Firearms
Metropolitan Police
Birmingham Proof House
Reasons for Proof
Regulations of Proof
Methods of Proof
Spanish Proof Certificate
 
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Gun Barrel Proof Marks

Markings on gun barrels and other gun components that indicate the level of pressure, calibre and standards that a weapon is fit for in service.

The drawings vary in style due to differences in the original information. Most are black silhouettes, but some of those that have been produced from photographs have a quasi 3 dimensional appearance that requires the onlooker to imagine that the light source is in the top left hand corner of the screen. De bossed or panelled marks show the depression in grey, with the original metal surface shown white (or transparent if shown against a grid).

The proof certificate is in Spanish, but the dimensions and tolerances are recognisable.

Where possible the drawings will be presented against a gridded background as shown at right. The red squares in the grid represent two millimetres, but the images themselves may not be to an exact scale, mainly because the depth to which the marks are punched and the angle at which the punch was held when it was struck will also affect the size and shape of the mark. I have tried to be consistent in the application of this grid as a background to the individual marks, so that sensible comparisons may be made. However in measuring a large number of marks, I have found variations as large a 20% in some cases, although the majority will fall within plus or minus 4% of the drawings. There is a further complication in that punches of different sizes are used according to the size of weapon and so you may have marks that do not agree with the measurements as displayed here.

proof mark background pattern

In cases where I cannot be certain of relative sizings the grid will be omitted. The symbols have been gathered from a large number of sources including magazine and book illustrations, the drawings themselves are all my own work.

This is a long term project and may not be completed quickly, however it will grow slowly as the information comes to light and is processed into the standardised .gifs... Any photographs, drawings or factual details that can be provided by others will be gratefully received and full recognition of source given.

As with anything published on the web this information may not be as up to date or as complete as the latest details available from the proof houses, but the revision text at bottom right of this page will tell you when this particular page was last worked on.

Viewing marks

  Birmingham gunmakers view mark 1813-1904  Birmingham
gun makers

view mark
1813-1904

 

  Birmingham view mark 1813-1904  Actual mark
enhanced from
photo by
Bill Chennault

 

   Facsimile of view mark 1813-1904 from Proof House booklet Birmingham
view mark

1813-1904
From Notes on the proof of shotguns & other small arms

Size or gauge markings

  [GAUGE MARKS]

Provisional proof marks

  Birmingham Provisional Proof mark current?  Birmingham

Provisional
Proof mark

Current?

Definitive black powder proof

  Liege mark 1968-?? Belgian
(Liege)

black
powder
mark
1968-??

 

   Liege Muzzle Loading Mark 1968-??  Belgian
(Liege)

black powder
Muzzle Loading
mark
1968-??

Definitive nitro powder proof

   London nitro proof 1925 used on action  London

1925
used
on
action

 

   London nitro proof 1925 used on action, produced from an illustration by the same methods and same scale as used for other images (for comparison purposes)  London

1925
book
illustration

Military proof marks

   Liege mark 1968-??  Belgian
(Liege)

Military
Nitro
mark
1968-??

Special proof

   [Special]

Chamber marks

   [Chamber Marks]

Black powder marks

   Birmingham Company Proof mark 1813-1904 Birmingham
Company Proof

mark
1813-1904

Nitro powder marks

   [NITRO MARKS]

Service pressure marks

   [PRESSURE MARKS]

In some cases the pressure reached during proof is given rather than the service pressure for which the weapon is intended. It does not mean that a weapon can withstand such pressures repeatedly.

Proof pressure marks

   [PROOF PRESSURE]

Load indication marks

   [LOAD]

Men at work DISCLAIMER
This page is in the process of assembly and is a long term project.
PLEASE CHECK ANYTHING WITH OTHER SOURCES BEFORE YOU RELY ON THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE
This notice will be removed when the page is more complete.

Originated... 27 October 2002, Trials... 16 December 2002, Corrections & Additions... 17, 18, 24 December 2002, New Domain... 07 December 2003, Upgraded... 29 August 2006, Addition... 30 August 2006, Addition... 11 June 2007,
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