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Updated: 2022


Small caliber ammunition is .50 caliber and below. Conventional small caliber ammunition in production and deployment consists of 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, 9 mm, 10- and 12-gauge, .22 caliber, .30 caliber, .38 caliber, .45 caliber, .300 Winchester Magnum (WinMag), and .50 caliber. The 5.56 mm cartridge is used in the M16 Rifle, M4 Carbine, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The 7.62 mm cartridge is used in the M240 Machine Gun, M24 Sniper Weapon System, M110 Semi-automatic Sniper System, and M14 Rifle. The 9 mm cartridge is fired in the M9, M17, and M18 Pistols. The M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle uses the .300 WinMag cartridge. The M2 Machine Gun and the M107 Sniper Rifle use .50 caliber cartridges. The remaining small caliber ammunition is used in a variety of pistols, rifles, and shotguns.  

Small caliber ammunition in research and development consists of 6.8 mm Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) Ammunition, advanced armor-piercing capabilities to engage broad spectrum of targets at longer rangers, one-way luminescence trace ammunition to decrease vulnerability, lightweight case to lighten the Soldier’s load, and reduced range ammunition for enhanced training readiness.   

Three categories of small caliber ammunition are currently in use. War reserve ammunition is ammunition with overmatch capability that supports individual and crew-served weapons during combat operations; training standard ammunition is dual-purpose and can be used to support both training and operational requirements; and training-unique ammunition is designed specifically for use in training and is not authorized for use in combat (i.e., blank, dummy-inert, close combat man marking, and short-range training ammunition). 


Standard ammunition provides the Warfighter with the necessary lethality needed to defeat the enemy. 


  • Vary based on weapon platform, caliber, target set, and effect 


6.8 mm NGSW Ammunition


  • GFM projectile deliveries 
  • Rapid Prototype Test 1 

2QFY21: Rapid Prototype Test 2 

7.62 mm Advanced Armor Piercing (ADVAP)  

  • 4QFY19: Urgent Materiel Release 
  • 1QFY20: Milestone (MS) C/Type Classification Standard

7.62 mm One-Way Luminescence (OWL)

  • 1QFY19: System Requirements Review and Design Verification Test

.50 Cal Reduced Range Ammunition (RRA)

  • 4QFY20: Approved Acquisition Program Baseline Post MS B

7.62 mm RRA 

  • 2QFY20: Preliminary Design Review


6.8 mm NGSW Ammunition  

  • 2QFY21: Prototype Test 2 
  • 1QFY22: System downselect and Production decision 

7.62 mm OWL  

  • 2QFY21: Critical Design Review (CDR) 
  • 4QFY21: Production Qualification Testing 

7.62 mm Lightweight Case  

  • 2QFY21: Product Improvement Development RFP and award 
  • 4QFY21: Phase II Product Validation Testing 4QFY20 Preliminary Design Review
  • 1QFY23: CDR 
  • 3QFY23: Phase III Validation Testing 

7.62 mm ADVAP  

  • 2QFY21: Full Materiel Release 

7.62 mm OWL 

  • 2QFY21: Trace Development Competitive Downselect, CDR 

5.56 mm OWL 

  • 3QFY21: MS B, EMD Contract Award 

7.62 mm RRA   

  • 1QFY21: MS B
  • 3QFY21:
    • Pre-Production Qualification Test  

.50 Cal Reduced Range Ammunition (RRA)  

  • 2QFY21: 
    • Preliminary Design Review 
    • PPQT 

3QFY21: Pre-Production Qualification Test 

Acquisition Category


Acquisition Lifecycle Phase

Engineering and Manufacturing Development, Production and Deployment 


Olin Winchester (Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Independence, MO) and Others