Typical Proof Marks of Various Countries
Proof - The test-firing of a gun with an extra-heavy load, at an official establishment, to verify the safety of a gun, which is then marked with formal stamps showing, among other things, the loads for which it is intended. Proof date code table.
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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