The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 9, 2013, 11:42 PM   #1
jdthomas
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2013
Posts: 5
Old Military Service Pistol

Up in the attic of my parents' house, I found my grandfather's old military (Marines) service revolver. Still has the registration receipt with it, dated 1957. I've got various questions now. Does anyone know if it is legal to possess? Should he have returned it when he was discharged? Do I need to contact the Marines and report it (as "missing gov't property")? Will they even want it back at this point? I'm in Virginia, I know guns don't need to be registered here, but (if I'm allowed to possess it) do I need to do something to prove how I am the new owner, since I guess technically it is still registered to my grandfather and it was never "sold" or "transferred" to me. Unless just my possessing it now constitutes a legal transfer.....first post, so any and all advice appreciated!
jdthomas is offline  
Old April 9, 2013, 11:58 PM   #2
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,549
Unless other family members say different, its yours, its legal, don't worry about it.

Of course if you have to fight other family members for it, that's a different matter.

All you really have to do is to post pictures. I like military service pistols, I'm assuming its a 1911a1, and hope its in original condition.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 12:14 AM   #3
mwells72774
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2011
Posts: 204
Re: Old Military Service Pistol

Since the op said "service revolver" im doubting its a 1911
mwells72774 is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 12:32 AM   #4
RJay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,697
Unless your state requires it. You don't need to do anything. As stated it's yours, The Marine Corp doesn't want it, Even if your Uncle did " borrow it long term " which I doubt. He probably picked it up after service because it reminded him of past times. That is a common failure, if someone was in the service, then after death , going through his effects they find a firearm, well he was in the Marines, then this must be his service firearm. In 99 and 9/10 of the time this is the wrong assumption. I have even seen people ask if a pellet gun they found was a persons " service pistol ". It is yours to do with as you wish ( as long as it is legal). Even, if it was at one time military property, there is no longer any record of it anywhere.
__________________
Ron James
RJay is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 12:36 AM   #5
JimmyR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2012
Posts: 1,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
Unless other family members say different, its yours, its legal, don't worry about it.
This is gonna be the kicker. If it was found at your parents' house, then it would be safe to presume them to be the owners of the weapon. You would need them to give the OK (if they are still alive to give such permission).

If your intention is to sell it, I would suggest the honorable thing would be to share the funds with your family, or allow someone who wants to keep it as a memento to have it. If you want to keep the weapon, and your parents give the OK, then by all means, take good care of her, and post some pics.
JimmyR is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 06:25 AM   #6
wally626
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2009
Posts: 637
In VA as long as you are not a prohibited person, felon, drug user etc. Then you can posses a gun. In private transfers there are no requirements for background checks or permission to purchase. There are some restrictions for persons under 18. You can own it, but can not carry it outside the home without direct supervision.

The only possible problem in VA would be with guns that are fully automatic, stolen and that sort of thing.
wally626 is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 08:21 AM   #7
Willie Sutton
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066
Since the Marines haven't used Revolvers since the Moro Insurrection, and there is a receipt dated in the late 50's, what you probably have is what he bought at a hardware store someplace. Pics or an accurate description of make and caliber would be helpful.

The revolver is yours, or whoever legally owns the estate. Discuss it within the family, and let whoever ends up with it enjoy the heirloom.


Willie

.
Willie Sutton is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 08:51 AM   #8
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,657
Quote:
Since the Marines haven't used Revolvers since the Moro Insurrection, and there is a receipt dated in the late 50's, what you probably have is what he bought at a hardware store someplace.
Willie is absolutely right, and I'll go out on a limb and give you some more information.

A very large number of WWII-era Smith & Wesson 6-shot .38-caliber revolvers were send to the British military during the war under the Lend-Lease Act, then subsequently reimported and sold on the American commercial market in the 1950s and early 1960s when the UK converted to 9mm semi-automatic pistols. These revolvers were marked UNITED STATES PROPERTY on the topstrap, but this is essentially a legal sham required by the Lend-Lease Act, under the pretense that we were "lending" the revolvers to the British when the US was officially neutral; however, other than a handful of revolvers that somehow rerouted to American domestic security forces, these guns were never used by the American military.

The former British guns are VERY common, as they were sold by a large variety of retailers- commonly hardware stores and gas stations- for very low prices. Hallmarks are a *.38 S&W CTG.* barrel marking, numerous small crown proof marks, and often a large and ugly 2-1/2 TONS proof at the barrel/frame interface. Most of these guns originally had 5" barrels, but these were often shortened for commercial sale. All of these guns were originally chambered in .38 Smith & Wesson, a shorter, lower-powered and slightly larger-diameter round that the more common .38 Special cartridge; however, many of these guns were converted to .38 Special for commercial sale.

American forces used a number of very similar S&W and Colt revolvers with 4" barrels chambered in .38 Special. These were most often issued to aircrew, military police, and various rear-echelon troops. A few were misleadingly marked U.S.M.C., but this was an abbreviation for the U.S. Maritime Commission; they were NOT used by the Marines. Many of these guns have also been sold as surplus; there are fewer of them in circulation than the former British guns, as fewer were built and the US military reportedly still has many stashed in warehouses, but there are still enough around that they are encountered with some frequency.

US forces also used a number of large-frame Colt and S&W revolvers during the WWI era. These were originally chambered in .45 ACP (aka .45 Auto) and marked "D.A. .45", but some have been converted to other cartridges. These were marked U.S. ARMY MODEL 1917 on the butt.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; April 10, 2013 at 08:58 AM.
carguychris is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 09:45 AM   #9
jdthomas
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2013
Posts: 5
Hey guys, thanks for all the responses. Very helpful information.

OK, so it seems I am good with keeping it (not a felon, no other family members wanting it, etc.) And a few of you were correct in thinking that it was not a service weapon. My bad, I should have known by the caliber (and brand for that matter), but I was thinking that it could have been one of several weapons that he was issued. And, in the case with the gun is a registration receipt with the Camp Lejeune Office of Military Police. I mistook that for a receipt of issuance, but he must have just bought it on his own and then registered it with the base police.

It's a Ruger Single Six. Nice gun, in good shape and all original. Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks again all.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ruger ss01.jpg (242.5 KB, 144 views)
jdthomas is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 09:47 AM   #10
Willie Sutton
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066
Nice cowboy Ruger.

Never used as a martial arm, closest thing would be the Army Colt of 1873...


And, yes, the receipt is very likely one he got when he did a registration with the post MP's. Keep it all together, just because it's interesting.


Enjoy it!


Willie

.
Willie Sutton is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 12:11 PM   #11
2ndsojourn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 727
Nice condition, especially for being stored in an attic for an untold number of years.
2ndsojourn is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 01:03 PM   #12
jdthomas
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2013
Posts: 5
I have a feeling it wasn't fired all that much, but yeah, it's been stored away in a leather pouch, inside a foot locker for at least 40 years. Three loose rounds also inside the pouch!
jdthomas is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 05:38 PM   #13
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,986
JD, FYI...your pistol is the first model Single Six which does not have a transfer bar safety (not having the transfer bar is a GOOD thing - the trigger is better). This means, however, that should it be dropped, the hammer could possibly strike the firing pin, which could strike the primer of any cartridge in the firing position.

Ruger will, free of charge, add a transfer bar safety to that revolver if you send it to them - however, that will reduce the value of the revolver. My suggestion to you would be to leave the pistol alone and always keep the pistol with the hammer down on an empty chamber.
csmsss is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 06:12 PM   #14
jdthomas
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2013
Posts: 5
Yep, I am aware of that csmsss, but very good of you to point that out. I don't plan on having the transfer bar installed. I do plan on being extra conscious about it and safe, however! Thanks!
jdthomas is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 06:18 PM   #15
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,986
No problem. Enjoy your find!
csmsss is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 09:51 PM   #16
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
NCIS.gov...

You may want to contact the NCIS or maybe the US Navy JAG(Judge Advocate General) office of the closest US Navy or USMC installation near you.

They may just tell you to keep it.

CF
www.ncis.navy.mil
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 11:33 PM   #17
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,986
Quote:
You may want to contact the NCIS or maybe the US Navy JAG(Judge Advocate General) office of the closest US Navy or USMC installation near you.
Why on earth would he want to do that? There's no reason to think this was ever U.S. Govt. property.
csmsss is offline  
Old April 10, 2013, 11:59 PM   #18
jdthomas
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2013
Posts: 5
The previous respondants helped me realize that I was mistaken in my original thinking. The Ruger Single Six was never a military-issue service weapon, and this was apparently a private purchase that my grandfather made and then registered with the MPs at Lejeune.
jdthomas is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 01:42 PM   #19
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
LOGSEC...

What many civilians do not understand or may not be aware of is what the DoD/military calls; LOGSEC, or logistics security.
When I was on active duty in the early 1990s, I read a article about how the Army's CIDC(criminal investigations command) tracked down a HMMWV or "hummer" that was sent back & forth in military shipments by mistake.

The US military "loses" stuff all the time. Investigators are trained to recover missing items.

CF
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 02:04 PM   #20
Vanya
Staff
 
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 4,028
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClydeFrog
The US military "loses" stuff all the time. Investigators are trained to recover missing items.
Without a doubt, but that's not relevant here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdthomas
The Ruger Single Six was never a military-issue service weapon, and this was apparently a private purchase that my grandfather made and then registered with the MPs at Lejeune.
The military cannot have "lost" something that was never theirs in the first place.
__________________
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)
Vanya is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 10:20 AM   #21
+1k ammo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2013
Posts: 191
Right it was never the militaries. Even if it was, they have better things to do than track down old revolvers. Maybe if they lost a HUMVEE, but not an old pistol.

Also, if your grandfather passed, then there is no real paperwork as it is now transferred to sons/daughters by inheritance. I looked it up here in MIchigan and Illinois cause my Dad was worried about his collection when he was going into the hospital. He thought since all his guns were not registered after he moved they would be taken away. But it does not matter, if he had died (he is fine now btw) the guns would be transferred to Mom first, and then to us kids as per his will.

So even skipping a generation, the gun is yours as heir of your grandfather.
+1k ammo is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 10:26 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Since the legal question is resolved, I'm moving this to the revolver forum for continued discussion of the firearm itself....
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 09:35 PM   #23
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,979
"It's a Ruger Single Six."

So much for all the posts about military weapons, past and present. Just goes to show that speculation and guesswork without adequate information can be a big waste of time.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 09:47 PM   #24
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,167
In the 1966 edition of W.H.B. Smith's Small Arms of the World he describes the S&W Combat Masterpiece as "a favorite among Marines in Korea" and I read a story in one of the gun magazines years ago about a Marine captain using his against the Reds. Naval aviators in WWII carried the S&W M&P Victory Model.

Last edited by SIGSHR; April 13, 2013 at 03:19 PM.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 04:18 AM   #25
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
True story...

When I was on active duty during Operation: Desert Shield & later Desert Storm, I saw a Stars & Stripes photo of a combat fighter pilot(unknown if he was Navy or USMC) on the flight deck of a aircraft carrier near Iraq.
The pilot wore a full flight suit with SERE(escape & evasion)vest & slung low on his hip in a leather holster was a big Colt 6" barrel .357magnum revolver, .

I doubt the 6 shooter was milspec but he looked ready to handle any bad guys if he was shot down in SW Asia.

CF
ClydeFrog is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12525 seconds with 8 queries