Terminology: German Rifle Manufacturing Codes

During the Interwar Period military expansion in Germany was forbidden under the Versailles Treaty. The newly established Nazi government, however, had other ideas. In order to hide or at least obscure the pace of rearmament the military assigned simple alphabetical or numerical codes to manufacturers. There are codes for nearly every subcontractor and the list can be very long. Instead of covering all of these, here is a table breaking down the sorts of German rifle manufacturing codes you’re likely to find on the receiver of your gun.

Code Location Manufacturer
27 Erfurt Feinmecanische Werke, GmbH
42 Oberndorf a/N Mauser Werke, A.-G.
147 Suhl J.P. Sauer & Sohn
237 Lübeck Berlin-Lubecker Maschinenfabriken
243 Berlin-Borsigwalde Mauser Wekre, A.-G.
337 Weimar Gustloff Werke
660 Steyr (Austria) Steyr-Daimler-Puch, A.-G
945 Brno (Czechoslovakia) Waffenwerke Brunn., A.-G.
ac Zella-Mehlis Carl Walther A.G., Waffenfabrik, GmbH
ar Berlin-Borsigwalde Mauser-Werke, A.-G.
ax Erfurt Feinmechanische Werke, GmbH
bcd Weimar Gustloff Werke
bnz Steyr (Austria) Steyr-Daimler-Puch, A.-G
BSW Suhl Berlin-Suhler Waffen und Fahrzeugwerk
byf Oberndorf a/N Mauser-Werke, A.-G.
ce Suhl J.P. Sauer & Sohn
dot Brno (Czechoslovakia) Waffenwerke Brunn., A.-G.
dou Považská Bystrica (Czechoslovakia) Waffenwerke Brunn., A.-G.
duv Lübeck Berlin-Lubecker Maschinenfabriken
jhv Budapest (Hungary) Metallwaren-Waffen und Maschinenfabrik, A.-G.
qve Lübeck Berlin-Lubecker Maschinenfabriken
S/147 Suhl J.P. Sauer & Sohn
S/147G Suhl J.P. Sauer & Sohn
S/147K Suhl J.P. Sauer & Sohn
S/237 Lübeck Berlin-Lubecker Maschinenfabriken
S/243G Berlin-Borsigwalde Mauser Wekre, A.-G.
S/27 Erfurt Feinmecanische Werke, GmbH
S/27G Erfurt Feinmecanische Werke, GmbH
S/42 Oberndorf a/N Mauser Werke, A.-G.
S/42G Oberndorf a/N Mauser Werke, A.-G.
S/42K Oberndorf a/N Mauser Werke, A.-G.
S243 Berlin-Borsigwalde Mauser Wekre, A.-G.
svw Oberndorf z/N Mauser Werke, A.-G.
swp Brno (Czechoslovakia) Waffenwerke Brunn., A.-G.

 

Dual code variations do exist and are considered collectable.  An example would be “bcd/ar.”  Just combine the individual manufacturers’ codes.

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