New to handguns, .38 S&W Questons Victory model


November 20, 2006, 06:08 PM
I have a 38S&W and I am trying to figure out if I can fire the special rounds, they fit in the cylinder just like the 38S&W rounds, I am scared to try it though but both seem to fit fine. The numers on the gun are:

Bottom of Barrel: V 262360
Butt: V816
Between Cylinder and body 47149

Any help would be arrpecheated,

If you enjoyed reading about "New to handguns, .38 S&W Questons Victory model" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 20, 2006, 06:20 PM
was only produced in the .38 Special caliber. If your weapon is truly in the .38 Smith & Wesson caliber, I don't think using .38 Special cartridges is advisable. You probably need a more expert opinion than mine.

November 20, 2006, 06:21 PM
Some of the Victory Models were chambered for .38 S&W Special; if yours is one of those it should say so on the barrel. If all it says is ".38 S&W", the chambers were probably bored out at a later date to accept the longer .38 S&W Special cartridge.

Several reliable sources say that the cylinders used on the .38 S&W models are the same as the cylinders used on the .38 S&W Special models and, therefore, it is safe to use .38 Special ammo in a .38 S&W model that has been modified like yours was (but NO +P, etc). However.....

..... the base (not the rim, but widest point of the base) on the .38 S&W cartridge is .382" wide while the base of the .38 S&W Special cartridge is only .375" wide. That means you get a slightly looser fit in the chamber if you use the .38 special ammo. (You can see for yourself .... the difference is enough to let you 'wobble' the .38 Special cartridge around in the chamber even after it is resting on its rim on the face of the cylinder; the .38 S&W should fit pretty snug.)

Some folks worry that extra play increases the chance of a cartridge rupturing in the chamber. (There might be a little blow back if that happened, but getting the split cartridge stuck in there would be the major headache.) Some folks don't worry about it at all. Consult a gunsmith you trust for a good opinion, but in the end you have to decide for yourself how much risk you are willing to accept.

You can still fire .38 S&W ammo out of that gun even though it has been bored for the longer .38 Special ammo. You can still buy .38 S&W ammo.... Remington makes it in a 146 grain round nose lead bullet loading (item #R38SW). The last box I bought cost almost $30 for a box of 50 cartridges.

November 20, 2006, 06:47 PM
Bottom of Barrel: V 262360

I don't have a serial number list, but comparing that one to a few others suggests you have a pretty early model... I'm guessing early 1942.

November 20, 2006, 07:42 PM
Bear in mind that some of the S&W "Victory" models were chambered for the British .38/200 round - a short .38 case with a 200gr. lead bullet. These are NOT intended for the .38 Special round! :eek:

Best get your gun checked by a competent gunsmith to make sure what cartridge it was chambered for . . .

November 20, 2006, 07:53 PM
+1 to what Froggy said about bored-out chambers. Tens of thousands of S&W revolvers were butchered this way in the 1950s. Most likely you have one.

November 20, 2006, 08:16 PM
I'll toss more mud in the water..........

Your numbers are screwy. The barrel and the butt serial numbers should match. The butt serial number is very low. V1 to approximately V39,999 were predominately .38 S&W Caliber. These revolvers were known as the S&W 38/200 and most had five inch barrels. They were lend/lease guns to the British Empire, and many were converted poorly to .38 special prior to returning to the States. However, if someone took the time to replace your barrel, the cylinder may have been replaced as well. There should be a number on the rear face of the cylinder. What is it? What is your barrel length?

With mismatched numbers, your revolver has next to no collector value. I would not hestitate to shoot an unconverted Victory. A badly done conversion is another story. Have a gunsmith check it out.

Here's some more info (V1 to approximately V39,999 were predominately .38 S&W Caliber).

November 21, 2006, 12:31 PM
I am taking it to a gunsmith on Friday. the barrel has a "V" stamped before the number but the barrel has .38S&W on it with a few patent numbers on the top. It is not a collector gun anyway, its been nickle plated and I will be useing it as a shooter, I only paid $150 for it, a good deal from what I am told. It is not original and I don't mind, its a tight, good quality shooter from what I am told.


If you enjoyed reading about "New to handguns, .38 S&W Questons Victory model" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!