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Yes, that means there are essentially no standards. The model S photo to the left shows the typical location and appearance of proofmarks on Star pistols.They are usually on and/or near the front of the trigger guard.Every 28 years or so (there are inexplicable gaps) they start a new series, by adding a number to the end of the letter codes.Though there was another one operating for a short time in the early 1920s, Eibar is the one and only Spanish government proof house for most of the 20th century.This is not just accidentally under the stocks because it was stamped before assembly, but deliberately along the backstrap portion, very hidden from view unless searched for.A document sent to me some time ago, and which I just now noticed, is the same sheet as the above table from the nice people at Ipar Guns. In 1995 serial numbers began to follow a coded system.Since the dawn of organized weapons makers and armies, the purchasing governments have demanded a system for assuring that the products live up to their promised specifications.
Other regions have different proof houses with different marks and codes.
From 1927 onward, the proof mark additionally was accompanied by a letter code, indicating the year of proofing.
There are 28 letters or letter-combinations, as explained in the chart below.
If the weapon survives a certain number of these, it passes, and all weapons in the lot get the proof mark to certify they meet the government's minimum expectations of function and safety.
Though the US government has inspection processes for military goods, there is no proof house of any sort for domestic US gun makers.
The bullet between instead of asterisk above is something I have not seen.