.30-06 an-m2?

What does “AN-M2” mean in reference to .30-06 ball ammunition? Cartridges in question are headstamped “W C C 5 5” or “W C C 5 8”, I can’t recall exactly…



AN means Army - Navy. M2 is M2.


Thanks for asking that question AKMS. I NEVER knew that. I always thought M2 is M3. Ray made me smarter today. Thanks, Ray.

OK. M2 refers to the Cal .30 Ball M2, not the M2 MG. The AN ammo is designed for the M1919 .30 caliber M2 AN (Army-Navy) aircraft machine gun. Don’t ask me what the difference is because I don’t know.

I am now sorry that I answered this. ;)



YASNY (You ain’t seen nothing yet). For my next trick I will explain how electricity works.

I did not realize that the AN- machinegun was still in service by the mid to late 1950s. If this ammunition was specifically manufactured for use in this type of machinegun, why pack it in 20 rd cardboard boxes? Surely they were not still hand-linking ammo for this gun! COuld it have been for a foreign contract? I know the AN- machinegun has a very high cyclic rate. Maybe the ammunition is manufactured in some way to accommodate this? Stronger case head or something? Any value to a very nice, but not pristine box of this ammo besides as M-1 Garand fodder?



You may very well be right. It was a couple of years ago when I searched around trying to find a connection to the FN converted M1919 AN and, as I remember, there was a blurb on Wiki or some other site that I googled tying the two together. It could very well have been wrong. Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable than me may chime in.

Boxes of the AN M2 ammo are fairly common. I often see them on GB and AA.


Ask this guy:


I was not going to chime in on this, because 30-06 is outside of my field, but seeing the picture of the handsome and great Mr. Chris Punnett, and the lovely Beth Woodin seated next to him, I remembered to see if what i thought about “AN” had any merit be looking at his book.

I had thought that the “AN” simply meant, as Ray first said, “Army-Navy” and only meant that the M2 ammunition had been approved and accepted for use by both the Army and the Navy. Although it is NOT what Ray said, one might get the impression from this thread that it was loaded specifically for the M1919 Navy Aircraft version of the Browning .30 Machine Gun. It does not appear that is true. Chris’ book agrees with what I thought. It was put on later boxes indicating the Army and the Navy had approved the round for use.

While I don’t know how long the machine gun in question was used, that might answer questions of ammo being marked “AN-M2” after the gun in question was no longer in use. Again, I don’t know if the gun was still in use when the box of ammo, about which this thread started, was made or not. I only know the M1k19A4 and M1919A6 versions of the Browning MG, from use in the Army.

Nothing new here - just a clarification.

John Moss


I think that your explanation is the correct one. It’s what I first said in response to AKMS’s question but then I recalled reading about AN M2 being connected to the M1919 and so I added to my comment. I probably should not have done that because it only started a chain of confusion.


Last evening I noticed at least 7 boxes of AN M2 for sale on the auction sites. The ads have been there for quite a while with no bids.


Ray - There was absolutely nothing incorrect in what you said, but I could see from what followed that it was
read into your words that the AN-M2 was ONLY for the Browning 1919 Navy Aircraft gun, even though you didn’t say that.

My impression was that these .30-06 “AN-M2” boxes were pretty common, although I was not sure of that. I know that I have had them, but I used to shoot up any NC .30-06 in my Garands or Springfields, and never kept the boxes - garbage can. Now, I tend to keep any military box in case someone needs it. I also pick anything that looks unusual out of the garbage cans at the range, speaking of which, got to get out of here. My weeekend in the “RO Barrel” for a cowboy match. Setup today, shoot tomorrown. Pouring today and probably tomorrow. Gettin’ too old for this foul-weather shooting.

Fully realize this is an ancient thread, however, a gentleman is offering this on another forum.
I have bought a number of spam cans over the years, but this is the first one I have noticed that said AN-M2

Remington AN-M2 spam can


To simplify the answer, AN-M… was a designation saying that the M number assigned was acceptable to be used by the U.S. Army (as well as the Army Air Corps, Army Air Force, Air Force) and the U.S. Navy (as well as the U.S.M.C). You would find the AN-M designation on bombs, bullets, fuzes, gas masks, etc. Almost any item that could be used by all the U.S. Armed Forces was designated thusly. Hope this helps.

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What period of time was this designation in use? It seems to me that it was not widely used. Every branch of the military used the M-1 rifle. Was it also referred to as the AN-M1 at some point?

The “AN” designation was used in the US Army during the 70s, 80s, and 90s - although not necessarily for ammunition. The AN/PRC-77 were the standard Platoon & Company Multichannel Radios of that era. The AN/PVS-3 and AN/PVS-4 were the night vision rifle scopes we had then, The AN/PVS-7 was the first head/helmet mounted night vision device we saw issued. There are many other non-ammunition examples. Why ammunition saw the dropping of the AN prefix I do not know.

The AN-M2 designation was approved on August 5, 1949 (MIL-C-1313A), production started in 1951 and was officially used until July 20, 1954, when it was replaced by “Cartridge, Ball, Caliber .30 M2” and “Cartridge, Ball, Caliber .30 M2 Alternate” (MIL-C-1313B [Ord]). However, Remington and Olin continued using this designation as late as 1958.

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AKMS, Designations like this started, to the best of my knowledge, in the late '30’s. As you point out, it isn’t a universally applied designation. There were a bunch of exceptions to the “rule”. To your example of the M1 Service Rifle as well as the M1 Carbine, these were developed BY the Army, the Garand in 1936 and the Carbine in 1941. It took a while for the Marine Corps to accept the Garand and when they did (instead of the Johnson Rifle), I would guess that the nomenclature was firmly entrenched. The Marines also used M3/M5 Light And M4 MediumTanks (though theirs were the M4A2 and maybe the M4A6, both diesel powered to have a fuel commonality with the landing craft). To add more confusion to the mix, the Army still used the MK2 Handgrenade, the MKIA1 155mm HE Round, MK IIIA2 3" Casing with their M42 HE for the 3" AA Gun and later AT Gun and M10 Tank Killers, etc., throughout WWII. As an aside, I used the AN-M14 Thermite Grenade as part of my EOD duties up till my retirement in 2000. Highly confusing but what we had to deal with. I’m sorry I can’t give you a clearer answer. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it and I was a Supply Tech for the first 3 years of my career.

In the 1960s and 70s, we used the slab sized AN-PRC 10 Radio ( a valve transmitter-receiver) whilst our Regular Troops had the more compact AN-PRC 25 set ( Transistor).
We always assumed AN was short
For “AmericaN”.
We also had various British designs including a Humungous Unit called a No.10 set…the transceiver ( used replaceable Crystals) was the size of a 500rd.
Steel Ammo chest; and the wet cells 24v batteries in a similar chest…required either a Jeep for Company or Batt. HQ, but could be
Man packed with a special A or H frame for load carrying…a real SOB to carry.
Other sets were the “510” split between two Utility ( Basic) belt Pouches, Patt. 37 design with an unwieldy rod antenna ( like a fishing pole) and a cross-connect cable 3/4 inch thick. The telephone handset was also clumsy with coiled cable.

We hardly ever used the WWII walkie-talkie in the Reserves.


AN/PRC77 is still in use in the Norwegian homeguard… Don’t know if the army has got something newer.