Victory. vs. Victory

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Waveski, Apr 14, 2016.

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  1. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    The venerable Smith & Wesson Victory model of the WW II era is high on my list on "must have" revolvers. I am annoyed to a considerable degree over the application , by Smith, of that name to a new .22 autoloader.

    Am I alone on that position?
     
  2. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    Not at all. S&W also recycled the "Bodyguard" name for a .380 pocket semiauto, thus eclipsing my old 38 snubbie with the humpback frame. I wish they'd stop. Surely marketing can come up with a new name for a new product. Just by the way, I have a 1942 "pre-Victory" that is a sweet revolver. My first long action five screw.
     
  3. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I also believe in respecting a notable product's place in history by leaving it's name connected to the best known "incarnation." And the Victory model is probably a more conspicuous case than most, because of the first Victory's connection to the war effort. We had this same debate a few weeks ago on this forum.

    The problem is, the Smith and Wesson company itself seems to have a long tradition of resurrecting names. As Coyote3855 said, the Bodyguard. There's also "Military and Police" and "Ladysmith." I'm sure there are others. So you kind of have two "traditions" colliding.

    Maybe the folks at S&W think their honoring the original by doing this, but I kind if wish they wouldn't...in part because it leads to confusion. You think someone is talking about one thing when they're talking about another. Also, in some cases, the gun has just morphed into something other than it originally was over time. The original model 37 doesn't strike me as being the same gun as the most modern versions. Prob'ly time for a name change in that case. :)

    Heck, it's their company and they can do what they want, but it's my money, and I'll spend it how I want.
     
  4. jrod

    jrod Member

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    I feel the same way about this.
     
  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I just want a WW2 US victory for my collection. Don't care about what they call these johnny come lately guns.
     
  6. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    "I have a S&W Victory revolver..."

    "I bought a S&W Victory semi auto..."

    Not that complex.
     
  7. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I did not suggest that it is "complex" , nor did I say that I was confused by the nomenclature. I expressed my displeasure regarding the reuse of the name of an iconic war piece being applied to a modern day plinker.

    Thought I made that clear.
     
  8. 444

    444 Member

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    I agree with you.

    I dont keep up with all the latest guns. Despite being a very avid shooter for most of my life.

    I have been confused more than once over the reuse of names including lately with this victory model thing. I actually thought they were coming out with a new re-make of the classic Victory Model revolver and thought that was a cool idea.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I also wish that Smith & Wesson's Sales/Advertising Department(s) were bright enough to pick new names for new products. Doing what they are only leads to confusion. I seriously wonder if the current generation at the company are so lacking in knowledge of what the past names were, and associating them with new unrelated models, can be counterproductive at worst and annoying at best. :cuss:
     
  10. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Just like cars. New Impalas are junk compared to the cars of the 60s.
     
  11. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    It doesn’t bother me anywhere as much as M&P for plastic frame semi-autos.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Waveski

    I agree. You would think in this age of electronic enlightenment, marketing studies, and consumer focus groups, S&W could come up with some new names for their guns instead of recycling the old ones.
     
  13. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    I am of the understanding that the S&W Military & Police revolvers made in W.W.2 were not named "Victory" by the manufacturer.

    Military & Police revolvers made during W.W.2 had a V prefix before the serial number hence the usage of the term "Victory." The term "Victory" is used by collectors and was not a official name used by S&W for them.

    S&W collectors will correct me if I am wrong.
     
  14. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    I don't think they called them Victory models because of the "V" prefix. I think it was the opposite. They used the "V" prefix because it was the Victory model.

    I don't like that they re-used the name either, but whatever, they can call it whatever they want.
     
  15. yugorpk

    yugorpk member

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    That would be a backwards assumption. The cars of the 60's, by all measurable means, were total crap compared to what is available now. You might like the styling of the 60's land yachts but mechanically, electrically, mileage, power and in comfort and reliability and so many other ways they were junk compared to modern offerings.

    The older guns were better fit than modern ones because the manufacturers have had to automate as much of the machining, finish and assembly process to stay competitive.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    It's annoying, but I am OCD and they didn't ask me anyway. :D
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    You may notice that to be clear, I refer to the Plastic M&P when discussing automatics.
     
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    In early 1942 the machine that stamped the serial number on the butts of .38 Military & Police revolvers reached 999,999 and could go no higher. A decision was made to go back to number 1, with a letter prefix. They picked the letter "V" and associated it with the word "Victory." This was seen as a sort of uplift at a time when the future looked very dark, as we were getting badly beaten on all fronts.

    In official records the government buyers and military services generally referred to them as S&W M&P Model, Model K or Revolvers, Caliber 38-200.
     
  19. tark

    tark Member

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    Absolutely correct yugorpk, about the cars.

    I would like to have one of the "victory" models myself. Were they the ones chambered in 38 S&W? That stuff is getting kind of hard to find. I had a friend years ago that had one, He couldn't find ammo so I made some out of shortened 38 SPL brass. Of course the cases swelled badly upon firing, but pressures were so low nothing was hurt. The bullets were undersized, but accuracy was good enough to hit a man sized target at fifteen yards. It would have never worked in an automatic, but revolvers DO have their advantages!
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Yes and no. :confused: :D

    The .38-200 model, which was nothing more nor less then a regular .38 Military & Police revolver with a standard 5" barrel (other lengths were also supplied), chambered in .38 S&W - which the British had adopted as their standard military handgun round. It was loaded with a 200 grain bullet, hence the name .38-200.

    In Europe World War Two started in the Fall of 1939, and England was soon making deals to buy arms from U.S. makers. Smith & Wesson, who were for all practical purpose flat broke, accepted a contract to design and build a 9mm carbine, and to do this received a one million dollar advance payment.

    Unfortunately while they made outstanding revolvers they knew little about semi-automatic carbines and what they came up with flopped. When the customer ask the company for their money back S&W found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Revolvers they had, but no money.

    Great Britain was no better off, as Hitler was knocking at the door, so they quickly accepted a proposal from Smith & Wesson to pay off the past due bill with guns rather then cash, and the S&W .38-200 M&P revolver was born.

    Between 1899 and 1942, some one million .38 M&P revolvers were made. By far the most common chambering was .38 Special. The .38-200 was in second place, although it was never cataloged for sale in the United States. Third in rankings was the .32 WCF (.32-20), and after that .22 Long Rifle. A handful were in .32 S&W Long.

    When we entered the War after Pearl Harbor in December 1941 Smith & Wesson exclusively made K-frame revolvers. They were all serial numbered in the same series, and made either in .38 Special (to fill U.S. contracts) or .38 S&W (to fill contracts from the U.K and Commonwealth countries.)

    Although it is is little known a substantial number of .38-200 revolvers were diverted and sent to arm domestic law enforcement departments and guards at defense plants in this country.

    As time passes and more of the background history is discovered they have been attracting increasing interest by collectors Back in 1955 I thought that $17.00 was an outrageous price for such a clunker. Boy, did I blow that one!
     
  21. tark

    tark Member

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    This is the very best thing about this forum; you can learn! And I just got a nice history lesson from Old Fuff. I had no idea these revolvers were ever offered in anything other than 38 caliber. Im guessing that finding one in 32 S&W long or .22 would net you a rare bird, worth a nice premium.

    I do remember that my friends gun was stamped, "Not English Made" :what: Like the Limeys felt they were inferior and wanted everyone to know they didn't make them?

    (you choose the word) THEM! English Snobs!:fire:

    Thanks Old Fuff, for the history lesson.
     
  22. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    Don't even get me started on the pristine, factory-lettered, US Navy-stamped Victory that I stupidly traded back to the freind I originally got it from. That's probably my #1 biggest trade/sale regret. :banghead: :cuss: :(
     
  23. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    The Brits always had what I consider to be a strange attitude about handgun stopping power. They liked slow moving heavy bullets for each caliber.

    For example the .455 Eley pushed a 265 grain bullet at 650 fps.

    Compare that to the American 255 gr. 45 Colt and 230 gr. 45 acp.

    Their short-barrel big bore revolvers had a excellent reputation for stopping power and were popular in the Old West. General Custer had a pair given to him courtesy of British ambassadors on some special occasion. As a big born fan I would have probably chose to carry a self-cocking (double action) English Bulldog for self-defense in the 1800's if I could find ammunition for it.

    On the other hand I fail to find the 200 gr. lead bullet in the 38 S&W at 650 fps. worthy for consideration as a manstopper. As history has shown a lighter bullet such as the 125 gr. JHP 38 Special is a effective round for self-defense while the .38 S&W has pasted on to obscurity.
     
  24. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    BSA, to be fair a 158gr SWCHP had a reputation as a man stopper before the 125gr JHP ever existed and is still a respectable option in 38 special.
     
  25. tark

    tark Member

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    I have read, for what it is worth, that the 200 gr. bullet the Brits used was barely stabilized in flight and tumbled in flesh. That might have increased its stopping power.

    Anybody know if that's true?
     
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