There are really only a few practical choices for handgun ammunition, specifically: Round N0se, Hollow Point and Wadcutter, each of which may be jacketed or not.
Of these basic types there are a wide variety of variations of these types such as 'Flat Nose' which is rounded with a blunt tip and 'Soft Point' which is a jacketed round with a soft lead nose (that could be hollow or not).
There are also 'Safety' types such as Frangible and Glaser. These are types that are typically designed to penetrate and not necessarily exit the target. This prevents accidentally shooting an innocent bystander when the round passes through the target, the wall behind the target, and injurs someone behind that wall.
Anyway, here is an alphabetical compilation that I was able to find online:
AJHP: Aluminum Jacketed Hollow Point.
AP: Armor Piercing. Military bullets with steel or tungsten core that penetrates steel armor. Bullet's tip is usually painted black for easier identification.
API: Armor Piercing
Incendiary. Designed to penetrate
armor and set target on fire. Tips
are usually painted light blue.
Barnes Expander. Delivers superior expansion for maximum energy transfer on target and ideal performance on deer. Its all copper design provides high weight retention for great stopping power and consistent performance.
Barnes Expander Tipped Sabot Slug. Controlled expansion, high velocity (1900 FPS) slug cpable of 2 inch groups or better at 100 yards.
BB: Bevel Base.
BBWC: Bevel Base Wad Cutter.
Pistol bullet that's flat on both
ends; has beveled base to increase
accuracy similar to a boat–tail
BC: Bonded Core.
BCHP: Bonded Core Hollow Point.
BCSP: Bonded Core Soft Point.
BEB: Brass Enclosed Base.
Pistol bullet with brass plug over
exposed lead base to reduce lead
exposure. Many indoor ranges now
specify use of this bullet to
decrease lead contamination.
BJHP: Brass Jacketed Hollow Point. Defensive pistol bullet that controls mushrooming and energy release over longer distances.
BRPT: Bronze Point. Bronze insert in tip improves trajectory, velocity and energy transfer at extreme ranges. Tip expands rapidly when driven back through bullet. Excellent design for hunting long–range medium–size game.
BST: Ballistic Silvertip. Used with hunting rifles, this Winchester bullet has a soft metal tip that causes rapid expansion and penetration of bullet. Typically used for varminting and hunting light — and medium — size game.
BT: Boat Tail. Rifle bullet with truncated conical shape at base of bullet. Streamlining stabilizes bullet and increases accuracy.
BTHP: Boat Tail Hollow Point.
Same as plain boat–tail but with a
hollow point, which generates rapid
expansion and penetration.
BTSP: Boat Tail Soft Point.
Like the plain boat–tail but with a
soft point to increase penetration
and expansion from exposed lead tip.
CastCore. Heavy–weight, flat–nosed, hard cast lead bullet that smashes through bone, without breaking apart.
CC: Copper Coated. Same as full–metal–jacket. Copper coating prevents bullet deformation in feed mechanism and barrel, reduces misfires and lowers risk of barrel damage.
CL: Core–Lokt. Remington's
premier bonded bullet. Retains up to
95% of original weight with maximum
penetration and energy transfer.
Progressively tapered jacket
initiates and controls expansion
nearly 2x. Unique design and bonded
lead core delivers performance from
50 to 500 yards.
CP: Copper Plated. Lead bullet dipped in copper; reduces lead fouling and is cheaper than copper coating.
DEWC: Double Ended Wad
EFMJ: Expanding Full Metal
Jacket. Federal's answer to areas
with restrictions on hollow points.
A regular full–metal–jacket bullet
with front rubber core covered by a
copper jacket. When fired into
target media, copper jacket
collapses along serrations, produces
petal–like expansion and delivers
energy without over– penetration.
ENCAP or E: Encapsulated. Totally plated on all sides to decrease environmental lead contamination. Many indoor ranges use this ammunition exclusively to reduce lead clean–up costs.
EP: Expanding Point.
Winchester–developed bullet for
.25ACP for better stopping power for
small calibers. Hollow point with
round lead ball inserted into cavity
ensures positive feed, increases
expansion and transfers energy
ERBT: Extended Range Boat Tail. Remington bullet that produces long–range accuracy along with superior stopping power required for hunting.
FB: Flat Base.
FMC: Full Metal Case. Lead
core fully enclosed with copper,
nickel, brass or steel.
FMHSWC: Full Metal Jacket
Semi–Wad Cutter. Designed primarily
for target and competition shooting,
this bullet exhibits superior
accuracy. Its swagged lead core is
enclosed by a metal jacket,
eliminating barrel leading.
FMJ: Full Metal Jacket.
Military round specified by Geneva
Convention. Lead core is enclosed by
a strong metal jacket on this
general–purpose bullet. Provides
smooth, reliable feeding in all
types of semi–auto handguns. Not
recommended for hunting, the primary
use of the FMJ is target shooting.
FMJBT: Full Metal Jacket Boat
Tail. Like FMJ but has a boat–tail
to reduce turbulence and increase
FMJE: Full Metal Jacket Encapsulated. Like FMJ but also has covered base and doesn't expose any lead.
FMJFP: Full Metal Jacket Flat
Point. Non–expanding and deep
penetrating, this general purpose
bullet is a good choice for target
use because of its accuracy. Its
lead core is enclosed by a metal
jacket, which eliminates barrel
leading. Provides smooth, reliable
feeding in semi–sutomatic handguns.
Full Metal Jacket Match. For the real competition shooter, offers accuracy and match–grade consistency.
FMJSWC: Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket Semi–Wad Cutter Match. For the competition shooter, with a tapered base, offers speed in loading and high accuracy.
FMJTC: Full Metal Jacket
Truncated Cone. The truncated cone
shape of this bullet makes feeding
smooth and reliable in semi–autos.
Cannot lead barrels because its lead
core is enclosed by a metal jacket.
FN: Flat Nose.
FNSP: Flat Nose Soft Point.
Similar to the Soft Point in
construction and performance, but
with a flat lead point that allows
this bullet to be safely used in
tubular magazines. Designed
primarily for use in the 30–30
carbine, it delivers reliable
expansion at typical 30–30
FP: Flat Point.
FPJ: Flat Point Jacketed. FMJ with a flat point. Most .40 S&W and .30–30 Winchester rounds have this design. The .30–30 Winchester has a tubular magazine and uses a flat–point bullet to prevent accidental detonation during recoil, as front round's primer may come in contact with point of round following it.
FPNN: Flat Point Penetrator.
FRAN or FG: Frangible. Prevents ricochet by breaking apart on contact. Can be made from empty cartridge cases filled with epoxy and compressed birdshot, metal dust or filings. Developed for air marshals to avoid over–penetration and ricochet aboard airplanes. All energy is transferred to the target, making it a devastating defensive bullet.
GC or GCK: Gas Check. Metallic cup or disc is attached to bottom of lead–alloy bullet. Decreases gas blow–by, increases velocity and reduces lead fouling.
GDJHP: Gold Dot Jacketed
Hollow Point. Speer's hollow point
bullet with jacket bonded to lead
core to prevent separation and
control expansion and penetration.
Glaser Safety Slug. Design uses a special thin–wall jacket, and a precision compressed lead shot core with a soft polymer tip. This construction provides optimum balance between penetration and fragmentation. Stopping power is maximized by the complete dispersal of the bullet energy into the intended target with immediate shock and trauma. This rapid fragmentation delivers the energy into a large area.
GS: Grand Slam. Speer's
design for hunting big game. Jacket
is 45% bigger at base to prevent
rollback and retain bullet's weight.
Internal jacket flutes ensure proper
expansion. Bullet's core is a
ternary (three–part) alloy, which is
poured into jacket at 900 degrees F
to prevent jacket slippage.
HB: Hollow Base.
HBWC: Hollow Base Wad Cutter.
Preferred by some target shooters,
this flat lead bullet with hollow
base punches neat, round holes in
paper targets and makes scoring
easier. Creates better gas seal to
prevent gas blow–by and increase
HC: Hard Cast.
HE: High Energy. Made by Federal.
HM: Heavy Magnum. Made by
Hot–Cor Soft Point. Speer round for large game.
HP: Hollow Point. Hollow
cavity in bullet's nose allows
expansion on impact.
HPBT: Hollow Point Boat Tail.
Extremely accurate hollow point
bullet with pointed, aerodynamic
design. Boat tail heel further
reduces drag to improve downrange
velocity. Precision balance and
exceptional concentricity greatly
increase bullet stability to assure
HPE: Hollow Point Expanding.
HPL: Hollow Point Lead.
HSHK: Hydra–Shok®. Federal's
handgun defense bullet. Unique
center–post design delivers
controlled expansion. Notched jacket
transfers energy efficiently and
penetrates barriers while retaining
HSP: Hollow Soft Point.
Exposed lead point and hollow cavity
in nose permits expansion on impact.
HV: High Velocity. Ammunition with velocity over 1,200 feet per second.
JFP: Jacketed Flat Point.
Flat lead point and full metal
jacket. All .30–30 Winchesters have
this bullet design. The .30–30
Winchester has a tubular magazine
and uses a flat–point bullet to
prevent accidental detonation during
recoil, as front round's primer may
come in contact with point of round
JHC: Jacketed Hollow Cavity. Jacketed bullet with hole in tip to promote expansion on impact.
JHP: Jacketed Hollow Point. The exposed lead at the tip of the PMC jacketed hollow point rapidly initiates uniform, controlled expansion that progresses to the depth of the hollow point cavity. Penetration is also controlled for maximum energy transfer to the target, assuring its suitability as a hunting bullet. Excellent accuracy and bullet integrity.
JPP: Jacketed Protected Point.
JSP: Jacketed Soft Point.
Exposed lead soft point initiates
reliable expansion, provides deeper
penetration than hollow point
bullets. Precisely engineered copper
jacket and swaged lead core provides
the necessary concentricity and
balance required for top–level
L: Lead. An all lead bullet.
LF: Lead Free (non–toxic).
LM: Light Magnum. Made by Hornady.
LRN: Lead Round Nose. Solid
lead, lubricated bullet with rounded
ogive for down–range accuracy.
Hard–hitting, economical, general
purpose bullet for all revolvers.
LSW/LSWC: Lead Semi–Wad
Cutter. Solid lead, lubricated
bullet with semi–pointed nose.
Formed by swaging process with sharp
shoulder for clean hole punching in
paper targets. Good choice for
target or general purpose shooting.
LSWCHP: Lead Semi–Wad Cutter
Hollow Point. Lubricated solid lead
bullet with hollow point. Swaged to
form sharp shoulder to produce clean
holes in paper targets. Good choice
for target practice or general
LWC: Lead Wad Cutter. The
full wadcutter profile of this solid
lead, lubricated bullet cuts clean
signature in paper targets for
precise scoring. Consistent accuracy
results from formation by swaging
process, which eliminates
balance–destroying voids often found
in cast bullets. Excellent choice
for competitive shooters.
Lead Wad Cutter Match. Versatile design that cuts clean holes in targets.
M or MCH: Match. Bullets with
most accurate design, weight,
materials and consistencies. Used by
snipers and target shooters.
MB: Multi Ball. More than one ball or bullet in cartridge to increase hit ratio.
MC: Metal Case. Same as metal–jacketed bullet.
MCOPE: Metal Case Open Point Expanding.
MCWC: Metal Cased Wad Cutter.
MK: aka Sierra MatchKing.
Delivers record–breaking accuracy at
long ranges. Pictured is a boat tail
MOLY: Moly Coated. Bullet is coated with molybdenum disulfide to reduce friction and increase velocity.
MON: Monolithic Solid.
MP: Metal Point.
MRX: Maximum Range X bullet.
Made by Barnes.
Nosler AccuBond. Another new loading from Federal, touts the terminal performance of a bonded bullet with the accuracy and retained energy of a ballistic tip.
NBT: Nosler Ballistic Tip.
Nosler developed this bullet with a
polycarbonate tip that protects the
bullet from damage in the magazine
resulting from recoil. The tip also
stabilizes the bullet for long–range
shooting and insures reliable
expansion when the bullet hits its
NP: Nosler Partition. Has two
lead cores separated by bullet
jacket. Top part of jacket is thin
and promotes expansion of bullet.
Bottom part of bullet has thicker
jacket that retains bullet's weight,
stops fragmentation and increases
NTF: Non–Toxic Frangible.
Formed from a composite of fine
copper and polymer particles by
injection molding, the PMC Green
frangible bullet is lead free and
completely non–toxic. Designed to
shatter into dust–sized particles
upon impact with materials harder
than itself, it is much less likely
to ricochet or over–penetrate. Its
homogeneous construction means there
is no jacket or plating to impede
disintegration. Feeding is smooth
and accuracy is excellent.
OPE: Open Point Expanding.
PB: Pow'rball. Made by Cor–Bon.
Polymer ball capped round with high
velocity and reduced recoil.
PEP: Positive Expanding
Point. Specially designed by
Winchester for extreme accuracy and
maximum impact on varmints and
PG: Partition Gold.
Winchester's proprietary design
delivers expansion and penetration
on medium — and large — size game at
wide range of impact velocities.
Rear core is hard lead alloy, locked
in place with a heel crimp to
prevent core slippage and maximize
penetration. Patented steel cup
reinforces prevents core distortion
at high–impact velocities.
PL: Power–Lokt. Remington's
revolutionary varmint and small–game
bullet produces bench rest–level
accuracy. Copper jacket is
electrolyticly bonded to lead core,
producing near–perfect concentricity
and gyroscopic balance, once
available only in custom–made match
bullets. Exceptional sub–minute–of–
angle accuracy for small game at
Power–Shok, Rifled Slug Hollow Point. Maximum knockdown power. One–piece cushioned wad helps reduce recoil. For use in smooth bore barrels.
PP: Power Point. Jacketed
soft nose from Winchester delivers
maximum energy on impact. Notches
around jacket's mouth improve upset
and ensure uniform, rapid expansion.
PP: Protected Point.
Premium Vital–Shok Sabot. Made by Barnes. In a rifled or rifled choke tube, sabot slugs are capable of 2 1/2" groups or better at 100 yards.
Premium Vital–Shok Truball Rifled Slug. Uses a simple ball that centers the slug in the barrel.
PRP: Protected Round Point.
PSP & PTDSP: Pointed Soft
Point. Popular, time–tested bullet
featuring a soft lead point
extending beyond the copper jacket
that initiates bullet expansion upon
impact. Pointed design reduces
aerodynamic drag, improves ballistic
coefficient rating and helps this
bullet retain its velocity down
PTHP: Platinum Tipped Hollow
Point. A Winchester design for
handgun hunters. Immediately
transfers bullet's energy into
target. Delivers penetration,
expansion and accuracy.
PT: Polymer Tip.
PWC: Pointed Wad Cutter. Lubricated solid lead with pointed nose. Formed by swaging process with sharp shoulder for clean hole–punching in paper targets. Good choice for target practice or general shooting.
RB: Round Ball.
RN: Round Nose. Round nose
promotes positive, reliable feeding.
RNFP: Round Nose Flat Point.
RNL: Round Nose Lead.
RNPN: Round Nose Penetrator.
S: Solid Lead.
Sabot Hollow Point. For rifled barrels and rifled choke tubes, sabot hollow points offer maximum penetration and excellent accuracy.
SBK: Sierra BlitzKing. Used
for varmint hunting; has plastic tip
inserted into bullet cavity, which
expands on impact and delivers high
Starfire 30–30. Similar to the X–Bullet in performance because of its solid copper construction, but with the patented rib–and flute Starfire hollow point cavity in the nose. The broad hollow point allows this bullet to be used in tubular magazines. Excellent expansion characteristics and bullet integrity.
Starfire Hollow Point. The Starfire hollow point's impressive performance comes from its unique rib–and–flute cavity design. Upon impact, pressure from incoming fluidic material creates lateral pressure on the ribs, forcing instant, extremely reliable expansion.
SFS: Supreme Fail Safe. Hollow point bullet with lead core and steel insert. Delivers controlled expansion, deeper penetration and bullet weight retention.
SGK: Sierra GameKing. Long
range round for varmints to big game
animals. Boat–tail design provides
extremely flat trajectories. Design
also give it a higher downrange
velocity for more energy at point of
Shotguns come in gauges 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410 (which is named for its bore size and isn't even a gauge). There are four types of ammunition that can be used, bird shot, buck shot (which is larger than bird shot), slugs (solid projectiles) and sabots.
Bird shot size shells range in size (smallest to largest) from 9, 8, 7 1/2, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BB and BBB. Buck shot size shells range in size (smallest to largest) from 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 (pronounced one–aught), 00 (pronounced double–aught) and 000 (pronounced triple–aught).
SJ: Short Jacket.
SJHP: Semi Jacketed Hollow
Point. Exposed lead tip expands more
rapidly than jacketed hollow point
design. Controlled penetration
provides maximum energy transfer,
making it suitable for hunting.
SJSP: Semi Jacketed Soft
Point. Exposed lead soft point with
reliable expansion and deeper
penetration than hollow point
bullets. Copper jacket and swaged
lead core improve concentricity,
balance and accuracy.
SJWC Semi–Jacketed Wad Cutter.
SLD: Solid. Usually made from copper, bronze or brass alloy — but no lead. Designed for deep penetration in thick–skinned animals.
SMP: Semi–Pointed. Same penetration as a round nose with better trajectory, higher velocity and energy transfer, better expansion control and deeper penetration than a hollow point. At close range, usually offers better penetration and more controlled expansion. Excellent accuracy potential and often used for short — to medium — range hunting.
SP: Soft Point. Exposed lead
tip on this bullet and broader point
diameter provides rapid, controlled
expansion at somewhat lower
velocities than the PSP. Broad wound
channel results from expansion up to
200% of original bullet diameter.
SPBT: Soft Point Boat Tail.
This bullet combines the aerodynamic
pointed nose with a boat tail heel
for improved flight characteristics
and retained velocity downrange.
Typical of Sierra construction, it
embodies near–perfect balance and
concentricity. Exposed lead tip for
SPCE: Soft Point Cutting
Edge. Semi–jacketed with cut–through
jacket edge to partially lock in
lead core. Deforms less in light
game than heavy game. Used for
clawed game hunting.
SPCL: Soft Point Core–Lokt. Locks progressively heavier jacketed mid–section to lead core, preventing separation but allowing maximum energy transfer. Stays together on impact, expands in a controlled manner and mushrooms uniformly to nearly twice the original diameter.
SPFN: Soft Point Flat Nose.
Expands reliably and penetrates deep
on light to medium game.
SPP: Spire Point.
SPRN: Soft Point Round Nose.
Features an exposed tip, good weight
retention and tapered jacket that
provide controlled expansion for
deep penetration. Bullet of choice
for deer and bear in heavy cover.
SPT: Spitzer. Pointed bullet
normally used in modern military
SS: Semi Spitzer.
SST: Super Shock Tipped. Hornady's design incorporates a pointed polymer tip that improves ballistic coefficient and increases velocity, accuracy and downrange power. Specially designed jacket grips and controls expanding core, allowing maximum expansion while retaining mass and momentum.
ST: Silvertip. Winchester's
design has special aluminum–alloy
nose cap to protect lead core;
delivers deep penetration and has
controlled expansion in small — and
medium — size game.
STHP: Silvertip Hollow Point.
Winchester's handgun bullet designed
for rapid, controlled expansion to
penetrate thin skin, light muscle
and bone of small — to medium — size
SUB: Sub Sonic.
SW or SWC: Semi–Wad Cutter.
Lubricated solid lead bullet with
semi–pointed nose. Formed by swaging
process, resulting in a sharp
shoulder for clean hole–punching in
paper targets. Good choice for
target practice or general shooting.
SWCHP: Semi–Wad Cutter Hollow
Point. The tapered base allows for
quick loading with high accuracy,
consistency and quick expansion.
SWCL: Semi–Wad Cutter Lead.
SXT: Supreme Expansion Technology. Winchester's personal protection bullet. Designed with reverse tapered jacket, has uniform expansion, greater accuracy and reliable firearm functioning.
TAP: Tactical Application Police. Designed by Hornady specifically for law enforcement. Heavier bullet weight and polymer tip provide rapid expansion and excellent barrier penetration (without over–penetration).
TBBC: Trophy Bonded Bear
Claw. Ideal for medium or large
dangerous game. 100% fusion bonding
for reliable expansion at any range.
Claims 95% weight retention.
TBS: Trophy Bonded Solid.
TBSS: Trophy Bonded
Sledgehammer Solid. Used for the
largest and most dangerous game in
the world. Maximizes stopping power
and your confidence. It's a bonded
bronze solid with a flat nose that
minimizes deflection off bone and
muscle for a deep, straight wound
TC: Truncated Cone. Similar to an inverted cone, but with the top chopped off. Used in defense applications where penetration through materials might be necessary. Ensures extremely reliable feeding.
TCHP: Truncated Cone Hollow Point. Same as truncated cone but with a hole in top to promote expansion in target.
TCSB: Truncated Cone Solid Bullet. Designed for penetration. Inverted cone aids in feeding, while pointed solid bullet drives deep into target.
TCSP: Truncated Cone Soft
Point. An excellent choice for
hunting and general shooting, the
soft point of this bullet initiates
uniform, controlled expansion.
Characterized by very reliable
functioning in semi–autos and
THP: Tubular Hollow Point.
TL: Tumble Lube.
TMJ: Total Metal Jacket. Same
as full metal jacket, except base is
TMWC: Target Master Wad Cutter. Wadcutter bullets made to highest tolerances to achieve best accuracy possible.
TRI: Triad Group.
Triple Shock X Bullet. Made by Barnes.
V–Max: Varmint Express Ballistic Tip. Hornady's ballistic–tip varmint bullet has a polymer insert that aids in rapid expansion once bullet hits target.
Woodleight Weldcore Soft Point. Bonded Australian bullet. Special heavy jacket provides 80–85% weight retention. Used for large or dangerous game.
Woodleigh Weldcore Solid. Top choice for safari hunters and provide the energy and penetration needed for large game.
X–B: X bullet. Made by
Barnes. Solid copper bullet with
pre–stressed hollow point mushroom
consistently over a wide range of
velocities, and drives deeper than
lead–core bullets. Cannot shed its
jacket on impact, because there is
no jacket. Holds together like a
solid, retaining virtually 100% of
XPB: X pistol bullet. Made by
XTP: Extreme Terminal Performance. Hornady bullet designed for controlled expansion at wide range of handgun velocities. Bullet's jacket and core expansion rates are the same, reducing separation and increasing trauma in target.