need info on old S&W revolver

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Oso1970, Feb 28, 2022.

  1. Oso1970

    Oso1970 Member

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    Any info is appreciated.
     

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  2. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I would assume a Commonwealth (probably British) WWII-era Victory Revolver that went into FTR refurbishment (Factory Thorough Repair) in 1952 and hit the surplus market before 1968 by way of the plating tank. Probably has cylinder hogged-out to take .38 Special, but might still be in .38 S&W. Value is low- $200 to maybe $300. Low collector's interest in such a condition.
     
  3. Oso1970

    Oso1970 Member

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    Thanks
     
  4. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    Hi @Oso1970

    First welcome, you will find a good bunch of people here. Second, you got me - not much help, sorry. Consider posting the same information in the Revolver section. There is a link for the S&W information. https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/identity-and-date-of-manufacture-of-s-w-revolvers.372213/

    Likewise, consider going to the SWHF for a letter or two. A bit expensive, but could have some entertaining info. https://swhistoricalfoundation.com/letter-process/

    Good luck
     
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  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Going to need more pictures. I cannot tell the caliber from your photos, nor a serial number. It appears to be a five screw model, and those ended in 1955. The pistol has been refinished.

    FTR was a common stamping on the rebuilt Lee Enfield rifles I handled, and a few I own. FTR stood for factory through repair. Maybe that is a WW2 era pistol sent to the UK and repaired. Determining the caliber would be important in establishing potential UK service use.
     
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  6. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    A picture of the bottom of the grip frame would be most helpful! Any numbers, letters or lanyard hole remains can be used to narrow ID.

    Since having a "long action", its definitely pre-1948ish. The S&W guys know way more about how to ID based placement of logos and stamps- I am not that advanced.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2022
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  7. Oso1970

    Oso1970 Member

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  8. Oso1970

    Oso1970 Member

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    .38 cal
     
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  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Any markings on the top strap, like this?

    Mu2nJia.jpg

    this is what is on the butt of this Victory Pistol

    OXz002T.jpg

    t9DtEPH.jpg

    and this is the caliber marking

    GocXHzU.jpg


    Just based on the V on the butt, your pistol is a WW2 era production. I do not have an S&W in 38 S&W (not the same cartridge as a 38S&W Special). The British used the 38 S&W as a service cartridge, and with a bit of research I found this article on Victory revolvers made for the British


    Classics: Smith & Wesson’s Victory Revolver in .38 S&W

    https://gundigest.com/military-firearms/classics-smith-wessons-victory-revolver-in-38-sw

    If you notice, the finish on wartime revolvers is utilitarian not pretty. The utilitarian parkerized finish is a better, more durable, more rust resistant finish than bluing. But, bluing is pretty. It is quite obvious a previous owner wanted a pretty pistol and had that Victory revolver blued.

    As long as it shoots. You have to verify what caliber the cylinders were bored, as all sorts of crude gunsmithing went on post WW2. I have a Webley converted to 45 ACP Crude chambering job, the throat is almost straight. And a 45 ACP conversion is inappropriate as the 45 ACP operates above the proof pressures of a 455 Webley. Product liability as a legal concept was developing post WW2 and it was, for a long time, buyer beware. An unsafe product got in your hands, the legal system expected you to be smart enough to know it, and if you did not know, then Darwinian selection would take place, and the gene pool would be purified. It was not a nice world.
     
  10. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    That puts it at late 1943, I believe. They did a good job of plugging the lanyard hole.

    Any chance of a pic looking into the cylinder from the rear? We need to see any alterations to the chambers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2022
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  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Bubba's Bumper Brighteners washed out a lot of markings, I can't see a caliber on the right side of the barrel, but could just pick out a British proof mark. That and 5" barrel make it much more likely an original BSR .380 Revolver = .38 S&W Super Police. But maybe reamed out to take Specials in the Colonies.
     
  12. Monac

    Monac Member

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    The 38 S&W "Super Police" was just a different load of the basic 38 S&W cartridge. It had the same powder charge, but a bullet that weighed 200 grains instead of the standard 148 grains. That made the bullet slow, but it also meant it was overlength and spinning slowly, which was intended to make it unstable so it would tumble on impact. That was supposed to give it increased stopping power. It didn't, hence no factory has made it for 60+ years.

    The British and their Commonwealth allies called it "380 Enfield", but they switched from the 200 grain plain lead bullet to a 178 grain jacketed bullet before World War 2 started. That should be what the sights on this revolver were regulated for. I only saw that ammo for sale a few times over several decades.

    Long story short, this gun doesn't have much shooting or collecting value in its present condition. It would be a nice project gun for someone with the appropriate skills.

    PS - the 38 S&W cartridge is both shorter and very slightly fatter than 38 Special. (Smith & Wesson also invented 38 Special, so they always mark guns they make for it as "38 S&W Special", which makes things even more confusing.) IF this gun is A) converted to 38 Special as .455_Hunter suggests, and B) shoots to point of aim with 38 Special ammo, then it could be a good shooter, but that will take a lot of luck.

    PPS - Just to nitpick myself, I think the standard bullet weight for 38 S&W was 146 grains, not 148. I think 148 was the standard weight for a 38 Special target wadcutter bullet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2022
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