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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 09-11-2017, 10:49 AM
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Default Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns

I have recently inherited a "can of stuff" that belonged to my Great Grandfather. I know very little about him and even less about guns, but this was in his can of stuff and wanted to see if I could get any help with information about the gun and the value of it.

I will try to provide the information your site said would help to identify the gun.

It has a 4 inch barrel
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:57 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Based on the serial number, this is a WW II Victory model from the summer of 1942 that has been commercially refinished after the war. Very nicely and professionally done compared to most I've seen.

The 4" barrel should mean that the caliber stamping on the barrel says 38 S&W SPECIAL CTG, making it the US variant. If it says 38 S&W CTG, it would be a British Service version with a shortened barrel, always a possibility with a refinished one. Does it have a property stamping on the topstrap?

Last edited by Absalom; 09-11-2017 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:00 AM
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....and welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:09 AM
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PS: Looking at the butt again, the presence of the flaming bomb, but absence of P proof and inspector initials which should be there at that serial if it were a military gun, make it likely that this started out as a DSC (or Maritime Commission)-contract gun shipped to a civilian recipient.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum! There should be an interesting story behind this gun. Is there anyone in your family who could fill in some blanks? We like stories.

My guess is your great-grandfather replaced the stocks and had the gun refinished as a way of dressing up an otherwise generic piece. This was done with many military surplus rifles by hunters after each world war, as well as pistols and revolvers.

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Old 09-11-2017, 12:21 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:22 PM
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It's a lovely gun. Definitely a keeper. The family memories are priceless, IMHO.

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Old 09-11-2017, 12:24 PM
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That sure appears to be a sharp trademark stamp for a refinished gun.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:27 PM
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The closest SN on my list to yours is V305xx which shipped in 7/42. If there is nothing stamped on the topstrap, it is very likely not a military revolver. As previously said, if it has a 4" barrel, the caliber stamping on the barrel should be "38 S&W Special CTG" The original finish was phosphate (like Parkerizing), not blued. Original grips would have been smooth wood. The plastic grips on it are called Franzite. They were popular during the 1950s. If you remove them, you may see "Franzite" molded on the inside.

Last edited by DWalt; 09-11-2017 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:46 PM
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That sure appears to be a sharp trademark stamp for a refinished gun.
True, it is a nice refinish job. I don't believe any of the original Victorys were plated.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum! Great looking old gun. Fantastic refinish job.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:12 PM
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Welcome to the forum from Texas. Might fine looking gun.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:21 PM
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Welcome to the forum, nice looking gun.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:38 PM
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A lot of refinished Victory (or DSC) revolvers are painful to look at. Yours is really sharp. Somebody knew what they were doing.

Congratulations on having great grampa's gun. Truly a keeper. Please consider restoring the lanyard swivel.

TAKE YOUR WWII REVOLVER TO THE RANGE! Load some mild .38 special rounds and enjoy.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:54 PM
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Welcome from the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey.

That is a very sharp looking Victory model!
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:59 AM
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Regarding both the grips and the lanyard swivel, replacements for both are easily found. There are usually some to be had at eBay, and at other firearms parts dealers such as Sarco. However, it really isn't necessary to replace either, as it won't make your revolver any more original nor increase its utility. If I had it, I'd leave it in its current condition, just the way it came from Great-Grandpa.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:48 AM
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:11 AM
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I'm surprised that someone has not mentioned this yet. Your Victory model is based on the Smith and Wesson mid-sized K frame. The Victory model was the war time version the Military and Police revolver. As I understand it most of these revolvers were issued to both government and private security officers working at defense plants.

Yours should be safe to shoot with standard 38 special ammo. So feel free to shoot it from time to time, and think of Gramps when you do.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:22 AM
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While pure collectors will discount the modifications made to the gun, this particular handgun has family history attached to it. Enjoy the gun and most of all, don't be afraid to use it.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:30 AM
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Nice revolver ,I bet there is a good story behind it also . If you can find out anything about your great grandpa let us know and if you decide to take it to the range for a little shooting time let us know .Welcome to the forum I started out with one old inherited S&W these guys got me hooked now I'm looking for a grail gun which in my case is any I don't currently own.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:56 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

When was great Grandfather born? Not sure how old you are but it seems like your great Grandfather would have been too old to own a gun made in the 40's unless my math is off. Seems more likely that it would have been your Grandfathers gun. In that case, it might still be possible to still get facts about him from other living family members.

One of the sad things today is that families don't seem to keep information on the lives of their ancestors. Back in the day, there was the family bible where all of the names, birth dates and dates of death were recorded. Today, for most folks, it is Ancestry dot com or nothing.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
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Welcome to the forum.

When was great Grandfather born? Not sure how old you are but it seems like your great Grandfather would have been too old to own a gun made in the 40's unless my math is off. Seems more likely that it would have been your Grandfathers gun. In that case, it might still be possible to still get facts about him from other living family members.

One of the sad things today is that families don't seem to keep information on the lives of their ancestors. Back in the day, there was the family bible where all of the names, birth dates and dates of death were recorded. Today, for most folks, it is Ancestry dot com or nothing.

I'm 63 and my great granddaddy was born in 1870 and died in 1953. He was 10 years older than my great grandma, who was born in 1880 and died in 1968.

My dad was still buying guns in his 80s. So depending on the OP's age, it is possible.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:14 AM
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Post Same issue but have a bit more history already

I have a K32 target DA hand ejector, .32 ctg with pre-war adj. rear sight, front target sight. It weighs in at 34 ozs., seems to be a rarity. SN is 367XX, overall the gun is in good shape. I'd like to figure out the date of manufacture, and if it is the limited model. I believe that very few were made (less than 100).
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:48 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, tat! You really need to start a new thread. Your quest is going to get buried in this old thread. Post some pictures in your new thread.

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Old 09-13-2017, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the heads up Guy. I did post later as a new thread, I coudn't figure it out at first.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:27 PM
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It is a very nice revolver, it could have a promising provenance.

Someone may have mentioned this above, I only scanned through the posts. The material in the gun rug the revolver is sitting on may absorb and hold humidity; it may not be the best place to store the gun. The steel could begin to rust.

Very nice though, take it out to the range.

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Old 09-13-2017, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR III View Post
Welcome to the forum.

When was great Grandfather born? Not sure how old you are but it seems like your great Grandfather would have been too old to own a gun made in the 40's unless my math is off. Seems more likely that it would have been your Grandfathers gun. In that case, it might still be possible to still get facts about him from other living family members.

One of the sad things today is that families don't seem to keep information on the lives of their ancestors. Back in the day, there was the family bible where all of the names, birth dates and dates of death were recorded. Today, for most folks, it is Ancestry dot com or nothing.
Kinda like how nowadays, people get upset if a text or post or whatever doesn't get a response in a couple minutes. I just caught myself wondering what happened to the OP, then realized it's only been a couple days, maybe they actually have a life and aren't always on the web on their phone.

I confess I don't know much about my great-grandparents, both of my grandfathers were born in the 1890s.

And oh yeah, nice looking Victory Model, even if it's not original. I'll +1 DWalt; even though I'd personally like an original, this one means more because it's family. I'd also leave it alone, as great-grandpa's.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:45 PM
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Is hhis finish nickel or bright blue?

SAC issued refinished (nickel) Victory Models with Franzite grips to the Elite Guard Air Police members at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. There is probably a remote chance that you have one of those. The AF gunsmiths would do a better refinish than the average shop refinishing a Victory Model.

Do check the caliber marking on the right side of the barrel. If it says .38 Special Ctgs., fine. You have a .38 Special. If it says .38 S&W Ctg., it was made for the British in WW II and takes a shorter cartridge called just .38 S&W, not Special.

British ones usually had five-inch barrels, but from April, 1940-April, 1942, some were shipped with four and six inch barrels, too. Those had commercial blue finishes and checkered grips with silver medallions.

Measure the barrel from the front of the cylinder to muzzle. Some of the barrel is within the frame. I see in the photos that this has a four-inch bbl., but you should learn that technique.

I was in the AF during the 1960's, and we had many of these acquired from the Navy, as our Combat Masterpiece .38's weren't yet in numbers to meet the need as the Viet war required a lot more guns than usual. I don't think all had Navy markings, so your gun may well have seen military service. Those Victory Model .38's were std. issue to Navy and Marine aircrews after about the summer of 1942, freeing .45 autos for use by ground forces.

Do the family genealogy. My son is, and has found that we have two generals and a British baron in our ancestry. We also have a Medal of Honor recipient. So far, we've discovered no horse thieves, thank goodness.

Last edited by Texas Star; 09-13-2017 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:06 PM
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JH1951 JH1951 is offline
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Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns  
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Welcome to the forum from Pennsylvania! That is a very nice looking revolver.
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  #30  
Old 10-21-2017, 03:10 PM
springlove28 springlove28 is offline
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Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR III View Post
Welcome to the forum.

When was great Grandfather born? Not sure how old you are but it seems like your great Grandfather would have been too old to own a gun made in the 40's unless my math is off. Seems more likely that it would have been your Grandfathers gun. In that case, it might still be possible to still get facts about him from other living family members.

One of the sad things today is that families don't seem to keep information on the lives of their ancestors. Back in the day, there was the family bible where all of the names, birth dates and dates of death were recorded. Today, for most folks, it is Ancestry dot com or nothing.
I am sorry for the delay in responding, but Ihave so much of his stuff to go through, it's overwhelming. I know very little about him. He was my maternal grandmother's father and dies when. My Grandmother was on 16. I know he was in a police officer in WWI stationed on London. I have his officers haversack along with meal tickets, some keys and a pipe. There is also a Billy club. With his name on it.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:25 PM
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reccpd101 reccpd101 is offline
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Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns Inherited Great-Grandfather's Gun and know little on him and even less about guns  
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My humble suggestion is keep all that stuff together and search through Ancestory.com under his name and WWI vets. Print everything you can find. If you do decide to sell, the backstory will raise the value. The Victory model is not a WWI gun but I bet you find some civilian security or LE service along the way.
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