Ammunition describes devices containing some combination of explosive, biological, nuclear, or chemical material for use in military, law-enforcement, or sporting applications. An individual unit of ammunition is called a round. Biological weapons (those which project, disperse, or disseminate biological agents) were banned by the Geneva Protocol of 1925 (COTB). The Chemical Weapons Convention (COTC) outlaws the use of chemical weapons. Ammunition may be categorized by its means of delivery:
  • Projectile ammunition is ejected from the chamber or barrel of a weapon toward the target by the gases generated on ignition of an explosive propelling or expelling charge. Propelling charges are integral to the round and may continue to provide propulsion during flight, while expelling charges are independent of the round. The traditional use of gunpowder for these charges is now almost completely superseded by the use of smokeless powders: one of the single-, double-, or triple-base propellants. (Propellants also burn at the base of some projectiles during flight to counteract the drag generated by air currents at that point.)

  • Nonprojectile ammunition is delivered by mechanical or manual projection, or by dropping from an aircraft, by awaiting the arrival of the target, or other means.


Rocket Motor Dangerous Good White Phosphorus Boron Hydride Solid Explosive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm A. Fox

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