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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 01-31-2010, 03:05 PM
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Group, here's some minutia from Hellstrom's note books that Victory & Pre-Victory collectors might find intereting: 4/41, Rebound slidehole made smaller and I frame, rather than K frame, trigger spring used. Ser#s at this time approx. 750,000-- 6/41 Discontinued stamping patent dates on trigger & hammer at ser# 780,000 -- 12/4/41, Finishchanged from bright polishto Brush polish. All guns made during war effort after this had blue finish. Some were carbonia blued, but great majority had Black Magic Oxide Blue. Ser#s were about at 860,000. -- 1/1/42 Stocks changed from checkered walnut with monograms to smooth uncheckered without monograms, and started broaching rifling on some barrels, however a high percentage of subsequent barrels were rifled on hook cutters. Ser#s were at 880,000. -- 4/10/42, Finish changed from brush polish blue to Sand Blast Blue. 1st shipment of .38 Special calibers with Sand Blast blue sent on Defense Supply Corp. orders this date. Ser#s at about 900,000. -- 5/1/42, Barrels made of 1045 rather than 1025 steel. 1st 1045 steel issued to forge shop on 1/24/42 and barrels started coming thru on 5/1/42, Ser#s at about 960,000. --- 5/22/42 to 8/17/42 Some guns were parkerized instead of Black Magic blue. These were all sandblasted. 2187 shipped between these dates to DSC orders. Navy did not get any Parkerized guns. Ser#s around 980,000. -- 6/1/42 New numbers started with V 1. New larger style of number used for butt numbers on V guns and position inverted so that top of numbers were on the righthand side side of gun. Up to V99999, complete stamping onf the butt was behind the lanyard swivel. Frpm V100000 on the V was stamped in front of the lanyard swivel. --- 10/42 Started making stocks on Onsrud automatic machine. These are about 1/16" thicker for their entire length than former stocks. That's enuff trivia for now, but I will post more as time permits. Ed #15
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:24 PM
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Good stuff, Ed, as always.

Is this the Notebook that Hellstrom put together after the end of the war or was it created contemporaneously with the events described? I know that we have talked about this before but I can't remember that detail.

The reference to the Onsrud machine is interesting. That company also supplied the stock making machinery used by the Springfield Armory to create the M1 Garand rifle stocks. I wonder if the change to the slightly thicker stocks was driven by user comments or if that was just what the machingery was capable of?
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:51 PM
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Charlie, Yes, this is from the notebook that Hellstrom had put together about the time he was getting ready to retire (late 1950s?) as he planned to write a History of S&W, but died before he was able to do it. I know that some of the dates & events in the notebook are close, but not exact, when compared to other info. has come to light. I think the info he had put in the notebook was sort of an outine format of events, etc. Irregardless, we are fortunate to have this much data, as all of Hellstrom's private coorespondence and records were destroyed by an over eager intern who was ordered to "Clean up Hellstrom's office!" after his demise. Ed #15
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:24 PM
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As with everything we learn about Smith & Wessons, nothing is for certain. Here is an example on the serial number of a Victory that shows both the V and the six digit serial number all stamped on the same side of the swivel.

http://coolgunsite.com/pistols/sw_v2...U.S.%20N28.jpg

Hope this helps.

Steve
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:40 PM
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Ed, thanks for the interesting information. You are teasing us with the promise to post more as time permits. I look forward to it.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:51 PM
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Group, Here's some more info. from Hellstrom's notebook: "THIRD HAMMER BLOCK" Installed in all .38 Specials after Jan. 1, 1945. Not used on .38/200 British Service revolvers. Ser#s at time of change about V650,000. However, due to large numbers of guns in production, both 2nd and 3rd type hammer blocks may appear in guns between V650,000 and V700,000. Letter "S" stamped in front of "V" in serial number on butt to identify from guns with 2nd type hammer block. "S" not stamped before other serial numbers, but put on inside of sideplate above bottom screw hole. Changed parts & part numbers are: Hammer block 2518, sideplate 1-2111, hand assembly A1-2711, hand 1-2711, Rebound slide 1-3711, Rebound slide pin 3715, rebound slide assembly A1-3711, hammer 1-2511, and hammer assembly A1-2511.

Here's another interesting entry: SPECIAL GUNS MADE DURING THE WAR. The following .38 cal. specials with 4 in.barrels were put through when the V serias of numbers were started about May/June 1942. All were bright polished and finished with Carbonia blue. ser#s: 1,000,000
V1 - sent to Lt. Gen. W.S.Knudsen 12/12/42
V2
V3
V4
V5 - sent to Maj. Wm Weingar, Springfield Ordnance District, 5/16/42, and returned 8/43. " End of entry.

( Note: Not explained in Hellstrom's notes but info discovered in my later research: These six early guns were intended for VIPs as presentations, etc. and were built by the Service Dep't., and not by the Victory model production line, therefore the production line fitters and assemblers stamps do not appear on the parts of the above six guns, as I had first ssumed would be the case.. Number V1 was returned to Hellstrom , in my opinion, after the war by his friend Lt. Gen. William Knudsen, who had been appointed a Czar of all wartime production by Pres. Roosevelt. This gun was rebuilt by S&W, fancy cased and presented to Pres. Harry Truman by Hellstrom in July 1947 as a memento of the "2,000,000 Victory Models" supplied to ours and the Allied armed forces in WW2. It is now in the Truman Library in Independence, Mo. and was the subject of an article I wrote for the S&WCA Journal, Winter 1999. Number 1,000,000 and V5 are in the CVHM collection. I have an article in preparation on V5 which will appear in a future issue. The whereabouts of V2, V3 & V4 are unknown at this time. They are high polished bright blue guns with fancy grained smooth walnut stocks, so they do not look like the usual Victory Model, and may be just around the corner in that garage sale you didn't check out this morning! Good Luck, Ed #15

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Old 01-31-2010, 04:57 PM
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As Steve has shown, there's always exceptions to what is recorded about S&Ws. Hellstrom's notes were put togetherby his staff from whatever records they had at the time ( which was about 15 yrs. after WW2), so dates and events may not always jib with a found example of a gun. Which makes things much more interesting for us, I think. E #15
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:32 PM
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That steel change interests me. What are the properties of the two steels, and why might they have changed?


T-Star
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:44 PM
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T-Star, I'm not a metalurgist but my guess is that it had to do with what was available during wartime and cost of production. Either or both. Ed #15
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:23 PM
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Group, here's another tidbit from Hellstrom's note book;

Breakdown of production -Victory Model

Army 590,305
Navy 258,626
Defense Supply 73,932
So. Africa 21,347
Australia 8,000
British Purch.Comm. 112,854
Canada 45,238
_______
Total 1,110,392


( Note: This total includes what we collectors now call "Pre-Victory Models also. ) Ed #15
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:10 AM
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Group, Miscellaneous info.: V #s started April 24, 1942; 3rd (new0 hammer block on Dec. 27, 1944; Black magic finishes started about Aug. 5, 1940; First sand blast blue to shipping room on Mar. 3, 1942; Parkerizing done May 4, 1942 to May 9, 1942 (about 6,000 guns). ( Note: Parkerizing was not continued as S&W found out the it was a patented process and they would have to pay royalties to use it . ) First S serial number was S769,000 on Dec 27, 1944. First C serial number was C1 on Mar. 22, 1948. First M&P with short action was S990148 on April 7, 1948. Ed #15

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Old 02-01-2010, 04:40 AM
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Ed, extremely interesting information. Many thanks for posting. I have taken the liberty of copying this information to include in my Victory model collection file.

Rgds
Bob
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
Group, here's another tidbit from Hellstrom's note book;

Breakdown of production -Victory Model

Army 590,305
Navy 258,626
Defense Supply 73,932
So. Africa 21,347
Australia 8,000
British Purch.Comm. 112,854
Canada 45,238
_______
Total 1,110,392


( Note: This total includes what we collectors now call "Pre-Victory Models also. ) Ed #15
I was especially intrigued to see that the US Army got so many! I hadn't realized that they used this gun. It's usually thought of as Navy and Coast Guard issue, especially for aviators and shore patrols.

Can those figures include .38/200's? I read that over 568,000 were shipped to the Commonwealth.

T-Star
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:23 AM
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Many of the "Army" guns were actually used by the Navy. This is explained in Charles Pate's book, US Handguns of World War II. Early Navy guns are ordered directly by the Navy and were marked US NAVY on the top strap. This order was for 65,000 revolvers. After that, future orders came through on Army contracts and those guns were marked US PROPERTY GHD. The book explains that Victories purchased under the Army contract were actually used by the Navy. The book states that the Navy was the primary user of the Victory revolvers but that some were used by the Army and the OSS.

I think the production numbers above under Army includes lend lease production of the 38/200 British Service Revolvers. These were ordered by the Army, but then send to the British.

I hope this help.

Steve

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Old 07-29-2011, 06:53 AM
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Wonderful information to have on hand. Thanks for sharing
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
1st 1045 steel issued to forge shop on 1/24/42 and barrels started coming thru on 5/1/42, Ser#s at about 960,000
Just another indication that the date of engineering changes and the date of actual production are typically not the same. Here a change order was given in January and didn't show up in the actual barrels until May, four months later.

Ed, excellent information for collectors. Please keep it coming.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:23 AM
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So glad this thread was revived...! I missed it on the 1st go round.

Ed, thanks so much for taking the time to give us this very helpful information.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:43 AM
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Concur with Linda -- thank you Ed and the others who commented. I hadn't even started to think about Victory models when this thread first appeared, and I probably didn't even open it to see what was being said. Now that i have a smattering of knowledge about them, I am hungry for more. It's always a treat when a long dormant thread full of solid and interesting information comes back to life.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
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Group, Miscellaneous info.: V #s started April 24, 1942; 3rd (new0 hammer block on Dec. 27, 1944; Black magic finishes started Aug. 5, 1940; First sand blast blue to shipping room on Mar. 3, 1942; Parkerizing done May 4, 1942 to May 9, 1942 (about 6,000 guns). ( Note: Parkerizing was not continued as S&W found out the it was a patented process and they would have to pay royalties to use it . ) First S serial number was S769,000 on Dec 27, 1944. First C serial number was C1 on Mar. 22, 1948. First M&P with short action was S990148 on April 7, 1948. Ed #15

What puzzles me here is that Black Magic finishes started in 1940, but other sources say that the British guns, those for South Africa. Australia, and Canada included, were blued until April, 1942! Were those guns made with that finish from 1940 US orders, in .38 Special?

I hadn't realized that US orders began so early. When I was a boy, I found some old National Geographics in the school library and read about the Battle of Midway. I think all of the Naval aviators pictured were wearing .45 automatics, suggesting that the Navy didn't issue many Victory Models until probably later that summer. I think it is safe to say that combat units in the Pacific had many .38's by the end of summer, 1942.

Comments? I am excepting Victiory Models from those blued guns purchased by the Navy for their civilian police corps. I think those do date from 1940.

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Old 07-29-2011, 03:50 PM
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T-Star, Yes those production figures include the .38/200 caliber guns. Carl Hellstrom's letter to President Truman, (presenting Serial number V1 after WW2 as a momento of the "Allied Victory," etc.) commented that S&W had produced " two million" of these handguns for the war effort. Where he got that production figure, I don't know. probably a PR comment with a little poetic license involved! The actual presentation of V1 to Truman was handled by Congressman Cecil King, an old friend of Truman's from his days as a Senator. I've never been able to find any photos of that presentation in the White House archives, so it was apparently a private meeting between old friends Truman took the gun with him when he left the Washington and it was his bedside gun in later years at his home in Independence., Mo. and it now resides in the vault at the Truman Library. ( They let me play with it, but wouldn't let me shoot it! Bummer!) Ed.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:55 PM
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T-Star, Yes those production figures include the .38/200 caliber guns. Carl Hellstrom's letter to President Truman, (presenting Serial number V1 after WW2 as a momento of the "Allied Victory," etc.) commented that S&W had produced " two million" of these handguns for the war effort. Where he got that production figure, I don't know. probably a PR comment with a little poetic license involved! The actual presentation of V1 to Truman was handled by Congressman Cecil King, an old friend of Truman's from his days as a Senator. I've never been able to find any photos of that presentation in the White House archives, so it was apparently a private meeting between old friends Truman took the gun with him when he left the Washington and it was his bedside gun in later years at his home in Independence., Mo. and it now resides in the vault at the Truman Library. ( They let me play with it, but wouldn't let me shoot it! Bummer!) Ed.

Ed-

Thanks. I'm pleased that Truman kept a bedside gun!

But were you saying that Black Magic guns were made from 1940? That is in direct contrast to all else that I've seen. Even "brush polished" blued guns were made later. Isn't Black Magic that Parkerized lookalike finish?
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:57 PM
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T-Star, I would tend to agree with you, as the date of Aug. 5, 1940, seems too early , however Hellstrom's notes say (Quote) " Black Magic - Started about Aug. 5, 1940" (End quote) . That info is listed on a page in the Notebook, labled "Misc. Information." Directly under the Black magic entry is a note: "Parkerizing - May 4, 1942 to May 9, 1942. (about 6,000 guns). Also, " First Sand Blast to shipping room -Mar. 3, 1942"
Whether the reference to Black Magic in 1940 is a typo in the notes, or maybe when R&D on the process started, your guess. Somewhere in my files I probably have a reference on when "Black Magic" was copyrighted, or the process patented. I'll post that when I find it, or maybe Roy can find it quicker that I can. Ed.
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:12 AM
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Ed-

Many thanks. Please keep us posted!

T-Star
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:41 PM
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Does anyone know where the United States Maritime Commission victorys came from? Were they a direct purchase or did they go through one of the Navy, Army or DS contracts?

The reason I'm asking is I have a US Maritime Commission victory (pre-victory) serial #994198 that shipped 25 May 42 to US Maritime Commission 1611. I'm assuming, maybe incorrectly that this revolver went to Victory ship number 1611. 1611 does come up as one of the victory ships and ended up as a Lend/Lease to Russia. There were two revolvers issued to each ship according to one source I found.

Also did the OSS victorys go through one of the military contracts? My OSS gun went straight to the OSS. Would they have been under an Army contract but shipped directly to OSS?

Since I'm already bending everyone ear did the victorys that went to NZ go through the British Purchase Commission or did they aquire them some other way? Assuming again but did NZ have about 8000 victorys?

BTW all 4 of my victorys are in the data base.

Thanks for all the good info.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:57 PM
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Mike,

Sounds like you've got some interesting Victory models!

I don't know if I can add much but... I have seen a posting of a Victory that was shipped to the Hartford Ordnance Depot that had a NZ stamping on the backstrap.

Also, I'm curious about your OSS Victory... does it have any special markings?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:44 PM
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Mike,

Sounds like you've got some interesting Victory models!

I don't know if I can add much but... I have seen a posting of a Victory that was shipped to the Hartford Ordnance Depot that had a NZ stamping on the backstrap.

Also, I'm curious about your OSS Victory... does it have any special markings?

Thanks!
I did get very lucky with the victorys.

The OSS has no gov markings only "Bavaria Municiple Police" stamped on it. This revolver got around for sure. It went from the OSS to Bavaria, to an American Rod and Gun club in Germany to a Capt to a Master Sgt to the family of the Master Sgt after he past away to a pawn shop in Montana to me in the middle of the mountains in Colorado.

The US Maritime victory has no gov marking either. It does have a definite color difference from any other victory I have seen.

I have a 38/200 made late in the war (3 April 45) that appears to have stayed in the US. No export markings but this one unlike the others is marked US Property G H D.

The NZ revolver looks like it went through a war or something as the finish is really rough on it but it does shoot well.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:48 PM
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K.38, I have a pre-Victory 997546 that also letters as being shipped to 1611 United States Maritime Commission, Hoboken N.J. on May, 25 1942. I wonder if 1611 might be a building or depot number?
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:59 AM
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K.38, I have a pre-Victory 997546 that also letters as being shipped to 1611 United States Maritime Commission, Hoboken N.J. on May, 25 1942. I wonder if 1611 might be a building or depot number?
It very well could be. I asked Roy if he knew what 1611 was and he said he had no idea. There was nothing in the records to indicate building, ship, depot ect.

Still pretty cool though to have a revolver that is linked to the liberty ships.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:05 PM
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My red letter "PROPERY OF U.S. NAVY" Victory model is s/n 985033. I was able to locate pics and a factory letter (not mine) for pre-Victory s/n 985250 that shipped to the U.S. Navy. The factory letter for s/n 985250 states it was a parkerized finish.

I have assumed that my example is possibly from the same shipment as s/n 985250 and may be parkerized as well.

(Obviously different lighting conditions with regards to pics for my revolver versus the pics for s/n 985250 that I found online...……..but holding it in person shows my example to be the same finish.)

Dale

addendum: My apologies for accidentally resurrecting this necro-thread!!!!!!!!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PROPERTY OF US NAVY red letter side pre-Victory sn 985033 (1).jpg (71.1 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg sn 985250 pic1.jpg (141.0 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg PROPERTY OF US NAVY red letter side pre-Victory sn 985033 (2).jpg (71.5 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg sn 985250 pic2.jpg (138.0 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg sn 985250 pic4.jpg (80.7 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by tenntex32; 01-24-2020 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:06 AM
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New larger style of number used for butt numbers on V guns and position inverted so that top of numbers were on the righthand side side of gun.
Hellstrom, or whoever he had compiling the notes, is wrong there. The later, larger numbers have the tops of the numbers on the LEFT hand side of the gun.

Victory Model wartime changes-006-jpg
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Hellstrom, or whoever he had compiling the notes, is wrong there. The later, larger numbers have the tops of the numbers on the LEFT hand side of the gun.
They may just have confused themselves by their own strange way of expressing this. The top of the numbers?

Reading the numbers, the later, larger numbers moved to the right of the lanyard swivel

Victory Model wartime changes-serial-position-jpg
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Last edited by Absalom; 01-25-2020 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:34 PM
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Very interesting and informative thread.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:43 PM
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More Victory Model trivia: During WW2. the US Navy Bureau of Ordnance put out small parts catalogs to the Naval Commands, listing spare parts available. These small catalogs, usually about 6 pages, came out at periodic intervals depending on availability of parts for the Navy models. One of the parts listed is a "Grip Adapter" as "available for training only" No ordnance number is listed, or a drawing, so I don't know what type of adapter was issued. I queried Roy Jinks on this some years ago, however he said he had never seen grip adapters on any parts orders, however these order sometimes ran many pages and he had not read all of them. The parts were supplied to Springfield Armory for later issue as requested by the military. I would suspect that the adaptors would have been of the early type commercially available for S&W pre-WW2. So, should you find a Victory Model with such a grip adaptor, do not assume it was added later in the gun's life. You may have a very rare variation! Good luck. Ed.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:54 PM
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They may just have confused themselves by their own strange way of expressing this. The top of the numbers?

Reading the numbers, the later, larger numbers moved to the right of the lanyard swivel

Victory Model wartime changes-serial-position-jpg

They are both to the right of the swivel if you point both those guns in the sane direction.
Or, they are both to left of the swivel if you point them the other way.
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:26 PM
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They are both to the right of the swivel if you point both those guns in the sane direction.
Or, they are both to left of the swivel if you point them the other way.
Certainly. I just think that from the point of clarity, referencing where they are (relative to the swivel) when you can actually read them makes more sense for the kind of beginners who need this reference. Especially since one comes across quite a few close-up photos where it is not easily discernible which way the gun is pointed.
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garand, k frame, military, parkerized, presentation, sideplate, springfield, victory, walnut

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