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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy , i have had a number of the ruger mark pistols , but i recently acquired a Ruger Automatic looks like the mark 1 but does not have a serial number ! is this common to not have a number assigned ? thank you
 

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No, it's not common. It should have a serial number on the right, front side of the receiver. If it doesn't have a S/N, it may be an illegal weapon.
Can you post pictures of that side of your pistol?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, it's not common. It should have a serial number on the right, front side of the receiver. If it doesn't have a S/N, it may be an illegal weapon.
Can you post pictures of that side of your pistol?
15384

No, it's not common. It should have a serial number on the right, front side of the receiver. If it doesn't have a S/N, it may be an illegal weapon.
Can you post pictures of that side of your pistol?
15385
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks , for any info , I have the same question on gunbroker listed and received so many different suggestions . There are no signs that it has ever had a number assigned no reblueing ,fileing Mark's etc. I have taken it completely apart there are no numbers or letters stamped into this pistol ! I have a call into ruger on Monday they have been closed all week for the holiday ! I will post the out come . Thanks
 

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Obviously not acquired from an FFL.dealer. May we ask from where?
 

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It's not a Mark I, it's the Standard RST 4, with the A54 grip frame. If it were a Mark I, it would have an adjustable rear sight. I also noticed that the extractor plunger, spring and extractor are missing. Did you get it that way?
If it was manufactured before 1968, there was actually no requirement to mark serial numbers on any firearm until The 1968 Gun Control Act became viable. Ruger will most likely affirm that. The Ruger Standard was the first type of pistol that Ruger began manufacturing in 1949, but without a S/N, it will be hard to identify a "born-on date".
Funny thing is, normally, all the Ruger pistols like yours that I've had cross my bench during the 50+ years I've been working with those pistols, all had serial numbers. Will be interesting to find out what Ruger has to say.
Thanks for posting though, it's an interesting firearm.

As a side note: On page 258 of Chad Hiddleson's book, "Encyclopedia Of RUGER Semi-Automatic Pistols -1949-1992 he has a picture of a Standard pistol exactly like the one you have, but he does note that there is a number 8 hand stamped in an obscure part of the receiver, not visible unless the pistol is disassembled.
 

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Obviously not acquired from an FFL.dealer. May we ask from where?
As was posted above, it could very well have been purchased from an FFL dealer, as all legitimate FFL dealers know. When a firearm is logged in without a S/N applied, like before 1968, the column where the S/N is supposed to be listed is entered as N/S, or "no serial number". So, it still could have been legally purchased from a dealer as a legitimate sale and transfer.
 

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It seems like the 1968 serial number requirement for civilian firearms is very recent for an industry that was very well established after WWII. There are a lot of firearms out there that were made before the requirement, and would be perfectly legal to own or sell without a serial number.

The question would be when Ruger started using serial numbers, and that seems to be from the start, based on their website.
This page covers Standard and Mark I, and shows they start with "1" at 1949, through 1968, and for 1969 and later, they go to a two digit prefix, a dash, and a sequential number. That looks like part of the 1968 legislation, that would have made serial numbers for firearms like VIN (numbers) for cars, with manufacturer ID and other information included in the number.
Also, that 1968 legislation would have specified where the marking of the serial number had to be, requiring it be visible without disassembly.

I don't know a lot about the Mark and Standard pistols, but they seem to have been very popular early on, with a lot of people doing custom work before there was much of a aftermarket industry. I have seen some forum posts showing pistols with an upper from one firearms manufacturer, and a lower from another. It wouldn't surprise me if someone in the 1950's or 60's managed to completely replicate the Ruger receiver from scratch, just because they wanted to, or for some tiny improvement for competition.

SGW's detail of the mark inside that can only be found through disassembly, is the most likely.
Really interesting situation, please update us with what you find.
 

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I noticed something very interesting concerning your picture as posted. When I let my mouse cursor rest in one place on your picture, the number 15385 materializes. Funny thing, but that would represent an actual serial number during the production run of the era when that pistol's receiver could have been made.
 
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