MODERN cartridges differ greatly in outward appearance, but they are really all similar in that they consist of four main components: the cartridge case; the cap; the powder, or propellant; and the projectile, which may be either a single bullet or a charge of shot, when wads are also included.
Cartridge Cases.—The cartridge case, as its name infers, is the case which holds the other three components. Cases are made of brass, paper and brass, or copper, according to the type of weapon in which they arc used. And since different weapons require cases of different shapes it is best to classify cartridge cases according to the types of weapons in which they are intended for use.
Shotgun Cases.—The great majority of shotgun cases consist of a brass head into which is fixed a stout paper tube which constitutes the walls of the case. The depth of the brass head is & or § of an inch in British cases, but in foreign cases it may be of any depth from £ to I inch. The principle, however, is the same in all.
Shotgun cartridge cases are now also made entirely of metal, either zinc, aluminium or brass, and it is probable that such cases will become more usual in the future. The loaded cartridge is closed with a fully crimp closure exactly as is done with blank rifle and revolver cartridges. This form of closure does away with the necessity for any card wad over the shot charge.
All-metal shotgun cartridges with this type of closure as well as a fired case are shown in Plate VII (A).
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