Military

Appendix F

Ammunition Identification

Ammunition is identified by markings and color-coding on the items themselves, the containers, and the packing boxes. The markings and standard nomenclature of each item, together with the lot number, FSC, NSN, DODIC, and DODAC, completely identify each item and are used to maintain accountable records. This appendix gives a basic explanation of markings and color-coding. Because color-coding is a more ready means of identification, it is given greater emphasis here.

MARKINGS

F-1. Markings stenciled or stamped on munitions items include all information needed for complete identification. Components in which all explosive, incendiary, or toxic materials have been simulated by substitution of inert material are identified by impressed INERT markings. Components in which all explosive, incendiary, or toxic materials have been omitted are identified by stamped EMPTY markings.

AMMUNITION LOT NUMBER

F-2. Each item of ammunition is assigned a complete round or item lot number when it is manufactured or is at the LAP plant. See MIL-STD 1168-A for a description of the current system. See MIL-STD 1168 for a discussion of the old lot numbering system. Figure F-1 breaks down a typical ammunition lot number showing both the new and old systems.

Figure F-1. Typical Lot Number System

CONVENTIONAL AMMUNITION FEDERAL SUPPLY CLASSES

F-3. Conventional ammunition is FSG 13. Within this group, ammunition is further broken down by two more numbers that identify the general type or family in which the item falls. Table F-1 lists the FSCs.

Table F-1. FSC Group 13 Classes

CONVENTIONAL AMMUNITION NATIONAL STOCK NUMBERING SYSTEM

F-4. Each complete round or item of conventional ammunition or associated explosive component is identified by its own NSN. The first four numbers of the NSN is the FSC. It is followed by the National Item Identification Number, or NIIN, which consists of a two-number code identifying the country of manufacture and a seven-number item identification. See Figure F-2 below.

Figure F-2. Example of an NSN

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IDENTIFICATION CODE

F-5. A DODIC is a single letter and three numbers or, in the case of small guided missiles, two letters and two numbers. It is attached at the end of all NSNs to denote interchangeability of the item. Communications between ammunition units often use an ammunition item DODIC. See Figure F-3 for a conventional NSN with DODIC added, demonstrating interchangeability between various model numbers and the designators of an ammunition item.

Figure F-3. Sample DODIC

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AMMUNITION CODE

F-6. The DODAC includes the FSC of the ammunition and the DODIC. The code is used on all using unit DD Form 581s, DA Form 3151-Rs, and most ammunition reports. The DODAC is used instead of the DODIC to reduce errors with ammunition transactions. See Figure F-4.

Figure F-4. Example of a DODAC

COLOR CODING

F-7. The main reason ammunition is painted is to protect it from rust. However, the color of the protective coating and markings also makes ammunition easy to identify and provides some camouflage. Ammunition 20mm and larger is color-coded IAW MIL-STD 709C (see Tables F-2 and F-3). Figure F-5 shows typical markings for an artillery round of ammunition.

Table F-2. Ammunition Color Code, MIL-STD 709C
Color1,2 Fed Std No 595 Interpretation

Yellow

33538

Identifies low-explosive items of components or indicates low explosive. Normally brown band around the item.

Brown

30117
or
30140

Identifies HE ammunition or indicates presence of HE.

Gray3,4

36231

Identifies chemical ammunition containing toxic chemical, incapacitating or riot control agent. Used as basic color.

Dark red

31136

Identifies riot control agent filler.

Dark green3

34108

Identifies toxic chemical agent filler. Used for markings and bands.

Violet

17100

Identifies incapacitating agent filler. Used for markings or bands.

Black3,5

37038

Identifies armor-defeating ammunition or indicates armor-defeating capability.

Silver/aluminum

17178

Identifies countermeasure ammunition (e.g., radar echo, leaflets).

Light green3

34558
or
34449

Identifies screening or marking smoke ammunition.

Light red

31158

Identifies incendiary ammunition or indicates highly flammable material (liquids, jellies, solids) that produce damage by fire.

White3,5,6

37875

Identifies illuminating ammunition or ammunition that produces a colored light.

Light blue

35109

Identifies practice ammunition.

Orange

32246

May be used to identify ammunition used for tracking and recovery in tests or training operations (e.g., underwater mines and torpedoes).

Bronze, gold, brass

17043

Identifies completely inert ammunition for use in activities such as assembly, testing, handling, drills, etc., not to be delivered in a delivery system.

Footnote. The following have no color-coding significance:

1. Colors specifically applied to identify the color of smoke ammunition or pyrotechnics.
2. Unpainted or natural color ammunition.
3. Gray black, green, or white on underwater ammunition.
4. Gray on air-launched missiles.
5. Black or white when used for lettering or special marking.
6. White on guided missiles, dispensers, and rocket launchers.

 

Table F-3. Application of Color Codes for Particular Ammunition Items, MIL-STD 709C
Ammunition Colors
Body Markings 1 Bands

HE, except 20mm

Olive drab

Yellow

Yellow 2,3,4,5

HE, 20mm

Yellow

Black

None

Explosive binary munitions

Olive drab

Yellow

Broken yellow6

HEP

Olive drab

Yellow

Black

HEAT

Black

Yellow

None

Antipersonnel and antitank mines

Olive drab

Yellow

Yellow3

Incendiary

Light red

Black

None

HEI

Yellow

Black

Light red

API

Black

White

Light red

AP

 

 

 

   With bursting charge

Black

Yellow

None

   Without bursting charge

Black

White

None

Canister

Olive drab

White

None

Flechette-loaded

Olive drab

White

White7

 

 

 

Yellow8

Chemical

 

 

 

   Filled with a toxic chemical binary nerve agent

Gray

Dark Green

One broken dark green9,10,11

Illuminating

 

 

 

   Separate loading

Olive drab

White

White

   Fixed or semifixed

White

Black

None

Practice

 

 

 

   With low explosive to indicate functioning

 

 

Brown

   With high explosive to indicate functioning

 

 

Yellow

   Without explosive to indicate functioning

 

 

None

Screening or marking

 

 

 

Smoke ammunition

 

 

 

   Filled with other than WP

Light green

Black

None

   Filled with WP

Light green

Light red

Yellow9

 

 

 

Light red12

Inert ammunition not designed to be delivered in a delivery system

Bronze

Black

None

Chemical

 

 

 

   Filled with a riot control agent

Gray

Red

One red9

   Filled with an incapacitating agent

Gray

Violet

One violet9

   Filled with a toxic chemical agent other than binary agents

Gray

Dark Green

One dark green9

   Filled with a toxic chemical binary nerve agent

Gray

Dark Green

One broken dark green 9,10

 

Table F-3. Application of Color Codes for Particular Ammunition Items, MIL-STD 709C (Continued)

Footnotes:

  1. Color of the letters and figures normally used for the main identification.
  2. Circumferential band of yellow diamond-shaped figures on semifixed and separate-loading improved conventional munitions.
  3. Circumferential band of yellow triangular-shaped figures on mass scatterable mine and loaded semifixed and separate-loading ammunition.
  4. Separate-loading ammunition for shipboard use has a circumferential yellow band besides yellow markings.
  5. Bombs have one yellow band except thermally protected bombs, which have two yellow bands besides yellow markings.
  6. Circumferential broken yellow band (1/2-inch segments with 1/2-inch gaps) on explosive binary munitions.
  7. Circumferential band of white diamond-shaped figures on ammunition containing flechettes.
  8. Yellow band put on when the ammunition contains explosives used to fracture the projectile.
  9. Yellow band put on to indicate HE burster.
  10. Toxic chemical agent ammunition containing a binary nerve agent filling shown by a broken dark green band (1/2-inch segments separated by 1/2-inch spaces).
  11. Both color applications are standard. However, for land ammunition use, separate-loading ammunition is olive drab for overall body color with a white band and main identification details marked white. Fixed and semifixed ammunition is white for overall body color with main identification details in black.
  12. Separate-loading ammunition for shipboard use has black markings and a light red band.

 

Figure F-5. Typical Artillery Markings

F-8. Small arms ammunition is not color-coded under MIL-STD 709C. Either the small arms projectiles or the bullet tips are painted a distinctive color so they can be identified quickly. Figures F-6 through F-8, show the color codes for types of small arms ammunition up to and including.50 caliber. For more information, see TM 9-1300-200. Significant features of the current color-coding standard are as follows:

  • Olive drab. With yellow markings, OD indicates an HE round. However, OD is also being used as a basic color for certain new rounds such as ICMs, the flechette antipersonnel round, and some new illumination rounds for specific field artillery weapons.
  • Overpacking. Ammunition overpacked in color-coded bombs, in unit dispensers, or in warheads, must not be color-coded.
  • Camouflage. Ammunition containing toxic chemical, incapacitating, or riot control chemical agents must never be camouflaged by painting.
  • Standard DOD Ammunition Color Code. MIL-STD 709C contains the standard ammunition color code for 20mm and larger ammunition. Be aware, though, that there is still ammunition coded as specified by MIL-STD 709-B and MIL-STD 709-A. If this is the case, see the appropriate MIL-STD or TM 9-1300-200.

 

Figure F-6. 5.56mm Cartridges

 

Figure F-7. 7.62mm Cartridges

 

Figure F-8. Caliber .50 Cartridges



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