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Old 12-06-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default what is my gun worth

I have an old revolver that I can not figure out what it is. following are the markings and numbers.
I the top of the barrel "Smith&wesson Springfield Mass USA
on the side of the barrel Smith and Wesson .38 .767 BNP 3 1/2 tons
In the top of the frame US property GHD
sierial no. 561647
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:18 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a S&W Pre Victory model unless it has a V in front of the s/n on the gun butt then it's a Victory model, in 38 S&W Special made starting at the beginning of WW II. Basically a K frame 38 Military and Police made under contract for government wartime issue. Potentially a "Lend Lease" gun, it has taken a trip across the pond and back, and been proofed and stamped as are all guns entering and/or leaving England.

Value undeterminable without concise description or photo.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 12-06-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:21 PM
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With the US property stamp and what sound like British proofmarks my first guess is that you have a WWII Victory model. Is there a letter "V" in front of the serial number?

If you could post a picture that would be a big help.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:41 PM
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"on the side of the barrel Smith and Wesson .38 .767 BNP 3 1/2 tons"

This is a typical stamping found on the British .38/200 revolvers after they were proof tested for commercial sale after WW II. The case length of the .38 S & W (shorter and less powerful than the .38 Special) is .767". Most original examples had 5" barrels from cylinder face to muzzle.

Agree the serial number is too low for a pre-war gun; these SNs read with the barrel pointing right. With the V prefix guns they read with the barrel pointing left.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:44 PM
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Alan,
But stamped US Government? Maybe converted to 38/200 in England?
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:56 PM
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The Lend-Lease .38/200 Victories were stamped "UNITED STATES PROPERTY", and the .38 Specials "U.S. PROPERTY G.H.D.", I think, but there may be exceptions. I think there is a recent thread about a similar situation, a 4" .38 Special VM proof stamped for .38 S & W.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:25 PM
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The GHD (Brig. Gen. Guy H. Drewry) marking would be too late for a pre-Victory.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:21 PM
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I can not figure out how to post pictures. help anyone.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
The Lend-Lease .38/200 Victories were stamped "UNITED STATES PROPERTY", and the .38 Specials "U.S. PROPERTY G.H.D.", I think, but there may be exceptions. I think there is a recent thread about a similar situation, a 4" .38 Special VM proof stamped for .38 S & W.
Alan,
Thank you!
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:28 PM
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According to Charles Pate in his book U.S. Handguns of WWII, the marking "UNITED STATES PROPERTY was used on lend lease revolvers up until May 1943 at approximately serial V300000. After that time this changed to U.S. PROPERTY with the GHD marking.

Early 38/200 revolvers purchased by the British did not have any US property markings.

The 38 Special revolvers used by the US Military had markings of US NAVY (Direct Navy Purchases), 10/1942 this changed to UNITED STATES PROPERTY. and then in 4/1943 this changed again to U.S. PROPERTY GHD. Pate also mentions that most of the 38 Special military revolvers were issued to the US Navy even though they had the generic US Property markings.

Hope this helps.

Steve
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:44 PM
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PM incoming regarding posting photos.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:18 PM
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Should look like this:


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Old 12-08-2012, 09:11 AM
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Well, Earl, you can certainly see that you came to the right place. What a wealth of knowledge this place is, and so many people willing to help (and enjoying it)! I just love reading through all the detective work of the experts, being far from one myself. There is no better place on the web.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:55 PM
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Peter, you are correct i can not believe how much help that I am getting. I have little or no knowledge of guns. gifting a real education.
Thanks to all.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:54 PM
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^scha!
BNP(Birmingham Nitro Proof) indicates 1955 or later entering commerce. .767 is the length of a .38 S&W case. A Special proofed in Birmingham would be stamped .38 Special, in London it would be .38"1.15" 4 Tons.

.38-200 later .380 MkII refers to the British service load which has the case dimensions but greater bullet weight, originally 200 grains; later 175 grains with a .360/.361 diameter. Not the old U.S. .38 S&W.

Duplicating the .38-200 is a handloading proposition.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:04 PM
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Default Smith & Wesson Victory Special .38 G.H.D

Hello,

Can any of you professionals help determine the value of my firearm. It is a 1942-1943 .38 Special with a serial # of V350826. It has a p stamp as well as U.S. property G.H.D. All three serial numbers match.

Here are some pics.





Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

Last edited by Starman; 12-10-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starman View Post
Hello,

Can any of you professionals help determine the value of my firearm. It is a 1942-1943 .38 Special with a serial # of V350826. It has a p stamp as well as U.S. property G.H.D. All three serial numbers match.

Here are some pics.





Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.
You seem to have a Victory Model that someone had nickel plated and fitted with pearl (?) grips after it left US service.

It no longer has any real collecor value, none at all for the military collectors. But it may be safe to shoot with standard pressure ammo. Plus P CTG should not be fired in S&W .38's made before 1957 and bearing a model number on the frame. Saxon Pig here disagrees, but that's the company's position. They seem to have improved the metallurgy at that time, this being borne out by a comment by Chic Gaylord in, "Handgunner's Guide, pub. about 1960.

Someone above stated that the bullet weight of the shorter .38 S&W (.38-200) CTG was 175 grains after they lowered it from 200 grains. In fact, it was listed at 178 grains. But your gun probably chambers the more common .38 Special CTG. See what's marked on the right hand side of the barrel. Should read .38 Special CTG.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Someone above stated that the bullet weight of the shorter .38 S&W (.38-200) CTG was 175 grains after they lowered it from 200 grains. In fact, it was listed at 178 grains. But your gun probably chambers the more common .38 Special CTG. See what's marked on the right hand side of the barrel. Should read .38 Special CTG.

The original .38/200 British cartridge actually did have a 200 grain lead bullet. In the late 1930s it was changed to a 178 grain FMJ type to comply with the Hague Convention protocols. At one time there was a 200 grain lead bullet .38 S&W loaded in the US called the "Super Police." It had about the same ballistics as the British .38/200 service round.
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