Know what drives me crazy? When certain gun people get all cranky and attitudinal about new(er) shooters using the wrong word to describe some piece, part, or technique. If you’ve visited enough gun stores, you might have been the victim of this type of snobbery:
Joe or Jane Customer: “Hi! I need to buy a clip for my Glock!”
Cranky and attitudinal gun store clerk: “Sorry, we don’t have any Glock clips.”
Of course, the cranky and attitudinal gun store clerk knows the gun part the customer wants—a device that holds ammo in a Glock pistol—but because it wasn’t properly referred to as a magazine, he’s too snobbish to overlook the incorrect use of gun terminology.
The short explanation is that a bullet is just one part of a cartridge, so they’re not technically the same.
Personally, I don’t care if you call the stuff you load into your gun bullets or cartridges—I’m just happy you’re out shooting!—but in the interest of education and accuracy, it seems like a good idea to explore the whole topic and get really clear on what’s what.
And while we’re clarifying these terms, we can go a bit deeper and discuss exactly how a cartridge works and its exact relationship to a bullet.