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Old August 29, 2012, 01:17 PM   #1
former 173rd
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Help ID this 1911 please

Would like to tap the expertise and opinions of those 1911 gurus out there if I may. I picked this up on the cheap, and don't know what to do with it....it functions fine, and I know some parts aren't proper. Real curious about the SN, with the xx suffix, and the really awkward US Property stampings. So, do I pretty it up, leave it alone, sell as a package, or part it out? Many thanks in advance, and happy Labor Day!
......apologies for the sorry photos



http://s454.photobucket.com/albums/q...3rd/1911-1913/
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Old August 29, 2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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It looks like a USGI M1911A1 frame, which has had the serial number and property markings (partially) removed. You can see that the last two digits of the original serial were "77". Above that, you can see part of the word "Property".
There are also a lot of other things, letters and numbers, stamped all over the place, and I have no idea what those mean. The "AA" stamp near the mag release button could mean that the gun (the frame, anyway), was at one time refurbished at Augusta Arsenal. That is not unusual, but the AA stamp is usually seen on the other side.
The slide is not original to the frame, being an earlier, M1911 part. Both the slide and frame are heavily buffed and refinished. The frame, though it has "a" serial number, has had the original number removed, so technically is not legal to own; even with a replacement number, it's illegal to have a gun that's had the original serial removed, unless you have a letter from the ATF that says it's OK (they will sometime allow renumbering).
Is the stamp on the barrel lower lug "HS"? If so, that's a WWII-era GI replacement barrel made by High Standard.
The gun has little value as a shooter, and no value as a collectible. I don't see much there worth parting out.
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Old August 29, 2012, 02:03 PM   #3
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IMO, you have a parts gun ( a 1911 slide on a 1911-A1 frame, for starters), that looks like it's had a serial number filed/ground off & some number (SN ? I doubt it, unless it could be verified that BATF did it) restamped by God knows who.


The Model 1911 slide



The Model 1911A1 frame w/defaced SN




I realize you already posess it, but sans supporting BATF paperwork regarding the restamped SN - I would never have touched it, even with the proverbial 10' pole.



.

Last edited by PetahW; August 29, 2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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Appear to be "X"'s following the number. Comes to mind that I have read somewhere that the XX indicated a replacement frame, and the Serial being restamped on the replacement frame. Can't confirm or deny that being a fact. Agree it's a parts gun though and been really leary of buying it with documentation on the serial number.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Former 173rd
So, do I pretty it up, leave it alone, sell as a package, or part it out?
The crucial problem is that, the way the Federal law on altered serial numbers is written, it doesn't matter who actually did the alteration or when it was done. The law stipulates that whoever is in possession of the firearm when the Feds find out about it is deemed to be the person who did the dastardly deed. Which, unfortunately, means that you are sitting on a possible felony charge.

Morally, I don't think you should try to sell it. That would be passing your legal exposure onto someone else. Considering that you bought it "on the cheap," I think the only safe thing to do is to strip it, keep or sell the parts, and turn in the receiver (or scrub your fingerprints and DNA off it and throw it into a DEEP lake).
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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If you do part it out. What would want for the parts?

I would take the it all apart, sell off the parts, cut the frame up to little pieces, and put them in random dumpsters.
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Well, after hearing all that, I'll certainly sleep well tonight! Thanks all.
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Old August 31, 2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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We know where you are. The next knock on the door is NOT US, we do not knock. The clock is running.
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Old August 31, 2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Niiiiiice


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Old August 31, 2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Which, unfortunately, means that you are sitting on a possible felony charge.
I really have to disagree here. The gun has a serial number where it matters, which is on the frame.

Prior to 1968, many guns were not serialized. Though this one has a prior serial number that was likely removed, it was re-serialized by somebody. Folks don't usually stamp serial numbers on guns because they're just bored. That could be the marking of an importer, a refinishing shop, or a reseller.

For example, I have a Remington Rand slide on an Essex frame. The serial numbers don't match, but the one that matters is the one Essex put on it when they made the frame.

I also have an old beater Luger on which the original serial number was obliterated, but it has the one the importer put on. That's how the gun is tracked, so the obliteration of the original shouldn't be an issue.

We're not talking about a Glock 19 here. We're talking about a gun from World War II. It's expected to have seen some changes.

The 5th and 9th Circuit courts have ruled that "obliteration" of the serial number for criminal purposes entails attempting to deceive or prevent identification. That hasn't happened here. The gun has a serial number, by which it can be identified.
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Old September 1, 2012, 12:18 AM   #11
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I agree that the serial number on the frame is what the serial number of record is. I had a Kimber adapter kit that I wanted to buy a 1911 frame for and build a whole gun. The frame is what had to be transferred through a FFL. I have a military surplus pistol where the importer stenciled a serial number on it.
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Old September 1, 2012, 12:30 AM   #12
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My heart skipped a beat for you!

Knock it off guys!!! lol

Yes..What the last two posters said. I agree with that. You're okay man.
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Old September 1, 2012, 12:42 PM   #13
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Prior to 1968, many guns were not serialized. Though this one has a prior serial number that was likely removed, it was re-serialized by somebody.
It's against the law to have a gun from which the original serial was removed.
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Old September 2, 2012, 10:51 AM   #14
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Update...After having talked with ATF and my local PD, numbers ran, photos, etc, the consensus is its completely legit to own. It appears (as mentioned by Tom) the SN has not been obliterated, only a suffix added, which does not interfere with the ID of the gun. I now have no reservations about either re-building it or selling it (with disclosure of this information). I have yet to dissemble it to ID the internals, but it should be interesting. Thanks to all for their time, opines and facts.

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Old September 2, 2012, 11:03 AM   #15
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I am glad the Authorities were not tough on you over the markings on that old gun. The only place I have ever seen a large italic serial number was on an Argentine contract or Systema.

I do have one sidebar: Tom says "I have a Remington Rand slide on an Essex frame. The serial numbers don't match, but the one that matters is the one Essex put on it when they made the frame."

The numbers don't match WHAT? At one time Colt slides were numbered to their frames but only 1937-1943, not before or after. I never saw or heard of a Remington Rand slide with serial number. We don't have DWM putting a number on every part big enough to hit with a stamp.
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Old September 2, 2012, 01:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Quote:
Which, unfortunately, means that you are sitting on a possible felony charge.
I really have to disagree here. The gun has a serial number where it matters, which is on the frame.

Prior to 1968, many guns were not serialized. Though this one has a prior serial number that was likely removed, it was re-serialized by somebody. Folks don't usually stamp serial numbers on guns because they're just bored. That could be the marking of an importer, a refinishing shop, or a reseller.

For example, I have a Remington Rand slide on an Essex frame. The serial numbers don't match, but the one that matters is the one Essex put on it when they made the frame.
But the receiver IS the firearm. I know the serial number on the receiver is the one that counts. But in your Essex/R-R example, the serial number on the Essex receiver has not been altered. No harm, no foul.

The serial number on the OP's receiver HAS been altered, and that's a Federal felony offense.
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Old September 2, 2012, 02:13 PM   #17
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The serial number on the OP's receiver HAS been altered, and that's a Federal felony offense.
Apparently not since the OP contacted the BATFE and local law enforcement and was told the gun is legit.
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:32 AM   #18
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I never saw or heard of a Remington Rand slide with serial number.
It was stamped by somebody at some point. There's little on the gun that's original. Somebody turned it into a parts gun for bowling-pin shooting long before I was born. I picked it up at a yard sale back in college, and as it turns out, it's pretty decent.

There are all sorts of contradicting numbers on the gun, but the one that would (conceivably) count would be the one on the frame. Heck, I've seen Smith & Wesson revolvers with new serial numbers stamped on for import.

Quote:
The serial number on the OP's receiver HAS been altered, and that's a Federal felony offense.
It's a gray area. I've seen surplus foreign military stuff on which the old serial numbers were obfuscated by importer stamps, or on which the numbers were replaced altogether. I see it on some of the recent Mosin Nagant imports.

It's hard to say where the line is drawn. The courts seem to be looking for an attempt to deceive.
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Old September 4, 2012, 12:28 PM   #19
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Update...After having talked with ATF and my local PD, numbers ran, photos, etc, the consensus is its completely legit to own. It appears (as mentioned by Tom) the SN has not been obliterated, only a suffix added, which does not interfere with the ID of the gun.
I'd absolutely get that in writing!
Those guys have no idea what they're talking about. If you take the "77" as a suffix, which it's not - it's the remainder of the original serial number - then the serial is in the four million range, and the highest serial number on a M1911A1 is less than three million. The number is absolutely bogus, though a letter from ATF could possibly legitimize it.
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Old September 4, 2012, 06:21 PM   #20
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The frame is an Argentine frame, and the number is correct. The "US property" crap is bogus, and it's hand stamped. Someone was trying to make what he thought was an inferior frame (it's not) into a bogus US made frame.
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Old September 4, 2012, 06:25 PM   #21
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OK, that's the best explanation.
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Old September 4, 2012, 08:08 PM   #22
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Plus 1 Mr. DeShivs, I think you are correct.
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Old September 5, 2012, 06:40 AM   #23
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Makes sense, I take it the other fresh stamps on the frame and mag are trying to imitate US markings as well?

Also looks to have been cold blued in areas or is that the lighting?

To the owner take the serial number stuff with a grain of salt, it's a soap box that people like to get on, I see that on many boards, however old military guns can, and do have weird, weird numbers, have been re-finished so many times the numbers get obliterated, or re-stamed or whatever. As long as YOU are not doing the re-stamping either to conceal the gun's ID or to defraud buyers your legal exposure is pretty minimal, no need to get out the cutting torch and go looking for dumpsters just yet. Plus I'd hazard a guess that most of the folks beating that drum would be singing another song all together if say they stumbled onto a Singer 1911 in grandma's attic with a weird (or no) serial number.

Just saying....
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:55 PM   #24
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Bill DeShivs is correct. The frame is from an Argentine "sistema"; it is the USP marking that is fake and very poorly done at that. The slide is from a Colt Model 1911. If the gun shoots OK, and didn't cost too much ($200 would be OK, $500 would be crying time) shoot it and have fun. As to what to do, I say leave it alone and don't spend money on it. Its collector value is zero, and nothing you can do to it will make that situation any better.

The serial number is just fine; that is the way the Argentines marked them. That Italic font is unique, and should have tipped off everybody.

Jim
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Old September 7, 2012, 12:33 PM   #25
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I'm so conditioned to seeing real M1911/11A1 pistols that have had the property markings or serial numbers removed, that I couldn't see anything but that. You are absolutely right that the serial font should have been the tip-off to the actual origins.
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