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Old 03-13-2015, 08:45 PM
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Default Need for help on pricing S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver

This is my first post so please bear with me.

I inherited a S&W 38 Special Military / Police Hand Ejector revolver. I wrote the NRA a letter asking for historical info but of course they dont speculate on value.

They did say it is a "collectible" and interesting because it has a "VS" prefix. They say the V was added when a new safety block was added in Dec 1944.

The serial # is: s/n V 769,000 Production ended in Sept 1945 with s/n S811,120.

It does have the ordinal finish and original grips. Can someone point me in the right direction as to value ?

Last edited by 2008corvette; 03-13-2015 at 08:47 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:09 PM
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First, please clarify your SN, i.e., does it have a V or an SV prefix. You say both. At 769000, it is very likely to have the SV prefix, and the S indicates that it has the improved hammer safety, which started in early 1945. Yours is not from 1942.

Second, you have provided no basis upon which to provide an estimate of value. As in all things, value is hugely influenced by originality (is it in the exact configuration it was in when it left the factory?) and condition. We know neither. Further, the SV-series Victory was released in both commercial civilian and military versions having completely different finishes, blued and phosphate respectively, and different grip styles, checkered Magna and smooth round top respectively. Several good pictures are absolutely essential to establish exactly what you have. The military version in original and top condition and properly marked U. S. Property would have the most value. The civilian version, somewhat less (assuming equivalent condition).

Last edited by DWalt; 03-14-2015 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2008corvette View Post
I wrote the NRA a letter asking for historical info but of course they dont speculate on value.
Well, you would do better with a S&W Factory Authentication letter than one from the NRA.

Quote:
They did say it is a "collectible" and interesting because it has a "VS" prefix. They say the V was added when a new safety block was added in Dec 1944.
I'm afraid they got this backwards. The V was added at V1 in April 1942, when the original Model of 1899 serial series hit one million. The S was added in December, 1944, when the improved sliding hammer block safety device was incorporated into production.
What is interesting in what you wrote is the order of the two letters. SV is normal. There are reports of one or more VS marked guns, but no one I know can confirm an actual sighting of one. If they are out there, they are an anomaly. Please let us know - and post a picture - if yours is actually stamped VS and not SV.


Quote:
The serial # is: s/n V 769,000 Production ended in Sept 1945 with s/n S811,120.
This is not quite right. The V prefix serial series started at V1 in 1942, as noted above. SV is reported to have started at SV769001, but I have been able to confirm two examples with numbers lower than that. The earliest one carries SV732261, has a 4" barrel and was shipped to the Navy on June 29, 1945, according to Mr. Jinks. The other is SV762832. I do not have shipping information on that one yet.
We know that the first recorded shipment to the Navy of an SV prefix revolver occurred in January, 1945. The first gun that carried a simple S prefix was S811120 and it was assembled on September 12, 1945, again according to Mr. Jinks. This is affirmed by the known whereabouts of SV811119 which, as you can see, carries the SV prefix. That gun was assembled on August 27, 1945, but didn't ship from the factory until March 1, 1946.
However, the simple S prefix marking did not take over completely right away. There are quite a few SV prefix guns that have serial numbers higher than 811120. They show up all the way to SV813132, which shipped on April 4, 1946. There are lots of simple S prefix guns within the range of S811120-S813xxx, so this was a transition period for the serial number prefix. It does appear from my research that most of the M&P revolvers with numbers higher than 811120 have the simple S prefix, but certainly not all of them.

I hope this clarifies the situation for you, at least a little bit.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:00 PM
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My apologies, I got the s/n backwards, the serial number stamped on the butt frame below the grips is : SV 776161.

The grips are checkered.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:18 PM
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looks to me by the grips and such to be a model 0f 1905 4th release, just my opinion pictures are grainy. Pre 1946 I dont have those serial #'s available.

Enjoy it though

Pete
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:02 PM
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The gun is definitely post WWII as there is no evidence of a lanyard hole in the butt and the finish appears to be commercial. I can't make out the caliber stamping on the right side of the barrel, if there is one there. And, the barrel length appears to be 5" or longer. It shipped before 1948 since it has the one line Made in U.S.A stamp.

Remove the grips and see if the SN inside the right panel matches the gun...just the numbers will be stamped there.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:40 PM
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With that SN and the blued finish, it is a commercial Victory which likely shipped in early 1946 - most CVs did. The lanyard hole should be there, but with a metal plug in it. I think I see it faintly. A BIG plus is that it appears to have pre-war Magna stocks. S&W made these revolvers up from parts in inventory at war's end and sold them in the US through normal channels.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:59 PM
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Welcome to the forum. You have pretty good dating information already -- early postwar, say late 1945/early 1946. Over 800,000 Victory models were produced between 1942 and 1946, so there is in general no scarcity premium. However, some models and some serial number ranges are in demand among varietal collectors, and the early postwar guns seem to have a certain appeal. Condition boosts value. An ordinary early postwar gun in worn but usable condition may be $300-350. In top condition (finish well preserved, fired very little) you might reasonably value it up to $500.

Others will have other ideas. If you average the value ranges that are suggested to you, that number will probably be pretty accurate.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:10 PM
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With prewar Magnas, it will be worth somewhat more than the foregoing estimate. I don't know exactly what a good set of PWMs is selling for at present, but a significant amount.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:56 PM
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I can't tell by your photos but if the finish is in 90% or better and it is in good shape mechanically with numbers matching grips I would see it at $600.
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2008corvette View Post
This is my first post so please bear with me.

I inherited a S&W 38 Special Military / Police Hand Ejector revolver. I wrote the NRA a letter asking for historical info but of course they dont speculate on value.

They did say it is a "collectible" and interesting because it has a "VS" prefix. They say the V was added when a new safety block was added in Dec 1944.

The serial # is: s/n V 769,000 Production ended in Sept 1945 with s/n S811,120.

It does have the ordinal finish and original grips. Can someone point me in the right direction as to value ?

I can't tell from pics but if the wood stocks are in excellent condition they are worth $350-$400 by themselves.
Carefully take them off and see if there is a serial number inside the right panel
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VM View Post
I can't tell from pics but if the wood stocks are in excellent condition they are worth $350-$400 by themselves.
Carefully take them off and see if there is a serial number inside the right panel
That's about the price I'd expect for a nice pair of PWMs, but I haven't seen any of them for awhile. Grip prices for some types have gone crazy, and those are one of the types in high demand.

If you can, please remove them and take good closeup pictures of both sides and post them here for a better look.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:26 PM
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First, I want to thank everybody for their opinions. They have all been helpful.

VM and WireGrassguy,

I took your advice and removed the grips. Suprise to me the serial number was engraved into the right hand grip, it matches the one one the frame.(776,161)

Thee is also an "S" stamped into the frame on to the left of the S&W logo above the right hand grip. The barrel is stamped 38 S&W Special Ctg.
The only other markings are the patent numbers on top the barrel.

VM and DWalt, if you guys are saying the grips could be $350-$400 by themselves, does that mean the gun frame and grips could be a combined $700-800,(some had said the gun might be worth $300-$400).

Im not trying to be greedy but I want to make sure my homeowners policy can insure it for the right amount.

I doubt Id ever consider selling the grips alone, breaking up the numbers matching set seems like a bad idea.

Is it just the grips that are valuable and the gun is just part of that ? Or does the frame have a seperate value from the grips.

PS: To me the grips look mint, there are no chips in the checkering or any scratches or marks.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:39 PM
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Greedy??...............absolutely NOT.
I wanted you to determine that the grips might be original to gun and fabulous that they are. Yes, do not separate them.
Yes, the additional value of the grips adds to the value of the gun.
When you do insure it, go higher in value

Last edited by VM; 03-16-2015 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:55 PM
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In my opinion the values listed should be pretty conservative for a traditional Sunday evening GunBroker auction.

In the last 3 years I've been watching fairly closely and those two variations are not at all common and bring a premium. In my own experience, I purchased a very nice SV for a little over $700 in 2012, and a post war S with prewar numbered grips and also paid over $700 for that one in 2013.

It's a very collectable variation!
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:11 PM
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Just judging the revolver's condition from the pictures, and if in fact the Magnas are pre-war, I wouldn't say that an insurance valuation of $1000 is excessive.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
With that SN and the blued finish, it is a commercial Victory which likely shipped in early 1946 - most CVs did. The lanyard hole should be there, but with a metal plug in it. I think I see it faintly. A BIG plus is that it appears to have pre-war Magna stocks. S&W made these revolvers up from parts in inventory at war's end and sold them in the US through normal channels.
As per "Blue Book of Gun Values - Post WWII Commercial model - value runs from $700.00 (100%) to $245.00 (60%
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:29 PM
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That gun would be a screaming bargain at $700 at the current on line and gun show market. You may want to talk to your HomeOwner Policy's agent and see whether the blanket coverage for sporting goods ( which includes firearms ) is high enough to provide around $1,000 blanket coverage. Most HO Policies have a $1,500 blanket coverage for sporting goods. You can add a "Fine Arts" endorsement for more coverage, as that can cover collectables, including collectable firearms. A "Scheduled Coverage" endorsement can cover the specific gun, but will require an written appraisal. Not financially feasible for just a $1,000 coverage. Ed
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Lentz Sr View Post
As per "Blue Book of Gun Values - Post WWII Commercial model - value runs from $700.00 (100%) to $245.00 (60%
Gary Lentz Sr.
If you believe anything in the "Blue Book," you are doomed. About the only near-reliable price data comes from actual completed sales on GunBroker.com.

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Old 03-20-2015, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
That gun would be a screaming bargain at $700 at the current on line and gun show market. You may want to talk to your HomeOwner Policy's agent and see whether the blanket coverage for sporting goods ( which includes firearms ) is high enough to provide around $1,000 blanket coverage. Most HO Policies have a $1,500 blanket coverage for sporting goods. You can add a "Fine Arts" endorsement for more coverage, as that can cover collectables, including collectable firearms. A "Scheduled Coverage" endorsement can cover the specific gun, but will require an written appraisal. Not financially feasible for just a $1,000 coverage. Ed
NRA has a gun insurance program you might want to look at.
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:39 PM
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Three years has passed since my original post which received solid, really helpful replies but now I find myself financially strapped and I am forced to sell the referenced "S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver". I can no longer afford to be a collector, I have a short 12 ga, a Glock 27 and a LCP 380,(all purely for personal protection).

Hopefully the value of the referenced gun has skyrocketed,(lol) and its value has gone up. Can someone provide me with with more current pricing ? (i.e.; GB auction results, etc.)
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:04 PM
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Before you put it on gunbroker, think about listing it here on the forum. There are some here that would give it a good home and appreciate it's history. You may want to link this thread with your listing if you choose to do so.

Good Luck
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:05 PM
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Thanks WR, good advice.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:41 PM
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I think the previous value estimates are still in the ball park and don't believe this will have skyrocketed in the meantime. Still a very nice Victory and someone here will surely be interested if you don't get too aggressive on the price.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:23 PM
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Peak53, I don't know much about auctioning , but I'm assuming that it will keep me from being aggressive. I just hope there will be 2 really interested parties that need that specific gun to complete their collection. I guess the only increase since my OP is 3 years of inflation. Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:04 PM
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I'm currently taking offers of $600 and above so that I don't have to bother with auctioning this gun anyone interested please contact me at stevemilton1952@att.net
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:06 PM
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Default Gun is SOLD !!!!

I want to thank everybody that responded for their very helpful input and it looks like it all went to a good cause because I found someone who feels that this gun would fill a niche in their collection so thanks again but at this time the gun is sold.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2008corvette View Post
Three years has passed since my original post which received solid, really helpful replies but now I find myself financially strapped and I am forced to sell the referenced "S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver". I can no longer afford to be a collector, I have a short 12 ga, a Glock 27 and a LCP 380,(all purely for personal protection).

Hopefully the value of the referenced gun has skyrocketed,(lol) and its value has gone up. Can someone provide me with with more current pricing ? (i.e.; GB auction results, etc.)
I just read this thread for the first time today. Your gun shipped in March 1946. It is what is called a "Commercial Victory" model. Depending on condition, and your posted pic is grainy at best, and if the gun is in a high percentage (95% to 99%) I would value it in today's market at $750 - $800. If the condition is any less than that, the value drops quickly.

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Old 06-29-2018, 09:35 PM
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Need for help on pricing S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver Need for help on pricing S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver Need for help on pricing S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver Need for help on pricing S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver Need for help on pricing S&W 1942 Victory Model revolver  
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Ken L., Thank you for your input and I just wanted to let you know that the gun sold within a couple of dollars of your estimate so I feel that thankfully with the help of everybody here on the forum I was able to sell at the going mkt value AND pass it on to someone who will be a good caretaker for this particular firearm .

I could not have done it without all of the assistance from all of the great people here on the forum and I wish I was more of a collector so that I could hang out here and get an even better education but sadly economics have determined that I am no longer a collector but a seller.

THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO RESPONDED !!!!
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