U.S. Military Ammunition

Since the early 1900s the U.S. military has standardized on a manageable number of types of small arms ammunition. These Olive-Drab.com pages will provide basic information about each major type. Although other ammunition has been used by the U.S. military (e.g. .22 cal., 12 ga. shotshells) the cartridges covered here represent by far the most common in actual usage.

Inspecting ammo at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Independence, MO.  Ammo boxes are piled high in the background
Inspecting ammo at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Independence, MO.
Ammo cans are piled high in the background.

Today in WW II: 20 May 1940 German General Rudolf Veiel's 2nd Panzer division reaches the English Channel at Noyelles, splitting the Allied defense.  More 
20 May 1940 Largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, opens in Poland. Before liberation in 1945, about 1.1 million people died there, 90 percent Jews.
20 May 1941 Germans launch Operation Mercury, the Battle of Crete, the first airborne invasion in history.
20 May 1942 First African-American seamen taken into the United States Navy.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition Types

Click on the link to go to the page for the individual ammo type you are interested in.

Ammunition cases awaiting shipment at Hampton Roads in 1942
Ammunition cases awaiting shipment at Hampton Roads in 1942.

Recommended Books about Ammunition

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: ammunition. Then click the Search button.

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