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BGS Model Identification and Serial Number Ranges

Falfegnügen

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After studying BGS and G1 documentation that I have (I don't have that much...), I've come to some conclusions. Don't know if they are correct, but I have reasonable confidence they are. Most of this is gleened from original German documents. If you will read this through, you will see this is not a re-hash of what has been previously presented here and on other forums. Much of what had been previously presented is in conflict with the German documents. The German documents do make sense when put together, especially in respect to the Model-a, Model-af, and Model-b. I don't know if this is all correct, but I have reasonable confidence most of it is.

DO NOT CONFUSE THE "BGS MODEL" WITH THE STANDARD FAL "TYPE" or "MODEL" as referenced in Steven's book. In the case of the BGS rifles, the term "Model" is applied only within the realm of the BGS rifles. Therefore a BGS "Model-a" has no direct correlation with e FAL "Type-A". Although, by historical circumstance, a BGS "Model-A" will have a FAL "Type-A" lower and buttstock.

I will follow this up with a feature list for each model later.

BGS Model vs. Serial Number Summary:

BGS Model "a" ("af") D1-D115 and 116-2115
BGS Model "b" 2116-6916
BGS Model "c" 6917-100,000 (?)
Bundeswehr G1 1-100,000

It is clear from the German documents that the suffixes were added only after the fourth BGS order for the final version (G1 style, or BGS Model-c) was made. Prior to that there was no reason to have the suffixes. Since we are seeing nearly perfect consistency with the features of models that should be in those serial ranges, but we are seeing sporadic suffixes, it appears as if the suffixes probably were not consistently applied.

Detail:

Pre-BGS
Pre-BGS demonstrators which FN took to Germany. Can't find any info if these stayed with Germany or FN took them back.

DEU1 - Early Standard FN FALO Heavy Barrel
DEU2 - FAL Kanada
DEU3 - T48


BGS Model "a" and "af" rifles.
There were two orders to FN, one for evaluation, one for troop trials. Both groups are originally the Model "a" rifles.

The first German order for evaluation, these rifles were delivered as a FAL Canada model. They were not actually the same as the FAL Canada (or EX-1 series), but had production improvements. They had no flash-hider and they had wooden handguards and no bipod.

Initial BGS evaluation order of 116 Rifles in 1955
Originally serial numbered D1 through D115

The second order for troop trials was the same as the first order, except they had the optional T48 style flash-hider.

BGS Purchase of 2000 rifles for troop trials in 1956
Originally serial numbered 116 through 2115


A few basic features of the original BGS Model-a (prior to Model-af retrofit):
- Early Type-I Upper Receiver with Mag release cut
- FN Type-1 Lower cut for a Type-A stock. The lower has the rivited pin retainer, selector marked S-EF-DF
- FN Type-A Stock, Later-style without wood behind body latch lever and later style short thick bevels and rotating sling swivel.
- FN pattern wood Handguards
- High rear site (same as Israeli, but not quite as high as real FAL Canada-EX1)
- High front site (same as Israeli, but not quite as high as real FAL Canada-EX1)
- Non-bipod barrel
- Early Type-B buttplate.
- Wood Pistol Grip
- Wood Carry handle.
- Early Joint Pin. Is longer and distinct in the way it is made, both externally and internally
- Early short gas system with Type-A2 Gas block and Type-B gas plug.
- Type-A selector and Type-A trigger


Unique features of the Model-a (af) as compared to later BGS rifles (not 100% on these, it is not from original German documents, but evidence suggest this is correct)
- Model-a (af) rifles have the rivited HTS pin retainer plate in the lower.
- Model-a (af) rifles have Pinned hammer spring plungers.
- Model-a (af) rifles in the second order (SN 116 through 2115) appear to have chrome hammer/sear engagement surfaces.


These Model "a" rifles would be later upgraded and become the Model "af" or "a/f"
The upgrades included:
- Install special retrofit "clamshell" bipod onto standard non-bipod barrel
- Replace wood hanguards with grooved metal handguards
- Install T48 style flash-hider on the early evaluation models
- (maybe) Install G1 style low site gas block and rear site (nothing in German documents about this)

Serial numbers of both groups were later updated with the "af" suffix to the serial number.



BGS Model "b" rifles.
These rifles were ordered with several feature changes over the Model "a".

The features included:
- Bipods with special barrel for bipod attachment
- Grooved Metal Handguards which fit the bipods
- Improved "2-piece" extractor
- T48 style flash-hider

Most importantly, these rifles appear to the first production appearance of the standard FAL Bipod system. This system included a new special bipod-cut barrel, bipod and metal handguards which the bipod folds onto. This is the same basic system later used on many other FAL varients including the G1, StG-58, etc.

It appears (based upon examples, photos and drawings) that in all cases the Model-b rifle's bipod-cut barrel included both a standard FAL-Canada style bayonet lug, AND a T48 style threaded flash hider.

The purchase of 4800 BGS (Model-b) rifles was made in September 1956 at a cost of 516.00 DM each
Originally serial numbered 2116 through 6916


A few basic features of the original BGS Model-b:
- Early Type-I Upper Receiver with Mag release cut
- FN Type-1 Lower cut for a Type-A stock. The lower does not have the rivited pin retainer, selector marked S-EF-DF
- FN Type-A Stock, later-style without wood behind body latch lever and later style short thick bevels and rotating sling swivel.
- Early grooved-metal handguards without the front horseshoe (don't know when this changed?)
- Early handguard screw. Does not have the relief cut the G1 has.
- High rear site (same as Israeli, but not quite as high as real FAL Canada-EX1)
- High front site (same as Israeli, but not quite as high as real FAL Canada-EX1)
- Bipod-cut barrel
- Early Type-B buttplate.
- Wood Pistol Grip
- Wood Carry handle.
- Early Joint Pin. Is longer and distinct in the way it is made, both externally and internally
- Early short gas system with Type-A2 Gas block and Type-B gas plug.
- Type-A selector and Type-A trigger
- Non-pinned Hammer spring plunger
- "FN *" Topcover
- Early T48 "Browning style" flash hider with wide seperation at bottom. Later ones are evenly spaced.


Unique features of the Model-b as compared to earlier BGS rifles (not 100% on these, it is not from original German documents, but evidence suggest this is correct)

- Model-b rifles do not have the rivited HTS pin retainer plate in the lower.
- Model-b rifles do not have chromed HTS engagement surfaces.
- Model-b rifles do not have pinned Hammer spring plungers

Serial numbers were later updated with the "b" suffix to the serial number.


BGS Model "c" and Bundeswehr "G1" rifles.
This is the G1 rifle pattern and apparently were ordered by both the BGS and the Bundeswehr. It is well documented that the Bundeswehr ordered 100,000 in two groups of 50,000 each. I can find nothing which documents how many the BGS ordered, or if they were included in the Bundeswehr order.

BGS version - originally serial numbered 6917c to ?????? (from original German document)
BGS Serial numbers had "c" suffix to the serial number. Supposedly totalled near 100,000 rifles, although I have seen nothing original to confirm this. It is hard to believe it would be this high for a force that only has 30,000 uniformed officers. The highest SN I have seen (in pictures) is in the 30,000 range. And they were Type-II's.

Bundeswehr version - serial numbered 1 to 100,000 (from Steven's book)
Bundeswehr version has no suffix after the erial number

Cost of Bundeswehr G1 rifles was 451.40 DM each for the first 50,000, 429.66 DM each for the next 50,000.


A few basic features of the original BGS Model-c and Bundeswehr G1:
- Late Type-I or Type-II Upper Receiver
- FN Type-1 Lower for Type-B or Type-C stock. Lower with non-rivited pin retainer, selector marked S-E-D
- FN Type-B or C Stock with rotating sling swivel
- Later grooved-metal handguards with the front horseshoe (don't know when this changed?)
- Later handguard screw. Does not have the relief cut the G1 has.
- Low rear site (not quite as high as real FAL Canada-EX1, same as Israeli)
- Low front site/gasblock (not quite as high as real FAL Canada-EX1, same as Israeli)
- Bipod-cut barrel
- Early Type-B buttplate.
- Plastic Pistol Grip. Plastic is flush on left side (not sure if early ones had wood?)
- Plastic Carry handle.
- Later standard style long gas system with Type-B2 Gas block and Type-C gas plug.
- Type-B selector and Type-B trigger
- Non-pinned Hammer spring plunger
- G1 style "twist on" flash hider

Again, I'm not sure about all of this, as the pieces of the puzzle don't exactly add up. However, after reading more original German documents, they are starting to fall together. What I'm not very confident about is the difference in orders or serial numbers between BGS "c" G1 rifles and Bundeswehr G1 rifles, if any.
 
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Mr pogo

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I believe BGS had their own contracts with FN into the 60s.
I had pictures of a C series G1 which had to be early 60s and not the initial 100K contract.
type 2 reciever, plastic hump buttstock and I think the long flashhider.
however the pics are prolly on one of my drives that is inaccessable til I rebuild the pc.

speaking of pics, are you the guy that used to dump what got posted on the files and had a directory type website with all the pics there?
 

Mr pogo

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nope, thats kevins g1 if Im not mistaken.

this was several pics, one of it outside on pavement with bipod deployed and a few closeups.
almost positive it had plastic buttstock.

that picture's home url should have a ton of my pics lol
 

DakTo

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"The BGS Purchase of 4800 rifles made in September 1956 at a cost of 516.00 DM each
Originally serial numbered 2116 through 6916

Serial numbers were later updated with the "b" suffix to the serial number."

I imagine this is a generalization of what was suppose to happen and since most arms were in service with the troops and unless they were returned to armory for repair or were later issue, all were not stamped with a "b".

I have 2660 & 4201 and both do not possess the suffix, nor do others I have seen in these recent BGS kits.
 

EX1

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Hello I have 2176 with no suffix.Later style A lower with out the pin latch plate rivited in and 2 part extractor.Thanks EX1
 

Mr pogo

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Mr pogo said:
nope, thats kevins g1 if Im not mistaken.

this was several pics, one of it outside on pavement with bipod deployed and a few closeups.
almost positive it had plastic buttstock.

ok, I found a couple of the closeup pics on an old cd I had.
I did misremember about the stock, it is type c with plastic pg.
serial is 10499C
this was offered for sale in europe and was not a kit gun.

 

Falfegnügen

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I think that MrPogo is right on target. His post helps to confirm that the BGS did not buy 100,000 BGS Model-c rifles in the late 50's, as has been earlier therorized in previous (and seemingly inacurate) historical articles on these rifles.

Look at the rifle and see what you see:

- It has the BGS style suffix, "Model-c"

- It has a type-II upper receiver

- It does not have a type-A lower

- it has a FN Type-C buttstock

- It is in the 30.000 serial number range, as are other examples just like this.

Take this all together. This should tell us something. So far all the BGS Model-c rifles that have been in this serial range are Type-II uppers with later type-C buttstocks. They were probably originally made this way, and probably were delivered in the 60's, not in the 50's, which was the heyday of the German BGS and G1 rifles.


Just to be An.. Re..... the APEX kits appear to all be from the BGS "Model-b" serial number range. That is BGS MODEL-B. I'll say it again.... BGS MODEL-B. Does it help to be in all caps? They do not appear to be BGS Model-a, nor do they appear to be Model-c. If someone can prove me wrong on this I'll print this post and eat it and take a picture to prove it. At least that will prove something.


The BGS Model-b kits which we have received from APEX:

- They have FN type-I lowers for FN Type-A buttstocks

- They have FN type-A Buttsocks when manufactured, albiet the late/final style.

- They had early style FN Type-I upper receivers.

- The bipods they came with are correct. This was the most important defining feature of the BGS Model-b when manufactured. This was what it was all about.

- The metal handguards are absoultely correct. They go with the bipods. They probably should be the early non-horseshoe style. But who knows when they changed. Again, this was a defining feature of the BGS Model-b.

They DID NOT have the clamshell bipods (that would be BGS Model-af).

They DID NOT have wooden handguards when originally manufactured. That would be the original BGS Model-a.

They DID NOT have type-B or C stocks when originally manufactured

They DID NOT have Type-II upper receivers.

They may or MAY NOT have had the "b" suffix applied to the lower receiver. This appears to be hit and miss, and as printed in the original German documents, was applied after the rifles were procured, except for the model-c. Just a guess at what the BGS did...but rather than recall all the rifles to stamp a stinkin letter on the reciever, it was probably assigned to lower echelon armourers. So my theory is that some armourers followed orders and did it, other went out bier trinkin und maken whoopie mit der frauleins und skipped it. After all, this was the Border Guards, not the Army.

If anyone has received anything other than this from the APEX kits, I would very much like to know. I'm just going on what I received, what members have told me they received, and what has been posted here, and what APEX has told me.

Thank you.
 
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Wolfsburg1

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I know some of these have wooden carry handles but were they ever built with plastic carry handles or were these all added later? Also, is the plastic cocking handle correct or are they replacements as well? Both my kits have these.
 

Falcon

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I went a little overboard, didn't I?
No, I don't think so-you're on the right track-and I'm sure we all appreciate the tremendous effort you've put forth so far, but I wouldn't dismiss that the lowers with a "b" suffix were lumped together with straight numbered ones. Not sure exactly why, but perhaps because it is noted in Blake's book that there were 130,000 G1's as of October 1958.(Book 2 , page 125)... and the numbers just don't quite add up yet...just my 2 cents of course.

Perhaps a road trip to Koblenz is in order, this spring!
 

Falfegnügen

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Falcon said:


No, I don't think so-you're on the right track-and I'm sure we all appreciate the tremendous effort you've put forth so far, but I wouldn't dismiss that the lowers with a "b" suffix were lumped together with straight numbered ones. Not sure exactly why, but perhaps because it is noted in Blake's book that there were 130,000 G1's as of October 1958.(Book 2 , page 125)... and the numbers just don't quite add up yet...just my 2 cents of course.

Perhaps a road trip to Koblenz is in order, this spring!
The evidence indicates that you are correct, that all the BGS rifles were sequentially serial numbered from the beginning, and the suffixes added later. Original German documents from the period say the suffixes were added later for the Model-a (af) and Model-b, and then list the serial number ranges. For example:

Deutsch:
Gültig für FN-Gewehre mit dem Fertigungszeichen "c" hinter der
Waffennummer - ab Nr. 6917c

English:
Valid for FN rifles with the production number "c" after the
Weapons number - from No. 6917c


So based upon this, then a total of 30,000 BGS rifles and 100,000 Bundeswehr rifles could be about right. What throws me though is that most of the BGS Model-c rifles in the 30,000 range are type-II receivers. This make me think it unlikely they would have reached 30,000 BGS rifles in 1958. Considering the BGS appears to have kept the FAL in service much longer than the Bundeswehr, so Steven's could have just got it wrong with his statement that the 130,000 G1's were delivered by Oktober 1958. In which case, it is plausible that there were a total of 130,000 delievered to Germany, ever. What I propose is that the mistake is that it was thought that all German FAL's, both BGS and Bundeswehr were sold to Turkey at the same time, and therefore all must have been delivered before that date, which would place all deliveries in the 50's. However, we know that is not true, that the BGS used the FAL's for decades later, and even transferred many to other state Police Departments.

or...

Steven's is exactly correct, and there were 130,000 in October 1958, and the type-II's we see were just merelly small orders placed years later as needed. This could be true too. Has anyone seen a BGS Model-c with a type-II receiver with a serial number lower than 30,000c ?


I think I need to go re-read Steven's again, and look at more BGS photos.
 
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Falfegnügen

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FWIW, I have photos of later BGS-Model-C rifles as follows:

BGS-Model-C 29123c = Type-I receiver
BGS-Model-C 29259c = Type-I receiver
BGS-Model-C 30499c = Type-II receiver
BGS-Model-C 30508c = Type-II receiver
BGS-Model-C 30603c = Type-II receiver


This makes me believe Steven's could be exactly correct. So to summarize:

All BGS rifles were sequentially numbered from the very beginning to end, regardless of prefixes and suffixes, with just over 30,000 made.

All Bundeswehr rifles were sequentially numbered seperately from the BGS rifles, with 100,000 made.
 

Falcon

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BGS-Model-C 29123c = Type-I receiver
BGS-Model-C 29259c = Type-I receiver
BGS-Model-C 30499c = Type-II receiver
BGS-Model-C 30508c = Type-II receiver
BGS-Model-C 30603c = Type-II receiver

...a few more pics & SN's to add:





and then this one which I can't read the SN...almost looks like a 24xxxc or 29xxxc?

 

def90

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Wolfsburg1 said:
I know some of these have wooden carry handles but were they ever built with plastic carry handles or were these all added later? Also, is the plastic cocking handle correct or are they replacements as well? Both my kits have these.
Model C had plastic carry handle.
 
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