View Full Version : Legit Proof Mark?

August 14, 2012, 10:34 PM
Just a quick concern here with a gunbroker item. I don't remember ever coming across a proof cartouche that was off center in its circle. Could this be a poor fake, or just a sloppy original? http://pics.gunbroker.com/GB/301062000/301062286/pix140469293.jpg

August 15, 2012, 03:18 AM
People who do fakes are usually a lot more careful of their markings than the originals. That is not a proof mark, it is a cartouche, and typically they have 2 letters in the circle.

August 15, 2012, 08:48 AM
The circle P is indeed a proof mark. It is applied after the rifle has been successfully proof fired.

Most mil-surps have a assortment of marking from different inspectors and generally only have one or two "Proof" marks.

Could this be a poor fake, or just a sloppy original?

I would think a original. The Smith Corona in the pic has several Rem parts and the wood has been heavily sanded.

James K
August 15, 2012, 03:33 PM
The circle P or sometimes just P on the bottom of the pistol grip is the usual proof mark on U.S. military rifles after 1900 or so. The inspector's cartouche is on the left side of the rifle above and behind the trigger guard.

To answer the OP's question, I have never seen a proof mark on an M1903 or 1903A3 that looked like that and IMHO it is a fake. The genuine circled "P" was marked with one stamp.


August 16, 2012, 07:32 AM
Jim, I found the OP's rifle on Gunbroker and it's legit, the camera angle makes it look strange in that one pic. It appears normal in other pic's.

Your right about a oblong circle being suspect.

James K
August 16, 2012, 12:24 PM
Maybe, and the only one I found on GB looked OK. But in that one the P is definitely off center and I don't see how a camera angle could make it look like that.

Just as FWIW, fakers rarely have the right stamps. So they make a circle with one stamp (often simply the mouth of a .45ACP case) then put the P inside it. There is enough variety in the legitimate stamps that if the proportions are right things will look OK.


August 17, 2012, 08:13 AM
There's a guy on evil bay selling every cartouche stamp you can think of. The next generation of collectors well need to be very diligent.

August 17, 2012, 07:37 PM
I was drawn to the rifle because it looked like a beautiful shooter. Corona/Remington rifle with the replacement bolt. Something about that proof just set off alarm bells though.

Is the starting bid a little high for the rebuild condition though?