RepackboxLee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters SupplyInline Fabrication
RotoMetals2ADvertise hereTitan ReloadingReloading UK

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: antique Colt - no serial numbers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    2,070

    antique Colt - no serial numbers

    I looked at an 1862 Colt Police .36 today. The price was very low for the quality of the revolver. There were no serial numbers on the gun, at all, anywhere. The salesman said it might have been a "Confederate captured gun" and they removed the serial numbers so if they got caught with it by a Union soldier...bla bla bla.
    I know it's an antique, and under federal law it's not even a gun, but those missing numbers made me walk away.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    oklahoma
    Posts
    1,948
    Lots of firearms prior to 68 didn't have serial numbers. I don't believe there was a federal requirement until then.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    4,372
    Quote Originally Posted by BK7saum View Post
    Lots of firearms prior to 68 didn't have serial numbers. I don't believe there was a federal requirement until then.
    Not sure about that one, but----
    I think required serial numbers goes back farther than GCA '68.

    I'd read in a old 'Rifleman' about some wire frame looking .22 single shot from the early 1900s that was so cheap,
    they went out of production when the serial number requirement became law.
    The cost of serializing them, and keeping the records more than doubled their cost.

    Off and on, there has been special runs of guns that weren't serialized.
    Not counting the single shot Liberty pistols of WWII-
    The govt. has bought some small Colt .38s for the CIA and other military orientated covert things in the not too distant past.

    In modern times, I'd think that would make them even more traceable than if it had a serial number on it,
    and was obviously ground off.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Butler, MO
    Posts
    7,514
    More likely it was a copy, and never stamped than having the serial numbers all removed. Unless you saw file marks.

  5. #5
    Moderator



    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    8,425
    I know that Colt at least serial numbered their handguns as far back as 1873, since I handled SAA #2 at the Great Western Gun Show at the Pomona Fairgrounds about 1985 or so, just before it went up for auction. A guy I worked with was a Colt collector and was working the booth at the show.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    7,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    More likely it was a copy, and never stamped than having the serial numbers all removed. Unless you saw file marks.
    /\ This /\

    And serial numbers were not required on firearms made in the U.S. or imported into the U.S. prior to the 1968 GCA. Many companies did stamp serial numbers on their products but it wasn't federal law.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,950
    To the best of my knowledge Colt always number their guns.

    http://www.american-firearms.com/ame...Colt-1848.html

    Serial numbers where not required until 1968

    https://www.pennlago.com/are-firearm...2022%2C%201968.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    580
    I recently bought a pristine Model 24 Savage .22LR / .410 that was never serialized from an FFL gun store, perfectly legal.
    That kid's guns is a lot newer than the Colt you passed up though ignorance.
    A lot of older guns were never serialized as nobody thought twice about it, they were just viewed as the tools they are.

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    7,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    .....
    I know it's an antique, and under federal law it's not even a gun, but those missing numbers made me walk away.

    You were wise to walk away. Because it's likely a fake.

    And it IS a gun, it's just not a firearm that falls within the scope of the 1968 Gun Control Act. There's a very real legal distinction.

    A device original designed and intended to expel a projectile by explosive means is a FIREARM by the definition of most state codes. So just because it is a pre 1899 gun doesn't mean it isn't a GUN.

    A convicted felon that knowingly and intentionally possesses a firearm might* escape prosecution under federal law but could still be prosecuted under some state law that prohibits felons from possessing firearms.

    * There are numerous federal codes that do not rely upon the definitions set forth in the 1968 GCA, so even that's no guarantee. For example, a violation of the 1934 National Firearms Act would not require the government to show a machine gun was made after 1898.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Orange, VA NOW
    Posts
    5,172
    Even the Colt Patersons were serial numbered. Colt 1862 police were certainly serialized.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    2,070
    I collect antique cap and ball revolvers - Colt, Remington, Bacon, Warner, etc. Every one has a serial number. I haven't been to this store in a long time and, as I remember, they had a cap and ball revolver that I looked at, and it didn't have a serial number. I'm not sure, but I think it's the same one. At that time, I contacted James Julia auction house in Maine and they said they would have nothing to do with an unnumbered antique gun. There's stories of "lunchbox specials" where factory workers smuggled parts out to make guns at home (didn't Johnny Cash make a Cadillac that way?). Those guns usually weren't numbered. The store also had an 1849 Colt .31 with at least four different serial numbers - a true parts gun.
    I didn't pass on the Colt out of ignorance, but caution. I could buy the gun tomorrow - the problem will be if and when I try to sell it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,950
    What are they asking for it?
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    2,070
    The unnumbered Colt - $600. The more I think about it, the more I think it is the one from about ten years ago.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,950
    That puts it in the shooter category.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    2,070
    It's a shooter but I think that if it had the serial numbers, it'd be more like $1500 (unless it is a fake). If it is the one from 10 years ago, no one wants to buy it. They had the 1849 .31 with four serial numbers for $400 (really rough shape - a project gun), and a pristine, numbered 1849 .31 for $2500.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check