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Have recently acquired an older OP 38 but can not id as the serial number is not where I expect it to be. Can anyone help? See attached pics. HPIM3175.jpg HPIM3176.jpg HPIM3168.jpg HPIM3166.jpg
 

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The serial number should be on the frame and cylinder yoke: picture #4. If it isn't there then you may or may not have an issue.
 

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The only thing showing is the letter "L" which I beleive is NOT part of the serial number.

Not sure how to value the gun w/o the mfg date
 

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Please explain. I know the previous owner(deceased) and know it was not stolen or used in a crime. Before that I have no idea.
Is the gun not saleable w/o a serial number?
 

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Please explain. I know the previous owner(deceased) and know it was not stolen or used in a crime. Before that I have no idea.
Is the gun not saleable w/o a serial number?
Colt did not make Official Police revolvers without serial numbers and IF your revolver is missing the serial number it means it was removed which makes it an illegal weapon. I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV but one can jump through some legal ATF (I think) hoops and have a serial number assigned though I'm not certain how that works with a revolver that had it's assigned number removed.
 

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Essentially true - unless the revolver never had a SN to begin with. Then it's OK. If it did have a SN (as is very likely with your OP), and it has been removed or defaced, it is illegal to own. There is a way BATFE can assign a new SN, but you probably don't want to go there - definitely not worth the risk and hassle. Any signs of grinding or filing?
 

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The ser no location looks like it had been reblued possibly and it looks like it had been ground. You had the same suggestion as Dwalt. Most likely a bigger hassle then needed. Maybe I will sell it by the part.
 

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I had a friend offer me a Colt to buy. The gun came from a deceased person's estate, and I knew the deceased very well. When I examined the gun I discovered that the serial number had been removed. No one else had noticed this before. Where the deceased person got the gun from no one knows. I had to pass on a nice little Colt because it was a "defaced" firearm.

There is no evidence of a serial number inside the crane at all? Can you see any sort of markings where the serial number should be? If it was reblued I can not see any smith removing the serial number. If the serial number was ground off and then the gun was refinished. I would have to think that it was done on purpose, which opens up a whole new can of worms.
 

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Completly disassemble the firerarm, cut and discard the frame, sell the rest of the parts as a lot on GunBroker. The serial numbers have been purposely removed, even being in possesion of that firearm is taking a big risk.
 

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Can you post some good close-ups of the inside Crane Knuckle area?


A 'Lunch Box Special' may have left the Factory without a Serial Number...


Having only an "L" would be a mite odd...but, I do not know if inspector's Marks were placed before, or, after the Serial Number was stamped in...so...others more familiar would have to say on that.
 

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IIRC, the Official Police has the serial number underneath the side plate also. Carefully, remove it and look underneath or have your gunsmith do it if you are not comfortable taking it off.
According to a friend of mine @ the ATF,if the number is there,you are OK. State law ,however, may take a dim view of the fact that any of the original serial numbers were removed. It is two different crimes.

This identical scenario came up about two weeks ago when another friend of mine inherited his grandfather's Police Positive and I researched it for him.

Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry for the delay in posting. Did not see that there was a second page.

I will try to get under the side place to see. May have a gunsmith do it as I am not that familiar.
 

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Or, you could just keep it and shoot it. If the history is as you say,sounds like you are innocent of any wrong doing. Any used gun that ANYone has (serial number or not) ,could have been used at some point in the past to kill someone or rob someone,or it could have been stolen. Anyone who has a used gun simply does not know whether it was stolen or used in some illegal manner unless they absolutely knowthe entire history of the gun.
BUT if the law says you cannot have a gun with its serial number rubbed off then you are breaking the law by having it i suppose.
I wonder how many people have been at a shooting range and had police come up and say "Hey I want to see if your gun has a serial number" -acually I wonder if it has ever happened to anyone here.
Now if a cop looks at you and gets the impression you might be a criminal then maybe when you are target practicing he will come over and say "let me see that serialnumber"

I think the odds are pretty slim that someone is going to stop you to look at your gun's serial number.I dont think it would be a good idea to carry it concealed all over the place however.
I guess the bottom line is if it is in fact illegal to even have it without any serial number, even though you wold probably never have a problem, maybe its best to just to use it for parts .

You could also turn it in to police and give them all the history you can on it and see if they can link it to a robbery or some crime -maybe you have the murder weapon they have been looking for for decades on a particular case. Maybe they have some bullets from the crime which the rifling marks would match your gun - who knows.
Amyway good luckwith your decision.
 

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About a year ago I purchased a New Army on the spur of the moment only to discover it was missing the serial number on the bottom of grip strap. It was obvious to have been ground off. She was a beauty and had been sent to arsenal at some point and reworked. The wise members on the forum suggested taking it back to seller which I did. He was none to happy to admit the serial number had been removed and actually never did. He had a Colt 1991a1 for sale and he swapped me plus I had to put out addl. cash. I did not want it in my collection. Perhaps if you purchased it, the seller would take it back under the circumstances.
 

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Regardless of whether you were the one who removed the frame's serial or not, POSSESSION of a firearm with an altered, defaced, or removed serial is a crime.
I've not looked inside my OP, but if that internal serial is there, it has to be on the frame, not the sideplate.
Denis
 
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