How Much Does Your Ammo Weigh?

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

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:

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Nathaniel F
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. He can be reached via email at

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  • Stomper Stomper on Apr 13, 2016

    Bullet nerd.... 😜

  • Jim Drickamer Jim Drickamer on Apr 13, 2016

    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.