Armory (military)

Armory (military)

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An armory or armoury is a place where arms
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

 and ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 are made, maintained and repaired
Maintenance, repair, and operations
Maintenance, repair, and operations or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it become out of order or broken...

, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those. Over the centuries, this has included every variant of such a place, whether privately
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 or publicly
Public
In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science,...

 owned (with the latter in older royal
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 and modern state-owned
State ownership
State ownership, also called public ownership, government ownership or state property, are property interests that are vested in the state, rather than an individual or communities....

 versions).

Armories and arsenal
Arsenal
An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

s are both places where arms or ammunition may be made, maintained and repaired, stored, or issued. The usage differences between the names is mainly a matter of historical linguistic development. It is a common principle in natural language
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

 that synonym
Synonym
Synonyms are different words with almost identical or similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn and onoma . The words car and automobile are synonyms...

s have subtle connotative
Connotation
A connotation is a commonly understood subjective cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the word's or phrase's explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation....

 boundaries (albeit ones that may be somewhat permeable over time and distance).

Today an armory is typically a military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 depot used for the storage of weapon
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s and ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

. The term may also apply to an area within a building used for the storage of weapons. In a typical armory, ammunition is stored separately from weapons (both under lock and key) to minimize the potential for misuse, theft, and safety breaches. Very sensitive alarm systems are also extensively used.

Usage in various eras and places

  • In the United States today, the term "armory" may refer to the building from which a National Guard or Reserve component
    Reserve components of the United States armed forces
    The reserve components of the United States armed forces are military organizations whose members, generally perform a minimum of 39 days of military duty per year and who augment the active duty military when necessary. The reserve components are also referred to collectively as the Guard and...

     trains during peacetime.
  • In the United States during the 19th century, the term could refer either to one of the national armories (such as Springfield Armory
    Springfield Armory
    The Springfield Armory, located in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts - from 1777 until its closing in 1968 - was the primary center for the manufacture of U.S. military firearms. After its controversial closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory was declared Western Massachusetts'...

     or the Harpers Ferry Armory
    Harpers Ferry Armory
    Harpers Ferry Armory, more formally known as the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, was the second federal armory commissioned by the United States government located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia , the first federal armory being the Springfield Armory located in Springfield,...

    ) or to various privately owned armories that fulfilled contracts with the U.S. government, such as Robbins & Lawrence or the Colt armory
    Colt's Manufacturing Company
    Colt's Manufacturing Company is a United States firearms manufacturer, whose first predecessor corporation was founded in 1836 by Sam Colt. Colt is best known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms over the later half of the 19th and the 20th century...

    . The purpose was to build the nation's weapons and repair them. The Springfield Armory is particularly famous for the M1 Garand
    M1 Garand
    The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

     rifle, which was used during World War II. Harper's Ferry Armory was involved in the beginning of the Civil War, when John Brown
    John Brown (abolitionist)
    John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

     tried to seize its weapons and use them to start a slave revolt.
  • In the British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     and the Irish Army
    Irish Army
    The Irish Army, officially named simply the Army is the main branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland. Approximately 8,500 men and women serve in the Irish Army, divided into three infantry Brigades...

    , "Armoury" refers to a specific compound, building or room where weapons, ammunition and related stores are kept under lock and key. Often, the armory and guardroom are part of the same compound.
  • In the Singapore Armed Forces
    Singapore Armed Forces
    The Singapore Armed Forces is the military arm of the Total Defence of the Republic of Singapore; as well as the military component of the Ministry of Defence. The SAF comprises three branches: the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy...

    , the term 'Armskote' is used to refer to an armoury.
  • In the Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

    , an armoury is a place where a reserve unit trains, meets, and parades (e.g., the Halifax Armoury
    Halifax Armoury
    The Halifax Armoury is a prominent and historic structure in central Halifax Nova Scotia. The armoury was designed in 1895 by Chief Dominion Architect Thomas Fuller, and was opened the next year and work on the structure was completed in 1899. While the exterior is based on a medieval castle, it...

    ).

See also

  • Armorer
    Armorer
    An armourer or armorer is a member of a military or police force who maintains and repairs small arms and weapons systems, with some duties resembling those of a civilian gunsmith....

  • Arsenal
    Arsenal
    An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

  • Magazine (artillery)
    Magazine (artillery)
    Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".-Ammunition storage areas:...

  • Dresden Armory
    Dresden Armory
    The Dresden Armory , also known as the Dresden Historical Museum , is one of the world's largest collections of ceremonial weapons, armors and historical textiles. It is part of the Dresden State Art Collections.The Dresden Armory is currently on display in the gallery wing of the Zwinger Palace in...

  • Kremlin Armoury
    Kremlin Armoury
    The Kremlin Armory is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1808 and located in the Moscow Kremlin .The Kremlin Armoury originated as the royal arsenal in 1508. Until the transfer of the court to St Petersburg, the Armoury was in charge of producing, purchasing and storing weapons,...

  • panoply
    Panoply
    A panoply is a complete suit of armour. The word represents the ancient Greek πανοπλια. The word παν means "all", and όπλον, "arms". Thus "panoply" refers to the full armour of a hoplite or heavy-armed soldier, i.e...