A gun proof tested between 1954 and 1989 is examined here to illustrate the marks then used. It is a Webley & Scott 12-bore with steel barrels.
This 12-bore is proofed under the Rules of Proof in force at the Birmingham Proof House from 1954-1989.
The stamps show:
‘BP’ in italic with crown over (just visible on tubes), which is the ‘Definitive Proof’ Mark
’.729’ indicates the actual bore size, taken nine inches from the breech.
‘’12’ in a diamond indicates the chamber is for 12-bore.
2 3/4" indicates the chamber length in inches.
‘BNP’ with crown over is the Birmingham Nitro Proof mark.
‘3 1/4 TONS per’, with a square and “ following, indicates the service pressure.
From 1955, metric marks were optional (on this gun it would be ‘70mm’ for the chamber, instead of 2 3/4” and pressure would be shown as ‘1200kg’ instead of 3 1/4 TONS’). The square was omitted after 1984.
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