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Is there any official way to have a serial number replaced on a defaced firearm?
Locust Fork Member Posts: 31,168 ✭✭✭✭
Lets just imagine.....a nice little vintage pistol with a defaced serial number. Is there any avenue to fix this situation? Is it just a total loss and rob all the sellable parts?
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How bad is it????Did you try acid, to bring the numbers back up???? Even if they are filed off, you should be able to bring them back up with acid. most are stamped pretty deep in the metal.
What kind of acid and where would you get that?
The ATF can assign a new serial number. I had this done maybe ten years ago on a Winchester model 94.
I can't find any info on where to start....do you have any links that will head me in some direction to get the ball rolling?
Unserialized guns are my favorite kind.
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain
WhT he said
You are not allowed to redo the old serial number, but as said above, the ATF can assign a new one.
Kasey, check with any jeweler. They can tell you where to get some acid. My dad use to get it from the jeweler next to his gun store. They use it to see if gold is fake or real. It should bring that number right up. I watched him do it a few times.
Was it 40 years older all of a sudden???😉
No but it was very very rare.
The metal is denser where it has been stamped. Acid eats the softer metal quicker. I worked in a lab and we used concentrated nitric acid to bring out the dates on many nickels. I have no idea where you could buy the acid. Nitric and sulfuric mixed is called aqua regia and it is the only thing that will etch gold.
I've never had a serial number restamped but I do know at one time the ATF had a procedure in place to handle such situations. This was about 5-10 years ago when I was involved in a discussion about the subject with people who I considered knowledgeable and credible. However, I am at a loss to find the information now at the ATF website. Either my search skills are lacking or they no longer offer replacing an obliterated serial number and removed the information from their website. As some evidence of my recollections, note the serial number on the Sig below. Though a bit difficult to see, the new number starts with ATF.
If memory serves, I called the local ATF office and they explained what to do.
The first thing that would happen if I call the ATF and ask them about a gun I had with no serial number they would want to know who did it? And how did I come in possession of it? That would start the snowball rolling down the hill. I can only see bad things happening when calling the ATF.
Fellow asked me years ago to look ata revolver for him that the was thinking about buying.
When I saw that the serial number was missing I said "run forrest run",
Any guns I have that have never had numbers I stamp with an ID number of my choosing, usually my initials and a 3 digit number starting with 001. It doesn't add to the value but it makes it easier to identify.
This one is a Mauser HSc.....its in fantastic shape, in a holster with two mags. I just hate to tear it down being in such fantastic condition. It has a swatch of bare metal where the serial number is supposed to be....on the bottom, front area of the grip. The are is not ground down or rough in texture, so MAYBE I can try the acid ordeal. I will run by a pawn shop and put some of the acid they have on it to see if that works. If not, I'll go the ATF route and get the ball rolling to get a new number on it.
Pull the slide off and check to see if the slide or barrel is S/N to the frame.
At one time, it was OK to re-stamp the gun's original number.
If you were going to polish, engrave, or otherwise modify the gun so that the original serial number would be damaged or obliterated, you would stamp that number in a location where it would not be molested, and the proceed at will.
I don't know whether that is still allowed.
I watched an auto theft cop raise the VIN on a motorcycle frame. Car battery with a wire connected from positive pole to an alligator clip with a bit of cotton in its teeth, dipped in sulfuric acid. The negative pole was connected to the frame. He rubbed the acid soaked cotton over the neck of the frame, and the number came up. It would probably work the same with a gun.
I was informed at one time by a ATF agent that if the numbers were raised then it was ok to restamp them. Now with the stolen gun check system being in place it would be easy to see if the firearm was stole. If not then it could be put back into action.