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Old 06-17-2017, 08:07 PM
fourb20 fourb20 is offline
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Default Victory backstrap markings

I have a 4", .38 special Victory, s/n V494011 with smooth grips marked to the gun. I don't see US markings on the gun and the backstrap is marked WB-S-ESS followed by a markings covered by pitting that appear to be 110.48 with the 48 in a larger font. The matching serial number under the barrel is followed by the letter, P. Can anyone shed some light on what the markings mean?
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:23 PM
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Markings like that are found on those revolvers supplied by the allies to Austrian and German civil police agencies during the post-WWII occupation period. Someone will post shortly exactly what those on yours mean.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:31 PM
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I suspected the backstrap markings were as you say, what of the P after the barrel s/n?
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like this might be a Victory model used by post war German police, in the American occupied zone. Many of these will show various back stamps...such as HE-M, WB-S-KAR, WB-S-STG, and some will have a Bavaria Municipal Police stamping... all of which are post war German police markings.

The letter "P" stands for "proof" and is found on military guns. The P appears under the barrel flat and also most frames - left side, between the cylinder and the hammer.

Yours sounds interesting especially since there is no US Property marking.

I have a Victory very similar to yours and fairly close in serial number that was shipped in December of 1943.

Post some pics if you can including the butt of the gun.
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Last edited by digi-shots; 06-17-2017 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:39 PM
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"Yours sounds interesting especially since there is no US Property marking."

That is odd. Were it a former military revolver, it should have "U. S. PROPERTY" stamped on the topstrap. V494011 would put shipment from S&W at around January 1944. Maybe an OSS gun originally? Might be worth getting a letter.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:54 PM
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WB-S-ESS =
Württemberg-Baden (a state in occupied Western Germany)
Stadtpolizei (city police)
Esslingen (name of the city)

The numbers are likely inventory numbers of some kind.

If the P is on the barrel flat, it should also be on the cylinder face and on the upper left frame. Earlier Victorys had it only on the butt, but I do not believe only on the barrel was ever a standard proof pattern.

Last edited by Absalom; 06-17-2017 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:33 PM
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Thanks, Absalom...!

I had the WB but wasn't sure of the rest!
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:35 PM
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Is there a W on the butt?
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwill1911 View Post
Is there a W on the butt?
I'm waiting, too!
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:40 PM
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Thanks for the info, will try and get pics. No w on the butt.
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