Ammunition, in the broadest sense of the word, is anything used in war for combative purposes powered by chemical or gun powder. Guns, bullets and different artilleries that could be used in war that use bullets could be identified as ammunition. The word ammunition comes from the word “la munition”. It’s a French word which means anything added to war. However, the definition has evolved to anything in war but restricted to those that are used with gun powder. The French word has been adopted in the English language and the meaning of “la munition” has also been adopted.
Development of Ammunition
The scope of the definition of ammunition continues to expand as the modern artillery introduced different weapons. Although the use of guns for war has been in existence before the 1900s, the term “ammunition” was thought to have started during the First World War as guns were extensively used during the war. There is a great supply of guns during this war as each country tried to stock as many guns as they can to keep up with the demands of their soldiers. Bunkers and fortresses were established specifically to house guns and other gun powder.
But guns and weapons with gun powder are not only the ones that could be defined as ammunition. During the Second World War, airplanes are now equipped with stronger guns and tanks have large cannons that could destroy a building in a single shot. Planes that “shower” bombs which could destroy a large portion of the city were also introduced.
Ammunition has also improved since the Second World War. Powerful bombs were also introduced. Bombs that could flatten a big city were introduced. The Atomic Bomb which practically shook the whole world at the end of the Second World War has been introduced and single-handedly ended the war waged by the Japanese.
Parts of Ammunition
Ammunition has greatly evolved for the last century but the components of ammunition stays the same. Although the design of ammunition has changed for decades, there have three common components which enable their function:
The ammunition will always contain explosives which could be used for destruction. Because of the development of weaponry, gun powder may or may not be used. There are explosives today that don’t have a drop of gun powder but they have been very powerful and could easily destroy anything around the explosive.
Explosives alone could never be powerful without the help of projectiles. These are the components of ammunition that enable the explosives to have the destructive power. Projectiles could be a gun or shrapnel in grenades which increases the destructive power of the explosives. The power of ammunition is greatly influenced by its projectiles.
Another important element in ammunition is the cartridge. They are commonly referred to as the “shell” wherein they cover the explosives and would only fire at the preferred time of the user. Cartridges are very important since they provide safety as well as power for the user. Cartridges usually have metal components to increase safety as well as power because of the metal components.
Types of Ammunition
The newest types of ammunition brought by the development of weaponry are the naval ammunitions. This type of ammunition is high powered and used for assault for destruction of structures as well as its protection against missiles. Naval ammunition could also be used for protection against enemy planes which intends to destroy the naval ship.
The range of the naval ammunition could span for hundreds of miles. During a war, a naval ship could conveniently position in waters even though its target are kilometers away. These powerful ammunitions could be launched from the naval ship and could hit its target without any problem. Because of the improvement of the guiding systems, these ammunitions could hit the intended target even at night.
Because of the destructive power of naval ammunition, they are often used for destroying structures instead of directly hitting the enemy. The range of naval ammunition is wide that target a group of combatants could wipe everyone out as well as civilians.
The first type of ammunitions is ammunitions for personal use. Rifles, AK-47, different type of firearms and the like are referred to as firearm ammunitions. They have pinpointing ability which makes them an efficient tool for war in targeting specific enemy. Although it could be used to eliminate a large number of enemies (such as Gatling guns), they are often used to eliminate the enemy or protection against attacks.
The most popular type of firearms ammunition is assault weapons because of their efficiency. Although they could come longer compared to simple hand guns, the small handguns don’t have the power to quickly eliminate the enemy. Assault weapons have multiple shots in one trigger which makes them very efficient compared to hand guns which requires using the trigger for every single shot. There are also modified hand guns in the market that could have the same firepower compared to assault weapons but control and accuracy may be sacrificed.
Ordnance ammunition refers to a group of ammunitions that requires special artillery for proper and efficient use. Ordnance ammunition could be easily identified as land based weapons that could be found in tanks or will require a special weapon aside from hand guns and other assault weapons.
The ordnance ammunition could be easily identified compared to other type of ammunition through their shells. The shells of ordnance ammunition are relatively larger compared to assault type of weapons. The assault weapons are usually developed to have smaller caliber for increased number of bullets per cartridge while ordnance ammunition is aimed towards increase of shells for increased efficiency and power. The increased shell is also complemented by the increased projectiles of weapons.
Ammunition is a very important aspect in weaponry. Almost every country has their ammunition which is used for protection and other national purposes. For personal use, careful caution should be exercised as improper use of ammunition could be life ending.