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Old 03-16-2013, 12:08 AM
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Default .38 revolver property of us government

How can I find out more info on this gun? Apparently it belong to my great grandfather.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traybo View Post
How can I find out more info on this gun?
First, by giving us your best description of the gun. Pictures would be great too. The barrel length as measured from the muzzle to the front of the cylinder. The serial number (stamped on the butt of the grip frame) and anything else you might (or might not) think is pertinent.

P.S.; The numbers you see when the cylinder is opened aren't necessary....

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Last edited by wheelgun610; 03-16-2013 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:59 AM
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Traybo, Welcome to the Forum. You haven't given us much to go on, however I'll make a guess in the dark, so to speak, that you have a WW2 surplus Lend Lease S&W revolver that was probably shipped to the Brits. The Lend Lease guns were stamped "United States Property" on the top strap and were originally .38 S&W caliber, with5 in. barrels. Many of these were imported back to the US after WW2 by surplus gun dealers and the cylinders were bored out to accept .38 Special cartridges. Post the serial number of the gun and we can tell you when it was shipped. The serial number is on the butt and may have a "V" stamped in front of the number. The "V" is part of the serial number, and is the eason the gun was called the Victory Model. Ed.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:06 AM
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You really should post a picture or two of it, along with the SN, as it is possible it may not even be an S&W. Otherwise, no one has any idea of what you have (other than there were a great many S&W Victory model revolvers stamped US property made during WWII).

Does this look like yours? http://www.coolgunsite.com/pistols/v...and_wesson.htm
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:30 PM
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This was my great grand fathers gun. It is stamped with "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" on the top of the gun. Thanks for all your info. Don't want to sell it just want to find out the history of it so I can pass it down to my kids one day. Neat gun to have.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:32 PM
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Another pic.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:15 PM
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Based on the barrel length of 5'', I'm guessing the right side of the barrel is stamped .38 S&W CTG

If so, this would indicate a ''Lend Lease'' Victory for one of the US allies during WWII
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Last edited by digi-shots; 03-17-2013 at 09:24 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:26 PM
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I read the SN as V26579. If so, it would have shipped about June or July 1942. In addition to the 5" barrel, most of the V-models shipped in that SN range were .38/200s for the British. A very nice piece, assuming the chambers have not been bored out for .38 S&W Special. If you can find a .38 S&W Special round or case, check to see if it can be fully inserted. If not, you are golden. It would be a Lend-Lease weapon. Also, see what the caliber stamping is on the side of the barrel, and remove the grips to see if the same serial number is stamped inside, on the back of the wood panels. You might also supply what any other markings stamped into the metal are.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:20 AM
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Right side. 38 S & W CTG
Left side. SMITH & WESSON 38 767
3 1/2 TONS

You can barely make out serial # on inside of handle, but with magnifying glass it is the same
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:30 PM
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So far, everything looks righteous for an original WWII .38/200, but you do need to find out if the cylinders have been re-bored for .38 Special. If not, you have something very worthwhile. There should also be the same serial numbers stamped on the rear face of the cylinder and on the bottom of the barrel above the ejector rod. Do you know anything at all concerning where your great-grandfather may have obtained it?
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:56 PM
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Traybo, My guess was correct, it seems. The "767" and 3 1/2 tons" stamped n the barrel indicate the gun was proofed by the Brits, after WW2, when it was sold as surplus to a British Gun dealer, who was then required by British Proof regulations to have the gun proofed if it was to be offered for sale in Britain. Apparently it was later imported to the US by an American gun dealer, unless your GGF bought the gun overseas. Thousands of these surplus Victory Models were imported to the US and sold cheaply in the 1950-60s era. Many like yours, that were originally .38S&W caliber ( Brits called them 38/200 after their military nomenclature for that caliber) had their cylinder chambers rebored to accept .38S&W Special rounds by the US dealers. You can test yours by seeing if a .38 Special round will fully chamber in the cylinder. If not, it's still in the original .38 S&W caliber. You can obtain a S&W factory historical letter for the gun from Roy Jinks, Factory Historian, for $50. It will tell you when the gun was shipped, to whom or where, and the original configuration of the gun, style of finish and stocks. For a family heirloom gun you want to pass on the future generations, a factory letter, is a great addition to authenticating the gun. Good Luck, Ed.
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