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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.
Lest they were confused with other characters, I and Q were not utilised, so the date letters to 1941 were as follows 1922/23 - B; 1923/24 - C; 1924/25 - D; 1925/26 - E; 1926/27 - F; 1927/28 - G; 1928/29 - H; 1929/30 - J; 1930/31 - K; 1931/32 - L; 1932/33 - M; 1933/34 - N; 1934/35 - O; 1935/36 - P; 1936/37 - R; 1937/38 - S; 1938/39 - T; 1939/40 - U; 1940/41 - V.
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.
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..
The alphabet was restarted several years post-war in 1950 with A, but now each letter change was made at the beginning of the year.
The mark was modified to that shown in Figure II, with D to the left representing 1953, and the B to the right identifying the Birmingham Proof House. Thus the year codes have hitherto been understood to be 1950 - A; 1951 - B; 1952 - C; 1953 - D; 1954 - E; 1955 - F; 1956 - G; 1957 - H; 1958 - J; and so on through to 1974 - Z; ................
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.