How much is a beat up S&W Victory model worth?


July 16, 2008, 08:15 PM
I was browsing the local gun store today and looked at an old S&W Victory model .38 special. The gun locks up tight, however, it is very beat up from the outside, the blue is almost entirely gone, the grips are bad, and some dufus engraved his name into it. (poorly)

What would you say a gun like that is worth? They were asking $299 but I think that's too much, I might go back and make an offer. I've been looking for a gun in exactly this kind of shape to fix up...but I'm thinking it should be under $200. Am I wrong?

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July 16, 2008, 08:40 PM
out here they run about $150 for a good example.

July 16, 2008, 09:15 PM
under $200

In the condition you describe.

July 16, 2008, 10:29 PM
First, make certain it is originally a .38 Special and not one of the converted British Victories (

Assuming it is originally .38 Special, and assuming it has no function issues, a beater Victory Model is worthwhile as a functional firearm. If it still has the original grips and lanyard loop, it can be an interesting addition to a revolver collection. Not all guns have to be pristine. Sometimes it's nice to just hold a scarred up old gun and wonder about the stories it could tell.

Several years back I purchased a battle scarred and reblued Victory Model ( that had a bent trigger guard binding the trigger. It had diamond magnas on it, and the lanyard loop was long gone. I fixed the trigger guard, put on some appropriately scarred Victory grips and a lanyard loop. I enjoy shooting it, it's reasonably accurate, and I don't have to worry about devaluing the gun if it gets knocked around a bit. To me, that has value.

I paid $150 for it. I've had a lot of fun with it, it shoots decently, and is reliable. It's also historical. To me, that is worth $150, perhaps a bit more now. Later on, I found a nicer Victory Model for $300. I bought that one too. I still have them both, but the one I brought back from the brink is the one I prefer.

At this time, in my opinion, $300 is too much to pay for the Victory Model you describe. $150 is more like it, maybe $200 if you are in a S&W deficient area. In time, it will be worth $300, but it's going to be quite a while. If you want the gun, try to talk the seller down to a more reasonable price. Wait him out if you have to. If you have $300 and want a Victory Model in better condition, you can likely find one fairly easily. Whether the revolver in question is worth $299 is entirely up to you though. On a gun like this, the gun has no absolute value. It is only worth the price the seller and buyer agree on. You, or another buyer, will be instrumental in making that determination.

evan price
July 17, 2008, 02:27 AM
A local Ohio gunshop has Victories similar to Xavier's top, more worn, example, they had a dozen or more of them last time I was there, and they were asking $249 each, iirc.

July 17, 2008, 04:17 AM
Wow, thanks for the info Xavier. The one I was looking at kinda looks like your top picture...if you dragged it behind your car for a few blocks. It does still have the lanyard ring...I didn't realize there was so much history behind the Victory model before today. Am I right about what I've been reading - the Victory was only produced during WWII, and never sold to the public? (new, obviously)

I'm probably going to go back tomarrow and offer $150 for it. I'll post pics if I'm lucky...:)

Here's a really dumb question - what is that hole for in S&W hammers? I've never owned one before...

July 17, 2008, 12:56 PM
The hole is for the rivet that holds the firing pin onto the hammer.

July 17, 2008, 08:00 PM
Well, the dufus won't budge from $299. He is clearly delusional. :rolleyes: The guy working the counter agreed it wasn't worth that much, but the guy in charge didn't. I think I can probably get one for about $150-200 on gunbroker...I'll have it transfered to that store just so I can say :neener:

Fat Boy
July 19, 2008, 06:36 PM
So, buying from Gun Broker $150.00
Shipping via overnight $50.00-75.00
Transfer fee $20.00-$40.00

Seems like you might wind up paying somewhere in the vicinity of the sellers asking price;

Does anyone else find the costs of shopping Gun Broker makes it almost prohibitive???

July 19, 2008, 07:02 PM
Try more like $12 for shipping and $20 for transfer. That's $182 out the door for a $150 gun.

But even if it did end up at the seller's asking price, the :neener: value is priceless.

July 19, 2008, 07:27 PM
Yeah, the only time I've paid more than $20 for shipping is when I bought a C&R firearm and it was shipped overnight directly to me. Other than that, the shippers have always shipped USPS Priority and it is reasonably priced. So if you can get one off GB for $150, you should be under $200 as long as transfer fees aren't absurd. I feel lucky to have found a dealer that will do them for me for $20 flat. He's a great guy.

Fat Boy
July 19, 2008, 08:34 PM
Boy, I am learning all the time...I didn't mean to mislead anyone; I checked with FEDEX this week about shipping a handgun, and the price was going to run around $75.00. That was from me, and unlicensed individual, to an FFL. I would like to know more about how to get the cheaper prices...

July 19, 2008, 10:32 PM
Fat Boy, individual to FFL is always going to be expensive; the problem is that the ATF says you, as an individual, may not ship handguns via the US Postal Service. You're left with shipping guns overnight/early morning service Fedex or UPS, which is very expensive. To get reasonable shipping rates, you have to have an FFL do the shipping for you - they are allowed to ship Priority Mail, which is usually much less than $30, depending on the weight of the handgun.

July 20, 2008, 03:08 AM
Shade00 has pretty much covered the shipping, and Xavier the values.

An FFL can ship a handgun for $10 to $15 via USPS depending upon size and insurance. If an FFL sells to you and offers to ship a handgun to you for more than that, he's padding his shipping. His transfer for on the receiving side is his time involved in paperwork would be different that. That varies widely from $10 (the lowest I've experienced) to $60 (the highest I've seen and refused to pay).

My FFL charges $20 per paperwork (up to three guns in one day), or form he has to fill out for his book. Today I shipped a small beretta handgun, and received a 686. Total cost $30 for two handgun transactions and shipping, total ($20 for the two transfers, $10 for shipping and insurance since the gun was so small and light).

Where I to receive one handgun from him, that I had bought from an FFL, it should run about $35 on average above the "gavel" price ($20 his fee, $15 the other FFL's shipping).

You can find these transfer agents on Gunbroker and Auction Arms via their "transfer FFL" search features.

As to the Victory in question - shop hard and bring home a 95% or better one for $300 delivered. I did recently. Just don't fall for the .38 S&W trap, as Xavier talked about. Be very wary if it's a 5" gun, or if it has a non-standard front sight (signs of a modified/hacked Brit victory). Just say "no" to bad guns. It's the slogan of the post-Heller era.

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