Early 1911 without serial number, just name of my grandfather

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Robert Barth, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Robert Barth

    Robert Barth New Member

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    My grandfather was one of the early american army regulars to go to the Phillipines and help organize the scouts. In later years he became Provist Marshall of Manila. I have his early 1911, it has no serial number, has the property of U.S. Army stamp, but where the serial number should be, it just has his name stamped. Looking for any info on this weapon or others like it.
    Thanks
    R. Barth
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but you are not going to like what I have to post. All issue (and non issue ) 1911's left the factory with a serial number. The serial number on your grandfathers pistol has been removed. Your gun is now illegal, and has been from the day the serial number was removed. The way the law reads, since you are now the owner, it is assumed that you are the one who removed the serial number, in other words you are guilty until proven innocent.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  3. ignats

    ignats Member

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    Sadly, many nice old M1911 and A1 pistols had their serial numbers removed and or the USP ground off. It is illegal to possess a firearm that has had it's serial number removed or defaced. Don't let someone tell that if it was made prior to GCA 68 that it's okay, it isn't and as pointed out, just having it is a big problem. ATF will not renumber it either. They only do that when a gun you own is stolen, it's serial number removed and then it is recovered. In that case they will renumber it.
  4. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Drop gun? In an emergency, maybe.
  5. H-D

    H-D Active Member

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    I would order a frame from caspian with grampas name as the serial and reassemble it on there then have the oldframe cut in half
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    That is an excellent suggestion, all the parts but the frame can be used.
  7. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    Awesome idea - get it done and call it an heirloom.
  8. Robert Barth

    Robert Barth New Member

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    His name is already stamped where the serial number would go. It was obviously done at the base armory while serving in Manila, obviously may be a bit strong, I assume it was. Everything is perfect on the weapon, just his name stamped where the original serial number went. It was mentioned to ne that this took place sometimes when officers sent their guns in for a rebuild or repair, any further thoughts, can't just throw it down, I have the same name. Don't want to sell it or fire it for that matter, it's just all I have if his. Any more help out there?
    Thanks
    BB
  9. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Which state are you in ? Here in NY your 1911 would be illegal do not take it outside you get caught it will cost you a one year mandatory jail time:(.

    I have my Grandfathers WWI 1911 it has the serial number in tack he brought it home without papers but it was made legal in 2008 after a state and federal background check.
  10. yetiman

    yetiman New Member

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    Just a thought but the "caspian" frame is an excelent idea, you could obviously leave as is but why risk losing the whole thing? This is one of those instances where it would be nice to be able to use common sense but we are talking about the federal government.......
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The serial was most likely welded up and your grandfathers name stamped in its place. As the others have said it is illegal to own here. The replacement frame idea is a good one and your only real option if you want to keep it Legally.

    I dont condone it because it is illegal and will land you in federal prison, but you could always keep it secret and hope you never get caught with it. Problem is that if you ever pass it on to your future generations the problem will become theirs and one will eventually get caught with it and end up buried in federal prison. Is it worth it? Would your grandfather want that?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  12. larryh1108

    larryh1108 New Member

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    Is it possible, considering his duties, that the legal serial# is his name as stamped? Why not? If there is no evidence of the "old" serial# being removed why is it not possible that he was there when the gun was made and his name is the legal serial#? Just wondering.
  13. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    No, it is not possible, sorry about that.
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    And its easy to weld up a serial on a 1911 and machine the frame where you welded it. itll look likeit was never stamped so there wouldnt be any 'evidence' of tampering anyway.
  15. ignats

    ignats Member

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    No government armory would remove the serial number and put someone's name on it. That was U.S. PROPERTY and was issued to military personnel to be returned when that person was either transferred or discharged. Pistols were easy to conceal and many left with the person they were issued to. If the number was removed, it was done in a vain attempt to hide the fact it was stolen from the government. That frame is illegal. If you are caught with it, you will have some problems.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
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