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Copper Bullet member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed that IO is selling a byf 41 russian capture rifle with all marks intact as a special collectors piece.
I have one like it and was wondering if the V under the serial no. on the reciever means that it was a test rifle or is it a production run number? (my rifle not the one IO is selling)
 

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Serial Number letter

The German system of serialing rifles used 4 digits ( and in 1944-45, five digits) and a Letter suffix, so that rifles 1 to 9999 in a particular year were followed by 1a to 9999a, and so on, and in big production years, after "z", reverted to 1aa, 1ab etc. At the end of the German calendar year, the numbers reverted to 1-9999 etc. So a serial number with suffix must be connected to a particular Year AND Manufacturer to be a "unique Identifier" otherwise there are several like-numbered rifles of any one year of all the manufacturers; and if one dispenses with the letter suffix, then there is the possibility of having 25 or 26 rifles, (or more) of the same maker, with the same serial 4 digits, in any one year.

The FBI realised this (or Hatcher did) back in the 1930s, when looking at Parabellum Pistols (Lugers) which had a similar serialling system from WW I.

Never leave the letter out of a German serial number. You may be confused by the Police/FBI etc with a Missing or Stolen gun. (Happens all the time, since the 1930s, as evidenced by Hatcher in his book on Firearms Identification and Evidence (Hatcher & Jury, Stackpole Ed., (1930s and 1950s). In fact, under new BATFE Serialling requirements, never leave any Letter out of any Serial number, on any gun (new or old).

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.
 

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Serail Numbers

Regarding the german serial #ing only being four numbers going to 9999, that's a popular misconception. If that was the case, the 10000 firearm serial # would be skipped after every series. It actually went 1 to 10000, 1a to 10000a, etc. There are documented firearms with the 10000 serial #, specifically Lugers and at least one Gew 98, a 1916 Danzig.

Absolutely correct on the full serial #, including the suffix....It's amazing how many folks, even gun dealers, think this is a minor thing, especially when they can't determine the prefix letter.
 

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Copper Bullet member
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So the letter UNDER the serial no. is the serial no. re-start code? Correct?
 

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NO, the letter under the ser nr is part of the ser nr, just like it had a 5th diget in the number. When your rifle gets stolen and you didn't record that letter as part of the ser nr they will never find you rifle, even if it is in the police property room.
There were as many as 50 dot 44s made with the same 4 diget ser nr as yours, but only yours has a V as a part of the ser nr.
Sarge
 
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