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British and Commonwealth Service rifles can sometimes be dated by their serial numbers and prefixes, and the manufacturing works can be identified by manufacturers' coded leter and number marks. This is not a date mark, although occasionally the number may coincidentally seem to relate to one's approximate estimate of the rifle's age; it does not. Proof , View and Black Powder or Nitro-Proof marks have to be easily visible to, for instance, the purchaser of a firearm.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.You may not necessarily find specific date information within the text of particular pages, but often the images of advertisements or catalogue entries contain some dating 'give-away', such as the year in which a particular rifle achieved a notable competition score by someone, but which data is in graphic format and therefore not "searchable" by a text search engine.Do not briefly glance over a page and assume that the information you require is not there.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.The mark was modified to that shown in Figure II, with D to the left representing 1953, and the B to the right identifying the Birmingham Proof House. Thus the year codes have hitherto been understood to be 1950 - A; 1951 - B; 1952 - C; 1953 - D; 1954 - E; 1955 - F; 1956 - G; 1957 - H; 1958 - J; and so on through to 1974 - Z; ................we also believed that Q was then used in this series for 1965.

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.

The two markings are shown below, the International to the left, and Century to the right.