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You can find here a list of terms related to SALW and Ammunition:

Abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO): Explosive ordnance that has not been used during an armed conflict has been left behind or dumped by a party to an armed conflict, and is no longer under control of the party that left it behind or dumped it. Abandoned explosive ordnance may or may not have been primed, fused, armed, or otherwise prepared for use.

(ammunition) Accounting: Information management systems and associated operating procedures that are designed to record, numerically monitor, verify, issue, and receive ammunition in organizations and stockpiles.

Ammunition: A complete device (e.g. missile, shell, mine, demolition store, etc.) charged with explosives; propellants; pyrotechnics; initiating composition; or nuclear, biological, or chemical material for use in connection with offence, or defence, or training, or non-operational purposes, including those parts of weapons systems containing explosives (cf. Munition).

Anti-aircraft gun: Used by the infantry to engage air targets, on occasion with notable success, their effectiveness is generally limited to long-term attrition rather than preventing individual aircraft from completing weapon delivery. The ammunition and shells fired by these weapons are usually fitted with different types of fuses (barometric, time-delay, or proximity) to send exploding metal fragments into the area of the airborne target.

Anti-tank guns: Guns designed to destroy armored vehicles. In order to penetrate the armor of tanks and other armored vehicles they generally fire shells of smaller calibre than regular indirect-fire artillery guns, propelling them at higher velocity.

Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) or anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW): A guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored tanks and other armored fighting vehicles. ATGMs range in size from shoulder-launched weapons which can be transported by a single soldier, to larger tripod mounted weapons which require a squad or team to transport and fire, to vehicle and aircraft mounted missile systems.

Artillery ammunition: Medium and large calibre ammunition for weapons, such as mortars, howitzers, missile, and rocket launchers, that are primarily designed to fire indirectly at targets (cf. Ammunition).

Assault rifle: Loosely defined as a selective fire rifle designed for combat that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies.

Blank cartridge: Used to simulate a live round, primarily used for training, containing propellant and a wad, but no bullet or other projectile. Not designed for offensive military use (cf. Cartridge).

Bolt action rifle: A weapon, which requires a manual operation to reload a weapon prior to each shot. Term "bolt action" comes from the "bolt" - a part of the weapon that is used to feed cartridges into the chamber and to lock the barrel upon the fire.

Bomb: Explosive munition, not subject to centrifugal forces and with a nearly vertical angle of descent, usually delivered from an aircraft or mortar (cf. Munition).

Burning ground: An area authorized for the destruction of ammunition, mines, and explosives by burning.

Charge: A fixed quantity of explosives designed for a specific purpose (cf. Explosives; Charge (bursting); Charge (demolition); Charge (expelling); Charge (propelling)).

Charge (bursting): A small charge, frequently of black powder, used to break the case of a carrier projectile to enable the release of its payload, classically used in shrapnel shells.

Charge (demolition): A charge made up from bulk explosive for the express purpose of destruction by blast or brisance.

Charge (expelling): A charge of generally low or deflagrating explosive designed to eject the payload from a parent munitions dispenser by gas pressure without damage to the sub-munitions (cf. Sub-munitions; Deflagration).

Charge (propelling): Articles consisting of a propellant charge in any physical form, with or without a casing, for use in artillery, mortars, and rockets, or as a component of rocket motors.

Cluster munitions: Containers designed to disperse or release multiple sub-munitions (cf. Munition; Sub-munitions).

‘Cooking off’ (within a weapon): Unintended firing of a weapon caused by the propellant exceeding its flashpoint and initiating. This happens when a weapon has become very hot due to repeated firing and is left loaded. The heat contained in the weapon is conducted to the charge, causing it to heat up, eventually to the point at which it initiates.

‘Cook-off’: The premature detonation or deflagration of ammunition due to the influence of heat from the surrounding environment.

Daily ammunition expenditure rate (DAER): The amount of ammunition that a single weapon uses in one day of combat of a given intensity.

Danger area: (cf. Explosive danger area)

Deflagration: A chemical reaction proceeding at subsonic velocity along the surface of and/or through an explosive, producing hot gases at high pressures.

Demilitarization: The complete range of processes that render weapons, ammunition, mines, and explosives unfit for their originally intended purpose. Demilitarization not only involves the final destruction process, but also includes all of the other transport, storage, accounting, and pre-processing operations that are equally as critical to achieving the final result.

Destruction: The process of final conversion of weapons, ammunition, mines, and explosives into an inert state so that they can no longer function as designed.

Destruction in situ: The destruction of any item of ordnance by explosives without moving the item from where it was found—normally by placing an explosive charge alongside it.

Detonation: The rapid conversion of explosives into gaseous products by means of a supersonic shock wave passing through the explosive. (Typically, the velocity of such a shock wave is more than two orders of magnitude higher than a fast deflagration.) (cf. Deflagration)

Detonator: A device containing a sensitive explosive intended to produce a detonation wave in some stimulus. It may be constructed to detonate instantaneously, or may contain a delay element.

Diurnal cycling: The exposure of ammunition and explosives to the temperature changes induce by day, night, and change of season.

Disposal (logistic): The removal of ammunition and explosives from a stockpile by the utilization of a variety of methods (which may not necessarily involve destruction). Logistic disposal may or may not require the use of render safe procedures. There are five traditional methods of disposal used by armed forces around the world: 1) sale; 2) gift; 3) use for training; 4) deep sea dumping; and 5) destruction or demilitarization.

Disposal site: An area authorized for the destruction of ammunition and explosives by detonation and burning.

Diversion: The unauthorized transfer of arms and ammunition from the stocks of legal users to the illicit market.

Drill: An inert replica of ammunition specifically manufactured for drill, display, or instructional purposes.

Explosive: A substance or mixture of substances that, under external influences, is capable of rapidly releasing energy in the form of gases and heat.

Explosive danger area: The area surrounding a demolition ground or ammunition storage area determined by the distances any fragments resulting from the detonation of ammunition may be expected to travel.

Explosively formed penetrator (EFP): (cf. Shaped charge)

Explosive materials: Components or ancillary items that contain some explosives, or behave in an explosive manner, such as detonators and primers.

Explosive ordnance: All munitions containing explosives, nuclear fission or fusion materials, and biological and chemical agents. This includes bombs and warheads; guided and ballistic missiles; artillery, mortar, rocket, and small arms ammunition; all mines, torpedoes, and depth charges; pyrotechnics; clusters and dispensers; cartridge- and propellant-actuated devices; electro-explosive devices; clandestine and improvised explosive devices; and all similar or related items or components that are explosive in nature.

Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD): The detection, identification, evaluation, rendering safe, recovery, and final disposal of unexploded explosive ordnance. EOD may also include the rendering safe and/or disposal of such explosive ordnance, which has become hazardous by damage or deterioration, when the disposal of such explosive ordnance is beyond the capabilities of those personnel normally assigned the responsibility for routine disposal. The level of EOD response is dictated by the condition of the ammunition, its level of deterioration, and the way that the local community handles it.

Explosive remnants of war (ERW): Unexploded ordnance (UXO) and abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO) that remain after the end of an armed conflict. (Cf. Unexploded ordinance; Abandoned explosive ordinance)

Fragmentation hazard zone: For a given explosive item, explosive storage, or mine- or UXO-contaminated area, the area that could be reached by fragmentation in the case of detonation. Several factors should be considered when determining this zone: the amount of explosive, body construction, type of material, ground conditions, etc.

Fuse: A device that initiates an explosive train.

Grenade: Munitions that are designed to be thrown by hand or to be launched from a rifle. Excludes rocket-propelled grenades (cf. Rocket).

Grenade launcher: A weapon which fires a grenade – a small shell, filled with high explosive or other agent, such as tear gas for less lethal application, bright burning compound for illumination purposes, incendiary filling etc. Of course, in most cases the grenade also must be fitted with a fuse, and with a safety, to avoid damage to the grenadier or handler.

Guided missiles: Guided missiles consist of propellant-type motors fitted with warheads containing high explosives or some other active agent and equipped with electronic guidance devices.

Hazard divisions (HDs): The UN classification system that identifies hazardous substances. For example, Class 1 (explosives) is sub-divided into six hazard divisions.

Hypergolic reaction: The spontaneous ignition of two components—particularly relevant in the case of liquid bipropellants (cf. Rocket motor).

Illuminating munition: Ammunition designed to produce a single source of intense light for lighting up an area. The term includes illuminating cartridges, grenades, and projectiles; and illuminating and target identification bombs.

Improvised explosive device (IED): A device placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to kill, destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. It may incorporate military stores, but is normally devised from non-military components.

Alternatively: An explosive device, constructed using non-commercial methods, usually in a domestic setting; or a device using ammunition that has been modified to allow it to be initiated in a non-standard way and for a purpose not envisaged by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Incendiary munition: Ammunition containing an incendiary substance that may be a solid, liquid, or gel, including white phosphorus.

Inert: An item of ammunition that contains no explosive, pyrotechnic, lachrymatory, radioactive, chemical, biological, or other toxic components or substances. An inert munition differs from a drill munition in that it has not necessarily been specifically manufactured for instructional purposes. The inert state of the munition may have resulted from a render safe procedure or other process to remove all dangerous components and substances. It also refers to the state of the munition during manufacture prior to the filling or fitting of explosive or hazardous components and substances. (cf. Drill; Lachrymatory ammunition; Pyrotechnic)

Lachrymatory ammunition: Ammunition containing chemical compounds that are designed to incapacitate by causing short-term tears or inflammation of the eyes.

Logistic disposal: The removal of ammunition and explosives from a stockpile, utilizing a variety of methods (which may not necessarily involve destruction). Logistic disposal may or may not require the use of RSPs (cf. Render safe procedure (RSP)).

Machine gun: A fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rifle bullets in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute.

Magazine: Any building, structure, or container approved for the storage of explosive materials. Includes detachable magazines fitted to small arms and light weapons.

Making safe: (cf. Render safe procedure (RSP))

Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS): Shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). They are typically guided weapons and are a threat to low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters.

Marking: The application of marks - including colours, descriptive text, and symbols - to weapons, munitions, parts, and their components, and associated packaging, for the purposes of identifying, among other things, their role, operational features, and age; and the potential hazards posed by those munitions.

Mortar: A muzzle-loading indirect fire weapon that fires shells at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It typically has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber.

Mine: An explosive munition designed to be placed under, on, or near the ground or other surface area and to be actuated by the presence, proximity, or contact of a person, land vehicle, aircraft, or boat, including landing craft.

Munition: Used in this volume—and in common usage—to refer to military weapons, ammunition, and equipment. A number of armed forces and ammunition specialists, however, use the term munitions to refer solely to complete rounds of ammunition (cf. Ammunition).

National stockpile: The full range of ammunition stockpiles in a country under the control of separate organizations such as the police, military forces (both active and reserve), border guards, ammunition-producing companies, etc. It includes all ammunition types, irrespective of classification (i.e. operational, training, or awaiting disposal). (cf. Stockpile)

(ammunition)Nature: Denotes specific types of ammunition. A means of categorizing ammunition or munitions by their function; e.g. anti-tank ammunition or riot control ammunition.

Neutralize: The act of replacing safety devices such as pins or rods into an explosive item to prevent the fuse or igniter from functioning. Neutralization does not make an item completely safe, as removal of the safety devices will immediately make the item active again.

Open burning and open detonation (OBOD): Ammunition destruction methods using burning, deflagration, and detonation techniques (cf. Deflagration; Destruction).

(white) Phosphorous: A flare or smoke-producing indendiary weapon, or smoke-screening agent, made from a common allotrope of the chemical element phosphorous.

Pistols (Semi-autos): Use part of the energy produced by burning cartridge powder to remove the used cartridge from the chamber, cock the hammer (or striker) and load a new cartridge in the chamber, so the pistol will be ready for the next shot. Cartridges are usually fed from a box magazine, located in the pistol's handle. Box magazines may contain up to 15 cartridges (or more) in single or double columns, depending on the pistol model, and are easy (and very quick) to reload.

Primer: A self-contained munition that is fitted into a cartridge case or firing mechanism and provides the means of igniting the propellant charge.

Proof: The functional testing or firing of ammunition and explosives to ensure safety and stability in storage and intended use.

Propellant: A material that is used to move an object by applying a motive force. This may or may not involve some form of chemical reaction. It may be a gas, a liquid, or, before the chemical reaction, a solid. Chemical propellants are most usually used to propel a projectile from its position in the breech, down the barrel, and through its ballistic trajectory to the target. Propellant operates by deflagrating in the breach, producing large volumes of gas at high pressure. Traditionally, propellants were classified as low explosives and, depending on the number of ingredients, were single-, double-, or triple-based. In the pursuit of higher muzzle velocities, however, some propellants now incorporate significant quantities of high explosives, such as RDX. These propellants are constrained from detonating by carefully controlling the means of initiation and the conditions under which the deflagration takes place.

Pyrotechnic: A device or material that can be ignited to produce light, smoke, or noise.

Recoilless gun or recoilless rifle: A lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile that would be impractical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Recoilless rifles are capable of firing artillery-type shells at a range and velocity comparable to that of a normal light cannon, although they are typically used to fire larger shells at lower velocities and ranges.

Render safe procedure (RSP): The application of special explosive ordnance disposal methods and tools to provide for the interruption of functions or separation of essential components to prevent an unacceptable detonation.

Revolvers: Got their name from the rotating (or revolving) cylinder, which contains cartridges. Usually the cylinder holds from 5 to 8 cartridges.

Risk: Combination of the probability of occurrence of harm and the severity of that harm.

Risk analysis: Systematic use of available information to identify hazards and estimate risk.

Risk assessment: The overall process comprising a risk analysis and a risk evaluation.

Risk evaluation: The process based on risk analysis to determine whether the tolerable risk has been achieved.

Rocket: Munitions consisting of a rocket motor and a payload, which may be an explosive warhead or other device. The term often includes both guided and unguided missiles, although has traditionally referred to unguided missiles.

Rocket motor: Article consisting of a solid, liquid, or hypergolic fuel contained in a cylinder fitted with one or more nozzles. It is designed to propel a rocket or a guided missile (cf. Hypergolic reaction).

Safe to move: A technical assessment by an appropriately qualified technician or technical officer of the physical condition and stability of ammunition and explosives prior to any proposed move. If ammunition and explosives fail a ‘safe to move’ inspection, then they must be destroyed in situ, or as close as is practically possible, by a qualified EOD team acting under the advice or control of the qualified technician or technical officer who conducted the initial safe to move inspection.

Safety: (cf. Stockpile safety)

Security: (cf. Stockpile security)

Shaped charge: A type of ammunition designed to focus the energy of a quantity of high explosive, usually to pierce or cut armour. Shaped charges typically consist of a cone-shaped metal liner backed by high explosive, contained within a steel or aluminium casing. Once initiated, a detonation wave collapses the liner, which forms a high velocity metallic jet (or broader diameter projectile), which is intended to penetrate armour.

Shelf life: The length of time an item of ammunition may be stored before the performance of that ammunition degrades.

Small arms ammunition: Small arms ammunition (less than 20 mm, and usually less than 14.5 mm, in calibre) consists of cartridges used in rifles, carbines, revolvers, pistols, submachine guns, and machine guns, and shells used in shotguns (cf. Small arms and light weapons (SALW).

Small arms and light weapons (SALW): All lethal conventional arms that can be carried by an individual combatant, team of people, or a light vehicle that also do not require a substantial logistic and maintenance capability. There is a variety of definitions for small arms and light weapons circulating, and international consensus on a ‘correct’ definition has yet to be achieved. For the purposes of this document, the above definition will be used.

Smoke munition: Ammunition containing a smoke-producing substance.

Stability: The physical and chemical characteristics of ammunition that impact on its afety in storage, transport, and use.

Standard/Standing operating procedures (SOPs): Instructions that define the preferred or currently established method of conducting an operational task or activity. The purpose of SOPs is to promote recognizable and measurable degrees of discipline, uniformity, consistency, and commonality within an organization, with the aim of improving operational effectiveness and safety. SOPs should reflect local requirements and circumstances.

Stock: A given quantity of weapons and explosive ordnance (cf. Stockpile).

Stockpile: A large, accumulated stock of weapons and explosive ordnance. Often used interchangeably with stock, or to denote the weapons retained in a specific ammunition storage facility or depot (cf. Stock; National stockpile).

Stockpile destruction: The physical activities and destructive procedures leading to a reduction of the national stockpile (cf. Destruction; Demilitarization; Disposal (logistic); Stockpile).

Stockpile management: Procedures and activities regarding safe and secure accounting, storage, transportation, and handling of munitions (cf. Stockpile).

Stockpile safety: The result of measures taken to ensure minimal risk of accidents and hazards deriving from weapons and explosive ordnance to personnel working with arms and ammunition, as well as to adjacent populations.

Stockpile security: The result of measures taken to prevent the theft of weapons and explosive ordnance; entry by unauthorized persons into munitions storage areas; and acts of malfeasance, such as sabotage.

Submachine gun: An automatic or selective-fired shoulder weapon that fires pistol-caliber ammunition.

Sub-munitions: Any munition that, to perform its tasks, separates from a parent munition (cf. Cluster munitions).

Surplus weapons: Weapons that are labelled unnecessary within the framework of a state’s national defence and internal security systems.

Surveillance (of ammunition): A systematic method of evaluating the properties, characteristics, and performance capabilities of ammunition throughout its life cycle in order to assess the reliability, safety, and operational effectiveness of stocks and to provide data in support of life reassessment.

Tracer ammunition: Ammunition containing pyrotechnic substances designed to reveal the trajectory of a projectile.

(ammunition) Tracing: Methods used to identify ammunition, its origins, and patterns of transfer. Shares some similarities with accounting, but usually used to refer to efforts made to identify diversion and the sources of illicit trade in ammunition.

Transfer: The import, export, trans-shipment, re-export, intangible transfer, licensed movement during production, brokering, and transport of small arms and light weapons.

Unexploded ordnance (UXO): Explosive ordnance that has been primed, fused, armed, or otherwise prepared for action, and which has been dropped, fired, launched, projected, or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard to operations, installations, personnel, or material, and remains unexploded either by malfunction or design or for any other cause.

Warhead: Munition containing detonating explosives. Designed to be fitted to a rocket, missile, or torpedo.


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