The Directory: B

Entries that can be expanded, either in the form of additional notes or a printable 'pdf' file are highlighted in red.

ncircled or within an encircled six-point star. A property mark found on Brazilian military weapons.
Beneath a crown. Found on Belgian weapons: the mark of King Baudoin (1950 to date).
Stamped into the heel of British 'Bantam' rifle butts, which were an inch (25mm) shorter than standard.
Beneath a crown, above a number. A mark applied by an inspector working in the British Royal Small Arms Factory in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Care should be taken to distinguish the upright or Roman letter 'B' of Sparkbrook from the cursive 'B' used by BSA. See also 'SK'.
Beneath a crown, above a number. A mark applied by an inspector working in the Birmingham Small Arms [& Metals] Co. Ltd or BSA Guns Ltd factories in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Care is necessary to distinguish the cursive 'B' used by BSA from the upright or Roman letter 'B' of the Royal Small Arms Factory in Sparkbrook.
Beneath a crown. Found on Bulgarian weapons: Tsar Boris III (1918–43).
Usually in an oval cartouche. Sometimes accompanied by a miner with a lamp, this is associated with the products of Theodor Bergmann. It will be found moulded into the grips of most Bergmann-Schmeisser pistols, including the abortive No. 5 or 'Military Model'.
Beneath a crown. Found on Dutch weapons: the mark of Queen Beatrix (1980 to date).

A mark associated with Lee Enfield rifle and other small arms components made by the Australian government factory in Bathurst.

Used by Sundwiger Messingwerk vorm. Gebr. von der Becke KG of Sundwig Kreis Iserlohn, Germany, on small arms ammunition made during the Second World War.

Applied to US military stores — including .45 M1911A1 Government Model pistols — refurbished by Benicia Arsenal.

B & A
This trademark was associated with the products of Bolte & Anschütz of Zella-Mehlis, Germany. Found on small-calibre rifles, including military trainers (DSM-34, KKW) and sub calibre barrel inserts for the Parabellum pistol, it often took the form of a cross containing 'B', 'B', 'A' and 'A' in the arms and the ampersand ('&') in the central void.

Back action, or Back lock
An alternative method of construction to side lock (q.v.), this originated in Europe in the nineteenth century and remained popular for the duration of the cap-lock era. The principal distinguishing feature was the main spring, which lay behind the hammer. Even though it often weakened the wrist of the stock, the back lock was particularly favoured on the earliest breech loaders as it freed the space ahead of the standing breech or 'action face' for the barrel locking mechanism. Locks of this type were eventually superseded by the box lock.

C.W. Bacon. A U.S. government arms inspector active in the 1870s, using the initials 'CWB'.
George R. Bacon; Providence, Rhode Island., USA On 21st July 1863, Bacon was granted U.S. Patent 39270 to protect a breech-loading firearm. Reissued on 15th March 1864, the patent was subsequently assigned to the Burnside Rifle Company.

James T. Baden, a lieutenant in the Federal Army, accepted small arms marked 'JTB' during the American Civil War.

Edmund C. Bailey. This government arms inspector active during the American Civil War, was identified by the initials 'ECB'.
Robert H. Bailey. The 'RHB' marks of this government arms inspector will be found on U.S.-made rifle muskets, Remington rifles and Sharps carbines accepted in 1870–7.

Samuel P. Baird. Working from c. 1860 until 1873, Baird, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, accepted small arms marked 'SPB'. They included Starr and Whitney revolvers, and, apparently, some Remington Rolling Block rifles.

Ezekiel Baker: inventor of the Baker Rifle. Succeeded by E. Baker & Son, trading from Size Yard, Whitechapel Road, London, in 1850-2; 49 Tenter Street in 1853–4; and 7 Union Street, Whitechapel, from 1854 until the early 1860s.
Frank W. Baker. A government arms inspector active in 1909–17, this US Army major marked .45 Colt revolvers with 'FWB'.

G.T. Balch, a captain in the US Army, accepted Colt and Savage revolvers during the American Civil War, marking them 'GTB'.

Albert Ball. One of the greatest of the mechanical geniuses to come out of the New England states, Ball's patents (more than a hundred of them) spanned a wide range of subjects. The first of the specifications relevant to firearms was U.S. Patent 38935 of 23rd June 1863, granted to protect a 'self loading fire arm' made by the Windsor Mfg. Company. A later patent, 43827 of 16th August 1864, allowed claims for a 'breech loading self feeding firearm', also made by the Windsor Mfg. Co. U.S. Patent 45307 (of 6th December 1864) protected a 'magazine fire arm' with a tubular magazine which slid into the fore end and was protected against accidental discharge caused by barrel heat by insulation. U.S. Patent 47484 of 23rd May 1865 covered a 'machine for lubricating bullets', and 60664 of Ist January 1867 protected a 'cartridge retractor for breech loading firearms'.
Ball & Lamson, Windsor, Vermont, U.S.A. This partnership of Albert Ball and Edward G. Lamson made Ball's 1863 patent magazine carbine, but failed shortly after the end of the American Civil War and was succeeded by the E.G. Lamson Company.
Ball & Williams, Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Active during the American Civil War, this partnership made sporting rifles, carbines and military long arms in accordance with the 1861 vintage breech-mechanism patent granted to Charles H. Ballard.

Charles Ballard of Worcester, Massachusetts, is best remembered for his distinctive breech-loading rifles and carbines made in accordance with U.S. Patent 33631 of 5th November 1861. Ballard also patented a 'cartridge ejector for breech loading firearms', the subject of U.S. Patent 63605 of 9th April 1867, and was responsible for the design of a single barrel cartridge derringer patented on 22nd June 1869.
Ballard rifle. Patented by Charles Ballard in November 1861, this distinctive US dropping block design was very successful. The breech-block contained the hammer and the trigger mechanism, which automatically dropped the hammer to half cock as the action opened. The first guns were made in 1862–3 by Dwight Chapin & Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, under contract to Merwin & Bray. Purchases in 1861–6 amounted to a mere 35 rifles and about 1509 carbines, owing to the poor quality of Chapin's work. However, six hundred rifles and a thousand carbines were sold to the state authorities in Kentucky, where they were so well received that more orders followed; according to an inventory taken in September 1864, the state cavalry and mounted infantry had 3494 carbines, and the infantry had about 4600 rifles. Most of the Ballard rifles supplied to the Federal authorities incorporated an auxiliary cap-lock ignition system, patented in January 1864 by Joseph Merwin & Edward Bray, which was useful in areas where metal-case ammunition was in short supply. Ballards were also made by Ball & Williams of Worcester, Massachusetts (1863–4, in .44, .46 and .56 rimfire) and by R. Ball & Company of Worcester (1864–6). Work was continued by the Merrimack Arms & Mfg Co. (1867–9) and then by the Brown Mfg Co. (1869–73) of Newburyport, Massachusetts. I 1873, however, rights were acquired by Schoverling & Daly of New York and manufacture was licensed to John Marlin of New Haven, Connecticut. None of the Marlin-made Ballards had any miltary significance.

The principal Indonesian arms factory, on the island of Java, this was formerly the workshop of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL). Garand-type rifles, their Beretta-type adaptations, and FN-Browning GP-35 pistols have all been made there.

Danish inventor-engineer Søren Hansen Bang, of Copenhagen, is best-known for semi-automatic rifle designs originating early in the twentieth century. These relied on propellant gas trapped by a muzzle cup to pull the operating rod forward. The goal was a softer action than the recoil-operated guns of the day, which often worked very harshly; however, though tested for many years, including during the Second World War on the German Gew. 41 (Mauser and Walther patterns), the muzzle cup system ultimately proved unreliable and too susceptible to fouling.

Francis Bannerman & Sons [subsequently 'Francis Bannerman Sons, Inc.']; Brooklyn and New York City. Founded soon after the end of the American Civil War by Francis Bannerman (1851–1918), a Scottish emigré, this gun dealing business grew rapidly. A move to Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, occurred in 1867, then to New York City: to 118 Broad Street, 27 Front Street and finally 597 Broadway. Bannerman bought such huge quantities of military surplus that he was able to equip entire regiments during the Spanish American War of 1898, and then bought so much more after hostilities had been concluded that an island in the Hudson river had to be purchased to store it! Frank Bannerman (1873–1945) and David Bannerman (1875–1957) had joined the business by the beginning of the twentieth century, forming 'Bannerman & Sons', and the purchase of 499 & 501 Broadway established the business as the doyen of military surplus businesses. Run in more recent times by Charles S. Bannerman, it moved to Blue Point, New York, in 1961. Though renowned largely as a dealer, Bannerman bought the assets of the Spencer Rifle Company from Pratt & Whitney and (despite a most acrimonious confrontation with Winchester) continued to make slide-action Spencer shotguns for some years.
Bannerman rifle. A thousand .303 rifles were made from a collection of Springfield, Krag and Mauser components, and sent to Britain in 1915 in acknowledgement of Bannerman's Scottish ancestry. Unfortunately, the guns failed inspection and were relegated to drill use.

Applied to the shortest butt-option fitted to British military rifles. It was one inch shorter than the standard pattern.

See 'Browning Automatic Rifle'.

Karl Barnitzke; Suhl in Thüringen, Wilhelm-Gustloff-Strasse 17 (1941). Listed in the Erfurt telephone directory as 'Ob.-Ing.' (Oberingenieur, 'senior engineer'), Barnitzke has been linked not only with Gustloff-Werke but also with the design of the so-called Volksgewehr 1-5.

The part of any gun containing the bore, down which the bullet passes, and (usually) a chamber in which the cartridge is inserted.
Barrel band. Also known simply as 'band', this holds the barrel in the fore end. It may be made in one piece or two, and retained by springs let into the fore end (sprung band) or by screws or threaded bolts (screwed band).
Barrel extension. A frame attached to the barrel to carry the bolt or breech block; or, alternatively, the part of the barrel behind the breech into which the bolt or breech block may lock.
Barrel rib. A stiffener forged or otherwise attached to the upper surface of the barrel, into which the front sight blade is formed or fixed. This is sometimes encountered on sporting rifles, though much more common on shotguns. The object is to give the barrel rigidity without adding as much weight as would be required if it had been forged with a greater diameter.

Peter Barrett, a Gunner in the U.S. Navy, accepted Colt cap lock revolvers in 1861–8. They were distinguished by 'PB' marks.

Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This gunmaking business has made a variety of sporting and military rifles, including the auto loading .50 calibre Light Fifty and Model 90 sniping rifles, introduced in 1983 and 1990 respectively.

C.C.G. Barry. The designer of a safety catch for the Danish Krag Jørgensen service rifle.
R.P. Barry. This government arms inspector, a captain in the U.S. Federal Army working in 1861–4, accepted cap lock revolvers marked 'RPB'. Remington, Rogers & Spencer and Starr patterns have been reported.


Fritz Barthelmes, born in Zella St Blasii in 1899, deserves to be remembered as the designer of the Walther P. 38, developed in the 1930s when he was chief engineer of Carl Walther Waffenfabrik of Zella Mehlis. The relevant British patent for the locking system is, after all, granted jointly to Barthelmes and Fritz Walther, and it is clear from the testimony of surviving employees that the concept was due more to Barthelmes than Walther. Fritz Barthelmes escaped from what was to be the Soviet Zone of a partitioned Germany in the summer of 1945, settling in the village of Heidenheim, where, ironically, Fritz Walther's fortunes also began a post war recovery. There he formed 'Fritz Barthelmes KG' to make metal goods and, later, starting and signal pistols. Barthelmes died in 1973.

C.L. Bartlett. A U.S. government arms inspector active in 1904–10, using the initials 'CLB'.
W.W. Bartlett. This U.S. government arms inspector, working in 1899–1904, accepted small arms marked 'WWB'.

Konstantin Aleksandrovich Baryshev was born in 1923 in Sosnovka, near Tambov, USSR. He graduated from the Dzherzhinsky Artillery Academy in 1946 and began working for the proving-ground authorities alongside many famous smallarms designers. During this period Baryshev developed a 9mm pistol and a 7.62mm Avtomat, and was also responsible for a mount for the PKP machine-gun. Lieutenant-Colonel Baryshev retired from the Soviet army in 1974.

A term associated with guns, including automatic pistols made by Nicholas Pieper of Liége, Belgium, denoting tipping barrel construction. See also 'Demontant'.

William L. Bates. This U.S. government arms inspector, working in 1870 9, accepted Remington revolvers for the navy; the guns bore 'WLB'.

Also known as 'Rifle Factory No. 2'; Olympic Way and Stuart Street, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. This was established in 1941 to supply S.M.L.E. components to the Lithgow factory, but subsequently became a feeder for the Orange establishment. Bathurst products were marked 'BA'.

Often accompanied by a mounted knight. Used by Anciens Établissements Pieper of Herstal lèz Liége, Belgium, on firearms ranging from Bergmann-Bayard pistols to a range of shotguns.

This is a bladed weapon that can be attached to the muzzle of a rifle or musketoon, though not usually to a carbine. There are many differing types. A socket bayonet is an all metal pattern with a short cylindrical socket, passing over the muzzle, and some method of locking the socket to the gun: a spring, a rotating collar or a sliding catch. A knife bayonet has a short straight blade, customarily defined as less than 25cm (11.8in) long; a sword bayonet is essentially similar to a knife pattern, but has a blade exceeding 25cm. A sabre bayonet is usually a sword pattern with a curved or recurved ('yataghan') blade. A rod bayonet usually slides in a channel beneath the muzzle, being carried on the gun at all times. Many books have been written about this particular subject. The best of them, usually devoted to specific subjects (e.g., Japanese Bayonets, British & Commonwealth Bayonets), are excellent.

See '[B.B.] Lombard'.

This code was allotted in 1941 to Gustloff Werke, and used on rifles and small arms components made in its Weimar (Germany) factory.

with crossed sceptres and a crown. An abbreviated form of 'Birmingham Company Proof', applied by the Guardians of the Proof House in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, from 1813 until replaced in 1904 by 'BP' black powder and 'NP' nitro proofs.

Used in 1940–5 by F.A. Lange Metallwerke AG of Bodenbach an der Elbe, Germany, a maker of small-arms ammunition and components.

A mark used by Berndorfer Metallwarenfabrik Arthur Krupp AG on small-arms ammunition or components made during the Second World War.

Using the mark 'RB', U.S. Federal government arms inspector Robert P. Beals accepted Colt revolvers in 1860–1. He then changed to 'RPB', and continued to accept small arms until 1880.

William Beardmore & Co. Ltd; Parkhead Forge and Dalmuir Works, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Formed in 1886, superseding the partnership W. & I. Beardmore, this engineering business was best known prior to 1918 for warships, armour plate and heavy guns. After the First World War, however, seeking to diversify, Beardmore briefly promoted the Beardmore Farquhar machine gun (1919–27).
Beardmore Farquhar machine-gun. Made by the Beardmore Engineering Co. in accordance with the patents of Moubray Gore Farquhar and Arthur Henry Hill, this light machine gun was tested by the R.A.F. in 1919, and then by the British Army in the early 1920s. An unusual combination of gas and spring action allowed the weapon to be very lightly built by the standards of its day, weighing merely 16.5lb with a 77-round pan magazine, but much of the operating mechanism was exposed to the elements. A handful of Improved 'Mark II' Beardmore Farquhar guns were offered from 1924 in 0.303-inch, 7.65mm and 7x57, with pan or box magazines. A 0.5-inch calibre version weighing only 38lb was developed experimentally, but none of these innovative guns were successful.

Lester A. Beardslee, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, accepted Starr cap lock revolvers marked 'LAB' prior to 1861.

Frans [de] Beaumont. A Dutch gunmaker, best known for the single shot bolt action rifle adopted by the Dutch army in 1871.
Frederick Blackett Edward Beaumont; Upper Woodball, Barnsley, Yorkshire. This British army officer (c. 1828–99), 'Late Royal Engineners', received British Patent of 374/55 of 20th February 1855 to protect the trigger mechanism of a modified Adams revolver, allowing it to be cocked manually. A comparable U.S. Patent, no 15032, was granted on 3rd June 1856.

Becker & Hollander
Established late in the nineteenth century in Suhl, in the Thüringen district of Germany, this partnership is best known for the Beholla pistol. Rifles and shotguns were also made, but operations seem to have ceased at the end of the Second World War.

Beecher's Bibles
See 'John Brown Sharps'.

A German term ('auxiliary pistol') used to denote the many non-regulation handguns that eventually found their way into official service during the First World War. Few of the Behelfspistolen were particularly powerful, but they did free Parabellums for front-line service. Material published later in the war indicates acquisition of a broad range of commercial designs, including tiny blowbacks seized after the invasion of Belgium.

A small blowback semi-automatic pistol made by Becker & Hollander of Suhl, c. 1916–19. It seems to have had its origins, like the FL-Selbstlader, in the 'Hindenburg Programm' of 1915. Designed specifically to meet German military requirements, the Beholla was chambered for the 7.65mm Auto cartridge and had a seven-round box magazine in the grip. Simple, reliable and easily made, guns of this type were also offered under the brandnames 'Leonhardt', 'Menta' and 'Stenda'.

A modernised version of the 7.65mm 1913- or 'Old Model' pistol made by J.P. Sauer & Sohn of Suhl, this was intended for police and paramilitary use (Behörde, 'authorities'). The external changes were minimal, only a refinement in the shape of the handgrip distinguishing between the 1913 and 1930 patterns; however, the newer gun had a blade-like safety mechanism inserted into the trigger blade to ensure that the weapon would not fire accidentally. Too late to compete effectively with the Walther Polizei-Pistole, the Behörden-Modell was replaced shortly before the Second World War began by the Sauer Modell 38.

Beistegui Hermanos
Eibar, Guipuzcoa, Spain. This gunmaking business was formed in 1909 by Juan and Cosmé Beistegui. It achieved prominence during the First World War only as a sub-contractor for Ruby-style pistols ordered from Gabilondo y Urresti. These were marketed in the early 1920s under the name Royal, alongside a variety of guns made for Fabrique d'Armes de Grande Precision. In 1926, however, the first of the Beistegui adaptations of the Mauser C/96 appeared, to be followed by an improved 'MM31'. Production ceased in 1934; the factory was destroyed in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War; and the manufacture of bicycles and accessories began instead in Vittoria in 1939.

A mark found on telescope sights and associated optical-instrument components made in Germany in 1940–5 by Hensoldt Werk Dr H. Hensoldt in Herborn/Dillkreis.

Theodore A. Belknap, a Federal arms inspector working during the American Civil War, marked cap-lock revolvers and possibly also breech-loading carbines with 'TAB'.

John A. Bell, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, accepted Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers in 1902–3. The guns were marked with the initials 'JAB'.
William L. Bell. This government arms inspector, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, accepted Colt pistols marked 'WLB' in 1937.

Belted case
See 'cartridge case'.

See '[George A.] Hyde'.

Benet, Benét
Laurence V. Benét, the engineer son of Stephen Benét, one-time Chief of Ordnance of the U.S. Army, settled in France where he became a long-term employee of Société Anonyme Établissements Hotchkiss. Among his designs was the Hotchkiss light machine-gun, or 'Machine Rifle', developed in association with Henri Mercié.
Benét-Mercié Machine Rifle (Fusil Mitrailleur Mle. 1909). Designed in 1907–9 by Laurence Benét and Henri Mercié, this was made in France by Hotchkiss of Saint-Denis. The guns were issued tested in small numbers in Belgium and France, but were much more popular on the export markets. Purchasers included the U.S. Army, in which the 'Benét-Mercié Machine Rifle, .30 Model 1909', after an allegedly poor showing in the border wars with Mexico, was unfairly castigated as the Daylight Gun and rapidly withdrawn in favourof the Lewis Gun.

M.P. Benjamin, a U.S. government arms inspector working in 1899–1909, accepted the small arms marked 'MPB'.
W.A. Benjamin. This U.S. government arms inspector, working in 1898, accepted small arms marked 'WAB'.
W.E. Benjamin. Sometimes listed as working in the late 1890s, accepting small arms marked 'WEB', this may be a mistaken attribution of the mark of W.A. Benjamin (above).

Bennet, Bennett
W.A. Bennet or 'Bennett'. This U.S. government arms inspector, working in the 1890s, accepted small arms marked 'WAB'.
A.G. Bennett. The marks of this U.S. government arms inspector ('AGB') will be found on Remington revolvers and Ward Burton rifles accepted in 1868–79.
Trained as a mechanic, Thomas Gray Bennett (1845–1930) joined the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1870, becoming company secretary in 1871 and president in 1890. He was a prolific patentee, though it is possible that his name was often simply used by Winchester on designs emanating in the Model Room. U.S. Patents granted for 'Breech loading firearms' or simply 'Firearms' included 352292 of 9th November 1906; 564421 of 21st July 1896; 781179 of 31st January 1905; and 836554 of 20th November 1906. Three U.S. Patents were granted to protect the design of 'bolt guns' — 632090 of 29th August 1899; 782716 of 14th February 1905; and 798866 of 5th September 1905, with Frank F. Burton, to permit 'Krag or other rifles' to fire small-calibre ammunition. Among the many U.S. patents granted to protect 'magazine firearms' were 188844 of 27th March 1877; 190264 of 1st May 1877, with William W. Wetmore; 209748 of 12th November 1878; 224366 of 10th February 1880 (also with Wetmore); 343423 of 8th June 1886; 386290 of 17th July 1888; 545766 of 3rd September 1895; 551572 of 17th December 1895 (for a box magazine gun); and 599587 of 22nd February 1898, with William Mason. U.S. Patents 695784 of 18th March 1902 and 710660 of 7th October 1902, granted jointly with William Mason and Thomas C. Johnson respectively, protected designs for semi-automatic or automatic firearms. Among the lesser patents were three obtained in 1897 to protect locking catches for lever action guns — 588315 of 17th August, 598201 of 31st August and 598687 of 7th September. U.S. Patents 487465 and 487466 of 6th December 1892 were 'take-down' systems; 537598 of 26th April 1895 and 549343 of 5th November 1895 protected 'recoil locking bars for bolt guns'.
V.L. Bennett. Active in the mid 1870s, this U.S. arms inspector accepted small arms marked 'VLB'.

Nathan L. Benoit, known to have been active in the early 1900s, accepted U.S. military small arms marked 'NLB'.

James G. Benton, an officer in the U.S. Army, commanded the National Armory, Springfield, from 1866 until relinquishing his post in 1881 with rank of colonel. His personal marking is said to have been 'JGB'. See also '[John G.] Butler'.

Hiram Berdan was a prolific designer of firearms, including bolt-action guns adopted in Russia and elsewhere. Berdan resigned his commission in the Federal Army in 1864, though the Civil War was still raging, and embarked on a new career. Among his U.S. Patents were three granted on 10th January 1865: no. 45898 protecting a method of rifling muzzle-loading smoothbores, 45899 for a breech-loading firearm, and 45901 for a bayonet-attachment system. Other 'breech-loading firearms' patents included 51991 of 9th January 1866 and 52925 of of 27th February 1866, both being assigned to the Berdan Fire-arms Mfg Co. The first protected extractors for a rolling-block type breech, and the other was a two-piece lifting-block design. Next came 85162 of 22nd December 1868, assigned to the company to protect a primitive form of bolt action. Additional U.S. patents included 88486 of 30th March 1869, protecting the lifting-block 'Berdan I' made for the Russian government by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg Co., under a subcontract agreement; 101418 of 5th April 1870 for a modified two-part lifting block; 108869 of 1st November 1870 for the bolt-action 'Berdan II'; and 157783 of 15th December 1874 for an improved form of bolt action. Berdan's last effort, U.S. 478215 to protect a 'Method of operating submarine guns', was granted on 5th July 1892. U.S. Patents 46292 of 7th February 1865 and 52818 of 27th February 1866 protected 'metallic cartridges for rifled breech-loading firearms', whereas 53388 of 20th March 1866 was granted for a method of priming metallic cartridges. U.S. Patent 82587 of 29th September 1868, for a metallic cartridge, was also assigned to the Berdan Fire-arms Manufacturing Company. Hiram Berdan, successful and prosperous, died in March 1893.
Berdan primer. Still used on many millions of the cartridges made each year, this, together with the essentially similar Boxer pattern, was the earliest centre-fire primer to be successful. A detachable cup, filled with priming compound, is inserted in a hole in the base of the cartridge case. The impact of a firing pin or hammer-tip then drives the thin cup material against an anvil placed in (or formed as part of) the case, compressing the priming compound until it ignites. The flash then passes up through a central flash-hole to fire the main charge. The principal difference between the Berdan and the Boxer primers concerns the anvil, the former being made as part of the cartridge case and the latter supplied as part of the primer. However, though Berdan is customarily given the credit for 'his' primer, there is some evidence that he exploited an idea he had seen in embryo on a visit to Frankford Arsenal. Certainly, there was a feeling in the U.S. Army in the 1870s that the credit for the separately-primed cartridge case should really have been given to Stephen Benét.
Berdan rifle, block-action. These were made in two basic patterns — conversions of rifle muskets, distinguished by an external hammer, and a simplified newly made version with a linear striker system. The conversions were most popular in Spain, where trials had been undertaken successfully in 1865. Spanish guns chambered 15mm-calibre rimmed cartridges, and had breech blocks that could be lifted up and forward by a small integral lever. Hammers remained external. The Fusil para Infanteria Mo. 1867, the standard infantry rifle, was converted from 1859-type rifle muskets by Ybarzabal of Eibar, Orbea Hermanos y Cia of Eibar, and Euscalduna of Planencia. Marks on the lock plates included a crown over an 'AR' monogram, and 'O' for 'Oviedo'. The Fusil para Cazadores Mo. 1867, the short rifle, was similar to (but shorter than) the infantry pattern. Guns converted from Mo. 1857 short rifles had generous trigger guard bows; Mo. 1857/59 examples had a notably cramped trigger guard. The artillery and engineers carbine, or Carabina para Artilleria e Ingenieros Mo. 1867, was a short-barrel weapon adapted from the rifled engineer carbine of 1858. Artillerymen carried a heavy-blade sword bayonet. A Mo. 1861 engineer carbine was also made in small numbers, and a few marine-infantry carbines (Carabina para Infanteria de Marina, Mo. 1867) were converted from Mo. 1858 cap lock naval short rifles, made in 1860–1 by Juan Aldasoro of Eibar. The 1868-patent linear striker design was supplied in quantity only to Russia, where about thirty thousand rifles and a few carbines made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg Co. served for a few years. The breech-block could be lifted at the rear, exposing the chamber, once the striker had been withdrawn. A new cartridge was inserted, the block was closed, and the trigger was pressed to allow the striker to fly forward to lock the breech.
Berdan rifle, bolt-action. Very successful in Russia, this was a conventional turning-bolt pattern relying on the sturdy bolt-handle rib to double as a locking lug. The earliest 'four-line' guns (the calibre was actually 0.42-inch) were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company, though work was soon started in Tula. Huge quantities of the 'M1870' infantry rifles had been made when production stopped about 1892; even in 1914, 362,000 10.6mm original and 7.62mm converted Berdans remained on the inventory. Carbines were made in small numbers, alongside a distinctive ball-trigger cossack rifle.

Pietro Beretta SpA, of Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia and Rome, claimed origins as early as the sixteenth century. Sporting guns were made prior to the confederation of Italy in 1860, but the business had become powerful enough by the early 1870s to tender successfully to make Vetterli rifles, short rifles and carbines. Many thousands of these were delivered to the Italian army prior to 1885.
During the 1930s, under the supervision of Tullio Marengoni, auto loading rifles were made. By 1939, however, the Beretta had been rejected in favour of the Revelli Armaguerra design. Production of automatic pistols began in earnest during the First World War, continuing most successfully through the 1930s until the present day; guns based on the M951 Brigadier and the many derivatives of the '92' series are now in service throughout the world — including the U.S.A., where the 9mm Pistol M9 (Beretta 92F) is being made in Accokeek, Maryland. Automatic weapons of all types have been developed since the 1920s, including the pre-war Model 38 submachine gun and a selection of automatic rifles developed by Tullio Marengoni and others. Large numbers of Garand and improved Garand type (BM59) rifles were made from 1953 onwards, and work is now concentrating on 5.56mm '70/90' series of assault rifles, carbines and light machine guns. The history of Beretta is traced in greater detail in Beretta, la dinastia industriale piu antica del monde by Held & Morin, published by Aquafresca Editrice in 1980, and in R.L. Wilson, The World of Beretta. An International legend, published by Greenhill Books in 2000.

Mikhail Evgenyevich Berezin was born in Goncharka, Russia, in 1905. He graduated from the Leningrad Military Mechanical Institute in 1934 and worked thereafter for the Tula ordnance factory. Transferred to the Tula design bureau in 1935, he developed the first of his machine-guns. Twice honoured with the USSR State Prize, Berezin died in 1950.
Berezin machine-gun. The first of these aircraft weapons was a 12.7mm prototype successfully test-fired in 1935. This provided the basis for the UB series — UBK, UBS and UBT.

Theodor Bergmann is best known as an inventor of firearms, though most of the creative work was apparently undertaken by his long time employee Louis Schmeisser. Together with a partner named Flürscheim, Bergmann founded Eisenwerke Gaggenau in 1877 to make metalware, railings, railway lines and lamp posts. A series of patents was granted in the 1880s, usually to protect variations of the Haviland & Gunn Gem airgun. Bergmann left Eisenwerke Gaggenau in the early 1890s to exploit pistol patents. The first to be developed, based on a patent granted to a Hungarian watchmaker, Otto Brauswetter, was unsuccessful. It was followed by a series of pistols designed by Louis Schmeisser, characterised by clip-loaded magazines, pivoting magazine-cover plates, and bolts reciprocating independently within an enveloping receiver. The first few guns embodied a form of hesitation lock, but the perfected 1896 patterns were simple blowbacks lacking (at least initially) extractors; spent cases were expelled simply by residual gas pressure. The series included a tiny 5mm 'No. 1' with a folding trigger, a larger 5mm 'No. 2' with a small circular trigger guard, and a 6.5mm 'No. 3' holster pistol. They were successful enough to sell in the thousands, but were rapidly eclipsed by Browning and other designs at the beginning of the twentieth century. These early Bergmann-Schmeisser pistols were followed by the Bergmann No. 5, a fragile military-style semi-automatic, fed from a detachable box magazine ahead of the trigger guard and locked by displacing the tail of the breech-block laterally into the receiver wall. This method was patented in Germany in the Spring of 1898. Then came the Bergmann-Mars (q.v.), but work had been sub contracted to V.C. Schilling of Suhl and ceased when the Schilling factory was purchased by Sempert & Krieghoff in 1904. Rights to the handguns were then sold to Anciens Établissements Pieper and became the 'Bergmann-Bayard'. Production of blowback semi-automatics resumed after the First World War had ended, including some incorporating one-hand (Einhand) cocking systems based on the Chylewski patents.
Bergmann-Bayard. Derived from the Bergmann-Mars, chambered for the 9mm 'Bergmann-Bayard' (9mm Bergmann No. 6) cartridge, this recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol — also known as the 'Mle 1908' — was supplied in quantity to Spain (as the 'Mo. 1903'), Denmark ('M/1910') and Greece prior to 1914. Though the Bayard pattern retained the exposed hammer of its Mars prototype and a detachable box magazine in the frame, its trigger aperture was approximately circular and the contours of the grip were refined. Production ceased in Belgium when the First World War began, though the Danes began work in the Haerens Tojhus, Copenhagen, in the early 1920s. These guns, which served as 'M/1910/21', customarily had enlarged wooden grips and a circular knurled-head grip on the magazine base which entered a semi-circular void in the frame.
Bergmann machine-gun. This recoil-operated weapon was patented in the name of Theodor Bergmann in 1901 though the design was actually due to Louis Schmeisser. The Bergmann-MG. 02 was locked by a rising block, in the barrel extension, which engaged in the recess in the top surface of the bolt. The Bergmann deserved a better fate, but its failure was due entirely to a loss of production facilities. Work began again in 1908, probably under the supervision of Hugo Schmeisser — son of Louis — who had remained with Bergmann after his father's departure to work for Rheinische Metallwaaren- u. Maschinenfabrik. The Bergmann-MG. 10 was similar to its predecessors, firing from a closed bolt, but the feed mechanism was driven by the recoil of the barrel and barrel extension. 'Push-through' belts were replaced by the standard 'pull-out' Maxim pattern, which allowed Austrian Keller-Ruszitska disintegrating-link metallic belts to be used when appropriate. The Bergmann had a fire-rate of 480–600 rpm, owing to the short travel of the locking mechanism. A few guns were used in the First World War, adapted to standard Schlitten 08 (Maxim) mounts. The Bergmann-LMG. 15 was developed during the First World War, but was little more than a lightened air-cooled MG. 10. A pistol grip was added beneath the receiver, and a small shoulder plate was attached to the back of the receiver. The action was efficient enough in theory, but flaws in its design gave problems in aerial combat and the Bergmann-LMG. 15 was relegated to ground roles. The original guns fired from an open bolt, but accuracy was poor and a much-modified pattern designated 'LMG. 15 neuer Art (n.A.)' was substituted in 1916.
Bergmann-Mars. Based on breech-locking system patented in 1901 by Louis Schmeisser, this semi-automatic pistol was customarily chambered for the 7.8mm No. 5 or 9mm Bergmann No. 6 cartridges. Distinguished by a detachable box magazine in the frame, ahead of the trigger guard, it also had an exposed spur-hammer. The first guns were made for Theodor Bergmann by V.C. Schilling u. Co., in Suhl, but the purchase of Schilling by Krieghoff (1904) interrupted production just as the Spanish army was showing interest. Work continued until the end of 1906, when a few 11.35mm guns were made for US Army trials, but the Mars was licensed to Anciens Établissements Pieper in 1907 and re-emerged as the 'Bergmann-Bayard'.

Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik
A maker of components for the Gew. 41 and Gew. 43 Walther rifles.

Berlin Suhler Waffen u. Fahrzeugwerke GmbH
('BSW'); Berlin, and Suhl in Thüringen, Germany. Listed as a maker of BSW brand guns, weapons, sporting rifles, bicycles, motor cycles, 'Astora' brand freewheel hubs, prams and baby carriages and fans (Kuhlschranke), 1939. BSW was renamed 'Gustloff Werke' in 1940, but ceased trading at the end of the Second World War.

Vincenzo Bernardelli & Co. SNC of Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy, have made sporting guns and rifles, revolvers, and a variety of automatic pistols. Bernardelli entered the 'SR' or 'SR-556' assault rifle (a variant of the Israeli Galil) in the Italian army trials of the 1980s, but the Beretta AR. 70 was preferred.

See 'BP monogram'.

I.L. Berridge & Company of Leicester, England, made 'Pistols, Signal, No. 1' (Mks III, IV and V) from 1941 until the end of the Second World War. The code 'M 601' was often used instead of the company name.

Adolphe V.P.M. Berthier, trained as a railway engineer, was working in Algeria when, in 1888, he submitted his first rifle to the French authorities. The guns proved to be very successful, though able only to loosen the hold of the inferior Lebel on French army psyche. Berthier also experimented with automatic weapons, producing an effective light machine-gun prior to the First World War, but the failure of his efforts owed more to the antics of promoters than to inherent design flaws. The Vickers-Berthier light machine-gun may have been adopted by the British Army had not the Czechoslovakian predecessor of the Bren Gun intervened.
Berthier rifles. The first ten experimental 8mm infantry rifles were made at the Ateliers de Puteaux in 1888. They were followed by an experimental artillery musketoon, then a cavalry carbine. The original infantry pattern Berthier was superseded by ten Puteaux made vertical locking rifles, trials of which began in February 1890. These guns were followed by a series of rifles and short rifles (Mousqueton) adopted officially from 1890 to the end of the Firsr World War largely owing to the inability of the French to provide an adaptation of the tube-magazine Lebel. Regulation patterns included cavalry, cuirassier and gendarmerie carbines (Mle 1890) and the artillery musketoon (Mle 92). The cavalry pattern lacked a bayonet, the cuirassier version had an extraordinary combless butt, the gendarmerie guns accepted a special épée bayonet with a groove in its white-metal hilt for the cleaning rod, and the musketoon accepted a sword bayonet. The Berthier rifles of 1902 and 1907 were issued to French colonial troops as the Fusil des Tirailleurs Indo-Chois and Fusil des Tirailleurs Sénégalais respectively, and the 'Modele 1915' was adopted in desperation during the First World War. It was followed by the essentially similar Mle 1916, recognisable by a protruding magazine case for a five-round clip instead of the the flush-fitting original three-round type. The Mle 92/16 museketoon also accepted the five-cartridge clips. Many surviving Berthier rifles were shortened in post-war days, and the musketoons were updated. However, experiments with new cartridges led to the standardisation of the MAS 36 in the late 1930s. Additional details of the Berthier patterns will be found in John Walter, Rifles of the World (Krause Publications, second edition, 1998).
Berthier Machine Rifle. Based on patents granted prior to 1914 and locked by a tilting bolt, this gas operated weapon was offered as a light machine gun or a heavy-barrelled automatic rifle. The Belgians took small numbers of 7.65x53 rifles prior to the First World War, the British rejected them in 1916, and the light machine-gun was adopted by the U.S. Army as the '.30 Model of 1917'. However, the rickety structure of its promoter, the United States Machine Gun Company, prevented delivery of any of the seven thousand guns ordered on behalf of the armed forces. The Browning Automatic Rifle was preferred and contracts for the Berthier were cancelled in 1918 after only prototypes had been made. Tests undertaken in 1919–20 with guns made by the U.S. Machine Gun Company suggested that adoption had been too hasty, and the Berthier was abandoned. A modified form — the Vickers Berthier — subsequently enjoyed limited success in Britain and India, particularly as an aircraft gun.

See 'Vetterli Bertoldo'.

A sustained-fire machine-gun made in Britain by BSA Guns Ltd, in 7.92mm and 15mm. The small-calibre gun was based on the ZB53, developed by Zbrojovka Brno and known to the Czechoslovakian army as the 'vz. 37'. The Mark I, approved in June 1940, had a two-position selector lever on the receiver and a full-length barrel sleeve. The Mark II, approved on the same day, had a simplified receiver, a short barrel sleeve, changes in the action and a plain flash-hider. The Mark II was a simplified Mk II. The Marks III and III (August 1941) lacked the selector, fire-rates being set at 750 rds/min and 450 rds/min respectively. The Mark 3/2 (1952) and Mark 3/3 Besa (1954) were refurbished pre-1946 Mk 3 guns. The 3/2 version had a modified feed cover and a new mounting block, while the 3/3 had an improved barrel with a larger gas vent and a modified gas cylinder.

This simplified .303 light machine gun — somewhat Bren-like externally — was developed by BSA Guns Ltd, the work being credited to Harry Faulkner. The perfected design was cocked with the assistance of the sliding pistol grip sub assembly, inspired by the Besa. In the autumn of 1942, Besal was adopted as the 'Gun, Light, Machine, Faulkner, .303 inch Mark I', but deliveries of Bren Guns from the Enfield Royal Small Arms Factory, Inglis and the Monotype Scheme proved to be more than enough to meet demand. Approval of the Faulkner machine gun was rescinded on 10th June 1943.

Aldige J. Bessette, a government arms inspector active in 1940, accepted .45 Colt M1911A1 pistols marked 'AJB'.

Plural Beutegewehre. This term was used in Germany during the First World War to denote captured rifles which had been pressed into military service. The booklet Kurze Beschreibung der an Ersatztruppen und Rekrutendepots verausgabten fremländischen Gewehre ('A short description of the foreign rifles given to supplementary units and recruiting depots'), published in 1915, listed these rifles and carbines as the British Mks I and III SMLE (Lee-Enfield); the Canadian Ross 'M1910'; the US single-shot Remington and Peabody; the Belgian Albini-Braendlin, Comblain and 1889-type Mauser; the French Mle 66 Chassepot, Mle 74 Gras, Mle 78 navy Kropatschek, Mle 86/93 Lebel, Mle 90 and Mle 92 Berthier; the Italian Vetterli-Vitali and Mannlicher-Carcano; the Russian Berdan and Mosin-Nagant; the Austro-Hungarian M. 95 Mannlicher rifle and Stutzen; the Dutch Beaumont, Remington and 1895-type Mannlicher.
German wholesalers had colossal stocks of military-surplus weaponry; in 1911, for example, A.L. Frank alone had 250,000 Austro-Hungarian Werndl rifles and 42,000 Italian Vetterli rifles and musketoons C sufficient to equip infantry regiments many times over. Shortages of Mauser rifles during the First World War forced an ever-increasing use of Beutegewehre. A 1915-vintage Baltic Naval Station (Kiel) inventory, for example, included 8726 Mosin-Nagants. Captured rifles were often altered for German service, many of the Russian examples having their magazines (but not their barrels) altered to accept the 7.9x57 service cartridge. Many Mosin-Nagants and a few ex-French Mle 86/93 Lebels had their fore-ends cut back to accept a sleeve-like bayonet adaptor designed in 1915 by Moritz Magnus der Jungere of Hamburg. Beutegewehre are usually easy to identify, as they will often bear German military proof or inspectors' marks and an eagle within a DEUTSCHES REICH cartouche may be struck into the butt.

Marks used on US military firearms and accessories by B.F. James.

Marks used on US military firearms and accessories by Benjamin F. Loughran.

Marks used on US military firearms and accessories by Benjamin F. Quimby.

Found on small arms components made in 1940-5 by Brünner Waffenwerke AG of Brno, in German-occupied Czechoslovakia.

A superimposition-type monogram, with neither letter prominent, found on the grips of Beholla pistols made during the First World War by Becker & Hollander of Suhl.
As 'B.H.' or 'BH'. Found on US military weapons. See 'Benjamin Hannis' and 'Benjamin Huger'.

Often misleading listed as 'Billingshurst'. William Billinghurst (1807-80) of Rochester, New York State, had established himself as a gunsmith and agricultural implement maker in Stilson Street, Rochester, by 1843. US census returns indicate that he employed four men, working in 41 Main Street, Rochester, from the 1850s until work ceased about 1874. In addition to the battery gun described below, Billinghurst made target pistols, sporting guns, and a seven-shot pinfire revolver rifle with an additional shotgun barrel, two hammers and two triggers.
Billinghurst & Requa Gun. Patented in the USA in September 1861 by William Billinghurst and Joseph Requa of Rochester, New York (no. 36488), this Battery Gun was the first to use self-contained metallic cartridges, 25 being loaded into a flexible metallic strip. A train of priming powder was then laid in a trough behind the breech, flash from the cap-lock firing mechanism reaching the propellant through holes in the cartridge case heads. Unfortunately, Billinghurst-Requa guns were so susceptible to damp that they were customarily relegated to covered strongpoints and became known as 'Bridge Guns'.

Gebrüder Bing of Nürnberg, Germany, was one of the best known European toymakers. Founded by Ignaz and Adolph Bing in 1866, this metalsmithing business began to make tinplate toys in 1885 and embarked on a period of rapid expansion. The experience of sheet metal work was used to good advantage in large numbers of drum magazines (TM. 08) made for the Parabellum pistol during the First World War. These can be identified by the trademark of 'B' above 'N', separated by a short horizontal bar. The business became Bing-Werke in 1919, under the leadership of Stephan Bing, but encountered financial problems in the late 1920s and was purchased by a consortium of other toymakers in 1932. The manufacturing facilities may have continued to trade as 'Bing-Werke', making automotive components, but were incorporated in 'Nowag–Noris Werke AG' in 1942 and became one of Germany's leading carburretor makers.

Bira Gun
This was a two-barrelled mechanically operated machine-gun, made in small numbers (at least forty) in Nepal in the late 1890s. Chambered for the British .450 government rifle cartridge, shared with the Martini-Henry rifles used by the Nepalese army, the Bira is usually credited to Gehendra. It is, however, an adaptation of the American-designed Gardner Gun with an ingenious pan-type feed. For more details, click here.

Birmingham, Birmingham...
The centre of the English provincial gunmaking industry, and of the first successful moves towards mechanisation. The environs of Birmingham, notably Coalbrookdale and the Ironbridge Gorge, were effectively the cradle of the Industrial Revolution; and it was natutal that ironsmithing and associated trades should grow nearby. Gunmaking had been organised as early as 1689, when the local Member of Parliament petitioned King William III that his constituents be allowed to tender for Board of Ordnance contracts. A lengthy series of European and colonial wars ensured prosperity. Birmingham's affairs were refined by the establishment in Bagot Street in 1797 of a 'Proof and Viewing House' for military arms, and then, owing to the provisions of the contemporaneous Gun Barrel Proof Act, an official Proof House was founded in 1813. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, gunmakers, gun-stockers, gun-riflers and associated trades had come to dominate the area subsequently known as 'The Gun Quarter', bounded by Slaney Street, Shadwell Street, Loveday Street and Steelhouse Lane. Participating businesses rose from about fifty at the outbreak of the American War of Independence in 1776 to more than five hundred in the 1850s. The census of 1851 recorded that 5167 of the 7731 gunsmiths and gun-workers recorded in England and Wales worked in Birmingham; in 1865, there were 174 gunmakers, 32 barrel makers, 25 lock-makers, 61 implement makers and 600 retailers and distributors. Production was stupendous. More than seven million guns, barrels and locks were made for the British government in 1804-15, and the numbers of barrels successfully passing through the Proof House peaked at 961,459 in 1868. However, the loss of work to the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, and the advent of large-scale manufacturers such as BSA, formed in 1861, threatened the livelihood of many independent smiths; by 1900, only three hundred gunmakers were working in the Birmingham district. The establishment of colonies of specialised trades in the environs of Birmingham was initially often due to, in the case of barrel makers, reliance on sources of wind- or water-power. Consequently, lock-making centred on Darlaston, Wednesbury, Willenhall and Wolverhampton; and the barrel makers congregated in Aston, Smethwick or West Bromwich. One of the best sources of information about the Birmingham gunmaking industry is English Gunmakers (1978), by De Witt Bailey and Douglas A. Nie; also helpful is The Gun Trade of Birmingham, by Keith Dunham (1955), produced by the City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and "Birmingham's Gun Quarter and its Workshops" by D.M. Smith, published in the Journal of Industrial Archaeology in 1964/65.
Birmingham Gun Trade [The]. This association of Master Gunmakers and Master Gun Barrel Makers was formed in 1854 in an attempt to regulate what had become unruly trades, with tremendous variety in working practices, wages and selling methods. The association was recognised by the Gun Barrel Proof Acts as that from which the fifteen Guardians of the Birmingham Proof House were elected.
Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd [The], also known simply as 'BSA'; Steelhouse Lane and Armoury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. This gunmaking business was founded on 7th June 1861, when several leading Birmingham gunmakers purchased shares in a new company intended to be capitalised at £50,000. Principal shareholders included Isaac Hollis, John F. Swinburn, William Tranter and Thomas Turner. The goal of BSA was to mass produce guns with fully interchangeable parts, in competition with the London Armoury Company and the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock. After negotiating a terrible slump in the mid 1860s, when few armies were re-equipping, BSA obtained a lucrative British government contract to convert Enfield rifle muskets to the Snider system. About 156,000 guns were altered in 1867-8, and the first batches of 93,000 new guns were delivered in 1869. A lucrative contract for Martini Henry rifles was obtained in 1871, but the company was voluntarily liquidated in 1873 and re-emerged as the 'Birmingham Small Arms & Metal Co. Ltd'. The history of BSA in all its guises can be found in greater detail in John Walter, 'The Rise of the Piled Arms — A Short History of the Birmingham Small Arms Company' in Guns Review, 1983-4 and 1987.
Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd [The]; Armoury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. The post-1901 reincarnation of BSA, having completed rifle contracts placed during the Boer War, also continued the bicycle making operations begun by its immediate predecessor (BSA&MCo.). The first motor cycles were made in 1909, and, in 1910, BSA bought the British Daimler car making business. However, increasing interest in airgun shooting in the early 1900s also prompted BSA to acquire manufacturing rights to an underlever cocking rifle designed in 1904 by George Lincoln Jeffries. By 1914, BSA was operating three factories in the Birmingham area (Small Heath, Sparkbrook, Coventry Road) and a fourth in nearby Redditch. Large numbers of weapons were produced during the First World War. In addition to the Lee Enfields, BSA was also the British licensee of the light machine gun credited to Isaac N. Lewis. Many thousands of Lewis Guns had been delivered by 1918 to the British and Belgian armies, for land and air service alike. In 1919, BSA, which had become too large to operate as a single unit, was split into three divisions: BSA Cycles Ltd, BSA Guns Ltd and BSA Tools Ltd
Birmingham Small Arms & Metals Co. Ltd [The] (or 'BSA&MCo.'); Armoury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. This 1873 vintage successor to the original Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd (above) retained the Small Heath factory, though a sales office was also maintained in London at 6 Great Winchester Street from 1885 onward. Though BSA&MCo. enjoyed comparatively little success in the 1880s, its fortunes were partly restored by the adoption in British service of solid drawn cartridge cases and the Lee Metford magazine rifle. However, in the middle of frantic War Office work, the company once again sought voluntary liquidation for the purposes of reconstruction (in 1897) and emerged in 1901 to trade once again under its old name. In the intervening period, it had made substantial quantities of Lee Metford Mk I, Mk I and Mk II rifles, and Lee Enfield Mks I and I rifles. BSA&MCo. also offered .303 Lee Metford and Lee Enfield rifles commercially from 1892 onward, utilising actions taken from regular production runs. They had commercial proof marks and were marked LEE SPEED PATENTS.
Birmingham Small Arms Trade [The]; Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, Warwickshire. This British trading association was formed in 1854, during the Crimean War, by twenty of the area's leading gunmakers keen to share government contracts amongst themselves. Though discontent led to the formation of the Bormingham Small Arms Company by some of its participants, the Small Arms Trade association staggered on until 1878. Among the firearms made under its control were French Chassepot needle-guns and 1869-pattern Russian Krnka infantry rifles.

Roger Birnie, Junior, ranked as a lieutenant in the US Army when he accepted small arms marked 'RB' in 1879-80.

Gustav Bittner was one of the leading gunmakers operating in Weipert, Bohemia. He was also one of the principal members of a co-operative formed in 1887 to produce components for the straight-pull Mannlicher service rifle that had been adopted for the Austro-Hungarian army. His workshop was particularly well equipped, with a range of machine tools driven by steam engines, but the scheme did not last. He is also renowned as the manufacturer of a mechanical repeating pistol developed by Passler & Seidl. Operations seem to have ceased in the 1920s.

This is a 9mm Russian submachine-gun, based on some of the components of the Kalashnikov assault rifle and made in Izhevsk. A special helical-feed magazine protrudes beneath the barrel.

A mark associated with small arms and ammunition components made by Metall , Walz und Plattierwerke Hindrichs Auffermann AG of Wuppertal Barmen, Germany, during the Second World War.

'Berlin-Karlsruher Industrie-Werke': a trademark and trading style adopted in 1922 by Deutsche Waffen & Munitionsfabriken. It was used until 1936.

Used on small arms components made under German supervision by the Ung. Brod factory of Böhmische Waffenfabrik AG in 1941-5.

See 'Benjamin Lyon'.

A mark found on cartridge clips and chargers made by E.G. Leuner GmbH of Bautzen, Germany, in 1941-5.

A.B. Blackington was a U.S. Federal government arms inspector active in the early 1860s, marking Starr and Colt revolvers with 'ABB'.

John Blake of New York City designed a bolt action rifle in the early 1890s, two .30 prototypes being tested by the US Army in 1891-3 though they were unable to challenge the Krag Jørgensen. Both were stocked in military fashion and had spool magazines. Blake subsequently sought a patent, granted in July 1898, and rifles were advertised commercially in several grades and chamberings.

V. & R. Blakemore. This London based company is perhaps best known for undertaking contracts to supply, among other items, Swinburn Henry rifles and carbines to the government of Natal. This suggests that Blakemore, trading from 46 Leadenhall Street in 1866-74 and 8 Lime Street in 1875-97, was more a wholesaler and agent than a manufacturer. The marks have been mistakenly identified as 'N. & R. Blakemore'.

Found on German military optical equipment made by Carl Zeiss of Jena in 1941-5.

John Bell Blish (1860-1912) retired from the U.S. Navy in 1905, ranking as commander, and applied his enthusiasm to the development of a breech-locking system that relied on the friction generated when two surfaces of differing metal attempted to slide across each other under pressure. Patented posthumously in the USA in 1913, the ideas were subsequently licensed to the Auto-Ordnance Corporation and duly incorporated in the earliest Thompson submachine-guns. However, the failure of the high-powered Thompson Automatic Rifles (which from suffered gas leaks and unacceptably harsh extraction) and experience with the submachine-guns suggested that the complication was not justified by results. Guns made during the Second World War reverted to blowback operation without performing notably badly.

Block action
A mechanism relying on a block placed behind the chamber to seal the breech, which may be encountered in many differing guises. Dropping or falling blocks slide vertically downward through a mortise. The Sharps and Browning (Winchester) rifles are typical examples. Rising blocks, rarely encountered, should move vertically upward. Swinging blocks are common, though encountered in a variety of guises and difficult to categorise accurately. A few swing up and back. Some swing up and forward (e.g., Albini-Braendlin, Springfield-Allin). Some swing laterally backward (e.g., Restell) or forward (Milbank-Amsler). Many swing back and down (Remington Rolling Block, Spencer); others move down and back (Peabody, Martini). The Snider and similar breech-blocks swing laterally on a longitudinal pin.

Also known as 'case projection', this relies on nothing but the inertia of a heavy breechblock, friction between slding surfaces and the opposition of a powerful spring to delay the opening of the breech; delayed blowback adds elements such as swinging levers or multi-part breech blocks to buy a little more time before the breechblock begins to move back. As the breech is not locked at the moment of discharge, operation of this type was initially confined to pistols and a few light automatic carbines chambering low-power cartridges. Few blowback auto loading rifles other than the Winchesters designed by Thomas Johnson had been notably successful prior to 1914, as attempts to use military pattern cartridge were generally doomed to failure. Extraction was customarily harsh unless the cartridges were lubricated: manufactured with a wax coating perhaps, or squirted with oil as they entered the chamber. Extractors were prone to tear through the case-rims or even rip the entire case head away, jamming the action. Though blowback operation was viewed with suspicion by most military ordnance authorities prior to 1945, views of this type have now been altered by the success of roller-locking systems. The first of these were used in a delayed blowback form by several experimental Mausers tested in the closing stages of the Second World War, but have been featured more recently in many CETME/Heckler & Koch designs. The French AAT52 embodies a two-piece bolt and a lever-like 'retarder', and some of the SIG designs also rely on roller units. Most delayed-blowback guns still require fluted chambers, effectively floating cartridges on a cushion of gas in an attempt to improve extraction, but this complication (which prevents cartridges being reloaded satisfactorily) is accepted in return for constructional simplicity. See also 'gas operation', 'delayed blowback', 'locked breech', 'operating systems' and 'recoil operation'.

Blow forward
The converse of blowback operation, this relies on the barrel being projected forward by chamber pressure. The empty case is ejected before a spring returns the barrel to chamber a new cartridge. Though extraction and ejection are simplified, blow forward has too many problems to attract rifle designers: the excessive weight of the moving parts disturbs aim too easily. The best-known examples are the 1894-type Mannlicher pistol and the Schwarzlose pattern of 1908, which was made in surprisingly large numbers in Germany and the USA. SIG made a few AK 53 rifles in Switzerland in the early 1950s, but few other blow-forward rifles have ever encountered success.

Usually stencilled or painted on the butts of British military rifles 'Beyond Local Repair' and thus destined to return to a major depot.

Budapest based gunsmith Friedrich Blum is now generally credited with the design of the drum magazines (TM. 08 and TM für FSK) issued with the German Parabellum pistols and Mondragon rifles during the First World War. Blum was granted three relevant German patents in this period: 302455, 305074 and 305564.

Stanhope English Blunt, then a captain in the U.S. Army, inspected the Colt revolvers displaying a 'SEB' acceptance mark in 1889-90.

Associated with optical equipment made during the Second World War by M. Hensoldt & Söhne of Wetzlar, Germany.

Marks of this type will be found on German small arms and ammunition components made during the Second World War by Minerva Nähmaschinenfabrik AG of Boskowitz.

'B' above 'N'
Separated by a horizontal bar. A trademark ued on Parabellum drum magazines (TM. 08) made during the First World War by Gebr. Bing of Nürnberg.

Identifying small arms ammunition and components made in the Second World War, this code was used by Metallwerke Odertal GmbH of Odertal Post Lautaberg/Harz, Germany.

Used during the Second World War by Ostmarkwerke GmbH of Gbell bei Prag on small arms components, made in German-occupied Czechoslovakia.

And a crown. The definitive nitro proof mark applied by the Guardians of the Proof House in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, this replaced the 'BP' black powder and 'NP' nitro proofs in 1954.

Associated with the products of Steyr Daimler Puch AG made in 1941-5, including machine guns, pistols, rifles and relevant components

Edward L. Bolles was a U.S. government arms inspector active in 1902, identified by the initials 'ELB'.

A method of closing the breech of a gun. Used on practically all military rifles made in 1890-1940, it usually comprises a cylindrical body containing the firing pin and firing pin spring. Several differing types of bolt have been used, but most rely on lugs rotating into the receiver (or sometimes into the barrel extension) to lock the action securely. Some guns have the lugs on the bolt body; others have a detachable head. A few retract the lugs into the bolt during the opening stroke and others may have a pivoting bar or locking strut.
Bolt action A system of operation relying on a cylindrical bolt reciprocating to extract, eject, reload and cock the firing mechanism. Though the rudiments of the system may be seen in medieval cannon, the originator of the modern bolt-action rifle is generally agreed to have been the Prussian inventor Johann-Niklaus Dreyse, a one-time apprentice of Samuel Pauly, whose Zündnadelgewehr ('needle rifle') was adopted by the Prussian army in 1840. Straight pull or rectilinear action simply requires a handle to be pulled backward, usually transmitting a rotary motion to the bolt head by way of lugs and helical cam tracks. Associated with the later Austro-Hungarian Mannlicher service rifles and the Swiss Schmidt(-Rubin), this system may be operated quickly when clean and properly lubricated but offers poor primary extraction. Turning bolt action requires a handle to be lifted or the bolt body rotated to disengage locking lugs before the backward movement can begin. Theoretically slower to operate than straight pull systems, it offers more effectual primary extraction and is less likely to be affected by variations in cartridge dimensions. Many books and countless articles have been written on this particular topic. See also 'Arisaka', 'Berthier', 'Lebel', 'Lee', 'Mannlicher', 'Mauser', 'Mosin-Nagant', 'Remington', 'Ross', 'Schmidt-Rubin', 'Springfield' and 'Winchester'.
Bolt carrier A component or assembly that carries the bolt, commonly encountered in auto loaders. It may also control unlocking.
Bolt plug, sleeve or shroud This term is applied to a housing attached to the rear of the bolt, generally surrounding the cocking piece.
Bolt way The portion of the receiver in which the bolt rides.

Bolte & Anschütz
Mehlis and Zella Mehlis in Thüringen, Germany. Listed in 1900 as a weapon maker and wholesaler, when owned by Fritz Reuss. Listed as a gun and weapon maker in 1914. The products included revolvers, pistols and small calibre rifles amongst a wide range of other metal goods. Listed in 1920 as a wholesaler of guns and metalware, owned by F. Reuss and A. Spiess. By 1925, the products were being recorded as 'revolvers, Flobert rifles and pistols, self loading pistols'. The trademark of 'B & A' in a cross will be found on a variety of firearms and accessories, including sub calibre barrel inserts for the Luger (protected by DRGM 1364272 of 1936) and the rimfire 'B.u.A. Karabiner' of the 1930s. Listed in 1930-9 as a gun and weapon maker; trading ceased in 1945.

Bombrini, Parodi e Delfino
Or, alternatively, 'Bombrini Parodi Delfino' ('BPD'). This was one of Italy's leading ammunition manufacturers, identifying its products by the inclusion of 'B.P.D.' in headstamps — in a variety of forms.

Edward & William Bond. This English gunmaking partnership was listed at 45 Cornhill and Hooper Square, Goodman's Fields, London E., in 1850-5. The Hooper Square address remained until 1861, though Cornhill gave way to 42 Leadenhall Street in 1856. The directory entries for 1862-70 are in the name of 'Edward P. Bond', but a reversion to 'Edward & William Bond' — at 4 Northumberland Alley, Fenchurch Street, London E.C. — was made from 1871 until mentioned ceased in 1879. Edward Bond was the Managing Director of the London Small Arms Co. Ltd. for many years and is credited with the design of the Bolted Action for the Snider.

Christopher George Bonehill owned the Belmont Fire Arms Works in Birmingham from 1872 onward, apparently succeeding his father, and was himself succeeded by his son Alfred in 1926. Trading was originally centred on Charlotte and Morville Street in Birmingham, but had moved to the Belmont Fire Arms Works, Belmont Row, by 1882. This may have coincided with the first order received by Bonehill for Snider rifles. A move to 4 Price Street had been made by the end of the First World War. Bonehill was particularly interested in sporting guns, obtaining several relevant patents between 1877 and 1908.
Bonehill & Company. This gunsmithing business, best known as a 'merchant' or distributor arms merchant and gunsmith began trading in Birmingham in 1851. The premises originally stood in Belmont Row, Birmingham, and were consequently known as 'Belmont Fire Arms Works' or, alternatively, as the 'Britannia Gun Works'. Christopher George Bonehill was listed as 'proprietor' from 1872 onward, but was followed by his son Alfred Bonehill.

Howard R. Booth, a U.S. government inspector of Colt revolvers in 1940, used the marking 'HRB'.
Pomeroy Booth. This U.S. Federal government arms inspector, working in the early 1860s, accepted small arms marked 'PB'.
Thomas W. Booth, working for the Federal army during the American Civil War, accepted Sharps and other carbines marked with 'TWB' in a cartouche.

Roberto Boragine, an Italian army officer (then holding the rank of major), made improvements in the design of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle in the 1940s.

Hugo Borchardt was born in Magdeburg on 6th June 1844, but emigrated to the USA at the age of sixteen. He became Superintendent of Works for the short lived Pioneer Breech Loading Arms Company in c. 1871, moving to the Singer Sewing Machine Company and then briefly to Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company before going on to Winchester. Borchardt was appointed Factory Superintendent of the Sharps factory on 1st June 1876, patenting the Sharps Borchardt rifle and developing tooling for a prototype Lee type bolt action rifle. When the Sharps Rifle Company collapsed in the autumn of 1880, Hugo Borchardt returned to Europe in the autumn of 1882 to join Fegyver es Gepgyar Reszvenytarsasag in Budapest. After returning briefly to the U.S.A. in 1891, Borchardt retraced his steps to Europe to perfect his pistol in association with first Ludwig Loewe & Company and then Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken. Improved toggle locked pistols and rifles were patented prior to 1914, but the life of a most versatile engineer otherwise passed without notice. All that is known with certainty is that Borchardt was living at Königgrätzer Strasse 66, Berlin, when his first patents were granted, and at Kantstrasse 31 in Berlin Charlottenburg when he died on 8th May 1924. Protection granted to Borchardt included U.S. Patent 153310 of July 1874, for a method of machining lubricating grooves in hard lead bullets. U.S. Patents 185721 of 26th September 1876 and 206217 of 23rd July 1878, protecting elements of the Sharps Borchardt rifle, were sought from Peeskill in New York State and assigned to the Sharps Rifle Company. Patent 197319 of 20th November 1877 was granted for a gun sight; and 273448 of 6th March 1883, for a 'detachable magazine for machine guns', was assigned to Joseph W. Frazier of New York City. Borchardt was subsequently granted nearly forty patents and sixty registered designs in Germany between 1893 and 1911. They included German Patent 75837 of 9th September 1893, for the construction of the basic toggle lock pistol; a patent of addition, 77748 of 18th March 1894, made a specific claim for the roller used to break the toggle joint. British Patent 18774/93 of 18th November 1893 and US Patent 561260, granted on 10th November 1896, were broadly comparable with the two German specifications. German Patent 83141 of 10th March 1895 protected a magazine with twin coil springs; and 91998 of 10th October 1896 was granted for a modified magazine with a follower doubling as a hold open. Later patents such as British 17678/07 of 2nd August 1907 allowed claims for differing methods of breaking a toggle lock. German Patent 222222 of 27th February 1909 protected an improved trigger mechanism for toggle lock guns, similar specifications being accepted in Britain (29622/09 of 17th December 1909) and the U.S.A. (987543 of 21st March 1911). German Patent 227078 of 27th February 1909 was granted for an improved ejector for toggle-lock pistols, and 215811 of 30th April 1909 allowed the insertion of a short chain in the toggle assembly. Borchardt subsequently patented an auto-loading rifle of this type in the U.S.A. — no. 1160832 of 1914 — but it was not successful.
The Borchardt-Luger pisto, popularly known as the 'Luger', was developed from the Borchardt pattern in the late 1890s. Though the Borchardt worked well enough when it was properly adjusted, the management of Deutsche Waffen u. Munitionsfabriken realised that serious weaknesses in the design should be eliminated. The return spring was delicate, and the overhang of the spring housing behind the grip upset the balance when the gun was used in the hand. Some time prior to trials held in Switzerland in the winter of 1898, Georg Luger had developed a method of unlocking the toggle by using cam ramps on the frame instead of the Borchardt type internal roller. The 7.65mm pistols that arrived in Switzerland in November 1898, therefore, were the first of the true Borchardt-Lugers. When the final eliminator began on 1st May 1899, D.W.M. had submitted an improved Borchardt- Luger with a manually-operated safety lever set into the rear left side of the frame. This easily won the trials and finally, on 4th May 1900, the Borchardt Luger was adopted for service with the Swiss army. This encouraged D.W.M. to offer the pistol commercially, and also to sell small quantities to countries such as Bulgaria, Portugal and the U.S.A. The subsequent history of the gun is summarised under 'Parabellum (2)'.

William A. Borden, a U.S. government arms inspector ranking as lieutenant colonel, accepted Colt pistols marked 'WAB' in 1936-9.

The axial hole through the barrel, usually rifled to spin the projectile. Bore diameter measurements usually exclude the depth of the rifling. The universal Anglo American standard was laid down in the British Gun Barrel Proof Act of 1868, which regularised the sizes of shot from 'A' (with a diameter of two inches) to fifty bore (a diameter of 0.453in), often listed as '50 gauge' or '50 gage' in North America. The Imperial measure equivalents of the most popular bore sizes are: ten bore, 0.775; twelve bore, 0.729; sixteen bore, 0.662; twenty bore, 0.615; and 28 bore, 0.550. The sizes below fifty bore were regarded as 'small bore' in the 1868 Act, and customarily described in imperial measure. However, the cap lock pistols and revolvers made in Britain prior to the 1860s were classified in smaller sizes: e.g., 84 bore or 120 bore. The bore size equivalent can be calculated simply by cubing the dimension in inches and then dividing the result into 4.6578. For a 0.410 shotgun, therefore, the answer proves to be 68 bore (0.410 x 0.410 x 0.410 = 0.06892; 4.6578 ÷ 0.06892 = 67.58). The method also works in reverse, as the equivalent of 84 bore is .381 (4.6578 ÷ 84 = 0.05545; cube root of 0.05545 = 0.381).

Richard Bornmüller; Suhl in Thüringen, Germany. Once a partner in Bornmüller, Simson & Luck, this gunmaker traded independently in Suhl in the twentieth century. Most of the directories list the business as a wholesaler of guns and ammunition. The entry in the Deutsches Reichs Adressbuch for 1900 lists the owners as 'Edm. R. & Ernst H. Bornmüller'; by 1914, however, it was being operated by Ernst Hilmar Bornmüller. The 1930 directory entry still lists 'Bornmüller & Co.', and the 1941 edition lists 'Richard Bornmüller u. Co.' as a gunmaker; operations ceased in 1945.

Boris Afanasevich Borzov was born in Tula, USSR, in 1944. He graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1967 and was appointed to the design bureau in the Tula small-arms factory. He helped Petr Yakushev to create the YakB multi-barrel machine-gun.

J. Boss & Company. Trading successively in London in the twentieth century from 13 Dover Street, 41 Albemarle Street and, in more recent days, 13/14 Cork Street, Boss handled rifles, sporting guns and ammunition. About 3900 Lanchester submachine-guns were assembled during the Second World War, probably from parts made by the Sterling Engineering Company. Boss also modified about 20,350 0.303 No. 3 Enfield rifles to 'Weedon Repair Standards' ('WRS') in the summer of 1939, and reconditioned about 1100 0.303 Hotchkiss Mk I and Mk I machine-guns in 1940. The code 'S 156' was allotted to J. Boss & Co. in 1940, but does not seem to have been widely used.

George G. Bowe. This arms inspector, working during the American Civil War, accepted rifle and carbine stocks marked 'GGB'.

George F. Bowen. Active in the late 1870s, this U.S. arms inspector could be identified by the initials 'GFB'.

William J. Bowers, a U.S. government arms inspector working in 1938, accepted Colt pistols marked 'WJB'.

Edward Mounier Boxer (1823-98), commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1839, is best known as the developer of the primer that now bears his name. Boxer became Superintendent of the Royal Laboratory, Woolwich, in the early 1860s and there developed a series of cartridges, fuzes and shells. The primer was distinguished by its own anvil, unlike the Berdan pattern which had the anvil formed as part of the cartridge-case head. Ironically, Boxer primers have become more popular in North America than in Britain, where the Berdan version is preferred! Boxer was eventually forced out of the army, resigning his post in 1869 after a wrangle over the commercial exploitation of his patents.

Box lock
This term is given to a gun with the strikers, springs, tumblers and associated components fitted inside the action body instead of carried on detachable side plates (cf., side lock). The earliest successful box lock gun was patented in 1875 by William Anson and John Deeley, and made by Westley Richards of Birmingham.

Edgar B. Boyd. A U.S. Federal government arms inspector identified by the initials 'EBB', active in 1862.

J.N. Boyer. This U.S. arms inspector, working in 1905-6, accepted small arms marked 'JNB'.

C.M. Boyington. A U.S. arms inspector identified by the initials 'CMB', active from 1901 until c. 1910.

William E. Boynton, a U.S. government arms inspector working in 1902-10, accepted small arms marked 'WEB'.

BP, B.P.
And a crown, encircled. This mark was applied by the Budapest proof house (Austria-Hungary, then Hungary) from 1891 until 1948, originally accompanied by an NPB nitro proof mark and then simply appearing above 'FN'. See also 'F, encircled'.
And a crown, often encircled. The definitive black powder proof mark applied by the Guardians of the Proof House in Birmingham, England, 1904-54
A monogram. This mark, with the letters back to back, was used by the Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik, Bern, Switzerland, as a proof mark. Known as the 'Bernerprobe', it had replaced a small Federal Cross in 1919.

with crossed sceptres and a crown C see 'BCP'.

Found on optical equipment made in Vienna during the Second World War by C.P. Goerz GmbH. The equipment was used by the German armed forces.

BPD, B.P.D., B P D
Found in the headstamps of cartridges made by Bombrini, Parodi e Delfino.

This mark was used in 1941-5 by Johannes Grossfuss of Döbeln in Sachsen, on machine guns and small arm components made for the German armed forces.

beneath a crown, above a number. A mark applied by an inspector working in the Royal Small Arms Repair Factory in Birmingham.

W.F. Bradbury. This government arms inspector, working in 1898-1902, accepted small arms marked 'WFB'.
William Bradbury. A U.S. Federal government inspector working in the early 1860s, Bradbury accepted small arms marked 'WB'.

Braddick Ltd
Fabricators of silencers for the British Mk IIS Sten Gun, together with Auto-Engineering. Location and manufacturer's code unknown.

Francis Augustus Braendlin, possibly of Belgian origin, worked for the Mont Storm Gun Works in 1863-5. Braendlin was the designer of a breech-loading rifle protected by British Patent 2147/63 of 31st August 1863, and co-patentee with William Mont Storm of a modification to the latter's breech-loading system protected by British Patent 708/65 of 14th March 1865. He was also the co-designer with Augusto Albini of the breech-loading system protected by British Patents 2243/66 of 30th August 1866, 2652/66 of 13th October 1866, and 460/67 of 20th February 1867. Braendlin was the senior partner in Braendlin & Sommerville, and then associated with the Braendlin Armoury Co. Ltd.
Braendlin Armoury Co. Ltd [The]; 1-3 Lower Loveday Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. This business was formed in 1871 to purchase the assets of Francis Augustus Braendlin, who had been trading as Braendlin & Sommerville. Among the major shareholders were several local gunmakers, including William Powell and his son. Initially managed by George Conrad Braendlin, son of Francis Augustus, the Armoury concentrated on the importation of Belgian made rifles and shotguns. It was a licensee of patents granted to Friedrich von Martini, specifically British 2305/68 and 603/70, and also of British Patent 1531/80 granted to A. Martini. This enabled the Martini Marres Braendlin Mitrailleuse pistol to be made in small quantities, but trading steadily declined and the Braendlin Armoury Co. Ltd was liquidated voluntarily in 1888.
Braendlin & Sommerville (also known as 'Braendlin, Sommerville & Company) was formed in England in 1867, partly to promote rifle muskets converted to the Albini-Braendlin breech-loading system but also to make revolvers incorporating an extractor mechanism patented by Galand & Sommerville in 1868. Trading from 1-3 Lower Loveday Street, Birmingham, Braendlin & Sommerville were succeeded in 1871 by the Braendlin Armoury Co. Ltd.

C.A. Brand. This arms inspector, a US Navy lieutenant, accepted Smith & Wesson revolvers at the end of the nineteenth century. The guns were marked 'CAB'.

Bratt Colbran Ltd; Lancelot Road, Wembley, Middlesex, England. A maker of magazines for the British 9mm Sten Gun during the Second World War. The code 'S 159' may have been used instead of the company name.

Alfred Bray & Son (also listed as 'A. Bray & Co.'); Leicester, England. Makers of 0.303 Vickers machine-gun tripods during the Second World War. These may be marked simply 'M 602'.
Edward P. Bray of New York City was the co-designer with Joseph Merwin of an auxiliary cap-lock ignition system used on Ballard guns during the American Civil War. This was protected by US Patent no. 41166, granted on 5th January 1864.

Ernesto Breda [Società Italiana Costruzione Meccaniche]. Based in Brescia, this business was renowned more for its heavy guns than small arms. However, the Greek-type Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles used by the Austro-Hungarian armies during the First World War were given to Italy in 1919, together with surviving spare parts. They were subsequently refurbished and, ironically, shipped to Greece.

The rear end of the action (q.v.), containing the breech block and giving access to the chamber. See also 'receiver'.
Breech-block. Any non cylindrical means of closing a breech. Breech-blocks may take a wide variety of forms: e.g., sliding vertically, pivoting laterally, or tipping upward.
Breech bolt. See 'bolt', above.

John J. Breen, a captain in the U.S. Army, inspected Colt revolvers marked 'JJB' in 1886.

Bren Gun
The success of ZGB Improved Model 4 allowed the >Bren= light machine gun (for Brno and Enfield) to be approved for issue in May 1935. A few guns were acquired from Ceskoslovenská Zbrojovka of Brno, though the first of a 10,000 gun order placed with the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, was completed in September 1937. Enfield production was so slow that the last guns from the pre war contracts were not delivered until 1942. A 5000 gun order was then given to the John Inglis Company of Toronto in 1938, but the loss of vast quantities at Dunkirk soon reduced the inventory of Bren Guns to just 2130. Desperate steps were taken to simplify the basic design, which had a complicated drum-type back sight and a folding grip beneath the butt. The Mark I Modified ('Mark I [M]'), accepted in the autumn of 1940, had a simpler receiver lacking the optical-sight bracket, and a new bipod. The Mark II (June 1941) had a leaf-pattern back sight, a simpler body, a fixed cocking handle and a stamped butt plate. The Mk 3 of May 1944 had a shortened barrel, a lighter receiver and a simplified butt; intended for paratroops, the contemporaneous Mark 4 had even more metal removed from the receiver to save weight, and an ultra-short barrel. Bren Guns were sometimes issued with 100 round Mk I or II drum magazines instead of the customary thirty-round boxes. Nearly a million of these magazines were made, together with a few 200 round 'High Speed Drum' units intended for anti aircraft use. Many sub-contractors were recruited to accelerate production, the origin of their parts often being masked by letter prefixed numerical codes. Participants ranged from the Austin Motor Company Ltd ('M 13') of Longbridge to Wilson & Mathieson Ltd of Leeds ('N 90'). Orders placed for Bren Guns between 3rd September 1939 and 14th March 1944 amounted to 416,658, the principal manufacturers being the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, John Inglis and the participants in the Monotype Scheme. Many surviving Bren Guns were converted for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge in the 1950s. These were known as the L4 series, beginning in 1957 with the 'Guns, Machine, Light, 7.62mm L4A1'. The perfected L4A4 was adopted in 1960. By far the best source of information is Tom Dugelby's The Bren Gun Saga (Collector Grade Publications, 1986), though Miroslav Sada's Ceskoslovenské rucni palné zbrane a kulomety (Prague, 1971) is helpful if the language barrier can be overcome. For more details, click here.
Bren Manufacturing Company; Gateshead, Northumberland, England. This gunmaking business, formed in 1942, made components for the Bren Gun. Coded 'N 10', they included piston parts and sears. Assembly of piston and breech block units was also undertaken.

This government-owned arms factory made, amongst other equipment, 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano service rifles marked 'FAB'.

Used in 1941-5 on Kar. 98k and other German small arms components made by H.W. Schmidt of Döbeln in Sachsen.

Bridesburg Machine Works
See 'Alfred Jenks'.

Bridge Gun
See 'Billinghurst & Requa Gun'.

A.J. Bristol. This U.S. government arms inspector accepted Remington revolvers and Sharps carbines in the 1870s, marking them 'AJB'.
Bristol Fire Arms Company; Bristol, Rhode Island, U.S.A. In 1855, before his rifle patent had been granted, Ambrose Burnside had organised this maufacturing company. Unfortunately, the army order of September 1858 was small — 709 guns — and the absence of large scale orders coincided with a severe economic depression that hit the New England firearms industry particularly badly in the autumn of 1857. In desperation, Burnside sold his patents to his creditors and the Bristol Fire Arms Company went into liquidation.

British & Foreign Lee Arms Co. Ltd. Registered at 23 Queen Victoria Street, London, from 1900 onward, this business was formed to look after the patent rights of the inventor James P. Lee.
British Magazine Rifle Co. Ltd. This business occupied premises at 13 Austin Friars, London, from 1896 until the early 1900s.
British military inspectors' marks. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, these cannot be linked with individuals merely by deciphering initials. The standard form was a crown above an identifier of the factory (e.g., 'E' for 'Enfield') above the number of the individual inspector. No list of numbers and names has yet been published, but the agency codes were 'B' or 'SK' for the Royal Small Arms Factory in Sparkbrook, Birmingham (Roman or upright); 'B' (cursive) for the Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd and BSA Guns Ltd; 'BR' for the Royal Small Arms Repair Factory in Bagot Street, Birmingham; 'E' for the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield Lock; 'GRI' for the Ishapore factory in India; 'S' for the Australian inspection facilities in Sydney; and 'X' for the London Small Arms Co. Ltd. The Ishapore mark was subsequently replaced by 'IS' after India gained independence, and the Sydney mark was superseded by those applied by the small arms factories in Lithgow ('ACP' on a shield, 'A' on a six point star or 'L' above a broad arrow) and Orange ('O' above a broad arrow). The Canadian arms factory in Long Branch used 'IP' beneath crossed pennants under a crown.
British military manufacturers' codes. The regional coding system was developed during the Second World War to disguise the identity of participants in the ordnance industries. The essence was a letter prefix 'M', 'N' or 'S' indicating whether the manufacturer concerned was in the Midlands, north or south of Britain; a number identified indivudual companies.
British military proof marks. These normally consisted of crossed pennants, with 'P' in the lower quadrant and the monarch's initials beneath a crown in the upper quadrant (see Royal cyphers). The Royal Navy, however, used plain pennants above 'N' in the bottom quadrant; the Australian (Lithgow) mark had 'L' in the top quadrant and 'P' in the bottom; South Africa used 'U' and 'P'; whilst India used a crowned 'GRI' in the top quadrant and 'P' in the bottom. The post independence Indian mark substituted the four-tiger Asoka for the crowned 'GRI'. The Dominion of Canada also used crossed pennants, but the quadrant lettering was 'P' to the left, 'D' in the top and 'C' to the right; the fourth (bottom) quadrant was blank.
British military unit markings. Only weapons issued for service from army stores were marked in accordance with Regulations for Army Ordnance Services, Part One. Magazine rifles and carbines bore the 'ordnance marks' — number of the month and year of issue (e.g., 5/96) — together with the 'Corps marks and consecutive numbers' on the butt disc. On older guns with brass butt plates, only army ordnance marks were to be struck into the strap; corps marks did not appear. On guns with iron butt plates, the ordnance marks were to appear in the centre of the butt, two inches from the butt plate, with the corps marks between the two. Webley revolvers customarily bore the ordnance marks, corps marks and consecutive numbers on the 'upper part of the strap of stock'. The marks can identify some of the most famous regiments in the British Army C— e.g., '8.03' over 'D.K.O.S.B.' over '128', on a butt disc, the 128th rifle retained by the reserve ('D') battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers after being issued in August 1903. Among the more desirable would be those marks applied by the premier line regiments of the British Army, including: A.& S.H. for Princess Louise's Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders; C.G. for the Coldstream Guards; G.G. for the Grenadier Guards; GOR. for the Gordon Highlanders; I.G. for the Irish Guards; IN.F. for the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; L.G. for the Life Guards; R.B. for The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own); R.H. for The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders); S.G. for the Scots Guards; and W.G. for the Welsh Guards. Yeomanry regiments invariably display the identifier 'Y' above a line separating it from the county abbreviation such as DVN. & CLL. for Devon & Cornwall, LCK. for Limerick, M.U. for Mid Ulster, STF. for Staffordshire or Y.& D. for Yorkshire & Durham. The senior (university) division of the Officers Training Corps applied marks such as AYH. for Aberystwyth and OXF. for Oxford below the 'O.T.C.' legend; the junior (schools) division displayed marks as diverse as HBY. for Haileybury College and UPM. for Uppingham.
British Tabulating Machine Co. Ltd [The]; Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. This Monotype Scheme member made a variety of small parts for the Bren Gun in 1940-5. These sometimes bore the code 'S 162', though many of the pins were too small to be marked.

Lewis Wells Broadwell, born in 1849 in New Orleans, Louisiana, is best known as a designer of guns and artillery...and for waging a long and unsuccessful campaign of words with Krupp, He was responsible for a 'breech-loading firearm' protected by U.S. Patent 49583 of 22nd August 1865. Assigned to C.M. Clay, this protected a block that slid vertically through the frame as the trigger-guard was rotated laterally. Relying on two rapid-pitch threads, this was, in essence, little more than a two-part adaptation of ideas that had been tried since the early 1700s. Broadwell was also peripatetic, filing submissions from places as diverse as St Petersburg, Russia (1861), and Hietzing bei Wien (Austria, 1870s). Most of these protected improvements in breech-loading ordnance, but U.S. Patent no. 110338 of 20th December 1870 described a 'Feeder for Repeating Fire-arms' and 172382 of 18th January 1876 protected a cartridge applicable to small-arms. Broadwell is also remembered for the 'Broadwell Drum', used with the Gatling Gun. He died in 1906.

Waldemar Broberg, a U.S. Army colonel, accepted Colt M1911A1 pistols in 1941. They were marked 'WB'.

Henry M. Brooks, a U.S. government inspector, accepted Colt revolvers in 1902–6. They were marked 'HMB'.
John A. Brooks, Jr, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, accepted .45 Colt M1911A1 pistols in 1940, marking them with 'JAB'.
P.H.M. Brooks, a U.S. Government arms inspector working in 1909, accepted Colt revolvers marked 'PHMB'.

S.H. Broughton, working for the U.S. government in 1899–1912, accepted small arms marked 'SHB'.

Lucius C. Brown was a U.S. government arms inspector active in the mid 1870s. He accepted small arms with 'LCB' marks.
William Brown, a Federal government inspector, accepted small arms marked 'WB' in the early part of the American Civil War.

John M. Browning. Ogden, Utah. Notes to add.
Often known simply as the 'BAR', the Browning Automatic Rifle was designed by John M. Browning as a squad automatic weapon. A prototype was successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Army Machine Gun Board in February 1917 and adopted as the 'Browning Machine Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1918'. For more details, click here.
The rifle-calibre Model 1917 Browning machine-gun, adopted by the U.S. Army after a sensational demonstration, was a recoil-operated water-cooled weapon created by John M. Browning on the basis of patents dating back to 1901. The .50-calibre Browning owed its origins to the unexpected appearance of the 13mm German Mauser anti-tank rifle or T-Gewehr. Frankford Arsenal produced a cartridge simply by scaling up the .30–06 pattern, but this was too powerful for an experimental enlargement of the M1917 to handle until a hydraulic buffer had been developed. For more details, click here.
The first Browning pistol, with a top-mounted gas-operated flap lock, was demonstrated to representatives of Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg Co. in the summer of 1895. The most important series of patents, however, were granted on 20th April 1897: U.S. no. 580923 protected the gas-operated flap-lock gun; 580924 protected a recoil-operated gun with its barrel depressed by a double-link mechanism; 580925 protected a recoil-operated gun with a rotating-barrel lock; and 580926 protected the first blowback design. The locked-breech patents were licensed to Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg Co., though the first guns to be exploited in quantity were blowbacks protected by U.S. Patent no. 621747 of 21st March 1899 and made in Belgium by Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre. For more details, click here.

Edward W. Bruce, a U.S. government arms inspector working in 1875, accepted small arms marked 'EWB'.
Lucien F. Bruce of Springfield, Massachusetts, is best known as the designer of the 'Bruce Feed', applied successfully to the Gatling Gun. He received several U,S, patents for 'Cartridge Feeders for Machine Guns': 247158 of 14th June 1881, 273249 of 6th March 1883, 343532 of 8th June 1886 and 351960 of 2nd November 1886, all assigned to Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg Co. Bruce also developed a cartridge-charger for his feeders, U.S. Patent 341371 of 4th May 1886, and a series of magazines for breech-loading fireams (439833, 462298 and 708311 of 4th November 1890, 3rd November 1891 and 2nd September 1902 respectively). A 'Breech-loading magazine rifle' protected by U.S. Patent 432507 of 22nd July 1890 was entered unsuccessfully in the trials that led to the adoption of the Krag-Jørgensen in the U.S.A.

Bruff, Brother & Seaver
These New York City merchants sold 225 Freeman made Joslyn revolvers to the Federal authorities in the winter of 1861.

José Brull y Seoane, then a captain in the Spanish army, is credited with improvements made in the Remington rolling-block rifle used in Spanish service.

W.H. Brundett, a U.S. government inspector working in 1898–1900, accepted Colt revolvers and other small arms marked 'WHB'.

Waffenwerk Brünn A.G.: the name given to Ceskoslvenská Zbrojovka during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia during the Second World War.

A mark found on U.S. military stores inspected by B.R. Whitcomb (q.v.).

A mark found onn U.S. military stores inspected by Benjamin Syrett (q.v.).

A trademark associated with the Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd and its successors. It was usually accompanied by a 'Piled Arms' mark of three stacked Martini Henry rifles, which was registered by the company in 1881.
BSA Guns Ltd of Armoury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, was an outgrowth of the Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd created immediately after the end of the First World War…coinciding with a slump in the munitions business. Improved forms of the Jeffries Pattern underlever cocking airguns were made, alongside protracted (but ultimately abortive) experiments with Thompson submachine guns and automatic rifles. In the 1930s, however, BSA became a major participant in the production of the Browning aircraft machine-gun while continuing to fulfil small orders for the .303 Rifle No. 1 (Lee Enfield). Production of airguns was suspended in 1940 to allow the factory facilities to concentrate on war work, which included reconditioning of 1580 .303 Hotchkiss Mk I and Mk I machine-guns pressed into emergency service as a result of the huge losses of arms and equipment at Dunkirk. No. 1 Mk III Lee Enfield rifles were made in Small Heath until 1943; about 1.5 million No. 4 type rifles were made in 1941–5 in Small Heath and Studley Road, Redditch, as well as in a newly built factory in Shirley; and 81,330 No. 5 Mk 1 'Jungle Carbines' were made in Shirley in 1945–6. Output of automatic weapons included 468,100 .303 Browning guns Mk I, Mk II and Mk II, made in the Small Heath factory from 1937 until, in 1942, after air-raid damage, much of the work was dispersed to sub-contractors (including Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd). More than 404,000 Mk II Sten submachine-guns were made in the Tyseley factory from 1941 onward. The 7.92mm Besa Guns Mk I, Mk II, Mk III and Mk III were made in Redditch, and, after 1941, in supplementary factories in Leicester; production in 1939–45, according to BSA figures, amounted to more than 59,300. There were also 3200 15mm Besa Guns (1938–43). BSA Guns was the sole manufacturer of the .55 Boys Mk I and Mk I anti-tank rifles—68,850 being made in 1936–43, initially in Small Heath and then dispersed to factories in Mansfield. Butts, bipods, cocking handle, magazine and other parts were made for the Bren Gun during the Second World War, together with tripod mounts. BSA Guns also made the ill-starred .303 Besal machine-gun and the experimental 9mm Vesely submachine-guns, eight of the latter being delivered in September 1944. BSA Guns Ltd was allotted a variety of manufacturing codes: Small Heath used 'M 47A'; Redditch used 'M 47B'; Shirley used 'M 47C'; Leicester had 'M615'; and Mansfield was given 'M 616'. By the end of the Second World War, more than sixty BSA run factories were employing nearly 28,000 people. Commercial operation were rebuilt in the post war period thanks to the introduction of airguns such as the 'Airsporter' and the 'Cadet', together with some efficient sporting guns built around a modified Mauser bolt action and refinements of the pre-war Martini action .22 target rifles. Though new designs continued to appear, the fortunes of BSA Guns Ltd declined until, in 1973, the remaining assets were acquired by Manganese Bronze Holdings. This enabled production to continue until, finally, in the 1980s, the original BSA Guns Ltd was liquidated.
'B.S.A. & M. Co.' was used to signify the 'Birmingham Small Arms & Munitions Company' from 1873 until 1897, when the company reverted to its original name.
BSA submachine-guns. These were tested in Britain in 1945–6, but were rejected as needlessly complicated and expensive to make.

A popular acronym (and commercial trademark) for the German gunmaking business 'Berlin Suhler Werke'.

George T. Buckham, an employee of Vickers, Sons & Maxim, was co-recipient—usually with A.T. Dawson—of patent-protection for improvements in the Maxim and Vickers-Maxim machine-guns.

A. Buckminster, a U.S. government arms inspector, marked carbines with 'AB' in the years immediately prior to the American Civil War.

Buffington sight
Designed c. 1900 by Brigadier-General A.R. Buffington (U.S. Chief of Ordnance by 1910), this was fitted to some Krag Jørgensen rifles.

Samuel F. Bugbee, A U.S. government inspector working in 190010, accepted small arms marked 'SFB'. Probably the son of Samuel T. Bugbee, below.
Samuel T. Bugbee, working in 1861, inspected and accepted Starr cap-lock revolvers for the Federal Army. They were marked 'STB'. He was probably the father of Samuel F. Bugbee, above.


William H. Bulkley, a U.S. Federal government inspector working in 1862, accepted small arms marked 'WHB'.

Freeman R. Bull was a civilian employee of the U.S. National Armory, Springfield, listed as a 'toolmaker' in 1863 and as an 'inspector for experimental arms' in 1865. His 'FRB' identifier will be found on Laidley-Emery and other firearms, and he has also been credited with the adjustable sights fitted to the Springfield-Allin Marksman's Rifle. Freeman Bull retired from service in 1899.


Hanson B. Bullock. An Federal government inspector active in 1862, using the initials 'HBB'.

C.R. Bunker. This government inspector, working in 1875, accepted small arms marked 'CRB'.

James K. Burbank. The marks of this government inspector, 'JKB', will be found on small arms accepted in 1900

John S. Burns. The 'JSB' mark of this government arms inspector will be found on small arms accepted in 1898B–1911.

Ambrose Everett Burnside, born in 1824 in Liberty, Indiana, rose to become an unexceptional general during the American Civil War, a State Governor, and the first President of the National Rifle Association. He is also remembered as the designer of a breech loading carbine, protected by US Patent 14491 of 23rd March 1856. The gun fired a unique conical cartridge inserted in the front of the breech-block before the action was closed. A small hole in the base of the cartridge case allowed a side hammer cap lock to be used. The inventor died in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1881.
The Burnside Rifle Company of Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A, was formed in 1859 (by proprietors headed by Charles Jackson) to continue the work on the Burnside carbine. Tooling began in a new factory. Once again, the Civil War proved a boon: in July 1861, the Chief of Ordnance, Brigadier General James Ripley, passed Jackson a request for eight hundred Burnside carbines from Governor William Sprague of Rhode Island. These 'Second pattern' carbines were finally delivered in March 1862.
The earliest or First Pattern Burnside Carbines, made by the Bristol Firearms Company, lacked fore-ends and had a separate breech-lock lever curving beneath the hammer. The Second Pattern, usually credited to George Foster (foreman machinist in the Burnside Rifle Company factory in Providence factory), had an improved breech-block protected by U.S. Patent 27874 of 10th April 1860. The auxiliary locking lever and the Maynard Tape Primer were discarded. Third Pattern guns were similar, but had short wooden fore-ends and stronger hammers. The Fourth Pattern Burnside was distinguished by an articulated breech-block patented in 1863 by Isaac Hartshorn, Burnside's sales agent. The Fifth Pattern, based on the Hartshorn breech, had an additional pin-and-track system, designed by George Bacon, to open the breech automatically; Hartshorn guns required two manual actions to be performed in the correct order, otherwise the breech-block would jam. Later guns also benefited from an improved 'bell mouth' cartridge that had been designed by Foster. These were made in a single piece, with a circumferential groove inside the case mouth containing lubricating wax. The Burnside system, largely because it relied on an external cap lock, was popular with the military authorities. Total Federal purchases amounted to 55,567 between 1st January 1861 and 30th June 1866.

Horace Burpee, a U.S. Federal government arms inspector active during the American Civil War, accepted rifle muskets marked 'HB'.

Burroughs Adding Machine Company
Formed in 1905 in Detroit, Michigan, succeeding the Arithmometer Company, Burroughs received a contract for 250,000 .45 M1911 Colt-Browning pistols during the First World War; no guns were ever made.

Addison M. Burt of New York City delivered 11,495 Springfield rifle-muskets against orders for fifty thousand placed of 26th December 1861. Some surviving guns were converted to Allin-system breechloaders in the late 1860s.

Bethel Burton of Brookyln, New York, was active as a firearms designer from the 1850s until his death in 1904. Burton was granted a variety of patents. Beginning with U.S. no. 26475 of 20th December 1859, granted to protect a 'breech-loading firearm' with an early form of segmental 'straight-pull' bolt, they included 81059 of 11th August 1868 for a bolt-action 'breech-loading firearm' with interrupted-screw locking threads at the rear; 92013 of 29th June 1869 for a similar bolt-action gun with a tube magazine beneath the barrel; 143614 of 14th October 1873, jointly with W.G. Burton, for an improved form of the 1869-patent magazine rifle; and 232880 of 5th October 1880 for a 'magazine firearm'. US Patent 390114 of 25th September 1888 was granted, while Burton was living in Britain, for an 'Automatic Machine Gun', whereas 622443 of 4th April 1899, 640627 of 2nd January 1900 and 656807 of 28th August 1900 were all granted to protect bolt-action magazine rifles. Burton's last effort, U.S. Patent no. 785085 of 21st March 1905, for an 'automatic firearm' was granted posthumously to the Administrator of his estate, his son Henry C. Burton. Bethel Burton also designed waterproof percussion caps, self-contained cartridges, gun sights, and a combined bayonet and gun rest (613241 of November 1898). He was also involved with the Lee Burton and Ward Burton rifles.
Burton's Patent Double Magazine Rifle, developed by Bethel Burton in the mid 1880s, attracted sufficient attention to be included in the British Treatise on Military Small Arms and Ammunition in 1888. However, it was too heavy and unnecessarily complicated to succeed.

Captain John G. Butler of the U.S. Army, using a 'JGB' mark, inspected Colt revolvers accepted in 1886.

The part of the stock extending backward against the firer's shoulder. It may be integral with the fore-end, forming a one-piece stock, or a separate component. The upper edge of the butt is known as the comb, which terminates at the shoulder in the heel. The toe is the lower tip of the butt, and the grip, small or wrist is the narrow portion immediately behind the action facilitating an effectual hand grip.
Zadock Butt was a U.S. government arms inspector, working in 1862, who accepted small arms marked 'ZB'.
Butt or shoulder plate. A fixture on the end of the butt, either to protect the wood or to ease the shock of firing on the firer's shoulder. The traditional metal pattern generally has a concave surface, known variously as rifle type or crescentic.

Jesse Butterfield of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., first achieved notoriety by copying the Deringer, though his guns had a patented priming tube mounted vertically ahead of the hammer. Butterfield also developed a cap-lock revolver with a detachable tube of disc primers ahead of the trigger guard, protected by U.S. Patent 12124 of 1855, but only about seven hundred five-shot single-action 'Army'-pattern guns were completed by Krider & Co. in 1861–2.
Butterfield & Marshall of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a gunmaking partnership of Jesse Butterfield and Simeon Marshall, traded c. 1856–60. It was suceeded by Butterfield & Company.

And a crown, sometimes encircled. The view mark used by the Guardians of the Proof House in Birmingham, 1904–54.

Found on small arms ammunition components made by Hanomag–Hannover'sche Maschinenbau AG vorm. Georg Egestorff of Hannover-Linden, Germany.

Used by Mauser Werke KG of Oberndorf am Neckar, Württemberg, Germany, on machine guns, pistols, rifles and components, this code was granted in February 1941 and used until the end of the Second World War.

Found on German small arms components made during the Second World War by Genossenschafts Maschinenhaus der Büchsenmacher of Ferlach/Kärnten.

Found on Kar. 98k barrels and other small arms components made during the Second World War by Ruhrstal AG of Witten an der Ruhr, Germany.

Associated with German small arms components made in 1941–5 by Stettiner Schraubenwerk Johannes Schäfer of Stettin.

Found on butts, pistol grips and other German small arms components made in 1941–5 by Fritz Wolf, Rob. Sohn, of Zella Mehlis.

Found on telescope sights and associated components made in 1941–5 by the camera and camera lens factory of IG Farbenindustrie in Munich, Germany.