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German WW2 Ordnance Codes for Military Rifles


Military rifles from Germany usually have markings on the receiver, barrel, rear sight, and stock, from which one can get some information about the history of the piece.

The top of the receiver (that part of the barrel into which the bolt shoves the cartridge) usually has a 2- or 3-letter code with a number below it. (Early codes were sometimes numerical or a combination of letters and numbers.) The code indicates the manufacturer of the receiver, and the number below the code is the year in which the part was made. Other markings are usually either proof marks (indicating that the barrel was test fired with cartridges loaded with a larger charge of gunpowder than normally used to ensure safety) or Waffenamt (ordnance department) markings, indicated by the symbol of an eagle with outstreached wings with the letters WaAxxx below, where xxx is a 2- or 3-digit number indicating which Waffenamt accepted the piece.

The following table lists the ordnance codes found in Mauser Bolt Rifles by L. Olson (third edition, F. Brownell & Son, 1976, 12th printing 1991). They can be used to get some historical information about your particular rifle.

German WWII Rifle Ordnance Codes
Code Manufacturer
ar Mauser-Werke AG, Werk Borsigwalde, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Eichborndamm
ax Feinmechanische Werke GmbH, Erfurt, Altonaerstr. 25
bcd Gustloff Werke, Werk Wiemar, Weimar
bcd/ar Dual code; denotes manufacture jointly by Gustloff Werke in Weimar, and Mauser-Werke AG, Berlin
bnz Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, Werk Steyr, Steyr, Austria
byf Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf a./N
ce J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Suhl
dot Waffenwerke Bruenn AG, Brno, Czechoslovakia
dou Waffenwerke Bruenn AG, Werk Bystrica
duv Berlin-Luebecker Maschinenfabriken, Werk Luebeck
svw Late code for Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf a./N
swp Late code for Waffenwerke Bruenn AG, Brno, Czechoslovakia
S/27 Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (ERMA); came under same management as Feinmechanische Werke GmbH
S/27G Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (ERMA); came under same management as Feinmechanische Werke GmbH
S/42 Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf a./N, early code
S/42G Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf a./N, production in 1935
S/42K Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf a./N, production in 1934
S/147 J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Suhl
S/147G J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Suhl
S/147K J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Suhl
S/237 Berlin-Luebecker Maschinenfabriken, Werk Luebeck
S243 Mauser-Werke AG, Werk Borsigwalde, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Eichborndamm
S243G Mauser-Werke AG, Werk Borsigwalde, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Eichborndamm
27 Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (ERMA); came under same management as Feinmechanische Werke GmbH
42 Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf a./N, early code
147 J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Suhl
237 Berlin-Luebecker Maschinenfabriken, Werk Luebeck
243 Mauser-Werke AG, Werk Borsigwalde, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Eichborndamm
337 Gustloff Werke, Werk Weimar, Weimar
660 Steyr-Daimler Puch, Steyr, Austria
945 Waffenwerke Bruenn AG, Brno, Czechoslovakia