Victory Revolver markings


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alysloper
July 14, 2008, 09:18 AM
Hi! I'm new to this list and a Brit, so I am pretty well restricted to de-acts. I have acquired a S&W .38 which I have been told is a "Victory" model. It does not have a V prefix to the serial no. but it does have a lanyard ring and a British Broad Arow on the bottom of the frame. It is blued not parkerised.

I collect Home Guard items, so I would like to get an example of a "Lend Lease" pistol as supplied to Britain in the early years of WW2.

I know that some US weapons were rounded up and sent to the UK (in 1940?) i.e. before the Victory model production started - could my pistol possibly be one of these? I gather that a Broad Arrow is quite odd for this pistol and that victory revolvers would not have had the broad Arrow?

Thanks

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Walkalong
July 14, 2008, 09:59 AM
I know nothing about the varients of this pistol, but I do have one, and enjoy shooting it.

I too would be interested in some history on these pistols.

OFT
July 14, 2008, 11:11 AM
S&W started selling the M&P to Brittan in 1940. Serial numbers for these pistols started in the 800,000 series and when the serial number hit 1,000,000 they started over with a V prefix. This is where some collectors say that the Victory model begins. Anything before this is considered to be a pre-victory model. To me it's splitting hairs.:)

Oro
July 14, 2008, 05:02 PM
Early model "Victory" revolvers were finished with the commercial blue finish. The "Black Magic" (similar to parkerizing) finish was not in full use until early 1942. Yours sounds like an early contract Lend-Lease revolver.

It should have:

1) a 5" barrel (most common, others possible)
2) Lanyard ring
3) Either smooth walnut or diamond checkered medallioned grips
4) "38 S&W CTG" roll-marked on the right side of the barrel.

These weren't "rounded up" and sent over, they were produced under contract specifically for export under the Lend-Lease act. As OFT has said, calling the ones produced in S/N range 800,000 to 999,999 something else and then those in the V1 to V811,xxx or so range (end of military production) "Victories" is being too much the pedant by far. The model name of the guns didn't change, only the S/N because the numerical limit was reached. "Victory" is a generic term that pretty much encompasses all guns produced for martial (and some civilian/defense related) use between 1940 and 1945.

UK bound guns were in the caliber .38 S&W, and US ones were in .38 Special - a small but important difference. The Lend-Lease guns are most accurately referred to as "38/200 British Service Models" or simply "British Victories." The US .38 Special guns were generally 4" barrels (remember, UK ones were largely 5"). That the factory considered them different models can be demonstrated since they continued the 38/200 production post-war and into the 60s for Commonwealth use in the .38 S&W caliber as the Model 11, distinct from the Model 10 of the .38 Special Military & Police model.

If you want an "early years" model as you indicated, then that sounds like what you have - blue finish, non-V serialization. This would be correct for 1940 and 1941.

Pictures help quite a lot, so if you can post some, that would help us comment more thoroughly.

alysloper
July 14, 2008, 08:49 PM
Many thanks for the helpful answers. I do in fact have a serial no. of 812082 and 38 S & W CTG on the barrel, 5" barrel and a lanyard ring. Looks like I struck lucky - I thought that all victory models had to have a V prefix and be parkerised - now I know better, thanks to your forum. There is also a P on the bottom of the frame after the broad arrow - will try to post some pics.
thanks for your help!

alysloper
July 14, 2008, 08:55 PM
Can I legally obtain a new firing pin for this and get it shipped to the UK? If so, I think I could fire some blank rounds in it.

bigjohnson
July 14, 2008, 11:10 PM
The firing pin and the retaining pin that holds it in the hammer are readily available in the US. I'm sure that Gun Parts Corp. must have 50 pounds of them in stock. Getting the parts to the UK is another matter entirely. It would be quite easy to mail them and put something like "machine parts" on the customs declaration, but that doesn't mean it's LEGAL to do that. I don't pretend to know what restrictions HM Customs & Excise might place on such items.

By the way, you mentioned that your revolver had been deactivated. What was done to the gun to deactivate it?

alysloper
July 15, 2008, 07:07 AM
The firing pin has been filed off, there is a pin going thru most of the barrel's bore and a disc has been welded in halway down the cylinder.

Oro
July 15, 2008, 05:19 PM
The firing pin has been filed off, there is a pin going thru most of the barrel's bore and a disc has been welded in halway down the cylinder.

(Rant mode On)

It should be a crime to do that kind of violence to an historical artifact. Liberal fascism knows no limits...

(Rant mode Off)

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