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: 4 Nov 1942 Start of a 5 month retreat from El Alamein across North Africa by German Gen. Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps.  More 
4 Nov 1943 US 5th Army in Italy captures Monte Massico, Monte Croce, Venafro and Rocavirondola. Germans withdraw to the Reinhard Line.
4 Nov 1943 Germans destroyed labor camp at Poniatowa, Poland. About 15,000 Jews were shot or burned to death.
4 Nov 1944 Liberation of Bitola, second largest city in Macedonia, by the 7th Macedonian Liberation Brigade.
4 Nov 1944 End of the six week long Death March from Bor to Gyor, Hungary. Of 5000 who started the march, only nine survive to the end of WW II.
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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