The shells are generally made of brass with a solid head containing a pocket for a primer. There is considerable variation in the thickness of the metal from which shells are made by the various manufacturers. Since the outside dimensions must be the same in order to fit the chamber, it follows that the inside diameter of the shells will vary. When the shell is to be crimped a slight difference in the size is unimportant, but for fine target work using black powder, it is preferable not to crimp the shell. In the latter case the bullet must fit sufficiently tight so that it will not be dislodged by the recoil of the arm.
The size of the bore, when adapted to the same cartridge, varies a trifle, also, with different manufacturers. With the slight difference in the size of the shells it is therefore generally possible to select a make of shell the size of which will be just right to hold snugly in position by friction a bullet that exactly fits the bore of the arm. These refinements in the fit of the bullet and shell are important in securing good results with reduced loads.
In pistol and revolver shooting, the shells may be reloaded many times with smokeless powders. The small charge and the consequent reduced pressure do not seem to render the shells brittle and unsuitable for reloading, as is the case with the shells of many of the highpressure rifle cartridges.
Himmelwright, A.L.A.. Pistol and Revolver Shooting. New York: MacMillan, 1922.
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