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List of gun abbreviations

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Ammunition Abbreviations


  • 22H: .22 Hornet
  • (number)-(number)

A somewhat antiquated notation system for cartridges, commonly known as "blackpowder notation" due to its use with black powder cartridges; the first number represents the caliber (in inches), while the second is the standard powder loading (in grains). For example, the .45-70 Government cartridge propels a .45-inch bullet (.458-inch, to be exact) with 70 grains of black powder. Occasionally, there will be a third number after this denoting bullet weight in grains (e.g. .45-70-405), though this is less common, as different bullet weights are more a matter of the loading of the cartridge than the chambering of the firearm.

There are several exceptions to this system, such as:

  • .56-56 Spencer, which denotes the diameter of the case at the base (just above the rim), and the diameter of the case at the mouth; later variations of the cartridge (.56-52, .56-50, .56-46, etc.) had tapered cases and smaller bullets, whereas the original .56-56 round was straight-walled.
  • .577-450 Martini-Henry, which denotes the caliber of the parent case (the .577 Snider), and the diameter of the actual bullet (.450, or more precisely, .455).
  • .30-30 Winchester, which is named for its caliber (.30 in, though more accurately .308) and a hypothetical black powder loading of 30 grains, despite the round never actually being commercially loaded with black powder.
  • .30-06 Springfield, which denotes caliber (.30, though, again, more accurately .308) and year of adoption (1906); the earlier, 1903-issued version of the cartridge is likewise designated .30-03.
  • .250-3000 Savage, denoting caliber (.25, or more precisely .257) and muzzle velocity (3,000 feet per second, at least when loaded with 87-grain bullets).
  • .38-200, a British-issued loading of the .38 S&W round, which is named for its caliber (.38, though in practice closer to .361) and its bullet weight (200 grains).
  • .22-250 Remington, named for its actual caliber (.22, or .224 if an extra significant figure is added) and the caliber of its parent case (the aforementioned .250-3000 Savage).
  • .25-06 Remington, which denotes caliber (.25, or again, .257) and the date of adoption of the round upon which it was based (.30-06 Springfield).
  • 7-08 Remington, which is named for its caliber in millimeters (7mm) and the last two digits of its parent case's diameter, in inches (.308 Winchester).
  • .25-45 Sharps, a contemporary hunting round meant for AR-15-patterned rifles, named for its caliber (.25, though again, really more like .257) and its case length (45mm, because using one system of measure at a time is apparently not good enough).


  • ACP: Automatic Colt Pistol
  • AE: Action Express
  • AMP: Auto Magnum Pistol
  • AP: Armor-Piercing
  • AP: Anti-Personnel

APERS is often used instead to prevent confusion.

  • APCR: Armor Piercing Composite Rigid
  • APDS-T: Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot, Tracer
  • APERS: Anti-Personnel
  • APFSDS: Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot
  • APHE: Armor-Piercing High-Explosive
  • AP-I: Armor-Piercing Incendiary
  • AUTO: Automatic Colt Pistol (same as the "ACP", not to be confused with "10mm Auto")


  • B: Belted.
  • BAT: Battalion, Anti-Tank

Name of a series of British 120mm recoilless rifles (L2 BAT, L4 MoBAT, L6 WOMBAT and L7 CONBAT). In ammunition terms, .50 BAT is the term applied to the 12.7x77mm spotting round used by the Remington M8C on the M40 Recoilless Rifle. It takes this unofficial name from the British version of the M8C, the L40A1 spotting rifle, which was first mounted on the WOMBAT.

  • BGM: This is a US Army code for missiles rather than a direct acronym: it designates the missile as a multiple launch environment (B) ground-attack (G) guided missile (M). The B prefix indicates the missile can be used from a variety of launching platforms with little or no modification.
  • BMG: Browning Machine Gun, refers to the .50 caliber cartridge designed for the Browning M2, also known as the 12.7x99mm NATO.


  • Cal: Caliber

Depending on the type of weapon, this can either refer to the bore diameter of the barrel (usually when it is being expressed in inches), or to the ratio of the interior diameter of the barrel to its length on large guns. For an example of the latter, the "16 inch 50 cal" guns of an Iowa-Class battleship are 16 inch bore, with a barrel 50 bore diameters (800in or 66ft 8in) long.

  • CheyTac: Cheyenne Tactical
  • Chicom: Chinese Communist

Informally used to refer to weapons or ammunition manufactured in China after the establishment of the PRC in 1949.

  • CL: Caseless

Round type where a hardened propellant block removes the need for a conventional case. Usually does not include rounds with combustible cases which are destroyed during firing. Russian "caseless" VOG and GRD grenades are a borderline example since the lower part of the projectile is a vented "case" which is fired along with it, they are functionally more similar to mortar rounds than true caseless ammunition.

  • CS: Corson Stoughton.

Surnames of the two scientists who discovered the tear gas 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile in 1928.

  • CT: Cased Telescoped (also CTA: Cased Telescoped Ammunition)

Unorthodox cartridge type where the bullet is seated deep within the casing and partially or completely enveloped by the propellant, allowing a shorter overall cartridge length for the same size of bullet.


  • EFP: Exposively Formed Penetrator

Most common in missile warheads, this is a special type of shaped charge warhead where the explosive force is used to form a solid dart aimed in a particular direction from a sheet of a suitable metal such as copper or tantalum.

  • EXACTO: EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance

DARPA's .50 caliber guided bullet program that began in 2008, and a backronym if ever there was one.


  • FMJ: Full Metal Jacket


  • Ga: Gauge. A shotgun's gauge is the number of spheres the diameter of the barrel which can be made from one pound of lead. For example, 12 balls can be made to the diameter of a 12-gauge shotgun's barrel, and 20 for a 20-gauge. This is why larger numbers equal smaller calibers. Non-numeric notation (B 1/2, A and AA) is used for some gauges less than 1.5, though these only apply to antique punt guns. The exceptions to this rule are .410 gauge, which is the actual barrel caliber in inches (more unambiguously called .410 bore), and the Russian 23mm caliber used by the KS-23.
  • GAP: Glock Automatic Pistol
  • Gr: Grain

Imperial measurement in the troy weight series, used to measure propellant and bullet weights. It is equivalent to 0.00228571 ounces or 64.79891 milligrams and exactly 1/5760 of the Troy Pound used to measure gold.


  • HC: Hexachloroethane

A filler used in smoke grenades, usually as hexachloroethane-zinc.

  • HE: High Explosive
  • HEAA: High Explosive Anti-Armor
  • HEAB: High Explosive Air Burst
  • HEAP: High Explosive Anti-Personnel
  • HEAT: High Explosive Anti-Tank

Used for hollow charge / shaped charge weapons. The term HEAT leads to a misconception that these weapons' primary damage mechanism is thermal: they are actually kinetic weapons, with the jet of metal which is formed behaving like a solid.

  • HEDP: High Explosive Dual-Purpose

Fragmenting HE round with an added hollow charge to increase effectiveness against armor.

  • HE-Frag: High Explosive-Fragmentation
  • HE-I: High Explosive-Incendiary
  • HEI-T: High Explosive-Incendiary, Tracer
  • HEIT-SD: High Explosive-Incendiary Tracer, Self-Destruct
  • HEP: High Explosive, Plastic (known in the UK as HESH: High Explosive Squash Head)

Ammunition type used in some recoilless rifles and tank and combat engineering vehicle guns, primarily used for demolitions. The projectile is formed from malleable explosives that flatten against the target before detonating, with the idea of anti-tank use being to induce spallation (breaking off of the interior of armor due to shockwaves, with the idea being that the armor fragments will damage internal systems and / or kill crewmen) rather than penetration. Modern composite tank armor is a poor conductor of shockwaves, hence its obsolescence in this role.


  • IMI: Israel Military Industries


  • JHP: Jacketed Hollow Point
  • JSP: Jacketed Soft Point


  • LC: Long Colt
  • LR: Long Rifle
  • L'Spur: Leuchtspur

Transl: Tracer (lit: "light trail")

German shorthand for tracers, fully Leuchtspurmunition.


  • Mag: Magazine
  • Mag or Mag.: Magnum
  • mm: millimeter
  • MOA: Minute Of Angle

Angular measurement referred to as a minute of arc by other fields, representing one sixtieth of a degree (ie, there are 21,600 MOA in a circle). It is used to describe accuracy of both ammunition and weapons in terms of grouping size when fired from a machine rest, and used to adjust scopes with knobs measured in MOA-fraction "clicks." 1 MOA roughly corresponds to a 1-inch spread (1.047 inch to be exact) per hundred yards of distance: so, for example, a 0.5 MOA weapon will shoot a 1.5 inch group at 300 yards.

  • Mil / mrad - Milliradian / Milliradian

SI equivalent of the minute of angle: there are 2000π mils (~6,283.2) in a circle, and 1/10 mil is equivalent to 1cm at 100m: 1 mil is equivalent to 3.4377 MOA. Artillery sights and angular map measurements use different definitions to make for easier work without involving π: a NATO mil is 1/6400 of a circle (ie there are 17.7 recurring per degree), the Warsaw Pact used 1/6000 (16.6 recurring per degree), and Sweden and Finland used to use 1/6300 (called streck mils, exactly 17.5 per degree).

  • MPTs: Malokaliberniy Pistoletnyy Tsentralnogo vosplameneniya

Transl.: Small caliber centerfire pistol cartridge


  • NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Note: With regard to firearms, this is used in the context of NATO-standardised ammunition, such as 7.62x51mm.


  • +P or +P+: Plus Pressure; overpressure ammunition. They key difference between a +P round and a Magnum round is that a +P round is dimensionally identical to the parent cartridge.
  • Para: Parabellum

Transl.:Prepare for war (referencing the motto Si vis pacem, para bellum, "If you seek peace, prepare for war")

  • PM: Pistolet Makarova

Transl.:Makarov's Pistol

  • PMM: Pistolet Makarova Modernizirovanniy

Transl.:Makarov's Pistol Modernized
Note: With regard to ammunition, this refers to an overpressure version of the 9x18mm Makarov round.


  • R: Rimmed
  • RB: Rebated rimmed

Usually only used for rounds for API blowback autocannons.

  • Rem Mag: Remington Magnum


  • S&W: Smith & Wesson
  • SAPHEI: Semi Armor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary

Dual-purpose grenade type similar to HEDP, but using a penetrating rod instead of a hollow charge as the penetrating element.

  • SIG: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society

  • SJ: Semi Jacketed
  • SOCOM: Special Operations COMmand
  • SFP: Self Forging Penetrator

Same as EFP.

  • SLAP: Saboted Light Armor Penetrator
  • SmK: Spitzgeschoss mit Kern

Transl: Pointed bullet with core

  • SPC: Special Purpose Cartridge
  • Spl: Special
  • SR: Semi-Rimmed
  • STANAG: STANdardisation Agreement

Note: STANAG ammunition is that standardised by NATO countries. These are usually specifically STANAG 2310 (7.62x51mm NATO) and STANAG 4172 (5.56x45mm NATO), but also includes 9x19mm Parabellum (STANAG 4090: it could be called 9x19mm NATO, but never is), 12.7x99mm NATO (STANAG 4383, better known as .50 BMG) and 22mm rifle grenades.

One other STANAG that is relevant to ammunition is STANAG 2321, a 1987 standard that introduced a universal color coding system for munitions above 20mm, which included hand grenades. Many US-made grenades have different color schemes after this STANAG came into effect.


  • T: Tracer

Common suffix added to a round which has tracer and non-tracer variants.

  • TMJ: Total Metal Jacket
  • TPA: Terephthalic Acid

Filler used in smoke grenades. TP is sometimes used too.

  • TuF: Tank und Flieger

Transl: Tank and aircraft (this predates German having its own word for "tank")


  • USN: United States Navy

Note: In the context of this wiki, this specifically refers to the 20x110mm USN cartridge used in the Colt Mk 12 cannon.

  • UXO: Un-eXploded Ordnance


  • Win Mag: Winchester Magnum
  • WMR: Winchester Magnum Rimfire
  • WP: Warsaw Pact

Used as the equivalent of the NATO suffix for Soviet ammunition, eg 7.62x39mm WP.

  • WP: White Phosphorus
  • WRF: Winchester RimFire
  • WSM: Winchester Short Magnum
  • WSSM: Winchester Super Short Magnum

Weapon Abbreviations


  • 93R: 93 Raffica

Transl.:93 Burst

  • (number)x(number) (eg 8x42)

Notation for describing optical scopes: the first number is the magnification, while the second is the size of the objective lens in millimeters.


  • A, as in M16A4 or M4A1: Advancement or Alteration

Denotes a subvariant of a weapon which is not held to be a large enough change to warrant a new Model number being assigned. US Navy, Marine Corps and SOCOM equivalent is Mod.

    • In German weapons (e.g. MP5A3), it instead stands for Ausführung (Version, in German: this is also the "Ausf." frequently seen in WW2 German tank names).
  • AA: Anti Aircraft
  • AA: Anti Armor
    • AA-12: Atchisson Assault - 12
  • ACLOS: Active (or Automatic) Command Line Of Sight

Missile guidance method where acquisition, tracking and guidance are all handled automatically, but an active connection is still required between missile and tracker. For example, the Russian AT-15 Springer ATGM has an ACLOS beam-riding mode where it is guided using the same radar beam which is being used to track the target.

  • ACOG: Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight

Note: ACOG refers to a specific series of telescopic sights designed by Trijicon. It is often incorrectly used, especially by videogames, to refer to any medium-magnification telescopic sight, prismatic sight or closed-tube red dot sight.

  • ACP: Adaptive Carbine Platform
  • ACR: Adaptive Combat Rifle
  • ACSW: Advanced Crew Served Weapon
  • ADEN: Armament Development Establishment, ENfield
  • AFG: Angled Fore-Grip
  • AG: Anbau-Granatwerfer

Transl.: Mounted Grenade Launcher

  • AGL: Automatic Grenade Launcher
  • AGS-17: Avtomatischeskyi Granatmyot Stankovyi - 17

Transl.: Automatic Grenade Launcher, Mounted - 17

  • AICS: Accuracy International Chassis System
  • Ak 5: Automatkarabin 5

Transl.: Automatic carbine 5

  • AMD-65: Automata Módosított Deszant - 1965

Transl.: Automatic Modified Landing Assault weapon - 1965

  • AMT: Arcadia Machine and Tool
  • AN: Army and Navy

Used in the format AN/M(number) generally to indicate weapons used by or on aircraft of both the Army Air Forces and United States Navy, including signalling devices which were also used by ground troops (eg the AN/M8 HC smoke grenade and AN/M14 incendiary grenade which could both be used as sea-markers, or the AN/M8 Pyrotechnic Pistol). Though it carried on being used for a while after the establishment of the US Air Force, it is no longer commonly used for weapons, having been replaced by the GAU- prefix for aircraft cannons.

AN's primary modern use is as part of the all-service Joint Electronics Type Designation System which was first adopted in 1943, originally just for airborne, radio and radar equipment. It is now used for all electronic equipment regardless of which service uses it: for example, the AN/APQ-164 is a phased array radar used only by the Air Force's B-1B Lancer. As a result, AN designations will turn up on devices like electronic weapon sights and laser modules.

  • AN-94: Avtomat Nikonova - 94

Transl.: Automatic device of Nikonov - 1994

  • API: Advanced Primer Ignition

Open-bolt blowback operating method used on most open-bolt submachine guns and pioneered on heavy weapons by the Becker machine gun. The round's primer is ignited during the forward stroke of the bolt before the round is fully chambered, forcing it to use part of the energy that would normally become recoil to arrest the forward motion of the bolt. This can be used to reduce the weight of the bolt group in order to make a lighter weapon with the same felt recoil, or simply to reduce felt recoil.

  • APS: Avtomaticheskiy Pistolet Stetchkina

Transl.: Automatic Stechkin Pistol

  • APS: Avtomat Podvodnyy Spetsialnyy

Transl.: Special Underwater Automatic Rifle

  • AR: Assault Rifle
  • AR: Automatic Rifle
  • AR: ARmaLite

Contrary to popular belief, the AR in AR-15 and other ArmaLite designs does not stand for "ArmaLite Rifle"; there are multiple weapons which use the ArmaLite "AR" naming scheme that are not rifles, such as the AR-17, which is a semi-automatic shotgun.

  • ARGO: Auto-Regulating Gas-Operated
  • AT: Anti Tank
  • ATAL: Air To Air Launcher
  • ATAS: Air To Air Stinger
  • ATGM: Anti Tank Guided Missile
  • AUG: Armee Universal Gewehr

Transl.: Universal Army Rifle


  • BAR: Browning Automatic Rifle
  • BCU: Battery Coolant Unit

Note: refers to two devices on different weapons, both combination power source and gas cooling units: one is inserted into an FIM-92 Stinger prior to firing, the other is an integral part of each encased FGM-148 Javelin missile.

  • BDA: Browning Double Action
  • BDM: Browning Double Mode
  • BDM: Bunker Defeat Munition
  • BFA: Blank Firing Adaptor/Attachment
  • BFR: Big Frame Revolver

Biggest, Finest Revolver has also been used semi-officially, and there is more than a little speculation that the acronym is a reference to the "BFG" weapon from Doom, the F in which has a rather cruder meaning.

Transl.: on-board cannon 27mm

Names of the two companies responsible for the design.

  • BUS / BUIS: Back-Up Sight / Back-Up Iron Sight

Refers to a sight which is not the primary sighting system of the host weapon, usually either folding sights (eg Magpul MBUS) or iron sights mounted on an optic. BUS can also refer to a smaller optic mounted on a larger one (eg an RMR mounted on an ACOG scope), while BUIS strictly refers to a mechanical backup sight.


  • C: Canada

Note: In the Canadian military, most equipment, from small arms to aircraft, typically have designations starting with C. In the context of this wiki, it is used to refer to Canadian military small arms, such as the C7 rifle.

  • C-RAM: Counter - Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar
  • CAA: Command Arms Accessories
  • CAL: Carabine Automatique Légère

Transl.: Light Automatic Carbine

  • CAR-15: Colt Automatic Rifle - 15
  • CAWS: Close Assault Weapon System
  • CCO: Close Combat Optic
  • CDTES: Counter Defilade Target Engagement System
  • CETME: Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales

Transl.:Center for Technical Studies of Special Materials

  • CETME Ameli: Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales Ametralladora ligera

Transl.:Center for Technical Studies of Special Materials Light Machine gun

  • CIWS: Close-In Weapons System

A term used to describe rapid-fire guns mounted on warships to defend against missiles and other close-range targets

  • CLU: Command Launch Unit
  • COP: Compact Off-duty Police
  • CPW: Compact Personal Weapon
  • CQB: Close Quarters Battle

Currently popular manufacturer designation for shorter-barrel versions of existing carbines.

  • CQB-R: Close Quarters Battle - Receiver
  • CR-21: Combat Rifle - 21st Century
  • CROWS: Common Remotely-Operated Weapon Station
  • CS: Confined Space
  • CTR: Compact/Type Restricted
  • CZ: Crvena Zastava (Yugoslavia/Serbia)
  • CZ: Česká Zbrojovka (Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic)


  • DA: Double Action

The weapon's trigger performs the two actions of cocking and releasing the hammer / striker. DA includes DAO (see below), but also includes designs which allow the hammer or striker to be cocked manually for a lighter trigger pull, and DA / SA designs which by default use the operation of the weapon to cock it and fire single-action, but can fire in double-action mode if the hammer is not cocked.

  • DAK: Double Action Kellerman
  • DAO: Double Action Only

The weapon's trigger performs the actions of cocking and releasing the hammer / striker. The weapon is only cocked during the action of operating the trigger.

  • DEFA: Direction des Études et Fabrications d'Armement)

Transl.: Directorate of Armament Studies and Fabrications

  • Demil: Demilitarize

Official term for a country-specific procedure that usually removes a firearm's legal status as a firearm by removing key parts, welding or plugging parts of the mechanism and cutting components such that it could not reasonably be used to fire live ammunition. Demilled firearms often have external signs of being deactivated such as diagonal marks where the receiver has been cut at an angle and then welded back together.

  • DEWAT (variously capitalized): DEactivated WAr Trophy

DEWAT (not necessarily capitalized) refers to a specific class of deactivated NFA weapons, which are still regarded as firearms and must be registered despite being deactivated. Usually they have been deactivated to a lower standard than being demilled and so are sought after because they can often be rendered serviceable again by a sufficiently qualified gunsmith: because they are already registered as whatever they are, this only requires the payment of the NFA "manufacturing / making" fee and updating some paperwork. In spite of the past tense being "dewatted," it has nothing to do with electricity.

  • DMR: Designated Marksman Rifle
  • DMS: Dual Mount System

Tripod-mounted twin FIM-92 Stinger launcher with built-in radio and datalink.

  • DShK: Degtyaryova-Shpagina Krupnokaliberny

Transl.:Degtyaryov-Shpagin Large-caliber


  • E: Experimental

When part of a weapon's name, E denotes a modification which is under testing or low-rate production, and hence does not yet rate a change to the A (alteration / advancement) number assigned to the weapon. For example, a weapon called M99A7E2 would be the second trial alteration of the A7 modification of the Model 99. This weapon, assuming it is a rifle, would be fully called "Rifle, Model 99, Alteration 7, Experimental 2." If accepted into production, it would become the M99A8.

  • EAA: European American Armory
  • EBR: Enhanced Battle Rifle
  • ECOS-N: Enhanced Combat Optical Sight - Navy
  • EGLM: Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module
  • ELCAN: Ernst Leitz Canada

Former Canadian subsidiary of German camera company Ernst Leitz GmbH (now Leica Camera AG), sold to Hughes and now part of Raytheon. In firearms, refers to the Specter series of telescopic sights produced by this company, which includes the Canadian C79 optic and the US Army's M145 Machine Gun Optic.

  • EMag: Export Magazine
  • EMR: Enhanced Marksman Rifle
  • ESR: Enhanced Sniper Rifle
  • ETC: Electro-Thermal-Chemical, an experimental form of ignition system only likely to be encountered in science fiction smallarms, since all current experimental ETC guns are tank guns or artillery systems. The system uses an electrical charge to turn the primer into plasma, potentially allowing for highly controlled and complete combustion of the propellant and for more stable propellants to be used which would not work with conventional explosive primers.
  • Effective Range: While not an abbreviation as such, this can be a source of confusion since it means different things for different weapons.
    • Absolute maximum effective range is the range after which the round's energy drops to the point it could no longer be considered lethal. It is often used in press materials making slightly absurd range claims; for example, this is the "effective range" used in claims that the P90 is effective against unarmoured personnel at 400 metres. It should be noted that this range figure does not require that the shooter actually be able to hit their target reliably.
    • Maximum effective range on a point target is typically used for smallarms, and is judged as the distance at which the weapon can hit a human torso-sized target 50% of the time when secured in a machine rest. It does not, however, require that the round retains lethal energy at that time, and if it does not then the absolute maximum effective range will be quoted instead.
    • Maximum effective range on an area target is the distance at which the weapon lands 50% of shots inside an area of defined radius, and is typically used for machine guns, hence their enormous effective range figures even when compared to a rifle firing the same round. It does not, however, require that the round retains lethal energy at that time, and if it does not then the absolute maximum effective range will be quoted instead.
    • Sniper rifle effective range is the distance at which an expert marksman can be expected to achieve a guaranteed strike on a human target.

These are differentiated from the weapon's Absolute maximum range, which is usually only quoted as the range for heavy artillery firing explosive rounds and is the maximum possible range the weapon can fire a round regardless of whether it can hit or destroy a target. As an example of the difference, the effective range of a Beretta M9 (versus a point target) is 50 metres, while the maximum range of a Beretta M9 (aiming it up in the air like a mortar) is 1,800 metres.

  • EX: EXperimental

US Navy, Marine Corps and SOCOM version of the Army's XM designation for experimental weapons.


  • FAD: Fusil Automático Doble

Transl.: Dual Automatic Rifle

  • FAL: Fusil Automatique Léger

Transl.: Light Automatic Rifle

  • FAMAS: Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne

Transl.: Assault rifle of the Saint-Étienne weapon factory

  • FDE: Flat Dark Earth

This refers to a range of tan to light brown colors used on various firearms and accessories intended to provide camouflage in desert environments.

  • FG 42: FallschirmjägerGewehr 1942

Transl.:Paratroop Rifle 1942

  • FGM: Fire-and-forget Ground-attack Missile
  • FIM: Fire-and-forget Interception Missile
  • FlaK: Flugzeugabwehr-Kanone

Transl.: Anti-aircraft cannon (usage note: FlaK with a capital K is only used specifically to refer to German antiaircraft guns. Without the final K capitalised, it is acceptable in English to use "flak gun" to refer to antiaircraft guns in general and "flak" to refer to fire from such)

  • FLASH: FLame Assault SHoulder
  • FN: Fabrique Nationale
  • FNC: Fabrique Nationale Carabine
  • FPW: Firing Port Weapon
  • FR F2: Fusil à Répétition modèle F2
  • FTL: Far Target Location

Note: a laser sighting and battlefield networking system allowing equipped weapons to be used as designators for other weapons. Employed on current versions of the BGM-71 TOW and FGM-148 Javelin.

  • FVG5: Folding Vertical Grip 5-postion


  • GAU: Gun Automatic Unit

Sometimes rendered instead as Gun Aircraft Unit, but this is incorrect: it is the "/A" at the end of Air Force weapon designations that denotes an aircraft-mounted weapon. GAU is a two-part code, denoting an automatic gun (GA) which is a complete functional unit (U) rather than a parts kit. GAU with a /A was originally used to denote Air Force personal weapons as well (eg GAU-5/A) but this has been changed to referring to these weapons as "GUU" ("guns, miscellaneous personal equipment") with a /P ("personal") suffix.

  • GIAT 30: Groupement des Industries de l'Armée de Terre 30 millimeter

Transl.:Industry Group of the Army

  • GL: Grenade Launcher
  • GLM: Grenade Launcher Module

Sometimes used instead of UBGL to refer to an under-barrel grenade launcher, especially one that can also be used as a standalone device.

  • GMG: GranatMaschinenGewehr

Transl.:Grenade Machine Gun

  • GPMG: General Purpose Machine Gun

A GPMG is a machine gun capable of being employed in both the light machine gun role (firing in short bursts, typically using a bipod) and medium machine gun role (firing for prolonged periods on a sustained fire mount such as a tripod). Modern GPMGs are effectively medium machine guns, almost always firing a full-sized rifle round, but are more portable and flexible than weapons classified specifically as medium.

Names of the designers.

  • GSR: Granite Series Revolution
  • GUU: A USAF code rather than an acronym, this indicates a gun (G) which is miscellaneous personal equipment (U) and is a complete weapon rather than a parts kit (U).


  • H&H: Holland & Holland
  • H&K: Heckler & Koch
  • HB: Heavy Barrel
  • HBAR: Heavy Barrel Automatic Rifle
  • HMG: Heavy Machine Gun

In modern use, a crew-served automatic firearm firing a round of calibre greater than .50 in, designed to provide heavy, protracted automatic fire from a fixed position or vehicle mount, capable of engaging light vehicles and unfortified structures as well as infantry. Older (WW1-era) weapons were generally classified as heavy based on a combination of sheer weight and intended use as emplaced weapons for sustained fire.

Transl.: Red Arrow

  • HSc: Hahn Selbstspanner Pistole Version C

Transl.: Self-Cocking Hammer Pistol Version C


  • IAR: Infantry Automatic Rifle
  • IED: Improvised Explosive Device
  • IFF: Identify Friend or Foe
  • IMBEL: Industria de Material Bélico do Brasil

Transl.:Military Material Industry of Brazil

  • IMI: Israel Military Industries
  • Inox: Inoxidizable


  • INSAS: Indian Small Arms System
  • IR: Infrared or Infrared Radiation
  • ITAS: Improved Target Acquisition System
  • ITL MARS: International Technologies Lasers Multi-purpose Aiming Reflex Sight
  • IWI: Israel Weapon Industries


  • JSCS: Joint Service Combat Shotgun


  • KAC: Knight's Armament Company

Transl.: Carbine 98, Short

  • KB or Kb: Kaboom, a slang term for any failure that causes an explosion


  • L: Land service

British equivalent of the M-for-Model prefix used by the US, specifically referring to infantry weapons. Replaced the older No. X Mk X classification system.

    • L: Lahti

Used as a prefix for weapons designed by the Finnish arms designer Aimo Lahti.

    • L: Length

Used in the format L/(number) to refer to the number of bore diameters long the barrel of a gun is, usually not used for smallarms.

  • LAM: Laser Aiming Module
  • LAR: Larisch Augat and Robinson
  • LAR: Light Automatic Rifle
  • LAW: Light Anti-armor (or Antitank) Weapon

Modern sources seem to prefer "anti-armor," probably because the M72 LAW is no longer even remotely effective against tank-grade armor.

  • LCR: Light Compact Revolver
  • LDA: Light Double-Action
  • LMG: Light Machine Gun

An automatic firearm chambered in an intermediate or rifle calibre and designed to be carried by a single soldier, fired in short automatic bursts with the aid of a bipod. Light machine guns can be fed by either belt or magazine. Compare MMG, HMG, GPMG.

  • LMT: Lewis Machine and Tool Company
  • LPO: Lyogkiy Pyekhotnyy Ognyemyot

Transl: Light Infantry Flamethrower

  • LOAL: Lock-On After Launch

Feature of some modern guided weapons, mostly anti-tank missiles. The weapon is launched "blind" and then acquires a lock-on after being fired, allowing for non-line-of-sight fire and use of third-party target designators.

  • LOSBR: Line Of Sight Beam Riding

Laser or radar guidance system for missiles, usually SACLOS though ACLOS is possible with a radar beam. Unlike semi-active laser homing (SALH) or semi-active radar homing (SARH) where the missile seeks the reflected energy from a beam pointed at the target using a sensor in its nose, a LOSBR missile attempts to fly along the beam itself, detecting the beam using a sensor in its tail.

  • LRF: Laser Range Finder
  • LRR: Long Range Rifle
  • LSAT: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies
  • LSW: Light Support Weapon
  • LTA: Launch Tube Assembly, the missile casing and associated equipment attached to it for a two-piece launcher such as Stinger or Javelin.
  • LWMMG: Lightweight Medium Machine Gun

Essentially just a fancy way of saying "general-purpose machine gun."

  • LWRC: Land Warfare Resources Corporation


  • M: Model

In US use, used to be followed by the year of adoption (eg Springfield M1903) but around WW2 it was decided that it should instead denote the weapon's position in a series, hence the large number of M1s that appeared at that time. Later it was discovered this was extremely confusing (imagine calling in support from "the M1s" during WW2) and so designations often skip numbers used by similar things, for example WW2 light tanks jumping from M3 to M5 to avoid confusion with the M4 Sherman.

  • M&P: Military & Police
  • Malf: Malfunction, a catch-all term for any mechanical failure of a weapon
  • MANPADS: MAN-Portable Air Defense System

Term used for shoulder-launched or smaller pedestal-mounted surface-to-air missiles.

  • MAS-36: Manufacture d'Armes de St. Etienne - 36

Transl.:Made in the Saint-Étienne weapon factory - 36

  • MASS: Modular Accessory Shotgun System
  • MAT-49: Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle - 49

Transl.:Made in the Tulle weapon factory - 49

  • MATADOR: Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DOoR
  • MBUS: Magpul Back-Up Sight
  • MCLOS: Manual Command Line Of Sight

This is a system for guided weapons where the operator must directly guide the projectile, usually using a joystick or similar device. This also includes the rarer SMCLOS (Semi Manual Command Line Of Sight) where the system automatically tracks the target and / or the projectile, but the projectile is still directly controlled by the operator.

  • MDR: Micro Dynamic Rifle
  • MEU (SOC): Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)

This typically refers to a unit of the United States Marine Corps, but for the purpose of this wiki it is often used to refer to a variant of the M1911 pistol developed for use by this unit.

  • MG: Machine Gun
    • MG: Maschinengewehr
  • MGL: Multiple Grenade Launcher
  • MGO: Machine Gun Optic
  • MIAD: MIssion ADaptable
  • MILAN: Missile d'Infranterie Legar ANtichar,

Transl: "Infantry anti-tank missile," also a play on the French word for "kite."

Transl.:Mini Machine gun

  • Mk: Mark

In US Navy, Marine Corps and SOCOM use, used like M-for-Model is by the Army. British use prior to the switch to the modern "L" prefix is closer to the American A-for-Alteration, with "No." used as the Model equivalent.

  • Mle: Modèle

French version of the M-for-model prefix.

  • MLE: Military and Law Enforcement

Refers specifically to a select-fire variant of the SRM Arms Model 1216.

  • MMG: Medium Machine Gun

A Medium Machine Gun is a fully automatic weapon chambered in a rifle calibre, designed to lay down protracted automatic fire using a belt feed and tripod. Differentiated from a General Purpose Machine Gun, which can be used in either light or medium machine gun roles.

  • MNVD: Monocular Night Vision Device
  • Mod: Modification or Model

US Navy, Marine Corps and SOCOM version of the A (advancement) suffix used by the Army to denote sub-variants.

  • MOE: Magpul Original Equipment
    • MP: Machine Pistol
    • MP: Maschinenpistole
  • MSR: Modular Sniper Rifle
  • MWS: Modular Weapon System


  • N-37: Nudelman 37 millimeter
  • NAA: North American Arms
  • NFA: National Firearms Act

In firearms terms, refers to those firearms which are restricted in the United States under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

  • NOD: Night Optical Device
  • NTK-62: NanaTenrokujyuunimiriKikanjyuu - 62

Transl.: 7.62 mm machine gun - 62

  • NVD: Night Vision Device
  • NVG: Night Vision Goggles


  • OA: Olympic Arms
  • OEG: Occluded Eye Gunsight

Alternate term for a collimator sight.

  • OICW: Objective Individual Combat Weapon
  • OSR: Optimized Sniper Rifle


  • P90: Project 90
  • PADS Position Attitude Determination Subsystem

Note: GPS-based device mounted on top of the scope of the current M41 TOW ITAS-FTL.

  • PaK: Panzerabwehrkanone

Transl.: Anti-tank cannon

  • PAMAS: Pistolet Automatique de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne

Transl.: Automatic Pistol Manufactured by the Saint-Étienne weapon factory

  • PAQ: This is a JETDS (Joint Electronics Type Designation System) code rather than a true acronym: it designates a portable (P), IR or other invisible light (A), "special or combination" (Q) device. In the form AN/PAQ, it is used for infantry IR aiming lights.
  • PAS: This is a JETDS code rather than a true acronym: it designates a portable (P), IR or other invisible light (A), search device (S). In the form AN/PAS, it is used for infantry IR optics such as IR scopes and thermal goggles.
  • PAW-20: Personal Assault Weapon - 20
  • PCC: Pistol-Caliber Carbine
  • PDR: Personal Defense Rifle
  • PDW: Personal Defense Weapon. Sales term usually used to refer to SMGs or compact assault rifles designed to fire proprietary armor-piercing ammunition. The use of this term is discouraged on this site due to the lack of formal definition.
  • PEQ: This is a JETDS code rather than a true acronym: it designates a portable (P), laser (E), "special or combination" (Q) device. In the form AN/PEQ, it is used for infantry laser sights.
  • PIAT: Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank
  • PIP: Product Improvement Program
  • PIVADS: Product Improvement Vulcan Air Defense System
  • PMag: Polymer Magazine

While there are many polymer magazines manufactured by various companies for a variety of weapons, the term 'PMag' on this wiki is typically used to refer to the line of STANAG-compatible polymer rifle magazines manufactured by Magpul.

  • PPSh-41: Pistolet Pulemyot Shpagina - 1941

Transl.:Shpagin's Submachine Gun

  • PPS-43: Pistolet Pulemyot Sudayeva - 1943

Transl.: Sudayev's Submachine Gun - 1943

  • PRS: Precision Rifle / Sniper
  • PSL: Puşcă Semiautomată cu Lunetă

Transl.:Scoped Semiautomatic Rifle

  • PSO-1: Pritsel Snaipersky Optichesky - 1

Transl.:Optical Sniper Sight

  • PSM: Pistolet Samozaryadny Malogabaritny

Transl.: Small Self-loading Pistol

  • PSS: Pistolet Spetsialnyj Samozaryadnyj

Transl.: Special Self-loading Pistol

  • PTRD-41: Protivotankovoye Ruzhyo Degtyaryova - 1941

Transl.: Degtyaryov's Anti-Tank Rifle - 1941

  • PTRS-41: Protivotankovoye Ruzhyo Simonova - 1941

Transl.: Simonov's Anti-Tank Rifle - 1941

  • PYa: Pistolet Yarygina

Transl.:Yarygin's Pistol

  • PVS: Portable Visual System (usual translation, as a JEDTS code the S code is for detection equipment and would be best parsed as "Search")

In the form AN/PVS, used for electronic weapon sights, image intensifying (non-thermal) night vision goggles, etc.

  • PWS: Primary Weapons Systems


  • QCB: Quick Change Barrel

Usually applied to machine guns with a faster barrel changing method than their original incarnation.

  • QD: Quick-Detach

Used in reference to various attachments and/or accessories on a weapon (e.g. optics, slings, suppressors, etc.); denotes an ability to be attached and removed quickly, and generally without the use of tools.

  • QF: Quick Firing

Obsolete term for naval guns designed to attack torpedo boats: the British Royal Navy established the definition as a gun that fired at least 12 rounds per minute. The term does not require the gun to be self-loading.


  • RARDEN: Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment and ENfield
  • RAS: Rail Adaptor System

Note: In Swedish, "robot" can be used to refer to missiles, hence the slightly odd name.

  • RCL: Recoilless or Recoiless Launcher
    • RCL: Rocket Launcher (used for the Chinese Type 51 RCL, a clone of the M20 Bazooka)
  • RCO: Rifle Combat Optic

Trijicon TA31 4x32 ACOG variant with a red chevron reticle designed for the M4 Carbine, used by the US Marine Corps as the AN/PVQ-31 Rifle Combat Optic and by the US Army as the M150 Rifle Combat Optic.

  • REPR: Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle
  • REX: Revolver for EXport
  • RFB: Rifle, Forward-ejection, Bullpup
  • RGP: Remington Gas Piston
  • RHA / RHS: Rolled Homogenous Armor / Rolled Homogenous Steel

Penetration standard for anti-tank weapons, usually measured in millimeters: also used to describe the effective thickness of modern composite tank armor, and in general to describe hot-rolled armor steel which is not layered, cemented or face-hardened. It is calculated based on the properties of steel produced to the military standard MIL-DTL-12560, a similar standard to SAE 4340 nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy: the measure dates back to WW2, when it was what tank armor was actually made from.

  • RIS: Rail Interface System
  • RMR: Ruggedized Miniature Reflex

A small dot reflex sight with a patented high-impact design, developed by Trijicon. Can be used as either a standalone short-range sight particularly suitable for pistols, or as a backup / short-range optic for a magnifying sight such as their own ACOG range, some of which are designed to mount the RMR on top of the eyepiece.

  • RPD: Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova

Transl.: Light Machine gun, Degtyaryov's

  • RoF: Rate of Fire. There are typically two "rate of fire" figures for a given weapon:
    • Cyclic rate of fire is most commonly quoted, though is only normally used for fully automatic weapons. The figure is based on how quickly the weapon's action completes a single cycle of function. It is the absolute upper limit for how quickly the weapon can discharge ammunition, and does not include reloads, barrel changes, possibility of jams, etc. While a cyclic rate of fire could be calculated for any semi-automatic weapon (as the mechanism still cycles at a specific speed), it is seldom quoted as it is very rarely a limiting factor in the weapon's performance.
    • Practical rate of fire is seldom quoted, as it involves operator experience and therefore will vary from person to person; if quoted, it is typically the minimum fire rate an operator is required to achieve in order to pass a military training standard for that weapon. As a result, there may be multiple practical rates for aimed fire at different ranges: for example, often-quoted practical RoF figures for aimed semi-automatic fire from an M16 are 45 rpm at 100 meters and 15 rpm at 300 meters. It includes reloading and barrel changes where applicable, but typically not including jams or malfunctions. Obviously, it is the only figure that can be quoted for manually-operated arms that do not have a cycle of function.
  • RPG: Rocket-Propelled Grenade
    • RPG: Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot

Translation: Handheld Antitank Grenade Launcher (usage note: this is what RPG stands for in the Russian RPG-X series of weapons only. In general use, it has the above meaning)

  • RSASS: Remington Semi Automatic Sniper System
  • RVG: Rail Vertical Grip
  • RWS: Remote Weapon Station or Remote Weapon System


  • S&W: Smith & Wesson
  • SA80: Small Arms for the 1980s
  • SA: Semi-Automatic

Semi-automatic weapons partially automate the process of operating the weapon using energy created by the round being fired; typically, in such a design it will be necessary to release the weapon's trigger to reset the sear and allow the weapon to fire again. Double-action revolvers are not semi-automatic weapons, since all the energy used to advance the cylinder comes from the user pulling the trigger; they are manually operated.

  • SA: Single Action

Single action weapons only perform the single action of releasing the striker or hammer when the trigger is pulled; if the weapon is not cocked in some other fashion (the user racking the slide or manually cocking the hammer, or the slide in a semi-auto SA pistol reciprocating and pushing the hammer back) then pulling the trigger will do nothing at all. Sometimes written as SAO (Single Action Only), though this is a little redundant unless trying to avoid confusion when talking about a single-action semi-automatic.

  • SA: Surface to Air

NATO prefix used for Soviet / Russian SAMs and MANPADS.

  • SAA: Single Action Army
  • SABR: Sniper Assaulter Battle Rifle (LWRC SRT variant)
  • SABR: Selectable Assault Battle Rifle (Alternate name for the OICW)
  • SACLOS: Semi Active Command Line Of Sight.

A method of guiding munitions where the user gives the projectile an aim point and the projectile's flight path is corrected to intersect with that point, usually through either the weapon's sight tracking a beacon on the projectile and transmitting instructions to it, or with the projectile containing a passive seeker system and guiding itself to a target indicated by an active designator. What unifies these is that one part of the system is a passive detector, which looks for an active signal created by the other: hence the system is semi active. This includes SALH (Semi Active Laser Homing) and SARH (Semi Active Radar Homing) where the designator is respectively a laser and an active radar reflected off the target.

  • SAR 21: Singapore Assault Rifle, 21st Century
  • SASS: Semi-Automatic Sniper System
  • SASR: Special Application Scoped Rifle
  • SAW: Squad Automatic Weapon

Note: SAW is a role (a categorisation based on how a weapon is to be used by troops in the military) rather than a formal type of weapon.

  • SBR: Short-Barreled Rifle
  • SDMR: Squad Designated Marksman Rifle
  • SDO: Squad automatic weapon Day Optic

Trijicon TA11 3.5x35 ACOG with RMR variant developed for US Marine Corps M249s.

  • SEF: Sicher Einzelfeuer Feuerstoß

Transl.:Safe Semiautomatic Full automatic

  • SG: Shotgun
  • SG: Smoke Grenade
  • SG: Sturmgewehr

Used in SIG rifle designations.

  • SG: Schützengewehr

Transl: lit. "Shooter rifle," ie "sniper rifle."

Used in H&K rifle designations.

  • SHORAD / SHORADS: Short Range Air Defense / Short Range Air Defense System

Attempt to come up with an acronym less silly than MANPADS, also applies to vehicle-mounted short-range SAM systems. SHORAD is as opposed to HIMAD (HIgh-to-Medium Air Defense) for larger SAM systems and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) for theater anti-ballistic missile systems.

  • SIG: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society

  • SIRS: Selective Integration Rail System
  • SKS: Samozaryadniy Karabin sistemi Simonova

Transl.: Self-loading Carbine system Simonov's

  • SLAM: Selectable Lightweight Attack Munition
  • SLAM: Submarine Launched Airflight Missile

6-tube launcher for the Shorts Blowpipe.

  • SLP: Self Loading Police
  • SLR: Self-Loading Rifle
  • SMAW: Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon
    • SMAW-D: Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon - Disposable
  • SMG: Submachine Gun
  • SMLE: Short Magazine Lee-Enfield
  • SOCOM: Special Operations COMmand
  • SOPMOD: Special Operations Peculiar Modification
  • SPAS: Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun or Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun (translation depends largely on who Franchi were trying to sell them to)
  • SPORTS: Slap Pull Observe Release Tap Squeeze (or Shoot)

Note: mnemonic for the jam / misfire drill of AR-15 pattern rifles: slap the base of the magazine to ensure it is properly seated, pull the charging handle all the way to the rear, observe the ejection of the cartridge and check the chamber for obstructions, release the charging handle, tap the forward assist, and then squeeze the trigger to shoot.

  • SPP: Special Purpose Pistol
    • SPR: Special Purpose Rifle
    • SPR: Special Police Rifle
  • SPW: Special Purpose Weapon
  • SRAW: Short-Range Assault Weapon
  • SS-77: Smith & Soregi - 1977
  • SSG 69: ScharfSchützenGewehr 69

Transl.:Sharpshooter Rifle 69

  • Sten: Shepherd, Turpin and Enfield
  • STANAG: STANdardisation AGreement

Note: STANAG is a series of NATO standards on everything from military bridges to smallarms ammunition, to allow commonality of equipment between various national militaries of NATO members. It is most usually used on this wiki to describe the STANAG pattern magazines for infantry weapons.

Further note: STANAG 4179, the draft standard, was a suggestion in 1980 to standardize the M16 20- and 30-round magazines for all NATO rifles, but was never passed, largely because of French and German interest in proprietary magazines for the FAMAS and G11. In modern use "STANAG" is used to refer to magazines designed for the magazine well of the 5.56x45mm AR15 pattern lower.

Transl.:Assault Rifle 44

  • SUIT: Sight Unit Infantry Trilux (where Trilux is Tritium lux, lux being the unit of light and so implying "tritium illuminated")

British L2A2 reflex sight for the L1A1 SLR.

  • SUSAT: Sight Unit Small Arms, Trilux

British L9A1 reflex sight for the Enfield SA80.

  • SUU: Suspension Underwing Unit

US Air Force prefix for gunpods.

  • SVML: Standard Vehicle Mounted Launcher

Box launcher accomodating four FIM-92 Stinger launch tube assemblies, formerly mounted on the M6 Bradley Linebacker and currently used on the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger.

  • SVT-40: Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva - 40

Transl.:Tokarev's Self-loading Rifle - 40

  • SWS: Sniper Weapon System


  • T: Type

Use in the context of some weapons, particularly Chinese and Japanese, generally followed by the year of adoption. Normally not abbreviated except for tanks.

  • T: Trial

Use for US weapons that were the subject of limited trial production, such as the M3 Carbine during WW2. Replaced by the XM (eXperimental Model) prefix in modern use.

  • TA31RCO: Trijicon ACOG 31 Rifle Combat Optic
  • TAGS: Transparent Armor Gun Shield
  • TAS: This is a JETDS code rather than a true acronym: it designates a transportable (T), IR or other invisible light (A), search device (S). In the form AN/TAS, used for IR night-vision scopes for crew-served weapons such as the BGM-71 TOW and M47 Dragon.
  • TASER: Thomas A Swift's Electric Rifle

Note: Taser is generally not capitalised, but the word is derived from an acronym for a fictional weapon in a book the inventor was fond of as a child, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle by Victor Appleton.

  • TDI: Transformational Defense Industries
  • TEC-DC9: IntraTEC - Designed for California 9
  • TIS: Thermal Imaging Sight
  • TiSAS: Trabzon Silah Sanayi

Transl: Trabzon Weapon Industry Inc.

  • TLE: Tactical Law Enforcement
  • TMP: Taktische Maschinenpistole

Transl.:Tactical Machine Pistol

  • TMRP-6: Protivtenkovska Mina Razorno Probojna - 6

Transl.:Destructive Dielectric Anti Tank Mine

  • TOW: Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided (or Wireless for Wireless TOW)

Note: This refers to both the BGM-71 missile as well as a whole class of anti-tank guided missiles. For the purpose of this wiki, it is generally used to refer to the BGM-71 missile and launcher.

  • TPS: Tactical Police Shotgun
  • TRP: Tactical Response Pistol
  • TT-33: Tula Tokarev - 1933

Names of the manufacturer and designer.

  • TVGM: Television Guided Missile

Term for MCLOS missiles guided using the view from a camera in their nose. Often incorrectly applied to SACLOS weapons which use a camera display as part of their aiming system.

  • TVS: Transportable Visual System (usual translation, as a JEDTS code the S code is for detection equipment and would be best parsed as "Search")

In the form AN/TVS, used for large standalone electronic spotting scopes and electronic scopes for heavy weapons such as the Browning M2.

  • TWQ: This is a JETDS code rather than a true acronym: it designates a transportable (T), weapon not otherwise covered (W), combination device (Q). In the form AN/TWQ, used for the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger, a Humvee-mounted twin quad launcher for the FIM-92 Stinger.
  • TWS: Thermal Weapon Sight


  • UBGL: Under Barrel Grenade Launcher
  • UMC: Union Metallic Cartridge
  • USC: Universal Self-loading Carbine
  • USP: Universale SelbstladePistole

Transl.:Universal Self-loading Pistol

  • UCP: Ultimate Combat Pistol
  • USAS: Universal Sporting Automatic Shotgun


  • VADS: Vulcan Air Defense System
  • VSS: Vintovka Snayperskaya Spetsialnaya

Transl.:Special Sniper Rifle


  • XM: EXperimental Model

This denotes the entire weapon is experimental or the subject of trial issue (in the manner of the old T-for-Trial prefix), as opposed to an E later on in the weapon's designation which would denote that only that specific variant was.

  • XVR: EXtreme Velocity Revolver



  • ZPU: Zenitnaya Pulemyot Ustanovka

Transl: Anti-aircraft Machine gun Mount

  • ZU-23: Zenitnaya Ustanovka 23mm

Transl: 23mm Anti-aircraft Mount

Special Abbreviations


  • AC556: Automatic Carbine 556 millimeter
  • AC556K: Automatic Carbine 556 millimeter Kurz

Transl.:Automatic Carbine 556 millimeter Short


This is for all Kalashnikov/similar guns related abbreviations. It should be noted that "avtomat" in Russian really only implies an automated machine of some kind; it is also a term applied to other devices such as slot machines. "AK" therefore in absolute terms means something along the lines of "Automatic device of Kalashnikov," but it is usually translated as "automatic gun" or "automatic rifle" due to context. It does not contain the Russian word for rifle, which is vintovka, or gun, which is ruzh'ya.

(This is much the same as the way "revolver" in English only means "thing that revolves" and is judged to refer to a gun with a revolving cylinder due to context.)


  • AK-12: Avtomat Kalashnikova - 12

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle - 2012

  • AK-47: Avtomat Kalashnikova - 47

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle - 1947

  • AK-74: Avtomat Kalashnikova - 74

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle - 1974

  • AK-107: Alexandrov Kalashnikova - 107
  • AKU-94: Avtomat Kalashnikova Ukorochenniy - 94

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle Shortened - 1994


  • AK-74M: Avtomat Kalashnikova - 74 Modernizirovanniy

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle - 1974 Modernized

  • AKM: Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Modernized Automatic rifle

  • AKMSU: Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy Skladnoy Ukorochenniy

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Modernized Automatic rifle, Folding stock and Shortened


  • AKS-47: Avtomat Kalashnikova Skladnoy - 47

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle, Folding stock - 1947

  • AKS-74: Avtomat Kalashnikova Skladnoy - 74

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle, Folding stock - 1974

  • AKS-74U: Avtomat Kalashnikova Skladnoy - 74 Ukorochenniy

Transl.:Kalashnikov's Automatic rifle, Folding stock - 1974 Shortened


  • AW: Arctic Warfare
  • AW50: Arctic Warfare 50
  • AW50F: Arctic Warfare 50 Folding stock
  • AWC: Arctic Warfare Covert
  • AWM: Arctic Warfare Magnum
  • AWP: Arctic Warfare Police
  • AWSM: Arctic Warfare Super Magnum


  • C8FT: Canada 8 Flat-Top
  • C8FTHB: Canada 8 Flat-Top Heavy Barrel


  • DP: Degtyaryova Pekhotny

Transl.:Degtyaryov's Machinegun

  • DPM: Degtyaryova Pekhotny Modernizirovanniy

Transl.:Degtyaryov's Modernized Machinegun

  • DA: Degtyaryova Aviatsionny

Transl.:Degtyaryov's Machinegun for Aircraft mounting

  • DT: Degtyaryova Tankovy

Transl.:Degtyaryov's Machinegun for Tank mounting


  • FN MAG: Fabrique Nationale Mitrailleuse d'Appui Général

Transl.: General Purpose Machine gun

  • FN MAG 58: Fabrique Nationale Mitrailleuse d'Appui Général 1958

Transl.: General Purpose Machine gun 1958


This section lists all G3 series of abbreviations.


  • G3A3/4: Gewehr 3 Ausführung 3/4

Transl.:Rifle 3 Version 3/4

  • G3KA4: Gewehr 3 Kurz Ausführung 4

Transl.:Rifle 3 Short Version 4


  • PSG-1: PräzisionsSchützenGewehr - 1

Transl.:Precision Sniper (lit. "Shooter") Rifle - 1

  • MSG-90: MilitärischesSchützenGewehr - 90

Transl.:Military Sniper (lit. "Shooter") Rifle - 90


  • G36K: Gewehr 36 Kurz

Transl.:Rifle 36 Short

  • G36C: Gewehr 36 Carbine

Transl.:Rifle 36 Carbine

  • MG36: MaschinenGewehr 36

Transl.:Machine Gun 36

  • AG36: AnbauGranatwerfer 36

Transl.:Attached Grenade launcher 36



  • GAU-4/A: Gun Automatic Unit - 4 / for Aircraft
  • GAU-8/A: Gun Automatic Unit - 8 / for Aircraft
  • GAU-17/A: Gun Automatic Unit - 17 / for Aircraft
  • GAU-19/A: Gun Automatic Unit - 19 / for Aircraft
  • GAU-22/A: Gun Automatic Unit - 22 / for Aircraft


  • GSh-23: Gryazev Shipunov - 23 millimeter
  • GSh-6-23: Gryazev Shipunov - 6 barreled, - 23 millimeter
  • GSh-30-1: Gryazev Shipunov - 30 millimeter, - 1 barreled
  • GSh-30-2: Gryazev Shipunov - 30 millimeter, - 2 barreled
  • GSh-6-30: Gryazev Shipunov - 6 barreled, - 30 millimeter


  • MAC-10: Military Armament Corporation - 10
  • MAC-11: Military Armament Corporation - 11


This is for various MP-series submachine guns.

Heckler & Koch MP5

Transl.:Machine Pistol 5 Version 1/2/3/4/5

Transl.:Machine Pistol 5 Sound Dampener 3/6

  • MP5K: MaschinenPistole 5 Kurz

Transl.:Machine Pistol 5 Short


  • MP7A1: MaschinenPistole 7 Ausführung 1

Transl.:Machine Pistol 7 Version 1

  • MP9: MaschinenPistole 9

Transl.:Machine Pistol 9

  • MP-10: MaschinenPistole - 10

Transl.:Machine Pistol - 10

  • MP18: MaschinenPistole 18

Transl.:Machine Pistol (19)18

  • MP38: MaschinenPistole 38

Transl.:Machine Pistol (19)38

  • MP40: MaschinenPistole 40

Transl.:Machine Pistol (19)40

  • MP41: MaschinenPistole 41

Transl.:Machine Pistol (19)41


  • UMP: Universale MaschinenPistole

Transl.:Universal Machine Pistol


  • NR-23: Nudelman Rikhter 23 millimeter
  • NR-30: Nudelman Rikhter 30 millimeter


  • NSV: Nikitin Sokolov Volkov

Names of the designers.

  • NSVT: Nikitin Sokolov Volkov Tankovy

Transl: NSV for tank


  • OA-96: Olympic Arms 1996
  • OA-98: Olympic Arms 1998


  • PK: Pulemyot Kalashnikova

Transl.: Kalashnikov's Machine gun

  • PKM: Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy

Transl.: Kalashnikov's Machine gun Modernized variant

  • PKP: Pulemyot Kalashnikova Pecheneg

Transl.: Kalashnikov's Machine gun Pecheneg (Pecheneg is an ancient aggressive tribe who lived in what later became Russia)

  • PKT: Pulemyot Kalashnikova Tankovy

Transl.: Kalashnikov's Machine gun for tank


  • PM: Pistolet Makarova

Transl.:Makarov's Pistol

  • PMM: Pistolet Makarova Modernizirovanniy

Transl.:Makarov's Pistol Modernized

PM md.

Transl.:Machine Gun Model 1963

Transl.:Machine Gun Model 1965

Transl.:Machine Gun Model 1990


  • PP: Polizeipistole

Transl.:Police Pistol

  • PPK: Polizeipistole Kriminal

Transl.:Police Pistol Criminal


This section is for all Chinese 'Q' guns. As a note, Chinese officials had never revealed what the Latin acronyms stood for precisely (Chinese sources use alternate names that tend to be completely unrelated to the Latin acronyms), and reports tend to be inconsistent, so there is an element of uncertainty with those acronyms.

  • QBZ-03: Qīngwuqi Bùqiāng Zìdòng - 2003

Transl.: Light Weapon, Rifle, Automatic - 2003

  • QBZ-95: Qīngwuqi Bùqiāng Zìdòng - 1995

Transl.: Light Weapon, Rifle, Automatic - 1995

  • QJB-95: Qīngwuqi Jīqiāng Bānyòng - 1995

Transl.: Light Weapon, Machine gun, Squad-use, 1995

  • QCW-05: Qiāng Chōngfēng Wēishēng - 2005

Transl.: Gun, Assault, Silenced - 2005

  • QCQ-05: Qiāng Chōngfēng Qīngxíng - 2005

Transl.: Gun, Assault, Light - 2005


This is for various RPG launchers.

  • RPG-2: Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot 2
  • RPG-7: Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot 7
  • RPG-18: Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot 18
  • RPG-22: Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot 22
  • RPG-26: Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot 26


  • RPK: Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova

Transl.: Hand-held Kalashnikov's Machine gun

  • RPKM: Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy

Transl.: Hand-held Kalashnikov's Machine gun Modernized

  • RPK-74: Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova - 1974

Transl.: Hand-held Kalashnikov's Machine gun - 1974

  • RPK-74M: Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova - 1974 Modernizirovanniy

Transl.: Hand-held Kalashnikov's Machine gun - 1974 Modernized


  • SCAR: SOF Combat Assault Rifle (a double acronym where SOF stands for Special Operations Forces)
  • SCAR-H: SOF Combat Assault Rifle - Heavy
  • SCAR-L: SOF Combat Assault Rifle - Light
  • SCAR SSR: SOF Combat Assault Rifle Sniper Support Rifle


SIG SG 510

  • SIG SG 510: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft Sturmgewehr 510

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society Assault Rifle 510

SIG SG 540

  • SIG SG 540: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft Sturmgewehr 540

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society Assault Rifle 540

SIG SG 550

  • SIG SG 550: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft Sturmgewehr 550

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society Assault Rifle 550

  • SIG SG 551: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft Sturmgewehr 551

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society Assault Rifle 551

  • SIG SG 552: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft Sturmgewehr 552

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society Assault Rifle 552

  • SIG SG 553: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft Sturmgewehr 553

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society Assault Rifle 553

SIG SG 750

  • SIG 750 SAPR: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft 750 Semi Auto Precision Rifle

Transl.:Swiss Industrial Society 750 Semi Auto Precision Rifle


This section is for all Czech 'vz' guns:

Sa vz. 61

Transl.:Submachine gun model 61

Sa vz. 58

Transl.:Submachine gun model 58

Transl.:Submachine gun Model 58 Infantry

Transl.:Submachine gun model 58 Airborne

UK vz. 59

Transl.: Universal Machine gun Model 59

LK vz. 26

Transl.: Light Machine gun Model 26



  • SVD: Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova

Transl.: Dragunov's Sniper Rifle

  • SVDS: Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova Skladnaya

Transl.: Dragunov's Sniper Rifle, Folding stock

  • SVDM: Snayperskaya Vintovka Dravunova Modernizirovanniy

Transl.: Dragunov's Sniper Rifle Modernized


  • SVU: Snayperskaya Vintovka Ukorochennaya

Transl.: Sniper rifle, Shortened

  • SVU-A: Snayperskaya Vintovka Ukorochennaya - Avtomaticheskaya

Transl.: Sniper rifle, Shortened - Automatic


  • TAR-21: Tavor Assault Rifle - 21st century
  • GTAR-21: Grenade Tavor Assault Rifle - 21st century
  • CTAR-21: Compact Tavor Assault Rifle - 21st century
  • MTAR-21: Micro Tavor Assault Rifle - 21st century
  • STAR-21: Sniper Tavor Assault Rifle - 21st century

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