View Full Version : Is there a way to run a pistols serial number?

July 13, 2010, 04:43 PM
hey everyone, I have a buddy who is hurtin for cash in this economy and has decided to sell his springfield 1911 loaded. the only problem is, is that the last number of the serial number is illegible. he wants 200 for it but want to know if I would have any problems down the road with the number in this condition. thanks in advance.

July 13, 2010, 08:25 PM
all these people reading this and no one knows?

July 13, 2010, 08:41 PM
Far as I know, only the law can run the serial number on a pistol. And they'd have a hard enough time doing that if the last number is illegible.

In your shoes, I'd buy the pistol and make sure I get and keep a dated bill of sale. CYA is always the best policy.

July 13, 2010, 08:45 PM
There are too many "what ifs". Does your state require paperwork to be submitted for face-to-face sales between individuals? Are you required to register handguns? Basically, is there any scenario you can think of where you'd need to provide the serial number to someone in authority?

Also, why is the serial number illegible? Is it simple wear, or does it look like it's been defaced?

Regardless, $200 for a Springfield "Loaded" model is a screaming deal. Unless I had a bad feeling about my "buddy" or the origins of the gun, I'd jump all over it.

July 13, 2010, 08:50 PM
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!!
A Springfield 1911 loaded for $200. Geez..

Direct from the GCA:

ยง 922 Unlawful acts.

(k) It shall be unlawful for any person
knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in
interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm
which has had the importer's or
manufacturer's serial number removed,
obliterated, or altered, or to possess or
receive any firearm which has had the
importer's or manufacturer's serial number
removed, obliterated, or altered and has,
at any time, been shipped or transported
in interstate or foreign commerce.

July 13, 2010, 08:56 PM
The question is, does "obliterated" include an illegible serial number as the result of a weak imprinting at the factory and/or normal wear and tear? Or does it imply an intentional act, like "removed" or "altered"?

July 13, 2010, 09:59 PM
no the last number is effected by rust. the pistol had a light rust scale on it. I have since got it off but I am hesitant to start messing with the rust in the serial. they guy is an honest person I was just wondering if there was anyway to check and see the pistols past since he was the second owner. Also for resale value down the line.

July 13, 2010, 10:01 PM
If your buddy does not have any paperwork on when he bought it, I would pass. This deal is too good to be true. Even if there is a paper trail, I would need to verify that it was a legitimate purchase originally.

July 13, 2010, 10:16 PM
I would contact Springfield(1.800.680.6866) with the serial number and explain your situation. They could/might look up the ten 1911s that would be this one and maybe narrow down to one that was shipped to the area your friend bought it from.
It's a long shot, but might work. If you can get close to what the last digit of the SN might, that whould help them.
I have always found their customer service to be great...

July 13, 2010, 11:43 PM
I would give him a deposit and ask him to send it to springfield to have the serial number re-stamped. They should be able to read the number and re-stamp/re-engrave over it.

If they can't fix it, find out what they charge for a new frame; might still be a good deal.

July 13, 2010, 11:44 PM
thanks n7qvu. I will give them a call tomorrow. and I have it narrowed down to either a 2 or a 9 the way the font is it could be either or. thanks again for the help.

Bill DeShivs
July 14, 2010, 01:23 AM
You can remove the rust in the number with a toothpick. Unless it is completely pitted, the number should be easily seen.

July 14, 2010, 06:25 AM
buy the gun!!