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Old 01-11-2017, 10:20 PM
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Default Serial number question; why the xxxs?

I note that several posts do not provide the full serial number for items they discuss. Why do some list serial numbers as xxx567 as it were a credit card number?
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:41 PM
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That's a good question. One reason may be that they feel it's private. Other people may do it just because they saw someone else do it.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:44 PM
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Revealing the full serial number of a pistol you own will lead to somebody seeing it on this forum reporting it stolen, you getting arrested, and them getting your pistol . . .
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:38 AM
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Revealing the full serial number of a pistol you own will lead to somebody seeing it on this forum reporting it stolen, you getting arrested, and them getting your pistol . . .
Really? When has that happened?
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:58 AM
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The internet is generally a den of thieves, so no point in offering opportunities.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
Revealing the full serial number of a pistol you own will lead to somebody seeing it on this forum reporting it stolen, you getting arrested, and them getting your pistol . . .
I reckon anything's possible.

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Old 01-12-2017, 01:17 AM
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It may just be an old wives tale, but if you look at gun for sale ads and some dealer catalogs going back almost 100 yrs., you will see the xxx effect when the serial number was mentioned and the explanation I heard was always that a crook could claim the gun was stolen from them, etc., resulting in problems for the current possessor in proving legal ownership. You had th same effect with surplus military firearms that legal owners removed the US stamp because it was known that law enforcers would confiscate US marked weapons they encountered on the theory they were stolen ( as some were, of course ). In the days past that I operated a gun store, more than once the sheriff showed up with a warrant to seize a gun I had purchased, or taken in trade, as it was listed on his stolen gun list. The store's video showed the seller and at least once the seller was the person who reported the gun stolen. Of course there weren't any xxxs on the paper work and sometimes the sheriff's warrant would have a matching serial number but not the correct make or type of the gun, so I didn't surrender the gun. Being a law abiding citizen, I recorded all purchases and sales with their full serial number, however I had the thought of adding a number with xxxs to .22 rifles I sold ( no serial number was required on them for many years ) just to see who was awake at the state DOJ and ATF were the records were kept! Ed.

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Old 01-12-2017, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
Revealing the full serial number of a pistol you own will lead to somebody seeing it on this forum reporting it stolen, you getting arrested, and them getting your pistol . . .
I have never heard of, nor met anyone this ever happened to. I have a receipt & signature for all my weapons whether they were purchased from a dealer or private party, so good luck saying "X" weapon was stolen 1/1/17 when I have owned it from 1974. No arrest,no court case, no atty., my gun ,my receipt, the person that reported it stolen would be the one who needs an atty.
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:12 AM
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My LGS will not even give out a serial number of a used gun over the phone. They told me it can only lead to problems, Whatever that means
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiserhof View Post
I note that several posts do not provide the full serial number for items they discuss. Why do some list serial numbers as xxx567 as it were a credit card number?
If you look carefully, nobody who's thinking about it properly would post a "xxx567" serial number format.

What they would hide is the least significant digits. The most significant digits are what folks use to date old guns. Thus, you might see something like 303XX (which happens to be the partial serial number from my .32 caliber S&W Safety Hammerless revolver. The first three digits of the serial number show that my revolver is the original released design (the "first model").

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Old 01-12-2017, 07:53 AM
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Unfortunately at some point down the road we may find out ATF has been logging all those numbers and show up at your door demanding that you hand over your firearms. Can you trust the government? Ask any Native American....
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:29 AM
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Personally, I think it is a lot of hooie. As others have stated, I have documentation for all of my guns except the few that were inherited.

If by some strange fluke, one of my guns was purported to be stolen and subsequently confiscated, then I would take the person that I purchased it from to small claims court to recoup my loss.

In the big picture of life, I would want the gun returned to its rightful owner just as I would want any gun stolen from me returned.

In 40+ years of being in this hobby, I have posted full serial numbers and have never had any issues. If the govmt comes to my house someday , my response will be: "Come on in, I'm your huckleberry" (just love that line!!!)
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:07 AM
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Really? When has that happened?
Never, but that is an opinion regularly expressed here and elsewhere as the reason for the practice. I don't believe it either, but that's the answer he was going to get, so I busted it out early . . .
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:45 AM
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Revealing the full serial number of a pistol you own will lead to somebody seeing it on this forum reporting it stolen, you getting arrested, and them getting your pistol . . .
Correct. It prevents potential harassment by rabid anti-2A nutcases and Interweb miscreants. Those who live in relatively safe pro-2A states have little to worry about... but, sadly, that is not true everywhere.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:46 AM
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Let's face it, there is a lot of paranoia out there when it comes to hot button issues like firearms. As Ed referenced "old wives tales", I think they often spawn conspiracy theories that never die in some people's mind. I think the ability of anyone filing a grievance over a gun's ownership is on the short end of the stick legally, but if someone out there ever actually filed a legitimate claim of a stolen firearm in the past, it is our legal and ethical duty to turn it over to the rightful owner. Do you want a stolen gun in your collection?

Without even thinking about why, I normally drop the last numbers when using other's information or data from the SWCA database.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:00 AM
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Ok, I guess I can see it happening. So a solution is to stop asking for someone to guess as to a ship date. Without the full serial number guessing is the best anyone can do. So when someone asks for a date on a .38 1st Model Safety Hammerless, just say shipped between 1886 & 1887.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:04 AM
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Ok, I guess I can see it happening. So a solution is to stop asking for someone to guess as to a ship date. Without the full serial number guessing is the best anyone can do. So when someone asks for a date on a .38 1st Model Safety Hammerless, just say shipped between 1886 & 1887.
I don't think that anyone has been shy about posting a shipping date.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:37 AM
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I think most members are satisfied with an approximation of ship date and many just want to know if their gun is an antique or not. I always recommend factory letters if the owner wants to know exact dates.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:47 AM
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I love reading threads about serial numbers. Interesting stuff.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:56 AM
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Don't put personal data into open cyberspace that you don't need to.

Just like my e-mail, my birth date, my address, or my phone number; anyone who really wants those can find ways to get them. My guns' serial numbers aren't classified information either. I'll post them if the issue at hand benefits from the complete number. I don't if it doesn't.

I harbor no theft con or sinister government paranoias. It's simple caution.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:40 AM
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I don't know what the percentage of stolen guns is but say you have a modest collection of 25 guns manufactured between 1930 and 2016 with many older Smiths and Colts. A gun manufactured in 1940 may have had a bunch of previous owners and a chance to have been stolen. I would think many people with collections this size could have a stolen gun in the collection and have no idea. Private citizens do not have access to the NICS list of reported stolen guns and they should. I would never purchase a gun I thought was stolen but I don't see how it is possible to know. I would certainly want to return a stolen gun if it was in my collection. How many of us older guys have a document proving purchase of guns we bought 40 years ago? If you always buy new from a reputable dealer, you will have the paperwork. In the old days, a lot of guns were bought and sold on a handshake and still are in some locations. If I were going to ask a date question on a gun, leaving the very last digit or two would get me close enough. In 1963 in suburban Chicago, I had a Colt Huntsman 90720-c stolen in a residential burglary. It was reported and investigated with no word. Somebody probably has that gun now, some 55 years later and I doubt they know it's stolen. I do not blame anyone who doesn't want to share the whole number of a gun on the net.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:29 PM
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. . . I would certainly want to return a stolen gun if it was in my collection . . . I do not blame anyone who doesn't want to share the whole number of a gun on the net.
. . . but what you are saying by not wanting to post a full serial number is that you don't want to take the chance someone will see their stolen gun in your collection??

Those are opposing thoughts??
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:45 PM
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Why use X's ? why not just use a phony number....just like the phony name?

Actually, wouldn't that would be fun....post a phony serial number and have it actually match someone's gun? Can you say "panties in a wad?"
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:29 PM
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If I can get the information I need without sharing the entire SN, why would I do otherwise even if the risk is negligible?
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentflyer View Post
Unfortunately at some point down the road we may find out ATF has been logging all those numbers and show up at your door demanding that you hand over your firearms. Can you trust the government? Ask any Native American....
Despite the predictable dismissals of this as mere paranoia, it's actually a very good point. As events in the last couple years have shown, virtually everything transmitted via any electronic medium, is stored somewhere........forever.
We've also found out the the feds have not been destroying the info from all those point-of-purchase background checks, as the law requires (was ANYONE really surprised??)
Once you post a make,model and ser# on the web, it's there forever, should they ever want to dig into your internet activity history.
Now, I realize if any of us are being scrutinized to that degree, we've probably already been tazed and hog-tied on the living room floor, so it's probably a moot point , but still, there's just no upside whatsover in permanently advertising full serial numbers. You can always go rent billboard space if you're so compelled, but you can't ever take it back.
And believe it or not, at some point, they really are coming for them.

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Old 01-12-2017, 09:23 PM
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Its a case of Monkey see Monkey do.
XXing out the whole serial is like covering your license plate for fear someone will report your car stolen.

We post whole serial numbers on the collector side without any fear.

The belief that somebody might report their gun stolen doesnt stand up to scrutiny, One would have to be a fool to go to the extent of filing a false police report to use the law to steal your gun,
All you would have to do is provide your receipt that pre dates his phony report and that guy would go to jail.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:06 PM
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The fad on one of the gun sites I visit has many of the tin hat guys putting X's or something similar in their email addresses and anyone in the "know" just eliminates the X's if they want to make email contact. Really kinda silly but to each their own...
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:16 PM
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My personal feeling is that I have much more important things to worry about than how someone posts the serial numbers of their firearms on forums like this.

Things like whether my shoelaces match or is Hillary Clinton still breathing.

YMMV.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geno44 View Post
I don't know what the percentage of stolen guns is but say you have a modest collection of 25 guns manufactured between 1930 and 2016 with many older Smiths and Colts. A gun manufactured in 1940 may have had a bunch of previous owners and a chance to have been stolen. I would think many people with collections this size could have a stolen gun in the collection and have no idea. Private citizens do not have access to the NICS list of reported stolen guns and they should. I would never purchase a gun I thought was stolen but I don't see how it is possible to know. I would certainly want to return a stolen gun if it was in my collection. How many of us older guys have a document proving purchase of guns we bought 40 years ago? If you always buy new from a reputable dealer, you will have the paperwork. In the old days, a lot of guns were bought and sold on a handshake and still are in some locations. If I were going to ask a date question on a gun, leaving the very last digit or two would get me close enough. In 1963 in suburban Chicago, I had a Colt Huntsman 90720-c stolen in a residential burglary. It was reported and investigated with no word. Somebody probably has that gun now, some 55 years later and I doubt they know it's stolen. I do not blame anyone who doesn't want to share the whole number of a gun on the net.
I can only speak for myself, but I have all paperwork for every firearm I've bought since 1985 (the year I bought my first).

I also keep paperwork for every firearm I've sold, along with the paperwork from when I bought it.

Has always made sense to me, and will always do it.
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