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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:16 AM
HarryT HarryT is offline
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A legal 1911A1 with no serial number?




Page 44 of the February 2013 American Rifleman

Speaking of a 1911A1 used by "Red Mike" Edson USMC in Nicaragua.
"Research is ongoing to discover why Edson's pistol was manufactured without a seria number."

Maybe there's hope for some of the 1911 types that have no serial number.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:50 AM
notenuf1911's notenuf1911's is offline
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I do not receive that publication could you provide some more specifics? Who manufactured that pistol or was it a composit of non GI parts? Some of these guys liked to "make" their own pistol from various sources and mayve he go ahold of a do it yourself frame?
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:13 AM
HarryT HarryT is offline
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Not much said about the pistol. Just a right side view. It looks like there is the United States Property mark on it. I doubt it was his personal sidearm since Red Mike was an officer at the time.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:45 AM
Martensite Martensite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Maybe there's hope for some of the 1911 types that have no serial number.
Highly doubtful. The law is the law. Everyone crook/criminal would then be removing serial numbers off of vintage stolen firearms claiming they were manufactured without one. Not a good scenario.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:35 PM
HarryT HarryT is offline
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The only reason I brought it up is because its an NRA publication that states the pistol was manufactured with no serial number not that the number was removed. (I also think its unbelievable)

PS: The pistol looks like a 1911 (long trigger, flat main spring housing, but with transition grips, shallow scallops, and long grip safety).
I was hoping one of our experts had a look at this pistol.
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:34 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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I just got the Feb AR today and went straight to the article.
You get a small dull picture at a bad angle and a photo caption.
This board would call for more and better pictures before even discussing such a hypothesis.
Also feel free to speculate about the full checkered grips and bobbed hammer spur.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:47 PM
Raptor05121 Raptor05121 is offline
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Maybe it was a prototype or just testing the cut on new machines/tools
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:29 PM
HarryT HarryT is offline
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Major General Edson was a captain in Nicararua (1928-29). According to Wikipedia he was on the Marine Corps rifle and pistol team since 1921. So it could be his target gun (modified to suit his taste).
As stated, it would be good if the NRA would publish more about the gun.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:35 PM
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I wouldn't bet money that the author knew what he was talking about. A 1911 without a serial number is still bad mojo unless it comes with proper documentation explaining why.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:48 PM
The Wizard The Wizard is offline
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Just remember serial numbers were not required until 1968. M1911's were not made after what 1927 and M1911A1's were not made after 1945.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:56 PM
230slugster 230slugster is offline
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what about custom 1911s with custom serial numbers?? can you order a custom 1911 with no marks on it at all?
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:16 PM
oldcanuck oldcanuck is offline
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Personally I think the NRA is a bad example for what is correct and what is not. If you take a look at what the NRA has placed in their National Museum, you will soon learn someone up there knows very little about military 1911s.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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I think serial numbers were required on handguns as of NFA 1934 although not for rifles and shotguns until GCA 1968.

But Colt has routinely put a serial number on their guns as a matter of company policy since 1836.

I would take a lot of persuading that they would turn out a standard model pistol without number in the 20th century.

I can easily visualize ol' Red carrying a gun pilfered from service in WW I and neatly de-numbered by a nervous troop.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post
Just remember serial numbers were not required until 1968. M1911's were not made after what 1927 and M1911A1's were not made after 1945.
US military-issue ones were still all serial numbered, as were Colt's commercial models. The only non-numbered pistols I am aware of are the replacement pistols Colt kept on hand before WW1 as well as various prototype/demonstration pistols.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:21 PM
Also Don P Also Don P is offline
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A lunchbox gun (at least frame) maybe?
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Originally Posted by 230slugster View Post
what about custom 1911s with custom serial numbers?? can you order a custom 1911 with no marks on it at all?
Not a chance. BATF requires a S/N & registry before the build is finished. A custom builder can give you nearly any no. you want, ( How cool would " 230slugster1 " be? ) but it HAS to have a number.

Last edited by Also Don P; 01-25-2013 at 09:28 PM.
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:23 PM
Blacksmith Blacksmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post
Just remember serial numbers were not required until 1968. M1911's were not made after what 1927 and M1911A1's were not made after 1945.
Yes, but also remember that the GCA of '68 stipulated that a firearm originally made with a SN needed to retain it. So, just because a gun was made prior to 1968 does not mean the SN is optional. It's still a felony to remove, alter, or obliterate a SN on a 1918 1911.
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:18 AM
RFC1911 RFC1911 is offline
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Author of article was curator of the USMC Museum at Quantico back in the day. End of the article says it was prepared with the assistance of the current USMC Museum folks.

Not all guns in the magazine come into NRA HQ for review by NRA Museum staff. But if you look on page 24 of that same magazine - you'll see the Singer they received as a donation.

rfc1911
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:57 AM
DPris DPris is offline
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There do exist period 1911s with no markings whatever. And no signs they ever had any.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2013, 08:52 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Yes, but were they issued to active duty US military?
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:26 PM
Caferacer Caferacer is offline
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even today it is perfectly legal to make a pistol or rifle without a serial number,
as long as YOU make it for YOURSELF, and not for sale
licensed manufacturers, are required to put a serial number on every gun they sell
if you make something yourself, for your own use, and don't try and sell it, you are not considered a manufacturer, and are not required to put a serial number on it,
this is from the ATF web site
"For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, an unlicensed individual may make a “firearm” as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution."
they suggest you give it a serial number, but do not require one
"Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR 478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future."
here is a link to the ATF page http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/fire...echnology.html
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Last edited by Caferacer; 01-26-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:34 PM
DPris DPris is offline
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No idea if they were ever issued or not.
I've seen one, but without numbers or markings there's obviously no way to tell the history.
Denis
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  #22  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:25 PM
fisty fisty is offline
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At the Winston Salem Gun Show two weeks ago, I saw a 1911 that for all I could see was a true working gun but the barrel was plugged about half way down. Every thing else looked to be in good working order. But it had no SN#. The frame was solid with all parts but just no SN. The asking price was 2200
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  #23  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:42 PM
DPris DPris is offline
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I've also seen one of the elusive Winchester double-action revolvers in person.
Hard to say "never happened" in the gun world.
Denis
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  #24  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:59 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Well, yes, but after production of two million+ properly serial numbered 1911s and 1911A1s, not to mention many GMs, I am going to require a lot of showing that one was intentionally issued or sold without number.
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  #25  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:29 PM
DPris DPris is offline
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Jim,
The one I've seen appears to have RR characteristics, but no brand, inspection, or serial markings anywhere on it.
In its owner's limited research, others also exist.
There are other "hits" that'll come up if you Giggle the subject of RRs without serials.

We have no idea what its history is, but we've both examined it very closely & it shows no signs of surface irregularities that'd indicate it was sterilized.
Short of subjecting it to a literal acid test, which its owner has no desire to do, there's no easy way of testing the "alteration" theory any further.

You're welcome to doubt or believe as you choose, but I have no need to fabricate such a story, and as I said- we've both looked it over very carefully.
It was obtained at a police auction some years ago.
Denis
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