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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick set of questions for you guys. I may have the opportunity to purchase an M2HB (fully transferable) with a post-war M3 Tripod... The owner is an elderly gentleman who I was put in touch with through a mutual friend. I spoke with him on the phone and he told me some details about the firearm... He said it is a side plate gun, having been built with a Stemple plate. He also said the plate was welded on. Now, I did some research and I have been unable to find any Stemple side plate M2HB's, only a few 1919a4's that I may have seen over the years... Did Stemple make these in any numbers? All the side plate M2's I see are RAMO's...

He is unable to get me photos but has assured me that it is a fully functional piece that he has had for many years. I have been invited to his home to see it in person and to also have it fire demonstrated on his property. I was just hoping to get some good information on it before I make the 2 hour trip to go see it. He said price is negotiable but would like to be between 20-30k on it, which seems about on-par with what I typically see.

I am not necessarily wanting to know if its a good deal, as I know that is a difficult question to answer without seeing detailed photos - but just curious to know if anyone has much experience with Stemple side plate M2's... Worth looking at or something to stay away from?

THANKS!
 

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A number of companies made sideplates, though I've never seen a stemple one. Just about any side plate can be fixed. Make sure that it's registered right, that it began life as an M-2 and is papered to the owner and you'll probably be fine.
 

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I've seen a number of M2HB's mostly transferable and also seen several Semi autos and the only one's I've seen that had the sideplates welded were TNW's however, that doesn't mean that it isn't a transferable. Stemple did make a lot of guns however, an M2HB I couldn't swear to.

I would call Stemple to see, here's a link to the BRP corp. that may give you some better information as they are an outlet for Stemple guns: http://www.brpguns.com/

There is a phone number near the bottom of their web page I'd give them a call, couldn't hurt.

Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
 

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I've seen a number of M2HB's mostly transferable and also seen several Semi autos and the only one's I've seen that had the sideplates welded were TNW's however, that doesn't mean that it isn't a transferable. Stemple did make a lot of guns however, an M2HB I couldn't swear to.

I would call Stemple to see, here's a link to the BRP corp. that may give you some better information as they are an outlet for Stemple guns: http://www.brpguns.com/

There is a phone number near the bottom of their web page I'd give them a call, couldn't hurt.

Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
I am with Frank on this one I am not aware of any Stemple transferable M2HB's but I would call and talk to Brian at BRP he would be the guy to ask but let us know when you find out so we can all learn something from this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Based on the paperwork alone, is there a way to tell if it is transferable? He use to be a class 3, and still has his sole proprietorship established. So, the last movement of the firearm was to his business on a form 3. Based on looking at his form 3, is there a way that it will definitely tell me weather its transferable or a dealer sample? If I call the NFA branch of the ATF with the serial number, will they be able to tell me (even though I am not the owner)? I appreciate all of your guys' help. I am going to call BRP Corp tomorrow, and see if I can get to the bottom of this... I will be sure to post my findings.

Thanks again!
 

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If he was a sole prop with SOT it would have transfered to him on a 3 but will transfer to you on a 4, ask him to see the original form 3 , if its a dealer sample it will say it , on my forms from late eighties, early 90s it was just hand written on form by examiner, now they stamp it with a large red rubber stamp
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So when I look at paperwork (form 3), if it does not say "Dealer Sample" anywhere on the form, then I am good to go? Would the NFA branch be able/willing to tell me if its transferable?

Thanks!
 

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As I have said in a current but different post, stories are free. If you are about to domino 20K I would demand a look at the original form 3 to verify it began life as an M2 side-plate and not a Mac10 or a Sten. Plenty of smart people get hosed by fraud in this game. We coughed up paperwork all the time to verify/assuage angst during price negotiations for MGs. You need to have trust in your dealings but money is money. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Right,
He has completely agreed to show me paperwork. He has invited me to his home to see the gun in person for inspection, he has agreed to demo fire the gun for me to show functionality, as well as show me all the paperwork I want to see... I just need to know what to look for when I am looking over the paperwork... I own two transferable MG's, so I am familiar with the form 4. I am just not savvy on the form 3, and how to tell if 1.) it is definitely transferable, and 2.) Determine if it started life as an M2.

If I understand correctly, as long as the form 3 (which he has agreed to show me) lacks any hand-written or stamped indication that it is a dealer sample, such as "Dealer Sample Only!" in huge red letters printed on it... Then it is a good-to-go transferable... Also, if field 3.d (model) says something along the lines of "M2", or "M2HB" or any other derivation of the name - then it is a good-to-go original registered M2 and nothing else. Am I correct? Like I said, I will have the form 3 in front of me... I am just a novice with the form 3 so just need to know what to look for.

Thanks!
 

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Tax paid guns (transferable) have stamps. An actual stamp like you already have on the upper right corner of your other guns. He may have the original owners form? Samples don't. You are buying a tax paid gun. It cant say "limited use" or "sales sample only". I forget what all the various stamps say but there are still lots of guys here still jacking with the trade that do. Please correct me if Im wrong! Its been a few years. j
 

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If I am remembering right, there was a case some time back involving some M-2 carbine kits that tried to turn themselves into M-2 fifties. I saw some case documents on the internet some time back. Point being, there is always a risk. Since all of that bad stuff happened with Macs bringing Mag-58s, the ATF has been checking documents a lot harder. I had a document returned once because a PPSH-41 had apparently been registered in 9mm, despite the fact that these guns clearly weren't made that way. I am guessing the ammo was cheaper.... Anyhow, form needed to say 9mm or the ATF wouldn't accept it. So it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I just spoke with Brian at BRP corp -super nice guy. He is very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I highly recommend giving Brian a call with any questions :)

He said, basically, the same thing many of you were saying... Stemple made many many many firearms and it is impossible to know exactly what he made and when he made it... He was known to own several M2's himself, so it is not unlikely that there are Stemple side plate M2's rolling around out there.

Next step is to see the MG, look over craftsmanship and build quality, see it shoot, and try to get a provenance on the form 3 paperwork.

Thank you all for your help and advice... Will try and set a time in the near future to go see the thing. Will get many photos and post them here.

Thanks again!
 

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Brian is a great guy I knew he would have the answers for you. Thanks for posting this and keep us up to speed once you find out more I would love to know if stemple did in fact make some transferable M2's. Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I called the owner of the M2 and asked him if he would please divulge the information from the form 3. He game me manufacturer, model, caliber, length (barrel and full) and serial. (Sorry, I can't say his name or the firearm serial number as he has asked me not to).

I called ATF NFA branch and asked them if the SN is in their registry as a transferable, and the answer was a resounding "yes".

Here is the odd part. The manufacturer is listed as "Colt Hartford Ct" Model is listed as MG-53 (or 52 - imagine its a 52, but he said 53 on the phone?) Caliber is 50, and in the notes section it says: John R. Stemple, Ohio...

Very strange... It is almost like this was once a Colt Mg52 and registered as such, and then for some reason the plate was taken off and rebuilt with a M2HB and then stamped by Stemple. He said there are weld line on the plate (the plate was not welded onto the gun). This firearm was actually transfered from Kent Lomont, so a very reputable dealer... I made plans to go visit the firearm on this coming Sunday, so an in-person meet will tell more.
 

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Well that is good news and bad lol if it is in fact marked as such then you would almost have to find a water cooled front end for it :tongue: and this is why this hobby is just too dang expensive. Keep us informed should you get it and please post pictures. Either way it has led an interesting life and had some good company on it's journey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So if it was once registered as a MG 53 or 52, and someone removed the sideplate and built a M2HB out of it... Is that still okay as far as the ATF is concerned? I would imagine the overall length and barrel length are now different. And if Stimple remanufactured an M2HB out of an old or worn out Colt registered side plate from a different firearm, woudnt the paperwork have to reflect "Stemple" as the manufacturer? Because Stemple is apparently stamped on the side of the plate. So confusing :confused:

Oh well, I guess the stars will align when I actually get to see the darn thing.

Thanks again!
 

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Barrel length and overall length don't matter. You can take a registered uzi and put a long barrel on it, remove the stock, add a longer stock, whatever. These changes are only temporary.

I am wondering what this side plate is. It could be a dewat that Stemply reactived, and as such he "manufactured" it to some degree.. It could also be a demilled plate that stemple welded back together. Look for marks of welding/cutting and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The owner of the M2 did say there are indications of the sideplate having had been welded together - the side plate is not welded to the firearm. My assumption, like you, is that it was a demilled or damaged plate, which was put back together by Stemple and stamped with his name as such... My only qualm is: should Stemple then be the listed manufacturer on the form?
 

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The Colt 53-2 was the aircraft version in the Colt commercial line. If the gun is registered as a Colt 53-2 or M53, my speculation is that Stemple reactivated the gun, and is required to put his ID on it, as that is a form of "manufacturing". The welding on the receiver remains a bit mysterious, but possibly the gun was torched as a demilled and then registered at some point. I have seen half a dozen such BMGs over the years, guns torched through various parts, with greater or lesser damage, and then they were registered prior to or during the '68 Amnesty. As registered DEWATs they are legally reactivated.
Since it is registered as Colt manufacture, Stemple did not weld, restore, register and assemble the plate to the gun, because his name would have to be listed as the manufacturer on the original registration.
As an original Colt 53-2, it is a rare MG. Set up the M2HB configuration makes it an economical shooter compared to an aircraft gun.

Bob Naess
 

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Great info as usual Bob I can tell this is going to be a very interesting thread.
 
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