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  #1  
Old 07-12-2017, 04:15 PM
wonchester wonchester is offline
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Default S&W 2" Victory Model

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3132x-jpg

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3129x-jpg

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3136x-jpg

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3133x-jpg

Last edited by wonchester; 07-12-2017 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:24 PM
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Unhappy 2" Victory Mdl.

I apologize that Photobucket will not allow third party posting. I was able to post pictures directly from my computer on The Colt Forum in their Lounge if you wish to view them.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:25 PM
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First question as there are no pictures. Does it have the lug on the barrel ahead of the extractor rod?

Last edited by DWalt; 07-12-2017 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:28 PM
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Can't see your photos here and can't even seen them on Photobucket itself. You might wish to consider a different photo hosting device in light of the recent problems that forum members have had with PB.

I'd like to see your revolver. If you can upload photos to the forum servers, they will appear in your posts as thumbnails, and then clicking on them will expand them to a larger size in a separate window.

In the interim, are you willing to share the serial number of your specimen?

EDITED TO ADD: Just saw your photos on the Colt Forum and have to say that I think that's the real deal. There are some threads about these two-inch Victory models on this forum. Use the search feature to turn them up. Your serial number is right in the wheelhouse for the first shipment of 300 units to Fort Mason CA in late 1942. Production volume for these is still not completely clear, but possibly fewer than a thousand were manufactured, of which I think no more than a few dozen are known. They are rarely seen. Most of them end up in collections from which they do not reappear until it is time to settle an estate. (OK, that last may be an exaggeration, but probably not by much.)

EDITED AGAIN TO ADD: I see pictures have appeared. Excellent!
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:32 PM
wonchester wonchester is offline
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David, I could not find how to upload to the Forum Server. I will continue to see if I can.
SN is V 176834 on frame, barrel, cylinder and right grip reverse.

It does have lug on barrel. Appears to be one of 300 that shipped to Ft. Mason in 1942.

Last edited by wonchester; 07-12-2017 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:34 PM
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But does it have the barrel lug? That is very important in determining if you have a real Victory snubby or a sawed-off BSR. I do show one with a SN nearby which is real.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-12-2017 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:35 PM
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It is a correct Ft. Mason gun.

You can host the pictures of this forum and not have to use a third party service.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:40 PM
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Kevin, Thanks for the comment. I am not familiar with the process for posting on this forum without using an instrument like Photobucket.

I guess I will have to find the forum's tutorial and learn how to do that. It is certainly straight forward to do that on The Colt Forum.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:46 PM
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It is the real deal. Unfortunately, the condition could be better, but in any condition it is a rare find. The nearby one on my list is V1763xx, also with the UNITED STATES PROPERTY stamping. They were shipped to Fort Mason (San Francisco) in 12/42.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-12-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:53 PM
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Boy, this is a quick moving thread with lots of replies in next to no time at all!

To post photos, hit "reply to thread" and then on the page that comes up look down below the composition box for the Manage Attachments link under "Attach Files." From here you can select image files on your own computer and create an upload list that will accompany your next post. I think you can do five at a time, but I haven't tried recently and don't recall the limitations.

kwill1911 is THE forum member to ask about these guns. Anything he says you can take to the bank.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2017, 05:07 PM
wonchester wonchester is offline
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David, I finally figured out how to attach desktop jpg.

I was in contact with Kevin before picking up the gun. I had a copy of his article on 2" S&W's as well as Charlie Pate's book which details this gun.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:23 PM
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This is strange.

I see the member's photographs just fine.

Here they are, if anyone's still having difficulties.

If I had that gun, the absolute last thing I'd be thinking about is "the condition could be better." Seriously.

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3129x-jpg

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3132x-jpg

S&W 2" Victory Model-dscn3136x-jpg

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Old 07-12-2017, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watchdog View Post
If I had that gun, the absolute last thing I'd be thinking about is "the condition could be better." Seriously.
I agree completely!!!
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:23 PM
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Watchdog, Thanks for posting the pictures so everyone can view the gun. Initially when I tried to post using Photobucket, they would not post. Finally, I was able to break the code on direct posting from jpg's on my desktop and I replaced the Photobucket messages and the thumbnail versions posted in the original posting.
The exchanges after the first post were mostly related to no photos being viewable initially.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:26 PM
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Regarding the comment about "the condition could be better", that is what I told the person in the gun shop when I first saw the gun. He laughed and said, "How many of these have you ever seen?"
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonchester View Post
... "How many of these have you ever seen?"
Answer: Now the number is One, that I recall. I've never paid that much attention to the Victory Model - but that 2"er really caught my attention. Congrats and thanks for posting!
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:11 PM
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Somoine please educate me as to why there's no "GHD" inspector's initials after the marking "United States Property".
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
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Somoine please educate me as to why there's no "GHD" inspector's initials after the marking "United States Property".
Kevin may know the details, but during the period when the long UNITED STATES PROPERTY version was used on the top strap, the inspector's initials were on the butt, not the top. Why there aren't any on the butt, and no P proof either, would interest me, too. Usually, having only the flaming bomb was the practice only for DSC/USMC guns.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:42 AM
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wonchester -

You have a real gem. Please consider restoring the lanyard swivel.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:46 AM
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I am going to enter an area which is considered poor taste by some , but I cannot resist - Would you be willing to give us a hint regarding the $$$ involved in the transaction?

Whatever that figure is , you sure did come across a rare opportunity. In a gun shop no less!
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:53 AM
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I think the real question is not how much wonchester paid for his, but how much any one of the rest of us would have to pay in order to pick one up from an informed seller. I don't mind reporting that five years ago, when I still had some disposable cash, I paid well over $5K for V629214, a late DSC specimen in nice shape that was shipped in April 1945. There is a thread in the archives, but thanks to the database managers at Photobucket there are no longer any photos to back up the words.

I think I recall seeing one offered for a five digit price about three years ago, but that may have been a Model 56. My memory is about as depleted as my collectibles account. My guess is that the next two inch Victory to come to market in a national auction will sell between $4000 and $8000 depending on the usual variables.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:17 PM
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There are others that were shipped throughout WW2. I owned V668550, shipped Dec 29,1944, to Chicago Union Station. I don't have any pictures of it now. I sold it almost 15 years ago. It is a 2" Victory.

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Old 07-13-2017, 04:31 PM
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I got a good deal on the gun from a gun store that sells based on their cost.
I will say that I am intrigued by the 1942 shipment of 300 of these guns to Ft. Mason. I suspect they were not meant for use by Ft. Mason personnel. According to written history, Ft. Mason was a major west coast port of embarkation for troops and supplies to Asia. I suspect these 300 2" barreled Victory Models went to some fighting force(s) in Asia or in the Pacific. The fact that very few have ever surfaced here in the US might mean they did not simply go to GI's.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:23 PM
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I tend to doubt they went to Asia or the Pacific with troops, but at this late date it's unlikely anyone knows their purpose for sure. More likely they were used for base security or possibly arming some intelligence, CID, or logistics unit, etc. possibly based at Ft. Mason. The U. S. Army as a service arm used very few Victories of any barrel length, certainly not for arming combat troops, and the great majority of .38 Specials used by the U. S. Military went to the U. S. Navy.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:27 PM
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what is a Ft. Mason gun ??
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:43 PM
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I have no clue what the value of that gun would be, but being such a rare bird I'd bet it wouldn't be, "Cheep, cheep!", in spite of the less-than-mint condition!
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:52 PM
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Has there been a recent comparable sale on GunBroker or one of the large gun auction houses?
My guess would be in the low to mid 4-figures for that one. In top condition, maybe double.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:30 PM
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My thought is if these 300 guns were used for such purposes as guards in the San Francisco area (maybe some at Ft. Mason), many would have shown up in the US after the war. They have not.
One scenario might be that with the American fliers leaving the Flying Tigers and rejoining the Army Air Corp, these 300 guns could have been sent to Chiang Kai-shek for use by the remnants of his flight crews.
Of course, nearly all of the 300 guns could have been lost when a transport ship was sunk in the Pacific.
At this point, there seems to be no information as to what happened to these 300 guns.

Edit note: These 300 guns were shipped in October of 1942.

Last edited by wonchester; 07-13-2017 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:43 PM
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We know the FBI got some snub Victory Models, and I think CID got most of the others.

Much later on, snub .38's were issued to some helicopter pilots, some being Model 12 Airweights.

But I've never seen a photo of a snub S&W .38 in military use, outside of those in missile silos. Have seen a couple of pics of CID and CIC agents with Colt snubs.

I know we had both Chief Specials and Colt snubs for AP investigators at Lowry AFB in Denver in the mid-1960's. And fellow AP's who had been stationed at Fairchild AFB, WA said they had M-56's, which they disliked because they were harder to shoot well than four-inch guns.

We know the Navy bought some Chief Specials, but no idea who got them. They had lanyard rings on the butts, so maybe aircrews? Apart from US marked on the backstrap and the ring, they were normal blued guns.

SAC Elite Guard had nickeled guns with imitation stag grips, and I think some may have been snubs. Others had four-inch barrels. Has anyone here seen a SAC nickel snub? Was it a re-worked Victory Model?

Has anyone seen photos of any S&W snub in military service? Details?

Last edited by Texas Star; 07-13-2017 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:55 PM
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a small number of V-snubbies were sold through DSC to police, but those did not have topstrap stampings. And I believe the majority of those were sold late in the war.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:21 PM
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Texas Star, Great comments. I would hope that someone, somewhere would have a picture of such guns in use at places other than where the DSC 2" Victory Models were used.
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
We know the FBI got some snub Victory Models....
TS:

Actually, we don't know that to be true. While it has been so stated in various publications over the years and has thus become accepted by some, the fact is that no 2 inch Victory Model is known to have been lettered as having shipped to the FBI or the Justice Department during WW2.

If the FBI and/or the US Justice Department received 2 inch Victory Model revolvers in WW2, where are they? Why is it that not a single example has ever surfaced? How can it be that in the 72 years since the end of WW2 not even one 2 inch Victory has become known in the collecting community as a proven FBI gun?

Proponents of the theory that the FBI got 2 inch Victories usually point to the notes created by Carl Hellstrom which make this cryptic reference:
“US Dept Justice 10/19/42 2in .38 Spl 300 guns to OSS.”
However, those notes were created in the late 1950s, more than a decade after the end of the War. Since then the factory records have not revealed any such shipment to the FBI or Justice Dept. during WW2.

While I suppose that anything is possible, I prefer to rely on evidence and facts that can be proven. The FBI connection to the 2 inch Victory has not been proven. Unless and until a genuine 2 inch Victory surfaces that can be proven to have been shipped to the FBI during WW2 (or confirmatory factory documentation is located) then I am going to continue to consider the FBI/2 inch Victory "story" as unfounded speculation.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:23 PM
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Just a general thought:

Don't get too hung up on the idea that these 300 guns must have had some unusual or mysterious fate or destination because the impression rules that "very few" are currently known.

The number 300 is quite insignificant. It would be interesting to look at other comparable limited-quantity guns and the number of known survivors. Given that probably 99% of gun owners aren't into S&W history, most of the guns are likely out there with unsuspecting owners. What percentage, for example, of the 3000 Letterkenny-shipped US-stamped Colt DS's from 1970 are currently documented?

Remembering the list of Ft. Mason Victorys from Kevin's article, I don't think we need the shipment to have gone down with a ship as an explanation.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:47 PM
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I have been on a mission lately to try to understand the Victory Model, especially the 2" version. Mr. Flick has been incredibly helpful as has Charlie Pate and, most notably, Roy Jinks. Roy has shared factory documents/invoices and all three gentlemen have reviewed everything I've written. The latest issue of the S&WCA Journal has an 8 page article about the 2" guns and the next issue will add the data tables (serial numbers). I want to encourage those of you with a strong interest in S&W products to join the S&WCA. Access to the Journal, the official historian, the annual symposium...the benefits are great and the cost minimal. And we can reduce the repetition of out-of-date speculation about many of the issues discussed in this thread. I believe we have now documented all the shipments of 2" Victory Models, including a couple of small shipments that were heretofore unknown.

The FBI did not get any 2" Victory Model revolvers, as Charlie points out. Neither did military intelligence or counter intelligence. Their standard issue was the Colt Detective Special supplemented by Official Police and Commando revolvers, most with 4" barrels.

There is still work to be done on S&W's military sidearm. The markings need to be sorted out and documented. My current focus in on finishes. Almost everything we read in these threads about the finish on Victory Models is wrong. It turns out to be a much simpler story than we thought.

So, no offense to anyone but there is more recent research and much of the conjecture about these guns, especially the 2" version, can be laid to rest.

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Old 07-14-2017, 03:17 PM
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My comment about not many of the 300 2" Victory Models being around today was made before I found out from Charlie Flick that maybe 14-15 of these guns are extant. That is 5% of the total in that shipment. I suspect quite a few more will show up in the coming years.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:33 PM
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Has anyone seen photos of any S&W snub in military service?
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:19 PM
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Model 10, 2":
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:40 PM
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Model 10, 2":

Thanks. But can't be sure that it's a snub, as the photo cuts off the holster. Some four-inch round butt Model 10's have been issued to aircrews and to MP's, especially female ones.

Mind you, I don't doubt that S&W snubs were used in war. Author Leroy Thompson, a member here, had a Model 60 in his pocket while a Combat Air Police officer in Vietnam. They used to ambush enemy troops before they could attack USAF bases.It's just that I find photos hard to locate. I think we'd all enjoy seeing some, if anyone has any to post.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:45 PM
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I have been on a mission lately to try to understand the Victory Model, especially the 2" version. Mr. Flick has been incredibly helpful as has Charlie Pate and, most notably, Roy Jinks. Roy has shared factory documents/invoices and all three gentlemen have reviewed everything I've written. The latest issue of the S&WCA Journal has an 8 page article about the 2" guns and the next issue will add the data tables (serial numbers). I want to encourage those of you with a strong interest in S&W products to join the S&WCA. Access to the Journal, the official historian, the annual symposium...the benefits are great and the cost minimal. And we can reduce the repetition of out-of-date speculation about many of the issues discussed in this thread. I believe we have now documented all the shipments of 2" Victory Models, including a couple of small shipments that were heretofore unknown.

The FBI did not get any 2" Victory Model revolvers, as Charlie points out. Neither did military intelligence or counter intelligence. Their standard issue was the Colt Detective Special supplemented by Official Police and Commando revolvers, most with 4" barrels.

There is still work to be done on S&W's military sidearm. The markings need to be sorted out and documented. My current focus in on finishes. Almost everything we read in these threads about the finish on Victory Models is wrong. It turns out to be a much simpler story than we thought.

So, no offense to anyone but there is more recent research and much of the conjecture about these guns, especially the 2" version, can be laid to rest.

Regards,
Your Colt comments are interesting. Gen. Wm. Donovan, head of OSS, gave a four-inch Official Police to Ian Fleming when Fleming was a Royal Navy intelligence officer and knew Donovan. It was in Fleming's hand on some book jacket photos. Fleming also owned a Colt New Service .45 with 5.5 inch bbl. I think this may be the "long-barreled Colt .45" that Bond had under the dash of his Bentley in the 007 books.

British subjects could own handguns until the dreadful 1997 law was passed, and Fleming died in 1964. He owned at least five pistols. You can see some in the Life article about him. I believe his pal Geoffrey Boothroyd owned about 100 guns.

When he began writing the Bond books, he was going by his own wartime experience. So the Colt .38 with a "sawn barrel" was probably a Detective Special with a normal barrel. Fleming probably wrote that it had a sawed off barrel to seem more dramatic, or may not have realized that the guns were made that way! But I bet he saw at least one in OSS or other US intelligence hands. This gun was in, Casino Royale and Bond had it under his pillow, if memory serves. He carried a .25 Beretta on his person. That's interesting, as OSS did issue .25 Berettas to some agents, as per one who worked out of Madrid and wrote several books about her experiences as a spy. See Aline, Countess of Romanones's books. She married a Spanish Count. Although a member of the Spanish nobility, she later continued her work for the CIA, with her husband's knowledge.

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Old 07-16-2017, 09:55 PM
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Your Colt comments are interesting. Gen. Wm. Donovan, head of OSS, gave a four-inch Official Police to Ian Fleming when Fleming was a Royal Navy intelligence officer and knew Donovan. It was in Fleming's hand on some book jacket photos. Fleming also owned a Colt New Service .45 with 5.5 inch bbl. I think this may be the "long-barreled Colt .45" that Bond had under the dash of his Bentley in the 007 books.
Fleming also had a Ruger .22 MkI. I have mentioned it several times previously. I once passed up the chance to buy it - cheap. James Bond Creator Ian Fleming's Ruger MKI Pistol

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Old 07-16-2017, 10:21 PM
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Fleming also had a Ruger .22 MkI. I have mentioned it several times previously. I once passed up the chance to buy it - cheap. James Bond Creator Ian Fleming's Ruger MKI Pistol
I remember your posts. He was holding that Ruger in the Life magazine article about him. I think it inspired the "long-barreled .22" that a female character had in one of his short stories.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:55 PM
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Charlie, from the elongated trigger guard and the short frame shelf in front it, that looks like a Chief Special to me. Can you confirm? It just doesn't match the proportions of any two-inch K-frame I know. I'm not sure about the presence of a locking lug, so I guess this could be a Colt Cobra.

I don't know how to date the canvas structures or the insignia-free military apparel, so the revolver itself is the only thing I have to work with. If we are in the '40s, I don't know what the gun would be. Feels like the '60s to me though.

Is that the holster for the revolver in his left hand?
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:56 PM
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I don't think it is either a Colt or a K-frame. Also strikes me as being from maybe the 1960s.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:23 AM
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The fatigues look to be from the 60/70s and the boots possible. The tents look to be from WWII.

I'm the one in fatigues.
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:09 AM
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I don't think it is either a Colt or a K-frame....
I agree it can't be a Colt, since the position and shape of the cylinder release clearly indicates a S&W type. K or J frame is hard to tell as the proportion depends on the guy's relative size. I think he actually has the hammer cocked and the finger back on the trigger, skewing the appearance a bit.

The thing in his left hand appears to be just the holster part of an old-fashioned leather shoulder rig wirh the metal buckles to attach the straps.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:01 AM
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Hi David:

The pic was taken in South Vietnam during the War. I believe the holster is a Berns Martin.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:35 PM
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Just because the guy is holding the gun does not prove that itwas issued, or was even owned by the government, I had a square butt, 2" chief special in VN that I bought from another GI.The fatigues that the man is wearing appear to be standard non-rip stop jungle fatigues, and the boots are jungle boots. as far as the lack of markings on the uniform go, the 1st Cav when I was supporting them in 1969-1970 resupplied their men in the field every few days with clean uniforms by helicopter. Those fresh uniforms had no insignia because they did not know who was going to get a particular uniform. My best guess on the time frame of the picture is mid to late 1960's.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:36 PM
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The fatigues look to be from the 60/70s and the boots possible. The tents look to be from WWII.

I'm the one in fatigues.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:58 AM
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Boy, this is a quick moving thread with lots of replies in next to no time at all!

kwill1911 is THE forum member to ask about these guns. Anything he says you can take to the bank.
A thread entitled "2" Victory Model" peaks a lot of people's interest. Nice pistol . . .
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:18 PM
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Has anyone seen photos of any S&W snub in military service?
Another one. These guys were Army photographers serving in Vietnam.

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