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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 the 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 Lightweight Case, advanced armor-piercing capabilities, reduced range ammunition, one-way luminescence trace ammunition, lead free primer, all-purpose tactical cartridge and next generation projectiles.

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 while ammunition in development increases lethality, survivability and mobility.


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



7.62 mm Lightweight Case Preliminary Design Review

7.62 mm Advanced Armor Piercing (ADVAP) Production Qualification Testing and Urgent Materiel Release

.50 Reduced-Range Ammunition (RRA) Acquisition Strategy Panel and OTA Award to 3 Vendors

7.62 mm One-way Luminescence (OWL) Milestone B

7.62 mm RRA Acquisition Strategy Panel and Milestone B



7.62 mm ADVAP Milestone C and Full Materiel Release (FMR)

7.62 mm OWL Milestone C and FMR

7.62 mm RRA Milestone C and Full Materiel Release

.50 caliber RRA Milestone C and FMR

7.62 mm Lightweight Case Engineering Change and Fielding Decision

.50 Cal All Purpose Tactical Cartridge Milestone B

Lead Free Primer Production Verification Testing

Foreign Military Sales

Afghanistan, Australia, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia


  • Rifle and Machine Gun Ammunition: Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (Independence, MO); Olin Corporation (Oxford, MS)
  • Pistol and Shotgun Ammunition: Olin Corporation (Oxford, MS)
  • Ammunition Storage Containers: BWAY Corporation (Atlanta, GA)