Lot Numbers on US Military Ammunition


I have just found Mil-Std 1168B which provides detail data on US Lot Numbering and Ammo Data Cards. Many of you may already know all about it but it was new to me.

The following is an extract. I have posted it under “Free Downloads” on my web site.



4.1 Description, use and responsibility for lot numbers.
For all ammunition end items and their components including
small arms, chemicals, grenades, mines, pyrotechnics, etc.,
the ammunition lot number shall consist of a manufacturer’s
identification symbol, a numeric code showing the year of
production, an alpha code representing the month of production,
a lot interfix number followed by a hyphen, a lot sequence
number and when necessary, an alpha character used as an ammunition lot suffix to denote a reworked lot. The ammunition
lot number will not exceed fourteen (14) characters in length and no characters will be separated by spaces. The minimum number of characters used will be thirteen (13). If a one or two character manufacturer’s identification code is used, the remaining positions of the three (3) character field will be filled by dashes (-), e.g. A-, AB-, etc. The following illustrates the construction of an ammunition lot number:

/ | | | |
a b c d e f

(a) Manufacturer’s identification symbol.

(b) Two (2) digit numeric code identifying the year of production.

© A single alpha code signifying the month of production.

(d) Lot interfix number.

(e) Lot sequence number.

(f) Ammunition lot suffix (the alpha suffix).


Experimental Lots E
First Article Lots A
Functional Packed Lots L
Hybrid Lots H
Manufacturer’s Production Control Lots P
Master Calibration Component Lots and
Master Calibration Lots C
Reference Lots R
Modified Lots M
Overhauled Lots V
Regrouped Lots (includes reblended
propellant lots) G
Special Lots – Proving Ground Tests,
Special Requirements, Special Tests,
Engineering Tests , etc. S  Experimental lots. (The “E” lots.)  These lots shall be identified by replacing the hyphen between the lot interfix number and the lot sequence number with a capital letter

“E”. The appropriate manufacturer’s identification symbol will be applied and the lot sequence number shall identify in sequence the number of experimental lots developed by the particular manufacturer. The lot interfix number shall be identified by the numeric characters “000”. At no time will the same manufacturer duplicate experimental lot numbers even though the type of materiel involved is different. Experimental lots will be numbered in accordance with the following:

lst Experimental Lot: PA-97K000E001
2nd Experimental Lot: PA-97K000E002
3rd Experimental Lot: PA-97L000E003

Experimental lots are produced in accordance with special
instructions and are covered by engineering production orders. Experimental lots are those generally small quantities of ammunition items that are produced for:

(1) Research and development.
(2) Engineering design tests and special tests for engineering evaluations.

Special and engineering tests performed outside the place of manufacture, such as at the proving grounds, are normally
covered by engineering test program requests – exclusive of engineering production orders. Ammunition designated as experimental lots will not be issued for field use nor flow into the regular supply stream without special and specific authorization of the applicable NICP/NMP element.  First article lots. (The “A” lots.)  These types of lots shall be identified by replacing the hyphen between the lot series number and the lot sequence number with a capital “A”.

AMC97B00lA001 (Indicates interfix 001-first submission)
AMC97C00lA002 (Indicates interfix 001-second submission)
AMC97M002A00l (Indicates interfix 002-first submission)

Uses and applications of the manufacturer’s identification symbol, the year of production code, the month of production code and the lot interfix procedures remain consistent with the pertinent provisions of this standard. The term “first article lots” is used herein and replaces previous use of such terms as, “pre-production lots”, “pilot lots”, “initial production”, prototypes”, “first lots”, etc.

NOTE: Upon successful completion of the first article the serial number of the production lot reverts to 1.


Excellent timing. I recovered a box of “American Eagle” XM855F 5.56x45mm today with lot number SMQ09F302S870. Altho the F.C.C. 2009 copyright box doesn’t state where the contents were made, apparently it was filled with S&B (12:00) 5.56x45 (8:00) 09 (4:00) -headstamped cases. Since the 1999 manufacturers codes don’t include SMQ or Sellier & Bellot, I’m guessing that SMQ now is Sellier & Bellot.



Your guess would be wrong. ;) Do a search of SMQ. We’ve hashed this out not long ago and I’m still not satisfied that we have the answer.

I have both 1168B and 1461A which I think I got from a link on the Forum a year or so ago. But, maybe it was somewhere else.



The previous discussion is at: