SMQ Lot Numbers Solved


In a previous thread I asked the meaning of SMQ in lot numbers of certain ammunition produced by Lake City.

Saint Marks Powder is a General Dynamics company located in Saint Marks (Crawfordville) FL. They provide a large part of the powder used by Lake City. Hence the SMQ.

So simple, even a caveman should have been able to figure it out.



My understanding is that the lot code SMQ is assigned to ATK at Lake City AAP for the commercial sales of excess and 2nd class ammunition and components.




Not what I’ve been told. If you Google General Dynamics, Saint Marks Powder, you’ll get a lot of information.



As you say lots of good information, but I couldn’t find a specific reference to that shows SMQ = Saint Marks Powder - can you help?

Why is it that it is possible to find boxes of similar type and vintage with either SMQ or LC lot numbers?




What my source has told me is that Saint Marks loads 5.56, 7.62, and 50 BMG in Florida. But not the M118LR which is loaded at LC. Saint Marks does provide LC with much of their powder. The M118LR boxes marked SMQ are those that are loaded with their ball powder.

All of the prototype and the first lots of M118LR was loaded with Saint Marks, the last full lot being LC-99C173-013. With the takover of LC by ATK, there were several overlapping lots of both Saint Marks and Reloader 15 as existing stocks were used up.

He says that LC supply has been inconsistent, prompting USSOCOM to specify the new Mark 316 Special Ball to be manufactured in Anoka.

To answer your question, I have no specific reference that verifies that SMQ = Saint Marks. Does your source say otherwise?



St Marks is just down the road from me - you’d think I would have been able to answer your question, based simply on my proximity to the place. The operation was a part of Olin at one time, and sits out in the middle of nowhere, which is appropriate for what they produce.

They have always had great security, so not much in the way of developmental items or information makes its way out of the plant.


If you go to the Google satelite map for St Marks, Florida, and head north on highway 363 until it intersects with the Coastal highway (Florida Highway 30/US98), St Marks Powder is the large complex to the southwest of the intersection. The berms around the buildings show up quite well in the picture.



Drive over there tomorrow, tell them you are a tax-paying cartridge collector and you’d like some answers. Report back.

I’ve seen the name spelled both St. Marks and Saint Marks. Is one correct?

Yes, they made WC750 powder for Olin. That was the powder used in the original M118LR and was used up until ATK took over operation at LC. I’d bet that a lot of the current 5.56, 7.62, and 50 BMG is still loaded with Saint Marks powder.



You need to remember that Olin built and operated the St. Mark’s facility before it was spun off as part of Primex, which was later bought by General Dynamics.


What is “Q” in SMQ = Saint Marks ?



That’s what were trying to settle with this thread. I think SMQ is an acronym for Saint Marks, while others think it means Statement of Minimum Qualification. We’ll discuss this to death. Stay tuned.



SMQ and the like may be akin to airport codes. As in Phoenix = PHX, Los Angeles = LAX and so on. Close to the real thing, as it is, in as short an ID as possible.
Worked for the airlines.


Fear not the dirge.

EDITED: For clarification. So everybody gets it. And nothing is misunderstood.

Re: Fear not the dirge.

Ray made mention of talking this topic to death. A dirge is a funeral hymn. Played when somebody dies. At funerals. But in this context, references the “talking to death” of the topic. A figuritive phrase. Nobody’s gonna die.
Just wanted to make that clear.
So much for the joke.



While the ‘St.’ obviously stands for ‘Saint’, making both correct, we locals are not used to seeing it spelled out. I suspect some amongst us wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it spelled out.

The airport identifier code sounded like a winner to me, but as it turns out, SMG is Somerset Airport in Somerville, NJ.



Roger that. I wasn’t meaning SPECIFICALLY an airport code, but use of the same type three letter code system for identifying manufacturers.



For what it’s worth in my copy of MIL-STD-1461D dated 21 April 1980. [Military Standards Ammunition manufacturers & symbols]
No “SMQ” code is listed, nor is a “Saint [or St.] Marks” listed.
The code is not shown in the “formerly know as” section either.



I would not expect SMQ to show up in a 1980 reference document. I have the 1999 edition and it’s not there either. Since ATK did not replace Olin until 2001 I doubt if you’d find any 20th Century lot numbers with SMQ as the manufacturer.

Since the “SMQ” is in the position that identifies the manufacturer, and special lot designators or identifers are added to the end of the interfix number, I find it hard to believe that “SMQ” is anything other than the manufacturer.

But, I can change my mind if necessary.



This one will really make you scratch your head. Unopened USGI mil-spec DODIC AO59 combat packaged M855 ball ammunition. The crates are stenciled with an “LC 02” lot number but it has been pasted over with the “SMQ 04” lot number sticky. ???


Edit: Bar code label added



Thanks. Just what I needed. ;)

Only kidding, of course. Every little bit helps.

Note the “S” in the lot number which designates a Special Lot. Since the “S” lots are numbered consecutively regardless of type and size of item I have yet to find a way to ID what they are, specifically. There’s a document out there, somewhere, that will tell us, if only we could find it.

On the positive side, the lot number indicates 2004 regrouped or redesignated ammunition which is still within my original theory that SMQ is a post-Olin manufacture ID.

Someday we will find the answer, I hope.




P.S. What was the original LC lot number on the crates?? Do the headstamps on the ammo match the lot number??



The crates are long gone so I don’t have the complete LC 02 lot number. According to my notes, the cartridges did have an LC 02 headstamp.