5 Parts of a Bullet: Exploring the anatomy with Names & Diagram

A bullet is a kinetic projectile, a component of firearm ammunition, shot from a gun barrel. It is designed to be fired from a gun barrel. It contains various materials, such as copper, steel, rubber, lead, polymer, or wax. The bullet’s shape and construction depend on its intended use, whether it be for hunting, target shooting, training, or combat. It is important to note that the term “bullet” is often misused to refer to the entire cartridge. The cartridge is the complete assembly containing several key components, including the casing, primer, projectile (bullet), gunpowder, and wad. In this article, we will see all the bullet parts & their functions.

Parts Of A Bullet Diagram

Parts of a Bullet, Names, Functions & Diagram

Bullet Parts Names

  • Casing
  • Primer
  • Projectile
  • Gunpowder
  • Wad

Parts Of A Bullet


In ballistics, the casing plays a pivotal role in ammunition. It serves as a container for fuel or gunpowder, enveloping the bullet at the muzzle end and encapsulating the primer at the base. The casing is vital as it confers its usual size and shape upon the bullet while shielding it against external forces.

In munitions engineering, casings are typically constructed from brass, steel, copper, or aluminum materials. Each material has unique properties and performance characteristics.

Upon ignition, the cartridge undergoes a complex sequence of events. The extractor mechanism elevates the casing, and the expanding gases propel it out of the chamber.

It is worth noting that the casing dimensions can vary based on the specific firearm used. The cartridge case design is a crucial factor in achieving optimal ballistic performance. Even minor deviations in dimensions can have a significant impact on bullet behavior.

Therefore, meticulous attention to detail is paramount when producing casings for high-performance ammunition.


A metal cup, typically made of brass or aluminum, is at the heart of a primer, which holds a highly sensitive primary explosive compound. We carefully chose this compound for its exceptional ability to initiate and propagate a chain reaction of explosive energy.

When the firing pin strikes the primer, it creates a chain reaction. These events unfold with incredible speed and precision. The primary explosive compound detonates. It releases a high-pressure shock wave. This shock wave travels through the flash hole and into the propellant charge.

The fuel, typically made up of a blend of nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and other additives, rapidly burns and produces hot gases that propel the bullet out of the barrel at tremendous speeds. Modern primers use highly stable and efficient primary explosives, such as lead styphnate, lead azide, DDNP, or tetrazene.

These compounds undergo careful formulation to ensure consistent performance in various environmental conditions and achieve optimal ignition of the propellant charge.

Manufacturers invest significant resources in testing and developing primers to ensure they meet strict quality control standards. This rigorous testing includes environmental and impact sensitivity and performance testing under various conditions, such as extreme temperatures and humidity levels.


A projectile is an indispensable constituent of firearm ammunition, discharged through a gun barrel with explosive force. Its composition encompasses various materials, including copper, steel, rubber, lead, polymer, and even wax, meticulously chosen to meet specific operational requirements.

The intricate design of a projectile optimizes its performance based on the intended application.

Bullets are precision-engineered projectiles. They have a tapered shape to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. It allows them to travel farther and faster. Projectile dimensions use mass and diameter as units of measurement. Both the imperial and metric systems accurately assess their physical attributes.


Gunpowder is a volatile compound used to power projectile launch mechanisms. Improper handling can lead to fatal disasters. It is highly explosive, causing exothermic reactions upon combustion. It creates a significant pressure differential, accelerating bullets toward their targets.

Due to its inherent instability, a chemical compound comprising saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur has surpassed gunpowder.

This novel amalgam, a more stable and fast-burning substance, offers a much safer and more efficient option for firearm propellant. The rapid oxidation of the elements in the compound fuels the release of energy, propelling the bullet with precision and accuracy.


The shotgun cartridge is a complex and precise piece of engineering designed to provide maximum ballistic performance with every shot. At the heart of this precision lies a component known as the wad. The wad, made of paper or plastic, is essential to the cartridge’s operation.

As the name suggests, the wad is between the projectile and the propellant charge. However, its importance lies not in its location but in its function. When firing the shotgun, the wad forms an airtight seal within the cartridge, preventing the escape of gas or pressure.

This airtight seal is critical because it allows the pressure to build up to an extreme level within the cartridge. As the propellant burns, it releases energy, converted into an explosive force that propels the projectile forward.

The wad forms an airtight seal, directing the explosive force solely toward the projectile and ensuring no energy is wasted on escaping gases.

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