A semi-atuomatic unserialized shotgun made by Sears sits on a bench at a range / Stephen Gutowski
A semi-atuomatic unserialized shotgun made by Sears sits on a bench at a range / Stephen Gutowski

Shooting My ‘Ghost Gun’ From Sears [Member Exclusive]

I was finally able to get out to the range and actually shoot my Sears-made “ghost gun.”

For those who don’t know, I bought a cheap used semi-automatic shotgun a few weeks back. This one has two twists that younger people reading this may be surprised by. First off, it’s made by Sears. It has the roll marks to prove it and everything!

The second twist is what it doesn’t have: a serial number.

That’s because this gun was made and sold before the passage of The Gun Control Act of 1968. It may have been sold through the Sears catalog and shipped directly to somebody’s front door.

Back before The Gun Control Act, it was common for Americans to buy guns that way. And gun makers weren’t required to serialize their firearms. So, many didn’t.

Now, some states and localities are trying to make it illegal to even possess guns like this. No serial number means no trace is possible if the gun does end up at a crime scene. The current rush to ban these guns is driven mostly by the rise of 3D-printed gun components and homemade firearms.

But, it’s important to remember just how common this was not all that long ago.

As for the gun itself, it’s in pretty good shape for a cheap old gun from Sears. It’s probably holding up better than most of the things they sold once they became the mall anchor store I remember them as.

It seems to have a magazine plug in it since I couldn’t get more than two rounds into the tube at a time even though it should hold four. I’m guessing somebody used this as a hunting gun at some point and just left it set up that way. I suppose that makes sense as it’s the only practical use I could see for this gun with a barrel this length.

It shoots pretty well and I honestly had a good time with it.

I did run into some feeding issues. It may not like longer shells as the jams seemed to be primarily caused by the shell rubbing against the bore of the gun as the feed tray tried to push it up and into the barrel. But, to be fair, I literally didn’t do anything to this 60-year-old $175 gun after I bought it.

So, maybe it just needs to be deep cleaned and oiled to work properly.

Either way, it was a really enjoyable gun to shoot. Plus, you can’t beat the cool factor of the veri-choke. I have no idea if it’s actually practical at all, but it sure does look nice on the end of that barrel.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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John Kornegay
John Kornegay
4 months ago

I have the Veri-Choke on a similar aged Mossberg and they do work – when clean. You will also probably find, as I did, that the choke has probably never been cleaned and is completely filled with powder residue. You may need to soak it for a while before you… Read more »

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