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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 10-18-2020, 12:43 AM
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LGS has a parkerized Victory SN V 491320. 38 SW, 4 inch barrel, smooth grips, lanyard ring, right side has made in USA, right barrel has 38 S&W Special CTG. I find no military stamps but shop tag says lend lease. Shop didnít know much on it only that it was a trade in. Any info on production date, where shipped, collectibility, value etc. is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:50 AM
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Howdy Phantom, and welcome aboard from ol' Wyo.

S&W shipped my Victory to the Navy in December 1943. It's serial number V467663 so I'd guess the one at your lgs shipped early in '44.

It's not a lend lease, as your shop owner believes. Those were primarily 5" barrels in .38 S&W (not .38 S&W Special).

It looks pretty clean. Some of the real aficionados will be along with their take on its value. I'd say somewhere in the $500 neighborhood.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:06 AM
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Iíll have to disagree with Bob.

The serial number on the butt has been re-stamped. Those digits are noticeably different from the size and font that S&W used at the time.

The gun has also been refinished, based both on the appearance which differs from the original Victory finish, and the fact that the refinish covers the ejector rod, which was originally left blue.

Iíd say the gun is at least 200 over-priced.

PS: Here is a guaranteed original butt for comparison:


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Old 10-18-2020, 09:54 PM
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Absalom -
Good eye. The finish caught my attention right away but I breezed past the butt stamp.

PhantomV - The re-stamped grip grip frame opens up some questions - what was all done to that revolver and why? Might not even be a real Victory ... even if it is the value is long gone.

And - the shop keeper doesn't know what he is talking about , plain and simple.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:14 PM
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The first thing I noticed, right or wrong, is that the lanyard ring appears to have been rust pitted and refinished.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:24 PM
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Odds are the whole butt was severely rust pitted to the point of needing to be restamped once it was milled somewhat smooth again. (Thus the need for the serial number to be restamped on the butt.)

As far as the serial number goes.........if the serial number restamped on the butt is the exact same serial number stamped on the rear facing flat on the yoke it could be reasonable argued it is the original frame serial number but only if the frame and yoke also have matching assembly numbers.

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Old 10-19-2020, 12:53 PM
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"...it could be reasonable (sic) argued it is the original...."

Yes, but it is still a felony. Why screw around with a piece of junk?
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:29 PM
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"...it could be reasonable (sic) argued it is the original...."

Yes, but it is still a felony. Why screw around with a piece of junk?
How do you know it wasn't performed without the BATF's permission? Do they keep central database of who and when they allow a frame to be reserialized back to it's original s/n?

Of course I would walk on it without knowing the specific deets, but if the frame s/n matches the yoke s/n and the the assembly numbers on both of those match then I sincerely doubt the BATF will bring the hammer of THOR down on someone with such an example.

In my opinion (assuming the serial numbers and assembly numbers match) the correct thing to do was attempted in this instance. Whether or not it was with the BATF's guidance I do not know. For that matter it could have been done at an arsenal or unit armorer level refurb. (Most likely not the case but not entirely unheard of either.)

Obviously my opinion carries absolutely zero weight here so buyer beware.

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Old 10-19-2020, 01:59 PM
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How do you know it wasn't performed without the BATF's permission? Do they keep central database of who and when they allow a frame to be reserialized back to it's original s/n?
.
I would bet money that this wasnít the case here simply because it is one of those things that ghosts around gun forums but in real life very rarely happens. Just like, on the other hand, nobody will ever get in trouble for this gun unless they murder someone with it. Outside a handful of S&W nerds, nobody would even notice if the butt number still matches the other parts, and most wouldnít even if it doesnít.

But itís the principle point that Kevin makes. Why bother? If I inherited this gun from Grandpa, Iíd put it in the safe and never worry. But to knowledgeable people the number issue and refinish seriously devalue it, and as a shooter the price would have to be cut in half. Why take ANY legal risk on this?
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Old 10-19-2020, 02:14 PM
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I would bet money that this wasnít the case here simply because it is one of those things that ghosts around gun forums but in real life very rarely happens. Just like, on the other hand, nobody will ever get in trouble for this gun unless they murder someone with it. Outside a handful of S&W nerds, nobody would even notice if the butt number still matches the other parts, and most wouldnít even if it doesnít.

But itís the principle point that Kevin makes. Why bother? If I inherited this gun from Grandpa, Iíd put it in the safe and never worry. But to knowledgeable people the number issue and refinish seriously devalue it, and as a shooter the price would have to be cut in half. Why take ANY legal risk on this?
Obviously you guys make valid points as to the why, especially with so many many other original Victory examples out there.

But this does bring us back to my question..........Does the BATF maintain a database of those guns which have had their serial numbers PROPERLY reapplied with their guidance?

If say a dealer had the make, model, and serial number........but the serial number was obviously reapplied such as the example in the OP, could it possibly be verified through contacting the BATF that it was done so with their guidance and approval?

Has any forum member actually had any real world experience attempting such?

A simple curiousity is all, as I hear the "They can be reserialized only with the guidance and permission of the BATF" thing occasionally. I am assuming this is true only if the original s/n can be determined via the frame/yoke/assembly number/serial number matching method available on older S&W examples.

Then again maybe they would still simply confiscate it or destroy it if the assembly numbers did actually match on the frame and yoke?

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-19-2020 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 10-19-2020, 02:35 PM
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You raise an interesting point.

I know there is a procedure to apply for a new serial number, although I can’t find anything in the ATF handbook online right now.

But I’m not even sure that BATFE has a “process”, let alone a database, when somebody would ask them for permission to “freshen up” a degraded, but known existing serial by re-stamping the number in the same spot. This may just be a matter of writing to your local field office.

It would be nice to hear from someone with first-hand experience. But such people seem to be thin on the ground.
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Old 10-19-2020, 02:43 PM
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I don't think the BATF has allowed numbers to be re-stamped...ever...but certainly not for quite a few years now. When guns were re-stamped it was with an ATF assigned number and there was paperwork that had to accompany the gun at all times.

I don't believe there was ever any "freshen up" procedure. No insult intended to anyone but speculation about felonies is never a good idea. Please read the 2nd page carefully.

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Old 10-19-2020, 04:12 PM
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I could swear I have seen examples where the butt serial numbers were alterred due to lanyard ring installations, butt shape modifications, etc., and under the guidance of the BATF the gunsmith placed the same serial number elsewhere on the grip frame.

It may be complete hogwash but I am certain I have seen such examples online with something along those lines being claimed.

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Old 10-19-2020, 04:19 PM
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You raise an interesting point.

I know there is a procedure to apply for a new serial number, although I canít find anything in the ATF handbook online right now.

But Iím not even sure that BATFE has a ďprocessĒ, let alone a database, when somebody would ask them for permission to ďfreshen upĒ a degraded, but known existing serial by re-stamping the number in the same spot. This may just be a matter of writing to your local field office.

It would be nice to hear from someone with first-hand experience. But such people seem to be thin on the ground.
I agree, the info does seem hard to come by doesn't it. Surely we have a current or ex-BATF agent forum member that could chime up as to the subject, especially with regards to the revolver in the OP and whether or not they would ever consider using the matching assembly numbers on the frame and yoke to prove/disprove a revolver's original s/n.........and whether or not if the assembly number/serial number on the yoke and frame do indeed match if they still feel it in violation to the point of requiring further action from them.

I guess we have to ask ourselves in the eyes of the BATF is it better to have a revolver with so much corrosion that you can no longer read the serial number, or would it be better to replace the serial number once repaired........of course all under the guidance of the BATF.

Or does the BATF simply recommend it's disposal when a frame serial number becomes unreadable due to wear, corrosion, etc.. (Not including nefarious other reasons.)

I sometimes wish I had easy access to a BATF agent that I could ask real-world policy questions. Otherwise I too tend to err on the side of caution.

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Old 10-19-2020, 04:38 PM
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There is nothing ambiguous about the 2nd sentence on the 2nd page of the letter posted. However, feel free to go with what you've seen or heard on the interwebz.
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Old 10-19-2020, 04:51 PM
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There is nothing ambiguous about the 2nd sentence on the 2nd page of the letter posted. However, feel free to go with what you've seen or heard on the interwebz.
I'm not trying to be argumentative I am simply stating what I have seen being declared, however right or wrong it may be.

It doesn't mean I'll be going with anything.

Why so confrontational? These are simple questions with regards to what I have seen and heard arguments for, however wrong or right those arguments may have been.

I guess my real question would be has anyone ever wound up with an example similar to the OP's, discovered that while the frame serial number did indeed match the yoke's, and their assembly numbers also matched, contacted the BATF and the BATF decided the revolver still needed to be surrendered/destroyed?

I'm talking practical application of the rule, even if the later applied serial number was determined to be the same as the original due to the yoke/frame assembly numbers matching. I guess intent and common sense does not factor into the equation in the eyes of the BATF?

I don't doubt black and white is truly black and white in this instance.

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Old 10-19-2020, 04:56 PM
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I'm sorry if I'm coming across as confrontational. However, I think I've provided pretty solid documentation that what you might have seen or heard is absolute internet BS. Again, there is NOTHING ambiguous about that ATF letter yet you continue to assert that there must be a different answer. Why?
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:00 PM
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I'm sorry if I'm coming across as confrontational. However, I think I've provided pretty solid documentation that what you might have seen or heard is absolute internet BS. Again, there is NOTHING ambiguous about that ATF letter yet you continue to assert that there must be a different answer. Why?
So you are categorically stating that when a grip frame has been modified there was no allowance by the BATF for the original serial number to be placed elsewhere on the frame by the gunsmith under their guidance?

No reason to assert, just going off of what I have seen in other related threads possibly even on this website.

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Old 10-19-2020, 05:12 PM
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I'm not stating it--that is what the letter says. Note that it is addressed to me and I have had direct conversations with the ATF about this topic. It is up to you as to what you want to believe--an actual letter from the Chief of the Firearms Enforcement Branch of the ATF or what you have seen from internet posters. I don't see that as a hard choice. Again, I'm sorry if speaking directly comes across as rude.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:49 PM
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I think the lanyard hole and butt modification by gunsmiths of a perfectly good gun is an entirely different matter from our original issue.

I believe restamping the serial on the side of the grip frame after lanyard retrofit was a practice at the factory shop, and could be done there without BATF involvement since they were the original manufacturer of the gun.

Anyone else, like a licensed gunsmith undertaking such modifications, could try their luck under the provision found in 27 CFR ß 478.92 (which deals with identification of firearms, primarily serial number requirements):

ď(4) Exceptions.

(i) Alternate means of identification. The Director may authorize other means of identification upon receipt of a letter application from you, submitted in duplicate, showing that such other identification is reasonable and will not hinder the effective administration of this part.Ē

I donít know the administrave regulations accompanying this, but given Kevinís letter, I wouldnít assume itís all legal without evidence of this permit process.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:03 PM
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I think the lanyard hole and butt modification by gunsmiths of a perfectly good gun is an entirely different matter from our original issue.

I believe restamping the serial on the side of the grip frame after lanyard retrofit was a practice at the factory shop, and could be done there without BATF involvement since they were the original manufacturer of the gun.

Anyone else, like a licensed gunsmith undertaking such modifications, could try their luck under the provision found in 27 CFR ß 478.92 (which deals with identification of firearms, primarily serial number requirements):

ď(4) Exceptions.

(i) Alternate means of identification. The Director may authorize other means of identification upon receipt of a letter application from you, submitted in duplicate, showing that such other identification is reasonable and will not hinder the effective administration of this part.Ē

I donít know the administrave regulations accompanying this, but given Kevinís letter, I wouldnít assume itís all legal without evidence of this permit process.
I guess maybe in my line of thinking if at one time an approval may have been granted by the BATF for modification purposes then couldn't an approval have been given by them for repair purposes (I.E. corrosion, etc).,.......especially if the full serial number was evident prior to repair.

Of course it may simply be that the BATF has always been completely inflexible in this regards as per Kevin's info.

Just conversating is all. But I do agree without any verifiable evidence of re-serialization approval it would definitely be a stay-away-from item.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:42 PM
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I sincerely thank everyone for the wealth of information. I have decided to pass on it due to listed valid concerns. I will continue to search for the little brother to complete my WWII US weapons. It’s like my Garand, M1 Carbine and 1911 are missing a member of the family. I have been very impressed with the quality of knowledge in this forum. God Bless.
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Old 10-20-2020, 02:32 PM
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I sincerely thank everyone for the wealth of information. I have decided to pass on it due to listed valid concerns. I will continue to search for the little brother to complete my WWII US weapons. Itís like my Garand, M1 Carbine and 1911 are missing a member of the family. I have been very impressed with the quality of knowledge in this forum. God Bless.
A wise decision, especially due to the originality and likely legality concerns.

There will be plenty of really nice original Victory examples out there to be had. Just be sure to ask if the right side stock is truly serial numbers matching as it isn't too uncommon to find them swapped out with other relatively close serial numbered stocks due to maintenance, cleaning, etc.....

If you have any other concerns as to parts originality the barrel, cylinder, yoke (rear facing flat), extractor star (underside), butt, and right side stock should all be serial numbers matching. Also, the frame, yoke, and sideplate should also have matching assembly numbers stamped on them.

Here's a very nice all-original matching example I purchased a few years ago to hold you over until you do find one. (It had freckles of some sort of dried preservative all over it when purchased. The sideplate was a little bit loose in the seller's pics which fits normally after running the sideplate screws down properly. It even came with a correct style holster.) A $600 purchase.

Good luck and be sure to let us know when you find your Victory example.
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Old 10-20-2020, 02:52 PM
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Itís like my Garand, M1 Carbine and 1911 are missing a member of the family. I have been very impressed with the quality of knowledge in this forum. God Bless.
Don't forget the WWI era M1917 revolvers were still being used during WWII and the WWII holsters for them still turn up regularly.

And then there are the '03 and '03A3 rifle variants produced during WWII!
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Old 10-20-2020, 02:56 PM
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I wouldn't pass up a reasonably priced Colt Commando for that WWII collection either........
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:39 PM
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sir, i have the victory long lost cuz to yours; ser. number279176. small world...........
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:49 PM
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Guess I'm an outlaw. I see nothing wrong with stamping the original serial back on if the original stamping was accidentally defaced. Does the law say anything about "deliberately altering the serial?" No allowance for correcting an inadvertent damaging of the serial? Well, what the ATF doesn't know won't hurt me.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:41 AM
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Default No letter in front of serial number on bottom of handle or any where?

My victory doesn't seem to have any letter in front of the serial # and the serial number is 5 digits. What does this mean?
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:20 AM
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I saw just the two, maybe three, quick observations (concerns) with the OP's $579 gun.

(1)For sure...the font for that serial number, both letter "V" and the numbers is not in keeping with S&W factory fonts. The factory fonts appear "double wide" for lack of better words, and quite deep in relation to the OP's "single wide" thin line letter and numbers.

(2) The corrosion on the lanyard ring that has been re-parked over the corrosion.

(3) I'm maybe wrong on this, but I think that late a serial number should also have the S stamp on the sideplate for the hammer block added after the Navy incident of accidental discharge.

My 1942 (Lettered) US Navy victory has all original parts, however right grip panel stamped number does not match the serial number on butt, so I'll never know if mixed up by armorers or maintenance on some WWII aircraft carrier or ??.

Also other pic is my friends genuine, all original S&W 5" Lend Lease 38 BSR and the font is the same as mine and other examples already posted.

I would also pass on the OP's gun....too many questions.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jwarner View Post
My victory doesn't seem to have any letter in front of the serial # and the serial number is 5 digits. What does this mean?
Can you post pics of your Victory and of it's butt serial number?

Here's a few pics of my 5-digit Victory examples' butt serial numbers. (Both are "U.S. NAVY" topstrap marked examples.)
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Last edited by tenntex32; 10-21-2020 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmansguns View Post
I'm maybe wrong on this, but I think that late a serial number should also have the S stamp on the sideplate for the hammer block added after the Navy incident of accidental discharge.
No, it isn't late enough - V491xxx. The Victory with the sliding hammer block safety wasn't shipped until January, 1945. Conventional wisdom says the numbers were in the SV769xxx range. But the lowest number found so far is SV732261, which might have been assembled after the first bunch. It shipped on June 29, 1945, to the Navy.

There were some early examples that went back to S&W to have the change made, but those have unknown serial numbers.
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