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theloco71
March 6, 2012, 11:49 PM
Hello everyone, I just got this M1911A1 apparently from the WWII. After I got it (for a good price) I dug into it, and found some irregularities with it. The frame appears to be a Colt from 1942 o 1943, and the Slide is definitively a Remington Rand.

The funny part about it id that the serial number is almost erased and there is a "104" stamped over the original serial number. On the first place I thought that someone down the road alterated the numbers on purpose, but after doing some research I found out that my gun could be a "Rebuild".

The funny part about it is that I can't find any Depot or Armory stampings regarding the rebuild, unless the "104" is actually the rebuild stamping.

So here I am, with the experts. I attached some pics...

Thanks!

Dfariswheel
March 7, 2012, 02:36 AM
When military 1911 pistols were rebuilt, serial numbers were NOT erased and a different number stamped.
When a 1911 was rebuilt, the arsenal doing the rebuild stamped a mark on the left side of the frame, indicating the arsenal that did the work.
As example, Augusta Arsenal rebuilds are stamped with an "AA" mark, Red River would be "RRA" etc.
They DID NOT alter or erase original serial numbers.

The reason the numbers were defaced is almost certainly because the gun was stolen from the military and someone thought erasing the serial number would prevent it being detected as stolen. Why someone then stamped another number on it is a mystery.

What you have is an ILLEGAL GUN. Federal law states in no uncertain terms that a firearm that's had the serial number defaced or altered is a FELONY crime to possess.
This is no BS. This is a felony in every state and under Federal law.
What you can do is request the BATF to issue a new serial number and have it stamped on the frame to make it legal again.
This is even easier if you can still determine what the original number was.

radom
March 7, 2012, 10:49 PM
More common than most think as in the past the govt property markings tended to worry folks so they would deface the SN on the things and was totaly legal at the time. As its a pre 1968 gun and need not even have a SN and does have a number stamped over the old one I would not sweat it. Before 1968 you could grind a SN off and stamp piggy faces in place and it was totaly legal.

James K
March 7, 2012, 11:33 PM
Sorry, Radom, but you are wrong. The 1968 law required new guns to have serial numbers, but the law banning removal or alteration of existing serial numbers dates to 1938, so obliterating the serial number on that gun was not "legal at the time" no matter what "piggy faces" it was replaced with. The gun, unfortunately, is contraband and illegal to possess.

The "104" is spurious and was probably applied so the seller could claim that he thought that was the serial number and didn't know the original serial had been removed.

Jim

radom
March 7, 2012, 11:38 PM
1938? hmmm I missed that one for some reasion. I was under the assumption that the only laws that delt with that was early 30s deal and 1968 so learn somthing all the time I guess.

Dfariswheel
March 8, 2012, 06:48 PM
The laws are, that any firearm that ORIGINALLY HAD a serial number is a felony to possess if the number is defaced or altered.

That means that if you have a 1900 Colt New Army & Navy revolver and the number was defaced...... it's illegal.

the rifleer
March 8, 2012, 07:41 PM
What you have is an ILLEGAL GUN. Federal law states in no uncertain terms that a firearm that's had the serial number defaced or altered is a FELONY crime to possess.

If that is true then how do you explain all the mosin nagants out there that have parts that are force matched to make the serial numbers match? If what you are saying is true, there are probably illegal guns sold everyday by licensed FFL dealers to legal citizens.

Willie Sutton
March 8, 2012, 09:51 PM
Guys... the serial number on this one is still visible under the second number. The OP said "almost erased. Looks to me like it was way overpolished, not deliberately defaced. It is still legible... and legal.

Give the poor guy a break, not a heart attack. Could be anything... my educated guess is that it's a foregn military arsenal rework, not a US rework. Greece? Turkey? Korea? Could be any of them. The number is a rack-number. Nobody would try to pass off a 3 digit number as a serial number.

Back to the OP: It's a mismatched parts gun, not that uncommon to see. It's a shooter, not a collector. You might very well trade out that slide to someone else and find a Colt slide for it, should be a fun and easy gunshow project to see and swap with any of the parts dealers that specialize in .45 parts.


Willie

.

the rifleer
March 8, 2012, 11:17 PM
Or leave it as is and have fun with it...

44 AMP
March 8, 2012, 11:23 PM
If that is true then how do you explain all the mosin nagants out there that have parts that are force matched to make the serial numbers match? If what you are saying is true, there are probably illegal guns sold everyday by licensed FFL dealers to legal citizens.


NO, thats not quite right. There in only one number recognized as the serial number in common US practice (and I believe, in law), and that number must be on the action/receiver/frame of the gun. All the other numbers stamped on the other parts are nothing, from a legal point of view.

Your gun may be 12345, and have 45 or 345 stamped on half the parts. The serial # is 12345, stamped on the receiver. IT may have 45 on half the parts and 27 on two of the parts. It may have all different numbers on all the parts. This matters only to collectors. The legal serial# is still 12345...

gyvel
March 9, 2012, 06:27 AM
I think the point of the Mosin Nagants is that M-N receivers were never numbered to begin with. Serial numbers are applied on receivers to comply with BATF regs and U.S. Customs law.

James K
March 11, 2012, 06:21 PM
FWIW, the National Firearms Act, which regulated automatic weapons, short barrel shotguns and rifles, and silencers, dates to 1934. The Federal Firearms Act, which regulates ordinary firearms and established the whole Federal gun control system, with licensing for dealers, etc., was signed into law by FDR on 30 June 1938. The two were modified and combined into the Gun Contol Act of 1968. The ban on removing or altering serial numbers on ordinary gun was/is in the FFA.

Jim

atlantadad
April 7, 2012, 02:53 PM
I might be interested in the slide - looking for one for a late model RR.

Hardcase
April 10, 2012, 01:25 PM
Practically speaking, it appears that the ATF is not particularly concerned about "old" firearms with long ago defaced serial numbers. I had the same situation with a Colt New Army/Navy that's been in the family for decades. Sometime in the dusty past, somebody filed the numbers off the butt.

I called the local ATF office about it when I inherited the gun. The agent explained that in the hierarchy of people they're concerned about, the guy with grandpa's eighty or hundred year old pistol rates slightly below "who's gonna take the trash out this afternoon".

Now, you'll have to discover your own definition of "old" and "long ago". In my case, I'm not worried at all. Your comfort level may vary.

Avenger
April 10, 2012, 06:23 PM
Another problem with Mosins is that the ATF doesn't recognize Cyrillic lettering.

Chris_B
April 10, 2012, 06:24 PM
That sounds about right, but you know, the caveat there is that the phrase "right now" should be in the agent's explanation:

"the hierarchy of people they're concerned about right now, the guy with grandpa's eighty or hundred year old pistol rates slightly below "who's gonna take the trash out this afternoon"

The agent you talked to is a good common-sense guy, it seems. But his verbal isn't ATF policy or the law, after all.

When I was fooling with muscle cars, after a big show one day, a home town cop ordered me to do a burnout. If his boss saw me doing that, no amount of "but that officer said" would have been good enough.

(Yes, I did as ordered)

emcon5
April 11, 2012, 11:31 AM
Another problem with Mosins is that the ATF doesn't recognize Cyrillic lettering.

That and there is no original serial number on the action of a Mosin Nagant. The Soviet S/N is on the barrel.

You will notice all the importer applied S/Ns are on the action.

kraigwy
April 11, 2012, 11:50 AM
My 1911a1 has a Colt slide and a Union Switch and Single slide.

I've been around 1911s a long time. It was common in the military for parts to be switched between guns. That is the way the 1911/1911a1 was designed. I wouldn't let it bother me.

I'm more bothered by those who say the "parts are correct".

http://photos.imageevent.com/kraigwy/posting/websize/USSC%201911%20Slide%202.JPG

Jim Watson
April 11, 2012, 02:18 PM
I'm sure Hardcase and his contact are right, there is little interest in tracking down all the pilfered guns with erased or altered serial numbers so as to hassle a veteran's descendants... Now.

But it is still not legal and one of these days, they might change their mind.
Even written policy position from BATF (or IRS) can be changed the next day and nothing you can do about it.

Or they might investigate you or the seller for some other suspected violation and use that as a "piling on" accusation.

44 AMP
April 11, 2012, 02:32 PM
As to old guns with defaced serial #s, there is a legal process for re-applying a serial number.

Generally speaking (and at this time, it could change) if you say "I have this, and I think it's not legal.." they will allow you to work the system to make it legal, without pressing charges. Sometimes there's no way, and the gun is forfeit, but again, usually without any charges, since its is obvious that by asking for help you have no criminal intent.

HOWEVER, the law is the law, as written, and they can charge you for posessing a gun with a defaced serial #, if they want to. It doesn't matter to the law who, when, or how the number got defaced.

I worked as a Small Arms repairman for the Army back in the 70s, and I can tell you from personal experience that in the shop, "parts is parts". One single gun being worked on always got the original parts put back in (as long as they were servicable). Two or three guns might get all the original parts back on the original frame, but there was no guarantee.

One maker's frame and another's slide mattered not at all to us. Neither did any accuracy standards. Barrels were checked for erosion, but that's all. Wear on parts only mattered if the gun failed to pass its final function check.

Chris_B
April 11, 2012, 07:34 PM
Respectfully Kraig, the issue as I see it is not the fact that the slide and frame are not original to each other. The issue is the serial number on the frame having been changed