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The date code letters were thus 1975 - A; 1976 - B; 1977 - C; 1978 - D; 1979 - E; 1980 - F.To give some idea of what you are looking for, the image below shows the mark, as Figure I, on a BSA Model 15 rifle.It may not be immediately obvious, but careful observation may provide you with the information for which you are looking.

Because many rifles may have been imported or, prior to sale on the civilian market, have only had military proof marks, then dating from the Birmingham or London Proof House marks needs to be treated with a degree of both caution and common sense. This is mandatory, in the interests of public and personal safety, and any imported, previously un-proved firearm or "Sold out of Service" ex-military arm must be so proved. product where possible, and charges a fee which is donated to one or other of his chosen charities.

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.

Date marks for the London Proof House did not commence until 1972 and are therefore of limited value in dating classic rifles.

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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.

It is to be found under the barrel just foreward of the receiver, and requires removal of the fore-end woodwork to view. It is possibly the diminutive size of this mark, and its usually hidden location, which has led to it being described as 'secret'.

In this instance, the code letter is 'M' for 1932-33, indicating that the rifle was manufacture, or at least proved, between July 1932 and June 1933. Post-War rifles such as the BSA Model 12/15 will not carry this mark.

However, we have been made aware, by a contributor, of two contemporary rifles, a BSA Mk.

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.

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.

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