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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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  #1  
Old 01-14-2020, 10:52 AM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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Default Maritime Commission Victory Model

How common are Maritime Victories? I have V491221 which shipped to U.S. Maritime Commission, Reading Pa on Jan.13,1944 and am wondering just how common these are and if there is any price enhancement on them. Thanks, Ron
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:27 PM
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That one has been discussed here before. Did you buy it from another member?
I do not know how many USMC Victories were shipped, but they are known to have been sent to at least four locations. They are relatively uncommonly encountered and if in good condition would command some premium.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:46 PM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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I believe that the person from whom I got it had asked some questions about it on the Forum some years back. He had purchased it from an estate. It is in fine original condition and is all matching right down to the grip panels. Can you reveal the other Maritime destinations that you know of? Mine seems to be traceable to Reading-Pratt & Cady of Reading,PA from which I have an original guard badge. Thanks for input. Ron
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BibleronKJV View Post
Mine seems to be traceable to Reading-Pratt & Cady of Reading,PA from which I have an original guard badge.
Ron:

How did you come up with the link to Pratt & Cady?

Reading, PA, was a large central warehouse location for the Maritime Commission and received revolver shipments throughout the war. I once owned V121432 which shipped there in April 1943.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:32 PM
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Besides Reading PA, I list other destinations as Hoboken NJ, Charlotte NC, and San Francisco. And it is entirely possible they could have been shipped to many other places.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:29 PM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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Absalom: It's been a while since I researched the Maritime Victory I have, but if I remember correctly, the connection with Pratt & Cady came thru contact with either the Reading PA library or their historical society. Whichever one it was I recall that they were very interested in my research and were eager to assist me. And then there was the Pratt & Cady guard badge which was alleged to have some connection with the Maritime Commission. Ron
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:58 PM
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Maritime Commission guns were usually shipped to central distribution centers; Reading, Charlotte, and San Francisco appear indeed to be the most common destinations. See some additional locations listed in the 1944 annual report:

Maritime Commission Victory Model-usmc-annual-report-1944-jpg

The documentation of S&W Maritime guns is a bit hazy. Charles Pate provides a numerical breakdown for the Colt Commando: 8,996 shipped to the MC (with dates and numbers of shipments), compared to a total of 16,262 to the military. That’s a fairly high percentage.

Maritime Commission Victory Model-usmc-reading-commando-jpg

But no such information can be found in his book about S&W revolvers going to the MC. It is not clear whether these came out of the numbers for the DSC, Navy-direct, or Army contracts, or maybe all of them, and his chart of procurement notes, very detailed for the Commando, shows nothing on the MC for the Victory.

And if you look at Roy’s letters, they actually postulate the existence of a separate “United States Maritime Commission Contract”, which is mentioned nowhere else. All a bit of a muddle.

Maritime Commission Victory Model-img_1683-jpg
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Maritime Commission Victory Model-usmc-annual-report-1944-jpg   Maritime Commission Victory Model-img_1683-jpg   Maritime Commission Victory Model-usmc-reading-commando-jpg  
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BibleronKJV View Post
Absalom: It's been a while since I researched the Maritime Victory I have, but if I remember correctly, the connection with Pratt & Cady came thru contact with either the Reading PA library or their historical society. Whichever one it was I recall that they were very interested in my research and were eager to assist me. And then there was the Pratt & Cady guard badge which was alleged to have some connection with the Maritime Commission. Ron
Since Reading-Pratt & Cady was a manufacturer of marine valves and related parts, I'd not be surprised at all if there was a close relationship since the Maritime Commission was in charge of getting ships built. In fact, I'd think the Commission chose locations based on such logistics. And such business may have included P & C getting guns for guards from the Commission rather than having to go the longer paperwork application trail through the DSC like other contractors.

Maritime Commission Victory Model-pratt2-jpg
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Last edited by Absalom; 01-14-2020 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:21 PM
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Lots of interesting information. Thanks for all the input. I have read somewhere that some Maritime guns were marked "USMC" which has led to erroneous Marine Corps attribution. Is there any factual basis for such markings? Ron
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:25 PM
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To further Ron’s question, what, if any markings distinguish a Maritime Commission revolver from any other revolver?

My family has a long history of service in the Merchant fleet so I am curious.

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Old 01-14-2020, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
To further Ron’s question, what, if any markings distinguish a Maritime Commission revolver from any other?
Nothing, other than, like the more numerous DSC contract guns, they are lacking the US property markings on the top strap. Only a letter can reveal whether you have one or the other.

As for the USMC markings Ron asked about, Pate notes them as “possible fakes” (to benefit from the Marine Corps association). I do remember that we had a discussion here some time ago about a USMC-stamped gun that lettered as a DSC contract delivery to a shipyard (the name escapes me), but I recall no definite conclusion. I’m not aware of any matches of USMC-stamped guns lettering to the Maritime Commission.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:26 AM
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Speaking of fakes, 50 some odd years ago, I was at the Baltimore Antique Gun Show and saw a .43 Spanish Remington rolling block marked "CSA."

I have reason to believe it was a fake also.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:06 AM
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No one seems able to verify that the U. S. Marine Corps ever stamped any of their small arms with "USMC". At least I have never seen any. But I have seen several faked USMC stampings on guns. The U. S. Maritime Commission revolvers apparently had no markings indicating that they were USMC property, and would appear identical to DSC revolvers, which also have no factory-applied property stamps. However, some DSC revolvers may have had property stamps or engravings applied later by defense contractors using them.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-15-2020 at 11:56 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:08 AM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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The only "military" marking on my Maritime Victory is the Ordnance bomb on the butt near the "V", No topstrap marking or any other obvious military markings. Everything else is consistent with DSC Victories I have had. Ron
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:26 AM
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If I were younger, and just starting collecting, I believe I would specialize in Victory models I consider myself a historian and there is so much interesting information to be found about these wonderful pistols.

I have a birthday M&P that shipped in April of 47, so that is about as close as I am going to get. I almost bought a Victory at the Dallas meeting, but decided I need to be subtracting from the inventory, not adding.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:51 AM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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Max: I got into collecting Victories many years ago for just the reason you mentioned and I have enjoyed the research aspect of collecting them. I am getting up in years now and so have begun to dispose of the collection hoping that others will get as much enjoyment from them as I have. God is good! Ron
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:59 PM
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S&W Trivia: I had tables at a gun show in the south San Francisco, CA., area in the late 1950s and a fellow vendor showed up with literally a pile of Victory Models for sale on his table ( asking $10 ea. !) . He told me he had been working for a ship salvage company that was dismantling WW2 Liberty ships at the Vallejo ship yard in San Francisco bay for scrap and the arms lockers on those ships were full of Victory models S&Ws that were distributed among the workers. I also recall that later S&W collectors were told that if a gun had USMC stamped on its with a period stamped between the letters, it was a Maritime issued gun, however no periods stamped meant it was a Marine Corp gun. Old wives tale probably. Ed
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