View Full Version : Serial # Question

05-30-2012, 9:07 AM
I have always been under the impression that parts depicting serial numbers were not eligible for resale. However I find many used barrels and slides for sale that have serial numbers on them.
So if all major parts are serialized, what constitutes as a "firearm" in the eyes of the law? Just the frame?
What if I have a frame with a different serial number than what is on the slide or barrel?

AK all day
05-30-2012, 9:17 AM
What is considered the firearm, must have the serial number unaltered. Example: Glock must have number on frame at all times, any other part is fine to change.


05-30-2012, 9:44 AM
Different countries can have different regulations on what constitutes the "firearm" portion, which is one reason manufacturers serialize lots of parts. Sometimes parts are fitted to other parts -- a specific barrel gets some hand finishing to fit perfectly with a specific frame -- and serializing them is a way to know that they were meant to go together. This is good for buying used guns and identifying that parts are original.

In the U.S., the "firearm" is a specific one of the serialized parts for the type of gun... handgun, rifle, etc. For a handgun it's the frame, for a rifle it's whatever is considered the receiver (which typically means it's the part with the trigger mechanism in it).

You can swap, loan, sell without FFL, ship via normal means, modify (polish the serial number off if you wanted), etc whatever the heck parts you feel like except for that part that is registered to you and is the legal "firearm."

P.S. -- some pistols have frame inserts that are serialized, rather than the frame itself. For instance, the Beretta Nano or Sig P250. This allows you to swap the polymer frames for ones of other colors or sizes. You remove the insert, which contains the trigger mechanism and whatnot, and install it in another frame. The serial number is on that insert and there are windows in the frame that allow it to be seen when installed.

05-30-2012, 10:07 AM
Thanks for the response.
What kind of legal ramifications could be had if the non matching slide and barrel enabled the weapon to fire a different caliber than what the fame is registered as?

AK all day
05-30-2012, 10:16 AM
Your fine, good to go. I know quite a few of people who have changed their .40s to a 9mm, and vise versa. Good luck.