Dating a gun by serial number

Here is a list of serial number range by year of manufacture.

This is just an approximation, and keep in mind, some engraving takes quite some time to complete, so the date that the finished product ships could be years after the receiver was built, because the engraving took time to complete.

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.

Many, but not all, of our pages carry date information on the various rifles illustrated or discussed, where it has been possible to be sure of data.

There are a number of methods by which a rifle can be dated, or at least bracketed between certain years of manufacture.

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..

It is worth mentioning one or two books in particular from which much data relevant to this website's subject matter can be sought. However, date marks such as are under discussion and described below, are usually out of sight on the under-side of the barrel, and removal of fore-end furniture may be necessary to find them.

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