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My dad bought an old Ruger Mk pistol at one of those storage unit auctions, and from what I can best discern, it's a MK I. The thing looks pretty damn ancient and the gun is pretty worn...worn so much that the serial number isn't really readable anymore. I can read the last 5 digits barely, but the first two are illegible. Should I worry about this as a potential legal problem? I'd like to send the gun into Ruger and have it serviced and repaired(it still shoots fine), but I am really hesitant as to getting nailed for this serial number issue. Thoughts?
 

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...DG, I would call Ruger with the question. The first model of the "Standard" was produced in 1949 and then renamed the Mark I Target in 1950, albeit still in the Standard family. The Mark II arrived in 1982 and the Mark III in 2004. The Standard name disappeared with the introduction of the Mark II, I believe. Being that many of the serial numbers are discernible makes it a fine candidate for magnetic particle inspection to recover the obscured alpha and/or numeric characters. This is a non-destructive technique, so the pistol will not be harmed. They can restore the serial number if the correct one can be identified. I suggest you Google research the various Mark series and you may find the necessary descriptions of the changes to allow the series identification of your pistol. Seems I read that a handgun more than 50 years old is not required to have a serial number. Those that do cannot be tampered with, of course. It is highly unlikely you would be held accountable for a partial serial number if it is obvious that it's normal wear caused the problem. Forensics can nail an alteration in a heartbeat. Please let us know how the inquiry goes. Other opinions?

Tarheel
 

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I'm pretty sure that is was all the gun laws of 1968 that forced them to put serial numbers on .22's.
 

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I'm pretty sure that is was all the gun laws of 1968 that forced them to put serial numbers on .22's.
I'm pretty sure that is was all the gun laws of 1968 that forced them to put serial numbers on .22's.
Many of the manufacturers of earlier (before 1868) firearms did include serial numbers. I've done a lot of restoration on many Remington Model 12 rifles and Savage Stevens Model 1915 firearms and boys rifles, and ALL of those do indeed have serial numbers. The main reason for that is, it was/is the only way the maker can identify when that particular firearm left their factory and be able to tell if still under warranty, if there actually was a warranty.
After 1968, all firearms were, yes, required to have a S/N which makes that gun more easily traceable, according the BATF-E.
 
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