Rifle Cartridge
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Rifle Cartridge
Heavy machine-gun cartridge: 12.7×99mm NATO, Full-power rifle cartridges: 300 Win Mag, 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester), Intermediate rifle cartridges: 7.62×39mm, 5.56×45mm NATO, Rimfire cartridge.22LR

A rifle cartridge is a cartridge primarily designed and intended for use in a rifle or carbine.



A full-powered cartridge is a military battle rifle cartridge with a minimum effective range of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). Most full-powered cartridges have their origin in the turn of the 19th century with the advent of smokeless powder. Examples include 7.62×51mm NATO, .30-06 Springfield, 7.62×54mmR, .303 British, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 7×57mm Mauser or 8mm Lebel. Today they are primarily used only in medium machine guns and marksman/sniper rifles.


An intermediate cartridge is a military assault rifle cartridge that is less powerful than typical full-power cartridges such as the 7.92mm Mauser, .30-06 or 7.62×51mm NATO, but still significantly more powerful than handgun cartridges used in service pistols and submachine guns.[1] As their recoil is significantly reduced compared to full-power cartridges, fully automatic rifles firing intermediate cartridges are relatively easy to control. This reduced recoil impulse also allows for rapid, accurate follow-up shots with semi-automatic rifles or rifles with a semi-automatic fire mode.[2] However, even though less powerful than traditional full-power cartridges, the external and terminal ballistics of an intermediate cartridge are still sufficient for an effective range of 300-600 metres (980-1,970 ft), which are the typical maximum engagement ranges for ordinary infantrymen in combat.

The introduction of intermediate cartridges allowed for the development of the assault rifle concept, which is a magazine-fed, selective fire weapon lighter and more compact than battle rifles firing full-power cartridges. The first intermediate cartridge was the German 7.92×33mm Kurz for the StG 44[1], the world's first assault rifle. Other examples include the Soviet 7.62×39mm used in the AK-47 and AKM series, the .280 British round developed for the EM-2, and the 5.56x45mm NATO for the AR-15/M16/M4 series rifles.

See also


  1. ^ a b Bull, Stephen (2004). Encyclopedia of Military Technology and Innovation. Greenwood. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-57356-557-8.
  2. ^ Chris Baker (September 23, 2014). "Semi-Auto Rifles for Self-Defense: Shooting on Easy Mode".

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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