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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 09-13-2020, 07:49 PM
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Any one ever see a Victory Model with a 5 inch barrel. Serial number is V 5742xx? Has proper S&W stamp on barrel for this model. Any information would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:53 PM
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Yes, I've seen 100s of Victory models with 5 inch barrels and so have any other Victory collector, as 1,000s were made for the Brits .They are called BSRs by collectors, which means "British Service Revolvers." They are in caliber .38S&W and many were imported to the US after WW2 and rechambered to take .38S&W Special rounds. Ed

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Old 09-13-2020, 07:53 PM
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Um...searching for one particular gun is a multi billion to one endeavor. Especially when you don't provide the entire serial. But good luck.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:17 PM
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Default K-200

I am not looking for a 5 inch barrel K-200. Just curious as I have one and I thought all Victory models were 4 Inch.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:22 PM
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I was cheated!
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jdowd View Post
I am not looking for a 5 inch barrel K-200. Just curious as I have one and I thought all Victory models were 4 Inch.
As a general rule, American-issued Victory Models were 4” .38 Specials and the ones used by Great Britain and her colonies were 5” .38 S&Ws, which they called .38/200.

Of course there are many exceptions. I have a 4” BSR that shipped to South Africa. There were a few 2” .38 Specials as well, and I bet there were 6” guns of both calibers made and issued.
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:42 PM
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V 5742xx would date it shipment to around April or May 1944. S&W was producing about 20,000 guns per month at that time. You might look at this for additional general information. http://www.coolgunsite.com/pistols/v...and_wesson.htm

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Old 09-13-2020, 10:26 PM
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5" Victory revolvers are quite common , ala BSR ,British Service Revolver.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:57 PM
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Those with 5" barrels were very common at one time. In the 1950s-60s, many imported BSRs were butchered by cutting their barrels back to 2" and rechambering them to .38 Special. As a result, finding an original condition BSR in fairly high condition is a little more difficult today than you might imagine.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jdowd View Post
I am not looking for a 5 inch barrel K-200. Just curious as I have one and I thought all Victory models were 4 Inch.
Minor side note: The "K-200" was, according to Roy some years ago, just an informal in-house term. It escaped and was used by some collectors at one time, but has largely disappeared from Victory collectors' vocabulary.

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Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
..... and the ones used by Great Britain and her colonies were 5” .38 S&Ws, which they called .38/200.
Another side note: The British appear to never have used the .38/200 label; it was purely an American moniker for the original 200 grain British service load, even after that had changed to 178 grains.

While S&W used .38/200 consistently in their correspondence with the British, and Colt even put it on the barrel of the Official Police 38-200, I have yet to find even one British document referencing it. If you have a picture of one, please post it. Below some examples.


S&W correspondence:


VICTORY MODEL-sw-correspondence-jpg

Wartime documents from Britain, South Africa, Canada, and a post-war Parker-Hale catalog:


VICTORY MODEL-british-usage-jpg
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:41 AM
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Since the subject came up, what the current going rate for a U.S. 4" .38 Special Victory?
I have one I bought some years ago. Just wondering what its worth these days.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:53 AM
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Since the subject came up, what the current going rate for a U.S. 4" .38 Special Victory?
I have one I bought some years ago. Just wondering what its worth these days.
I've purchased cosmetically challenged shooters for as low as $200 and 2 years ago sold a nice Navy red letter with roll stamped top strap for $1675. A letter with an unusual destination will increase value and military revolvers will generally bring more than a DSC. Condition and prominence are the determining factors.

Another value factor, at least for me, is S/N range. The lower the better.

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Old 09-14-2020, 08:33 AM
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My Victory is standard 4" 38 Special stamped and issued to US Navy. It Letters shipping Dec. 17, 1942 to the US Navy at Oakland CA.

I consider this Victory as probably average to good and have it valued at $600 for my records.

Most I have seen for sale, being average like mine, but all original and complete (a LOT are missing correct grips, butt swivel, pin, and lanyard ring) run between $500 and $600...at LGS or private sales. Sure.......a genuine "red Navy" brings much bigger $, but they don't appear for sale every other day either.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:47 AM
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My Victory is standard 4" 38 Special stamped and issued to US Navy. It Letters shipping Dec. 17, 1942 to the US Navy at Oakland CA.

I consider this Victory as probably average to good and have it valued at $600 for my records.

Most I have seen for sale, being average like mine, but all original and complete (a LOT are missing correct grips, butt swivel, pin, and lanyard ring) run between $500 and $600...at LGS or private sales. Sure.......a genuine "red Navy" brings much bigger $, but they don't appear for sale every other day either.
I also have a Navy contract gun but it was delivered to the Navy on the other side of the country, Norfolk, VA. V237332, complete and original, May 1943. Of course it is not Navy marked. It was a $350 gun in 2012.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:42 AM
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Mine is a nice one from early 1943....grips look correct,but dont number......$450 in 2017
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:18 AM
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I find this letter very interesting:


I have a 1944 BSR (not South African) which demonstrates what appears to be a slight circumferential barrel bulge just ahead of the frame. Looking through the barrel there is no visible indication of a ring, such as might occur as the result of firing with the barrel plugged. I just wrote it off as an inconsequential manufacturing defect, but maybe it's something else. Can anyone add further information as the letter does not amplify the reason for the bulge?

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Old 09-14-2020, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
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I find this letter very interesting:

..... I just wrote it off as an inconsequential manufacturing defect, but maybe it's something else. Can anyone add further information as the letter does not amplify the reason for the bulge?
The letter from the Air Ministry (bottom right of my collage above) is about the same topic. The complete original is on my desktop, so I can’t show it right now. Peter from SA posted these some years ago in a discussion about the “non-bulge barrel bulge” issue. But I don’t recall an explanation either, just instructions not to worry.

I have one like that (standard 1944 L-L) with the issue quite pronounced. Absolutely perfect bore inside.


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Old 09-14-2020, 02:41 PM
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This is the second letter regarding a bulged BSR barrel. As in the former letter, it provides no information about the bulge aside from acknowledging its existence. Interesting that it describes the bulge as a blemish, suggesting that it could be a manufacturing defect.


Regarding the official nomenclature of the BSR, I have some old information from another forum that they were called the "Pistol, Revolver, Smith & Wesson, No. 2", (No. 2 indicating .38 caliber) by the British military. While I do not have a copy of Roper and McHenry, I do have a note indicating that they provided "S&W Pistol No. 2" as the description the British military used for BSRs (recognizing that many consider Roper and McHenry's book as less than authoritative and being riddled with inaccuracies).

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Old 09-15-2020, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Regarding the official nomenclature of the BSR, I have some old information from another forum that they were called the "Pistol, Revolver, Smith & Wesson, No. 2", (No. 2 indicating .38 caliber) by the British military.
List of Changes in British War Material (LoC) 17463 July 1915 introduced the "Pistol, Smith & Wesson, .455 inch, with 6 1/2-inch barrel Mark I and Mark II"; (the Mk I was the triple lock).

So in WW II when the S&W M&P came along it was designated "Smith & Wesson Pistol No 2". There were of course .455 S&Ws still around at the time.

Peter
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:34 AM
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So in WW II when the S&W M&P came along it was designated "Smith & Wesson Pistol No 2". There were of course .455 S&Ws still around at the time. Peter

In February 1943 the "British Military Staff, North America" produced a short manual entitled "Pistols, Revolver, Smith & Wesson .38-in".

Peter
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:01 PM
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I would suspect that Canada, Australia, and South Africa (at least) may have had their own official S&W .38 revolver nomenclatures, aside from that used by England. It seems probable the ".38/200" or "K-200" were never official designations for the S&W BSR used by any of the British Commonwealth militaries. I'd say "Pistol, Revolver, Smith & Wesson, No. 2 (or .38-in)" would be close to being "official."

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Old 09-15-2020, 01:51 PM
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Of course it should have been .380 and not .38, given that was the correct name for the British cartridge.

Any confusion between the .380 of the Enfield, etc and the older .380 British heel based bullet round was entirely due to the lack of knowledge of the War Office staff!

Peter
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:32 PM
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Of course it should have been .380 and not .38, given that was the correct name for the British cartridge.

Any confusion between the .380 of the Enfield, etc and the older .380 British heel based bullet round was entirely due to the lack of knowledge of the War Office staff!

Peter
I guess it was just as well that the Webley Self-Loading Pistol was produced only in .32 and not in a .380 version ...
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:02 PM
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I guess it was just as well that the Webley Self-Loading Pistol was produced only in .32 and not in a .380 version ...
But you are wrong Burk. They did and they are very rare. That model is at or near the top of my wanted list!

Peter
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:20 PM
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There were Webley semiautos chambered in both 9mm Browning Long and .38 ACP, in addition to .25 ACP and .32 ACP. Long ago I had one in .32 ACP, along with its American cousin made by H&R. I don't think they were made in .380 (ACP).

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Old 09-15-2020, 04:44 PM
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But you are wrong Burk. They did and they are very rare. That model is at or near the top of my wanted list!

Peter
Really? Learned something new. Haven’t seen that mentioned before.

After WW II, the .38 Webley Mk IV was standard issue to the West Berlin police in the British sector of the city. In contemporary German documents these are listed as caliber “9mm kurz”. That of course is German nomenclature for the .380 ACP, a caliber in which Webley likely did not chamber those revolvers. It startled me initially until I realized that some German bureaucrat had undoubtedly simply “translated” the British .380 revolver caliber, not realizing this was a different .380.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:40 PM
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You can see the bulge on this one of mine as well.



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Old 09-15-2020, 07:39 PM
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My barrel "bulge" is just slightly larger. I am going on the assumption that it is no more than a minor factory defect in turning the barrel profile under wartime conditions until there is evidence otherwise.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:03 PM
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When I started as a LEO in 1969 I had no equipment. The Chief of Police dug out a few old uniforms, some used leather and used badges and brass to equip me until I could get a couple of paychecks and buy my own. The Chief pulled out a box containing about 20 Victory revolvers that the department had gotten as military surplus after WWII. I went through them and found a U.S. Navy marked Victory in pretty good shape. He gave me some 158 grain lead ball reloads and I thought I was in pretty good shape. I removed the lanyard ring and stuck it in a drawer. When I finally got enough credit I financed a new model 10-5 and turned the Navy Victory back in. That $85.00 model 10 wound up costing me about $200.00 with finance charges from a local finance company. I still didn't know a lot about revolvers and graduated to other things as I learned and was able to get extra work to pay for them. I was finally able to collect a few things and two Victory models was among the things I found. I paid $35.00 for a nice BSR 5" (South Africa) and around $50.00 for a 4" Victory marked U.S. Property on the top strap. I still have them and every few years get them out and shoot them a little. I kept the lanyard ring from 1969 and put it on the BSR as it didn't have one. I also have correct holsters for both guns.
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