S&W Victory Markings


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hatchetbearer
March 1, 2011, 12:37 PM
Greetings all,

I'm Looking at picking up a S&W Victory in about 85% finish, serial number in the 343xx range, so between '43-'45 manufacture, Its not marked for a branch of service, but is stamped what appears to be "KOP" opposite the serial on the butt of the gun. Could this be a police or stateside guard weapon? No ordnance bombs, or any other markings outside what Smith stamped on there.

Also, Think $400-$425 would sound about right?

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waidmann
March 1, 2011, 10:12 PM
I assume you are referring a .38 S&W Special with a "V" preceeding the 343XX. Victories. pre-victories and British Service Models capture a variety of markings. The Defense Supply Corporation even allocated some to individual police officers. The Army Ordnance folks controlled everything from April 1942 onward including Lend-Lease. The Inspectors initials I am familiar with are WB and GHD. To my knowledge only the U.S. Navy marked their branch of service.

As to value I emphasize caution. A near 95%'er recently brought over $600. About six months ago a virtual mint pre-V in the 990XXX range went for $485, it was lettered to the U.S. Maritime Commission.

There are several folks better qualified who will likely weigh-in. I'll be curious if they shed some light. My advice is know what you are doing when you plunk down over $300 or so on a Victory or similar.

Jim K
March 1, 2011, 11:41 PM
Pictures? Especially the butt markings.

Jim

hatchetbearer
March 2, 2011, 05:50 AM
http://i.imgur.com/Z1uvk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/qZuU4.jpg

I guess pictures would have helped to start. But yes it is chambered in .38 S&W special, and does have the "V" prefix as you can see in the pictures.

hatchetbearer
March 2, 2011, 05:54 AM
whoops, double tap.

Old Fuff
March 2, 2011, 12:51 PM
The mark "KOP" on the butt was stamped there after the revolver left the factory. The most likely answer is that it's one which was sold to (or through) the Defense Supply Corp. (DSC) to a police department or factory filling military contracts. To know for sure would require having it lettered by S&W.

Information concerning historical letters of authentication from Smith & Wesson’s historian, Roy G. Jinks can be obtained from the link listed below.

In exchange for a $50.00 research fee (make any check out to Smith & Wesson, not Mr. Jinks) he will search through the company’s original records until he finds your particular revolver. He will then send you an official letter which usually includes:

A short history of the revolver model’s background.

What the barrel length, caliber/cartridge, finish and stocks were, as well as the exact date it was shipped from the factory – and to what distributor, dealer or individual – as whatever the case may be.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CustomContentDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&content=25301&sectionId=10504

waidmann
March 2, 2011, 11:01 PM
Looks more like the dies Bubba used to mark his tools.

Jim K
March 2, 2011, 11:27 PM
It also looks like there is an overstamp, plus the "P" may have been added, so "IO" became "KOP". FWIW, some police departments altered or obliterated their markings when they sold/traded their guns. I recall hearing that the CA Highway Patrol altered "CHP" to the meaningless "OHR", for example.

Jim

SaxonPig
March 3, 2011, 09:44 AM
Likely a police or security co. stamping. They usually look amateurish.

waidmann
March 3, 2011, 08:53 PM
I think we are agreed the markings are of no significance, a distraction and an undersireable alteration. Given that it is a special my estimate runs at $300-350, maybe, in my area. If it were a pre-model 10 in similar condition, around $200-250.

Some very, very nice ones have auctioned over $500 but they have been truly exceptional.

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