge and gun. The 9mm has a maximum pressure of 34,084 psi, while the 45 has maximum pressure of  21,000 psi.

Velocity

A high speed cartridge is always better. Hence, with a velocity range of 95-1400 FPS, the 9mm beats the 45 which travels in a range of 700-1150 FPS.

Energy

The 9mm carries an energy of 115 grains: 323 foot-pounds which is much lower than the 185 grains: 411 foot pounds of the 45.

Momentum

Ballistic experts have maintained that the momentum is a good measure of the bullet’s performance. In that case the 9mm falls short of momentum by a large gap against the 45.

Primer

The 45 uses the same primer as large rifles while the 9mm uses the Berdan or Boxer primer for small pistols. The Berdan primer is mostly used by militaries though it is reusable, it is a difficult process as the primer cup is attached to the casing itself. While the boxer primer is most popular is the United States due to its ease of replacement.

Penetration

The deeper a bullet penetrates, the more damage it causes to the target. The 45 gives a bullet penetration of 11.3” to 14.3” as compared to the 9mm’s 8” to 15.9” penetration.

Capacity Of The Magazine

The 9mm cartridges are smaller than the 45. Hence, magazines can hold more of the 9mm. However, the capacity may vary depending upon which gun is being used. Usually, a magazine shipped from the factory can carry 6-14 cartridges in case of 45s and 6-20 cartridges in case of the 9mms.

Recoil

man pointing a gun

Recoil refers to the force with which a firearm recoils when it is fired without support from behind. It impacts the user and can even cause serious injury. The 9mm cartridge has a lower recoil than the 45 ammo. The latter is known to push the firearm user’s hands backward on firing.

Cost

A 9mm cartridge is much cheaper than the 45.

Happy Choosing

There you are! Now you know pretty much everything you need to know to choose the right cartridge for you. The 9mm trumps the 45 in aspects such as cost, easy to replace primer, more magazine capacity and lower recoil, the 45 seems to be made to get the job done with its higher penetration, momentum and energy.

You can now weigh the pros and cons of both the cartridges to decide what works best for you.

 

Sources:

Diffen

Pew Pew Tactical

Gun Digest

Hunter Ed

Mass Reloading

Clip vs. Magazine: What You Really Need To Know


Most of us wouldn’t care much if we interchanged the words “clips” with “magazines”. It is, however, crucial to realize that they are not the same and come with a considerable difference. We will be covering all the relevant details that you need to know between a clip and magazine in this article.

We have all marveled at the ease with which Arnold Schwarzenegger has handled his guns in movies like Predator and The Terminator. While the on-screen effect seemed unbelievable and mind-blowing, there is more to guns and ammunition than rippling muscles and adrenaline!

In this article, we will be exploring gun terminologies namely “clips” and “magazines” and throw some light on factors like how they are not the same and how will you be able to identify one from another and prevent a foot-in-the-mouth moment the next time you are discussing guns and ammo within your social circle.

Clip vs Magazine


It is very important to be familiar with the terms used in a particular subject when you are discussing it. Having a sound knowledge of the subject would give you an added advantage to make your mark when you are conversing about it with your family members, friends or peers.

Just as we tend to use specific terms like offensive backfield, quarterback and fullback while discussing football, we would also need to get acquainted with the specific terms that are generally used in the area of guns and ammunition.

Clips and magazines are the two terms which are used interchangeably quite often and one is mistaken for the other. This is not true and there is a large difference between the two when it comes to their design, composition and usability in a gun.

A clip refers to a device that is used to store rounds of ammunition in a single pack. This means that it holds together individual rounds of ammunition and helps to keep them as one. It holds the ammo together so that it can be loaded easily into a magazine or a firearm cylinder.

A magazine, on the other hand, is a device that is designed to hold ammunition together and keep it ready to be fired when required. It loads the ammo into the chamber of the firearm.

Since these definitions may take time to sink in, it is quite easy to spot the reason behind the confusion created by these terms. In simple words, a clip comes in handy while feeding rounds into a magazine when required while a magazine is used to feed rounds into the firearm chamber in return.

When To Use What


Now that we have cleared the fog surrounding clips and magazines, it is quite apparent that the two are very different from each other and one cannot be substituted in place of the other. It is now important to understand when to use which term when there is a discussion about guns and ammunition.

A clip is a usually created out of a steel stamping and are engineered in different patterns depending on the type of gun into which it is to be loaded. Their main function is to load ammunition into a magazine that loads single rounds for firing.

Rifles come with a detachable and a non-detachable setting and the clips used in each type vary in their design. For riles that come with a non-detachable magazine, the clips are used to load bullets directly into the firearm. A clip can be loaded into a detachable magazine but such a setting is uncommon and not frequently seen.

A magazine is essentially an area from where ammunition is fed into the firing chamber as and when required. A magazine can be fitted internally into a firearm or it can be removable. It is almost the size of the gun itself that is responsible for feeding ammo into the firearm chamber.

A clip is smaller in size and therefore cannot hold more than 10 rounds while magazines have a larger capacity and are capable of holding up to a 100 rounds.

Types Of Clips


Since clips are used to load ammunition into the magazine, they are compact and are easy to load. They also help in saving a lot of time which would otherwise have been spent on loading ammo every time you fired from the gun. These clips come in various forms and can be used in a wide variety of guns that are available today.

Stripper Clip

This kind of a clip is used to load internal box magazines where a stripper clip binds the ammunition together on a piece of metal and keeps it ready to be loaded. This is the most widely used type of clip that is available today.

In order to use this clip, you will need to position it on top of the magazine and give it a push down into the magazine to load it in bolt-action rifles or semi-automatics. It can also be used in a detachable magazine by using the same operating mechanism.

ESKS Original Mosin Nagant Ammo Pouch, Cleaning Kit, and 5 Stripper...
  • Original Russian Made Pouch
  • 5 stripper clips (repros)
  • Cleaning kit

En Bloc Clip

An En Bloc clip is an ejectable clip that is automatically discarded from a gun once all the ammo has been used up. It is inserted completely into the magazine which pushes the rounds up into the chamber and keeps them ready for action.

This clip is found in old guns and is not very popular today due to the availability of stripper clips and their ease of use.

Half Moon/Full Moon Clip

These are the classic ones that we have seen in movies where the round chamber within a revolver rotates to load a fresh bullet after the previous one has been fired. These clips are usually seen in revolvers with pistol cartridges such as 0.45 Auto and 9mm.

A half moon and a full clip can hold 3 and 6 rounds respectively as they can be easily inserted into the firing cylinder of a revolver. While this type has faced a stiff competition from speed loaders, their advantage is that they help to discard the shell casings almost immediately after the rounds are fired.

Types Of Magazines


Magazines are available in a variety of types today. While some are detachable, the others are internally attached. Some even have the capacity to feed the rounds directly from the tube! We will be discussing a few of these types in this article.

Box Magazine

This is the most common and the most famous type of magazines that can be seen today. It comes in two variants - the internal box magazine and the detachable box magazine. The loading and firing mechanisms may be a bit different from each other but their functions remain the same more or less.

It is commonly seen in bolt action rifles and in the older versions of semi-automatic rifles like the SKS and M1 Garand. The magazines can be loaded in two ways - through the top of the gun or with the use of clips.

Detachable Box Magazine

Magazines are a tool to load the ammo straight into the firing chamber so that it could be used when the need arises. A detachable box magazine is also one of the most preferred types of magazine that is in demand today and is seen in popular rifles like the AR-15, Ruger 10/22, semi-automatic rifles and AK variants.

In this, the detachable box stays apart from the firearm despite it is loaded. This makes it a safe and also makes it quicker to use when the need arises. It is also easy to carry and transport than many other magazines.

STANAG Magazine

These magazines are designed according to the NATO agreement that permits soldiers to exchange their rifles even though the models are different. This magazine is designed to fit with rifles of different makes like 5.56mm and firearms belong to AR, M16 and M4 families along with others like IMI, Beretta and SIG.

Tubular Magazine

Firearms come with a fixed magazine in the form of a tube that uses the combination of a tube, a spring and the trigger to load ammo into the firing chamber. The rounds can be loaded one at a time into the magazine from where they are loaded into the firing chamber.

This type of a magazine is usually seen in firearms like .22 rifles, shotguns and lever action rifles.

Shoot It!


We have covered already covered the basics related to clips and magazines along with the differentiation that proves that they are not the same and can definitely not be used interchangeably. There is always a lot of information available for you to read up in case the talk about guns and ammo fascinates you.

Being able to tell a clip from a magazine with add to your credibility the next time you are out discussing guns with your social acquaintances or taking shooting lessons from the experts. The easiest way of distinguishing the two would be to know that a magazine comes with a spring while a clip does not!

Review And Guide To Bullet Sizes And Types For Beginners

Review & Guide To Bullet Sizes And Types For Beginners

bullets on a table with different bullet sizes

There was a time when there were only a couple of types of bullets and they were used all around. However, over time, the ammunition industry evolved to manufacture a plethora of types and sizes of bullets.

Before we get into the details of the sizes and the types, it is important to know the basic terminology associated with ammunition. The entire unit that we generally understand as the bullet is called a cartridge which further constitutes of a bullet. A bullet is the metal projectile inside the cartridge along with the gunpowder, the casing generally made from steel or brass and the primer which is an ignition for the propellant.

The caliber is the diameter of the barrel, which is actually the diameter of the bullet or the bullet size in layman terms. Hence, when you go shopping for bullets and asking about bullet sizes, you are essentially looking for caliber size of the cartridge.

Things To Consider Before Deciding On The Bullet Size

Before you make your decision about the caliber size you want to buy, there are certain aspects you should know about.

  • The weight of the bullet is measured in ‘grains’. One pound is equivalent to 7,000 grains.
  • The exact speed of the bullet in feet/sec.
  • The stopping power of the bullet, i.e, the number of bullets it would take to hit the target and drop it.

Types Of Bullets

Bullets with gun

While there are a number of typical and complex bullet types available in the market, we’ll go over the ones that are the most commonly used in hunting, self-defense and shooting ranges.

Hollow Point Bullets

Considered among the more dangerous ones, hollow point bullets are structured to expand on collision with the target. They are mostly used for home defense and by armed forces, mainly police force, due to their intense stopping power. Individuals carrying concealed guns also prefer hollow point bullets.

While considered dangerous, they are the best in case of an attack since their high stopping power ensures maximum damage with every subsequent bullet and restricts the attacker.

Full Metal Jacket

Full metal jacket, or FMJ as they are called, are the most common type of bullets, mainly used in shooting ranges with short distances.

The bullet is made of a soft metal like lead in the center and which is covered by hard metal like copper. The presence of an outer metal covering ensures that the lead is not left in the barrel on firing the bullet. These bullets come in all kinds of shapes - be it pointy, round, or flat.

FMJ bullets are not very suitable for self-defense or attacks due to low stopping power. They cut channels, small in size, through which they go through the target. FMJs are designed in a way that the bottom of the cup they are made from become the tip of the bullet.

Open Tip Matches

OTMs have a very small opening on the top which makes them quite similar to hollow point bullets, however, they can’t expand due to the opening. They are made in a way that the bottom of the copper cup they are made becomes the bottom of the bullet.

This type of bullets is preferred mainly by long-distance shooting ranges and target shooters since they are manufactured in a way that the bullets are standardized when it comes to their roundness. The consistency enables their suitability for shooting long-range targets.

Ballistic Tip

Ballistic tip is the combination of full metal jacket and hollow point bullet types. It takes the stopping power of the hollow point and the physical structure of FMJ to create a bullet that is long with a boat-tail base and has a plastic covering.

Ballistic tip bullets are pointy with consistent and sleek bottoms. The tip is made of plastic which enables it to keep the shape intact. These types of bullets are mainly used in hunting due to the high stopping power. The weight is mostly collected in the back of the bullet to give it more speed.

Soft Point

Designed to expand on hitting the target, soft point bullets are made of a soft metal, like lead, at their core and have a covering of a strong, hard metal. The front tip is left open with some of the lead exposed so that the soft metal can easily expand on hitting the target.

Therefore, soft point bullets are quite similar to the full metal jacket bullets. They can cause some serious wounds since they do more damage due to expansion than their original caliber size. They are available in both boat-tails and normal cylindrical ends.

Bird Shot

As the name suggests, these are small cartridges used for hunting birds, primarily. These are available as shotgun rounds and come in multiple quantities, more than a dozen, in one shell.

Bird shots are used only as shotgun rounds and for shooting birds and pigeons, but never for attack or self-defense.

Apart from the above, there is buck shot that is the best bullet type for home security. Then there are slugs that can cause serious damage if used by an expert and can shoot a target within a 100 yards.

Bullet Sizes

It’s quite natural for a novice to get confused when it comes to buying ammunition. There are so many sizes of bullets, technically called caliber sizes, available in the market today that it can be tough to select the one that fits best with your requirement.

The most common use for bullets for people generally is hunting, self-defense or targeting shooting at the range. Therefore, we’ll cover the bullet sizes that mostly cater to these objectives.

Bullet Sizes

.22LR

The .22LR is the most commonly sold bullet due to a variety of factors. The .22 long rifle, as its called, is the starter caliber for shooters, used to hunt snakes, birds, etc. Here are some specific features of the bullet:

  • The bullet weighs about 30-40 grains.
  • Negligible recoil, therefore, makes a great caliber for people who are just beginning to shoot.
  • It’s a rimfire, i.e, the primer is located in the rim rather than the center.
  • Priced at 7 cents a round, making it extremely cheap.
  • High speed and intense shooting power with small size.
  • Apt for shooting ranges and hunting or training.
  • Bullet velocity of approximately 1200-1600 feet/sec
  • The .22LR is the best option for beginners due to its cheap price and minimum hassles of handling. While it is meant for shooting birds and snakes and targets, it can cause serious wounds if shot at a human as well since the caliber keeps moving inside the body and damages the internal organs.

    .25ACP

    .25 ACP, the Automatic Colt Pistol, is an upgraded version of .22LR, being a little larger and slightly higher stopping power. It’s a centerfire caliber, which means that the primer is placed in the center.


    It is considered more reliable due to the centerfire covering. Let’s see some of the features of .25ACP:

  • Slightly larger than .22LR, but still compact.
  • Has a higher stopping power.
  • Centerfire caliber, i.e, primer is located in the center, and straight-walled.
  • Used for short ranges and the caliber has low velocity.
  • Reliable due to the centerfire casings.
  • More expensive, priced at 20 cents a bullet.
  • The .25ACP is meant to be in handguns used for home security since they can cause more damage due to higher stopping power and the reliable centerfire design.

    9mm Luger

    The 9mm Luger or the 9x19mm Parabellum, as it’s technically named, is basically an all-rounder bullet that can be used in self-defense as well as for recreational shooting. The shooting power depends on the type of gun used with the caliber. However, they do have a very low recoil which makes them more popular.


    Here’s what you get when you purchase the 9mm Luger:

  • Bullet weight between 115 and 147 grains.
  • Big bullet size, similar to .380ACP.
  • The standard caliber used in NATO nations and by most of the police officers universally.
  • Can be used with multiple guns, and the guns can have 15-17 rounds of these on an average.
  • Priced at 25 cents.
  • The 9mm Luger can also be used in concealed guns. The size is ideal to be used in a lot of types of guns.

    .56×45 mm

    Also called as the .223, the .56x45mm is used both by the armed forces as well as the civilians. The caliber is good to use for long-range, therefore, it’s popular as a home defense round among civilians.


    Here’s what you need to know about the .56x45mm:

  • Has a slight recoil, therefore, should be handled by professionals.
  • Bullets weigh around 55 grains.
  • Used in some specific rifles, like M16/M4.
  • The cartridge has a long-range accuracy but shoots mildly.
  • Used both in the military as well as common use, but it isn’t used in hunting.
  • Priced at 30 cents, the .223 caliber is not very popular since you can’t use it for hunting, but nevertheless, packs power and is widely used in self-defense.

    .40 S&W

    Manufactured for the FBI initially as a 10mm caliber, the .40 S&W has been heavily popular with such defense and law enforcement agencies. It has more stopping power than other handgun cartridges used and also costs less.


    Here’s what you should know about .40 S&W before choosing to buy it:

  • Bullet weight between 165 to 180 grains, therefore, more lightweight and preferred for quick handling.
  • Packs more stopping power than the 9mm.
  • Costs less with bullets priced at 30 cents.
  • Also used for self-defense.
  • Strong recoil, therefore, not easy to handle.
  • While the FBI has shifted back to use the 9mm cartridge mostly, the .40 S&W is more suitable and is still used by many law enforcement agencies due to more power and energy.


    Apart from the ones listed above, there are many other bullet sizes you’ll find when you go for ammunition shopping, with the more popular ones being the .380ACP, .45ACP, the 12 gauge for shotguns, and many more. There are some less popular ones as well, like the .357 Magnum used in revolvers and more expensive than the rest, priced at 80 cents.

    The Conclusion

    More options mean more confusion, therefore, it can be overwhelming to buy the right caliber considering there are myriad sizes available in the market. Wrong bullet size and type with respect to the gun you possess can severely backfire, literally.

    There are a lot of factors that need to be considered before purchasing the bullet, along with understanding a lot of technical terms. The bullet sizes and types covered above are the most common ones and should give you a fair idea about the popular ammunition.