Author Topic: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix  (Read 12626 times)

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Offline Greasemonkey

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Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« on: January 21, 2018, 02:57:22 PM »
I am curious.. again, Scary, I know.....usually it doesn't work out well... But... the added letters used in Chinese serial numbers.  It's another age old rumor/myth/weird wonderment.. China did it...or the importer did it..lots of confusion.. 

I don't think or even know if anyone has ever tracked it or even really looked in to it and so I am curious to see how it comes out, partially cause I have 2 myself. I would think all these rifles exported from the same few places in China to the many places in the US. So to me, wouldn't it make sense if China marked them, then most of the importers would have sold them, so in theory I should end up with a big list of various importers.. But, if the US importers did it, then only a few limited importers who added the letter to them, should show up on the list..

Nothing at all may come of it, but it never hurts to look to see if it's only certain importers or maybe factories that did it. Or.. maybe even take it as far as were certain letters used by certain importer/factories...

Basically, are these letters before/after the serial associated with just certain importers.. or possibly more associated with certain Chinese factories?

So maybe post photos of your factory and import stamp, blot out the serial if you so desire.. photos would be great and would solidify the data and carry more weight vs. just posting the info. 

Results will be kept at the bottom of this post..

These are my 2... both are imported by Poly/PTK Atl. Ga, same importer from slightly a different time frame and different factories..







Score card...
Factory.....Importer.....Suffix/Prefix used, Serial millions
0138..Poly/PTK...   C    7.6m suffix
636... Poly/PTK...   B    1.7m suffix
26...   Poly/PTK...   I    11m suffix
26...   Poly/PTL...   B    10m suffix
26...   KSI CA...     P    10m suffix   
26...   Poly USA...   K    23m suffix
206... CSI ONT...    C    1.4m  prefix


Double letter suffix/prefix
Factory.....Importer.....Suffix/Prefix used, Serial Millions

26...   B-West...   ML  9m suffix
DB...  B-West...   BP   70m suffix
26...   B-West...  MZ   6m suffix

Unknown weird mini "c" stamp somewhere on receiver
Factory... importer... Serial millions
26...  CSI ONT...   1.5m     
216... Poly/PTK...  18m
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 11:09:46 PM by Greasemonkey »
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Offline Justin Hell

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 05:02:08 PM »
Well I tried to photograph....it seems my camera is certainly messed up in macro mode. I will have to get a new on once the refund arrives.
I have too many with letters not to play along though.

/26\ 10m suffix P -  KSI Pomoma CA
/26\ 23m suffix K - Poly USA
/26\ 9m suffix M L - B-West
DB 70m suffix B P - B-West
/206\ 1.4m  prefix C - CSI ONT

on another note..my /906\ has none at all and is also a CSI ONT importee. One might think it is back to the factory doing it due to that.

I wonder if there is a reason B-West used two letters (if they did it).

As haphazardly as they are usually aligned, it could just be a final inspection stamp...and the letters correspond to inspectors.  Like Inspector 12 at the Hane's factory. :)


Offline Stoned_Oli

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 10:42:43 PM »
The first SKS I ever owned... Poly USA ATL GA with an I suffix.


Offline martin08

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 08:15:52 AM »
Factory /26\, 10 mil
B-suffix
PTL INT'L ATL GA

We had a decent discussion about it here.

http://sks-files.com/index.php?topic=3818.0





Offline Greasemonkey

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 01:58:00 PM »
Factory /26\, 10 mil
B-suffix
PTL INT'L ATL GA

We had a decent discussion about it here.

http://sks-files.com/index.php?topic=3818.0

M08.. I was trying more or less to get the overall consensus of the markings.. figuring what all markings there are, which rifles they are on, who imported them, maybe who exported them. And while there is good discussion... no one really decided to gather all the info and see what marks exists or what info is tied to other info such as factory or import stamps...

Interesting.. your example "B" has a broken stamp, while mine with the "B" does not seem to show the defect.

I've read/seen at some time or another in a multitude of various places the following reasons across the interweb for these oddball stamps:
Inspector stamps
A duplicate serial in China, a duplicate serial found in the US by the importer-- I don't buy this one.. unless... the original rifle was destroyed and remade, reusing the destroyed serial over... 25 million serials, and they duplicated serials..
A refurb mark.. each letter indicates a different refurb shop
A condition grade stamp or like an armory grading scale... could be done by the exporter or importer
A marking indicating a certain level of refurb was done.. A=1 replaced part, B=2 replaced parts
Even as an assignment ID for usage in China.. like A=security, B=police, etc...
The exporter used a letter suffix to designate which state side importer they were to be shipped too
And a few other reasons.... these are the ones that seem most logical and common all in the same ball park..some other reasons given were, well.. were out in the way left field....somewhere between the parking lot and porta-potties

Also.... one thing I have noticed.. in the little bit I looked into these letter marks..... it seems to follow spike bayonets.. the earlier bladed rifles must either be few and far between or they didn't get them.


Again....on duplicate serials, this is one I almost didn't add above.. your rifle for instance.. is a /26\ 10million.. if this serial were duplicated.. when, where and which factory would have duplicated that serial, how may other factories were up, running and producing these in 1965.. Thus far in the SKS Guide.. granted we don't know all the serials..nor have we access to every serial.. but, the serial range for 1965 /26\ 10million is 10,000,001 to "at least" 10,294,099, so that leaves a minimum of at least 700,000 other free serials to use.

Much like stoned_oli /26\ 11million.. which other factory made an 11million SKS. For /26\ 1966 the 11million series... 11,000,001 to at least 11,525,570 (This S/N range seems excessively long…something is going on here we don't fully understand!).... there is another 400,000+ of free serials to use.

So, there is at worst case, just between those 2 ranges, the above 10 and 11 million series alone, there is about a million free numbers to used by another factory. Thats even after giving almost 175,000 back for missed, already existing, unknown to us 10 and 11 million serials in those 2 ranges.

My most logical thought on duplicate serials...ok.... maybe it's an Ak, a Tokarev, or some other Chinese imported firearm at the time that shares a serial with the SKS.. but, I feel I'm even grasping at that... because...... Type 53 Mosins do overlap and quite possibly duplicate serials with the 2-6million SKSs, there is an example of 2 different rifles with the same serial ranges... and the 2-6 million SKSs typically do not have a suffix/prefix added that I've seen..nor do the imported Type 53s have suffix/prefix letters. And one could bleed that over into other arms and serial numbers.... for example.....Russia, how many Russian SKSs quite possibly share a serial number with a Mosin, a SVT-40, an AVT, AVS, TT-33, Nagant revolver or a PPSh-41..

Manufactures duplicate and reuse serials.... for instance... my 1908 Colt 25acp.. serial 231607....feel free to enter my serial here...https://www.colt.com/Customer-Services/Serial-Number-Lookup

That little handgun shares that very same serial with, it was even duplicated that same year:
1950
OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL
1941
PEQUANO MODEL
1935
POLICE POSITIVE .32 & POLICE POSITIVE TARGET
1929
POLICE POSITIVE .38
1921
POLICE POSITIVE SPECIAL & DETECTIVE SPECIAL
1919
NEW SERVICE & SHOOTING MASTER & 1917
1919
1908 HAMMERLESS .25
    My little Colt 25acp.. :)
1918
MODEL 1911 MILITARY
1916
1903 HAMMERLESS .32
1904
"NEW ARMY & NAVY MODELS 1892,94,95,96,1901 & 03"
1902
SINGLE ACTION ARMY & BISLEY REVOLVERS
1863
1849 POCKET (.36 CALIBER)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 04:30:09 PM by Greasemonkey »
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Offline Justin Hell

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 03:56:00 PM »
It would be interesting to cross check all the complete serials in the database to determine if different factories used the same serial numbers. It seems likely most if any would be found in the 1.x Million series made across multiple factories that began after /26\ wasn't the only kid on the block.  Even if they are within 100 or so of each other, it would seem likely they were duplicating numbers from factory to factory, while maintaining the date coding.

I kind of like the idea of specific replaced parts correlating to letters...you could be onto something. We may be able to relate to serial font differences on specific parts to stamped letters if we get enough data.  It could also explain finding parts serialed to rifles that don't correspond to the norm for the time period (lightening cuts n such).  Even if there is one part that seems scrubbed when others don't....it could be a replacement? If we find that the amount of letters used closely correspond to the amount of major components...that could make it worth the effort to discern what each letter might correspond to.  Neither of the barreled receivers I have purchased had letters, indicating they might have been surplus parts exported without ever being refurbed....or even coming as complete parts guns.

I entertained the thought of them denoting specific areas of service, or perhaps even divisions in the military. But it would seem as if they would use a Chinese character to mark it so the average Chang could make sense of it. Like they did with Public Security rifles, DBs and DPs.  The latter two seem as if they might have been for local 'militia' denotation...but the jury is still out on that, but it seems somewhat likely that is the case in my opinion.  Plus, my DB has both a city stamp and two letters. :)

Offline Greasemonkey

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 04:18:04 PM »
I entertained the thought of them denoting specific areas of service, or perhaps even divisions in the military. But it would seem as if they would use a Chinese character to mark it so the average Chang could make sense of it. Like they did with Public Security rifles, DBs and DPs.  The latter two seem as if they might have been for local 'militia' denotation...but the jury is still out on that, but it seems somewhat likely that is the case in my opinion.  Plus, my DB has both a city stamp and two letters. :)


That is something else I pondered on.... why would they use a Latin alphabet letter prefix/suffix, when 9 times outta 10, they cant read it or make sense of it, or why would they even use a Latin letter when a Chinese letter would work, they have their own age old language/I guess one calls it an alphabet... the PS rifles have their own markings in Chinese.. What are the odds a normal Chinese field grunt would know what "B" or a "DP" was, short of he can't understand what it means.

I got nothing for DP and DB.... they could very well be just like the prefix/suffix and thats all....Me, just because that subject has been beat to death... I entertained the thought of a slightly amended Occam's razor theory on those 2 marks...a scientific and philosophical rule that "markings" should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

In otherwords... sometimes, the simplest answer is the best..
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 04:27:59 PM by Greasemonkey »
I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse......

Leave the gun – take the cannoli.

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Offline martin08

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 05:24:15 PM »
Ambitious undertaking.  This is how mysteries get solved.

So, I was made an offer I couldn't refuse, and I no longer own the gun above...

... but here is my take on the only one I had.

1.  The /26\ and B were applied before final polishing.  2.  The Type 56 was stamped.  Then the receiver was blued.  3.  The serial number was applied last, and breaking through the bluing.

I studied this gun intently under the loupe and intense light before I sold it, and took some detailed macro pics.  I may be out between the parking lot and porta-potties with this observation.  But it is all I have!

Can we get detailed macro pics of other suffixes, to see if the above potential sequence could hold true?

Offline Greasemonkey

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 06:50:41 PM »
Ambitious undertaking.  This is how mysteries get solved.

So, I was made an offer I couldn't refuse, and I no longer own the gun above...

... but here is my take on the only one I had.

1.  The /26\ and B were applied before final polishing.  2.  The Type 56 was stamped.  Then the receiver was blued.  3.  The serial number was applied last, and breaking through the bluing.

I studied this gun intently under the loupe and intense light before I sold it, and took some detailed macro pics.  I may be out between the parking lot and porta-potties with this observation.  But it is all I have!

Can we get detailed macro pics of other suffixes, to see if the above potential sequence could hold true?

I only have a question, maybe just an excess thought or two.. cause I am just that kinda guy..  :)   

How did the importer stamp it and not break through the blue...


When one says someone breached the blueing with a stamp, this is what comes to my mind...




Granted now.... I don't have macro shots of this specimen.. but this particular import stamp and serial both look to have at least a large percentage of blueing intact, while the added graffiti letters display bare white metal. 

Maybe I'm splitting hairs.. I have wondered since I found out, could this just be the difference in a manual hammer stamp vs a roll stamp vs maybe a hydraulic hammer press.... one is fast, instant and variable, basically human controlled, while the latter is a slower, constant, repeatable pressure and mechanically controlled, and the last is just a slam and stamp that is hydraulic or even could be pneumatic.. Me, having been a mechanic for almost 30 years and feel I can control a hammer with the best of them, but, I don't even think my hammer blows are that exactingly consistent... much less after beating on something for hours on end... human fatigue will set in, the arm goes numb and hammer blows become wilder and even more varied as the fatigue gets worse, even well seasoned carpenters can suffer..   The hydraulic roll or hammer punch wont suffer, they just keep repeating and banging away, hour after hour, day after day.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2001/08/03/01-19418/identification-markings-placed-on-firearms-98r-341p

Quote
Most [member companies] roll the serial numbers and other information on to the gun. This method requires high forces to get the impressions deep enough. It requires 3/4 ton per 3/32-inch (.094) character to go 0.005 inches deep in mild steel and 1 ton in medium steel. Some companies do not now, and cannot go 0.005 inches deep with their current equipment. Should pressure be increased to obtain 0.005, unsafe deformation of the barrel and receiver can occur. Some companies use only laser etching to burn the required information into the firearm. This method does not lend itself to deep markings, * * * Laser capabilities vary in their ability to etch to 0.005 inch. Most company's laser engraving equipment cannot meet the proposed BATF depth requirement.


It would be difficult to get hammer strikes of even pressure everytime on every strike, where a hydraulic roll press is constant and a slow process that would allow the blueing to flex/stretch slightly with an imprint.. If the importer used a hydraulic hammer press for speed, then that would almost more duplicate a manual hammer and punch... Even if the importer used a laser etched import/serial wouldn't that just burn away blueing and show a white bare metal. Typically even dot matrix import stamps even display small amounts of white bare metal, guess basically, it's just a mini computer controlled hammer press.
In my way of thinking, what would or will displace more material.. a fast quick high intensity impact or a slower controlled impact, maybe China had different methods that were used for the final serial stamp vs. the factory stamp and Chinese charterers.  Maybe a roll punch for the factory stamp and Type56 Chinese hashtags and a faster hammer press to bang in the serials.. 

As you point out...the serials are banged much deeper when compared to the factory/Chinese hashtags... different stamp methods, maybe different stamp methods for different components.. being much shallower could also explain why not near as much material is displaced.. maybe even a difference in separate  press settings... one all mild and tame, the other a stamping maniac running wide open..


And I guess...it's a little too late since it's changed hands..... but, I kind of wish on your macro shots of your 10million(which are cool by the way).. if maybe you had went a step further and cleaned the years of grunge out of the actual serial numbers, then one could tell if at the bottom of the number stamp if white metal were showing..or was the blueing lining the full depth of the marks..

The "B" looks somewhat nice and clean, where that "6" has...uhm... years of ucky in it.. :)



I am not doubting or casting any one thought out.. it's more I guess one could call being the devils advocate and asking and covering everything and anything, no matter how ridiculous and off the wall, out of the park it may sound.

maybe now, I'm the one sitting in the porta-potty.. chuckles1
I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse......

Leave the gun – take the cannoli.

I said I was an addict........I didn't say I had a problem

Offline Loose}{Cannon

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 07:50:04 PM »
I got nuthin    :))

Pretty sure I have a few with letters including the 6m... which is a blade gun of course.  Ill see if I can list them
      
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Offline Loose}{Cannon

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 08:10:08 PM »
'MZ' after the serial on 6m, imported by B-West
      
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Offline Loose}{Cannon

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 08:12:36 PM »
I have a 'C' all the way to the left..... prior to the /26\    What dat mean?  :))

« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 08:17:49 PM by Loose}{Cannon »
      
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Offline martin08

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 08:39:04 PM »
Agreed.  We don't know the method for applying the stamps.  But it is a good effort to document suffix, factory and importer to investigate possible patterns.


Offline Loose}{Cannon

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 08:42:41 PM »
I can say that I have never seen them on a bringback, or Banian, or non Chinese. 
      
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Offline Greasemonkey

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 08:51:35 PM »
Ok... M08, I diddled around with my 'Lil Tikes Tonka toy camera... this is what I was able to get for macro shots, it took like, well, I almost ran outta film.... 

What I wanted to see on yours, my clean numbers and the what looks like debris is oil residue with the blueing intact.. I used one of those loope things and saw no signs of bare metal at the bottom of the number strikes.. Also, I included part of an import stamp from macro, it also shows no signs of blueing revealing the bare metal underneath. It's raised enough to be felt as well.

Also.. the "C" is as raised as much as the numbers, so either it wasn't stamped before the polish, or they popped it after the polish and/or after the factory stamp/Type56 hashtag thing when they did the serial and the ... you can easily feel it in the metal surface. For reference, the import stamp is from the "C" stamped rifle.. and then maybe the whole thing was blued, filling the stamps with blueing.






I have a 'C' all the way to the left..... prior to the /26\    What dat mean?  :))



No clue LC.... a local shop has this one.. a /216\ 18million with that same weird mini "c" mark, between the Type56 hashtag and the serial.

I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse......

Leave the gun – take the cannoli.

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Offline Loose}{Cannon

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 09:26:35 PM »
My 'C' stands for 'Chinaman'.

 :)

Those are the only Chicoms I have with the mystery letters.
      
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Offline Justin Hell

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2018, 11:37:35 AM »
'MZ' after the serial on 6m, imported by B-West

Cool....a third B-West with two a two letter suffix.  Is there anything that seems obviously replaced on that one?

My DB from B-West had hardly anything original left so it is of little use, but my 64 spiker seems only to have had the stock replaced, although the stamping is a little off on the receiver cover. That one has M and L...if these are possible refurb stamps...which could explain bluing in them, which if they were refurbed, likely got reblued over the stamps indicating the replaced parts?

B-West being the only one so far that exhibits two letters does kind of put it back into the exporter/importer side of the court though.   We need more data obviously.  I seem to recall the norm being a single suffix letter, with the occasional prefix....which so far have all been Cs.  Hmmm.






Offline Loose}{Cannon

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2018, 02:48:29 PM »
That 6m was a bubba when I got it and has a couple mismatches. 
      
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Offline Justin Hell

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2018, 11:44:44 PM »
That 6m was a bubba when I got it and has a couple mismatches.

I imagine the original stock replaced with plastic? Or did it have a blank standard stock?

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Re: Chinese serial letter prefix/suffix
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2018, 08:07:44 AM »
Black Tupperware
      
1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms... It doesn't matter how many Lenins you get out on the street begging for them to be taken.