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Old 02-04-2017, 02:20 AM
gimmyguns gimmyguns is offline
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Hi all. I have a model 28 I am doing some things to to make it an ICORE revolver. I am wanting to round butt the grip frame in order for it to be compatible with my favorite grips. My question is the modification would cut the N in the serial number on the butt in half (or possibly completely off) which I know is a no no. However the serial number is also stamped, from the factory, on the yoke. Would the fact that the serial number is also on the yoke mean the modification would be acceptable (read legal)? It's not something I have to do to make the gun the way I like, although I would prefer it. This got me thinking and I was wondering if anyone here has had to deal with this before. Thank you all.
Kyle
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:01 AM
BUFF BUFF is offline
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No. The serial number on the butt of the frame is the one that matters and federal law forbids the alteration or removal of it. Years back, when the BATFE was just the ATF, licensed gunsmiths could get authorization to mark the serial number elsewhere on the frame or to remark the serial number back on the gun if some work had removed it, but I do not believe they do this any longer.

Last edited by BUFF; 02-04-2017 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:01 AM
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Here is what I have done. Carefully, slice the about 1/8" off the entire butt using a .045 cutter disk on a 4 1/2" grinder. Remove the pin from the frame and clamp on a piece of flat bar as a guide for the grinder disk. Then put about a 45 degree bevel on both sides of the frame about 1/8" down. Then shorten the one end of the sliced off piece about 3/8", reposition the sliced off piece and tig weld it back on, filling the bevel and ends. file and sand sides smooth. If you take a short piece of real small chain (I used real fine cable) and tack welded it to the slice before it is completely removed and a inside spot on the frame the serial number is never completely removed from the frame and original serial number ends up permanently attached in new location.

But, then I have use grinders professionally for years and can tig weld. I made a 1917 and a model 10 frame into a round butts in this fashion. Once complete it is seamless. It does make the butt .045 (less than 1/16") or so shorter but that's not even noticeable. If you want to use factory grips you would need to sand that much off the grip butts and refinish.

Last edited by steelslaver; 02-04-2017 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:08 PM
gimmyguns gimmyguns is offline
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Thanks guys. I was already pretty sure about this one just wanted to confirm. It'll stay square which is probably best anyway
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:13 PM
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I don't get it. The ATF doesn't specify WHERE the serial number has to be placed by the manufacturer do they? Since the serial number in the yoke cut is the same number and it is factory stamped on a non-removable part of the gun frame (unlike a cylinder or a yoke or a barrel), even if the one on the butt were completely obliterated, there would still be an unmodified factory applied serial number on the frame. So I don't understand where that would be in violation of the rule about removing or changing the serial number. There would still be an original unmodified copy of the serial number on the gun. Makes no sense. But then how many rules devised by the government really have any connection to good sense?

Last edited by BC38; 02-04-2017 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:46 PM
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As I understand the law, you can't alter any serial number on the frame, no matter how many places it occurs. On my recent Smiths, the frame is serialized under the crane and on the bottom of the grip. I can't say where there is another location inside. It only appears on the grip of a 1954 K-22.
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neumann View Post
As I understand the law, you can't alter any serial number on the frame, no matter how many places it occurs. On my recent Smiths, the frame is serialized under the crane and on the bottom of the grip. I can't say where there is another location inside. It only appears on the grip of a 1954 K-22.
I'll have to re-read it. Seems like it would really hinge on the exact wording - whether the law says "the" serial number, "A" serial number, or "Any" serial number.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:38 PM
sceva sceva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neumann View Post
. On my recent Smiths, the frame is serialized under the crane and on the bottom of the grip. I can't say where there is another location inside. It only appears on the grip of a 1954 K-22.
Are you sure about that? On my 1952 K-22 it is on the grip frame bottom, the rear of the cylinder, on the barrel flat. and possibly elsewhere too.

OOPS, I see you were specifically talking about the Frame. The other areas I mentions were on separate parts from the frame.
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:29 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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Want to know the answer,,call, email or write the BATF Technology Div and put the question straight to them. Get the answer in writing if you are going ahead with the project on their say-so.
They interpret the rules and regs as they currently stand as to what is legal to own and do to a firearm and what is not.

Contact info w/ phone, email and address:

Firearms and Ammunition Technology | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

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Old 02-05-2017, 05:05 PM
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ANY modification to ANY serial # on the main frame can not be modified. SteelSlaver's mod is a direct violation because his 'slicing & welding' method (in ATF's eyes) can be looked upon as a 'switched serial #' from one frame to another, even if any other markings match because the original IS the main one on the butt of the frame. The other markings are considered secondary. You can not alter a frame from it's original mfg configuration in any way. Even if filing a SB to a RB that doesn't come close to the #, is still a violation. Just don't do it. Live with it and buy a RB in that model.

Last edited by ViperR; 02-05-2017 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:25 AM
gimmyguns gimmyguns is offline
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I was aware of most of this just mostly curious as to others thoughts on the subject. I wish there was a little more common sense applied to some of these laws, but I guess that would be asking way too much of a government agency. Seems to kinda hamper someone like myself who just likes to play with guns. I have plenty of RB models just wanted to do some custom work on this particular one. I found some SB grips I liked for the application and all is well. Thanks for the replies and ideas
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:18 AM
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Did not switch frames and at no time was the serial number totally separated from the frame it was stamped on. You can also do it by cutting one end of frame bottom loose heating and bending welding then cutting bend piece loose and resending and welding
. Neither method violates the letter or spirit of the law per my attorney.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:21 AM
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The guy who did get in trouble with BATF for welding serial numbers back on frames was going from one frame to another
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