Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered,(Buy Cheap Federal Premium Ammo-Buy Shotgun Ammo-Buy ammo) dropped or detonated from any weapon. Ammunition is both expendable weapons (e.g., bombs, missiles, grenades, land mines) and the component parts of other weapons that create the effect on a target (e.g., bullets and warheads). Nearly all mechanical weapons require some form of ammunition to operate.The term ammunition can be traced back to the mid-17th century. The word comes from the French la munition, for the material used for war. Ammunition and munitions are often used interchangeably, although munition now usually refers to the actual weapons system with the ammunition required to operate it. In some languages other than English ammunition is still referred to as munition, such as French (“munitions”), German (“Munition”) or Italian (“munizione”). The purpose of ammunition is to project a force against a selected target to have an effect (usually, but not always, lethal). The most iconic example of ammunition is the firearm cartridge, which includes all components required to deliver the weapon effect in a single package.Ammunition comes in a great range of sizes and types and is often designed to work only in specific weapons systems. However, there are internationally recognized standards for certain ammunition types (e.g., 5.56×45mm NATO) that enable their use across different weapons and by different users. There are also specific types of ammunition that are designed to have a specialized effect on a target, such as armor-piercing shells and tracer ammunition, used only in certain circumstances. Ammunition is commonly colored in a specific manner to assist in the identification and to prevent the wrong ammunition types from being used accidentally.
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- A round is a single cartridge containing a projectile, propellant, primer and casing.
- A shell is a form of ammunition that is fired by a large caliber cannon or artillery piece. Before the mid-19th century, these shells were usually made of solid materials and relied on kinetic energy to have an effect. However, since that time, they are more often filled with high-explosives (see artillery).
- A shot refers to a single release of a weapons system. This may involve firing just one round or piece of ammunition (e.g., from a semi-automatic firearm), but can also refer to ammunition types that release a large number of projectiles at the same time (e.g., cluster munitions or shotgun shells).
- A dud refers to loaded ammunition that fails to function as intended, typically failing to detonate on landing. However, it can also refer to ammunition that fails to fire inside the weapon, known as a misfire, or when the ammunition only partially functions, known as a hang fire. Dud ammunition, which is classified as an unexploded ordnance (UXO), is regarded as highly dangerous. In former conflict zones, it is not uncommon for dud ammunition to remain buried in the ground for many years. Large quantities of ammunition from World War I continue to be regularly found in fields throughout France and Belgium and occasionally still claim lives. Although classified as an unexploded ordnance, landmines that have been left behind after conflict are not considered duds as they have not failed to work and may still be fully functioning and simply forgotten.
- A bomb, or more specifically a guided or unguided bomb (also called an aircraft bomb or aerial bomb), is typically an airdropped, unpowered explosive weapon. Mines and the warheads used in guided missiles and rockets are also referred to as bomb-type ammunition.