The basic components of ammunition are the case, primer, powder, and projectile.
- Case: The container that holds all the other ammunition components together. It's usually made of brass, steel, or copper.
- Primer: An explosive chemical compound that ignites the gunpowder when struck by a firing pin. Primer may be placed either in the rim of the case (rimfire) or in the center of the base of the case (centerfire).
- Gunpowder: A chemical mixture that burns rapidly and converts to an expanding gas when ignited.
- Projectile: The object expelled from the barrel. A bullet is a projectile, usually containing lead, fired through a handgun barrel.