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  1. #1
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    Default Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Good evening,

    As per the title, I'm looking at buying the above shotgun but as far as proofing goes it only has a "F" stamped on the underneath of each barrel.

    This being an American gun, the typical Birmingham type proof marks dont apply.

    Does anyone know for certain of this "F" is proofed for nitro powders?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Failed ?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Treeman further research in the darkest corners of the web have shown this "F" to describe the barrel choke.

    Frankly i'm not certain if US firearms get proofed other than shots fired at the factory to prove the firearm works.

    There are conflicting characteristics on the gun that place it's D.O.M. it looks like it was manufactured anytime between 1920 and 1935.

    If anyone has a better clue please fill me in.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Quote Originally Posted by treeman View Post
    Failed ?
    Yes you did;)

    Sent from my SM-A307FN using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Quote Originally Posted by Trayton View Post
    Treeman further research in the darkest corners of the web have shown this "F" to describe the barrel choke.

    Frankly i'm not certain if US firearms get proofed other than shots fired at the factory to prove the firearm works.

    There are conflicting characteristics on the gun that place it's D.O.M. it looks like it was manufactured anytime between 1920 and 1935.

    If anyone has a better clue please fill me in.
    You are correct, that it refers to choke, if manufactured during those dates it would definitely have been made with nitro powders in mind.

    Sent from my SM-A307FN using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Thanks for your input Johan.

    Some confusion enters the fray with the earlier models of "Hercules grade" shotguns having "smokeless powder" stamped on the barrels and then that being removed on later models.

    Presumably because it was no longer necessary to differentiate between the 2 powder types.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    The world of proof markings and other markings on weapons even more so, is super fascinating, a day can easily be lost by seeing a marking and trying to find its meaning.
    The old .303 rifles markings do not just clarify and identify, the can actually tell you the rifle history and travels to you, and how it got there.

    I thought I had never seen the "f" stamp, on shot guns of which I had/have a few, but far from many.
    As per Johann, that was a big "fail" moment, should have been obvious actually. (though I may never have owned handled a USA s/Gun)
    This weapon is then "full" choke both barrels?
    I am now wondering when the transition to different choke barrels - left right happened? One thing I know for certain is I have never read, studied a gun with matching chokes, even the .410's and 16 guage.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    As I understand it, America doesn't have proof houses or proof laws, hence (domestic) American firearms don't have any proof marks. They may have other marks that indicate testing of some sort.

    An interesting situation is American firearms that have been exported to countries that have stringent proof laws. Those firearms may then have been proofed in the destination country. Hence you might for example find a Winchester rifle manufactured in the USA but bearing Birmingham or London proof marks from the UK, proving that it was at one stage formally imported into the UK.

    I get the impression that these days the UK doesn't bother too much with proofing imported American made firearms and instead just trusts the US QC but I'd love it if someone can conclusively prove me wrong.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    As previously mentioned several times, those F-markings stand for Full Choke. This is easy to verify with a caliper.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBCT View Post
    I get the impression that these days the UK doesn't bother too much with proofing imported American made firearms and instead just trusts the US QC but I'd love it if someone can conclusively prove me wrong.
    The current UK legislation proves this wrong to my understanding:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/518193/Guidance_on_Firearms_Licensing_Law_April_2016_v20. pdf

    Finland joined C.I.P. in 1983 and from then all firearms built in Finland or those imported from non C.I.P. country has been proof marked with Finnish lion proof mark and the year when proofed. Since in the USA all manufacturers are members of their SAAMI proofing system with no mandatory proof markings, all of my US guns older than 1983 have only manufacturer's markings for model, serial number etc.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help with proof marks on an Iver Johnson SxS

    Thank you. I consider myself educated. My interpretation of that document is that one could privately import a firearm for personal use without the need for proofing (eg if one was to emigrate from SA to UK and take one's firearms with) but as soon as ownership passed to someone else proofing would be required. It seems clear that commercial importation of firearms to the UK would require proofing, if such firearms do not come from a country with proofing laws that are recognised by the UK authorities.

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