History of Serial Numbers and Firearms


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Sven
July 3, 2003, 02:06 AM
When, where, how and why did they start putting serial numbers on guns?

From one perspective, it seems this would be the true beginnings of registration - making things unique and trackable. Of course, there are many reasons to have serial numbers on guns... but my hammer doesn't have a serial number.

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rick_reno
July 3, 2003, 02:23 AM
The serialization of firearms was only required AFTER the Gun Control Act of 1968 and only applies to those arms made after the date of its passage. Prior to 1968, arms were serially numbered by manufactures as a method of internal control, and in the 19th century often as a measure to ensure that non-interchangeable guns would properly reassemble.Since the Gun Control Act of 1968, all guns manufactured in or imported into the United States must have serial numbers, and markings indicated the identity of the manufacturer and place of manufacture.

Mike Irwin
July 3, 2003, 12:56 PM
I've seen guns made as early as the middle 1700s with serial numbers, usually from high end manufacturers.

In that sense they were probably functioning to "register" the gun to the high class owner, and weren't meant to keep track of numbers produced.

vmi93
July 3, 2003, 02:28 PM
I remember reading somewhere that there was a brief (2-3 years) period after GCA '68 when shotguns and rimfire rifles did not have to be serial numbered.

Can anyone provide more detail?

Sven
July 3, 2003, 10:05 PM
Rick,

Thanks for the excellent information.

I noticed that my Valtro has a serial numbers stamped on the bottom of the slide... similarly, the Glock has strange marks on the inner slide, as well. The location of these marks leads me to believe they are intentionally placed on these spots to prevent folks from easily scratching them off.

In other words: I bet Glock could ID my frame and slide, even if a crook stole my gun and removed the 'obvious' serial numbers. I wonder if those other marks are unique IDs, or what.... or even if that info is public.

Kaylee
July 4, 2003, 04:44 PM
Sven.. I rather suspect those parts are more to help in hand-fitting slide to frame in assembly batches, rather than some kinda duplicate registration scheme.


.. at least in the case of your Valtro.. no ideer on the Glock.

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