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Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Late 1944 Ithaca - Vet Return

  1. #1
    Join Date
    8th February 2022
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    Late 1944 Ithaca - Vet Return

    I have an interest in WWII history and have collected good examples of some of the infantry US firearms used in the conflict... 1911A1 (Colt 1944), Garand (Springfield 1943), and a Stevens Arms 520-30 trench gun. My uncle recently reached out to me with a veteran return, Ithaca made 1911A1 he received from a good friend's estate. He doesn't like pistols (has never even fired one) but knew of my interest in the WWII period and offered it to me.

    The fly in the ointment is the serial number on the gun. I can read it, but an obvious attempt was made in the distant past to deface it.

    I'm located in the United States and after doing a little bit of internet research, I see advice along the following lines:

    1) Run, don't walk. Any defaced serial number is a Federal crime and you should just find a deep river to make its final resting place.
    2) Contact the ATF. Chances are they will take it and destroy it, but you should only get a slap on the wrist if you go to them first... and just maybe there is a process that would let you keep it if you can manage to jump through the hoops.
    3) Pre 1968 serial numbers were optional and this presents a loop hole. Many WWII vets brought home souvenirs and many removed the serial number. Not a big deal if you don't try and sell it to anyone.
    4) If you can read the serial number, it's not really defaced. Carry on with a clean conscience.

    I'm hoping the experts on this forum can help me pick the right option.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    7th March 2021
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    Option #4 for sure! A defaced serial is not that unusual for a variety of reasons. Readable numbers are still good.
    May be a reduced value, but an Ithaca is highly prized either way.
    Buy it and show some Pictures please.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    8th February 2022
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    IMG_0629.jpg IMG_0631.jpg IMG_0630.jpgIMG_0635 (1).jpg
    You have to angle it in the light to read, but when you do, 1890170 is legible.
    I should note that we have removed it from the holster and have it stored in a gun case. The vet had just kept in the the holster in the back of a closet for at least the last 30 years, probably longer.
    Likes (1) :
    BrettID (9th February 2022)

    Last edited by 584th; 8th February 2022 at 22:37.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    4th June 2004
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm unable to read the serial at 5x magnification but it you can clearly read the serial with the pistol in hand and it's the original number then I'd say you're good to go. Any firearm that originally had a serial number must still have it, no matter when produced.

  5. #5
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    8th February 2022
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    Thanks for the advice and welcome pickax and Doran!

    IMG_0634.jpg
    A close up of the serial number. If angled better you can pick out the leading "1" but it doesn't show up in this photo.
    Last edited by 584th; 9th February 2022 at 10:09.


  6. #6
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    I'd say from this photo it's right on the edge of legality; the authorities might go either way on their determination.

  7. #7
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    8th February 2022
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    Thanks Doran. Since the plan is just to hang on to it, not sell it, I think I’ll go into a “gathering information mode” for now. It’s a shame as it is otherwise a nice example.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    7th March 2021
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    Glad you got it, my first A1 had the 'US property' scrubbed off with a punch. The serial was untouched however.
    I was told at the time by A local LEO it was fine. It rattles but still shoots well. I assume a trooper snuck it home and did that to it.
    Yours looks great, hope my upcoming CMP pistol is that nice.
    Likes (1) :
    584th (15th February 2022)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    21st May 2022
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    If you can read it, it's there.

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