Only a Firearms Expert Can Identify What All of These Bullets Are Used For. Can You?

By: Jody Mabry
Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

The 19th century saw a massive technological advance in ballistics, from the Minie ball commonly known throughout the American Civil War to the introduction of the copper jacketed bullet in 1882. Due to lead's low melting rate, bullets in the 1800s were limited on their velocity. Simply, the bullet would melt under the pressure needed for faster bullets. The introduction of a copper jacket resolved these issues due to copper's high melting point. 

Since the 19th century, thousands of bullet designs for just as many uses have hit manufacturing. Some rounds fade away due to improved designs, some remain commonplace, while others feature a comeback often in competition shooting. 

But, how well do you know your bullets? Do you know which bullets lose velocity at 200 yards, making them highly inaccurate? Do you know which muzzle-loaded bullet was highly prized on the American battlefield? You've heard of the .32 Smith & Wesson, but do you know what it was designed for? Is the .17 Mach 2 designed for long-distance game hunting or penetrating military vests? Do you know which bullet became a favorite in the FBI due to its ability to go through car doors and brick? Or, which hunting rounds are great with a high grain weight, but destroy the carcass if the grain is too low? 

If you know your rounds and what they do then this is the quiz for you. Come into this quiz cocked and loaded, it won't be an easy kill. 

The .30 Luger was designed in 1898 as a rimless case type with a small boxer primer designating it for pistol use. This was the primary pistol for both the Swiss and German militaries up until the late '40s. This was a good short-range accurate bullet. While it was discontinued in 1949, the bullets can still be purchased from large manufacturers such as Winchester.

The .224 Weatherby Magnum is a rifle bullet initially designed to hunt small game. However, it can also be used for medium-sized game such as wild boar. Due to its quick loss of velocity between 50 and 250 yards, the shooter needs to have a keen eye for the size of the animal being hunted and at what range especially when hunting medium-sized game.

The .470 Nitro Express was designed for big game hunters in Africa during the early 1900s. It is still used for African guides as a self-defense weapon against big game. This bullet can handle the large and dangerous animals, but due to its short range velocity is primarily a defensive weapon used within 50 yards of an oncoming animal. After 100 yards, there is a distinctive trajectory drop and limitation on wound penetration.

The .32 Smith & Wesson was the most popular self-defense weapon in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Due to the low cost and high distribution, these pocket revolver bullets can still be found today. As a self-defense bullet, they were designed for close-range firing with an intent on injuring an attacker and fleeing.

The 9mm Luger has a long history being used for a variety of purposes. Since it was introduced in 1902 as a German service cartridge, it was widely used in World War I as a handgun and in submachine guns. More recently, the high-powered accuracy is still popular with police departments and other law enforcement. Due to its easy handling and focus on shot placement, the 9mm Luger lacks an extreme kick back and is popular for conceal and carry.

The .204 Ruger is a great shot on distances up to 270 yards and popular in the country for hunting small varmints such as squirrels and prairie dogs.

The 7 mm-08 Remington is popular in shooting competitions due to its accuracy. It can also be used for hunting of medium and larger animals, such as moose and elk. Due to its large animal use, it is worth mentioning that these bullets are highly recommended as self-protection against the three big bears - polar, brown and grizzly.

The .338 Winchester Magnum is a medium and large game hunting bullet with a long range of 850 yards before a severe trajectory loss. However, due to the recoil, and power, many opt to use a less powerful gun. At a long distance, damage to an animal is enough to take it down, at closer ranges the carcass can be too damaged for eating.

Putting an exact use to the .357 Magnum is difficult, as it is used for several types of shooting. From target practice for those who love the big bang to hunting larger game. For a handgun, the .357 Magnum is probably the most well-known gun of the 20th century, even touted as being able to take down a bear. However, when all is said and done these bullets are popular for self-defense.

8 mm Remington Magnum ballistics were designed specifically for large game hunting such as brown bear and elk. However, from long distances, the bullets can effectively take down the medium-sized game without ruining the carcass.

The .270 Winchester is popular for hunting, with the original 130 grain delivering a high-shock stopping style bullet that offers a quick kill and deep penetration. The weight of the bullet has frequently changed to adjust to hunters' needs, going from 130 grain to 150 and then dropping below 130 when hunters began to complain that too much of the meat was destroyed by the bullet.

The 10 mm Auto came about after two FBI agents were killed in the line of fire, the final review stated that had the officers' 9mm penetrated an inch further into the assailant, the officers may have lived. The 10mm Auto bullets are exceptional deep-penetration rounds capable of offering law enforcement, in special circumstances, the ability to shoot through steel and glass to hit their target.

The 9mm Browning Short was created in the early 1900s for self-defense. the bullets are fired with moderate power and are smaller rounds that can fit in small guns, often the size of a pocket Bible. Due to its lack of power - dropping off around 100 yards - the 9mm Browning is often criticized as providing a false sense of security, being more of a deterrent than a potentially lethal weapon.

The .17 Remington was created as a long-range round with a flatter flight path than its predecessors. with a drop of 3.17" at 250 yards it is considered a perfect varmint round.

The 8x57mm Mauser is a versatile round with weight ranges from 125 grains to 220 grains. The bullet can be used for most game, except for the largest - elephant, rhino and some bear. The bullet offers good penetration without ripping apart too much of the meat.

The .35 Remington is a great round for small varmint and deer hunting. The round is extremely versatile being used in pump rifles, bolt-action, lever-action, and autoloaders as well as single-shot hunting pistols. The rounds produce a fast and deep penetration, and depending on the grain can handle medium or larger game.

The .280 Remington is 2.54" tall and .473" wide and serves as a good all-around bullet for varmint and medium-sized game. The bullet was initially designed for Remington's 700 series rifles. The factory load can be easily used for medium-sized game for up to about 250 yards before seeing shallower penetration. A hunter can reduce powder for varmint use. and hand-loading rounds can hit 375 yards before penetration sees a significant reduction.

.44-.40 Winchester was in the late 1800s the most popular deer hunting rifle on the market. "The gun that won the West" is good for medium game, although past 125 yards there is a significant loss of wound penetration.

The .32 Short Colt was primarily a weapon of self-defense as an 80 grain round. While out of production and mostly a collector's gun, the guns that shot these rounds were easily concealed in a coat pocket and used for self-defense.

The 7.62×51mm NATO, as in its name, was the small arms round of choice for NATO countries. It would later be issued to U.S. soldiers for M60 machine guns and M14 rifles, in addition, to use as a sniper round.

The 6mm Remington started as a .244, with 80-90 grains of weight. But, it couldn't compete with the more versatile Winchester .243. The main limitation was that it was created for varmints and fending off predators, yet not good at taking down deer or medium game.

Up until the 1980s, the .38 Special (Smith & Wesson) was used primarily in law enforcement. The round packs a medium punch, but without as much damage or impact to the person or barrier being shot at. This is because the round typically goes right through the target.

.221 Remington Fireball is a popular round for knocking off varmints and small predators. It can be used as both a pistol and rifle round, and despite its smaller size is known for its high velocity shots.

The 18th-century musket ball was highly unreliable. This was partly due to the individual molding of the lead balls and a lack of rotation upon leaving the musket. The effect of impact was different from one shot to the next, often bouncing around inside the target.

The .30 M1 Carbine round was created as a standard issue military round from World War II to Vietnam exclusively for the M1 Carbine. The round has good velocity and is effective up to 400 yards. Despite being used in semi-automatic guns, the round is sometimes used to hunt deer.

The 7-30 Waters is becoming rarer due to limited abilities, but is still considered a fair medium-size hunting bullet for up to 125 yards. The bullet can provide a good velocity with a relatively flat trajectory and small, light bullet. With less powder, it provides a clean hit.

The .223 Winchester Super Short is considered a revolutionary round due to its high velocity. While it is an exceptional varmint round, it can also do well with medium game up to 200 yards. The bullet is currently considered the fastest .22 round in production, with velocities reaching as fast as 4600 fps.

The .44 Remington Magnum was originally designed to be used with high pressure and therefore better velocity. While it does well with most game hunting in the United States, it is best at short range and when fired can pack some punch.

The 7mm STW (Shooting Times Westerner) works best at long range 160+ grain bullets. In fact, at 140 grains light and medium game can experience surface blow up and delayed killing.

The .300 Remington Short Action is a powerful round, although it loses significant velocity and clean killing power beyond 200 yards. Under 200 yards and preferably closer range, this round is good for medium and large game.

The .45 GAP has been adopted by several law enforcement agencies including New York, South Carolina and Florida.

The .22 Long Rifle is the most common ammunition in the world for several reasons. The round is a popular pest-control bullet, and is used as an inexpensive practice round for personal and military use.

The 10mm Auto was adopted by the FBI in 1989, but was later decommissioned due to excessive recoil. However, it was still used for several specialized tactical teams. The bullet has a powerful punch with a flatter trajectory.

The 7mm Remington Magnum has a specific use which it is excellent for. Its primary purpose is hunting dangerous prairie game that require a quick follow-up shot. The round is also produced with less recoil for smaller game, causing less internal damage to the prey.

The 6.5 x 55 mm. Swedish Mauser was developed in the late 19th century as a service round for Sweden and Norway. The rounds were still standard issue after World War II and saw service in all types of machine gun from light to heavy.

The .284 Winchester round quickly lost popularity when it first came out as a medium and large game hunter. However, it's seen a huge resurgence as a competitive shooting round, especially for long-range targets.

The .222 Remington is an excellent and accurate small game and varmint round. Since its inception in 1950, it has also always been a popular target round.

The Minié ball was named after its developer Claude-Etienne Minié. The round is significant for several reasons such as being the first manufactured projectile to easily fit into a muzzle-loaded long gun. The spiral grooves improved performance, speed and distance. As opposed to round balls, Minié balls easily entered the body and were often devastating as they were easily deviated through the body by flexed muscles, tendons and bone.

The .307 Winchester is primarily a competitive shooters round. Due to Spanish law prohibiting civilian military caliber, the round is especially popular in Spanish competitive shooting.

The .17 Mach 2 is a light, high-velocity bullet used by small game hunters to hit their targets from longer distances, and of course, keep the target's meat salvageable. While the bullet works well from a distance, the velocity impact can cause more damage than wanted at shorter distances.

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