1942-1945 Victory model s&w

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by SwissArmyDad, Aug 25, 2013.

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  1. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Chambered in .38 special.

    A good friend has it up for sale.

    Anything to be wary of, or to check for?

    I'm going to check the bore, make note of the serial number, barrel caliber markings...anything i'm missing? (My only other revolver is an LCR, so i'm not familiar with a pre-purchase wheelgun checkout.

    I attached a pic:
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  2. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    For one,ask if he has the original grips and if he does make sure the #s match. Also if Im not mistaken there should also be a "US" marking somewhere along with a V lettered prefix.
     
  3. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    You might want to check out the "THE REVOLVER CHECKOUT" sticky at the start of this section.
     
  4. natman

    natman Member

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    Make sure it is *factory* chambered in 38 Special. Some Victory guns were originally chambered in 38 S&W for the English market. Some of them have been "converted" to 38 Special, but the conversion is not satisfactory because the original 38 S&W chamber is too large.
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    SwissArmyDad

    I would suggest doing a thread search as there have been several that have contained a wealth of valuable information concerning Victory model revolvers.
     
  6. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    There's a great story about those, involving submachineguns dumped into the Thames, a $1 million deposit and S&W saying "How about we make you some revolvers?".
     
  7. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    The value of these guns varies depending on the specific markings you encounter. "US Navy" or "US Property" on the topstrap indicates US military issue. A blank topstrap generally indicates DSC issue (DSC provided access to guns for police and private security companies guarding factories, and other war-essential civilian sites). Many of these guns were sent to Britain and will have a variety of other markings. Of course there are many details that matter, but that's enough to get started. The least desirable of these guns were made for the British in 38S&W caliber, and then later converted to .38 Special.

    An 'S' on the butt indicates that the updated lockwork to make the gun drop-safe.

    Be aware that some of the less common markings ("US Navy") have been faked in the past, and a clear photo showing the font of the lettering would help sort that out.

    I like to look closely at the screwheads of older revolvers, marred heads indicate the gun has been apart, which is not always a deal-killer but with strongly suggests caution. If the screwheads are pristine and the lockwork passes the tests in the revolver sticky, chances are excellent that all is well inside.

    In my opinion, these guns represent the best value in affordable WWII sidearms. They are excellent shooters, historically interesting and do not require a second mortgage to obtain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  8. Oro

    Oro Member

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    The VAST majority of the .38 S&W guns that went overseas were 5", and the .38 Specials were pretty exclusively 4". That one being 4", you should be safe it's a a more desirable (and less common) US made special.

    The finish looks original - a proprietary S&W phosphating called "Black Magic." It is more fragile than regular Parkerizing so treat it a little better to keep it original. The '42 Navy example I have, when loaded with my target handloads, is the most inherently accurate handgun I've ever shot. These can be wonderful guns to plink with and take to the range, or for home defense, certainly.

    I whole-heartedly agree.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  10. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    So my buddy brought it over and i snapped a few more detailed pics
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  11. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  12. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Next one
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  13. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Caliber marking
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  14. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Cylinder. I see a V, a P, and the serial number
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  15. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Crane serial number (matches serial number on crane "cutout" on frame) with What looks like an "S" stamp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  16. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Right side
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  17. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Love to have some feedback, but honestly this looks like a very clean example. The star extractor serial number matches, too.

    I don't know what the "p" marks stand for, nor do i know what use this may have had in the 1940's as its not stamped with army or navy markings that i can see.
     
  18. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    Regarding the P mark, this is from the link that rcmodel supplied above:

    "P – Proof marking. This can very depending on the contract. Navy marked pistols usually have none. But C.W. Pates books indicate that some delivered under an Army contract could be found with a P mark. Post the V400,000 serial number range they are located on the underside of the barrel, back of the cylinder and left side plate. The later appear to be Army Supply Program contract revolvers."

    My guess is that this is a DSC gun, like mine. Other than the property and acceptance marks, they were identical in every way to the military-marked guns and were taken, as needed, from the same assembly line. I have heard that some of these guns were shipped to the military anyway, when things got tight. We'll probably never really know the whole story.

    If the price is right, I see nothing that suggests it is other than what it appears to be. If it were mine, I'd put a pair of correct grips on her and see how well she shoots.
     
  19. gunownerz

    gunownerz Member

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    Excellent. I was gonna recommend the same thing.
     
  20. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    It's hard to see in your photo, but is there a P marking on the upper right corner of the frame on the left-hand side?
     
  21. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Yes, i believe there is, mikejackmin

    And thank you for all the info mentioned in your previous post, as well
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  22. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Alright, well i think i'm going to pick this one up unless anyone has any late breaking input. :)

    Matching numbers, good bore, lack of rust, and a passing mechanical test makes me think this'll be a nice shooter and an interesting conversation piece.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  23. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    Nice gun. I've found a fondness for S&W wheelies from the early to middle of the last century.

    I'm still looking for a couple of nice Victory revolvers to compliment my others.
     
  24. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Good lord!

    He's a friend.
    It's a S&W.

    Unless he is asking an outrageous amount of money for it, this old warrior would have been added to my collection the first time I saw it.
     
  25. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Ok, well just an update. I ended up passing on this gun. I simply decided to put my money elsewhere and heavy-heartedly gave it back to my friend with the gunsmith's spent cases and a clean bill of health.

    Fast forward to today, Christmas morning, and what shows up under the tree? Yup, you guessed it. Apparently after i gave it back, my wife and mother-in-law talked to my buddy and scooped it up.

    i was/am shocked. My wife is definitely a keeper. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
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