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Ammunition

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There are various types of ammunition featured in the Counter-Strike series, all of which have their own unique properties (damage, armor penetration, cost, etc.) which in turn also effects the efficiency of the weapons that fire them. Broadly, ammunition can be divided into pistol, rifle, shotgun, and heavy (Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes only) categories. While there are many types of Pistol and Rifle ammunition, the only Shotgun and Heavy ammunition available are the 12 Gauge shotshells and 66mm respectively. The cost of ammunition is a moot point from Counter-Strike: Source onwards since ammunition is free. The simplest way to gauge the power of any particular ammunition is to observe the amount of energy it generates (in Joules) as stated in the VGUI menus. On a side note, if a cartridge is listed as AxBmm then A denotes the width of the bullet and B the size of its case in millimeters. If the notation is .XYZ, then it is the width of bullet expressed in 1/100th of an inch.

Pistol ammunitionEdit

Pistol ammunition is mainly used by the secondary pistols and submachine guns. Generally pistol ammunition is cheaper than rifle ammunition, is low powered (except the .50 AE) and has poor armor penetration (except the 5.7x28mm). Pistol ammunition is typically shorter and fatter than rifle ammunition and depends upon the size of the cavity it makes to disable a target. Due to its low velocity it has poor armor penetration, but is easier to suppress.

9x19mm ParabellumEdit

It is the most common pistol caliber found in game and real world. Its main advantages are its low cost and high ammunition capacity of the sidearms chambered in it. On the downside, the 9mm does low damage and has poor armor penetration than every other caliber except the .45 ACP. It is the starting ammunition the Terrorists spawn with in their Glock 18. The player can carry a maximum of 120 spare bullets of the 9x19mm.

The weapons using this caliber are:

11.43x23mm (.45 ACP)Edit

The .45 ACP is probably the second most used pistol ammunition in-game. Its main advantage is its relatively high damage output. These advantages are countered by its relatively high cost and the worst armor penetration of any ammunition. Also it is the ammunition used by the only suppressed pistol, the USP .45 cal. Upto 100 spare bullets can be carried by the player.

The weapons using this caliber are:

9x22mm (.357 SIG)Edit

The .357 SIG is a proprietary ammunition created by SIG Arms of Switzerland and is exclusively used by the P228 and P250 manufactured by SIG Arms. The .357 SIG makes for a fine secondary weapon, having better armor penetration than the 9x19mm, equal or more base damage compared to the .45 ACP and greater magazine capacity than .45 ACP or .50 AE chambered side-arms. Maximum of 52 spare bullets of this caliber can be carried.

The weapons using this caliber are:

5.7×28mm FNEdit

Like the .357 SIG and 4.6x30mm, the 5.7x28mm is a proprietary ammunition of FN Herstal of Belgium. Like the 4.6x30mm the 5.7x28mm is best classified as a PDW round rather than a pistol round. The 5.7x28mm is a direct competitor to the 4.6 HK. While both companies tout their ammunition to be better, both round are identical in performance, being high velocity, armor piercing rounds with questionable terminal effectiveness. The Armor Piercing round is designated SS190. Upto 100 rounds of spare ammunition can be held in reserve.

The weapons using this caliber are:

12.7x33mm (.50 Action Express)Edit

The .50 Action Express is the ammunition exclusively used by the Desert Eagle. It is by far the most powerful pistol ammunition available in the Counter-Strike games. While it lacks the armor piercing capacity of 5.7x28mm rounds, it more than makes up by its high base damage. When compared to rifle ammunition, it is between the 5.56x45mm NATO out of Assault Rifles and 7.62x51mm NATO out of Sniper Rifles. Its high power is offset by the low magazine capacity of the Desert Eagle. The player can carry only 35 spare bullets of this caliber.

The only weapon using this caliber is:

Rifle ammunitionEdit

Rifle ammunition is used by the player's primary rifles. Rifle ammunition is characterized by its high damage and high capacity of its weapons. Rifle bullets are upto three to four times longer than pistol bullets, extremely streamlined and typically travel at thrice the velocity. Their main wounding mechanism is the sheer velocity which can cause hydrostatic shock in the target. This is supplemented by the bullet tumbling (i.e rotating inside the target), fragmenting (breaking into pieces) etc which cause much more grievious wounds than pistol bullets. Assault Rifle bullets such as the 5.56 NATO and 7.62 Russian are lighter or equal in mass to pistol bullets, while sniper bullets like the 7.62 NATO and .338 Lapua are heavier, generating enormous amounts of energy.

5.56x45mm NATOEdit

The 5.56 NATO is the most commonly used assault rifle and light machine gun ammunition, being the chambering of choice for all assault rifles and light machine guns except the AK-47. Even the SIG SG550, a marksman rifle, is chambered in it. From a gameplay point of view the 5.56mm NATO ammunition offers decent damage, low recoil and sheer abundance. While it's per bullet damage is less than the other rifle bullets, the low recoil means more bullets can be delivered faster. It offers excellent armor penetration. It takes anywhere from three to six bullets to kill an opponent. The player can have a maximum of 90 bullets in reserve for rifle, 200 rounds (or 2 ammo belts) for LMG.

The weapons using this caliber are:

7.62x51mm NATOEdit

The 7.62x51mm NATO is the standard snipining, marksman and battle rifle round of the NATO forces. This round offers high damage per bullet, second only to the .338 Lapua. As a downside the semi-automatic and automatic firearms chambered in this round suffer from massive recoil, making them harder ro control. These rounds are virtually unaffected by armor. In-game it takes two shots to kill any enemy, armored or not. Upto 90 bullets of this ammunition can be held in reserve.

The weapons using this caliber are:

*Note - The Counter-Strike games do not differenciate between the 7.62x51mm NATO and 7.62x39mm Russian, identifying both as 7.62mm and hence are interchangable.

8.58x70mm (.338 Lapua Magnum)Edit

The .338 Lapua Magnum is the most powerful ammunition available in the Counter-Strike games, not counting the Deleted Scenes exclusive .50 BMG. The .338 Lapua is unaffected by body armor i.e it is perfect at piercing armor. It is used exclusively by the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Super Magnum. As a point of controversy, this ammunition is capable of killing in one shot. Due to the absence of any portable .50 BMG rifle, the .338 Lapua AWSM is used as a makeshift anti-material rifle in the CS:CZ Deleted Scenes mission, Thin Ice.

The only weapon using this caliber is:

Note: The AWP in earlier Counter-Strike game does not use .338 Lapua Magnum, instead it uses .243 Winchester Magnum or .308 caliber rounds.

12.7x99mm (.50 BMG)Edit

The .50 Browning Machine gun is by far the most powerful small arms ammunition in use with the NATO forces. Originally used as a heavy machine gun round, it has also found use as an anti-material round in special armor-piercing and/or incendiary versions out of portable sniper rifles. In the Counter-Strike titles the .50 BMG can only be used in the (fixed) M2 Browning, either in Deleted Scenes or custom maps. The damage inflicted by the rounds is variable and depends upon the coder.

The only weapon using this caliber is:

Shotgun ammunitionEdit

12 GaugeEdit

The 12 Gauge shotshells is the only Shotgun ammunition found in the Counter-Strike games. While in real life there are many variations of shotgun ammunition such as solid slugs, bigger or smaller pellets etc, the Counter-Strike games are limited to buckshot. Due to the spreading pattern of shotgun ammunition, shotguns inflict extremely high damage up close, but neglible from a distance. The spread pattern varies from weapon-to-weapon. The sawn-off shotgun has the most spread, while the M3 has the least, with the semi-automatic shotguns between them. Unlike other games, limited pellets do travel at long distances like in real life. Shotgun ammunition has bad armor piercing capability. The player can have a maximum of 32 shells in reserve.

The weapons using this ammunition are:

Heavy ammunitionEdit

66mmEdit

  • M72 LAW - The 66mm warhead is highly effective against vehicles, in game, its able to destroy the T-90 in one shot. In real life however, its better to engage medium armor like T-54/55 or T-62. (CS:CZ Deleted Scenes exclusive)

TriviaEdit

  • The buy menu states that the .40 Dual Elites use .40 S&W ammunition. Although, the HUD reads 9mm Parabellum.
  • Similar to the Elites, the buy menu states that the IDF Defender uses .223 ammunition. Although, the HUD reads 5.56 NATO. The .223 Remington is a lower pressure, the  civilian version of the 5.56x45mm NATO.
  • Also, the buy menu in Counter-Strike: Source states that the Bullpup uses 5.56 NATO ammunition, similar to the previous Counter-Strike games, but the HUD reads 7.62 NATO.
  • The rifles that use 5.56 ammunition read 5.56 NATO while the M249 reads 5.56 Parabellum. They both share the same HUD icon, indicating they are the same type of ammunition. While there isn't anything known as 5.56 Parabellum in the real world, the Parabellum and NATO notations are to differentiate between the (non compatible) box stored ammunition belts of the M249 and the 30 round magazines of the Assault Rifles.
  • The game makes no distinction between the 7.62x51mm NATO used by the Steyr Scout and the G3SG-1 and the 7.62x39mm Russian used by the AK-47.
  • In Counter-Strike: Source and Global Offensive, players no longer need to purchase ammunition. Players automatically receive full ammo (loaded and backup) for all their weapons when a new round starts. Players will also always receive ammunition immediately after picking up a weapon, unless it was already empty. When out of ammo, running back to the buy zone and purchasing ammo for a primary weapon will get you another supply of ammunition.
    • If the player drops a weapon, its reserve ammo will also be discarded alongside with the weapon itself, unlike previous games where the player can keep the ammo of that weapon even when dropping it.
    • However, should the player wields a primary and secondary weapon that shares the same ammo, the player can keep the reserve ammo.
  • In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive after an update, when players reload, a magazine will drop onto the ground (excluding most shotguns).
  • Although the P2000 uses 9mm Parabellum, it has its own ammunition count, thus it does not share ammunition with weapons that uses 9mm Parabellum rounds.
    • The CZ75 Auto also does not share ammunition with other weapons that use 9mm Parabellum.
    • This is the same with the USP-S, which uses .45_ACP but does not share ammunition with weapons that have the same ammunition. This includes the UMP and the MAC-10.
  • In real-life, the MP7 does not fire in 9x19mm Parabellum. Instead, it fires HK 4.6×30mm.

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