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  #1901  
Old 07-04-2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by larymark View Post
New to forum, issued a 38 spl revolver in 1966 at Malstrom AFB MT.
.........
The distribution of the victory models with serial numbers very close to each other going to different places, army, navy, allies, and used for security at many different facilities here in US.
Example:

Serial # 5004441 going to Army marked property of US
5004330 going to Navy marked Navy
5005998 going to factory in US for security purposes

Was distribution random with no real sequence followed?
......
Welcome to the forum.

Your 1960s Air Force issue could have been a Model 15 (recognizable by adjustable sights), which was an official issue AF revolver of the time, but according to many eye-witnesses, including members here, the Victory was still in service and issued at that time also.

As for Victory distribution, it wasn’t “random”, but shipment occurred in batches, sometimes small ones of 10 or 25, sometimes 500 guns. They filled orders as assigned by the War Productions Board. But since they produced many thousands per month, serials “close to each other” is really a relative term.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:58 PM
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Default S&W Victory Question

I recently acquired Victory V676425. It has a 5" barrel chambered for .38SW. It has US Property on the top strap With the GHD inspector initials. It has no import markings, but does have stamped on the left side: Pol. Br. with L.u.S. underneath. Does anyone know what these initials stand for? I will attempt to attach a pic.

Thanks, Cattleman77
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  #1903  
Old 07-13-2018, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cattleman77 View Post
I recently acquired Victory V676425. It has a 5" barrel chambered for .38SW. It has US Property on the top strap With the GHD inspector initials. It has no import markings, but does have stamped on the left side: Pol. Br. with L.u.S. underneath. Does anyone know what these initials stand for?...
Your gun was originally made for Lend-lease shipment to Britain in the summer of 1944.

After the war, it was issued by occupation authorities to the local German police in Bremen. Pol. Br. stands for Polizei Bremen. L.u.S. is most likely Land- und Stadtpolizei (state and city police), as Bremen was a city state.

After being surplused out or handed back by the Germans, some of these ended up for sale at rod and gun clubs at US bases. Because Bremen was a US enclave in the British zone, that may be how this gun ended up back in the US without any further markings.

Last edited by Absalom; 07-13-2018 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:03 PM
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There was an article on the German and Austrian occupation police Victories in the American Rifleman a couple of years ago, it's probably still available on the NRA website. On my list is V6767xx (.38 Special) which shipped on 9/9/44.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-13-2018 at 05:06 PM.
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  #1905  
Old 07-13-2018, 05:45 PM
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Thanks Absalom & DWalt. Your replies are very helpful!

Cattleman77
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  #1906  
Old 08-06-2018, 03:27 PM
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Last year I bought a S&W Victory model marked ".38 S&W Special CTG" on right side of barrel, "U.S. Property G.H.D." on left side of top strap. S/N is V391812, and is matching on grip frame, barrel, cylinder, and extractor star; Number on inside of right grip is about 100,000 higher number; 4" barrel; finish appears to be parkerized but might be the gray fiinish--hard to tell. Question--are the grips attached likely what the original grips would have been? Also, thought I had some kind of issue, as a .38 Special round would only go into cylinder about 3/4" of the way; closer inspection I found snap rings about 3/8" wide snapped into each chamber. I was able to push these out using a .30 carbine shell and grabbed them with needle nose pliers (see photo)--what would these have been used for?

Thanks for any info on this piece of history.





Last edited by wildcat83; 08-06-2018 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Editing text
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  #1907  
Old 08-06-2018, 03:40 PM
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Adding photos
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  #1908  
Old 08-06-2018, 04:42 PM
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The grips are far newer than the gun, they are from sometime after 1969. V391812 would have shipped around September 1943. I have no idea what those rings are for, but without the rings, it is possible that your cylinder is for the .38 S&W caliber if a .38 Special cartridge cannot be inserted. But I don't know how that would be if the SNs match.

Last edited by DWalt; 08-06-2018 at 04:45 PM.
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  #1909  
Old 08-06-2018, 05:05 PM
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You ask if it is possible the cylinder is actually for a .38 S&W--this is exactly what I wondered until I realized the SN on it matched the others on the gun; that's when I started looking more closely at the interior of the chambers and noticed the rings. .38 Special rounds load nicely now that the rings have been removed. The grips have been on there a long time as there are faint lines on the frame matching the curve of the top of the grips; regardless, I'll look for original grips so the gun is correct. I have a Model 10-5, which is not identical to the Victory but mighty close--the grips on the Victory I'm relatively certain are from a Model 10.

Thank you for the info--
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  #1910  
Old 08-06-2018, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
... I have no idea what those rings are for, but without the rings, it is possible that your cylinder is for the .38 S&W caliber if a .38 Special cartridge cannot be inserted. But I don't know how that would be if the SNs match.
That is indeed odd. Could someone have tried to make the gun usable for some .38-diametered rimless shorter pistol cartridge by creating an artificial shoulder in the chambers? Just fishing here
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:18 PM
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BTW--what would you call the finish on this gun--is it parkerized?
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:55 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! It appears to be the original phosphate finish flavor that S&W was producing at that time.
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  #1913  
Old 08-06-2018, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wildcat83 View Post
BTW--what would you call the finish on this gun--is it parkerized?
The term used throughout the war is “sandblast Black Magic”. Invoices I’ve seen just say “sandblast”. Newly applied it looks a lot like parkerizing, but since it is not a phosphate finish, with use it wears and develops a grey, sometimes greenish sheen distinct from actual parkerizing, like on your gun.

These finishes generally don’t photograph well. The attached photo shows a Victory next to a Colt Commando with true “Parkerizing” (Parco-Lubrite from the Parker Rust-Proof Co.). The difference is noticeable despite less than perfect lighting.
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  #1914  
Old 08-06-2018, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat83 View Post
Last year I bought a S&W Victory model marked ".38 S&W Special CTG" on right side of barrel, "U.S. Property G.H.D." on left side of top strap. S/N is V391812, and is matching on grip frame, barrel, cylinder, and extractor star; Number on inside of right grip is about 100,000 higher number; 4" barrel; finish appears to be parkerized but might be the gray fiinish--hard to tell. Question--are the grips attached likely what the original grips would have been? Also, thought I had some kind of issue, as a .38 Special round would only go into cylinder about 3/4" of the way; closer inspection I found snap rings about 3/8" wide snapped into each chamber. I was able to push these out using a .30 carbine shell and grabbed them with needle nose pliers (see photo)--what would these have been used for?

Thanks for any info on this piece of history.




9mm perhaps?
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  #1915  
Old 08-06-2018, 07:56 PM
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9mm may fit into a .38 S&W chamber, but generally they will not go in to a .38 Special chamber far enough to close the cylinder.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:15 PM
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BTW--what would you call the finish on this gun--is it parkerized?
It is Smith's version of parkerizing, they called a "military midnight black finish".
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:46 PM
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It is Smith's version of parkerizing, they called a "military midnight black finish".
That’s what we used to think. You should read Roy’s “Voices from the Past” in the journal, the summer 2017 edition for the Williams notes and the summer 2018 edition for the Ordnance report. That is what is documented, and that is what we know. And if you read the “collector tip” on p. 166 of the SCSW, 4th ed., you’ll notice the change in terminology there, too.
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  #1918  
Old 08-07-2018, 07:40 PM
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Would like info on the following Victory revolver.

Its in .38/200 with a 5" barrel, parkerized finish, marked "US Property GHD" on the top strap, the serial number is V755218. Has BP marks on cylinder and proof marks on left rear of barrel.

All the finish is gone but it is solid. Is it worth $299?
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by s3dcor View Post
Would like info on the following Victory revolver.

Its in .38/200 with a 5" barrel, parkerized finish, marked "US Property GHD" on the top strap, the serial number is V755218. Has BP marks on cylinder and proof marks on left rear of barrel.

All the finish is gone but it is solid. Is it worth $299?
Assuming it is functional, yes. It is a Lend-Lease British Service Revolver (BSR). The serial number suggests that it was probably shipped in early 1945. It would have been one of the very last BSRs made.
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  #1920  
Old 08-07-2018, 08:12 PM
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Thanks Dwalt, you are the man.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:23 PM
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So I purchased this Victory today for $250. I did a complete disassembly and cleaning. It is tight and shows no wear. The finish has faded, I understand that is quite common. It has not been modified in any way, still a .38 S&W. I show below the NP, BV and SP flaming bomb marks. It also has a mark, crossed scepters with an E left and S right and a 1 below. I have no idea what SP or the crossed scepters mean. All numbers match except the grips which have an earlier 5 digit serial. I can tell that it had a large set of grips on it at one time as the finish is darker in that area. SN: V755218 Still a nice gun even with the poor finish. If you have any more info I will appreciate your response.

I just figured out that the sideplate has the hammer block on it and I did not know what it was. There is no "S" on the butt. Does that add up to the sn's for the hammer block change?
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:41 PM
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Your gun was surplused out relatively early for a British Service model.

The markings on the gun’s barrel you describe and that are visible in the picture are the old style of Birmingham commercial proofs under the Rule of 1925, which was replaced by the Rule of 1955 in that year.

Most ex-BSR’s were not proofed in Birmingham until the later 1950’s and have the post-1955 style of markings.

The crossed sceptres are a so-called viewmark. E is 1954. I think you must be misreading the B for Birmingham as an S, since an S is not a thing in that position. The 1 is the inspector’s rank.

On the barrel proofs, those are not “flaming bombs”, but crowns over letters in a circle
They should be BV (Viewmark), BP (Definite proof), NP (Nitro proof).

Last edited by Absalom; 08-08-2018 at 10:53 PM.
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  #1923  
Old 08-10-2018, 11:22 PM
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....
I just figured out that the sideplate has the hammer block on it and I did not know what it was. There is no "S" on the butt. Does that add up to the sn's for the hammer block change?
I’m not quite sure what you mean by this addendum. Does the sideplate have the S? That would be highly unusual. The serial is too low for the gun to have been produced with the new hammerblock (start around V769-), and to our knowledge no British Service models were produced with or later converted to the upgrade.
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:54 PM
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My BSR has a sideplate with the hammer block safety on it. The assembly numbers are the same ones as on the crane and frame. The Sn is V755218. If the sideplate was replaced it would not likely have the assembly numbers in it or they would not match. That leads me to believe that it came from the factory that way. There is no "S" anywhere.

Thanks for your input. I like to learn all I can about these. Here is a pic of my other one an early one marked RCAF and in excellent condition.
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  #1925  
Old 08-14-2018, 04:57 PM
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Picked up today and adding to the database
Came with no side plate no grips
Spare fitted and grips put on

All other parts match
Says U S Property GHD on top strap
Assorted British proofs
Cylinder NOT reamed for special, it’s still only .38 S&W
Serial V 569032

Last edited by Vbk76; 08-14-2018 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3dcor View Post
My BSR has a sideplate with the hammer block safety on it. The assembly numbers are the same ones as on the crane and frame. The Sn is V755218. If the sideplate was replaced it would not likely have the assembly numbers in it or they would not match. That leads me to believe that it came from the factory that way. There is no "S" anywhere.
Sounds like there's still an implied question in your comments. Posts by you and Absalom seem to asking & answering without a direct train.

Yes.

Yes the sideplate mounted hammer block is correct, for the serial number and for being a BSR. Yes, not having an "S" is correct since it hasn't been converted to the newer style block, which as far as we know has never been done to a BSR. And so yes, it would've come from the factory as it sits.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:16 PM
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Recently bought this BSR, no. 963611, which has had very little if any use at all.







[newer pictures], the WB and flaming bomb are present. Serial no. is stamped inside one grip.

Last edited by Mk VII; 09-16-2018 at 06:18 PM. Reason: better pictures
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:19 PM
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Recently bought this BSR, no. 963611, which has had very little if any use at all
....the WB and flaming bomb are present. Serial no is stamped inside one grip.
Very nice find. It’s highly unusual to see an early one like this (spring 1942) in such a pristine condition and with no British post-war proofs either. You don’t mention the UNITED STATES PROPERTY topstrap stamp, which should be there at that serial.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:06 PM
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Yes, the property stamp is there. I think it must have surfaced only recently, the proof mark (bbl. 6 o'clock) is recent.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:06 PM
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Yes, the property stamp is there. I think it must have surfaced only recently, the proof mark (bbl. 6 o'clock) is recent.
I didn't actually notice your location until now.

So do I understand correctly that it does have a post-service proof under the barrel? Could you show a picture?
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:15 PM
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I won't be able to take more pictures until next month but I'll put on my list (better camera next time).
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:21 PM
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I'm hoping you guys can help me a little with a Victory Model I saw today. 4" barrel, .38 S&W Special marking, the serial # is V24xxxx with the V directly in line with the serial number instead of on the other side of the lanyard loop. Unfortunately I can't recall the rest of the serial number (should have written it down, I know). There is an ordnance mark on the bottom in front of the lanyard loop, but there are no markings at all on the top strap. I looked hard to make sure it wasn't simply faint, but there's nothing there. There is a hand-stamped rack number on the RH side of the frame and it wears "trench art" grips. There is also another set of stamped letters on the back of the strap but they are impossible to make out. The finish is worn and looks just like all the others posted here. Does it sound legit enough to go back for a second look?
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:47 PM
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I'm hoping you guys can help me a little with a Victory Model I saw today. 4" barrel, .38 S&W Special marking, the serial # is V24xxxx with the V directly in line with the serial number instead of on the other side of the lanyard loop. Unfortunately I can't recall the rest of the serial number (should have written it down, I know). There is an ordnance mark on the bottom in front of the lanyard loop, but there are no markings at all on the top strap. I looked hard to make sure it wasn't simply faint, but there's nothing there. There is a hand-stamped rack number on the RH side of the frame and it wears "trench art" grips. There is also another set of stamped letters on the back of the strap but they are impossible to make out. The finish is worn and looks just like all the others posted here. Does it sound legit enough to go back for a second look?
I have V241925 and the V is left of the loop. Flaming bomb only and lettered as shipped to the Navy 2/26/1943. I'd go for it if the other s/n's match. Be sure to post some pix if you get it.

If the back strap stamp is a V followed by one or two more letters then one to three numbers it likely from a Naval Air squadron. Whatever they are it adds to the revolvers history. Take a penlight and magnifying glass with you.

Last edited by chiefdave; 08-25-2018 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:57 PM
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The V was together with the digits on one side through the five-digit numbers and frequently still on guns with six-digit numbers as long as the first digit was a 1. But during that serial range it moved to the other side of the lanyard screw hole. I don’t recall ever seeing a V 2xxxxx all together, but see no reason why it shouldn’t have happened.

Just the ordnance bomb on the butt indicates a DSC contract gun, with the other additional stampings applied by whatever non-military end user got the gun. Could have been a police agency or defense contractor.

If the price is right and you want one, there is no reason not to look at this one. It might have an interesting story. Check whether the numbers all match, including the right grip panel. If not, use that to try and depress the asking price

PS: The Chief is right and it could be another unstamped Navy gun, but the presence of additional non-standard markings makes that less likely, although still possible.

Last edited by Absalom; 08-25-2018 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:05 PM
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Not sure what "trench art" grips are. Some carved-up example of the originals? V24xxxx probably shipped Feb to April 1943, very likely a DSC gun. Used by stateside law enforcement and defense plant guards. They were about the only civilians who could buy new guns during WWII.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:09 PM
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I have V241925 and the V is left of the loop. Flaming bomb only and lettered as shipped to the Navy 2/26/1943.
Does it have the "U. S. NAVY" topstrap stamping? I'd expect it should at that SN, unless it was one which was sent to the OSS. Those were sent to the Navy at Rosslyn VA. Exactly where does the letter say it was shipped?
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
Check whether the numbers all match, including the right grip panel. If not, use that to try and depress the asking price
Is this the same Absalom who recently accused me of trying to drive down the price of Victory's? I did purchase the Canadian revolver on that post and gave full asking price after the seller told me he would include the original grips. Won't tell you what I gave for a 5 digit s/n this week or you will petition the moderators to have my user name changed to CheapDave.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Does it have the "U. S. NAVY" topstrap stamping? I'd expect it should at that SN, unless it was one which was sent to the OSS. Those were sent to the Navy at Rosslyn VA. Exactly where does the letter say it was shipped?
U S Navy, Oakland, CA. Nothing on top strap and flaming bomb on grip frame in front of V, no P proof marks or inspectors initials.

Last edited by chiefdave; 08-25-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:47 AM
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U S Navy, Oakland, CA. Nothing on top strap and flaming bomb on grip frame in front of V, no P proof marks or inspectors initials.
Curious that there is no topstrap stamp.
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:41 PM
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Not sure what "trench art" grips are. Some carved-up example of the originals?
"Trench Art" grips were hand-made in theater, either by bored GIs or by locals eager to sell stuff like that to American servicemen. The most well-known ones are the clear 1911 grips made from scrapped aircraft windshields that GIs often slipped a picture of their girl underneath (aka "Sweetheart" grips). Others include elephant ivory grips carved by local artisans in SE Asia and sold on the street to US soldiers while on leave in the cities. The ones on the revolver in question were hand-made out of some sort of ebony-colored wood and were painted with dragons and the serviceman's name and rank, along with "Korea 1950". That immediately piqued my interest even though the original grips are long gone.
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  #1941  
Old 08-26-2018, 05:20 PM
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I guess that could be considered as trench art. I always think of that term as referring more to items like flower vases and ashtrays which were made out of fired artillery and small arms cases (most of which were not made in the trenches of WWI but rather in factories, for sale to postwar tourists).

Last edited by DWalt; 09-07-2018 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:09 AM
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Default New Victory to post.

US NAVY marked pistol. Marked on top strap.

Serial # V151379. 4" in .38 Special.

Bare of any other 'special markings'
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:22 PM
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V151379 probably shipped around November 1942. The early Navy-stamped Victories were made under Navy contract and typically do not have the markings of the later Victories in Navy use made under Army contracts. The U. S. NAVY topstrap stamp was used until around SN V265xxx in mid-1943. The Navy-stamped Victories will usually command some price premium if in high condition, but they are not rare. Much of their use was for arming naval aviation flight crews. Many remained in military service through the Vietnam era.

Last edited by DWalt; 08-28-2018 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:39 PM
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Ishapor Victory Model with 5" barrel and in .38 S&W caliber.

A big thanks to the forum members that helped me with the meanings of some of the markings.







Looks like a "W" on its side?



Star on the frame and cylinder,



K.K.D.
9 43
10

Kirkee Arsenal in Kirkee India September of 1943



F.R.
R.F.I.
1967

Factory Repair, Rifle Factory Ishapoor in 1967


Last edited by LOBO; 09-10-2018 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
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I didn't actually notice your location until now.

So do I understand correctly that it does have a post-service proof under the barrel? Could you show a picture?
Here it is:-


Last edited by Mk VII; 09-16-2018 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:24 PM
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better pictures of No. 963611 this time.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:15 PM
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Default USCG Marked

I'm new to the forum and I recently picked up this revolver (V437588). I have been seeking one with a USCG marking for a very long time. If any one can provide any info on it, I would greatly appreciate it. Eventually, I'm planning to get a smith and wesson factory letter for it. I'm hoping to get some vintage ammo to make a display. I was happy to come across this forum from a simple web search! There are a lot of great guns on here!!






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Old 09-18-2018, 10:48 PM
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Great find and acquisition. A USCG; not a very common example and it appears to be in fine condition. Congratulations on adding it to your collection.

I also really enjoy this awesome Victory thread.
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:40 PM
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This is one which should be lettered immediately. Allegedly there were only a very small number of Victories which were shipped directly to the USCG and virtually nothing is known about them. As anyone with an engraving machine could do the frame property marking, it is very important to attempt establishing that it is genuine Victory shipped to the USCG and not a forgery. Are there other stampings to be seen anywhere on the frame?

I have heard that those few Victories shipped directly to USCG were not property marked by S&W but I can't say if that is true. Yours likely shipped around October 1943. Were it originally a Navy gun which somehow found its way to the USCG later, it should have a U. S. PROPERTY topstrap stamping.

Last edited by DWalt; 09-19-2018 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
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This is one which should be lettered immediately. Allegedly there were only a very small number of Victories which were shipped directly to the USCG and virtually nothing is known about them. As anyone with an engraving machine could do the frame property marking, it is very important to attempt establishing that it is genuine Victory shipped to the USCG and not a forgery. Are there other stampings to be seen anywhere on the frame?

I have heard that those few Victories shipped directly to USCG were not property marked by S&W but I can't say if that is true. Yours likely shipped around October 1943. Were it originally a Navy gun which somehow found its way to the USCG later, it should have a U. S. PROPERTY topstrap stamping.
I'll see if I can put in for a letter by the end of the week. It does have the U.S. Property stamp on top as seen below. My guess is that it came from another branch as surplus/transfer and was stamped when received. I could be way off on that. From my crude internet research, there was a small contract in 42 directly to the USCG, so this one falls out of those parameters. Maybe the factory letter will give us more insight. Thanks for the reply and info! Let me know if you have any other questions about it.

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