Proof marks, serial numbers, etc.
Always figured proof marks, serial numbers & other markings were added BEFORE the metal part had been heat-treated. Now figuring my earlier thoughs can't be right - why? Reading Scott Duffs 2002 article on Lend Lease Garands, he stated that the British Proof houses were unable to add their proof marks to the bolts and receivers because they were too hard. (They tried and only very blurred smudge marks resulted.) My new thoughts are: Receivers and bolts are hardened and are stamped BEFORE the hardening process. Must be that barrels aren't hardened (or at least not as hard as bolts and receivers) because the stampings have to be added AFTER the barrel is completely finished; i.e. proof marks, etc. I figure that proofing can be meaningful only if the barrel is completed and ready to be fired. Am I all wet with my recent "revelations" or not??? Thanks
Sounds about right except barrels are proofed twice. The "P" is applied after the barrel alone is proof fired and then, after that barrel is assembled to a completed rifle, it is again proof fired. This time a punch mark is placed in the vicinity of the "P". In the case of a Type 1 NM rifle it would be proofed a third time and a second "P" punched. That would be when the rifle is accepted as a NM rifle.
Originally Posted by Moody