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Small Arms Ammo Types

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Short answer? In the order asked, M1 carbine; M1 Garand, BAR and any .30 caliber MG, whether air or water cooled; M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol, Thompson Submachine Gun, Cal. .45, Submachine Gun, Cal. 45, M3


Long answer and much more interesting! Pertinent small arms run through 12:00.


Infantry Weapons and Their Effect (War Department training film, originally RESTRICTED)






John Kettler

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I believe the "car" stands for "Carbine" - so that ammo is useful to your squad leaders and such.


Personally I use Marco's UI mod which shows the ammo type on the gun portrait. Comes in very useful for the very problem you're having.

Edited by Baneman
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why are my infantry who have M1 Garands using 30cal M2 ammo?

The naming of weapons and the ammo they use are completely separate. It is NOT, and never was, a case that the M1 rifle used M1 ammo.


The naming schemes used by the US military* is also highly inconsistent. The previous riffle was the M1903 (based on the year it was introduced into service), while the next rifle was the M16 (based on ... who knows?).


M1car is carbine ammo, as @Baneman noted. And yes; @Marco's UI helps a lot keeping this stuff straight.


BTW, this isn't BFC's "fault" - they're using the correct weapon and ammo designations. They could, I suppose, try to 'simplify' things by renaming the M1 Garand to Standard US Battle Rifle and the .30 cal M2 ammo to Ammo For Standard US Battle Rifle, but that would run into justifiable howls of outrage from purists, grogs, and anyone else with a passing interest in this stuff, it would create problems with the UI because of the length of the names, and it would still be confusing because Ammo For Standard US Battle Rifle is also the ammo used by the M1919 .30cal MMG (or 'Standard US MMG') and the BAR, and the M1903 scoped rifle, and probably a few others.


* and all other militaries at various times.

Edited by JonS
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I thought Mr Kettler's layout might be a bit unclear for those without exceptional punctuation-fu, so here's a re-presentation:


  • .30cal M1Car is used in the M1 Carbine
  • .30cal M2 is used in the M1 Garand, M1919 MMG, M1917 HMG, M1918 Springfield (scoped, bolt-action marksmans's rifle), the BAR.
  • .45cal ACP is used in the Thompson, M3 Grease Gun and the M1911 pistol

As JonS says, the US Army's "M" designations are deeply and thoroughly confusing to the uninitiated. For example, the armour piercing round in .30-06 (same as M2) is also designated M2. So the Springfield-chambered weapons in the middle bullet-point above can fire two different kinds of M2 ammo... But they can't fire an M2 Mortar...

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It would have been nice if the US Military could have used different letters for different things... R for rifle, M for Mortar etc.  But they put names behind everything so it wasn't a problem for them at the time, e.g... M3 half-track, M3 light tank etc. Little did they realise then that 70/80 years later they would be confusing the likes of us.

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