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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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  #1  
Old 07-22-2011, 12:15 AM
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Default Pre-Victory model.....

My first Pre-Victory model arrived at its new home today I think it is going to be one of the South Africa contract guns as the serial number, 685147, falls into that range. It's a 4" barreled gun in .38 S&W. It also has either O or D Smith scratched into the bottom of the left grip. A neat little "bonus".














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Old 07-22-2011, 12:37 AM
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Lobo, Looks like one of the S.A. contract guns to me. I asked you some questions about yours on my Trio thread but your pics answered all of them. I love the action on my two with British proofs. The S.A. marked is good but no where near as slick as the British. How is yours?
Larry
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:17 AM
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Lobo, Looks like one of the S.A. contract guns to me. I asked you some questions about yours on my Trio thread but your pics answered all of them. I love the action on my two with British proofs. The S.A. marked is good but no where near as slick as the British. How is yours?
Larry
Larry,

I saw your questions, but instead of answering I opted to put a link to this thread for you. I didn't want to hijack your thread on the trio.

Is there a certain mark on this gun that is not a British mark? Regarding the re-routed pre-Vics, where were they sent?

You speak the truth friend! This gun has a beautifully slick action. The single action pull is like that of a tuned model 700 rifle trigger. I can't wait to shoot this one
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:51 AM
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It appears that you have a keeper LOBO. Congrats. Now, take it out and shoot it and show it some love.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:13 AM
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It appears that you have a keeper LOBO. Congrats. Now, take it out and shoot it and show it some love.
You can count on it!
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:11 PM
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Default Square Inch

Great photography too. I love the way the Britts designate "square inch".
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:42 PM
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I Like It!
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:32 PM
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Lobo, Those were ordered by South Africa and S&W shows shipping to S.A. in 1940 but it seems as though the first couple of shipments were rerouted to other British Commonwealth uses (British proof marks). Found this out when I was researching my first one (the one on my Trio thread with the U arrow and property #). So far I don't think anyone has actually found any paperwork to answer the who, what, when and where this happened but strong circumstantial evidence dictates this was the case.
One of the things I like about these revolvers is that they have a wild story behind them but are not so wild that I can't go have lots of fun shooting them. Hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine.
Larry
P.S. Hope Midway get Brass in soon for these. 150 cases dont go far in a days worth of fun.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:44 PM
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You should be able to get 38SW brass from Starline which is where Midway buys theirs. Advantage is that Starline's price includes shipment. Load with 0.360" 180 grain lead FPs and run around 650 fps. Mimics the 380/200 load in my fair number of such pistols. Dave_n
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:10 PM
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I like it too nice gun
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:21 PM
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Dave_n, Haven't thought about buying direct from Starline. At the moment I need 38sw, 32 sw long and 32-20 brass. On other calibers I prefer not to get Starline because of the rough edges they leave on the necks but I guess a night in the tumbler like my Starline .32 H&R mag brass got and they are ok.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:49 PM
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.32 S&W Long

Gunstop Reloading Supplies - Starline
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldiron View Post
Lobo, Those were ordered by South Africa and S&W shows shipping to S.A. in 1940 but it seems as though the first couple of shipments were rerouted to other British Commonwealth uses (British proof marks). Found this out when I was researching my first one (the one on my Trio thread with the U arrow and property #). So far I don't think anyone has actually found any paperwork to answer the who, what, when and where this happened but strong circumstantial evidence dictates this was the case.
.
It is a bit more than circumstantial Oldiron. Please see the documents I posted on this thread

38/200 pix .

Peter
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:55 PM
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I associate the 38 S&W caliber guns as having 5" tubes. Is this 4" variation common?
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
I associate the 38 S&W caliber guns as having 5" tubes. Is this 4" variation common?
No, the 4 inch .38 S&W guns are not considered to be common and are actually pretty darn scarce.

They are generally referred to by collectors as "South African" pre-Victory Models. Factory letters will indicate that they was shipped to SA, which is precisely what the factory records show. However, as Peter (PJGP) has pretty conclusively demonstrated a good chunk of them were later diverted to the UK and did not end up in South Africa. That explains why some of the guns that letter as shipped to South Africa do not have the characteristic South African property and rack/inventory numbers.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:21 PM
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SP, the 5" guns are most common but the 4", and 6" guns show up also on occasion. The Canadians also seemed to like the 6" guns for some reason.


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Last edited by hsguy; 07-23-2011 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:47 PM
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Here is another pre-Victory that letters as being shipped to SA but is devoid of any ownership or proof markings.


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Old 07-23-2011, 05:34 PM
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hsguy,

those are both great looking guns!! I especially like the lines of the 6" gun. Thanks for sharing them!
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:27 AM
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Does anyone know which holster is the correct one for this gun? I'm guessing one in canvas of British or Canadian issue.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOBO View Post
Does anyone know which holster is the correct one for this gun? I'm guessing one in canvas of British or Canadian issue.
Pattern 1937 web holsters intended for five-inch barrels were used for all .38's, including S&W's. Obviously, shorter or longer barrels weren't ideal, but from photos, seem to have been used, regardless.
If other holsters were used, I've seen only a very few leather flap ones that looked a lot like the web ones with the flap. One was made in Australia and had a grained effect.

Tankers had open-top rigs on a long drop loop with ammo loops on the front of the holster. You can see some probably on Gunboards in the British Gun Pub. Some have been shown here. Perusing books on WW II will provide additional looks. And some authors mention their sidearms. Alas, they often just refer to a "revolver" or a ".38 revolver." Some .455's also remained in use, and the Commandos usually issued Colt .45 autos. I've seen pics of them in what look exactly like the Pattern '37 web .38 rig and a very similar one with a different closure strap, a bit larger to fit the Colt auto. You can see Sean Connery use a holster like this (Pattern 37 .38, I think) in, "A Bridge Too Far." He had a Colt auto, like many of the paratroopers in the actual Arnhem battle. One photo taken during the battle shows a paratrooper advancing, .45 auto in hand. Some also had Browning 9mm's, so you have to look very carefully at wartime photos. Connery portrayed Maj. Gen. Roy Urqhardt (sp?) and I;'ve seen a pic of the real general. He had a holster like that, but I've no idea what was in it.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:40 AM
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Pattern 1937 web holsters intended for five-inch barrels were used for all .38's, including S&W's. Obviously, shorter or longer barrels weren't ideal, but from photos, seem to have been used, regardless.
If other holsters were used, I've seen only a very few leather flap ones that looked a lot like the web ones with the flap. One was made in Australia and had a grained effect.

Tankers had open-top rigs on a long drop loop with ammo loops on the front of the holster. You can see some probably on Gunboards in the British Gun Pub. Some have been shown here. Perusing books on WW II will provide additional looks. And some authors mention their sidearms. Alas, they often just refer to a "revolver" or a ".38 revolver." Some .455's also remained in use, and the Commandos usually issued Colt .45 autos. I've seen pics of them in what look exactly like the Pattern '37 web .38 rig and a very similar one with a different closure strap, a bit larger to fit the Colt auto. You can see Sean Connery use a holster like this (Pattern 37 .38, I think) in, "A Bridge Too Far." He had a Colt auto, like many of the paratroopers in the actual Arnhem battle. One photo taken during the battle shows a paratrooper advancing, .45 auto in hand. Some also had Browning 9mm's, so you have to look very carefully at wartime photos. Connery portrayed Maj. Gen. Roy Urqhardt (sp?) and I;'ve seen a pic of the real general. He had a holster like that, but I've no idea what was in it.

Thanks for the help. I believe I have found one.
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Old 05-06-2021, 05:23 PM
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My first Pre-Victory model arrived at its new home today I think it is going to be one of the South Africa contract guns as the serial number, 685147, falls into that range. It's a 4" barreled gun in .38 S&W. It also has either O or D Smith scratched into the bottom of the left grip. A neat little "bonus".














My 38-200 in the other thread is number 685267. Very close to this threads pistol. Mine has no extra markings , proofs . Nothing.
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:44 PM
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Interesting thread. Glad it was brought up again. I didn't have much interest in the Victory revolvers when this was originally posted, but now have several and find the history very interesting.
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:53 AM
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My 38-200 in the other thread is number 685267. Very close to this threads pistol. Mine has no extra markings , proofs . Nothing.
Mine, too 685987.




Here's a thread I did back when. Its very interesting to me that neither of our guns have the expected marks.

.38 S&W M&P help, please (Updated with letter)
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Old 05-07-2021, 02:26 PM
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Here the letter on this gun
38/200 pix



I added the lanyard ring. The hole was plugged with a solder/lead material that dug out easily.

Last edited by Hamden; 05-07-2021 at 02:29 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 05-07-2021, 02:43 PM
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Here the letter on this gun
38/200 pix



I added the lanyard ring. The hole was plugged with a solder/lead material that dug out easily.
Shipped the same day as mine, which also had the lanyard hole filled the same way. No proof marks anywhere. Weird.



One poster in my old thread said these S. African guns were diverted to England, even though they letter as going to SA.

I guess we'll never know.
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Old 05-07-2021, 03:12 PM
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The posts by Peter (from SA) in the old thread, #34 and #37, are likely the best explanation available for the absence of both British and SA property stamps of wartime vintage.

Why there are also no post-war commercial proofs can only mean they were not offered for sale as surplus in Britain, for reasons that remain unexplained.

That in itself is not so unusual either, though; we do encounter standard BSR‘s without such proofs here not infrequently. Many served as police or military arms in smaller newly independent nations of the Commonwealth after WW II, and were later gathered up and brought back to the US surplus market by the likes of Sam Cummings without ever seeing Britain again. Before 1968 there would be no import markings.
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