Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Having fun with L.W. Seecamp custom serial numbers
The pictured 2008 vintage LWS .380 is strictly a collectable, as will be the “sister-pistol” that I ordered yesterday, an LWS .32 with serial number “007JBOND.”
In order to get a custom serial number for an L.W. Seecamp pistol the number must be “available,” i.e. it must be a serial number not yet used on any other LWS pistol (NOTE: a few of the early LWS .25 and LWS .32 pistols did have matching numbers and are highly sought-after collectables). The custom serial number can be up to eight characters long and at least one character needs to be a digit from “1” through “9.” It is common for folks to substitute a digit that resembles a letter, such as “1” for the letter “I” or “L” in a word (or name) in order to come up with no less than one digit in the serial number. Blank spaces count in the eight-character length limit. Over the many years, custom LWS serial numbers for many cops were their respective badge numbers, making their pistols treasured heirlooms.
Some custom serial numbers may initially seem cute or satisfy some ephemeral sentiment, such as “1_LUV_DD,” but, down the road, it may make your pistol difficult to sell. Serial numbers such as “1_K1LL_U” or “D1E_P1GS” may prove to be just a bit awkward if you and your pistol wind up in a civil or criminal trial. A custom serial number that is truly appropriate for a gunfight may be okay, such as “OH_SH1T” or “HE1P_ME.” What I am trying to say is that I’m guessing your defense attorney would prefer that your firearm’s serial number not require a lengthy, detailed, explanation before a judge and jury. My carry LWS .380 has a generic factory assigned serial number (ILLINOIS DISCLAIMER: I only carry while on my property).
The market for .32 ACP pocket pistols is still alive and well. Due to demand, there is a 3-month wait for the venerable Seecamp .32. As far as the demand for the LWS .380, the last time I checked, there was a waiting list just to get on the waiting list.