Mil Surp HP35 with no serial # on frame
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Mil Surp HP35 with no serial # on frame


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Old 02-02-2015, 01:32 AM   #1
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Default Mil Surp HP35 with no serial # on frame

I recently received a used High Power. It is an Israeli military surplus pistol, and does not haves serial number on the frame. The barrel and slide each have a serial number - they don't match either; the armorer apparently assembled this pistol from whatever parts were available The pistol functions perfectly.

And different countries have different SN requirements, I know.

First question: has anyone else run across this?

Second question: advice on what I need to do since USA requires SN on frame? From quick research I believe BTAF would issue a unique SN for the handgun & I'd get that engraved on the frame.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:47 AM   #2
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Many questions here...was this a home build? Serial numbers weren't required on firearms until 1968, so it is possible that the frame was built before then...far more likely the serial was scrubbed, meaning you have what's known as a defaced firearm, which equals to about 10 years and 100,000 in fines, IIRC. Bad juju. Was this a gift? Are you in the US right now? If it was home made, (unlikely, pistol frames are MUCH harder to make at home without very expensive machinery and a lot of skill), the builder is required by law to put a serial number on it from ATFE if he ever sells it/gifts it.
Anyway you look at it, that gun smells like a LOT of trouble...I hope I'm wrong.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:04 AM   #3
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Purchased from reputable importer, decades old business importing Israeli surplus. Frame is as manufactured, no filing or strike overs at the normal SN locations.

Barrel & frame SN's indicate barrel manufacture in 1994 and slide in 1990.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:28 AM   #4
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SNs required on HANDGUNS since 1934- the 1968 date added rifles and shotguns to the requirement. There is also a requirement for marking name, address of importer, caliber and SN on gun.

SN must be on the frame. Suggest you strip gun down, go over it with good light and magnifier.

If there is nothing there, contact BATF Firearms Tech Branch over in WV. It IS illegal to deface a SN, or possess firearm w/ defaced SN, however, it MAY be possible to have a SN assigned where original SN was worn, lost in refinishing, etc. They MAY also require surrender of the pistol as contraband- honestly can't say which way they would go. But WOULD check that frame REAL close first.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:02 AM   #5
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The SN often is on the front of the grip below where the trigger guard merges into the grip. I'd check carefully there. My FN is that way. Of course if you have aftermarket grips like the Houge with finger groves a SN there will be covered. Some Hi Powers have three copies of the SN lined up in a column on the barrel, slide and frame, my FM is like that. It's hard to believe the importer would let something like the slip through the cracks so I'd really inspect the frame.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:32 AM   #6
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If you purchased it from a reliable importer, wasn't a 4473 filled out?
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc-hangfire View Post
I recently received a used High Power. It is an Israeli military surplus pistol, and does not haves serial number on the frame. The barrel and slide each have a serial number - they don't match either; the armorer apparently assembled this pistol from whatever parts were available The pistol functions perfectly.

And different countries have different SN requirements, I know.

First question: has anyone else run across this?

Second question: advice on what I need to do since USA requires SN on frame? From quick research I believe BTAF would issue a unique SN for the handgun & I'd get that engraved on the frame.
At least its the frame in question and not the bore hate to find out its been part of a crime, the bore is pretty traceable. If it were questionable I doubt it could have made it to the USA legally without plagging but you never know!

You might have a problem child on your hands. Hope you can find something somewhere on the frame otherwise most here would suggest you either return it from where you got it (get proof you returned it) ASAP or surrender it and seek a way to make it permissible again if thats even possible.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:46 PM   #8
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Default Mil Surp HP35 with no serial # on frame

Thanks for all the input. I will do an even more thorough inspection for any trace of a SN on the frame, then proceed with contacting the seller & BTAF based on what I find.

Last edited by cc-hangfire; 02-02-2015 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:51 AM   #9
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Default Mil Surp HP35 with no serial # on frame

To my great relief under a very bright light, 4 small numbers were just barely visible on the front strap!

A light sanding with 1000 grit paper removed the layer of grime & paint that covered the other six numbers/letters of the SN. That frame SN matches the barrel SN (slide has been replaced at some point). And so I am not in danger of losing the pistol to BATF (at best) or going to jail (at worst).

Thanks again for the guidance. I've owned about 40 handguns and this is the only one I've had trouble seeing the SN on. Maybe this thread will be helpful to some other future owner of a HP35 in similar condition.

I will sleep much better tonight!!

Last edited by cc-hangfire; 02-03-2015 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:38 AM   #10
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EXCELLENT! That is very good news! I have a few dozen rifles and shotguns that never wore a serial number- but only a few handguns- and they were made before 1920.

(Well, I DID have them- before the horrible boating accident..... )
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