The keenest researchers will search manufacturers' records where such are archived or available. civilian production of target and sporting rifles, then purchase a copy of " B. Also be aware of the Birmingham Proof and Birmingham View marks - respectively BP and BV - each under a Crown.* With, for example, the BSA Model 15 or BSA Model 12/15 Martini-actioned rifles, the view mark should be visible both on the barrel and on the action body RHS top. Thus they are usually very obviously stamped on the appropriate pressure-bearing parts where thay can easily be seen.
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Such research is a major part of the joy of owning, collecting and shooting classic or historic rifles.
For BSA and Greener rifles view complete catalogues from 1908 to the mid 1930s on our CATALOGUES PAGE As far as civilian rifles are concerned, some manufacturers have their own dating systems, with, for example, prefixes or suffixes to serial numbers providing that information.
The problem here is that, unlike silver hallmarking, the Proof House codes were only introduced in 1921 and have been only intermittently applied since then, almost on the whim of the Proof Master incumbent at any particular time. production was proved at Birmingham and the marks should therefore comply with these series.
The system ceased to be used during 1941, since there was practically no civilian firearm production for the next five or six years, and, with war-time production levels reaching unprecedented proportions, almost all military proofing was effected within the various manufacturing facilities by Government inspectors. However, such date codes as there are are still useful in dating the many firearms manufactured between the First and Second World Wars, including much output from the Birmingham Small Arms Company ( see also BSA Rifles), as indeed is true post 1952 for those rifles more recently falling into the classic class. These marks are also not to be confused with the crossed flags stamp of the miltary proof markings, which may carry similar letter codes identifying the country and/or place of inspection.