History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Volume III: 1946-1977

5.00 out of 5


Volume III is the continuation of the well-known series which began in 1967 with the publication of Volume I, which covered the period from 1880 – 1939. Volume II, which covers the WWII period from 1940 – 1945, was published in 1978. Because of the many U.S. military small arms ammunition developments during the period covered by Volume III, the book is large, with 650 pages (more than twice the size of Volumes I and II combined). There are 1,077 cartridge, bullet, case, and headstamp drawings in the book and 202 box labels illustrated.


Highlights include Chapter 3, Cal. .223 (5.56mm) at 58 pages, 68 figures, and 17 box labels and Chapter 6, Cal. .30 Light Rifle and 7.62mm NATO ammunition at 96 pages, 149 figures, and 41 box labels. Nineteen other chapters covering standard and experimental calibers from 1mm to Cal. .60 plus shotgun shells, four Appendices, a Glossary, Bibliography, and a 14-page Index round out Volume III.

Volume III is “required reading” for anyone with an interest in U.S. military small arms ammunition and its development. Twenty-two years in the making, the book completes the series of three volumes and without it, no collector’s reference library can be complete. Now, collectors of military pistols, rifles, and shotguns can finally have the full story of the ammunition developed for their firearms and other devices up to 1977. Most of the experimental, sometimes bizarre, cartridges described and illustrated are seen here for the first time ever, while the old standards such as .38 Special, .45 ACP, .30 Carbine, .30-06, 9mm, and shotgun shells are updated, often with surprising variations.

Cartridge types developed during the period covered include SPIWSAWFABRLSALVOSCAMP, “Tombstone,” Squeeze Bore, Taper Bore, Flechette, Simplex, Duplex, Triplex, Multiplex, Folded, Tround, Caseless, Expellable, QSPR, Rocket Propelled, Underwater, and more. The authors have been known worldwide for many years as the ultimate subject matter experts in the field of U.S. military small arms ammunition, and they bring all of their expertise, knowledge, experience, and writing skills to their latest work while still maintaining an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format. The detailed 11-page Table of Contents and 14-page Index make searching for a specific cartridge type or caliber quick and efficient.

Finally, as a bonus, otherwise blank pages or portions of pages at or near the end of most chapters have been used to present extra material of interest. There are 23 full or partial pages of bonus material, including 33 illustrations. (A photo of the authors at an earlier book-signing event is included.) The book’s first printing in November 2015 is limited in quantity and although future printings are likely due to an anticipated high demand, wise collectors will act now to ensure they are not disappointed.

Extra Resources

Sample Chapter

Additional information


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Drawings by

Eugene L. Scranton

Designed and Edited by

Mel Carpenter




LOC Control Number


6 reviews for History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Volume III: 1946-1977

  1. 5 out of 5

    An excellent resource material for historians, ammunition researchers and forensic scientists. Volume III will greatly add to the knowledge contained in Volumes I and II. I strongly recommend acquiring this set including the new Volume III.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Set the standard for serious research in the field of small arms ammunition. The authors are the definitive authorities in the subject and their work is both comprehensive and extremely well presented. No ammunition researcher or collector should be without these books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    I am very pleased to see this excellent volume complete the trilogy. As Q&A editor of The Gun Report magazine and ArmsHeritageMagazine.com, I have used volumes I and II for more than twenty years to find information not available elsewhere.

  4. 5 out of 5

    On countless occasions, I was asked to identify various types of ammunition and provide a historical perspective on these items of evidence. I was able to utilize the History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition volumes, which assisted me immensely. I could not have completed the mission without the assistance of these references.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The ultimate reference resource for any professional or enthusiast needing accurate and comprehensive information on military small arms ammunition. Volumes 1 and 2 have been the research bibles for decades; the long awaited volume 3 finishes the set. It is a treasure trove of information on post WWII military small arms and experimental cartridges and I am extremely pleased to add it to my library.

  6. 5 out of 5

    An absolute must if collecting any modern U.S. Military ammunition. There is something new and of interest for everyone, regardless of how advanced their collection is. Everyone interested in small arms ammunition as a designer, researcher, or collector should have copies of all three volumes.

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