How to Find the Model Number on a Rifle

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Rifle enthusiasts and collectors have no problem identifying certain weapons just by their construction and design. For novice or beginning shooters, identifying certain features isn't as easy. Locating a rifle model number is the most effective way to identify a rifle if you need to find a specific manual, replacement part or other accessories for the rifle. All rifles are manufactured differently, and, correspondingly, the rifle model number can have several locations and on certain rifles can have multiple locations. Locating your rifle model number can be done with little difficulty.

Look at the upper receiver of the weapon. Most semi-automatic rifles have the model number adjacent to the manufacturer's logo stamped on the upper receiver.

Observe the side plate of the rifle. Many bolt-action or lever-action rifle model numbers are printed on the side of the rifle's metallic plating, such as with a Marlin or Winchester lever-action rifle, according to Browning.

Look on the butt-stock of the rifle. Many rifle manufacturers stamp or engrave their logo and model number into the butt-stock or butt-plate of the rifle.

Look on the magazine well of semi-automatic rifles. Manufacturers normally have either a serial number or a model number and logo stamped into the outside of the magazine well, such as with the M16A2 service rifle used by the U.S. military, according to the M16A2 rifle manual on the Quarterbore website.


  • Never point a weapon at anything that you do not intend to shoot.
  • Always exercise extreme safety precautions when handling and operating firearms.
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