How Much Does Your Ammo Weigh?

One of the most criminally ignored elements of military small arms ammunition in the casual discourse is weight. Despite being one of the most important elements from a logistical and human factors perspective, the subject of weight rarely comes up in discussions about ammunition, with those conversations tending towards sexier topics like muzzle energy, caliber, and “flash figures” like bullet weight and muzzle velocity.

Since mid-2012, I have been keeping a database of ammunition weights, based on my collection of different cartridges both rare and mundane. The list has been kept in an Excel spreadsheet available over at my own site, 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, but recently I have updated it with a large number of new rounds, including some very uncommon ones that I recently acquired, spurring me to write this post.


4.32x45mm US Experimental, 5.56x38mm FABRL, 6.35x48mm Winchester pre-SAW Ballistic Test, .280/30 British Type C, 6mm SAW, 7mm High Velocity, 7.62x51mm NATO, 5.2x68mm Mondragon; just a handful of the rounds I weighed for the compendium below.


The spreadsheet organizes ammunition (roughly) by caliber, and divides my collection into two categories: Pistol and rifle rounds (though I tend to be a rifle ammunition collector, sorry pistoleros!). Data for each round’s name, case material (if any), bullet type, bullet weight, and overall weight in both grams and ounces is given by the spreadsheet.

I’ve reproduced the spreadsheet below in image form so that you can quickly scan it for anything interesting, but the spreadsheet file itself is, as previously mentioned, available over at 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute.

Have you ever wondered how 9mm NATO compared to 5.56mm in terms of weight? How about, uh, 5.2x68mm Mondragon versus 9mm SMAW? Then take a look below:


Cartridge Weights Img1 Cartridge Weights Img2 Cartridge Weights Img3




Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • stephenfshaw

    Impressive compendium.

    The next step in a great “article” would be to offer some analysis. Or at least add up the total weights of “case + bullet.” It would be great to see some visualizations of weight by caliber, how typical military loads stack up against the universe of weights, etc. Maybe convert the weights to a basic load equivalent – i.e. 180 rounds of 5.56 = 6# or some such.

    Anecdotally, I thought that the ability to carry 8-10 mags of 5.56 and add only 10# to my load was a pretty reasonable firepower:weight ratio. For folks with the SR-25 or equivalent on patrol, even half as much quantity of 7.62 was a bigger load. But we didn’t have access to your scope of data back in Anbar.

    So consider going the distance and synthesizing some of this data into useful form for hte rest of us.


    • I originally was goong to include analysis based on muzzle energy, caliber, etc, but after looking at that I decided that it wouldn’t be as informative as one might think. The reasons for this are that the sample is not terribly meaningful – it’s just whatever I happened to weigh as part of my collection, and that factors like muzzle energy and muzzle velocity are very hard to fairly compare between one round and another.

      • M.M.D.C.

        There would seem to be so many variables involved that it would make such an analysis either incomplete or tremendously difficult for any one man to complete. I guess if you carefully limited the scope of the thing it might be possible.

        • Yeah, I was able to do some basic analysis of the rifles I weighed for that weight compendium, but the sample of ammunition I have here is very different. Imagine if I took those sixty rifles and SMGs and added 20 more AR-15s, a bunch of handguns, a couple antitank rifles, and 15 Sears .22s. The data would be a total mess!

  • RetMSgt

    Well, let’s see. In Vietnam, to go along with my automatic M-14 (yes, it had the selector switch), I carried it with two 20-round magazines duct taped together; at two pounds per, that’s four pounds right there. Then I had four (not two) ammo pouches, each containing two 20-round magazines. So that’s another sixteen pounds. That’s twenty pounds of ammo right there. And, in the truck, I had an ammo can with eighteen more fully-loaded magazines. So that’s another 36 pounds, not counting the weight of the ammo can or the five boxes of ammo also wedged in there. Might as well add in the six-pound M-1 pot on my head, plus the two canteens.

    Yes, ammo can weigh a bunch, and it seems that the longer you carry it the heavier it gets.

    • BLSLoomis

      Im sure it wasnt fun being in the jungle and having to carry all that weight. Im gld youre here today to tell us about your experience experience. Thank you for your service.

    • ozzallos .

      Sooooo… not my 45-70?

    • Mike Lashewitz

      You had a truck?

    • Billca

      Just as a quick thumbnail comparison, you were loading up about 30 lbs of ammo alone. The weight of magazines & pouches extra. But generally, if you were carrying about 560 rounds of 7.62 that same amount would only come out to about 12.5 lbs of 5.56mm. The same weight would be about 1280 rounds.

      Still, 30 lbs of ammo is a lot to schlep around. Standard grunt load, IIRC, was 140 rounds (6 mags + 1 in the rifle). On some patrols guys would bring a spare bandoleer or two (280-420 rounds). Some of the young bucks coming home from Afghanistan have said they carried up to 480 rounds on some missions (about 12 lbs in bandoleers). Somehow the lightweight ammo has instilled a mindset in too many commanders that grunts OUGHT to carry more ammo to reduce the logistics of resupply while engaged in enemy contact. Somehow the weight of the radios, batteries, GPS, AN/PVS, body armor, etc. all gets forgotten.

  • NoNamesOnTheNet

    I had to put together a similar spreadsheet (albeit, not as in-depth) for work. Some of us work in fields where having to ship ammunition becomes a necessary evil, and looking at the difference between being able to send 210 rounds of 5.56 somewhere vs 700 rounds of 5.7 becomes a valid consideration.

  • Jon

    Good job Nathaniel!

    • Thanks, Jon!

      • Blake

        “if you guys don’t start the mother of all caliber wars in the comments I shall be sorely disappointed in you”

        nice tag 🙂

  • Major Tom

    My Mosin-Nagant ammo is lighter than .308?

    • No, it’s about a gram heavier for a given bullet weight.

  • Ceiling Cat

    What, no shotgun?

    • I don’t collect shotgun ammunition, so no. 🙁

      • ostiariusalpha

        Some vintage brass shotshells might be interesting.

        • An oversized version of the Steyr ACR’s breech mechanism would probably offer the least amount of bulk for a LSAT-type shotgun. However, I’m not certain that you’d save much space over a conventional shotgun.

          • ostiariusalpha

            As a shotgun round, an LSAT-type cartridge wouldn’t require any unique considerations as far as a specialized chamber mechanism goes. It’s only the rifle ammunition that needs anything like that, due to the rifle bore being smaller in diameter than the cartridge itself and the polymer case not having a pre-formed bottleneck (though it does form a type of seal when fired). A shotgun generally has the same bore diameter as its ammo, so whether fired from a wiz-bang articulating chamber or a standard breech, it would function just fine in either one.

          • Even sporting shotgun manufacturers love to hype the cycle speed of their semi-auto actions for Sporting Clays and 3-Gun.

            All plastic and nearly-all plastic hulls have been marketed in the past, like the Wanda Cartridge and ACTIV shotshells. However, the goal with a LSAT type shotshell should be the elimination of the rim.

  • Vhyrus

    Tell us more about 5.2x68mm Mondragon. I can’t seem to find any info about it (in english, anyway). Even the Wikipedia page on Mondragon is quite brief.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Heck, Nate could do a whole article on Mondragón’s various efforts to create a SCHV round using late 19th century cartridge & propellant technology.

      • I could, and I probably should.

        Might be time for me to do some digging.

    • Nick

      After some digging online, I found it has a brass ring around the base of the bullet. This ring sits on the cannelure in the case.

      At first appearance, I thought it was like the captured piston ammo the Russians made for their special forces (very interesting, but pretty dangerous ammo once fired). It appears that is not the case, but rather the ring is used to stall the bullet and allow more time for the powder to burn.

      I would assume this was a necessity of SCHV ammunition at the time as a workaround for powder that was incompatible with this use, since it would be many more decades before SCHV became common.

    • Nick

      Oh, here’s a cutaway.

  • Ben Warren

    I’m back from a long internet search to find out just why the Mondragon cartridge has that second crimp. Interesting design, and I can’t help but notice that it’s among the heaviest cartridges on the list.

  • Nathanusername

    Now I’m wondering… What cartridge has the best muzzle energy to cartridge weight ratio?

    • Probably ammunition for 16″ battleship guns.

      Or maybe M829A3 120mm tank ammo. Or 3VBM17 125mm ammo.

      • Nathanusername

        So has anyone made an AR upper for 120mm tank ammo yet? Just keep the sabot under .50 inches and its perfectly civilian legal 😀

  • N E W T

    The 5.56mm FABRL project has always intrigued me. I wonder what a heavier monolithic bullet of similar shape and a much higher chamber pressure with modern propellants would provide?

  • Don Ward

    Why is TFB bullet weight shaming? Cartridges come in all shapes and sizes and dimensions. They are all beautiful!


    • M.M.D.C.

      Hey, boolits need social justice too, right?

    • Budogunner

      I’m all about that case, all about that case, no polymer.

      • Tassiebush

        My anaconda don’t want none unless they’re 240grains son…

  • 2hotel9

    Not really what I thought the post would be when I saw the title, pretty cool though. I was thinking along the lines RetMSgt did. 5 30rd mags in the chest rig, 10lbs, another in the rifle at 2lbs, 4 mags for pistol and one in it another 2 1/2lbs, tac bag with another 6lbs of rifle and 2 1/2lbs of 9mm, so around 24lbs. EDC? Just pistol and a backup mag, around 3lbs.

  • 5.2 x 68 looks godawfully like it has a super flat trajectory, but then again, I’m a dolt.

    • Nick

      Probably poor stability. The bullet itself is ridiculously long for caliber, and it had a MV of only ~2600 FPS. Add to this that it had this odd brass ring around the base of the bullet, potentially creating an imbalance in the bullet.

      It’s also a design over a century old, but is quite interesting.

      • The brass ring did not leave the firing chamber, so far as I know.

        • Nick

          I never assumed it did. My assumed effect to accuracy would be it ripping off the back of the bullet during separation, if they were attached somehow.

          I could only assume it is a ring as opposed to a solid piston, since otherwise it would need to be considerably thicker to sustain the pressure in the case after firing.

          • Oh yeah, I dunno, it might have.

          • ostiariusalpha

            It’s a tension fit, just like in the neck of the case; so there was no ripping. In reality, the imperfections in the burn rate of the primitive smokeless powder the cartridge used probably had more effect on the precision of the bullet than the piston ring around the base of the projectile did.

    • For the time period, it would have been very flat.

  • Tom Currie

    Contrary to the article, weight is THE PRIMARY factor discussed by the military in considering any ammunition — which is how we got saddled with the damnable 5.56x45mm junk that replaced 7.62x51mm — fortunately the Warsaw Pact mostly saddled themselves with 5.45x39mm about the same time, so both sides were arming their infantry with weapons where the grunts could carry enough rounds to spray and pray even if they couldn’t hit anything. Unfortunately for us, most of the bad guys that we actually had to fight stayed with 7.62x39mm.

    • “One of the most criminally ignored elements of military small arms ammunition in the casual discourse is weight.”

      I am not sure where the myth arose that 7.62x39mm is some kind of magical death ray and 5.56mm gives the equivalent of a flea-bite, but that’s very far from the truth indeed.

      • iksnilol

        I dunno, M67 was pretty effective. I don’t doubt it is still effective.

        • It’s a better performer than M43, but it’s by no means spectacular. It’s a pretty bog-standard S-type flat-base thin-jacket, yawing, non-fragmenting projectile of the kind that’s been in use for literally 110 years. Nothing special.

          I don’t know why people trump it up as something super-effective, besides the fact that PS-type bullets are so underwhelming compared to literally anything else.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, I would have known plenty of people if they weren’t killed by that bog standard not so spectacular round.

          • I didn’t say it wasn’t lethal, I said it wasn’t unusual. Lots of people have been killed with S-Patrones, too.

          • iksnilol

            Point taken 🙂

            “The simplest is usually the best” is the slogan of a chain of stores in Norway. I find that applies somewhat well. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fancy hi-tech stuff but good old fashioned M67 7.62×39 does all I need. I like the idea behind 5.56, but the barrier penetration has been lacking with regular military ammo.

      • Tom Currie

        Nice strawman argument, but totally bogus since no one said either “myth” — on the other hand, as someone who was there when it happened, I will point out that 7.62xAnything was far more effective than 5.56×45 on the specific battlefield where we introduced 5.56×45. I’m not talking about the legitimate problems that did plague the M16 (some of which still do), but I am talking specifically about issues with a high speed low mass bullet being used in dense brush and jungle — a round that any varmint shooter knew and still knows will deflect off any leaf, twig, or blade of grass between the shooter and the target. Most GIs in Vietnam didn’t know WHY they couldn’t hit anything with the M16, but it didn’t take us long to figure out that spray & pray was the ONLY way that round was effective if there was anything between you and the target. Meanwhile the heavier, slower, 7.62 rounds (of both flavors) happily punched straight through brush and jungle to hit who the shooter aimed at. Yes, 5.56×45 was “devastating” if you got a clear shot in the open — unfortunately it was not easy to convince the bad guys to stand in the open for you to shoot them.

        • ostiariusalpha

          M43 bullets deflect just as much on the kind of brush that will deflect M193, even M80 deflects a lot easier than people suppose. I’m a varmint shooter, and tall grass can do odd things to even .30-06. There’s no magic to heavy bullets, making them immune to deflection.

          • Tom Currie

            No one said that slower heavier bullets are IMMUNE to deflection, but the notion that 7.62×51 deflects as easily or as much as 5.56×54 is nonsense. Yes, tall grass can do odd things, especially when it is an excuse for ignoring wind or simply making a bad shot. But, there are lots of us still alive who can tell you that 7.62×51 would hit where intended at 20-50 yards in grass and brush while 5.56×45 wouldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with ANYTHING at all between it and the target (and yes, I am still talking at under 50 yards — where the vast majority of fire fights occurred)

          • Not those guys in the ARPA report, though, apparently.

          • ostiariusalpha

            What bad shot? The bullet keyholed when it hit the coyote, but killed him just the same, though I did take the shooter to task for not shooting at an unobstructed target. And no one claimed that M80 deflects as much as M193, but M47 certainly does. There are any of dozens of articles showing how .308 deflects from obstructions that simulate thick brush; some show that it does better than 5.56 (and some don’t show much difference at all), but none show that 7.62×39 does at all well through brush.

          • 2hotel9

            Tom? Let it go. The paper people will never let go of the paper no matter how much real world evidence gets dropped on them. I know from personal experience. You know from personal experience. They simply refuse delivery, you are beating a dead horse and getting covered in bloody bits and it will change nothing with the paper people. Just laugh at them and let it go.

          • CommonSense23

            Experience doesn’t mean a thing. This comes from someone who has a good bit of experience. What actually matters is actually analyzing the experiences, studying the meaningful data. All of which contradict his statements.

          • 2hotel9

            Keep telling yourself that. The world will keep chugging along around you no matter what you “feel”.

          • CommonSense23

            Your right, feelings has nothing to do with this. Its why hard evidence that has been tested time and time again is more valuable than recollection from decades ago, from a individual who’s understanding of the subject is minimum at best.

          • 2hotel9

            Yes, I tested it on more than one occasion and I prefer .30 in whatever flavor it is available. And having killed a 290lbs whitetail just a few months ago with a 147gr .308, in heavy brush, I will go with my “recollection” over paper any day of the week. Twice on Wednesday, cuz it sucks.

          • Go ahead. Use .32 ACP on deer. I’ll wait. 😉

          • 2hotel9

            Ahhh, ain’t that cute!?!?

          • Wait, are you saying there’s nothing magic about .30 caliber? But I thought…

          • 2hotel9

            You got a rifle that fires .32acp? Break it out and pass it around, we’ll see what it can do. As for .30, yes, it is a MBR cartridge. 5.56 is a carbine cartridge. There it is.

          • Yeah, all 160 Joules of energy that .32 ACP produces from rifle barrels has really shut me up:


          • iksnilol

            Don’t forget, .32 ACP is even bigger than the 30 caliber rifles cartridges. So is more gooder.

          • CommonSense23

            And your recollection lines up with what has been tested and observed and reported multiple times. But to suggest that 5.56 is going to be throwing shots due to vegetation such as grass or bush, when it’s been tested, and documented in multiple setting that it is not. Is asinine.

          • 2hotel9

            Round and round you go. Hope you are enjoying yourself, I am.

          • iksnilol

            Uh, sorry for believing in repeateble tests and science over anecdotes and what you “saw” while hopped up on adrenaline and sprinting around like a coked up rabbit.

        • I addressed your statements directly. You claimed that I said the military ignores weight as a factor in small arms ammunition design, and I pointed out that you failed to read my opening sentence properly.

          As for “7.62xAnything” being “far more effective” than 5.56mm during the 1960s, well, anecdotal evidence given decades after the fact doesn’t feel very compelling in the face of evidence like this:

          “a. The trajectory of the AR- 15 bullet is not significantly affected when fired through dense underbrush at ranges up to 50 meters.

          b. The AR- 15 round will penetrate jungle undergrowth equally as well as the M2 Carbine round at ranges up to 50 meters.”

          “The lethality of the AR-15 and its reliability record were particularly impressive. All confirmed casualties inflicted by the AR-15. including extremity hits, were fatal (see photographs 7 and 8, Annex “D”).”

          “(1) (C) “On 160900 June 62, one platoon from the 340 Ranger Company was on an operation vic. YT260750 and contacted 3 armed VC in heavily forested jungle. Two VC had carbines, grenades, mines, and one had a 4 ANNEX “A” CONFIDENTIALCONFIDENTIAL SMG. At a distance of approximately 15 meters, one Ranger fired an AR-15 full automatic hitting one VC with 3 rounds with the first burst. One round in the head-took it completely off. Another in the right arm, took it completely off, too. One round hit him in the right side, causing a hole about five inches in diameter. It cannot be determined which round killed the VC but it can be assumed that any one of the three would have caused death.

          (2.) (C) “On 9 June a Ranger Platoon from the 40th nf Regt was given the mission of ambushing an estimated VC Company. The details are as follows: a. Number of VC killed: 5 b. Number of AR-15’s employed: 5 c. Range of engagement: 30-100 meters d. Type wounds: 1. Back wound, which caused the thoracic cavity to explode. 2. Stomach wound, which caused the abdominal cavity to explode. 3. Buttock wound, which destroyed all tissue of both buttocks. 4. Chest wound from right to left, destroyed the thoracic cavity. 5. Heel wound, the projectile entered the bottom of the right foot causing the leg to split from the foot to the hip. These deaths were inflicted by the AR-15 and all were instantaneous except the buttock wound. He lived approximately five minutes.

          Five VC were hit, all five with body wounds, and all five killed. Four were probably killing wounds with any weapon listed, but the fifth was essentially a flesh wound. The AR-15 made it a fatal wound.

          (9.) (C) “On 13 April, 62, a Special Forces team made a raid on a small village. In the raid, seven VC were killed. Two were killed by AR-15 fire. Range was 50 meters. One man was hit in the head; it looked like it exploded. A second man was hit in the chest,; his back was one big hole. ” (VN Special Forces)”

          That was the performance of the 5.56mm when it first hit the battlefield (and compared to a “7.62xSomething”, the .30 Carbine). Now, one can argue about twist rates and such (the guns used in the ARPA report had a 1/14 twist rate, although the jury is still out on whether that affected the rifles’ lethality), but what one cannot argue with are the results of the brush tests. These strongly indicate that even the early AR-15 with its less stable 1/14 twist could penetrate brush just fine in the jungles of Vietnam.

          Numerous tests after the fact, including ones I have conducted myself, also support the fact that the deflection characteristics of 5.56mm are much better than their reputation suggests.

          • Tom Currie

            Interesting that your ANECDOTAL “evidence” (provided by the people whose careers rested on having been right) still supports my “opinion” (based on experience) that GIs armed with the M16 routinely used full auto as a way to make up for the random trajectory of the 5.56mm round in brush.
            I also find it interesting that your evidence compares the performance of the M16 against the M1 or M2 carbine when no one in the US regular combat forces was armed with the carbine when the M16 was introduced. The only folks using a carbine at that point were a handful of USAF still using them for Air Base Ground Defense. Yes, some “Advisors” had early XM-versions of what later became the M16 and did serve alongside ARVNs armed with left over US carbines. But, of course, the data from those engagements is ANECDOTAL, very limited, and carefully selected.
            Since I was there and you are relying on carefully selected excerpts of anecdotal reports, let’s just agree to disagree.

          • You didn’t read the report, I take it. It contains testimony given by Rangers and Green Berets advising Vietnamese forces in Indochina in 1962.

            They were there, too.

          • Oh, question: If GIs used full auto when shooting through jungle brush because it disturbed the trajectory of the round too much, why did the Rhodesian Army practice the same thing with brush-busting 7.62mm FALs?

            Is it possible that this tactic was used not because of deflection in brush*, but because it’s really hard to see where people are when they’re obscured by jungle foliage (especially if they’re small, moving VC)?

            *You were there, and I believe you when you say that. However, I have to ask, how do you know 5.56mm was deflecting off brush? Did you put splatterboards behind the foliage and measure the dispersion and then compare it to 7.62mm? If you did, how did you control these experiments? In combat, how could you tell? It’s not like you can see a 5.56mm bullet in flight when it’s going damn near Mach 3.

            Honest question. I ask because a few years back, before I was a blogger, I ran my own tests on bullet deflection, and found no differences whatsoever between 8mm Mauser, 5.56mm, and 9mm Luger. I didn’t record them, because at the time I wasn’t publishing anything and I was just doing it to satisfy my own curiosity, but ever since then I’ve been very skeptical of claims of deflection.

            After all, we’re talking about a metallic slug travelling at tremendous speeds here, not exactly a spitball.

        • CommonSense23

          I am curious, what do you do for a living.

    • Gecko9mm

      I think you need to do a little more reading on this subject matter.

    • CommonSense23

      You might want to read up on terminal ballistics.

      • Tom Currie

        YOU might want to do more than read.

        • Oh this’ll be good.

        • CommonSense23

          Oh I do. That’s why I have got see a wide variety of rounds hitting flesh real world. It’s why the idea that bigger is automatically better in terminal ballistics is asinine.

    • ozzallos .

      The move to 5.56 was because of a shift in tactics. Lighter ammo means more mobility. It also means you can carry more, which equals more rounds down range. Modern tactics also call for fixing your opponent in position until they can either be flanked or overwhelming firepower can be brought to bear on them. 5.56 does all of these better than 7.62.

      Being a superior man-stopper isn’t the only consideration in the round’s selection. A 2in mortar also has better stopping power than a 7.62 in that regard, and so what?

  • Thamuze Ulfrsson

    What in the samhill is “9.53x76mm Winchester Multi-flechette”? Do you have any details about this cartridge, photographs maybe? Because IAA has got nothing.

    • Far right in this image:

      It was developed by Winchester at the request of Frankford Arsenal, as part of a study on multiple-flechette firing rifles. It held four 9.4 gr flechettes and a pusher-type sabot, fired at over 4,000 ft/s. The case was made of 7475 aluminum, but brass and plastic cases were also apparently made. Winchester also developed dummy and tracer ammunition.

      That’s basically a summary of the section on the 9.53x76mm in History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition Vol. III, starting on page 428.

      • Thamuze Ulfrsson

        Well then, thank you for the concise response. I actually learned something here.

        • No problemo. I really wanted to add images to the excel file so people could see what I was talking about in each case, but I couldn’t think of a way to do that elegantly. For one thing, I’d have to take photos of 165 different cartridges, then figure out a way to put them into Excel without making it ungainly. Probably possible, but it would take me time to figure out.

          • Nick

            One possible way would be to put each picture in its own page, hide all the pages, and link each cartridge name to a macro that causes that page to unhide.

            Clicking on a new caliber could close the old one and show the new one by simply hiding all of them, then un hiding the one desired, otherwise, you’d need a variable stored somewhere to know what sheet is visible. This second method would be faster however.

      • The US Army officially expressed interest in Multiple Fléchette weapon concepts as early as January 1968, although work certainly would have started earlier. The concept was part of the mid-term projects approved for the Army Small Arms Program (ARSAP). Winchester submitted its first proposal in May 1968.

        In June 1969, Winchester received a contract (DAA25-69-C-0013) from Frankford Arsenal for a preliminary design and systems analysis study related to the ammunition. Triple, quadruple, and quintuple fléchette rounds were considered. The triple fléchette round was rejected quickly. After determining there would be little difference between the quadruple and quintuple fléchette rounds, Winchester decided to pursue the quadruple fléchette round in hopes of reducing the size and weight of the parent weapon.

        The weapon itself began development under an August 1969 contract from the US Army Weapons Command (DAAF03-70-C-0012).

        • Here is an internal drawing of Winchester’s proposed Multiple Fléchette Weapon System.

      • Tassiebush

        Do you know if these were intended for a rifled gun or a smoothbore?
        I must say I wouldn’t mind a bolt action firing these one bit.

        • Smoothbore, I reckon.

          • Tassiebush

            Yeah actually that makes sense. it’d just reduce velocity and disperse them otherwise I suppose. Any tracer type rounds would need to also be flechettes.

          • Tassiebush

            The patent that Daniel E. Watters has posted does look rifled. It poses an interesting question would the rifling perhaps disperse them into a pattern which would then stabilize under the fletchettes fins and be therefore achieving a relatively parallel pattern over it’s effective range?

          • I don’t know. In the case of the AAI SPIW prototypes, I believe those were rifled to help shed the sabot.

          • Tassiebush

            Getting them out of the sabot consistently would be pretty important. I guess it’d be fairly straightforward to have them sitting in notches around the sabot and spin them outwards. It’d be a simple single piece solid sabot compared to trying to make some sort of fall away design.

  • Amanofdragons

    I’m surprised. The venerable old 45-70 isn’t on that list.

  • AD

    408 Cheytac please! I want to see how it compares to .50 BMG.

  • Kelly Jackson

    I don’t play on hardcore mode so my ammo is weightless

  • TDog

    Life would be so much easier if ammunition weighed nothing like in Fallout!

  • James Massman

    THANX for Chart! Interesting to note that .50 BMG weighs in at 10 times 5.56 x 45 (approximately), yet delivers muzzle energy soooo much more… is there a comparison available anywhere?

    • Actually, it ptoduces roughly ten times as much energy, too. 5.56 gives about 1,800 J from a 20″ barrel, .50 gives about 18,000 J from a 45″ barrel.

      • James Massman

        Hmmm, 18,000 Joules… Run a small apartment momentarily? 🙂 Thanks for info!

      • iksnilol

        I dunno if that is entirely fair. I mean, only .50’s with that long barrels are HMGs. Portable rifles usually have a max length way shorter than that.

        • And most 5.56mm guns have 16″, not 20″ barrels, so?

          • iksnilol

            That as well my good sir 😛

  • Matt

    Good information. I propose adding a couple columns for various applications. For example, “pounds per 500 rounds” would be useful for someone planning a bug out bag. “number of rounds per pounds” and “pounds per [common magazine capacity]” might be useful too.

  • gunsandrockets

    I wonder how much Blazer aluminum-cased pistol ammo weighs?

  • gunsandrockets

    I weighed 10 steel links for a Browning 1919 7.62mm disintegrating-link-belt, and the total came out to 48 grams.

    I just found a steel push-through link for the M60, and it weighed 4 grams. More than I expected.

  • gunsandrockets

    I presume a typical .17 HMR cartridge would weigh about 3 grams. Which is less than the .22 LR with a 40 grain bullet.

  • Yep, you can tell they’re Rubin’s brainchildren because of the distinctive-looking extractor groove. And also because that internal piston idea crops up elsewhere in Rubin’s work:

    Some more great info on the Mondragon-Rubin project here in the comments at Forgotten Weapons:

    • ostiariusalpha

      Rubin just had his fingers in all kinds of ballistic pies at the time, he was the go-to guy for experimental rounds. He even had a Kurz cartridge design from 1886, like a shortened version of his .303 prototypes with interesting comparisons to be drawn with the later 8mm Kurz, for potential use in self loading rifles.



      • I’ve had too much on my plate to tackle this, but some time ago I had the idea to do a series on Colonel Rubin. I can’t promise anything, but I would very much like to do it someday.

  • Stomper

    Bullet nerd…. ?

  • Jim Drickamer

    Weight is an important factor but needs to be kept in context. Without getting into the whole .45 vs. 9mm controversy again, what is the relationship between effectiveness on target and weight? Perhaps the greater weight of one caliber would result in such an increase in stopping power that it is actually the better bargain.