April 15, 2005
Life (for a firearm) begins when a serial number is applied to the receiver.
I always get a great chuckle at such statements. I suppose all those firearms out there that don’t have serial numbers are lifeless dead things that never found a beginning. I truly wonder how many millions of firearms made without serial numbers magically evaporated after the 64 gun act just because the government said a firearm isn’t a firearm until it has a serial number.
It would be like someone telling my grandfather he was never born because he didn’t have a birth certificate. There is at least some 77,000 Model 99 Thumb Trigger model rifles, some 600,000 Model 1902s, some 100,000 Model 60 & 60-As, some 300,000 Model 69s, some 100,000 Model 72s, AND some 300,000 Model 1904s that weren’t serialized by the Winchester Factory.
First, it was the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968 that mandated serial numbers be applied to all firearms manufactured in, or imported to the United States.
Yes, there were millions of .22 caliber rifles manufactured before the GCA of 1968 without serial numbers, and fortunately they are all grandfathered under that same Act. Nobody on this forum is claiming or stating that they do not exist, or that they were not manufactured. However, proving a specific date of manufacture is nearly impossible for the vast majority of them, and as such, we are left with educated guesses.
Getting back to the topic at hand, which is the Winchester Models that were serialized, federal law clearly states that date of manufacture is the specific date that the serial number was applied to that “dead lifeless chunk” of bronze, steel, or aluminum. Whether you personally agree with it or not, it is the undeniable fact. I also realize and understand that this is a sore spot with a number of collectors out there, but I will reiterate this again… No information to the contrary will be supported on the WACA forums. My advise to all, is to abide by, and to adhere to the federal regulations until such time as they are changed.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member