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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 01-07-2021, 03:32 PM
357MagJames 357MagJames is offline
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Default Can anyone here tell me anything about this S&W Revolver

Hello, I am new to this forum, and this is my first post so please forgive me if I make any errors. My Dad recently died, and he had a pretty extensive gun collection. I have known many of them since I was a small child, while others are unfamiliar to me. One of the later is this S&W 5 screw revolver with a 2 inch barrel that he had with him when he died. I contacted S&W and gave them what I thought to be the model (R) stamped on the frame just above what I thought was the serial # 46572 which is stamped on the yoke and frame, but after reading a bit here, I realize that # might not be the actual serial # and it might not be of any use for identification purposes. I am including it here on the slim chance that it is. After I gave the folks at S&W the info, they told me that it was made sometime from 1909 to 1930. There is no serial # in any of the spots that I have read about here on the forum. In addition, I do not know what it is chambered as. I was thinking 38 special, but noticed that it is much more heavy bodied than My Dad's other two snubnose 38 specials (one of which is a Colt Police Positive 38 Special from 1919). This made me wonder if it was a 357 magnum. If that were the case, that would mean that the dates they gave me were off as the 357 was not being made in that time frame. So basically, this gun is just a massive mystery to me, and it would seem I am in way over my head when it comes to figuring out what it actually is. Can anyone help?
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:33 PM
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:38 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! You have a WWII .38 British Service Revolver, I believe from Australia, that has been modified...barrel shortened, front locking lug removed and likely reamed to shoot .38 Special. The serial number is on the butt of the gun and probably starts with a V. It will also be seen under the barrel, on the rear face of the cylinder, behind the extractor star and on the rear of the yoke arm (look through a cylinder chamber to see it). If there is no serial number on the butt, that's a problem.


OOPS. You posted the last two pictures while I was typing. Apparently the serial on the butt has been ground off. That makes the gun illegal to own or transfer.
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:44 PM
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My guess would be a cut-down refinished Victory. In the one pic you can see what appears to be a hole for a lanyard loop in the butt. It also looks like bottom of the grip frame might have been rounded a bit, which means the serial number may have been filed off (not good). It could be a .38 Spl or a .38 S&W. With no serial number, I think I'd bury it in the backyard.

Adios,

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Old 01-07-2021, 03:58 PM
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I agree with Guy, most likely a BSR originally in 38-200. The post 1968 Magna grips (no diamond) certainly do not fit at all correctly as they extend what looks like a 1/4" below the frame.

The "38 S&W Ctg" has been removed from the barrel when it was shortened and it also appears turned in an engine lathe because I don't see the barrel flat (where the serial number would also be).

FTR usually means "Factory Thru Repair" likely Australia like Guy stated, but I don't see any other proofs (like the crown on cylinder charge holes).

You can see the lanyard ring hole in one of the frame pics. Front sight is also not right for a BSR of the WWII era.

The whole gun appears to have been spray painted black and then partially removed leaving traces.

Without a butt serial number it isn't legal as far as I am aware.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:04 PM
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Apparently the serial on the butt has been ground off. That makes the gun illegal to own or transfer.[/QUOTE]


Yikes, that is not good.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Bob View Post
My guess would be a cut-down refinished Victory. In the one pic you can see what appears to be a hole for a lanyard loop in the butt. It also looks like bottom of the grip frame might have been rounded a bit, which means the serial number may have been filed off (not good). It could be a .38 Spl or a .38 S&W. With no serial number, I think I'd bury it in the backyard.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

Looks like I better go back to Dad's place and start digging
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:11 PM
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Thank you to every one that responded. Having an illegal gun laying around my house is the last thing I want. I take the appropriate actions. Thank you all.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:11 PM
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Default added some Victory BSR pics for reference

Below pics are my friends WWII British Service Revolver, 5" bbl Victory in 38-200 chambering, which is NOT 38 Special.

Note in the yoke area where the OP's has R 4657 2, my friends has S 9052 2 which were probably assembly numbers, NOT serial numbers.

Other pics show the butt with V on one side of the lanyard, and the 337660 on the other side which make up the serial number. Also in the barrel pics you can see where the 337660 is stamped under the barrel flat, additionally looking at the logo stamping on both sides of the barrel, little if anything would remain when cutting to 2" (or less).

Still..........without any serial number, just an illegal Saturday night special.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:20 PM
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James, my condolences on your loss. I wouldn't be too frantic as I doubt anyone is going to show up to inspect your dad's guns. After all, that BSR has likely been in the US since the 1950's. However, you need to be aware the Gun Control Act of 1968 made serial numbers mandatory and made defacing or removing them against Federal law. On S&W revolvers, the serials are always found on the gun butt because that is considered the main frame of the gun...the receiver. There is a process you can go through with BATFE to get another SN assigned but I'm not sure that gun is worth the trouble. Even if it had a SN, it wouldn't be worth much. Maybe $200-250. So, you have to ask yourself how much time, effort and money you want to put into it.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:38 PM
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Dad was a bit of a character/rebel, and I am not at all surprised to hear this news. He also loved snubnose revolvers. His Colt Police Positive 38 special from 1919 also had a shortened nose. I found the serial # just in front of the cylinder, but I cant read it as of yet. I will keep working on it
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:29 PM
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Default I found the serial #

There is no serial # stamped under the barrel flat, but after a little cleaning, I was able to get the serial # from the back side of the yoke directly in front of the cylinder. It appears to be V20435. Does that help at all?


Also, It has been suggested that it has probably been altered to shoot .38 special or .38 SW. I agree that this is probably what Dad did. However, I do not know for sure if he did. And if he did, I do not know what it was altered to shoot. Is there anyway to be able to tell? What type of ammo would be safe to shoot if I decided to do so?

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Old 01-07-2021, 05:55 PM
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Either .38 S&W or .38 S&W Special would be safe to shoot. Because it is a longer cartridge, the cylinder would have to be reamed to allow .38 Special to fully chamber. Also, since it is smaller in diameter than .38 S&W, the cases will swell and may crack. This is not a safety problem but does ruin the brass if you intend to reload.


The serial tells us it was made in 1942. If that serial was on the grip frame, the gun would be legal.
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Old 01-07-2021, 06:06 PM
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Thank you for the date! I will just reapply the serial # to the butt with a sharpie and then I am good to go . I do not intend to reload old shells at this time so I guess I am good with .38 S&W or .38 special.

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Old 01-07-2021, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
This is not a safety problem but does ruin the brass if you intend to reload.
Everybody keeps saying that. They were quite common in range brass in the 70s and 80s. I was in commercial reloading at the time. I've reloaded 10s of thousands of those cases, with both Star machines and AmmoLoads.
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Old 01-07-2021, 06:56 PM
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I always assume when a serial is removed it means the gun was stolen. Who knows how long ago at this point. The gun has very little monetary value but if you want to keep it I would locate the serial on the barrel or cylinder and buy a set of stamps and stamp in on the frame under the stocks. The V may not be present in those locations but it is a part of the serial so add it.
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:05 PM
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All I can add is that this style and location of the FTR marking means that we don’t know where the gun was FTR‘d in 1952, but it was definitely NOT Australia. The pattern from there is distinct and different. I have seen the one used on this gun, but not been able to nail it down.
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:05 AM
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I can understand wanting to keep a remembrance of your Dad.
If you decide to keep it (sounds like you already have...) at least act in good faith and re-stamp the serial# - nix the sharpie idea. Maybe even dab a little cold blue over the frame butt after re-stamping , then scour with steel wool - anything to "age" it.
This is how it was when you inherited it...
Don't show it off at a public range. Shoot only in remote area on Dad's birthday.

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Old 01-08-2021, 11:17 AM
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The sharpie thing was a poor attempt at humor. I will definitely take your advice. I have a friend that should be able to help.


Thank you.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:30 PM
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Seems your dad had plenty of guns, and that you aren't too attached to this one. Like others have said, I would dispose of the gun. That said, I'd pull it apart and keep all the parts (maybe not the modified cylinder and barrel), especially that sideplate which has the FTR stamping - that gun has likely had an interesting history. You could probably buy a six pack or two for what the grips would sell for around here . Welcome to the forum, and if you decide to take it apart, you can find plenty of vids/how to's out there. Some folks have trouble with side plates - and some side plates are tougher to get off than others, but I've found once you remove the screws some gentle rapping of the butt with a hammer handle will slowly vibrate it off.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:21 PM
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Yes, My Dad did have a nice collection (some very unique and quite valuable) and yes, I never knew this gun before finding it under the unfortunate circumstances that I found it. That being said, it obviously meant something to him as he had it under his pillow when he died. As a result, it actually does mean something to me, and I would hate to dismantle it. However, I did manage to find what I think might be the correct grips in a pile of gun parts that I brought back from his cabin, and it became quite obvious to me why he replaced them. First, they feel a bit small in that they do not offer as much to hold onto for a large hand. Second, someone tried to give them some anti-slip texture at some point in time (see attached photos). Still, I decided to pull the others off and reinstall the originals. Can anyone tell me which model or frame the replacements are actually intended for?
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:12 PM
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The grips in your pictures are post 1968 K frame. These would be found on a Model 10 .38 special, among others.

The grips you show in post # 21 are NOT the ones it came with from S&W in the '40s. These are aftermarket. The converted BSRs often were sold with plastic stag grips.

Go to this thread page and scroll to post # 2356. Those are the grips that were standard on the Victory revolvers.

Victory data base
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:02 AM
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The grips shown in the first pictures look odd given the excess length , but they are probably more functional than the ones with the odd pock marks.

Everything about that revolver is odd. No offense intended , but it is out of the ordinary , to say the least.
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:39 PM
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Default Corection on the serial #.

No offense taken. The Gun has raised more questions than I would like. I have actually picked up the phone to call my Dad for some insight on more than one occasion only to realize that is no longer an option. Moving on, I removed the cylinder and yoke assembly in order to get a better look at the serial #, and it turns out I was off on one of the digits. The correct serial # is: V29435. Does that change anything about it or is it still from 1942? Also, what is it that makes it a BSR as opposed to one made for US troops? I would like to try to get it back as close to original condition as I can. It looks like it was originally a parkerized finish. Is this a hard thing to do? I was considering purchasing the correct barrel. If I understand correctly, I will need a 5 inch barrel in .38 S&W if it is a BSR, and a 4 inch barrel in .38 Special if it was made for US troops. Is this correct? I also need to put on a lanyard loop. Is that a hard thing to do? How are they mounted to the bottom? My apologies in advance for all of the questions.
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:58 PM
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Hello, I am new to this forum, and this is my first post so please forgive me if I make any errors. My Dad recently died, and he had a pretty extensive gun collection. I have known many of them since I was a small child, while others are unfamiliar to me. One of the later is this S&W 5 screw revolver with a 2 inch barrel that he had with him when he died..... Can anyone help?
James.... condolences on your recent loss.

Hopefully I can help you out with identifying the revolver. Upon inspecting this relic of a by-gone era...Let's start with a few obvious questions.

Did your dad spend a lot of time in NY, NJ, PA or LV?
Did he have a lot of friends named Vinny or Fat Tony?
Did he work for any olive oil import companies?
Did he keep a shovel and a bag of lye in the trunk of the car?

If the answer to any of the above is YES....my hat's off to your dad because he was one of the rare ones.

And you may wanna tear up the floor of the garage or work shed and look for an iron box. Just a suggestion.

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Old 01-14-2021, 02:59 PM
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Yes, that serial still puts it in 1942, August/September maybe. Here is what it looked like originally:


Can anyone here tell me anything about this S&W Revolver-157e9e69-44cf-4084-8197-63f5f4a52ec9-jpg

Restoration makes no financial or collector sense, but should be undertaken only if you see it as a project for its own sake.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 357MagJames View Post
...
.... Also, what is it that makes it a BSR as opposed to one made for US troops? I would like to try to get it back as close to original condition as I can. It looks like it was originally a parkerized finish. Is this a hard thing to do? I was considering purchasing the correct barrel. If I understand correctly, I will need a 5 inch barrel in .38 S&W if it is a BSR, and a 4 inch barrel in .38 Special if it was made for US troops. Is this correct? I also need to put on a lanyard loop. Is that a hard thing to do? How are they mounted to the bottom? My apologies in advance for all of the questions.
You’ve answered some of your own questions. The British got 5” barrels and .38 S&W.

The original finish wasn’t actual parkerizing, but close and the best you could do nowadays.

Original swivels are not hard to find. Numrich, ebay, Gunbroker. Somebody else will be better at explaining the installation.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tytan01 View Post
James.... condolences on your recent loss.

Hopefully I can help you out with identifying the revolver. Upon inspecting this relic of a by-gone era...Let's start with a few obvious questions.

Did your dad spend a lot of time in NY, NJ, PA or LV?
Did he have a lot of friends named Vinny or Fat Tony?
Did he work for any olive oil import companies?
Did he keep a shovel and a bag of lye in the trunk of the car?

If the answer to any of the above is YES....my hat's off to your dad because he was one of the rare ones.

And you may wanna tear up the floor of the garage or work shed and look for an iron box. Just a suggestion.

LOL.


Dad was an Iron Worker (High Rise Structural Steel), and yes he did spend a considerable amount of time in Vegas.
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  #29  
Old 01-14-2021, 03:19 PM
357MagJames 357MagJames is offline
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Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
You’ve answered some of your own questions. The British got 5” barrels and .38 S&W.

The original finish wasn’t actual parkerizing, but close and the best you could do nowadays.

Original swivels are not hard to find. Numrich, ebay, Gunbroker. Somebody else will be better at explaining the installation.

How do I tell the Victory BSR from the US Victory Service Revolvers?
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  #30  
Old 01-14-2021, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 357MagJames View Post
How do I tell the Victory BSR from the US Victory Service Revolvers?
Repeat: 5” barrels and .38 S&W barrel and cylinder.

All other components are identical. There were some variations during the time pre-V-prefix, but in the V-series, all 5” are BSR in .38 S&W and all 4” (and original 2”) are US in .38 Special.
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  #31  
Old 01-14-2021, 06:48 PM
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"Repeat: 5” barrels and .38 S&W barrel and cylinder. "


Yes I am aware of that. That being said, this Victory has a barrel that has been cut down to two inches (see original post). So once again, I was wondering if there are any other indicators that would point to it being a BSR Victory or a USA Victory

Last edited by 357MagJames; 01-14-2021 at 06:53 PM.
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  #32  
Old 01-14-2021, 06:51 PM
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is it possible that mine is one of the 500 special order USA Victory models with the 2" barrel?
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  #33  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:32 PM
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is it possible that mine is one of the 500 special order USA Victory models with the 2" barrel?
No. Look at the underside of the barrel. There is no locking lug for the front of the extractor rod. That's a dead giveaway that the barrel has been chopped.

Here is a genuine M&P 2", from a couple years after the war. This is what the 2" Victory looked like (disregarding the type of finish and the stocks). Note the barrel configuration.
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  #34  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:37 PM
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There are other indications also.

The extractor rod knob is the type used on 4" and 5" wartime guns. That knob was never used on 2" revolvers.

Moreover, the front sight is incorrect.

Finally, the finish clearly appears to be an aftermarket job.
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  #35  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:51 PM
357MagJames 357MagJames is offline
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Thanks for that info.


"Finally, the finish clearly appears to be an aftermarket job."


Yes, I am aware that it was originally the parkerized-ish finish.
So, I still would like to know if this is a BSR victory or a USA Victory so that I will be able to purchase the correct barrel. Also what are the indicators that help one to know which type it is.
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  #36  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:52 PM
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Also , the ejector rod of the OP gun is too long for a 2" barrel.Zero chance that it is an original 2" snub.

Have we established whether it is still chambered for .38 S&W as opposed to reamed for .38 special. Easy to determine.

Last edited by Waveski; 01-14-2021 at 08:13 PM.
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  #37  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
No. Look at the underside of the barrel. There is no locking lug for the front of the extractor rod. That's a dead giveaway that the barrel has been chopped.

Here is a genuine M&P 2", from a couple years after the war. This is what the 2" Victory looked like (disregarding the type of finish and the stocks). Note the barrel configuration.

Beautiful gun!
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  #38  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:55 PM
357MagJames 357MagJames is offline
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Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
Also , the extractor rod of the OP gun is too long for a 2" barrel.Zero chance that it is an original 2" snub.

Have we established whether it is still chambered for .38 S&W as opposed to reamed for .38 special. Easy to determine.

How do I do that?


In addition, I do not know if the cylinder is original as it has no serial # on the back side of it. Did they make any Victorys that lacked a serial # on the cylinder?

Last edited by 357MagJames; 01-14-2021 at 07:57 PM.
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  #39  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:58 PM
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No. There is no chance that gun shipped with a 2-inch barrel for several reasons. First, it is not in the right SN range (there are two and it doesn't fall into either.) Secondly, the barrel has clearly been crudely cut. The originals have a locking lug and a rounded front sight. As others have pointed out, it started life as a BSR in .38 S&W and it is technically illegal contraband. I would NOT re-stamp the SN because now you have committed a 2nd felony. I don't believe the ATF has assigned new numbers to such guns for some time but they certainly don't allow current owners to do it for themselves. This issue comes up quite often and I generally have to eventually post this letter, so...

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  #40  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:02 PM
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This is an original 2-inch Victory Model:
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:08 PM
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Ok then, I guess I will not be doing any stamping then. What should I do with this thing?
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  #42  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:09 PM
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This is an original 2-inch Victory Model:

Very nice!
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  #43  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:15 PM
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Unless it has big sentimental value, being associated with your father, I would find a deep lake and throw it in. Seriously. It has 0 value as a collector and dubious value as a shooter. The risk of discovery is small but it is illegal contraband I would not take ANY risk of a felony conviction on what is, frankly, a piece of junk. I know that's harsh but that's my feeling.
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  #44  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:16 PM
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fair enough.
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  #45  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:17 PM
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Unless it has big sentimental value, being associated with your father, I would find a deep lake and throw it in. Seriously. It has 0 value as a collector and dubious value as a shooter. The risk of discovery is small but it is illegal contraband I would not take ANY risk of a felony conviction on what is, frankly, a piece of junk. I know that's harsh but that's my feeling.

And this is true even if it has a serial # on the yoke?
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  #46  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:18 PM
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Apparently the serial on the butt has been ground off. That makes the gun illegal to own or transfer.

Yikes, that is not good.[/QUOTE]
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  #47  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:19 PM
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No gun manufactured prior to 1968 was required to have a serial number.
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  #48  
Old 01-14-2021, 08:20 PM
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No gun manufactured prior to 1968 was required to have a serial number.
THAT DOES NOT MATTER. Read the letter.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:21 PM
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Well , it sounded all along as though you were inclined to keep it , given the heirloom factor. There was never any chance that your revolver had any market value. If you decide to hang on to it , stamp it as a gesture of good faith. If you do not wish to keep it , disasseble it , despose of the illicit frame , and list the innards for sale in the classifieds of this forum.

To determine chambering :
Simply take a .38 special round and try to insert it into a charge hole of the cylinder. If the cylinder has not been altered the round will not seat , it will not all the way in. If it has been reamed the .38 sp round will go all the way in , but you will notice that it will be a bit loose. (the .38 sp case is slightly smaller in diameter , also longer)

***Edit/Addendum - I had not read the letter in post # 39 when I typed the message above.

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Old 01-14-2021, 08:52 PM
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Well, this all has been a lot to process. Seems like I opened Pandora's box... In addition to this revolver, Dad had a WWII Japanese Arisaka type 99 Rifle with the mum and serial # ground off. Is this one illegal as well?
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