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  1. #1
    Contributing Member GaryWKeim's Avatar
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    m1918 BAR markings

    I have a Winchester m1918 BAR that was said to have been built in March 1918, making it fairly early. The story I bought was that it was part of the Winchester Reference Library acquired by a big collector in Chicago. It has no military markings at all, which would make sense if it was taken off the line for reference purposes.

    The weapon has some markings that I cannot understand: M.A.

    See pics.


    My guess is that it means, "Marlin Arms" but I have nothing to back that up.
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    Last edited by GaryWKeim; 01-03-2023 at 08:19 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryWKeim View Post
    The weapon has some markings that I cannot understand: M.A.
    As in Marlin Rockwell? Perhaps, the production date would be about right. This is after all, a nice early gun. Very nice indeed. I had three, a Marlin-Rockwell, a Royal Typewriter and a NESA but failed to take even one picture over the years to prove anything let alone record markings. I would have thought Marlin Rockwell would have been marked "MR" but don't remember. Marlin Rockwell took over I think in 1915 and traded off about 1926(?) Your gas piston slide is marked with a "W" so I'd make that a Winchester part. Likewise the hammer. Maybe the MA is just an inspection mark after all?
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member GaryWKeim's Avatar
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    I've seen it (M.A.) on a few other examples, but not many.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Others will be along, I just wonder if it's an inspection mark and the parts are "W"...Winchester.
    Regards, Jim

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    Legacy Member cpc's Avatar
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    I knew a collector who had one of the rifles from the WRA ref library. I believe most of the rifles were included in the book of WRA ref rifles. That said I have misplaced the serial number of the BAR he had. I believe it was sold in the 2012-2015 time frame and he has since passed. As an additional note, firing tests 4, 5, and 6 were conducted by the Govt in May 1918 and those WRA BAR's are few thousand serial numbers later than yours, so we know your rifle was made prior to May 1918. I have some of the tests and lots of original documents describing problems with rifles and suggested fixes that should be made as well as the draft manuals etc. They were the property of an Ordnance SGT who was assigned to Winchester to conduct tests for the Army. He wrote Hatcher and said he was going to keep all the papers and tests, notes, etc, and I guess Hatcher didn't care because they were done at WRA and not Springfield. Thank you for sharing, it is a great looking BAR. Since this is a relatively old post, you probably have already confirmed it, but your rifle was in the WRA library collection... regards

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  12. #6
    Contributing Member GaryWKeim's Avatar
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    Interestingly, there is a 1918-built Colt BAR currently on GB, that has quite a few WRA parts that also have the M.A. marks.

    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/1012028513

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    Legacy Member cpc's Avatar
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    Interesting, I’ll have to look through some stuff I have to see if I can find a MA inspector at WRA

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