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Thread: "Polish marked" true or false?

  1. #1
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    Question "Polish marked" true or false?

    I occasionally see M1892 & M1916 carbines for sale, with the description claiming that they bear "Polish markings" as evidenced by the letters P K stamped on the receiver. I had one such marked M16 years back. The P K was located one the left rear scallop of the receiver, just at the enterance of the bolt race. Now, my question is: Does such a stamp truely indicate that this were used by the Poles? And if so, when and were. Seems that this may be wishful thinking as I have seen on with a rebarrel date of 1954. (no kidding on that date) And if it was rebarreled in 1954 how could it have been issued or used by the Poles?

    I'm sure that this question has been posed before but I can't recall if I have ever seen any definative information about it.

  2. #2
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    False - More to follow; but for now let it suffice that we have several dated to the mid/late 1930s, with the "PK" under the finish and the "N" marked receiver.

    Follow-on EDIT:
    1] These two show a black-parkerised interior of the bolt-channel; the upper is MAC 1934, the lower, MAC 1938
    2] Upper is #AC 91496, "N" to barrel and receiver, beech stocks cartouched to October, 1934, barrel to 7/1934. Lower is MAC 1938 barrel, "N" for replacement, but not "N" marked upon the receiver, and will not chamber the 'N 32', # BD 15267. Stocks are 'Black-Walnut' and the cartouche is 'hors de combat', if I understand that term correctly.
    3] From the top and confirming the above. Of note is the fact that both stocks were never cut for the cleaning rod.
    4] the third example is not worth the bother, and I found it in one of our scrap-barrels as an uncleaned house fire victim, though still on the 'books'. The barrel is MAC 1931, but the bottom flats have been re-marked, over the "E", as 1.33, the carthouche is gone.

    Alamas and Vivelacola have provided more than I could ever hope to. A search of their posts will be worth your time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN0563.jpg   DSCN0566.jpg   DSCN0565.jpg   DSCN0568.jpg  
    Last edited by orcmastiffs; 06-18-2010 at 11:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    I do not believe we have ever resolved the 'PK' meaning yet, it is still under debate to its true meaning. I seriously doubt it was "Polish" as Orcmastiffs pointed out, they can encountered with N markings which the Polish military never went to this Nouveau cartouche.
    'OF' is another 'unknown' as well.

    Patrick
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

  4. #4
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    I am not 100% sure of the meaning of the marking "OF" but I am absolutely sure of the meaning of the marking PK. It was used at Chätellerault only, stamped on the parkerized spare parts "when it was possible". The meaning of that marking is clearly given in the book of Claude Lombard about the MAC (who has been an ingeneer of the MAC and also the curator of the archives of armament, it helps to make the research about the data). The meaning of that marking is repeated on a scheme about the markings of the barrel of the 24/29 SMG. The PK marking was stamped on this weapon also before WWII. At the same place, after the war, the letter "P" for "Phosphatation was stamped. The PK marking has been seen on weapons from 1934 to 1939. On the mousquetons, it was stamped on rebuilt weapons.
    1954 proof stamp? I believe you. I have seen a 1967 proof stamp on an M16 mousqueton kept at a police academy armory.
    About the "OF" marking. I have found a list of the archives kept at the museum of Tulle. Unfortunately, they begin after WW1 and I don't have very much time to go to Tulle. But the tittle of a file has caught my eye : a comparison study about "Parkerisation et Ofamisation" may be "Offamisation" was written with two "F". Anyway, nobody use that word today and don't even know its meaning, but it seems to be a surface treatment. It suggests that "OF" was may be the sign of a peculiar surface treatment. two different old police gunsmithes, who have rebuilt several times M16 mousquetons when they were used for riot control have suggested me the same meaning. They were using big bags of "ferric oxyde" that were marked with big "OF" letters to prepare bathes for the weapons.
    Last edited by Alamas; 06-16-2010 at 06:25 PM.

  5. #5

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    This may be a dumb question, but are you saying handguards without the "window" are Polish?

  6. #6
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    Eddystone: Ii is not dumb, and there is some debate about this; my take is that the earliest Bethiers modified to Mle M 16, did not have the window, but later examples do, I expect the idea was to seal up the handguard, and make it water resistant, but apparently the need to read the series number won out in the end.

    Polish guns are marked with various codes on the bottom flat of the receiver, aft of the mag well, usually "Z" and "Z" in a triangle. There are others as well. The Poles got early Berthiers and took them home with them after the Great War, so they did not have the later mods done, unless it was in the 30's at a Polish Arsenal...I have seen slings, barrel bands and other parts that were Polish made on these guns. I do not know if they made stocks or handguards as well...

    Dale
    Last edited by vonmazur; 06-18-2010 at 05:48 PM. Reason: sp...
    "If those sweethearts won't face German bullets, Then they'll face French ones!"

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the explanation, there isn't much out there on the Berthiers at all!

    I saw one once with an anchor symbol on the bottom of the barrel, is this just a standard proof mark?

  8. #8
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    Eddystone, Vonmazur:

    Good challenge from both of you. The top of the receiver, a bit aft of the ferrules, has been scrubbed of some mark or ding. It was nicely faired out, and this rifle was not throated for the 1932 N. The bolt, likewise was wiped, and the new master number stamped upon both it and the stock. What remains of a rhomboid 'Z' is on the root and a '3' is on the stem. The handguard is a mis-match beech, similar in color, and shot through with mendullar-rays like the wood found on latter WZ 29 stocks. The barrel-channel is rough, with distinct cutter-chatter. Larger cross-grain stiffener dowels were used at slightly different locations than I have seen on French examples.

    Does this make it a Polish rifle? Not at all. I just accepted the likely-story, for the rework is not to the standards of France. More trouble was taken with the buffing and deep, rich blueing, to make it appear 'new'. Less bother was extended to make it right. This is a Chatellerault 1907-15, that was rebuilt as an M-16. The roller-spring was not properly heat-treated, so that it deformed when a clip was loaded. It seems to me that it is all dressed-up, with no war to go.

    I have deleted the picture and redacted the narrative, above. I apologize for my arrogance which is recalcitrant, but more so for my sloppiness in not properly vetting my statements. That is one of the virtues of this site. People are not afraid to admit to what they do not know, and as quick to remind others of what they do not know. Sorry, it will happen again, but hopefully with less frequency.

    Giles/ Orc
    Last edited by orcmastiffs; 06-19-2010 at 01:58 AM. Reason: tpyos and afterthought

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