Originally Posted by verbaljitsu
arms has always had a distinct meaning from ordnance.
Your source or a link?
Definition of ordnance includes weapons and ammunition. It's just more general referring to military supplies.
Definition of ORDNANCE
military supplies including weapons, ammunition, combat vehicles, and maintenance tools and equipment
I think if you study the debates on this, and the original Constitution before the BoRs amended it, this would go beyond hand weapons. It was to deal with a standing arming and new federal congress regarding their powers
over the MILITIA, which was not that trusted:
1) Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 further empowers Congress... (in calling up the militia)
2)Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 as it pertains to the Commander in Chief. (in calling up the militia)
The Second Amendment was intended to put some restriction on these powers should they be misused or abused as in called up against the people arbitrarily. Remember, these men distrusted govt and standing armies as they just got rid of one through the use or arms.
The Continental army placed cannon on Dorchester Heights without which they'd have had no chance to dislodge the British from Boston Harbor. They used painted logs to look like they had even more cannon than they did. It's a great story about how Colonel Henry Knox got such artillery there. Projectile weapons are a necessity against a large standing army. Remember, the people at that time also feared a large standing army too. This is why the 2nd Amendment was added.
This post applies this:
"On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322)