Short history lesson for guns (No I was not around for all of it, dagnab it- just a lot of it)
Registration of guns. What a ........STRANGE concept.
At the time these were made, you could buy one through the mail. Kids sold Clover brand salve to earn points for a Hamilton .22 caliber boys rifle- yep- a gun MADE for a kid. Until 1934, there was no requirement in law that a handgun HAVE a serial number. In 1968, the Gun Control Act stopped sales by mail, required gun shop owners to maintain a record of who bought what, set age limits on purchases, and required serial numbers on rifles and shotguns. But no registration. Fast forward to 2011.
In the US, there is NO FEDERAL REQUIREMENT for registration of ordinary rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, suppressors, etc, MUST be registered. A FEW states have a requirement that owner have a permit to possess, or that a handgun be registered with the state. If you google gun laws (your state) you can pull up a synopsis of state laws.
Patent dates. The GUN is not patented- improvements in the gun are patented. More than one date, there is more than one improvement. Could be a different ejector system, double action, etc. For years, Smith & Wesson held the patent on boring a hole all the way thru a cylinder, so that it could be loaded from the back.
These guns are reflective of a time when gun ownership was common, and crime low. Do you recall ever seeing a really cheesy movie called Swamp Thing? Adrienne Barbeaux (Hello Boys!) and this little black kid are in the back country way down South. Hiding from the bad guys, they are in the country store run by the little kids grandma. In desperation, Adrienne asks him, "Is there a gun around here?" Kid looks at her, and says, "What kind of a store do you think this is? OF COURSE we've got a gun!" Opens drawer, comes up with soulmate to your revolver.
Now, if ownership of that gun is transferred to another person ACROSS A STATE LINE, other than by being inherited, it must go TO a Federal Firearms License Holder (usually a dealer) in the recipient's home state. The dealer would conduct a background check, retain a record of the transfer at his place of business, and you're done.