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Navy issued S&W M39 - Legal or not?

nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,767 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2019 in Ask the Experts
I see this item advertised here:

The seller claims that it was bought & issued by the Navy in 1967, during the Viet Nam War. He has posted photos of a lot of paperwork, including a letter from Smith & Wesson, but I can't read much of it due to lack of resolution. What I don't see, is some documentation that proves that this gun was sold/transferred by the US Government.

I can still hear my NCO's telling me, "the FBI investigates the theft of government property". After the Korean War, very few firearms were sold by the government other than DCM or CMP sales, or General Officer pistols. Can anyone here see documentation of a legal sale in the GB listing? I would hate to think that this public exposure would lead to a visit by the fellas with the bulges in the cheap suits.



  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    No clue but that looks like a new pistol. I take good care of my stuff but still that one looks perfect.

    Maybe the Capt bought it himself. As a officer in the military I think back then they could sell it directly to him.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A dealer could contact the navy prior to selling a gun with such province to see if it's carried on the rolls as missing or stolen or lost in action...

    Or if it had been officially disposed of and sold to an officer.

    I have had JAG and military police and provosts / IG folk in the gunshop along with state and local police and batfe over handguns stolen from the service...

    An active duty officer whom was a gunshop regular bought a 92f from another dealer - turned out to be one of many stolen - several of which has been purchased by active duty service people through dealers...

    I can 100% guarantee that any dealer in the game long enough has handled the sale of a firearm stolen from the military - or private parties - and nothing happened

    I believe president Bush brought home a pistol from the service having reported it lost when his plane was shot down in combat in the pacific - an officer on the submarine that picked him up suggesting he declare it lost in action - he returned the gun and no charges appeared

    One assumes a statue of limitations - but that may be no comfort in federal lock up.

    I 100% guarantee many folk here own a stolen gun and have no idea - went through a NICS check and legally purchased it from a dealer or individual.

    These facts will not be popular or sit well with some - but cannot be disputed.

    Perhaps Mark Christian can clarify my poor response attempt.

  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Apropos to the matter at hand...

    I sent a half dozen former US military arms to locust fork for sale - every single one with paper trail documented original proof of purchases

    DCM & CMP and one gun an uncle bought direct from the government.

    The auction in question purportedly has impeccable ephemera and paperwork - if so we're is the receipt from the organization that sole it???

    Many guns are sold especially after a death or inherited or in an estate sale were all paperwork is lost or missing - but he seems to have everything but the one piece that might be considered a red flag on such an item.

    Please note I am not knocking the seller or the auction side or the forums or mods or admin - I am giving my opinion and advice for what it's worth.

  • Henry0ReillyHenry0Reilly Member Posts: 10,821 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    In photo 27, the Navy Supply record, the serial number sure looks like it reads 6B829 rather than 68829

    I wrote to the seller to ask if he can prove Captain Wells legally kept the pistol.

    Seller's reply:
    Thanks for the question. I don?t know how he was able to keep it. I have the letter from SW showing it was sent to Coronado and I have the issue papers showing it was issued to the Captain in 1967.
    I used to recruit for the NRA until they sold us down the river (again!) in Heller v. DC. See my auctions (if any) under username henryreilly
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