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Old 04-16-2013, 06:02 PM
45Guy 45Guy is offline
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This one walked into the shop, it is a .38 smith, not special, all serials, including grips match. Butt: 716360 (lanyard loop) P, stocks, cylinder, and barrel flat all marked the same.

So my question is: Did S&W produce commercial pieces while running the British .38/200s?
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:10 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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It's hard to say. Nothing amazes me when it comes to what S&W may have made, however it is generally believed that any .38S&W caliber Model 1905s, with 5 inch barrels, etc. were part of the revolvers ordered by the British purchasing agents prior to our entering WW2, and are called "Pre-Victory Models" by collectors. Only a factory letter will tell you where S&W shipped the gun. Ed.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:29 PM
45Guy 45Guy is offline
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Yep, this one is a puzzle, there are no commonwealth marks anywhere on it.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:31 PM
scha scha is offline
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According to History of Smith & Wesson by Roy Jinks, production of the British Service Revolvers began in March 1940. In September of 1940 the firm concentrated efforts on only this model to meet the needs of England's War Effort. By Feb 27, 1941 production increases allowed for the Military and Police model (in 38 Special) to be placed back in production. From then until March 29, 1945, British Service Revolvers (38 S&W) were made along with the US Victory Models (38 Special).

So, there was a limited time when only British Service Revolvers were produced. I agree, a factory letter is the only way to verify exact production details for a specific revolvers.

Hope this helps.

Steve

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:19 PM
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DWalt DWalt is offline
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At that SN, it would probably have shipped in early 1941, just when S&W wartime production was ramping up heavily. The lanyard loop would indicate military intent, and in fact, there was probably very little civilian M&P production at that time, and none in .38 S&W. And that caliber would certainly indicate a British military order. Other than the caliber and lanyard loop, it is a civilian Model 1905 M&P, 4th change, and would have had medallioned checkered wood grips as pictured, and a commercial blued finish. A 6" barrel length is not unknown, but the Brits preferred 5". They took what they could get. It is not very likely that it was sold into the US commercial market, and it is also possible that, during that period, it would have gone to Great Britain unmarked, and may not have received any markings there, either. Things were a little hectic on the island at that time, what with a German invasion still possible. Getting guns in the hands of the troops quickly was the top priority.

M&Ps disposed of by the Brits into the commercial markets after the war were usually proof tested and are so marked. But there are many ways by which these revolvers found their way back over here that were outside official channels. A nice pre-Victory which has not been molested (i.e., rechambered to .38 Special or refinished) is a good find.

Last edited by DWalt; 04-16-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:54 PM
45Guy 45Guy is offline
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We bought all 5 as a lot. The 6" pre-victory, the 5" pre-victory with Commonwealth proof marks, 5" 38-200 victory, Cogswell & Harrison 38 Special converted victory, and a 4" pre-M10 M&P.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:27 PM
gordonrick gordonrick is offline
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I'm expecting a letter from S&W any day now for SN 7606xx which is kind of close. Like yours, it has no acceptance or proof marks of any kind, but mine has the 5" barrel. There is a possibility that they could have shipped around the same time to the same place. Or not. As often stated in this forum, anything is possible.
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