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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 05-18-2020, 11:20 PM
Bluejaytiger Bluejaytiger is offline
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Default Help me identify this heirloom?

I “inherrited” a S&W 38 from a nursing home bound father-in-law. I have several functioning pistols, should I bother hanging onto this one? Can you help me identify it?

No model #
Nickel plated hand ejector
No model number on yoke
Serial number 759179 no letter... wait, maybe that’s a “V”
(Looks like there is a small “v” on tbe cylinder and barrel too...)
.38 but don’t see “s&w” or “special”
2 1/4” barrel fixed sights

Photos attached... Thanks!
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Help me identify this heirloom?-a6876912-6a25-4ffc-9b9a-6fef412cf093-jpg   Help me identify this heirloom?-aee21703-8c45-464b-8421-9449cfb24273-jpg   Help me identify this heirloom?-6c9b7a4d-0164-4740-b937-040c5ccdff88-jpg  

Last edited by Bluejaytiger; 05-19-2020 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:21 PM
Bluejaytiger Bluejaytiger is offline
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Default Sorry photos show upside down ...

Oops... sorry the photos are obviously upside down...
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:45 PM
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I could give you the Cliff notes version, but many members have a lot more knowledge than me. Its a Victory model shipped to the British as a .38 S&W with a 5" barrel. Thousands of them were sold as surplus after WWII, and most were refinished. Some had the chambers bored to accept .38 Special. Some (like yours) had the barrels cut to approx. 2", which eliminated the front locking lug.
Stay tuned.....you will get a lot more info than this!
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:46 PM
Bob L Bob L is offline
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Well, Welcome to the forum. We will have some experts come along shortly with a lot more experience and knowledge on these things then what i have. Just what I can see, it looks like it was a Victory model that spent time in Europe and ended up having the barrel cut back and everything chromed. Just a guess on my side but I would think that it could be a fun little shooter once you determine what the correct caliber is. Just don't hold me to it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:37 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Welcome to the forum.

I agree with the members above.

There are no model #s until they were established in 1957. Only model names and yours is the Model K200, the British Service Revolver that shot their .38 with 200 grain bullet (similar to the .38 S&W Cartridge), built on the "K" size frame under contract by S&W. Also known as the Victory Model because of the V for victory serial # prefix.

The American military equivalent which was in .38 S&W Special, a longer, more powerful cartridge, is the .38 Military and Police Model, also known as Victory Model when stamped with the V.

When imported back to the states after the war as surplus guns, your model was often converted to .38 Spl because of much better availability.

Yours has no Smith & Wesson or cartridge markings because they were cut off with the rest of the barrel.

The circle in the grip butt is what's left of the lanyard swivel that all these guns were produced with. Easily found (~$20) and replaced if you'd like.

Your gun was produced after 1942 and is the reason the serial # is upside down with the gun in that position. Before 1942 S&W butt serial #s would read right side up in that position.

Hope this helps,
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:08 AM
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The serial V 759179 puts this British Service model at the very end of production, likely in December/January 1944/45. Due to the obviously approaching end of the war, further contracts for the British variant, which had been supplied under Lend-Lease, were cancelled in January, and most known higher V-serials are the US version.

The post-war commercial Birmingham proofs, on your gun all clustered under the barrel, show that this gun did still make it to Britain.

PS: Here’s what the gun looked like before being modified. All British Service models from 1942 on came in this standard configuration and 5” barrel length.

Help me identify this heirloom?-62e9b898-c325-47fc-91a8-fa2b83a203c8-jpg
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:25 AM
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How many of these things are there?
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:23 PM
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How many of these things are there?
A "blue million". Larry
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:50 PM
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Those S&W revolvers of the WWII period (1940-45)? In the neighborhood of 1 Million+ were made for all users, civilian and military. First S&W shipments to the British Commonwealth military began early in 1940, although the British were purchasing whatever guns they could find wherever they could find them in the USA even before that. Colt also made similar revolvers for military use, but not nearly as many. Most of the Colt handgun production was M1911A1 .45s.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:19 PM
Bluejaytiger Bluejaytiger is offline
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Default Thanks guys!

Very cool. My buddy found the same gun sold on gunbroker... chromeclooks a bit nicer than mine... sold for $500... SMITH & WESSON VICTORY MODEL, SNUB NOSE 38 SPCL, C&R OK - Curios & Relics at GunBroker.com : 861550726 but I’d probably havec to pay someone to clean it up and sell it... I think I’ll hang onto it. Maybe pass it down to one of my boys one day. I understand its probably not a collection item but I think the history is cool and the gun was grandpa’s and I think you could defend yourself or home with it. I’m printing this thread and the info you shared and filing it with my gun stuff for their future reference. It seems pretty tight and smooth. I’ll take it to the range and make sure it runs ok - no reason to suspect it won’t. I may try to polish/clean it up a bit with something nonabrasive and noncorosive and put some modern rubber grips on it (keeping the old ones tucked away of course). Thanks so much... you guys are great!
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:05 PM
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Great decision! But please, no rubbers.

It just wouldn't be your dad's or the same heirloom. Those imitation stag grips are contemporary to the gun and the time period.

Did you figure out which cartridge it shoots 38 S&W or 38 S&W Special?
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluejaytiger View Post
Very cool. My buddy found the same gun sold on gunbroker... chromeclooks a bit nicer than mine... sold for $500... SMITH & WESSON VICTORY MODEL, SNUB NOSE 38 SPCL, C&R OK - Curios & Relics at GunBroker.com : 861550726 ....
I can’t believe somebody was willing to pay that much, actually more than one person since it got bid up to the final price, 20 bids total.

It’s surprising since they knew what they were bidding on. The seller’s description is honest and comprehensive and describes the gun’s background accurately. Even with a new .38 Special cylinder and the pretty nice nickel, I would value this at no more than 250.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:17 PM
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[QUOTE=Bluejaytiger;140778299 I think you could defend yourself or home with it.![/QUOTE]

A bullet out of it will work just as good as a bullet out of the most expensive pistol. Larry
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:40 AM
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Have it checked out for safety, timing and caliber, then take the two old "companions" out together for some old memories, if they are both up to it thar is. Take some pictures of them together and make it part of history, for whomever gets it next.

I wish I had some pictures of Mom & Dad out shooting his old Colt 38 Super from back in the day. We would all ride out to the farm Dad grew up on and shoot up some cans.

I have the Colt, and memories of Mom being a crack shot, but some pictures would go nice with it.

That is a cool old revolver for sure! Thanks for sharing it.
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