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What’s Your Shotgun’s Serial #?

Before this hunting season, make sure your shotgun's digits are known and secured.

Do you know your shotgun’s serial number by heart? Unlikely.

But you DO have it written down and saved somewhere, right? Be honest…

I’ll admit I have as good a chance picking the next Powerball lotto correctly as I do guessing the numbers that comprise my shotgun’s personal identification.

Most of us will never need to know this number until we need to know it, i.e. when your firearm is stolen or goes missing. Consider the case of well-known waterfowl hunter Jeff Foiles. Among the items taken by thieves from a recent heist of Foiles’ truck included two Benelli Super Black Eagle 12-gauge shotguns. To read Saint Paul Pioneer Press Outdoor Editor Chris Niskanen’s account of the crime, click here.

I ran into Niskanen at Game Fair (the event Foiles was in town for) the week after the break in and asked him how the investigation was going. “No serial numbers for the guns, so there’s really nothing they [police] can do,” he said. For the record, Foiles’ calls – used to win big calling competitions and lure countless ‘fowl into gun range – are the real irreplaceable items from the caper. But finding the firearms at a pawn shop or elsewhere could be the lead needed to get them. Without the serial numbers, it’s a virtual cold case.

Niskanen told me the incident had inspired him to jot down and save the serial numbers for all his firearms. I’ll do the same, and you should, too. Chances are you’ll never need it, but better to be safe than sorry.

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6 Responses to “What’s Your Shotgun’s Serial #?”

  1. scott krusemark says:

    what i did was take a picture of my guns w/ serial # facing up w/ a digital camera. then u can c the whole gun then u can zoom right n on s.n. & read it plain as day. then i saved on computer, external hard drive & a flash drive which was put n a safety deposit box.

  2. tony ritter says:

    i do all that and keep all my bill of sales slips in zip-lock bag!

  3. Bob Dreksler says:

    Yes I have all my guns serial # on a list in my computer I also have they on a flash drive so if I’m out of town and my guns are stolen I can give them to police

  4. Thanks for the additional and higher tech tips. Good advice!

  5. Chris Niskanen says:

    I’m impressed with the other readers’ approach in the event of a theft. I like the idea of a flash drive in a safety deposit box. Good thinking.

  6. tom says:

    The place you store the numbers should be reasonably secure as well. For sure you can’t let you wife know where it is or she’ll know how many guns you have.


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