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How to Ship Ammunition or Ammo by John Barth

New Regulation Update as of Jan 19, 2011! There have been a lot of inquiries into how to ship ammunition and questioning whether you can ship it at all with today’s transportation laws. Well, we did some extensive research to get the correct answer for you and here it is:


Ammo shipping labelsORMD ChangeGround Limited Quantity Shipping Label


According to UPS, shipping ammunition is allowed, but there are some stipulations. The stipulations are not put in place by UPS, but instead, by the Department of Transportation. The D.O.T. has a classification called Title 49 CFR that spells out the details. We have summarized those details for you specific to shipping ammunition. FedEx has the same requirements, but also wants you to include a “Shippers Declaration for Dangerous Goods” form which is on their site if you do a search for “Dangerous Goods Forms”. The USPS follows the D.O.T. requirements but in talking to some of the USPS locations, the managers stated they would not accept the packages anyway in this day and age, so we recommend only using UPS or FedEx to ship ammo.

The old information on marking labels based on the old Title 49 CFR:

Title 49 CFR states in Chapter 1, section 173.63 the packaging exceptions to full regulation. Under that section, (b) Cartridges, small arms, may be reclassed, and offered for transportation, and transported as ORM–D material when packaged in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section; such transportation is excepted from the requirements of subparts E (Labeling) of part 172 of this subchapter. Cartridges, small arms, and cartridges power devices that may be shipped as ORM–D material is limited to:

Under this “limited to” section, there is item (i) Ammunition for rifle, pistol or shotgun; and (iv) Ammunition not exceeding 12.7 mm (50 caliber or 0.5 inch) for rifle or pistol, cartridges or 8 gauge for shot shells.

This is the critical part to shipping ammunition. If it is 50 caliber or less, or 8 gauge or less, UPS will take the shipment in a sturdy box marked with a ORM-D, Cartridges, Small Arms label on the outside of the box. UPS does recommend using this label as opposed to a regular ORM-D label from our research and inquiries to UPS themselves. Part 172, subchapter E states the label should be affixed near the shipping address location on the package. By placing it here, the carrier will see it as they direct the package to the correct location during shipment.

Now, under section 173.115, part (v) it states that cartridges, and 22 caliber rim-fire cartridges may be packaged loose in strong outside packaging. In an attempt to harmonize and align with international standards, the DOT has amended the 49CFR regulations regarding the ORM-D classification. Effective January 19, 2011, with the publication of the HM-215K final rule, the hazard class of ORM-D is being eliminated.

The Amended 49 CFR:

In an attempt to standardize and align with international standards, the Department Of Transportation has amended the 49CFR regulations regarding the ORM-D classification. Effective January 19, 2011, with the publication of the HM-215K final rule, the hazard class of ORM-D is being eliminated.  Those materials may still be shipped classified as a limited quantity (ltd qty). In conjunction with ORM-D hazard class elimination in HM-215K, limited quantity ground shipments will no longer require shipping papers when prepared under the new rule.  This includes those materials previously classed as ltd qty that required shipping papers via ground transport.

There is a transition period for shippers to comply with the new classification, marking and labeling requirements. Until December 31, 2020 a limited quantity package containing a consumer commodity as defined in 171.8 may be reclassed as ORM-D, or until December 31, 2012 for ORM-D-Air material. UPS began accepting materials with the new markings effective April 1, 2011. See examples of the new ground and air limited quantity markings below that will be replacing the ORM-D and ORM-D-Air markings. 


Ground Limited Quantity Shipping Label

Ground Limited Quantity Marking


ORMD Limited Quantity Shipping Label


Air Limited Quantity Marking

It is the shipper's responsibility to know the regulations, and to properly classify, package, label, and mark their hazmat shipments.*Note: To be in compliance with TDG, Standard (ground) Ltd Qty shipments to Canada prepared under HM-215K require the verbiage 'Limited quantity' or 'Ltd qty' to also be marked on the carton.



There have been a lot of questions about Hazardous Material training for shipping ORM-D materials. This is a true fact. UPS or any other carrier does not require training. It is required by the D.O.T. and is listed under section 172.74 were the training can be performed by yourself and all you need to have is a documented record of the following:

  • Hazmat employee name
  • Training date
  • Copy of the training materials
  • Name and address of person providing training (This can be yourself)
  • A certificate showing the employee is trained. (This can be made in house)

A description of the training is found at on the Internet without the www and click on rules and regulations. The key part of the in house training is you don’t have to pay someone to train you. Just read this section and put together the emergency contacts, and procedures in case there is a issue. Easy stuff. With that, anyone can ship ammunition with ease, and the correct way.

Key resources for this ammunition shipping guideline included UPS through their hazardous materials department at 800-554-9964, FedEx 800.463.3339 through Dangerous Goods, USPS local locations and the Department of Transportation Classification division at 800-467-4922 and the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety on line at were all the documentation is listed. Knowing how to ship ammunition or ammo the correct way is important. Please pass this information on. If you need any supplies for shipping ammunition, call Adazon today at 847-235-2700.


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This article was published on Tuesday 17 April, 2007.
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