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· Registered
414 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 1889 carbine, Birmingham stamped receiver. Serial is B4XX, all matching.
couple of questions: what is the actual date of manufacture? can I tell by the serial number, or by some other means?
Why Birmingham? There seem to be 2 schools of thought: Belgium refugees building them during WWI, or "farmed out" production to Birmigham to keep up with orders/demand?

· Gold Bullet Member
45 Posts
As jim7x57 said, WWI manufacture.
In the end of 1915, the Belgian Government procured the plant to be able to make its own weapons. Before the end of 1916, monthly production was several thousands of rifles and carbines, along with 10.000 bajonnets. In 1916 over 400 people worked at the plant, mostly Belgian refugees. The plant also made machine gun barrels and spare parts to ship to the repair shops in France. The reception of these rifles was done 'as in peace time, using gauges recovered from Liege and newly made at Birmingham'. This info comes from an book published in 1917 (free translation: The Belgian Artillery establishments during the war). I have an all matching B27xx carbine. Its stamped with the classic 'EBG' and boxed V stamps. Previous EGB and M-over-89 stamps are still visible, so I assume an FN 1889 rifle was used to be converted to a carbine. The stock has no cartouche. I have no idea if old serial number was kept or if the rilfes were re-serialised.
As for the date, period should be something like early 1916 till end 1918. I have no idea when the plant closed. But apperantly the old Manufacture de l'Etat was back in Liege in 1919 using the machinery of the Birmingham plant.
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