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Thread: S/N missing

  1. #1
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    S/N missing

    I know this isnt the best place to ask this due to it being open for everyone to read, but I also know I get the best answers here too...

    I have this friend... lets call him "Fred". Fred bought a really nice Kimber 1911 about 2 yrs ago from a local pawn shop. it was a used gun. Well Fred never even thought to look before but he recently noticed that the S/N that should be etched into the barrel is missing. Even more after close inspection of the barrel he can see where it has been ground off and smoothed out (actually quite good metal work). Fred uses this gun as his BUG on a daily basis.... Isn't it illegal to remove the S/N from guns? Or since they are not registered here in NC is it ok?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Mas49.56's Avatar
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    I'm not a lawyer, but from what I understand the only serial number that matters is the one on the actual receiver. If this is removed it's illegal here in Florida and with the Feds. I have replaced barrels with new ones that the numbers don't match the frame, it's a non issue. However if the Kimber is clean and has no serial number on the frame the BATFE will really like to meet your friend.
    Last edited by Mas49.56; 05-11-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
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    A friend inherited a revolver from their grandpa that was his moms a 8 or 9 shot .22 from the late 1800s early 1900s and there is no s/n anywhere on the gun and no "scratch marks" like it was filed away the firearm is smooth all around.


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  4. #4
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    I may be mistaken and usually am, but guns were not required to have serial numbers before the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed did they? If the manufacturers put serial numbers on them before 1968 it was just a method of them being able to inform when the weapon was made.

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    Ah ok then


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  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Both answers are correct. There is no serial number required on any part except the frame/receiver. Any other serial number is extra and may be removed/altered. Only guns made after the 1968 law are required to have serial numbers even though most of them did long before that.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  7. #7
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Some manufacturers put S/N's on barrels and slides because they sell their firearms to military/LE or to foreign markets. Military and LE like to have all the big parts" on a gun serialized because it makes armory inventory easier and more precise. Some foreign nations require all three "major parts" to be serialized.

    But in the US, as has been said, the ONLY part of a handgun that is required to have an S/N is the frame. My Glock has SN's all over it, but that is because they are made in Austria.

    My Para Ordnance, OTOH only has a S/N on the frame--as is required by BATFE regs.

    This is why you can buy slides and barrels through the mail in the US without any sort of background check or filing any BATFE forms--they are not "regulated parts". According to Federal law, the ONLY part of a handgun that is "regulated" (meaning you have to do a background check and file a Form 4473) is the frame.

    When I bought my Para P-14.45 frame it was JUST the frame with a few smallparts--no barrel or slide. It was in NO WAY a "functioning firearm" but because it was a serialized frame (regulated part) I still had to fill out a 4473 and pass a VA background check (I lived in VA at that time).
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  8. #8
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    ok great I had my info backwards.... I thought the barrel had to have the s/n not the frame.... thanks for the correction guys I err... "Fred" feels better (and a bit smarter)

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