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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In late 1971 or early 1972 I purchased a used three screw Blackhawk, the original owner had purchased it from local gunshop , fired a box or two , and decided he wanted a 44 magnum. Remember 1971 was the year "Dirty Harry " came out, the shop took it in trade on a 44 magnum, set it in the case with $75.00 tag on it and marked it as used. I happened in the shop and couldn't get the money out fast enough, nearly new Blackhawk for $75.00, that was a deal even in 1971 / 1972 dollars.
Enjoyed the gun for years, was my only 357 magnum, bought a set of real ivory grips for it, enjoyed it for 23 years until 1995. Then it was stolen from my office. This was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
After that, every year or so an officer would call, I would get my hopes up, but each time they were just checking to see if it was still stolen, each time I would verify it was still missing. They said they were still working on the case.
Last week, for some strange reason , I started thinking abou the Blackhawk, and realized out of all the guns I've had, thats the one I miss the most and would like to have it back. I never bought another 357 magnum and three screw Blackhawks are always priced out of my budget. Besides it wouldn't be my original Blackhawk.
Now yesterday, it's been 20 years ago since the theft, I get a call from an officer , and I'm thinking, don't get your your hopes up, we've had these talks before.
Except THIS time the officer says " we've recovered your stolen gun from a pawn shop in Arizona . " And I'm Speechless...I say WHAT! and he repeats the story. Unbelievable!
He said a man came in to pawn it and the shop ran the number , discovered it stolen and called police. He had received it from Arizona and if I was going to be at my office would bring it over. He did and I now have it in front of me.
Funny thing is it's in great shape, no rust, no abuse, clean and tight, looks like the the day it was stolen. It even has the ivory grips on it, except they were smooth and now they have been checkered ! I wish it could talk, gone for 20 years and recovered in Arizona...what has happened all that time.
An amazing three screw Blackhawk story...and it ended well.
If you have a gun stolen, don't give up hope , those computerized stolen gun lists that are now connected to every state can sometimes make a miracle happen.
Gary
 

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Congrats on getting your gun back. It has surely had some interesting travels in the last 20 years. I do hope you are going to treat it well by taking it out and shooting it frequently! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Congrats on getting your gun back. It has surely had some interesting travels in the last 20 years. I do hope you are going to treat it well by taking it out and shooting it frequently! :D
Yes sirree bob, that's on the agenda. For some reason , don't know why, a few months ago I ordered 2000 gas checks on a group buy , along with some other sizes I needed (the more you bought the cheaper ) and then after that bought a new Lee C358-158-SWC gas check design bullet mould , since I had the checks.....funny thing is at the time I didn't have one single 357 magnum, just bought the checks and mould on a whim......wait , do you think I should go buy a lottery ticket ? this whole thing is getting a bit spooky !

Gary
 

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Wow - that's amazing! Still sad you lost 20 years of happy, rightful ownership but amazing that you would ever see it again. A happy ending to an otherwise sad tale.
 

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Glade you got that great revolver back!! I can just imagine how good it feels!!
 

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A Security Six was stolen from me in a home robbery.

I was able to get it back from the Sherriff office property room. Had I not made an inquiry, I would have never been notified.

I also got a copy of the court records.

That revolver had been with me for some time,trails,boating,camping. It was in great condition- and I was saddened when it was returned to me- beat up.

I no longer cared for it,so I traded it.Too bad,for now I realize that the gun could have been reconditioned, cherished for it's return to a lawful, responsible owner.

And as a result of the theft,I decided then and there to never leave a gun in my unoccupied home. Bought a gun safe and a concealed weapons permit- the house gun comes and goes with me.
 

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Congratulations on getting your gun back and in good condition too!!

As a caution to others in your position, guns remain in the system forever UNLESS the law enforcement agency is unable to contact you for the yearly validation. If you change phone numbers, notify the agency to update your report. If you miss a call and receive a voicemail, make sure you call back and confirm the stolen status. If the agency cannot validate the item as still being stolen it's removed from NCIC.
 

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Wonderful story I can't imagine how surprised you are to have it returned after 20 years. Miracles do happen. I've a question about stolen guns. Say my gun is stolen I report it as such but I have no idea the sn, is there any data kept on reported stolen guns by make model etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Wonderful story I can't imagine how surprised you are to have it returned after 20 years. Miracles do happen. I've a question about stolen guns. Say my gun is stolen I report it as such but I have no idea the sn, is there any data kept on reported stolen guns by make model etc?
I can't answer that for sure. My gut instinct is it might be next to impossible to recover and returned without the serial number.
I made it a habit of recording all the information on every gun I own. I write down a complete description of the gun with any distinguishing features, where and when purchased and amount paid. Then take several color photo's showing all sides and any distinguishing features. Print the photos and keep with the record. All on paper not on a computer where it can be lost.
When I reported the theft, I had a complete description, the serial number, old invoice and photo's. I gave the photo's to the officer. Twenty years later they still had the photo's and by looking at them could see I was the original owner.
When it was stolen it had smooth ivory grips and some custom engraving on the ejector rod and grip frame , when recovered it still had the ivory grips and the officer said the photos left no doubt that it was my gun, along with the serial number.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but hey...if your stolen gun gets recovered and returned to you , it is darn well worth it.
You really need to at least write down the serial numbers, not much you can do without them.
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Congratulations on getting your gun back and in good condition too!!

As a caution to others in your position, guns remain in the system forever UNLESS the law enforcement agency is unable to contact you for the yearly validation. If you change phone numbers, notify the agency to update your report. If you miss a call and receive a voicemail, make sure you call back and confirm the stolen status. If the agency cannot validate the item as still being stolen it's removed from NCIC.
Didn't know that, thanks for info.
As luck would have it my home phone and office phone have remained the same all those years. The officer said he called my home first and left a message, thinking if he had the same home number let me try his office and he called and I answered...he was a bit surprised by that. Said after twenty years most people change numbers .
But if I change any of them now , I will call them because in that theft two other guns were taken. They don't mean as much as the Blackhawk though....it was my very first handgun of any type, and you know how much that "first" one means.
So happy to have her back !
Gary
 

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Congrats

Thewelshm
 

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What a great story !! recording the serial numbers in a log is an excellent idea, O learned that from my Dad. I keep two, one at home (not in the gun safe) and one at work.
 

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Glad you got your Blackhawk back and glad it was still in great shape. I also record all the SN of guns. Now I put them in my iPhone and each time I add one I email the list to myself and leave the email on the server. I also print it out and put in in the safe. I actually have some that do not have a SN..
 
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