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Matching the proper ammunition to your firearm is critical. Using the wrong ammunition can cause an explosion, injuring or possibly killing yourself and any bystanders.

To match the proper ammunition to your firearm correctly:

  • Read the specific caliber or gauge designations typically found on the side of the barrel. Match that designation exactly.
  • Carefully read the information on the lid of the ammunition box and on the ammunition.
  • Finally, match the information on the barrel to the information on the ammunition box and on the ammunition before you shoot.

Most rifles, revolvers, and some semiautomatic handguns have their caliber marked on the barrel as shown below. However, many rifles and most semi-automatic handguns have the caliber marked on the side of their receiver or slide.

Data stamps on gun barrels showing gauge and caliber designations