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Old 08-08-2018, 01:33 PM
Ctp120 Ctp120 is offline
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Novice here, looking for any info available on this gun. Side open revolver and didn't see a model number, though another number was present (see pic). Hope this post is in the right place. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:38 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! You have a WWII Victory model .38 Military & Police revolver from around 1944. It has had its barrel shortened and was refinished in nickel. I can't tell if it is chambered for .38 S&W or .38 Special but my guess is .38 S&W and the chambers were reamed to accept .38 Special. Please post pictures of the whole gun on both sides with the grips removed.


Also, it once had a lanyard ring on the butt which has been filled. It appears to be missing the V on the butt and that is a part of the serial number. You might want to find someone with letter stamps and restamp the V.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:42 PM
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Barrel cut for sure. Looks like some one cut a dovetail to install a front lug and then never made and installed the lug. You would have to cut down the ejector rod to have a front lug too with barrel that short.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:44 PM
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Thanks, Wiregrassguy. I haven't taken pics of the whole gun with grips off yet but can do later. Here is one I have that shows the marking on the barrel.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:46 PM
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That confirms to me that this was originally a British Service Revolver chambered in .38 S&W. That stamp was added when the cylinder was reamed and is not factory origin.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelslaver View Post
Barrel cut for sure. Looks like some one cut a dovetail to install a front lug and then never made and installed the lug...
I think that cut is actually the indent for the large ejector rod knob and belongs there, it’s not a dovetail cut. See attached original BSR.

That serial V645836 would have likely shipped in July/August 1944. My V604454 shipped August 9th, but compared to other known numbers from those months it was a bit of a late shipper, which happened.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:19 PM
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V6366xx shipped in 7/44 and V6500xx shipped in 8/44. Huge numbers of surplus British service revolvers received the same treatment in the 1950s-60s, and were sold by mail order for prices in the $30 range. They have no collector value.
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:26 AM
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[QUOTE They have no collector value.[/QUOTE]

While the modified revolvers certainly have no value to the purist collector they are still part of WWII. My English example of a BSR is a 22 conversion and to me it fills a slot in my meager collection. Plus ammo cost compared to 38 S&W allows me to shoot it often.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:20 AM
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...an old Klein's ad for these revolvers...

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Old 08-09-2018, 04:00 AM
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I can hardly believe the salami cut on the barrel!

I wonder if it shoots around corners?
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:15 AM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Didn't Lee Harvey Oswald get caught with one of these? Everyone knows about the infamous Carcano, but the cut-down Victory Model he used to kill that cop is often overlooked.

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While the modified revolvers certainly have no value to the purist collector they are still part of WWII. My English example of a BSR is a 22 conversion and to me it fills a slot in my meager collection. Plus ammo cost compared to 38 S&W allows me to shoot it often.
I agree. While they won't be commanding any high prices at RIA anytime soon, they are still a cool piece of WWII memorabilia, IHMO. My LGS has a 5" BSR sitting in a display case I might pick up eventually. It's been there for like 2 years now and has been reamed for .38 spl. It's wearing a set of Pachmayrs and has had the lanyard ring removed. I might buy it eventually and "restore" it back to it's original aesthetic by adding the proper grips and lanyard ring if it can be had for less than what they are asking for it.
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:51 AM
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"Didn't Lee Harvey Oswald get caught with one of these? Everyone knows about the infamous Carcano, but the cut-down Victory Model he used to kill that cop is often overlooked. "

He did, the revolver which LHO allegedly used to shoot officer J. D. Tippitt was a cut-down BSR. There are several JFK assassination websites which cover the event and the gun thoroughly. There is also information about the gun in the Warren Report including a bit of a mystery about the ammunition used in it which was never explained very well.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:00 PM
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A BSR coverted to .22 might be interesting. One reamed for .38 special ,resulting in split and/or stuck casings , is no fun to shoot.

This opinion is based on my own personal experience. Others have reported more positive results.

As far as general interest of modified BSRs is concerned , once the ejector rod locking lug disappears , so does my interest.

To the OP - it is still a Smith & Wesson , and it will still go bang. The action is probably pretty nice , and it is far better than no gun at all.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_the_hammer View Post
Didn't Lee Harvey Oswald get caught with one of these? Everyone knows about the infamous Carcano, but the cut-down Victory Model he used to kill that cop is often overlooked.
....
I started a thread on Oswald’s gun a few years ago which has most of the relevant documentation in it.

Oswald's Victory BSR: The basics
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"Didn't Lee Harvey Oswald get caught with one of these? Everyone knows about the infamous Carcano, but the cut-down Victory Model he used to kill that cop is often overlooked. "

He did, the revolver which LHO allegedly used to shoot officer J. D. Tippitt was a cut-down BSR. There are several JFK assassination websites which cover the event and the gun thoroughly. There is also information about the gun in the Warren Report including a bit of a mystery about the ammunition used in it which was never explained very well.
Good point!

I've always felt the commission didn't understand the concept of a revolver being re-chambered for a similar but different cartridge. They couldn't get past the seeming anomaly of a barrel that read 38 S&W but cases that read 38 Special.
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
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Good point!

I've always felt the commission didn't understand the concept of a revolver being re-chambered for a similar but different cartridge. They couldn't get past the seeming anomaly of a barrel that read 38 S&W but cases that read 38 Special.
If you read the excerpt from the Warren Commission report which I attached to my post #7 in the old thread linked above, it is clear they had a detailed and throrough understanding of the difference between the .38 S&W and the .38 Special and the consequences of the re-chambered cylinder on Oswald’s gun.

And they knew that even though there actually was no full caliber stamp visible on Oswald’s barrel due to the shortening.

They discuss the difficulties for the forensic identification of the Tippet bullets caused by the .38 Special bullets passing through the slightly larger diameter of the ex-BSR’s .38 S&W barrel, and comment on the fact that the revolver had been re-chambered, but not re-barreled.

I’m pretty sure the Commission’s experts understood Oswald’s gun quite well.

Last edited by Absalom; 08-10-2018 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:09 AM
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Thanks. So the vagary was about the forensics.

If they test fired his gun, they'd get the same vague forensics.
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