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This is an archaic unit of measurement that's not commonly used any more.

Shooters pay attention to how light or heavy a bullet is because the weight changes the performance down range.

Bullet Style: How a bullet is shaped, and what it's made of, will affect how it behaves when striking an intended target.

I was just a couple of years into my handgun shooting career when a family member was kind enough to buy a couple of boxes of ammunition for my birthday.

They had driven all the way across town to find what I wanted. The not-so-cheap ammunition in the package was .38 Super, a semi-automatic pistol cartridge that wouldn’t fit.

When the present was unwrapped, there was an unfortunate sense of disappointment. When it was pointed out that I could just exchange the semi-auto cartridges for revolver cartridges, I had to explain that most stores have policies in place preventing the return or exchange of ammunition.

This is because firearm cartridges are explosive devices that can be tampered with, altered, or exchanged for an inferior product.

The following photo shows an ammunition label and the major categories of information included on a center-fire ammunition box (we'll save rimfire ammunition and shotgun shells for another day): Ammunition Brand: Ammunition is a branded product made by several different companies.

This means the name of the manufacturer is often, but not always, a dominant feature of the label.

The following tips will help you determine what information a label provides, and how to identify differences in cartridges of the same caliber.

This is not an exhaustive ammunition guide, but it should be enough information to get you through a trip to the store.

Similar calibers are usually grouped together on dealers’ shelves.