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Old 12-23-2016, 02:07 PM
Vettepartz Vettepartz is offline
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I just got this Victory 38 Special on a swap. The finish looks almost too good, with a few small scratches and a drag line. I don't think it is a refinish, but I am not sure. Serial is V676724 and is marked on the butt, bottom of barrel, cylinder, inside right grip, and inside the ejector star. The top strap has "US Property GHD" and there is a "P" on the left top of the side frame. The hammer and trigger are color case hardened.

Here is what I am hoping for. I was born on Oct 27, 1944. If someone has a data base and can tell me if this serial number falls near my birth date, I will probably send for a letter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:08 PM
Vettepartz Vettepartz is offline
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One more picture.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:52 PM
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1944 it is. A letter should reveal the exact date. Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:00 PM
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......
Here is what I am hoping for. I was born on Oct 27, 1944. If someone has a data base and can tell me if this serial number falls near my birth date, I will probably send for a letter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Nice specimen.

It is definitely a mid- to a bit later -1944 produced gun with that serial. But shipment dates were not nearly regular enough to give you any kind of certainty beyond that. I have a 604xxx that shipped in August, but also a 626xxx that didn't ship until June 1945.

DWalt and a few others with database collections may be able to add a bit of reassurance to that, but ultimately, the letter will be a bit of a surprise. Much better odds than the lottery, though ! I'd go for it.

PS: Based on your photos, all-original and not a refinish.

Last edited by Absalom; 12-23-2016 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:40 PM
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The closest SN I have to V676724 is V6722xx which shipped in 9/44. I show six other Victory SNs in reasonable proximity which shipped in 9/44 and 10/44. Yours probably did also. With the U. S. PROPERTY topstrap stamping, it is highly likely it shipped to the U. S. Navy. Its finish looks to be original. Its condition indicates it was brought home by someone soon after the war's end and it didn't see much action during the war or since. A nice find, not common to find these in such good shape.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:01 PM
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Thanks to all for the information. I did send out a request for a letter from S&W today. When I eventually get it, I will be glad to post the info so that the data bases can get updated. Merry Christmas.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:54 PM
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Well I got my letter today, and it wasn't quite the manufacture date that I had hoped for. Not even close. That was a pretty fast turn-around time from the people at the archives.

I hope that those people on here who graciously spend their time making the Victory data bases can use this info to make updates as needed. I think we all appreciate what they are doing to keep us informed.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:04 PM
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Here is what I am hoping for. I was born on Oct 27, 1944
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wasn't quite the manufacture date that I had hoped for. Not even close
The letter says, September 9, 1944. "Not even close?" I'd say less than two months is close . . . Finding one that shipped exactly on your birth date is a bit much to ask. Sure, it happens, but it's a huge surprise when it does.

A few years ago, I sold a postwar .357 Magnum to a guy here on the Forum when we found out it shipped on the very day he was born. He was thrilled and I was happy for him. But I doubt that happens often.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:14 PM
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Sometimes hopeful expectation is far better than cold reality.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:56 PM
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You are off by 6 1/2 weeks. Not bad in my book. Heck of a nice Victory.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:02 PM
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I'd say that based on what we told you, that shipping date and the destination landed in the general target area. Since the factory shipped these in batches, there may be weeks or months between the date the gun was finished (for which unfortunately we have no records) and the ship dates.

Even serial order cannot be taken for granted. Attached is an example of two letters from my files (not my guns). Two Victorys shipped to the USMC at Charlotte in Feb. 1944 in separate shipments. They are about 25,000 apart serial-wise, and the higher number shipped three weeks BEFORE the lower.

So you just never know; yours landed only a month away from your birth month, which is pretty lucky already.
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:09 PM
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It's not practical to determine the manufacturing date, or more properly, the assembly date. About all that can be said with certainty is that it was assembled shortly prior to shipping, and just how long before is unknown, probably within a month or so, as normally they were being shipped out fairly quickly after assembly and didn't remain in the factory stockroom for very long.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:16 AM
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Sometimes revolvers could be assembled and shipped out the door very quickly when necessary.

According to Charlie Pate, early in the war there was a U.S. Navy request for 3,000 revolvers that were to be issued to the U.S. Naval Civilian Police Corps. The formal request for this purchase is dated January 4, 1941, and specifies that the backstrap of the gun is to be marked U.S.N.C.P.C. S&W company records reveal that all of the requested guns were delivered in ten shipments beginning on March 14 and ending on May 10, 1941.

By early February 1942, the Navy was again in communication with S&W to purchase 20,000 .38 Special revolvers with 4″ barrels. A letter from the factory representative to the Navy Department, dated February 10, 1942, acknowledges the company’s ability and willingness to deliver these arms to Norfolk, VA, at the rate of 100 per day as soon as a contract was in place. The contract was delivered on March 2, 1942, and production began within two weeks.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:18 AM
Vettepartz Vettepartz is offline
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I didn't mean to sound upset when I said "Not even Close". I was just hoping for a date that was closer, like maybe within a week. It is what it is, and I am glad that I was able to find out the actual shipping date. I know the chances were slim that it may have been shipped on my birthday, but hey, you have to do what you gotta do to try to find out. Nonetheless, I will enjoy the gun. And I do appreciate the info from this forum that gave me the approximate date.
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