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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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  #1  
Old 07-03-2022, 06:17 PM
rover1992 rover1992 is offline
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Hello, picked this up yesterday not knowing much about them. Was at a local Pawn Shop and was looking at another pistol and saw this. Ended up trading for it. Don't know much about these was hoping for a US Gun or British gun. Didn't research it until I got home. The lighting is bad in this place. I realize now I have a Australian issued pistol that went through a FTR in 54 also in 38/200. Got a import mark Vega SAC.
My question is how did I do? Are Aussie guns any different than British guns. Which is the more desirable?
Also this gun does not have the V on the bottom. I have tried to find the serial number using the Standard Cat. to get a date on it.
The serial number is 887174. The grips do not match.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:26 PM
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That is what is generally called a pre-Victory as it was made before the V series serials were implemented...likely late 1941 or early 1942 I don't know exactly when S&W shifted from a commercial blue finish on these guns to a phosphate or Black Magic finish. But, it was likely refinished during FTR. The grips are period correct and often get swapped during FTR. Whether you did all right or not depends on what you paid. However, if it hasn't been reamed for .38 Special, its worth a bit more than one that has been.
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:59 PM
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I remember when they came in the country, I bought mine for $135, Seemed to be in real good shape. If I can find my Pate book on wartime pistols I'll see what I can find out.
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Old 07-03-2022, 10:51 PM
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"My question is how did I do?"


It depends on what you traded. If you traded a NIB Royal Blue Python, you did very poorly. If you traded a Raven .25 ACP & $50, you did great.
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Old 07-04-2022, 04:33 AM
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That serial would have been made in late 1941, and the property marking on the topstrap means it was an early Lend-Lease gun.

The nice thing about the Australian BSR‘s is that they were re-imported by Vega Arms so late (late 80s/early 90s) that the urge to snubbify and convert had largely passed.

So they are usually FTR-original, meaning as they left the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, refinished in a dull phosphate and usually with mismatched stocks, but in the original .38 S&W caliber. At that serial, the gun originally still had checkered stocks and likely a pre-war blue finish.

Yours appears to meet those parameters. Whether or not these were used by Australia after the FTR isn’t clear.

These are among the few kinds of refinished guns to have collector value, as the FTR is part of their service history. As said above, how you did depends on what you paid.
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Old 07-04-2022, 08:33 AM
rover1992 rover1992 is offline
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I have about 450.00 in it.
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Old 07-04-2022, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rover1992 View Post
I have about 450.00 in it.
That's about ballpark these days.
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Old 07-04-2022, 09:45 AM
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Default Agree with late 1941 Lend-Lease

I did some research for a friend of my son who had inherited several guns when his father passed away. One of them was a S&W 38-200, 5" revolver that was the "pre "V" prefix and serial number 888081, US Property marked, flaming bomb and WB initials on butt, blue finish, original numbered grips.

Per Pate's book it probably shipped October 1941.

The British commercial proof marks translated to 1955, and no importer marks can be found anywhere on the revolver.

The Op's serial number is in this area so maybe a late 41 shipment would be my guess. Also agree that $450 would be about right for the OP's gun if mechanically sound.

PS: don't accidentally drop it when loaded if you come into some 38-200 ammo, as it may accidentally discharge. The gun doesn't have the hammer block modification done late in the war and evidenced by a "S" on the sideplate.
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Old 07-04-2022, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover1992 View Post
Hello, picked this up yesterday not knowing much about them. Was at a local Pawn Shop and was looking at another pistol and saw this. Ended up trading for it. Don't know much about these was hoping for a US Gun or British gun. Didn't research it until I got home. The lighting is bad in this place. I realize now I have a Australian issued pistol that went through a FTR in 54 also in 38/200. Got a import mark Vega SAC.
My question is how did I do? Are Aussie guns any different than British guns. Which is the more desirable?
Also this gun does not have the V on the bottom. I have tried to find the serial number using the Standard Cat. to get a date on it.
The serial number is 887174. The grips do not match.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
According to my database, your pistol most likely shipped December 1941, but possibly the following month, depending on which shipment it was in. Nice looking piece, you did well! Don't be afraid to shoot it, they are great shooters, especially in that caliberl
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Old 07-04-2022, 02:37 PM
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Nice specimen. At the price you mentioned you didn't get hurt.
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Old 07-04-2022, 05:10 PM
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Records indicate that 8,000 Victory & Pre-Victory revolvers were shipped to Australia. The early factory letters on these guns had a misprint and said the 8,000 were shipped to Austria ! Ed

Last edited by opoefc; 07-05-2022 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 07-05-2022, 01:50 PM
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Ed‘s Austria letter is rightly famous

However, this one is not likely to have gone directly to Australia. The direct shipments occurred around early summer 1941. Lend-Lease revolvers were shipped to Britain and were distributed centrally to the Commonwealth by orders of the London Munitions Assignment Board.
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