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W D King
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February 16, 2023 - 11:38 pm
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I inherited a Winchester model 1892 rifle that my grandfather owned in the early 1900’s. When I showed it to a gun dealer to get and estimate of its value he pointed out that the serial number had been ground off (devaluing the gun).  My question: is there any way to determine the original serial number from any internal parts? Or, if not is there any way I can get a “re-issued” serial number?  I’m not sure if a gun forensics expert could bring the number back into view with chemicals?  Just grabbing at straws here.  What would you recommend?  Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you,r Wm. King

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February 17, 2023 - 7:26 am
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If the serial number was ground off, you are unfortunately out of luck in recovering it. Winchester did not serial number any internal parts, or anything other than the receiver frame. The dealer you showed it to is correct in that it very significantly devalued the gun… permanently I will add.

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February 17, 2023 - 3:14 pm
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W D King said
 I’m not sure if a gun forensics expert could bring the number back into view with chemicals?

  

There is a method of doing that employed by the FBI, using acid, x-ray, etc.  Possibly the H. P. White ballistic lab could also do it, but they recently ceased operation!  If you could find some way to have it x-rayed, I think it would be worth a try; nothing to loose but the cost of the x-ray.

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February 18, 2023 - 6:28 am
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Technically the mere possession of a firearm which has had the serial number obliterated is a crime. It would be completely legal if the non NFA gun had been made poor to the GCA of 1968 and never had a serial number. And it was not illegal to possess a non NFA gun with the serial number obliterated until the GCA of 68. Legal one day, illegal the next. 

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 “There is but one answer to be made to the dynamite bomb and that can best be made by the Winchester rifle.”

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February 18, 2023 - 2:06 pm
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Vince said Legal one day, illegal the next. 
  

As gun owners in Australia & New Zealand found out when they were required under threat of heavy penalties to surrender semi-autos for destruction.  The Canadian gov’t aspires to do the same.

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February 18, 2023 - 10:01 pm
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 When you stamp steel with a die it moves metal below the surface. If you then grind off the imprint without going to deep there is an acid that can be applied to the surface and the numbers will appear. You have to remove any finish in the area but no other damage is done. People in the restoration business tend to weld or build up the area that has been ground to return the original contour and that makes it impossible to pull the serial numbers The welding scrambles the grain. T/R

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