Ordnance weapon

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The orderly weapon of the Bundeswehr 2019:
G36 from Heckler & Koch

The Ordonnanzwaffe ( French ordonnance 'order', 'order') is a weapon officially introduced in the military and given to soldiers as a personal item of equipment .

Service weapon

The term Ordonnanzwaffe is not to be equated with the term Dienstwaffe used in the German language or the term service weapon used in English , since the terms in the German and English-speaking areas also include, for example, the weapons of the police, law enforcement and judicial staff, etc. The term service weapon is also used by private security companies with non- sovereign tasks .

According to their sporting regulations, German rifle associations therefore usually differentiate between service revolvers and service pistols, as well as order rifles , since handguns are often used by both the military and the police, but rifles are primarily used by the military. The Verband Deutscher Schützenbund (DSB) defines the weapons permitted for sporting orderly shooting within its sports regulations.


The beginnings of the orderly armament go back to the emergence of standing armies and the resulting unification in the military system of the 18th century. Ordnance weapons are weapons procured and officially issued by the army administration. Forerunners of the orderly weapons can be found as early as the end of the 16th century, respectively. Early 17th century.

The first step was taken by England under George I with the establishment of the "Board of Ordnance", which standardized the parts of the military musket " Brown Bess " and made them interchangeable, including those of the "Contractors", i.e. the civilian factories, which were supplementary supplied military weapons to state-owned companies and had until then usually supplied slightly different models (the Office of Ordnance had already been founded by Henry VIII in 1544).

As orderly weapons in Europe between the 18th and 20th centuries, mainly cutting and stabbing weapons as side arms , pistols and rifles with side guns as bayonets were issued.

At the beginning of the First World War , the sabers were replaced or supplemented by handguns . The assault battalions were given pistols as close combat weapons to the teams.

After the war, sabers were mostly only used by officers on representative occasions. The bayonet or other combat knives are sometimes still issued today.

Construction and equipment

The construction, quality and equipment of orderly weapons have followed the requirements for war use since the 18th century. Initially, the aim was only to industrially manufacture uniform weapons at low cost. Nothing has changed to this day; Added to this were the requirements for robustness, the usability of ammunition from friendly countries (example: cartridge ammunition with the additional designation NATO - 9 × 19 mm , 5.56 × 45 mm NATO or 7.62 × 51 mm NATO ) and other items based on military tactics and other equipment Conditions.

A steady reduction in caliber has been observed since around 1850, initially from around 19 mm to 14 mm, then to 11 mm and 8 mm (all black powder weapons ). After the invention of the low-smoke nitrocellulose powder in conjunction with full-jacket bullets, this led to further reductions in caliber down to 5.45 mm ( 5.45 × 39 mm ), which has meanwhile been criticized by the media because of the insufficient barricade-breaking effect. Before the First World War , it was thought that in future battles (trench warfare and trench warfare) would be fought at distances of over 400 meters, today it is clear that a combat distance of around 50 to 300 meters is still realistic for the infantry.

Since orderly pistols and revolvers only had fixed, non-adjustable or awkwardly adjustable sights (shifting the front sight or the rear sight) for a long time, they were mainly used by their wearers over the shortest possible distances, usually well below 25 meters.

Ordnance weapons differ from weapons of the same construction for civilian use in terms of equipment and design. For military use, orderly weapons often have simpler sights, robust and matt surface coatings, modified stocks and less relevant equipment features (e.g. eyelets on pistols).

See also


  • David Harding (Ed.): Weapons Encyclopedia. 7,000 years of weapon history. From hand ax to cruise missile . Motor Buch Verlag, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-613-02894-4 , pp. 52-55.
  • Manfred Lidschun, Günter Wollert: Illustrated encyclopedia of infantry weapons . Ed .: Siegler. Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Königswinter 2008, ISBN 978-3-87748-668-9 , p. 560 .

Individual evidence

  1. DSB rule 1.58 Ordonnance rifle (PDF; 3.1 MB)
  2. Hans-Dieter Götz: Arms knowledge for collectors . 5th edition, Stuttgart 1979
  3. Timo Lechner: Shelling from home. The G36 in the crossfire of criticism . In: DWJ (formerly: Deutsches Waffenjournal) 11/2012, pp. 60–65

Web links