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Old 05-29-2018, 10:19 PM
Morgrhim Morgrhim is offline
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Default Need assistance on identification

So we found a Smith and Wesson .357 MAgnum in my attic in an up-to--now unknown cubby. No joke.

Hand Ejector. 8 1/4-inch barrel. 5 screw.

I pulled the grip off to find the serial, it is 60xxx. No letters, no dashes, just 5 digits. As far as I can tell it's from 1939-1941 timeframe, but I'd like better opinions. Sorry the pics aren't great, my webcam isn't the best.
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Last edited by Morgrhim; 05-29-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:23 PM
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Pictures are rough, but looks like a pre-27, or Reg/non-reg magnum. When you open the cylinder, what do you see marked on the frame in front of the cylinder?

Last edited by Shark Bait; 05-29-2018 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:24 PM
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There's a different number, 45xxx.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:27 PM
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Looks like at least a $800 bill
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:28 PM
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Some hopefully better pics.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:30 PM
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Pretty sure it is is a predecessor of the model 27. More knowledgeable members will be along soon to help. You're in the right place for answers like this.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:30 PM
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My guess would be a non registered magnum.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:33 PM
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Seems like well over $800 to me. But I'll let the experts chime in.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark Bait View Post
Pretty sure it is is a predecessor of the model 27. More knowledgeable members will be along soon to help. You're in the right place for answers like this.
I'm glad to hear it. At this point, I'm honestly more curious as to how long this thing was hiding in the attic of this house. Before we bought it we knew the previous 3 sets of owners.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:38 PM
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I'm glad to hear it. At this point, I'm honestly more curious as to how long this thing was hiding in the attic of this house. Before we bought it we knew the previous 3 sets of owners.
Super freaking kool Maybe my next house will be an old one. Play the lottery lately?
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:44 PM
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Pretty sure it is is a predecessor of the model 27. More knowledgeable members will be along soon to help. You're in the right place for answers like this.
================================

Agreed, but i posted before the better pictures. Found in attic, how long has it been up there, etc., couldn't tell with the first pics if there was any "rot".
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:38 PM
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Long action means either pre-war non-registered magnum or immediate post-war transitional. Looks like filed down front sight and hammer spur plus post war target grips. In any case, a major find. More pictures needed of numbers in yoke, serial number on bottom of grip frame, and pics of left side of grip frame with grips removed and front and rear sights. You've got a great gun!
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:54 PM
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Welcome to the Forum.

That is a grail gun for most of us. The only thing I found in my old (1850) house was a wooden mallet.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:04 AM
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Damn...just damn...all I know is you don't live in S. Texas. When my father in law died we found some firearms in the attic that no one knew he had...nothing but oxidized piles of rusty metal
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:08 AM
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Given the "long action" noted by Peak53, and the 8 1/4" barrel, you have 1 of 7 known "Registered Magnums"----the name applied to the first .357 Magnums produced by S&W during the mid to late 1930's. As one might surmise from the "1 of 7" notation, the value is relatively substantial----more or less substantial depending on the condition.

I will suggest you are in need of some knowledgeable assistance. I will suggest further that you contact Michael G. Speers, CPA who is the Administrator of the S&W Collectors Association (at swca357@hotmail.com) who can put you in touch with a knowledgeable member in your location----and go from there as you see fit.

Ralph Tremaine

I note mention of a value of $800+/- above. Given your gun is as I've surmised, it would be worth $800 as a fugitive from a junk yard. It appears otherwise.

Having gone back, and paid attention, some correction appears to be in order. Given a serial number of 60XXX, it is more likely you have measured the barrel length incorrectly (8 3/8" perhaps---from the front of the cylinder to the end of the barrel)---AND your gun is one known as a Nonregistered Magnum. The value will be inexplicably less due to the vagaries of the lunatic fringe collectors' community, but still worthy of the term substantial. I have a complete list of the serial numbers of the Nonregistered Magnums, and can confirm the identity of your gun if you'd care to share the complete serial number here---or via a PM (Private Message) to me via the forum.

Last edited by rct269; 05-30-2018 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:13 AM
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And I thought it was cool to find a cased Eisenhower 50 cent piece when I tore down the crappy building that was on my place when I bought it. Have to wonder how and why it got in the attic. Enjoy.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:27 AM
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Excellent find! I can see by the pics that the barrel is a post war barrel with matching post war ejector rod so that has been changed at some point. Still a valuable Revolver nonetheless !


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Old 05-30-2018, 06:31 AM
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That is a nice thing to find in an attic. I don’t think that it could have been hidden there very long. The grips appear to be either modern reproductions like Altamonte or Taiwan types rather than genuine S&W. Guns exposed to the variations in temperatures and humidity of an attic for long periods without proper protective measures tend to deteriorate over time.
Steelslaver, better check that coin again. Eisenhower was on the dollar coin rather than the half dollar. So, your find is worth twice as much as you thought.

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Old 05-30-2018, 07:33 AM
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Steelslaver, better check that coin again. Eisenhower was on the dollar coin rather than the half dollar. So, your find is worth twice as much as you thought.
Maybe your right. Never even took it out of plastic case. Backhoe was tearing place up and loading out into dump trucks. Then just stuck it in my box of odd coins.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:51 AM
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That is a nice thing to find in an attic. I donít think that it could have been hidden there very long. The grips appear to be either modern reproductions like Altamonte or Taiwan types rather than genuine S&W. Guns exposed to the variations in temperatures and humidity of an attic for long periods without proper protective measures tend to deteriorate over time.
Steelslaver, better check that coin again. Eisenhower was on the dollar coin rather than the half dollar. So, your find is worth twice as much as you thought.
The stocks are FACTORY Diamond Targets from the 1960's....
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:55 AM
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Man all I found was a worn out ax with a broken handle that was electrical taped together ,but tne o,d man next door told me that ax had at one time belonged to Daniel Boone so I went to the Nursing Home where the previous owner resided to confirm this ( he was 99 in 1979 ) and he said it sure did and in all those years he had only replaced the head twice and 4 handles . An ax a wore out broken handled ax .You find a 357 magnum very worst case is you ha e a great gun best case possible collector grail gun ! Wanna trade for a ax with possible historic connections ?
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:58 AM
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The serial number dates your ".357" Magnum most likely to 1940. The barrel dates to 1949 or later and should be 8 3/8-inches in length. The extractor rod was also changed at that time. The cylinder should be numbered to the revolver on the rear surface unless it was also changed. There may be a diamond stamped on the grip frame and possibly a month year code showing when the work was done (i. e. 2 51 would indicate February 1951). The stocks are original S&W and in great shape. They date to 1959-1968.

The ".357" is a great find. I would have it checked by a competent gunsmith and then you could enjoy shooting it for years to come.

Bill

Last edited by Doc44; 05-30-2018 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
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The serial number dates your ".357" Magnum most likely to 1940. The barrel dates to 1949 or later and should be 8 3/8-inches in length. The extractor rod was also changed at that time. The cylinder should be numbered to the revolver on the rear surface unless it was also changed. There may be a diamond stamped on the grip frame and possibly a month year code showing when the work was done (i. e. 2 51 would indicate February 1951). The stocks are original S&W and in great shape. They date to 1959-1968.

The ".357" is a great find. I would have it checked by a competent gunsmith and then you could enjoy shooting it for years to come.

Bill


From the front of the cylinder to the tip of the barrel is 8 1/4", just double checked. If I'm measuring wrong, please let me know and I'll re-measure.


Looking at the barrel, it is definitely noticably newer than the cylinder.


The number on the yoke and behind the cylinder are paired, it is the original cylinder.

There isn't a reg stamp, so if 8 1/4" would mean is was registered then I'm probably measuring wrong.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:24 AM
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By 1940, the practice of registering .357 Magnums and stamping a registration number in the yoke cut were discontinued. Your Magnum was first issued as what collectors refer to as a pre-war, non-registered Magnum. A letter of authenticity issued by Roy Jinks will provide you the original configuration of the revolver and its shipping date. S&W barrel lengths can vary by at least 1/8-inch, so I believe it is intended to be 8 3/8-inches as that is of the standard lengths after 1939. It is possible a record exists for the rework if done by S&W, but these records are spotty at best so this is unlikely.

Is there anything stamped in the extractor rod shroud (diamond, number, etc.)?

Bill
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:43 AM
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Is there anything stamped in the extractor rod shroud (diamond, number, etc.)?
Bill
No, other than the serial and paired assembly numbers, there's a worn down mark on the frame. The grip frame and extractor rod shroud have no other marks.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
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From the front of the cylinder to the tip of the barrel is 8 1/4", just double checked. If I'm measuring wrong, please let me know and I'll re-measure.


Looking at the barrel, it is definitely noticably newer than the cylinder.


The number on the yoke and behind the cylinder are paired, it is the original cylinder.

There isn't a reg stamp, so if 8 1/4" would mean is was registered then I'm probably measuring wrong.
We are talking about 1/8". S&W revolvers are often a bit shorter than advertised, due to machining practices. I'm going to say the barrel was supposed to be 8 3/8" long.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Take the grips off and post pictures of both sides of the frame and the bottom with the SN.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:22 PM
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I am -not- judging nor suggesting anything, but I am certainly curious:

If you know the previous three owners of the house, will you be contacting any of them about your find? If yes, then what?
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:06 PM
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I am -not- judging nor suggesting anything, but I am certainly curious:

If you know the previous three owners of the house, will you be contacting any of them about your find? If yes, then what?
We are not in contact with any of them. We lived across the street until the last pair moved out. We knew them as neighbors, but were not close friends.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:14 PM
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The serial number dates your ".357" Magnum most likely to 1940. The barrel dates to 1949 or later and should be 8 3/8-inches in length. The extractor rod was also changed at that time. The cylinder should be numbered to the revolver on the rear surface unless it was also changed. There may be a diamond stamped on the grip frame and possibly a month year code showing when the work was done (i. e. 2 51 would indicate February 1951). The stocks are original S&W and in great shape. They date to 1959-1968.

The ".357" is a great find. I would have it checked by a competent gunsmith and then you could enjoy shooting it for years to come.

Bill

Exactly.
I'm surprised more of you guys don't know that Reg Mags had ceased to be Registered well before the 60,000 range.
I'll also bet that barrel was supposedly 8-3/8", but there probably won't be any service records.


The gun has obviously had at least one non-Factory reblue.
Look at the tongue on the sideplate in Pic #1 and the crooked lines on the shroud in Pic # 2.


You should probably still get a letter on the gun. It might be interesting.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:28 PM
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Someone hid it for a reason and the reason may be that it's stolen property.

You should have the police run the numbers for you.

Better to have them impound it as found stolen property than to have to explain why you have it down the road.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:06 PM
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Someone hid it for a reason and the reason may be that it's stolen property.

You should have the police run the numbers for you.

Better to have them impound it as found stolen property than to have to explain why you have it down the road.
There are plenty of guns lurking in houses that were just put there by some past owner. I've found guns in an attic, certainly weren't stolen. Plenty of people don't use gun safes, and tucking a gun away in some corner or hidden spot in the house is a way to keep it safe (until you forget about it).

What leads you to believe it's stolen?
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:10 PM
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What leads you to believe it's stolen?
Can't hurt to check. Then you know. Due diligence.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:27 PM
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Gee, why can't I ever find anything really cool like that?
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:21 AM
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Makes a fun interesting post doesn’t it.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:25 AM
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Can't hurt to check. Then you know. Due diligence.
Sure it can.

Years ago a friend of mine bought a gun that he was worried about being stolen, he talked to the local PD. They insisted he turn it in so they could check. He never got it back, and they never told him if it had been stolen. He tried to find out what the deal with it was for years but they just told him there was no record of them having received the gun.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:44 AM
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EXACTLY...plus on a firearm this old with no letter in the serial number, only a number - do you know how many firearms exist that are stolen with a 60,000 serial number? Don't risk it as it will be confiscated in some jurisdictions just to get another gun off the street.

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Sure it can.

Years ago a friend of mine bought a gun that he was worried about being stolen, he talked to the local PD. They insisted he turn it in so they could check. He never got it back, and they never told him if it had been stolen. He tried to find out what the deal with it was for years but they just told him there was no record of them having received the gun.
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Old 06-01-2018, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SixgunStrumpet View Post
There are plenty of guns lurking in houses that were just put there by some past owner. I've found guns in an attic, certainly weren't stolen. Plenty of people don't use gun safes, and tucking a gun away in some corner or hidden spot in the house is a way to keep it safe (until you forget about it).

What leads you to believe it's stolen?
For exactly what I said... if it were a hidden Playboy or some such It's no big deal. If it were sliver plate, coins or anything of value I'd be checking.

Imagine the S/N gets checked at some time in the future and it turns out it was reported stolen by one if his neighbors. That'd be a tough spot to be in.


As to the mention of the friend who had a firearm not returned; ANY property taken in would be documented and a receipt issued. If that didn't happen it was a shady PD to start with.
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:06 PM
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Due diligence is a serial number on a piece of paper. I'm not handing any firearm to anyone "trusting" them to return it.
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:09 PM
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For exactly what I said... if it were a hidden Playboy or some such It's no big deal. If it were sliver plate, coins or anything of value I'd be checking.

Imagine the S/N gets checked at some time in the future and it turns out it was reported stolen by one if his neighbors. That'd be a tough spot to be in.


As to the mention of the friend who had a firearm not returned; ANY property taken in would be documented and a receipt issued. If that didn't happen it was a shady PD to start with.
Not a tough spot at all, you simply say; "I found it in my attic, I'm more then glad to return the gun to the original owner."

I think one of the things that I object to regarding your advice is that it may be perfectly fine wherever you are, but it wouldn't be in many places. Maybe your local police would assume you were lying about finding the gun in your attic, but in my neck of the woods everyone would just laugh and be happy the gun could go back to the original owner, then gossip about who might have stolen it and when.

I have no idea where Morgrhim lives, and what he should do with the gun because of that.

Heck, if he's in California or New Jersey, or New York City... he is probably required to turn it in.

If he's in Montana like me he may want to mention it to his neighbors and ask if anyone recalls a gun going missing sometime before he bought the house.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:15 PM
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I've gotten a hold of our realtor and asked them to try and track down the previous owners. I've also been very vague, just saying I found a firearm and I will gladly return it if they can give me details.

My main worry there is anyone can say "Oh yeah, that was mine".

As far as location, I'm in Seattle. I took the serial down to my local precinct on paper and it's not reported stolen.
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:56 PM
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I've gotten a hold of our realtor and asked them to try and track down the previous owners. I've also been very vague, just saying I found a firearm and I will gladly return it if they can give me details.

My main worry there is anyone can say "Oh yeah, that was mine".

As far as location, I'm in Seattle. I took the serial down to my local precinct on paper and it's not reported stolen.
Unlike finding a firearms in the field were most state laws require the finder to make a reasonable effort to return it to the owner, when a deed is signed on a house and it is notarized the new owner has rights to all items and contents unless otherwise agreed to. Finding out if it was stolen or not was a good move but you are under no obligation to try and find who left it there you bought it when you paid for the house.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:13 PM
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Unlike finding a firearms in the field were most state laws require the finder to make a reasonable effort to return it to the owner, when a deed is signed on a house and it is notarized the new owner has rights to all items and contents unless otherwise agreed to. Finding out if it was stolen or not was a good move but you are under no obligation to try and find who left it there you bought it when you paid for the house.
Except that just as you cannot buy a house from someone who does not hold title to it, you cannot buy stolen property from someone even if they do not know they possess it or do not know it was stolen.

The OP has checked and it's not stolen so he's good to go.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:36 PM
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Except that just as you cannot buy a house from someone who does not hold title to it, you cannot buy stolen property from someone even if they do not know they possess it or do not know it was stolen.

The OP has checked and it's not stolen so he's good to go.
you are correct.
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