Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Notices

S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-14-2021, 10:21 AM
nbedford nbedford is offline
Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Arkansas Delta
Posts: 391
Likes: 717
Liked 450 Times in 186 Posts
Default Victory Model in 38 S&W

Very odd Victory Model Smith & Wesson in 38 S&W. I saw it at a local gun show last weekend. I had been looking for a Victory in 38 S&W for several years. I checked out a nearby table and sure enough there it was. It was a regular parkerized Victory marked 38 S&W. It had the V + serial number on the edge of the inside of the cylinder, and a standard lanyard ring in the butt. But it did not have any British markings on it at all. Question: were any 38 S&W Victories issued to US forces; for example US air crews?

Last edited by nbedford; 09-14-2021 at 10:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-14-2021, 11:04 AM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 12,078
Likes: 9,003
Liked 25,232 Times in 7,808 Posts
Default

British Service models of the Victory in .38 S&W did not received any British markings before or during British service, although some other Commonwealth countries (e.g. Canada, New Zealand) marked some. So this is highly likely a standard Lend-lease gun.

The only British markings commonly found are post-war commercial proofs.

So this gun may be a specimen that left British service in a way other than regular surplus and did not get proofed on behalf of a dealer. These are harder to find nowadays, but not odd or rare.

That would make it more collectible.

Last edited by Absalom; 09-14-2021 at 11:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 09-14-2021, 11:27 AM
nbedford nbedford is offline
Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Arkansas Delta
Posts: 391
Likes: 717
Liked 450 Times in 186 Posts
Default

Thanks, that answers my question. I know the dealer pretty well, and was considering doing some trading. It looks as though it may have, by hook or by crook, ended up with a US Army Air Corps crewman.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-14-2021, 01:38 PM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 12,078
Likes: 9,003
Liked 25,232 Times in 7,808 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
…. It looks as though it may have, by hook or by crook, ended up with a US Army Air Corps crewman.
The British ended up with more of these than their own Enfield and Webley .38 topbreaks combined, so this could indeed have come home in the dufflebag of any US service member as a souvenier.

The US Army Air Corps/later Force did not (in contrast to the Navy) issue revolvers at all, but used 1911 pistols, so it’s unlikely any US soldier got the gun “officially”. But a lot of stuff changed hands between soldiers of Allied armies by way of trading and gambling at war’s end.

It also could have been given to any of the many smaller Commonwealth countries, and never seen Britain again post-war before being swept up by a surplus dealer and reimported before import marks were required.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 09-14-2021, 02:16 PM
ordnanceguy ordnanceguy is offline
SWCA Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sunny Florida, USA
Posts: 1,556
Likes: 27
Liked 3,209 Times in 630 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
Were any .38 S&W Victories issued to US forces; for example US air crews?
Assuming that your question is confined to WW2 practice, I am in agreement with Absalom's statement that the USAAF did not issue .38 S&W Victory revolvers relying instead upon the M1911A1 pistols.

Nonetheless, while Absalom did not so state I don't believe it is the case that 100% of all 5 inch .38 S&W Victory revolvers were intended to go to the UK and Commonwealth Forces under Lend Lease. I cannot put a number on the total but my opinion is that the U.S. retained a certain amount of those revolvers in inventory. We know that is the case because those guns had a U.S. marked 5 inch leather holster made by Boyt to carry it. UK and Commonwealth Forces has their own Pattern 37 canvas web holsters and would have no use for the U.S. marked holsters. Also, there was USGI .38 S&W ammunition purchased by the War Department. Finally, the .38 S&W Victories show up in post-war U.S. Technical Manuals prepared by the Department of the Army.

It is quite true that the 5 inch .38 S&W Victories saw very little use by U.S. forces during and after WW2. (There is at least one example that was documented to have been on inventory post-war with the U.S. Embassy in West Berlin.) I suspect that most of the U.S.-retained .38 S&W guns were kept for distribution through foreign military assistance programs.

Thus, in my view while it is probable that the revolver in question was a Lend Lease gun there is at least a small chance that it was one of those retained by the U.S.

Regards,
Charlie
__________________
Charlie Flick
SWCA 729 HF 215

Last edited by ordnanceguy; 09-14-2021 at 02:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old Yesterday, 10:30 AM
nbedford nbedford is offline
Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Arkansas Delta
Posts: 391
Likes: 717
Liked 450 Times in 186 Posts
Default

Went ahead and traded for it. failty legible of the top strap = ordinance bomb then USPROPERTYGHD. No other markings other than Smith & Wesson on left side of barrel and S&W38 on right side. Serial number V 513881. S# on cylinder, under barrel, and on butt - V on one side of lanyard and then serial number on other side. Bubba was alive and well in WW2; as some dude named Gaydos had his name stamped into the left side for eternity.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg S&W38 cylinder.JPG (227.4 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg S&W38 right side.JPG (229.1 KB, 31 views)

Last edited by nbedford; Yesterday at 10:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old Yesterday, 12:04 PM
pawncop pawncop is online now
Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 17,845
Likes: 5,075
Liked 4,536 Times in 1,882 Posts
Default

Just curious, I have a Colt Official Police in 38-200 with the Woolwich stamp, inventory control number on the buttplate and additional stampings that I have been told indicate Australian distribution.

If the S&Wís were not marked wonder why the Colts were.
__________________
I am a sheep dog!
1601 (ret)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Yesterday, 12:41 PM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: England
Posts: 119
Likes: 2
Liked 157 Times in 61 Posts
Default

The crown+W appears on some Colt guns, and some Thompsons. Exactly what it signified, remains unclear at this time. Many of these guns were distributed to other Empire nations and so never underwent British commercial proof on release.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Yesterday, 12:51 PM
zonker5's Avatar
zonker5 zonker5 is offline
SWCA Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,346
Likes: 2,613
Liked 1,400 Times in 496 Posts
Default

Get some ammunition for it, they are great plinkers.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old Yesterday, 01:59 PM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 12,078
Likes: 9,003
Liked 25,232 Times in 7,808 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawncop View Post
Just curious, I have a Colt Official Police in 38-200 with the Woolwich stamp, inventory control number on the buttplate and additional stampings that I have been told indicate Australian distribution.

If the S&Wís were not marked wonder why the Colts were.
You are comparing an apple and an orange here

The OPís Victory model was a Lend-Lease gun. Those remained officially Uncle Samís property and were so marked. They generally received no further British service markings.

ALL of the Colt OPís .38-200 were direct British purchases before Lend-Lease and thus received inventory numbers as ordered by the BPC as well as the Woolwich acceptance.

Those S&W British Service pre-Victorys that were bought by the BPC prior to Lend-Lease did indeed also receive British markings; they show acceptance stampings from Enfield. See below 767114, which shipped in May 1941.


Victory Model in 38 S&W-0be4d7c0-9584-4f51-9ef9-a113882afce5-jpg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0BE4D7C0-9584-4F51-9EF9-A113882AFCE5.jpg (45.9 KB, 57 views)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM
kwill1911's Avatar
kwill1911 kwill1911 is offline
SWCA Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Waterloo, TX
Posts: 2,133
Likes: 648
Liked 3,366 Times in 925 Posts
Default

Quote:
The crown+W appears on some Colt guns....
It is the stamp of a Woolwich Arsenal inspector, stationed in New York, prior to the U.S. entering the war and prior to Lend-Lease. The British Purchasing Commission set up shop in NY to purchase war materiel on a cash and carry basis and had inspectors on site.
__________________
Kevin Williams SWCA1649 HF208
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #12  
Old Yesterday, 04:33 PM
nbedford nbedford is offline
Member
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Arkansas Delta
Posts: 391
Likes: 717
Liked 450 Times in 186 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonker5 View Post
Get some ammunition for it, they are great plinkers.
I clearly put the cart before the horse. Two or three years ago a buddy asked if I reloaded 38S&W. I told him no, but then went ahead and got the dies and brass, and loaded up some. Have not shot them yet, but I do intend to try it out. Also got a box of PPU 38 S&W ammo in the trade.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 38S&W loads.JPG (229.1 KB, 6 views)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Yesterday, 05:03 PM
Shark Bait's Avatar
Shark Bait Shark Bait is online now
US Veteran
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 2,819
Likes: 7,373
Liked 8,104 Times in 1,716 Posts
Default

Glad you were able to get that gun. Not all of them bought before lend/lease by the BPC were marked. I have one and I have seen a few others on this forum. My bore was leaded up pretty well, but shot great once I cleaned it out. Yes, some maroon used the wrong screwdriver.


Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #14  
Old Yesterday, 10:58 PM
Targets Guy's Avatar
Targets Guy Targets Guy is offline
US Veteran
Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W Victory Model in 38 S&W  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Southwest Iowa
Posts: 10,100
Likes: 2,240
Liked 16,898 Times in 5,078 Posts
Default

This 5" .38SW Victory shipped in August 1944 and backstrap marking indicates it was used in Hesse, Germany following WWII.


It has been refinished and hammer, trigger chromed.





__________________
Mike
S&WCA #3065

Last edited by Targets Guy; Yesterday at 11:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pre-Victory and Victory Model Timeline DWalt S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 62 01-11-2019 06:23 PM
Navy Victory model & Pre-Victory model History letters return... LOBO S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 1 02-04-2012 01:40 PM
Victory, Pre-Victory, and model of 1917 letters arrived..... LOBO S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 21 01-08-2012 11:02 PM
ALL Sold: Navy Victory, Aussie Victory, French MAS 45 .22 training rifle... canoeguy GUNS - For Sale or Trade 1 07-22-2011 05:49 AM
FS: 3" Model 10, Victory Model, Pre-War Brit Service Revolver.. canoeguy GUNS - For Sale or Trade 7 06-22-2009 09:55 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:18 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)