Proof Date Codes


Amongst proof marks are codes enabling one to determine the date of manufacture of many guns. Sample photos of their layouts are at the bottom of the page.

Birmingham, England: date code letter placement:

    1921 - 1941: Letter at top of intersection of crossed swords. Number of dots beneath to indicate inspector.

    1950 - 1974: Letter at left of intersection of crossed swords. B at right. Inspector's number underneath.

    1975 - 1984: Letter inside upper left of circle. B at upper right. Inspector's number at bottom.

    1985 - 1997: Letter at left of intersection of crossed swords. C at right. Inspector's number at bottom.

London, EnglandLP over 2-digit year; began relatively recently.

Gardone, Italy:  Month and Year in Roman numerals until 1945. Sans-serif Roman numerals from 1945 until 1975, then a two-letter code surrounded by a small rectangle as per the chart below.

Eibar, Spain:  Until 1994, a code amongst the proofmarks. After 1994, the last two digits of the 4-part serial number.

Suhl, Germany:    Month and year, 3 or 4 numerals as required, with forward slash between month and year until 1930s, as: 5/24 for May 1924.    Afterwards without slash, as: 1163 for November 1963.

Ferlach, Austria:   The proof house's number, followed by a dot, then by a 2-digit number for the year, as: 346.33 for the 346th gun proofed in 1933.   During the 1980s a three letter code was adopted, for example: ETR, where the first letter is the month code, the second letter is always a T and the third letter is the year code.    Also, an individual gunmaker's code appears in the following format: a 2-digit number followed by a dot and then typically a 4-digit number where the two digit number is the code for the gunmaking firm and the four digit number is his serial number--see Chart

Other Date Codes:

PROOF HOUSES   | GUN MAKERS
Year Birmingham,

England

London

England

Italy Spain Ulm, Germany Ferlach, Austria (year code) |

|

Browning (in serial number) Remington
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _________ _________ | _______ ________
1921 A            | M
1922 B   | N
1923 C        | P
1924 D | R
1925 E | S
1926 F | T
1927 G A | U
1928 H B | V
1929 C | X
1930 K CH | Y
1931 L D | Z
1932 M E | A
1933 N F | B
1934 O G | C
1935 P H | D
1936 R I | E
1937 S J | F
1938 T K | G
1939 U L | H
1940 V LL | J
1941 M | K
1942 N | L
1943 | MM
1944 O | NN
1945 I P | PP
1946 II Q | RR
1947 III R | SS
1948   IV S | TT
1949 V T | UU
1950 A VI U | WW
1951 B VII V | XX
1952 C VIII X | YY
1953 D IX Y | ZZ
1954 E X Z | A
1955 F XI A1 | B
1956 G XII B1 | C
1957 H XIII C1 | D
1958 J XIV D1 | E
1959 K XV E1 | F
1960 L XVI F1 | G
1961 M XVII G1 | H
1962 N XVIII H1 | J
1963 O XIX I1 GD | K
1964 P XX J1 GE | L
1965 Q XXI K1 GF | M
1966 R XXII L1 GG | N
1967 S XXIII M1 GH | P
1968 T XXIV N1 GI | R
1969 U XXV 1 GK | S
1970 V XXVI O1 HA | T
1971 W XX7 P1 HB | U
1972 X 72 XX8 Q1 HC | W
1973 Y 73 XX9 R1 HD | X
1974 Z 74 XXX S1 HE | Y
1975 A 75 AA T1 HF | RV Z
1976 B 76 AB U1 HG | RT I
1977 C 77 AC V1 HH | RR O
1978 D 78 AD X1 HI | RP Q
1979 E 79 AE Y1 HK | RN V
1980 F 80 AF Z1 IA | PM A
1981 G 81 AH A2 IB | PZ B
1982 H 82 AI B2 IC | PY C
1983 J 83 AL C2 ID R | PX D
1984 K 84 AM D2 IE F | PW E
1985 L 85 AN E2 IF M | PV F
1986 M 86 AP F2 IG H | PT G
1987 N 87 AS G2 IH Y | PR H
1988 O 88 AT H2 II T | PP I
1989 P 89 AW I2 IK D | PN J
1990 R 90 AZ J2 KA | NM K
1991 S 91 BA K2 KB | NZ L
1992 T 92 BB L2 KC | NY M
1993 U 93 BC M2 KD | NX N
1994 V 94 BD N2 KE | NW O
1995 X 95 BF 2 KF | NV P
1996 Y 96 BH O2 KG | NT Q
1997 Z 97 BI P2 KH | NR R
1998 98 BL Q2 KI   | NP S
1999   99 BM 99 KK   | NN T
2000   MM BN 00 AA   | MM U
2001   01 BP 01 AB   | MZ W
2002   02 BS 02 AC   | MY X
2003   03 BT 03 AD   | MX Y
2004   04 BU 04 AE   | MW Z
2005   05 BZ 05 AF   | MV A
2006   06 CA 06 AG   | MT B
2007   07 CB 07 AH   | MR C
2008   08 CC 08 AI   | MP D
2009   09 CD 09 AK   | MN E
2010   10 CE 10 BA   | ZM F
2011   11 CF 11 BB   | ZZ G

 

     

Typical Italian proof date code.                                                                                 Typical London proof date code.                                                                              Typical German proof date code.

 

The best single reference for deciphering proomarks is Wirnsberger, Gerhard, The Standard Directory of Proofmarks, Jolex, 1975 Translated by R. A. Steindler

 

 

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