Basic information on these lines is on site from our .
You may not necessarily find specific date information within the text of particular pages, but often the images of advertisements or catalogue entries contain some dating 'give-away', such as the year in which a particular rifle achieved a notable competition score by someone, but which data is in graphic format and therefore not "searchable" by a text search engine.
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.
There are a number of methods by which a rifle can be dated, or at least bracketed between certain years of manufacture.
For the latter, dates of introduction of military arms can be located within the Government "List of Changes" (Lo Cs) as can dates of obsolescence and of modification or upgrade to later marks.
II Lightweight Martini International and a BSA Century, that each carry what certainly appears to be the letter "I" in the left quadrant (as in Fig. This would suggest that "I" as well as "Q" was no longer deemed to be ambiguous, as had previously been the case with the Fig.1 stamp configuration.
There is therefore an undeniable possibility that year letters after 1958 may each represent dates that should be advanced one year, with "Z" falling in 1975, although this would then conflict with the 1975 commencement of the next series. Conjecture may suggest that perhaps there was even indecision at the Birmingham Proof House, and only a few rifles were stamped with an "I" in 1958 before "J" was substituted, or, a long shot, the 1957 "H" stamps wore out before the end of the year.
Fortunately, many of these scholars make their work available to the public in reference books, and details of a number of the most useful ones are to be found in our Bibliography. The only exception to this is a comparatively recent situation in which the acquirer of a historically important firearm that may have been re-imported, and hitherto have carried no London or Birmingham proving mark, scan request, when that arm is sent for the necessary proof that, the marks are put out of sight, under woodwork for example, in order that the original appearance of a valuable piece is not spoiled..Rifles without modern proof still regularly appear on the market, having lain in store for decades. Company for many years and holds most of those records not destroyed in enemy bombing raids on the factories during the War, has been willing to help date a particular B. It should be borne in mind that there is rarely a better way to find out more about your chosen rifle than buying one of the marque or model specific books authored by someone who has spent much of their life researching the subject.This is nothing new, and proof-house date marks from years past may still not indicate the rifle's date of manufacture. Such a purchase additionally supports such researchers and their work, and is, long term, to the benefit of us all.There are occasions when blocks of serial numbers have been manufactured out of sequence, sometimes years later.Also, within a model family the same serial number prefix may be used to produce a variety of different models, all in the same block of serial numbers.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.However, if an estimate of the rifle's age from other sources closely matches the date marks, then you probably have pinned down when it was made within a year or so. The ISBN numbers for these reference books are in the bibliography. When inspecting your rifle and comparing marks with reference sources, be careful not to confuse date marks, or "private view marks", with inspectors marks, which usually carry the factory identification, e.g., "E" for Enfield, under the sovereign's crown, below which is the inspector's identification number; usually two figures such as "39". rifles the Proof mark is only on the barrel (and on the action falling-block), and the third mark on the barrel is the 'NP' mark for Nitro-Proof, also below the crown.British and Commonwealth Service rifles can sometimes be dated by their serial numbers and prefixes, and the manufacturing works can be identified by manufacturers' coded leter and number marks. This is not a date mark, although occasionally the number may coincidentally seem to relate to one's approximate estimate of the rifle's age; it does not. Proof , View and Black Powder or Nitro-Proof marks have to be easily visible to, for instance, the purchaser of a firearm.Anschutz target rifles fall into this category, and their system is given on the page for these rifles.Quite apart from such dating information as we have been able to provide on many of the individual rifle types included on this website, there are other ways in which you may be able to confirm the date of manufacture, or at least the date of proof, of your rifle.