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Old 01-18-2017, 08:44 PM
brigham33 brigham33 is offline
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Default First "US PROPERTY" Victory

I got into a short debate on another forum about US Property marked guns. I've got a Pre Victory 996xxx (no V) with US Property markings shipped (as expected) to Hartford Ord (June 1942) for transfer to the Brits as needed. I've got a pre victory 848xxx purchased by the BPC and shipped in October 1941. It is of course not marked US Property since it was purchased.

In March 1942 Lend Lease was established and from then on the Brits were loaned "US Property" marked revolvers.

My question is for those other collectors like myself who track the minutia of Victories, does anyone note the date or serial that the switch was made? The first US Property marked Victory is _________. (My date/serial number data base is all pre-victories but I only note finish, grips, caliber, barrel length, and destination.)

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Rick
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:32 PM
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"U.S. PROPERTY" did not show up until about May 1943.

The starting point you're looking for is for the long version, "UNITED STATES PROPERTY".

Pate is a bit vague on that. He says that "some guns produced 10/41 - 4/42" had no property stamp. That would lead one to the conclusion that the stamping began at the latest that month, April 1942, which would correspond to a high pre-Victory serial. But I don't know if there is an actual record of the serial of the start of the stamping; at the time, a need to make note of that would not have been apparent.

Since the stamping was done at the factory, but by ordnance contractors, not S&W employees, it may not be reflected in S&W records. Roy might know more about that.

By the way, Lend-lease was established already in March 1941, not 1942. I think the timing of the switch to US-"owned", Army-supplied revolvers had more to do with S&W's contractual obligations to the British being fulfilled by early 1942, thus Uncle Sam having to take over financing through L-L.

Last edited by Absalom; 01-18-2017 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:22 AM
brigham33 brigham33 is offline
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Thank you!
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:56 AM
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Default lowest Pre-V SN documented United States Property stamp

http://smith-wessonforum.com/138737352-post1143.html

http://smith-wessonforum.com/138737508-post1145.html
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:57 AM
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FWIW, I own 802544XXX that according to Roy shipped in July of 1941 and was not military.


(PS: I added the 3 X's to fool unscrupulous people and the government.)
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:31 AM
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FWIW, I own 802544XXX that according to Roy shipped in July of 1941 and was not military.


(PS: I added the 3 X's to fool unscrupulous people and the government.)
Is it just not marked/lanyard-looped or did it letter to a commercial destination?
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Is it just not marked/lanyard-looped or did it letter to a commercial destination?
I would have to go dig it out to see if it has a loop as I can't remember. The gun was not lettered and I merely received the information from Roy either on the shipping date request forum or via email.
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:19 AM
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I would have to go dig it out to see if it has a loop as I can't remember. The gun was not lettered and I merely received the information from Roy either on the shipping date request forum or via email.
Thanks, James. I think the record says that S&W did produce for civilian orders besides churning out BSR's during 1941, but it's rare to actually come across one, and I'm curious whether they went to agencies or actually still to regular distributors or hardware stores.
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:27 AM
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I remember this thread. It would be nice to get the ship date on this to make sure it wasn't held back for failing a quality inspection, and ordnance-inspected and shipped later (apparently there were such issues in Victory production), before drawing conclusions from one data point. But taken together with Pate's statement, there was likely a period of inconsistency in stamping.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:05 PM
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Unfortunately, at present I can't access my serial number data, so I cannot be precise. First, there is a difference between "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" and "U. S. PROPERTY" topstrap stampings. The former began in late 1941, somewhat after the Lend-Lease Act of 1941 was enacted, and it appears that those shipped after October-November 1941 will have it. The latter began at a SN somewhere around V27xxxx. I could be more precise, but as I said, I can't presently access my data. To the best of my knowledge, only Military-destination (US or British) S&W revolvers had property stampings, not DSC revolvers, OSS revolvers, or U. S. Maritime Commission revolvers. Further, until about SN V267xxx, Navy revolvers were stamped "U. S. NAVY" from shortly before the Victory series began.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:04 PM
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Thanks all!! Very interesting!
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:55 PM
ProfSkip4212 ProfSkip4212 is offline
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Default Victory model Post-war occupation

OK, bear with me, as I may not know all the proper terminology of revolver parts. I have a Victory model .38 that has the V ****** serial number on the butt, but has five different numbers on the front of the frame, under the cylinder strap. The 5 digit number matches the one on the cylinder strap. The pistol is Parkerized, and the butt of the frame is drilled for a lanyard ring, but the ring assembly has been removed. The grips are checkered walnut, and look like standard S&W grips, complete with trademark seal on both grips. Grips I've seen in pictures of other Victory revolvers were smooth, military style. The U.S. Property G.H.D. stamp is on the top strap, and on the left side of the frame, level with the cylinder window is stamped "Bavaria Municipal Police."
Does anyone know anything about the U.S. Army perhaps vetting Germans, and training or reinstating German police? The gun came from my father-in-laws things after he passed away twenty years ago, and aside from checking it occasionally, and wiping it down, I've done nothing with it. I know that he had acquired a few miltary firearms from one of the ordnance depots as they were sold as surplus. Most were well-used, and had been refurbished. (He was with the 35th Division, an infantry SGT/Squad Leader) I have a photo of the Victory and one of my other S&Ws. I can tell you about that one in a later post, if anyone's interested.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:18 PM
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During the postwar occupation period, the allies armed various civilian police departments in Germany and Austria with Victory revolvers, for the most part, British service revolvers (.38 S&W). They were usually stamped with some identifcation to indicate which police department. There is no particular serial number range associated with such revolvers. Several years ago there was an article in The American Rifleman about these German/Austrian revolvers. I believe you can find it on the NRA website.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:02 PM
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In February 1946, the US occupation authorities in Munich received 7904 S&W revolvers and distributed those to the re-created German police units. These guns were a mix of US and BSR versions. Which version was issued where appears to have been a random decision. They also received M1 carbines.

These guns were marked, in English for the benefit of the controlling Allied soldiers, with the type of destination unit. MUNICIPAL and RURAL are the most commonly encountered; the BORDER in the attached picture is rarely found in the US nowadays.

Your gun is one of these Bavarian guns. After the Germans were allowed to switch back to pistols, starting in the 1950s the revolvers were returned or sold, often in US rod and gun clubs on US bases in Europe.

The finish on your gun seems original, but the grips are post-war, and the hammer and trigger have been jewelled.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
Thanks, James. I think the record says that S&W did produce for civilian orders besides churning out BSR's during 1941, but it's rare to actually come across one, and I'm curious whether they went to agencies or actually still to regular distributors or hardware stores.
#883438 is a bright blue finish with lanyard loop but no military stamps. Mr. Jinks has cashed the check so the letter should be here shortly, he seems to hold the checks until he is close to researching the letter.
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