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  #1  
Old 02-11-2010, 12:44 AM
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Default S&W Victory model serial number lookup

Can anyone help me? I am purchasing a Victory model .38 special with the serial number V53254. Does anyone know the year this gun was made? Also, this gun has a blued finish, but I know most of these were parkerized, right? Was this blueing done later, or is it not unheard of to find one with an original blued finish? Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:29 AM
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V53254 was shipped in Aug. 1942, Close serial numbers went to the US Navy and to the Hercules Powder Co., so with out a factory letter, you won't know if the gun was a military shipped gun or sent to a war plant's guard unit. It was shipped in S&W's military non-glare finish Sand Blast Blue" so it has been refinished. Ed #15
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:51 AM
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Thank you! This Sandblast blue finish, what is it? Is it just standard blueing that, instead of getting polished, gets sandblasted for a matte appeearance? If that's the case, is it possible that instead of being refinished in blue, it was simply polished to give it that nice traditional blue look? See, the gun is highly engraved,does that tell you anything, like maybe it was engraved into the sandblast finish, and then polished up afterwards to give it a nice luster? I am not an expert on finishes, just trying to learn more about my beautiful "new" gun. By the way, there's no reason that this gun couldn't be fired with standard .38 special loads, is there? I mean, how old does a gun have to be before you start worrying about metal brittleness, like in antique (pre 1899) guns?
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:36 AM
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I think if the gun is engraved that it most likely polished before it was engraved then reblued after.Also it should be fine to shoot standard .38 special load in it.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:51 PM
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yessir, after engraving, they will get refinished...depended on just what finish the 'owner' selected at the time,most after engraving are 'blued".
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:22 PM
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This is going to be about the dumbest question ever posted, but here goes...Did Victory models get shipped in individually numbered boxes? I am going to buy a set of original smooth grips for my gun, and if necessary, a box to complete the set. The gun is already wearing a set of ivories, but I like to have complete sets for the firearms I own.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:34 PM
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Anybody? Were these Victory models shipped with indivual boxes? Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:39 AM
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rlee, Yes and No. Ed. #15 ( Yes, they were shipped in individual boxes and No they were not serial numbered )

Last edited by opoefc; 07-29-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlee1976 View Post
Did Victory models get shipped in individually numbered boxes?
RLee:

None of the genuine Victory Model boxes I have observed were serial numbered to the revolver. I own two, one a DSC shipment and the other military. Neither is serial numbered.

Good luck finding a genuine box. They come up for sale about as often as appearances of Halley's Comet.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:27 PM
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Oh, thanks. I was having trouble interpreting opoefc's reply. So they did come with individual boxes, but not serial numbered to the gun? Care to part with one of those boxes, Charlie? Either way, could you post a couple pics of them, so I know what to look for? Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlee1976 View Post
So they did come with individual boxes, but not serial numbered to the gun? Care to part with one of those boxes, Charlie? Either way, could you post a couple pics of them, so I know what to look for? Thanks.
RLee:

Yes, the Victory revolvers were individually packaged at the factory in cardboard cartons. Shown below is a rather crummy old pic I had of the carton for the DSC gun which shipped to a textile factory in New England. The handwriting seen on the carton is not the serial number.

I have not seen enough of them to be absolutely certain that the cartons were not serial numbered, but can tell you that those that I have observed over many years of collecting Victory Models did not bear a serial number. My opinion is that none of them were so numbered.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:20 PM
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Okay, so how much for your least favorite box? I'm not rich, but throw me a number.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:31 PM
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Default Info on SN: V636644 ?

It is blued with case hardened hammer and trigger. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Mike
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:37 PM
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Mike:

Welcome to the Forum.

Please help me to help you. I need the barrel length, caliber, finish, left top strap markings, butt markings, stock type, and any post-factory markings. With that information I can give you a pretty good estimate on your revolver.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:20 PM
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I have a .38 victory model.Serial number v380545,.38 s/w cartridge.Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:42 PM
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4:

Welcome to the Forum.

Please help me to help you. I need the barrel length, finish type, left top strap markings, bottom of butt markings, stock type (smooth walnut?), and any post-factory markings. With that information I can give you a pretty good estimate on your revolver.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:11 PM
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5inch barrel,parkerized,smooth walnut.Bottom butt-380545.Left top strap-a symbol that looks like #8,U.S.Property GHD.Next to MADE IN U.S.A.marking D^D
L^^ FTR V^S^(this is not very clear)
19
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:52 PM
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4:

Thanks for the additional info. That makes it much easier to help you.

Your revolver was likely shipped from the S&W factory in August, 1943 time frame. From the markings you provided it is evident that your Victory served with the Australian military, as it bears the FTR rebuild markings that are so often seen on the Aussie guns. Most of the Aussie guns seen here today underwent a rebuild process in the 1950s.

You have a nice, historical piece there. Enjoy it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:37 PM
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Thank`s Charlie Flick #729
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:26 AM
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I have a S&W .38 converted by Cogswell and Harrison London. Just trying to find out info on this gun. Serial number V 437862.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mrinsul8tor View Post
5inch barrel,parkerized,smooth walnut.Bottom butt-380545.Left top strap-a symbol that looks like #8,U.S.Property GHD.Next to MADE IN U.S.A.marking D^D
L^^ FTR V^S^(this is not very clear)
19
What looks like the number 8 is actually an ordnance bomb symbol. FTR stands for Factory Thorough Repair, and those guns, as the FTR implies were completely disassembled, repaired as required, and refinished in what Pate describes as sandblast "Black Magic" (Parkerized) prior to being shipped back to the U.S. I've had several but now I'm down to one (the best I ever seen) and it's staying in my collection. I will post some pictures of boxes in the A.M., but they are taken out of Charles Pate's book. Most I have seen had the original color case hardened hammer and trigger, and blued ejector rod. I highly recommend Pate's book for the serious student of those guns.

They are really fun guns to shoot. And thank you to the guys who maintain the Victory model data base. Great job!

Last edited by Retired W4; 06-06-2012 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:32 AM
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It is interesting to see that the Victory may have gone to the Hercules Powder Co. My father was a chemical engineer at the Lawrence, Kansas plant during WWII making rocket powder for the war effort. He transferred to Hattiesburg,Miss. after the war and retired in 1977 after 38 years with the company.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:32 PM
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Hello Gentlemen,

I'm currently researching a S&W Victory serial # V90005. That serial number is found on the barrel, frame (butt near the missing lanyard hole), and cylinder. The piece is hi luster blued with walnut checkered grips which are probablty not original to the gun. I believe the barrel is 5", may be 4" and marked; 38 S&W Special Ctg. The left top frame is stamped US Navy.

I believe the piece has been reblued as the trigger and hammer are also blued. The bore is immaculate and the gun appears to be fired sparingly.

Any information you could provide will be greatly appreciated.

-Rick
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:12 PM
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Ratherfish, The barrel is 4 inch, as measured from the front of the cylinder to the muzzle. See my answer to your other post on this gun. Ed.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:36 PM
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Many thanks for your reply Ed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:07 AM
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I am also curious to get some information about my victory. The number reads v169728. There is also a symbol on the side of the barrel (4inch) that looks like 3 triangled shapes followed by 38. S&W. CTG closed by the shapes as well.

Last edited by Goose2001; 11-13-2012 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:20 PM
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I have a S&W snubby revolver with serial # 917605. It has a chrome frame and barrel and what might be ivory grips. Can anyone decode that serial number for me? I'd like to know when it was manufactured and such. Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goose2001 View Post
I am also curious to get some information about my victory. The number reads v169728. There is also a symbol on the side of the barrel (4inch) that looks like 3 triangled shapes followed by 38. S&W. CTG closed by the shapes as well.
Based on your description, I believe you have a .38 Smith & Wesson (not .38 Special) caliber British Service Revolver with a five inch barrel. (Measure the barrel length from the front of the cylinder to the muzzle. If the caliber marking is as described and the barrel length is only four inches, then it's been cut.) These were provided by the thousands to Britain, her Commonwealth nations and other Allies. It probably shipped out of the S&W factory in late November or December of 1942. It originally would have had a "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" marking on the left top strap (but they're sometimes ground off) with a military finish and plain (uncheckered) wood stocks. If you want more info, try posting some detailed pics and we'll see what we can see.

HTH!

Steve
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egcz71 View Post
I have a S&W snubby revolver with serial # 917605. It has a chrome frame and barrel and what might be ivory grips. Can anyone decode that serial number for me? I'd like to know when it was manufactured and such. Thanks.
SN 917605 would have shipped from the S&W factory early in 1942 (probably February). Smith was making *very* few snubbies at that point in time AND they never "chromed" guns; even a nickel finish coming from the factory during the war would have been *very* unusual. Most likely you have a post-war modified pre-Victory Model that has had it barrel shortened and a refinishing job/stock replacement. Posting some detailed pictures may allow more comments.

HTH!

Steve
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:07 AM
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Default Info on Inherited Victory Model

The gun in question has serial number V549201 with what may be ivory (or maybe bone) grips. It is inscribed with the following inscriptions:

U. S. PROPERTY G. H. D.

NP 38 767

My questions are as follows:
  1. When was this gun manufactured?
  2. Who was it shipped to from factory?
  3. Are the grips likely original and if not, what kind of grips would it have been manufactured with?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:37 PM
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[*]When was this gun manufactured?
S&W records their guns based on their shipping, rather than production, dates. Based on information collected by my database collaborator, "ordnanceguy," and me, your gun would probably have shipped about March, 1944.
[*]Who was it shipped to from factory?
Virtually all guns chambered for the .38 Smith & Wesson cartridge were destined for Great Britain and the Commonwealth nations, but were shipped from the S&W factory to the Hartford Ordnance District in Springfield, just over the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. (Actually, by this time it had been renamed the "Springfield Ordnance District," but S&W records always seem to refer to it by the earlier name.)
[*]Are the grips likely original and if not, what kind of grips would it have been manufactured with?
Defintely not. Victory Models of this era would have worn plain (uncheckered) walnut stocks (with a matching SN inside the right panel).

HTH!

Steve
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWCmdr45 View Post
SN 917605 would have shipped from the S&W factory early in 1942 (probably February). Smith was making *very* few snubbies at that point in time AND they never "chromed" guns; even a nickel finish coming from the factory during the war would have been *very* unusual. Most likely you have a post-war modified pre-Victory Model that has had it barrel shortened and a refinishing job/stock replacement. Posting some detailed pictures may allow more comments.

HTH!

Steve
This is rather strange to me, but after further examination of the gun I found another serial number on the frame. It is N56499. Why would this gun have TWO different serial numbers and what does the "N" stand for? I will post some pictures soon.

Serial # N56499
&
Serial # 917605

Thanks yall.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:55 PM
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I am new to the Forum and recently acquired a Victory model in .38 Special with the serial number V5094xx. The gun does have flying bomb ordinance mark on the heel near the "V" of the serial number but does not have other military marks. The major parts match by serial number and it has the appropriate smooth grips. Any ideas on date of production and who it was shipped to? I gather after reading this Forum for a while that it probably saw war plant guard duty.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egcz71 View Post
This is rather strange to me, but after further examination of the gun I found another serial number on the frame. It is N56499. Why would this gun have TWO different serial numbers and what does the "N" stand for? I will post some pictures soon.

Serial # N56499
&
Serial # 917605

Thanks yall.
The number that counts-- the legal serial number-- is the one found on the base of the butt. (The same number will usually be found on the rear face of the cylinder and the underside of the barrel.) The other number you see is probably just a factory assembly number.

Steve
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerplantpete View Post
I am new to the Forum and recently acquired a Victory model in .38 Special with the serial number V5094xx. The gun does have flying bomb ordinance mark on the heel near the "V" of the serial number but does not have other military marks. The major parts match by serial number and it has the appropriate smooth grips. Any ideas on date of production and who it was shipped to? I gather after reading this Forum for a while that it probably saw war plant guard duty.
Pete,

First, your gun shipped on the 1943-44 cusp, probably January of 1944. In addition to the mentioned Ordnance 'flaming bomb,' revolvers of this period commonly had "P" proofs found at the upper left frame, the rear face of the cylinder and the underside of the barrel.

Second, if you're assuming your gun was a DSC "guard gun" because of some known provenance, great. If you're making that assumption simply because it has no "U.S. PROPERTY" top strap markings ("military marks"), be advised that there are other possibilities of varying probability that may induce you to request a factory historical letter. At this point in the V.M. production, there were two interesting things going on: examples without any top strap markings were being shipped to the U.S. Navy *and* some few of them were earmarked for the OSS. Either of those would considerably effect the value. Even if it was a DSC gun, letters for guns of this period of the war will often list the specific end-user and not simply the generic "DSC" destination.

HTH!

Steve
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:38 AM
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Steve,

Thanks for the quick comeback. I guess it is time for the "Jenks letter" to get a precise answer as to whom the gun was shipped to. It would be interesting to find an "exotic" use beyond possibly guarding some quite necessary "large grey building somewhere in a wartime US."
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:36 PM
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Steve,

I also went looking for "the three "P"'s you noted and found all three of them.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:38 PM
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Default 38 S&W Victory V753727

I have a 38 S&W Victory revolver that I'd like to get some information on. Date Manufactured, where shipped and any other info you may have.
5" barrel, 38 S. & W. CTG, left top strap says "U.S PROPERTY G.H.D." Serial number on butt and frame is V753727, smooth walnut stock, parkerized finish. On the left side states "POL.OLD.341" (but the 3 could be an 8). On the right side of the barrel has "??.38.767" and "3.5 TONS".
Thanks for any help.

Joe

Last edited by Mr. Incredible; 11-26-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Incredible View Post
I have a 38 S&W Victory revolver that I'd like to get some information on. Date Manufactured, where shipped and any other info you may have.
5" barrel, 38 S. & W. CTG, left top strap says "U.S PROPERTY G.H.D." Serial number on butt and frame is V753727, smooth walnut stock, parkerized finish. On the left side states "POL.OLD.341" (but the 3 could be an 8). On the right side of the barrel has "??.38.767" and "3.5 TONS".
Thanks for any help.

Joe
Joe

You have, since we're on the Smith & Wesson Forum, what is called a British Service Revolver, part of the wartime production of what had been known as the S&W .38 Hand Ejector "Military & Police" Model of 1905, 4th Change. If we were on a British military firearms forum, I might better refer to it as a Smith & Wesson Pistol No. 2, as that is how the Brits typically referred to it. The caliber is .38 S. & W. and not the .38 Special more normally encountered in this country.

Your BSR was of late-war production and would have been among the last of this caliber to be shipped (circa early 1945) during the war. Many of these later guns never saw service with the British troops, instead being issued straight out of the shipping crates to the disarmed police forces of occupied countries. Your revolver, based on the “POL.OLD.” marking, was issued to the Polizei of Oldenburg, or possibly Oldendorf, two cities in Lower Saxony, Germany. As both of these cities were within the British Occupation Zone, it makes sense that they would have been armed with a British-caliber sidearm. The “341” (or “841”) would have been a rack number or some other identifying inventory control number.

The markings on the barrel are postwar British civilian proofs necessary in order for a used/surplus gun to be marketed in Great Britain. I infer that the revolver, after seeing some years of service in Germany, was returned to the Brits, who sold it as surplus, necessitating the civilian proofing procedure. The “??” is probably the Crown/Nitro Proof marking; the “.38” is the caliber (Duh!); the “.767” is the length of the cartridge casing; and, the “3.5 TONS” is a measurement of the proof load. As noted above, it probably also has the "three Ps" U.S. proofmarks.

HTH!

Steve
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Last edited by LWCmdr45; 11-26-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:17 AM
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Default My inherited Victory model info

Steve:

Thanks so much for your research and for giving me this information. I'm sorry I've been so long checking back here for responses.

I was doing research of my own yesterday on the grips and actually found some that claim to be original and indeed, they are smooth walnut. At some point, I would really like to get some originals.

Again, thank you for your help.

Keith
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:52 AM
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I've just received a Victory model with serial number V60603. It seems to be parkerized (?) This is my first foray into the Victory realm so how did I do? Any info you can tell me is much appreciated!

Thanks Paul-K







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Old 12-25-2012, 09:07 PM
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Hey guys, first post. Just received a Victory model for Christmas today. Trying to get some info on it, as I'm not really familiar with these. The serial number is V673813. It also has a P stamp after the serial and on the left side near the top strap behind the cylinder.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:58 AM
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LWCmdr45 and Ordnanceguy, I just don't know how you do it, and keep your sanity.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:45 PM
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Default s/n v20171

Hi, I came into a S&W that appears to be a victory model. It has a s/n of V20171 on the butt next to the lanyard ring. The grips are ivory or bone ?? and it appears to be in fairly decent shape. Can anyone provide additional information on this piece? Thank you.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by weaverkb View Post
Hey guys, first post. Just received a Victory model for Christmas today. Trying to get some info on it, as I'm not really familiar with these. The serial number is V673813. It also has a P stamp after the serial and on the left side near the top strap behind the cylinder.
Weaver:

Welcome to the Forum.

We'll need a little more information in order to help you. We need: caliber, barrel length, left top strap markings, type of stocks (smooth walnut or other), and any post-factory modifications or markings.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by S&WVictory View Post
Hi, I came into a S&W that appears to be a victory model. It has a s/n of V20171 on the butt next to the lanyard ring. The grips are ivory or bone ?? and it appears to be in fairly decent shape. Can anyone provide additional information on this piece? Thank you.
S&WVictory:

Welcome to the Forum.

We'll need a little more information in order to help you. We need: caliber, barrel length, left top strap markings, and any post-factory modifications or markings. The stocks you mentioned are not factory stocks for the Victory. Pictures would make it much easier to diagnose what you have.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:26 PM
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The barrel length appears to be 4 inches measured from the front of the cylinder where it meets the barrel.
The left side of the barrel has engraved "Smith & Wesson".
The top of the barrel says "Smith & Wesson Springfield MASS USA Patented Feb 6 XX Sept 14 09 Dec 29 14".
The right side of the barrel says "38 S.&W. Special CTG".
Right side of frame above and front of trigger guard says "Made in U.S.A.".
The butt has a lanyard ring and the serial number "V 20171".
With the cylinder open the front inside of the frame has an "S" and a serial number "66966" of some sort below it which does not match the serial number from the butt. There appear to be no other markings on the gun other than a repeat of the "V 20171" serial number.

I am unable to upload any pics that I have.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:56 PM
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S&WVictory:

Thanks for the additional details. That makes it easier to help you.

From the Victory Model Database, which my pal LWCmdr45 and I administer, I can tell you that your Victory likely shipped from the factory in the June-July, 1942 time frame. If the markings have not been removed it was likely a Defense Supplies Corporation authorized revolver. Without pics not much more can be said about it, but I think I have hit the high points as to what you were looking for. I hope that info helps you.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:30 AM
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Thank you for the reply. The pics are too large for the forum to accept. I can send them via email if necessary.

Last item, this is marked as "38 S.&W. Special" so it should be able to handle the standard 38 special ammo, correct?
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by S&WVictory View Post
Last item, this is marked as "38 S.&W. Special" so it should be able to handle the standard 38 special ammo, correct?
Yes, correct as to standard non+P ammunition being suitable.

You can email the pics to me a cflick@NOSPAMseippflick.com, and remove the NOSPAM.
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