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  #1  
Old 12-18-2016, 11:08 PM
champ0608 champ0608 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 51
Default Searching for stolen National Match 1903...worth a shot.

I know this is very much a long shot, but I figured I might as well try.

My grandfather (John Forrest Davis) was a big collector of firearms. He had hundreds upon hundreds. On Thanksgiving day, 1982, while he was at his mother's house for the family feast, his house in Gary, Indiana was broken into. The thief took nearly 40 firearms; cherry picking only fine and valuable rifles.

Grandpa was furious, of course, but was heartbroken over one particular rifle. That was a national match 1903 Springfield that belonged to his father Wallace Herschel Davis. Wallace bought the rifle in the early 1930s, competed with it numerous times at Camp Perry as a member of the Illinois Civilian Rifle Team, and made the President's Hundred with it in 1938.

I've got several pictures of my great-grandfather with the rifle. I have the original receipt from the DCM. I have the police report grandpa filed in 1982, and newspaper clippings after the theft.

And while its seemingly a ghost hunt to go in search of this one rifle, 35 years after it was stolen and never seen again, it would mean the world to me and my family to have that treasured heirloom restored to our posterity.

The serial number of the rifle is 1272586

If you own a national match 1903 springfield, please go double check. If by some miracle someone who ever reads this is in possession of that rifle, please contact me. I'm not interested in who the thief was, when or how you acquired the rifle, or obtaining it from you for free. I will make it worth your while. Please, send me a private message here if you can help.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2016, 12:55 AM
1stgarand 1stgarand is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Florida
Posts: 568
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That's sad. I know the feeling. I hope you find the rifle, and I hope the useless, worthless, sorry excuse for human beings that stole them get what they deserve while on this earth. What goes around comes around!
Good Luck!
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2016, 08:41 AM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,955
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I hope you find the rifle. I had a theft several years ago and feel for you. I detest thieves and anyone who may be in possession of stolen property. Regarding the latter, I think that everyone who may have gotten a screaming deal on a firearm should do a DOJ check to make sure that the deal didn't come from a stinking crook. The odds are that the NM is question is still out there and is rat holed away in someone's collection, as are the firearms that were stolen from me. I guess you can easily see my perspective on the subject and I wish you the best of luck in your search.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2016, 10:24 AM
Dollar Bill Dollar Bill is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 2,069
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At some point in time, that rifle will show up on the market. I don't know if you can but I'd send a message to every firearm auction house I can find with a copy of the police report. I'll post on other websites I frequent. Let's do everything we can to improve your chances of a recovery.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2016, 03:56 PM
GM1MAN GM1MAN is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: South
Posts: 1,171
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I hate to say it, but it sounds like the burglar who did this either had to know your Grandfather or had to know he had a quality collection. Most likely they knew he would be out for the day. Hand picking rather than just grabbing a few firearms kind of indicates that the person who did this was no regular burglar.

I feel your pain, in years past I was burglarized twice so I can understand losing family heirlooms.

If the original police reports were filed correctly, the stolen firearms will remain in the NCIC data base until they are recovered.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2016, 05:00 PM
champ0608 champ0608 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1MAN View Post
I hate to say it, but it sounds like the burglar who did this either had to know your Grandfather or had to know he had a quality collection. Most likely they knew he would be out for the day. Hand picking rather than just grabbing a few firearms kind of indicates that the person who did this was no regular burglar.
My grandfather had a very strong hunch who the thief was. Among the stolen rifles were a handful of Stevens Tip-Up rifles. He had a friend who collected them, and didn't know many other people who knew much about them. To walk into a room filled with well known rifles like Winchester 73s, and pass over those for the Stevens, gave him a good idea who done it. But he never could prove it.

The thief also stole all the family Christmas presents. Grandma was beside herself. She was so proud that she had all the shopping done so early, and they took everything.

They felt so invaded, and so tired of the state of Gary at that time, they moved a few towns away just a couple months later.

Thanks everyone for the solidarity. I know that rifle is out there. Grandpa passed away in 2009, and I keep the search alive. Sooner or later I think we'll find it.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2016, 05:28 PM
BuddyBGood BuddyBGood is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW Pa.
Posts: 1,026
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What is the proper way to check on a firearm in question?
What happens if this firearm has been reported as stolen or lost?
Example it has been missing for 20 years.I understand following the paper/ person trail.
If original owner is not available where does it go?
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2016, 07:11 PM
chuckchili chuckchili is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 174
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^ that's an interesting question... perhaps the police report could be "freshened up" to include a next of kin person to contact?

Good luck with your search.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2016, 09:10 PM
Randy A Randy A is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 688
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Filed correctly or not, they do not stay in the data base. You need to go back into the Police/ Sheriffs office and ask to have the serial numbers reentered. IIRC they drop from the database every 5 years. You will have to take the copy of the original police report too, without it they cannot be reentered.
Yes, I agree, this was "very" likely done by an acquaintance or relative that was familiar with the collection.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2016, 08:22 PM
jerryjeff jerryjeff is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 5,869
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Yup,young pups have sharp eyes. Sadly, kids will steal from their own parents, aunts and uncles. Or a neighbor kid see's the old guy going out to the garage with guns. Or a kid brags to the neighbor kids about all the guns his dad has. Loose lips, sink ships. It usually is someone close. Maybe the druggie a couple doors down who needs quick cash. Keep your eyes open. Don't wander around in the back yard with rifles. I think like a thief, I open the door and look around. Then quickly move to the workshop. I'm furtive.
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