would you buy a 1911 with no serial number [Archive] - Glock Talk

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BamaG19
11-25-2012, 21:47
Would you be concerned about buying an old Colt 1911 without a serial number? I saw one for sale and I am not sure what to do. The gun has been professionally reblued, pics of the whole process. It is supposedly a lunch box gun. The story on these guns is that the components were taken out of the factory before the s/n were punched.

Looking for any info on this 1911.

ca survivor
11-26-2012, 07:31
NO and no

faawrenchbndr
11-26-2012, 07:33
If it is a 1911 spec frame and not a 1911A1 frame, yes

Foxtrotx1
11-26-2012, 07:44
It is a federal offense to possess a gun without a serial.....

Is this thread for real?

faawrenchbndr
11-26-2012, 07:55
No,....it 's not. Do some research, serial numbers were not
required, by law, until 1935.

IF the pistol was altered, ie, serial number removed before refinish
then YES it would be illegal, as per the 1968 firearms act.

kirgi08
11-26-2012, 09:33
^^^^^^^^

:agree:

38 Super Fan
11-26-2012, 09:34
Sure, I own a model 37 Winchester without a serial number. Now a gun with a modified serial number is a totally different story.

Leigh
11-26-2012, 09:51
Provenance of a 'lunch box' parts gun is very unlikely....no, make that next to impossible.

If such could magically be proven, it only shows that the frame & parts were STOLEN by SOMEONE at SOME point in history.

I would pass.

38 Super Fan
11-26-2012, 10:01
No,....it 's not. Do some research, serial numbers were not
required, by law, until 1935.

IF the pistol was altered, ie, serial number removed before refinish
then YES it would be illegal, as per the 1968 firearms act.
Come to think of it, Model 37s were produced from 36-63 and never serial numbered.

Cadcom
11-26-2012, 10:06
Actually it was the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 that required by law that all firearms have a serial number. Before then it was up to the manufacturer and some did for their own records and others didn't bother.

BamaG19
11-26-2012, 10:24
Yes this thread is for real. I have seen the 1911 and it is a very old model.

The s/n has not been modified or removed, its just not there.




It is a federal offense to possess a gun without a serial.....

Is this thread for real?

faawrenchbndr
11-26-2012, 10:32
Yes this thread is for real. I have seen the 1911 and it is a very old model.

The s/n has not been modified or removed, its just not there.

Could be under one of the grips.

holesinpaper
11-26-2012, 13:05
It is a federal offense to possess a gun without a serial.....

Is this thread for real?

There was a time in America when serial numbers were not required to be on firearms.

Of course, we had more freedom back then.

All the guns that had no serial number prior to the GCA of 1968 are still legal to own.

1968, the year America died just a little bit more.

banger
11-26-2012, 15:40
Actually it was the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 that required by law that all firearms have a serial number. Before then it was up to the manufacturer and some did for their own records and others didn't bother.


^^^This^^^

1968 is the year that serial numbers became MANDATORY.

Prior to this, most of the better manufacturers serialized their guns, but it was not required.

bac1023
11-26-2012, 18:51
If it was after the time they were required, then I would not.

Jim Watson
11-26-2012, 19:08
I think the NFA required serial numbers on handguns as of 1934.

But the point is, Colt has been serializing their guns since 1836, and if you see a Colt lacking a serial number, it has much the most likely been removed. I have seen them on the 1911 boards done so neatly you would swear there never had been any marking there. But there was.

It is illegal to remove or alter the serial number from any gun that ever had one, no matter when made. It is illegal to even possess one. The "lunchbox gun" business would be up to you to prove.

It was not easy to steal a mostly completed gun. I had a classmate who had a neat little wooden box with all the parts necessary for a 1911... except the receiver. Grandpa had worked for Remington-UMC during WW I and had pilfered the barrel, slide, and small parts without much trouble, but he could not figure out how to get away with a frame.

Are you likely to be checked up on? Probably not. I figure most of the scrubbed guns posted on the gunboards just go back in the closet, recommendations to scrap or surrender them going unheard. But I sure would not buy one.

kf4zra
11-26-2012, 19:13
I have a colt 1911 from 1914 that definitely has the SN
Its right there on the frame, not under the grips

Foxtrotx1
11-27-2012, 02:30
No,....it 's not. Do some research, serial numbers were not
required, by law, until 1935.

IF the pistol was altered, ie, serial number removed before refinish
then YES it would be illegal, as per the 1968 firearms act.

OP never specified a date and I sure as hell doubt Colt let many guns out of the factory without SN. Chances are, OP is referring to a gun that could land someone in the slammer.

Also, if it has an inspector stamp, def had the SN removed.

faawrenchbndr
11-27-2012, 05:56
OP never specified a date and I sure as hell doubt Colt let many guns out of the factory without SN. Chances are, OP is referring to a gun that could land someone in the slammer.

Also, if it has an inspector stamp, def had the SN removed.

OP did not state there was a inspector's stamp present.:whistling:

vafish
11-27-2012, 06:02
It is a federal offense to possess a gun without a serial.....

Is this thread for real?

I have several guns made before 1968 that have no serial number on them. They were not required prior to then.

Also you can build your own handgun and not put a serial number on it.

It us only a federal offense to deface or remove a serial number.

posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire (http://www.outdoorhub.com/mobile/)

faawrenchbndr
11-27-2012, 06:04
I guess the question would be this,.......
Are there any markings on the frame?
Is there a Colt roll mark on the frame?

Jim Watson
11-27-2012, 08:21
It us only a federal offense to deface or remove a serial number.

True.
But since Colt routinely serial numbered their guns from day one, any Colt without a serial number will be considered "contraband" if noticed by BATFE.

I guess the question would be this,.......
Are there any markings on the frame?
Is there a Colt roll mark on the frame?

An unmolested USGI Colt will have a serial number, "United States Property," an Army inspector's stamp, and a couple of cryptic factory proof and inspection marks in plain view. It will have a Colt inspector's mark and a disposition code (G for Government contract, S for commercial Sales) on the flat beside the disconnector hole.

It will NOT have a Colt roll mark on the frame. That was not done until required by GCA 1968.
There are a lot of "mixmasters" out there misidentified by the brand name on the slide when not on its original frame. You have to go by the inspector's mark to identify the source of a receiver. And should, because the receiver is the legal "firearm" and an Ithaca with a Colt slide should not be recorded as an Ithaca product.

faawrenchbndr
11-27-2012, 10:27
More info is needed from the OP

Frame may not be a Colt. Stated photo documentation present
during refinishing. The pics would show if there was a serial
number present.

Jim Watson
11-27-2012, 13:09
It might not be a Colt. A moot point, all the wartime contractors numbered their guns, too. As have all the aftermarket frame makers.
The OP says it lacks a serial number.
The pictures would still be interesting.

faawrenchbndr
11-27-2012, 14:07
Could be a Colt slide on a unmarked, pre 1968 frame. :whistling:

Jim Watson
11-27-2012, 14:47
That's pre-1935 for a handgun.
Outfits like Essex making fako receivers still had to number them and I don't think they have been in business that long.

faawrenchbndr
11-27-2012, 16:49
Crap,....got dates wrong. :embarassed:

Good point about Essex, we do need pics!

BamaG19
11-27-2012, 21:00
Here is a link to the gunsmith who documented the refinish job. It is the 3rd gun down called WWII 1911.

http://www.rockridgegunworks.com/rockridgegunworks_004.htm

these are all very interesting comments. It has been very hard to get any info on this weapon.

faawrenchbndr
11-28-2012, 06:29
Looks like a Colt GI slide.
Appears to be a Colt frame, seems to be a proof stamp present.
If this as no serial number, it BS Ben removed.

Better pics are needed to be sure of anything.

MD357
11-28-2012, 08:37
How much does he want for it? Personally, with all the BS .gov pulls on gun owners, I wouldn't risk owning something without a SN (even if it's legal) but that's just me.

Jim Watson
11-28-2012, 19:32
He made it look nice but the starting point with the bumper chrome finish and "merchant marine" legend all point to a pilfered service pistol with serial number scrubbed.

Hot.


The first gun shown is nicely refinished, but he mucked it up with modernical "features" like beavertail, burr hammer, and flatbottom grips. It would have been a passable restoration if he had stayed with period parts. Except he apparently does not know it was a 1911 and not a 1911A1 as listed. Or maybe it was the customer who requested such nonsense and he went along.

Brian Lee
11-29-2012, 10:46
I don't buy bubble gum unless it has a serial number on it.

Veedubklown
11-29-2012, 19:24
I have several guns made before 1968 that have no serial number on them. They were not required prior to then.

Also you can build your own handgun and not put a serial number on it.

It us only a federal offense to deface or remove a serial number.

posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire (http://www.outdoorhub.com/mobile/)

Also, to knowingly posess a gun, to which the serial number has been altered, or removed. As the story goes, there was never a serial number on them. It wasn't removed, they just werent put on. You didn't make it, nor alter nor remove the serial, and to your knowledge, has never been. If the pics of the refinishing process also never show an area that has been altered where the serial would have been, I'd say good to go. It's ultimately on you though, this isn't the best place for legal advice. I'd look good and hard at those pictures, though.

Jim Watson
11-29-2012, 22:50
A thin argument.
Let's say you buy a gun of a model normally serial numbered but without one.
Let's say it comes to the notice of the feds.
They run it through the lab and raise a deleted number.
They believe that you swallowed some story about a "lunchbox gun" or a Secret Squirrel "sterile" gun.
They still take it off for the office collection and prosecute the gunsmith. You are out the purchase price at least.