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.

Liege, Belgium: A single letter, either Roman or Greek, upper or lower case, underlined or not. For corroboration, cross-reference with the proof house controllers' mark.

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.

    1998 -           Letter at left of intersection of crossed swords. D at right. Inspector's number at bottom.  Chart: Syntax of Birmingham proof date codes

London, EnglandLP over 2-digit year; beginning in 1973. Chart: Syntax of British proofmarks over time.

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 from 1921 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.  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.  During the 1980s a three letter code was adopted, in Ariel typeface, where the first letter is the month code, the second and third letters are the year code. EDK, therefore, refers to the year 1992  

Other Date Codes:

  PROOF HOUSES   | GUN MAKERS
Year Liege

Belgium

Birmingham,

England

London

England

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

|

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

 

     

Typical Italian proof date code:  BA, for 1991.                                                          Typical London proof date code: LP/87, for 1987.                                                   Typical German proof date code: 6/38, for June 1938.

 

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

 

 

The Hallowell & Co. Illustrated Firearms Dictionary is for informational purposes only. We do not necessarily offer the items described above for sale. Please click on any of the links below to see what we actually do have available for purchase.


American Shotguns      English Shotguns       European Shotguns      Double Rifles      Magazine Rifles        Single Shot Rifles      Combination Guns

Winchester      Colt      Smith & Wesson        Other Handguns          Antique Guns       New Arrivals             Custom Knives          Other Neat Stuff

 

Who We Are       How to Order      We want to buy your Gun(s)       Recommended Links     Historical Gallery         

Firearms Definitions, Abbreviations & Opinions     Store Photos     Magazine Articles          Home  


Hallowell & Co., Inc. PO Box 1445. Livingston, Montana  59047   USA   Tel: 406 222-4770    Fax: 406 222-4792     Email: morris@hallowellco.com

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 - 6.   (Mountain Time)   Our inventory is constantly changing. Please bookmark this site and return often.