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Is this gun possibly contraband and illegal to own or just illegal to transfer?

Is there a way to "register" this gun using it's current "serial number"? If so upon registration does it now become legal to own and later legal to transfer legally? Will this number be questioned upon registration?

I purchased a S&W M60 about 25 years ago. A few years later I received a call asking if I owned a 40 foot flatbed trailer. It seems that the M60 was registered using an assembly number. I provided the correct serial number and no harm no foul!

This is an example of an FFL error but no intent to deceive.

Smiles,
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Thank you for that note @Steve in Allentown. I too will get those fixed. Embarrassingly, I'd not noticed until you mentioned it. I'd like it to be as close to mint as I can have it, and fire-able. There's a great museum in Addison, the Cavanaugh Flight Museum where they not only display some great aircraft but keep them in flyable condition. Sometimes that means losing some of the 'mint' but worth it to see these historic birds in the air.

In practical modern terms, this is not a great pistol. Compared to say a Sig STX ... or even a bare bones Rock Island, this trigger is terrible. I don't know if that's just the way they were back then in which case, cool. Or if maybe over time it's got that bad in which case fixing it would simply be restoring. Thanks again for the note. I'll fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Thank you jjfitch. The only part I'm sure of is there is no intent to deceive on my end. Could it be a lunchbox gun or was a different serial number scrubbed off by a returning GI as it appears so many did ? What is that serial number RS 1100 in two places on the frame ? Had it over 30 years, never gave it a thought. I'd pull it out occasionally to show friends. Great conversation piece. Wasn't til yesterday, D-Day anniversary that I pulled it out thinking, holy makeral, those men were carrying one of these, that I thought to look at the serial number to get more information. Which in turn led me to post here.
 

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The only way the ATF gets any gun from me is from my cold dead fingers.
 
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Is there a way to "register" this gun using it's current "serial number"?
The requirement to register firearms depends on individual state law, doesn't it? Free states have no such requirement while commie states demand that everyone let the state know the serial number of every firearm they own.

@Al76040, I don't know your experience level with 1911s so forgive me if it sounds like I'm talking down to you. I only use Challis bushings these days but if your objective is to keep the pistol as close to original as possible, I recommend getting a package of four bushings from Brownells. If the grip screws are boogered, Brownells also offers a 4 pack of slotted grip screws. I used these parts to restore the 1911 I worked on. Also, Brownells sells a special bushing driver bit that will make removing and installing the bushings easier but the best tool for this job is made by Challis.

After you remove the other three bushings clean out the frame threads to remove all traces of grime and oil. Do the same to the threads on the new bushings. Alcohol or acetone on a Q-tip works for me. I put a small drop of red loctite on the new bushing threads then snug down the bushings in the frame using either of the tools above. Let the loctite dry overnight before you run the new grip screws into them.

FWIW, the trigger pull on the GI 1911 I restored was terrible. They were made that way on purpose. However, this one was especially bad because of wear on the sear and hammer. I was able to clean up the hammer but the sear was a lost cause so I ended up doing a trigger job using an EGW long sear. As I recall, I set the pull to a no creep, very crisp 4.5 lbs using a True Radius sear jig. Luckily, I didn't have to replace the thumb safety.
 

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The requirement to register firearms depends on individual state law, doesn't it? Free states have no such requirement while commie states demand that everyone let the state know the serial number of every firearm they own.
Sure, but state registration does nothing to make this gun legal at the federal level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
@Steve in Allentown ... I don't feel you're talking down to me at all. I've shot a lot, A LOT, but really other than field stripping to clean, haven't worked much more than that on any gun. So I appreciate your information and will do as you and other recommend here. Rather enjoying learning more about this 1911.

And I hear you BrokenGrunt. Just an old grandfatherly guy here trying to walk the middle path and avoid anyone shooting/raiding anyone else :)
 

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In the spirit of returning GI 1911s to serviceable condition I offer this.

It's not my intention to steal the thread but here are a couple of pics of the 1911 restoration I did a couple of months ago. The pistol looked like it had been left in a leather holster in a garage for thirty years. It was terribly pitted. I couldn't get a patch through the barrel without the patch catching and leaving bits of itself snagged on corrosion. I replaced the barrel with a Kart from my parts box.

Here's the most photogenic side of the barrel.



Here's the grip safety after I removed as much of the corrosion as I could using sandpaper.



Here's the pistol after I spent days sanding and draw filing it to remove as much pitting as I could without compromising the structural integrity of the parts. I replaced the slide stop, the trigger, and the mag catch with parts from my parts drawer. I put some old Pachmayr grips on it just to see what they looked like and stuck a Check-Mate mag in it for this glamour photo.



This is how it turned out. The old Marine it belongs to couldn't be happier and it shoots lights out. I should have taken a picture of the frame feed ramp. I honestly didn't think it would feed FMJ ammo. I worked and worked on that ramp, crossed my fingers, took it to the range for testing, and it fed my 200gr HG68 SWC handloads and factory FMJ like butter. I donated all the parts used in the project and asked for no compensation out of respect for the original owner's and the new owner's service to our country in a time of war. It's the least an old soldier could do for two even older veterans.
 

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It has "a" serial number, so if you intend to keep the gun, I wouldn't sweat it. Not everyone is an expert on how original serials were applied, font styles, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
@Steve in Allentown Oh that end result is perfect. You know, I've seen modern 1911's, new, Sigs I think, trying to attain that same look. Mine is no where near that bad I don't think. Ordered the bushings and Challis tool plus the springs.

@RickB - Thank you sir. Agreed.
 

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Is this gun possibly contraband and illegal to own or just illegal to transfer?

Is there a way to "register" this gun using it's current "serial number"? If so upon registration does it now become legal to own and later legal to transfer legally? Will this number be questioned upon registration?

I purchased a S&W M60 about 25 years ago. A few years later I received a call asking if I owned a 40 foot flatbed trailer. It seems that the M60 was registered using an assembly number. I provided the correct serial number and no harm no foul!

This is an example of an FFL error but no intent to deceive.

Smiles,
There is no actual federal (BATFE) registration. Some states require it. Some do not. If your state does , seek the help of a knowledgeable licensed dealer.
 

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Thank you everyone. Amazed by this forum. Wasn't expecting any reply and instead got a lot of useful information. I've learned for example that it is the frame that is the important bit.
  • I removed the grips and discovered that same serial number RS 1100 on the left side. Did not see any other marks but attaching pics in case you guys see something.
  • I'll be joining US Lawshield later today to get a legal opinion.
  • Beware cognitive bias. My wanting something to be true doesn't make it so. Like MG08 humorously and kindly put it, Ike's gun, (or Patton's, or Frank Merrill's). In my case, I simply want it to be safe to keep in my family. I would be a poor father if in the meager inheritance I leave my son, I gift him a prison sentence. And I'm sure the old warrior who gifted it me felt similar.
  • I tend to agree with those saying the ATF doesn't care about this old gun. Or at the very least aren't looking to imprison citizens for it. I've cop friends who are vilified these days as evil when I know they are most certainly not.
  • One of the questions I'll be asking Lawshield is if this gun qualifies as an antique (which might exempt it from any serial number requirement). Figure it's about 75 years old.
  • If I fire it, and I'd like to, as you've recommended I'll be replacing springs first, putting all original parts aside. (Thinking Wilson Combat guide rod spring kit with Shok Buf)
  • I spent the day wondering why that man gave it to me. I didn't know him long so I doubt he thought of me as a son. I can only think he knew I appreciated history and handed me something of his to take forward. If I'm remotely right in that assessment and I can keep as a museum piece then this gun will be in my family until the blaring of angelic trumpets. Not because it's worth money but because it's a tangible piece of incredible history an old warrior entrusted to me.
View attachment 611769 View attachment 611770 View attachment 611771 View attachment 611772 under the grip).
The pistol has a serial number. Whether it had a different one before is question that will probably never get correctly answered. Since you intend it as a family heirloom, don't worry about it ... More information may come to light later on, but for now don't sweat it - It would be incumbent on a prosecutor to prove that is not a "revenue service" SN and no one is going to bother with this. Own it enjoy it and shoot it. We will likely never know the entire story behind this interesting pistol.
 

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I just check the serial # with HotGunz stolen data base, and it came out clear, enjoy your gun
 

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Register with whom? If only we had a sticky with the ATF letter that addresses serial numbers....:cool:
You mean like this one?

 
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There are no assembler's marks on either side of the trigger guard, no sign (that I can see) of an FJA or other inspector stamp and no sign of an ordnance wheel. The finger relief cuts also look a little small. I don't believe it is a USGI frame.
 

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You mean like this one?

Actually, no, since it is buried but it's your forum so....
 

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Well I've lost count of the number of times I posted that letter in threads like this, and it repeatedly gets ignored or even dismissed entirely. I find it ironic that gun people will often say how ATF is Big Brother and watching us even as we sleep, yet at the same time will nonchalantly give out bad advice to other shooters as if violating gun laws is really no big deal.
 
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There is no actual federal (BATFE) registration. Some states require it. Some do not. If your state does , seek the help of a knowledgeable licensed dealer.
The M60 in my post was registered with the Ca State attorney's office in compliance with my department policy.

Smiles,
 
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