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Old 06-20-2018, 09:50 AM
Sodapop69 Sodapop69 is offline
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Default V serial number 38

I am looking at buying a Victory S&W 38 spl revolver. Serial number is V268021. It has diamond checkered grips. After some web browsing, looks like early models had checkered grips. Inputs, year made and bbl length judging from pic attached. I haven't held it in my hands but my friend at the local pawnshop, 45 mins away, knows my taste. Any info greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:57 AM
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The serial number puts it in 1943 - several members here have an uncanny ability to pinpoint a month, but they probably read more than I do . It has the standard 4" barrel of the .38 Special version of the Victory Model.

The stocks are from a later K frame and are called Magnas. They have been cut down at the top, and the front sight blade has also been altered. An unmodified example in this condition would probably be in the $500 range so this one would be less. Let the bargaining begin!
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:05 AM
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That one would have shipped with smooth non-medallion stocks. Decent sets turn up on Ebay or Gunbroker for $25-30 regularly. If you end up buying it, I probably have a spare set I could part with.

As Alan said, the stocks on it now are ruined and worthless.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:35 AM
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I donít think the sight has been modified, though the background in the picture makes it look like it has.

Grips aside, that looks to be a pretty decent Victory Model and would easily go for $500 around here.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodapop69 View Post
.....It has diamond checkered grips. After some web browsing, looks like early models had checkered grips. Inputs, year made and bbl length judging from pic attached...
Itís a toss-up about the front sight, but I also think some background pattern may just create the appearance of a ramping modification.

The gun is from the spring of 1943. The finish looks original and decent, the gun unmodified. Whether or not there is a property stamp on the topstrap will give you a clue where it shipped.

If the diamond magnas were unmodified, the fact that they are not original would not hurt. But this way, not so good. Your reading misled you somewhere; no V-prefix guns shipped with checkered wood stocks (only some SV in commercial configuration at the very end).

Iíd put the gun as is at maybe 350 to 400.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:57 AM
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If you decide to go with period correct stocks, they look like these:


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Old 06-20-2018, 11:14 AM
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I will pick up this Victory 38 for $200, guess I'll be doing good. Thanks for all the inputs
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:17 AM
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I will pick up this Victory 38 for $200, guess I'll be doing good. Thanks for all the inputs
You are a master of understatement! Great deal!
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:49 AM
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For $200 that's what I call a Jesse James deal. Did you wear your mask? Grab it before it disappears!
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:45 PM
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You are a master of understatement! Great deal!
What he said! Is it marked on the top strap? U.S. Navy/U.S. Property? It most likely shipped May/June 1943. Would like to see additional pics once you get it. If not marked on top strap, is likely a DSC gun. I especially like to get letters on those!
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:55 PM
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What is a DSC gun, Ken L?
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:33 PM
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What is a DSC gun, Ken L?
See attached document. The Defense Supplies Corporation was a public corporation established to manage the distribution of scarce or otherwise war-essential materials and products. After Pearl Harbor they established a ďRevolver ProgramĒ which handled those orders for authorized non-military recipients.

Ken is referring to the fact that these usually shipped directly to the end user, so in contrast to military-shipped Victorys, you actually find out where they spent the war. They are recognizable by the absence of any stamping on the left side of the topstrap (although there is a small chance that it is a Maritime Commission gun, which would also be unstamped).
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:09 PM
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I think his checkered stocks issue is that he may be thinking of BRITISH ordered guns from early 1940-April, 1942, which did have checkered grips with silver medallions. After April, 1942, barrel lengths were standardized at five inches (for UK orders) and smooth stocks with dull gray finishes appeared.

Some commercial M&P's were bought by the govt. prior to the Victory Model, and they had checkered stocks, too. They were supposed to be for a Navy civilian police corps, but it never formed and the guns were used elsewhere. I wouldn't be amazed if some found their way to USN and USMC aviators.

I carried a number of former USN Victory Models in the USAF in the 1960's, and not all had Navy markings. I think quite a few unmarked Navy guns exist. Serial numbers may confirm them, or if you have one, listen carefully late at night and one may sing a sea chanty.
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:41 AM
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I will pick up this Victory 38 for $200, guess I'll be doing good. Thanks for all the inputs
I am sorry that I logged in this morning. My day is ruined.


Or ... - I'll give you $300!!!
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:01 PM
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I too think that the front sight has been modified. Even considering that and the wrong stocks, I would say that for $200 you can't go wrong. Heck, AirSoft guns go for that.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:44 PM
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I'm pretty sure that the odd look of the front sight is an illusion inadvertently caused by the mottled pattern of the counter top. A close look indicates to me that the regular rounded top of the sight is intact and normal.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:20 PM
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TARE VICTOR GEORGE is all I can say.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:13 PM
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I had time to look at it on my last visit to the pawn shop. Only markings are the dates on top of the barrel, serial # & flaming bomb next to the serial #. Better pics when I bring it home.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:23 PM
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It's very probably a DSC gun. The closest SN I have listed to V268021 is V26529x which shipped in 3/43.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
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After April, 1942, barrel lengths were standardized at five inches (for UK orders) and smooth stocks with dull gray finishes appeared.
A few thoughts:

1. The last part of the sentence seems odd. I don't think you mean that the stocks had a "dull gray finish." Right? I assume that part of the sentence refers to the metal finish.

2. According to McHenry & Roper, the stocks went from checked to smooth on January 1, 1942 (page 225). Of course, M&R's book does have some mistakes in it, but I don't know that this is one of them.

3. M&R also give April 10, 1942, for the date that the finish change was made.

4. Pate gives October, 1940, for the time that the UK specified that future BSRs would be produced with 5" barrels. Some may have shipped after that with 4" or 6", but if Pate is correct, the change order dated from that month.

Regarding the U.S. Navy stamp on Victory Model revolvers, those stopped around V267000, which was the end of the Navy contract revolvers. The last 9500 Navy contract guns were delivered in January, 1943. Thereafter, Navy guns were procured through the Army system and were not stamped with the Navy identification. If they were not DSC guns, they got the standard property stamp.

This is the best information I have available to me. If any of it is incorrect, I'd be happy to hear about it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:45 PM
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Jack-

Of course, I meant to say gray guns. Brown stocks. Should have made the sentence more clear, but I thought the meaning was obvious. I should have caught that on proofreading.

I do feel that more than five-inch barrels were accepted by British and other nations after 1940, but have no exact details or proof. I've seen photos of six-inch barrels in use by Canadians, an Australian, and a group of RAF pilots. We had a good account here of a South African pilot seconded to RAF who kept his six-inch gun after the war. And I read a book by a Canadian officer who had a six-inch and one by a Briton. Alas, the last was captured and had to drop the gun without Germans who were searching POW's catching him with it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:13 PM
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This model of S&W is becoming more popular, as the period commercial guns soar. The Victory is affordable. they are a M&P and shoot like bandits.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
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I do feel that more than five-inch barrels were accepted by British and other nations after 1940, but have no exact details or proof.
I don't think there is any doubt at all about that. It is an established fact that some 6" guns went to SA and other places.

All I was pointing out was that October, 1940, seems to be the date that the UK expressed its desire to standardize barrel length at 5".
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:48 PM
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We don’t actually have to rely on somewhat dated secondary sources these days, since we have the primary documents confirming Jack’s outline available now.

I don’t know whether British procurement bureaucrats were so polite as to “express a desire to standardize” on the 5” barrel.

I think they simply placed orders for that barrel length. Remember that in 1940/41 the British government was a paying customer for S&W; it wasn’t like S&W were doing them favors.

The attached summary of orders from Pate shows when the 5” barrel became standard. As we can extrapolate from research on Pate’s Colt data, these numbers represent guns ordered, not guns shipped.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:08 AM
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Brought 'er home this past weekend. Waiting to buy period correct grips but put these MOP's on for the time being. Now I have to wait for all the weather in the Gulf & front hovering over the Tx Coastal bend to shoot it.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:32 AM
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Cool gun and the front sight blade is original.

And, you are the model of patience to have waited 2-3 months to get it . Enjoy!
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodapop69 View Post
Brought 'er home this past weekend. Waiting to buy period correct grips but put these MOP's on for the time being. Now I have to wait for all the weather in the Gulf & front hovering over the Tx Coastal bend to shoot it.
The good news is that your front sight appears unaltered. The bad news is that the punishment for putting those grips on a Victory is 50 lashes with the cat-o-nine tails.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:19 AM
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The good news is that your front sight appears unaltered. The bad news is that the punishment for putting those grips on a Victory is 50 lashes with the cat-o-nine tails.
Bread and water for a week works too.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
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I donít think the sight has been modified, though the background in the picture makes it look like it has.

Grips aside, that looks to be a pretty decent Victory Model and would easily go for $500 around here.
Agreed. There's a little spot on the marble countertop that looks like it's part of the sight. As others have said, the stocks are not original. Less than $500 around here, if in good operating condition . . .
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:39 PM
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In the spirit of inter-service cooperation and as a thank you to the 3 forum members who sent me items at no charge I would like to offer you a set of grips. These are not the best or worst of my spares but I think they match the condition of your revolver. If you letter it don't be surprised if it comes back Navy, I have 4 marked as yours and both that I lettered so far came back Navy.

Just PM your address to me if you want the grips.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:03 PM
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You're a good man, chiefdave.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:00 AM
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PM sent...a million Thanks.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:33 AM
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Many thanks to chiefdave, now the Victory model has her correct grips.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:05 PM
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I am completely and utterly jealous. Last victory I saw was 1200 or 1400. Can't quite remember which. Yes it had the correct stocks and looked in good condition. But 200 bucks? Duuuuuuuuuuude.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:01 PM
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I am completely and utterly jealous. Last victory I saw was 1200 or 1400. Can't quite remember which. Yes it had the correct stocks and looked in good condition. But 200 bucks? Duuuuuuuuuuude.
Must have been some kind of Victory for that kind of money. The most I've paid was under $700 for a possibly unfired Maritime Commission that included a holster and lanyard and just under $1,000 for a red letter double stamp.
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