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Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Parabola
A friend has this gun by Little of Yeovil bearing 1925 to 1954 Birmingham Proof marks.


The table of Birmingham date stamps in Nigel Brown Volume 2 runs from 1921 (A) to 1942 (W) but restarts in 1950 at AB going on to ZB in 1974.

I suspect the M 948 in a circle is the date stamp for 1948 with M representing 1,000, but can anyone confirm?
Liked Replies
by Argo44
I'll post the image directly. If you click on the BB Code box next from last at the bottom, it'll give a code that will create an image on boards. This is an interesting line of inquiry. The "M948" certainly seems logical for 1948 - i.e. MCMXXXXVIII or MDCCCCXXXXVIII or MCMIIL.

[Linked Image from]
1 member likes this
by bushveld
In the June 1981 issue of GUNS REVIEW an article written by Udo E. Troster titled" BRITIAN'S SECRET PROOF MARKS" where there is a full page written about the Birmingham "private view marks" in the 4th paragraph quote:

"The Birmingham Proof Master Colonel Playfair died in 1941 and the marking system seems to have fallen into disuse until the present Proof Master, R.P. Lees, was appointed. He modified the old mark and reintroduced it with effect from 1 January 1950.......The letter code used for 1950 was A".
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by Kutter
I was thinking the 948 was designating Sept/1948.
I don't think anyone at the time or for the next 100yrs would think by looking at the gun that it was proofed in 2048 instead of 1948.

The other Birmingham Proof Date Codes only used a Letter to designate the yr. Nothing to tell you it was 19xx or 20xx.
The style of the Birmingham Proof Date Code used will tell you what yrs it was in use/ under what Proof Law in effect at the time.
The yrs the code lapsed in general use was 42 to 49. No real need to tell anyone it was '19' 42 to '19' 49.

The M ?,,,,maybe a Proof Inspector/Examiner like on the other Birmingham Proof Date Code marks.
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by Argo44
Well actually "M" = 1000. 1000 + 948 = 1948. But who knows. It's an interesting mystery.
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