Ammo Weight Chart

Ammo Weight Chart | How Heavy Is Your Ammo?

by

John Wise
March 18, 2022
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The ammunition world can be very complicated and confusing, and you do not always have the confidence to ask questions!  Now, you don’t need to worry about questions like, “how much do 100 rounds weigh?  “Or what does “grain” mean!  All these questions are answered here for you!

The same caliber of ammunition can be vastly different, as the propellant, projectile, and casings can be different shapes and weights.  The weight of a bullet will influence its trajectory path, how the firearm reacts, and the damage done to the target. 

Ammunition comes in many sizes and weights, but what does this mean for my firearm?  This article will assist you in understanding the different weights, firearm definitions, the different types of bullets, and what 100 cartridges weigh! 

How Much Does 100 Rounds Of Ammo Weigh

The table below will indicate what 100 rounds of the common calibers of ammunition weigh.  The rounds in the table are based on standard weight bullets, casing, and propellant.

CaliberBullets weight grWeight per 100 bullets lb.Weight per 100 cartridges lb.
.22 LR400.570.725
9mm1241.772.094
.308 Win.1652.363.49
.223 Rem.690.781.94
12 Ga.4376.247.512
0.45 ACP2303.283.306
0.38 spec.1581.882.248
.30-061522.143.152
.30-301742.424.956
7mm1042.572.491
0.40 S & W1802.352.86
.50 BMG6608.809.801

Bullet Definitions

Here are a few definitions which will increase your knowledge about firearms.

  • Grain – The Weight of the bullet and propellant is measured in grains.  7,000 grain is equivalent to 1 pound.
  • Caliber – The caliber of a gun refers to the bore or diameter of the inside of the gun’s barrel.  The caliber determines the size of ammunition the gun can fire.  It is calculated in fractions of an inch (.45 caliber) or millimeters (9 mm).
  • Bullet – the metal projectile of a cartridge or round shot through a gun’s barrel.  A bullet is generally cylinder-shaped with one rounded or pointed end.
  • Gauge – Similar to calibers of handguns and rifles, this term refers to the bore size of a shotgun.
  • Round – The term used for a single cartridge or one unit of ammunition.
  • Shells –  A Common name for shotgun ammunition or the amount of ammunition left in the firearm.
  • Barrel – The long tube-shaped part of a firearm that provides an exit path with direction and velocity for a discharging bullet.
  • Blank – A cartridge with no bullet.  The blank cartage will fire like a normal round with only gas coming out of the barrel.
  • Recoil – Also referred to as a gun’s “kick,” this is the backward momentum or force exerted by a gun as it fires.

What A Cartridge Consists Of?

A modern cartridge can be broken down into four components, the casing, the propellant, the primer, and the projectile.

The Casing

The casing is the main component of a cartridge that forms the basic shape and serves as an integrating housing for the other three components.  These cartridges can be constructed from brass, metal, and synthetic polymers.

The Propellant

The propellant (gun powder) is the actual substance that ignites and forces the projectile out of the barrel.

The Projectile

The projectile is the part of the cartridge that is shot out of the barrel and is responsible for impacting the target.  A projectile can be made primarily from lead and copper.

The Primer

The primer is the component situated on the bottom of the cartridge.  The primer’s main function is to start the reaction in the cartridge and ignite the fuel inside the casing.

The Different Types Of Primers Used In Ammunition

There are two common types of primers used in firearm ammunition, these are:

The Rimfire Primer

The rimfire cartridge uses a thin brass casing with a hollow rim on the bottom of the casing.  The inside of the rim is filled with an impact-sensitive explosive.  When the firing pin from the gun impacts the thin brass casing, it indents the rim, and this impact sets off the primer inside the casing.  These types of rimfire cartridges can be found on the .17, .22, and the.22LR.

The Centerfire Primer

The centerfire primer can be found in most calibers such as 9mm, .38 special, 45ACP, 30-06, 308, and .50 BMG, to name a few.  The centerfire primer can be identified by the metal cup on the bottom center of the casing.

When the firing pin strikes the primer, it crushes the explosive between the cup and the anvil to produce hot gas and incandescent particles.  These particles enter the inner casing through a small hole and ignite the propellant.

The Different Variations Of Bullets

There are countless different types of bullets for most calibers of ammunition; here are a few common types you might find at the gun store.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

The FMJ is by far the most common bullet on the market.  It consists of a soft lead core with a copper casing covering the lead core.  The FMJ bullet does not expand very well on impact and often has enough energy to pass through a soft-bodied target and continue through thin metal, wood, and glass.

The Hollow Point Bullet (HP)

The Hollow Point, the name says it all.  The HP bullet has a hole in the bullet’s tip that protrudes almost halfway down the bullet.  The design of the bullet causes it to expand during an impact with a soft-bodied target.  The Hollow Point can cause extensive damage as it expands and passes through a target.  This bullet is commonly used in law enforcement and home self-defense for this exact reason.

The Open Tip (OTM)

The OTM is not the same as a hollow point, as the hole is smaller.  The hole is formed in the production stage of the bullet.  A brass sheet is placed over the lead core, and this brass forms the cone tip of the bullet.  OTM bullets are designed for accuracy and are mainly used in shooting matches and by snipers.

The Ballistic Tip

A Ballistic Tip bullet resembles a hollow point but has a plastic tip covering the hole, making the bullet more accurate.  The hole is filled with an explosive that detonates upon impact and improves the bullet’s expanding diameter.

The Boat Tail

The Boat Tail is tapered at the bottom to aid in the aerodynamic stability of the projectile and improve accuracy.  The tapered design can be found as an addition to many different types of bullets to improve accuracy.

The Shotgun Shell

There are three common types of shotgun shells.  They are:

  • Birdshot – A birdshot cartridge contains small pellets and is primarily used for bird hunting.  The amount of pellets in a cartridge can vary from 50 to 1000, depending on the size of the individual pellets.
  • Buckshot – Buckshot cartridge consists of much larger pellets than birdshot.  There can be between 4 and 9 metal balls (BB) in a buckshot cartridge.  Buckshot is commonly used for home defense and target shooting.
  • Slug – A slug cartridge contains a single solid projectile; the slug can weigh 0.8oz to 1.2oz.  A slug shotgun shell delivers tremendous damage to the target due to the massive force delivered from the heavy projectile.

The Different Weights Of Ammunition?

Bullet size amongst cartridges can vary significantly, but each ammunition type has a standard weight range.  E.g., a 9mm Luger bullet has a weight of 124 grains, but you will be able to acquire bullets from 40 to 165 grains.

Suppose you have a firearm with a specific caliber.  In that case, there are still loads of options for cartridges with different bullet and propellant weights.  I recommend trying a few of each type to see which weight best suits you and your firearm.

How The Bullet’s Weight Impacts Shooting?

The weight of the bullet will influence how it will perform once shot.  These influences are:

  • The amount of recoil of the gun
  • The trajectory of the bullet
  • The impact ballistics on the target (Damage)

A Higher Grain Bullet

A heavier bullet will have more energy when it hits the target, resulting in larger expansion and penetration.  A heavier bullet will have a slower velocity, but it has more stopping power and is commonly used in home defense applications.

A Lower Grain Bullet

A lower grain (lighter) bullet will have a higher velocity and a straighter trajectory than a heavier one.  This will improve distance, but a lighter bullet is more susceptible to wind over long distances.  These bullets are commonly used in distance rifle shooting.

What Is The Right Cartridge For You?

Suppose you are still a beginner at shooting and have purchased a gun that is comfortable in hand.  Then the next conundrum will be to get the correct ammo for your firearm.  The rule of thumb is to start in the middle or with the standard grain cartages.  After firing a few rounds, you will determine the amount of recoil you can handle and the accuracy of the cartage.

If you want to adjust your ammo, then move up or down in small increments as it only takes a grain or two for a significant change.  The table below shows the bullet weight, amount of propellant, and recoil percentage for handguns.

CartridgeBullet Weight (gr)Velocity (FPS)Powder weight (gr)Recoil percentage
.253510001.410.9
.32 ACP6010002.310.6
.327 FM100145012.729.5
.380 ACP9010003.811.5
.38 Special1587504.88.6
9mm12411505.311.6
.38 Super12412507.115.0
.357 Sig124135010.521.2
.357 Mag158125016.024.7
.40 S&W18010506.910.7
10mm Auto20011509.412.7
.41 Mag210140022.625.9
.44 Mag240140021.322.1
.45 ACP2308506.27.6
.45 Colt2508508.39.2
.454 Casull300160031.425.3
.460 Mag300160039.330.2
.500 S&W Mag500130033.117.3

Summary

There are many different kinds of bullets for your favorite caliber of gun; they can vary in propellant and bullet weight.  Understanding how the different bullet shapes perform is important, as it will assist you in choosing the correct ammo for your needs. Now that you know how much 100 of your favorite cartridges weigh and the common terminology of a firearm, it’s time to get out and enjoy a shoot. 

John Wise

John Wise has a rich background in the use of firearms and has also worked in building construction, particularly designing and installing soundproofing systems for homes and offices. Over the years, he has acquired a ton of experience in sound dampening techniques, technologies, and equipment. Leveraging that rich experience, John Wise now dedicates a chunk of time to show just about anyone how to drastically minimize noise pollution in their spaces, whether at home or workplace.