M?a?, l?a?, r?m?


I was thinking tonight and realised I don’t know what the letters mean. I assume the M in M?A? is Model and the A is Addition or Alteration? I’m also assuming that the A in the US sytem will be that same as the UK system and that the M in R?M? is Modification or Mk?

So am I even remotely close?



R?M? Is South African and was never used on any British items.

I believe it does follow the US system, which is as you described.


An example of SA use of that system: 7,62x51.




You’ve only scratched the surface. The model designation system has changed several times since it’s beginnings and I doubt if we’ve seen the end of it. There are not many characters or letters that have not been used at one time or another so now we are down to combinations of letters and numbers that boggle the mind.

This would be a good research subject for one of you guys out there. I believe the last time it was done was way back in 1979 by Col Frank Hackley.

Throw in lot numbers and you’ll never finish the project.

And that’s just for the US system.




M = Model
A = Alteration

But don’t forget the US Navy (Mk_ Mod_), which is copied from the old British system.*

Mk = Mark
Mod = Modification

*IIRC what I read long ago, in the current British system, the “L” stands for “Land” or “Land Warfare” or “Land Weapon” – anybody know for sure?