Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Oso1970, Feb 28, 2022.
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/
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.
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.
this is what is on the butt of this Victory Pistol
and this is the caliber marking
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
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.
Any chance of a pic looking into the cylinder from the rear? We need to see any alterations to the chambers.
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.
Separate names with a comma.