A missing link of serial numbering...

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chet15

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For all of you who's thinking was that the early 1969 prefixed guns were serial numbered in a one-step process, this pistol that will be pictured shortly proves it wrong.
For years we have noted guns with the prefix and dash separated a little from the other five digits, or the dash even running somewhat on top the first digit in the other five, something that in my opinion absolutely could not happen the way the serial numbering heads are made.... wheels of numbers stacked close to each other.
From gun to gun one wheel is rotated to the the next corresponding serial number. But those wheels are stacked close to each other, so there's no way to get side to side movement, up/down discrepencies yes, but NOT side to side. We have also archived closeups of 10- prefix serial numbers where the prefix is lighter stamped than the other five digits and also where the prefix is much heavier stamped than the other five digits.
Then about ten years ago the Single-Six number 09539 showed up with large serial numbers. We were able to determine the gun should have been 20-09539 since the gun had black eagle medallions and the rollmark on the left side of the cylinder frame did not have the circle "R" trademark (added at about 20-53xxx). So one of two possibilities... either the 20- was rolled too far up or down on the serial numbering head to make an impression in the metal, or the serial numbers on the earliest prefix guns were done in a two-step process. Some said, "look for evidence the prefix was ground off".!!!
John Dougan's latest book, page 355, says that NUMBERALL head serial number A1006J63 (originally shipped to Ruger on October 3, 1963...the serial number head with large 1/8" numbers) was modified "in the tool room in December 1968 by opening up the yoke, and two additional character wheels, retaining pawls and springs were added. A total of seven number wheels plus one to mark the hyphen were required." Actually a total of eight digits plus the hypen were needed on the serial numbering head to accomodate for the 100- and 110- prefixed .44 Carbine and 10/22 carbine series'.
But... by the looks of that 10- prefix serial number, that serial numbering head was not modified until much later in 1969.
On the auto, note closely the font size of the "0" in the prefix and the font size of the 2nd digit of the five in the suffix, the "0" in the 10- prefix is much larger. We have found that when the font size became the same between the prefix and the other five digits, that is when space discrepencies are no longer found between prefix and other digits, so must be when Ruger finally utilized an 8 wheel head (plus hyphen) to stamp serial numbers in a one-step process. This happened much later in the 10- prefix for autos.
Chet15



 

hittman

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Always excellent info!

My "100 prefix" 44 Carbine is missing the first 0. It reads 1 0-xxxxx. Nothing rare, just another odd little quirky thing you get some times with Ruger.

30-plus years ago when offices were way less automated we had ink stamps that you rolled around to the date. You could stamp something with say ... "JUN 8 1975" etc. I'm guessing that same system was used on these guns just on a much larger scale.
 

chet15

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hittman said:
Always excellent info!

My "100 prefix" 44 Carbine is missing the first 0. It reads 1 0-xxxxx. Nothing rare, just another odd little quirky thing you get some times with Ruger.

30-plus years ago when offices were way less automated we had ink stamps that you rolled around to the date. You could stamp something with say ... "JUN 8 1975" etc. I'm guessing that same system was used on these guns just on a much larger scale.

That is exactly they type of process used. There's a pic of a serial number stamping head in JD's latest book.
Your .44 Carbine is simply an extreme case of one serial number wheel being rolled too far one direction or the other up or down, so much so that not even the top part or bottom part of the digit could impress into the metal.
Chet15
 

chet15

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Ale-8(1) said:
chet15 said:
Ale-8(1) said:
Great information!

To which "latest book" by Dougan are you referring, Chad?

His last one, which is his latest.

The "last" book I have of his is the "Vintage Years" book from 2008. It says nothing on page 355 about the stamping head being modified.

Is there a later book?

The Vintage years is it. I got the quote from that book, look under serial numbering.
There's also a picture of a serial numbering head in there.
Chet15
 
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Ah, yes. It’s on page 114 . . .

“A tool with the capacity for eight to nine numbering wheels would be needed after January 1969 to mark the digit prefix numbers. Evidence indicates that head #A1006J63 was modified in the Ruger tool room by opening up the yoke, and two additional character wheels, retaining pawls and springs were added. A total of seven number wheels plus one to mark the hyphen were required.”

Also we find this . . .

“NUMBERALL tool ser. No.A1006J63 modified in The Ruger tool room in December of 1968, to accept two additional character wheels, eight are required to mark digit prefix.”

Your comments about additional wheel requirements are spot on, and that pistol photo seals the deal.

A photo of a typical numbering machine is shown on page 112, although it's not the last one to be used. Page 355 does have a nice chart of some of the machines and heads used.

The stamping heads themselves are shown on pages 110 and 111.
 

street

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hittman said:
Always excellent info!

My "100 prefix" 44 Carbine is missing the first 0. It reads 1 0-xxxxx. Nothing rare, just another odd little quirky thing you get some times with Ruger.

30-plus years ago when offices were way less automated we had ink stamps that you rolled around to the date. You could stamp something with say ... "JUN 8 1975" etc. I'm guessing that same system was used on these guns just on a much larger scale.
Because of the GCA of '68. No gun manufacture could make any two guns with the same serial number. Because of the missing "0" causing your .44 Carbine to have a "10" prefix serial number, there is a Standard or Mark-I Auto with the same serial number. It would be a nice find for you to find it. It could be the only pair out there with the same serial number.
 

chet15

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Ale-8(1) said:
chet15 said:
Ale-8(1) said:
Great information!

To which "latest book" by Dougan are you referring, Chad?

His last one, which is his latest.

The "last" book I have of his is the "Vintage Years" book from 2008. It says nothing on page 355 about the stamping head being modified.

Is there a later book?

Sorry about that... page 114
 

hittman

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street said:
hittman said:
Always excellent info!

My "100 prefix" 44 Carbine is missing the first 0. It reads 1 0-xxxxx. Nothing rare, just another odd little quirky thing you get some times with Ruger.

30-plus years ago when offices were way less automated we had ink stamps that you rolled around to the date. You could stamp something with say ... "JUN 8 1975" etc. I'm guessing that same system was used on these guns just on a much larger scale.
Because of the GCA of '68. No gun manufacture could make any two guns with the same serial number. Because of the missing "0" causing your .44 Carbine to have a "10" prefix serial number, there is a Standard or Mark-I Auto with the same serial number. It would be a nice find for you to find it. It could be the only pair out there with the same serial number.

My FFL took note of the s/n issue when he logged it in and put it down just as stamped ...... 1 0-xxxxx.
 

chet15

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Somewhere between these serial numbers is when the serial number heads switched. If anybody can improve these, please let us know!!

Old sn head - New sn head
.22 pistols 10-65159 - 10- ???
Single Sixes 20-34677 - 20-75487
.357 Blackhawks 30-63969 - 30-71141
.41 Blackhawks 40-05249 - 40-13359
.30 Blackhawks 50-09067 - 50-10727
Super Single-Sixes 60-36474 - 60-46650
M77's 70-20032 - 70-54378
Super Blackhawks 80-10376 - 80-20076
Bearcats 90-12791 - See note below
.44 Carbines 100-15873 - 100-17285
10/22's 110-21731 - 110-90547
Number One's 130-03704 - 130-04931

Note: I think the aluminum framed Bearcat was dropped before Ruger went to the new sn head.
Also, if anybody notices any big discrepencies in distance between the dash and the first digit of the other five, would be interested to see the pics posted, whether it be a dash parked right on the first digit, or a noticeable space away.
Chet15
 
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in my work years ago, with various LE agencies (yes even ATF) Ruger was known to be "notorious" for sloppy serial numbering and ALL too often many were considered to
Possibly "renumbered?? altered " re stamped, when refinishing etc....gaps like that are a "No-no"........yes the GCA 68 was to settle, help these issues as 'Street' noted there are various models , even within the calibers to have the SAME serial numbers before the GCA68......caveat emptor baby :shock: :roll: :wink:

Ah "RUGER LORE"....... 8)
 

chet15

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rugerguy said:
in my work years ago, with various LE agencies (yes even ATF) Ruger was known to be "notorious" for sloppy serial numbering and ALL too often many were considered to
Possibly "renumbered?? altered " re stamped, when refinishing etc....gaps like that are a "No-no"........yes the GCA 68 was to settle, help these issues as 'Street' noted there are various models , even within the calibers to have the SAME serial numbers before the GCA68......caveat emptor baby :shock: :roll: :wink:

Ah "RUGER LORE"....... 8)

I know of several matched sn pairs that are pre GCA '69, within the same series'.
There's a collector in the southern U.S. who has three such sets.
Duplicate serial numbering is not unknown with other manufacturers though either. There was a Rock Island auction recently that mentioned a 1st generation Colt SAA with duplicated serial number
Chet15
 

mr.deerstalker

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Dan, I disagree....between killing of Robert Kennedy, MLK Jr. And the icing on top of the cake was the rioting at the "Democratic Convention" in Chicago that turned into a blood bath by lawless scumbags. Is the real answer. Not picking a fight, just pointing out history of the truth. Scott
 

street

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Scott! I think you are right. The serial number thing is what happens when politicians make the laws, and not using common sense! The serial number thing has not stopped one crime.
 
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Pretty sure the intent was not to stop crimes so much as it was to aid law enforcement n the investigation of already-committed crimes.

At least that was the story at the time. The comment regarding politicians making the laws is right on, of course. We'd recognize the actual intent as just another step in "control".

:wink:
 

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