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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 01-06-2018, 08:18 PM
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Default 2 inch barrel Victory .38

I have a Victory .38 Special with 2 inch barrel. Gunsmith verified for me today that barrel has not been modified. No military markings. Probably used by Justice dept or private citizen. Serial # 361xxx. Curious about the value.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:32 PM
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If it is indeed an unmodified original 2” barreled Victory, the potential value will be in the four digits. However, no disrespect to your gunsmith intended, but that’s not sufficient qualification to ascertain authenticity. Barrels have been replaced, factory and non-factory, and we’ve seen guns here where even our experts have debated at length.

So you’ll have to post some well-lighted photos including close-ups of all stampings, especially the serial underneath the barrel, for any detailed evaluation.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:34 PM
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Please see the information in this link. That describes all the information needed to make an estimate of what your gun really is and what it may be worth. To IDENTIFY your Gun >

Without pictures (clear close up) we can't tell yo too much. The 2" Victory can be a valuable item
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:38 PM
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Hi, and welcome to the Forum.

Serial number V361xxx indicates production in 1943. I just looked at your photo of it on another site and it is wearing faux-stag stocks that are, naturally, not original.

Sorry to inform you that the barrel has been cut, no matter what the guy at the gun shop told you. The front locking lug was cut off when the barrel was chopped. I strongly suspect this was originally a British Service Revolver that was cut down after the war and probably had the cylinder reamed to take .38 Special ammunition. Of course, it could be a cut down U.S. Victory Model, but the odds are against it.

I truly hope the guy who said it was original didn't con you out of good money for this gun. I, personally, wouldn't pay $150 for it - probably not even $100. It might be okay to throw under the seat in your pickup, but it has basically been ruined.

When I was a kid, these were all over the mail order advertisements, selling for about 25 bucks.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:50 PM
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Well, that worked out quickly, Jack! Does it look refinished, too? I’m wondering since the OP mentioned “no military markings”. A BSR at this serial had to have the US PROPERTY GHD topstrap stamping.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:55 PM
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I hope I'm not adding insult to injury but there are no authentic 2" Victory Models in that SN range.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:59 PM
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Well, that worked out quickly, Jack! Does it look refinished, too? I’m wondering since the OP mentioned “no military markings”. A BSR at this serial had to have the US PROPERTY GHD topstrap stamping.
The picture isn't great, but yes, I'd say refinished. The right side is shown and the sideplate seam is not tight. Also the monogram appears to have been damaged by polishing. I rather figured the top strap had the property stamp until it was manhandled and refinished, since he did say "no military markings."
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:01 PM
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Where can we see these pictures?
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:05 PM
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BTW this really bothers me:

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Gunsmith verified for me today that barrel has not been modified.
Perhaps this guy is qualified to fix a Glock (or something). But when a man hangs out a shingle calling himself a gunsmith, why can't he stick to what he knows? If you don't know anything about Smith revolvers, just say so. Don't give totally uninformed opinions to people who are going to take your word to the bank.

It ends up being a form of theft, even if he didn't sell the gun.

I feel badly for the OP.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:37 PM
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I will post some more pics. Appreciate the responses. Give me a couple of minutes to take pics.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:44 PM
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Well, there are folks who mess around with your guns---and then there are gunsmiths----and then there are GUNSMITHS!!---those worth their weight in gold---diamonds even----damn few of those folks---more's the pity!!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:59 PM
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SN on barrel, cylinder, and bottom of grip. Let me know if you need pics from other angles.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:01 PM
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Definitely a cut down/renumbered barrel and a reamed out cylinder. The lanyard loop hole has been plugged and grips replaced. I'm sorry the news isn't better. Thanks for posting the pictures and welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
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I will post some more pics. Appreciate the responses. Give me a couple of minutes to take pics.
Don't feel too badly about your purchase, you're definitely not the first guy to buy one of these and won't be the last either. Twenty-five years or so ago I bought one too, as I remember mine might even have been nickeled. Some of the best, and most valuable, learning experiences I've had in "gathering" S&Ws have been the mistakes I've made. Some of those lessons have been more expensive than others. . . . . Good luck.

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Old 01-06-2018, 10:18 PM
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As an aside, the ".38 SPECIAL" stamping under the barrel is also a clue to the modifications done to this pistol. That ain't original . . .

Edit: I wouldn't mind having one for a truck gun if the mechanics were solid, but like others have said, I'd give $150 max for it . . .
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:39 PM
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Thanks guys. Thank goodness I didn't purchase it. Just an old gun given to me years ago. Great analysis, discussion, and comments!
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:44 PM
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Well, you have a nice gun and a poor gunsmith.

As others have said, these cut down Victory Models represent a time when surplus revolvers flooded the market and distributors did what they could to make them sell.



They are also a piece of history - Lee Harvey Oswald used one to kill Dallas Police Department Officer J. D. Tippit after he assassinated JFK.

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Old 01-06-2018, 10:55 PM
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Gunsmiths are often better at fixing and modifying guns than identifying them correctly. Yours fits that description. A true original Victory snubby is one of the hen's teeth of S&W collectibles. 99.99% of the time a 2" Victory will be a chopped and bored WWII British service revolver as yours is.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:13 PM
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It's a very old re-finish that almost looks historic if you don't know that this revolver can't have been blued. The .38 Special stamping is actually unusual since the vast majority of converted BSR's did not receive any additional markings indicating the caliber conversion.

Just the caliber stamp alone in that location should have been the figurative equivalent of bonking that gunsmith in the nose with a baseball bat as to the originality of that barrel. So I'm officially withdrawing my "no disrespect to your gunsmith intended" from my first post .
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:15 PM
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Not to mention the missing front locking lug! Good grief, S&W hasn't made .38 caliber revolvers without that lug since 1902!
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:24 PM
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"The front locking lug was cut off when the barrel was chopped."

I cringe every time I see or hear that.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:26 PM
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"They are also a piece of history - Lee Harvey Oswald used one to kill Dallas Police Department Officer J. D. Tippit after he assassinated JFK."

Don't you mean "allegedly" used? LHO was never tried or convicted of that crime, and there is some doubt as to whether there was even enough evidence for a conviction had he been tried.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
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"They are also a piece of history - Lee Harvey Oswald used one to kill Dallas Police Department Officer J. D. Tippit after he assassinated JFK."

Don't you mean "allegedly" used? LHO was never tried or convicted of that crime, and there is some doubt as to whether there was even enough evidence for a conviction had he been tried.
Nope. I don't mean allegedly.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:08 AM
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Again, Welcome to the forum and stick around. There's no telling what you can learn here.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
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"They are also a piece of history - Lee Harvey Oswald used one to kill Dallas Police Department Officer J. D. Tippit after he assassinated JFK."

Don't you mean "allegedly" used? LHO was never tried or convicted of that crime, and there is some doubt as to whether there was even enough evidence for a conviction had he been tried.
I think the Warren Commission would differ with your assessment of LHO's guilt in that matter . . .
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:57 AM
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Were the bullets taken from Tippett's body and matched to that gun? Was the gun in Oswald's possession when he was arrested?

I don't recall ever seeing anything about that.

BTW, I was in Dallas the day of the JFK assassination. I was on leave from the USAF, and that summer, I was personally present when JFK delivered the commencement address at the AF Academy. An OSI agent and I were protecting part of the President's route to the stadium and I got dust from the Presidential helicopter on my white scarf, cap, and bootlaces.

I was wearing a different Victory Model that day, a .38 Special with four-inch barrel. We got a bunch of those from the Navy because the Combat Masterpiece was in short supply, most going to SAC and to Vietnam. I think the CM was only adopted in 1962, and it was reaching troops gradually.

An additional connection of the Victory Model to JFK is that he had one aboard PT-109 when a Japanese destroyer cut his torpedo boat in half, sinking it. According to an account I read, he wore that .38 on a lanyard as he swam heroically around, trying to rescue his crew and reach an island where he thought he could signal US ships. He reportedly wanted a S&W because he was from MA, where they're made. Ever the politician, I guess, even before he ran for office. Or, maybe it was just pride in his state?

I first saw Kennedy when I was 12, sitting in the visitors' gallery at the Senate. I identified him on the floor because I'd seen him in the news, to which I paid much more attention than did most boys my age.

Yet another Presidential connection to the Victory Model is that President Bush the Elder had one in an Avenger Navy bomber. He was shot down and gave that gun to an officer aboard the sub that rescued him. (His gunner was killed.) I read a few years ago that the gun was still with that sub officer's family and photos showed it to be in excellent condition. The story said that this man offered the gun to Bush after he became President, but he declined. Although he hunted birds with double-barreled shotguns, he wasn't into handguns, and Barbara Bush supposedly doesn't like them and told him he can't own pistols!

Last edited by Texas Star; 01-07-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:24 AM
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Appendix 10 | National Archives

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Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Were the bullets taken from Tippett's body and matched to that gun? Was the gun in Oswald's possession when he was arrested?

I don't recall ever seeing anything about that.

BTW, I was in Dallas the day of the JFK assassination. I was on leave from the USAF, and that summer, I was personally present when JFK delivered the commencement address at the AF Academy. An OSI agent and I were protecting part of the President's route to the stadium and I got dust from the Presidential helicopter on my white scarf, cap, and bootlaces.

BTW, I was wearing a different Victory Model that day, a .38 Special with four-inch barrel. We got a bunch of those from the Navy because the Combat Masterpiece was in short supply, most going to SAC and to Vietnam. I think the CM was only adopted in 1962, and it was reaching troops gradually.

An additional connection of the Victory Model to JFK is that he had one aboard PT-109 when a Japanese destroyer cut his torpedo boat in half, sinking it. According to an account I read, he wore that .38 on a lanyard as he swam heroically around, trying to rescue his crew and reach an island where he thought he could signal US ships. He reportedly wanted a S&W because he was from MA, where they're made. Ever the politician, I guess, even before he ran for office. Or, maybe it was just pride in his state?

I first saw Kennedy when I was 12, sitting in the visitors' gallery at the Senate. I identified him on the floor because I'd seen him in the news, to which I paid much more attention than did most boys my age.

An additional Presidential connection to the Victory Model is that President Bush the Elder had one in an Avenger Navy bomber. He was shot down and gave that gun to an officer aboard the sub that rescued him. (His gunner was killed.) I read a few years ago that the gun was still with that sub officer's family and photos showed it to be in excellent condition. The story said that this man offered the gun to Bush after he became President, but he declined. Although he hunted birds with double-barreled shotguns, he wasn't into handguns, and Barbara Bush supposedly doesn't like them and told him he can't own pistols!
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:50 AM
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Default Victory 2"

Just for reference, this is what an authentic 2" Victory looks like. Unfortunately, I do not have the original grips.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks, Muss.

I read the link and was surprised to learn that Oswald's Carcano rifle may have fired a shot at Army Gen. Edwin Walker prior to the assassination.

I once sat next to Gen. Walker on a commercial airline flight!

Small world, I guess. BTW, the general was very polite and was impressed that I knew who he was. (He had come to considerable fame as a conservative spokesman.)
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:06 PM
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Just wondering now that the front locking lug is cut off on that revolver is it unsafe?
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
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Were the bullets taken from Tippett's body and matched to that gun? Was the gun in Oswald's possession when he was arrested?

I don't recall ever seeing anything about that.
....
I think the issue with the fog created around the Tippitt murder just like the entire JFK assassination is the same:

Given the available evidence, any alternative explanation or conspiracy requires such a ludicrous arrangement of conjecture, supposition, and “alternate facts”, that even with the mistakes that were no doubt made in the original investigation, the simple explanation that Oswald did it ultimately is the only one that holds up.

I say that as a reformed conspiracy nut. There was a time some decades ago I was eating this stuff up and reading every JFK book I could get my hands on. I think I started to rethink my attitude with that crackpot who built a whole book around the idea that JFK was killed by one of his Secret Service agents whose AR15 discharged accidentally .
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:24 PM
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Just wondering now that the front locking lug is cut off on that revolver is it unsafe?
No, although you may get different opinions on this. Obviously, as with all revolvers that old, stick to standard loads.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:41 PM
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...an ad from Klein's Sporting Goods back when these were being modified and sold...

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Old 01-07-2018, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
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I think the Warren Commission would differ with your assessment of LHO's guilt in that matter . . .
And many also disagree about some of the conclusions reached by the Warren Commission.

Nevertheless, LHO was never tried and convicted by a jury of either murder, and under the U.S. legal procedure for criminal acts he remains innocent until proven and adjudged guilty. So the adjective "alleged" must apply to LHO, even though the preponderance of evidence indicates it was almost certainly he who pulled the trigger on both victims.

How much more evidence of guilt could a murderer have against him than O. J. Simpson did? But he was nonetheless acquitted of criminal charges of murder by a jury of his peers. Only in the later civil trial was he found guilty of civil charges because the evidence standards of guilt in a civil action (without criminal penalties) are much lower than for a criminal trial.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-07-2018 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:06 PM
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Duly noted . . .

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And many also disagree about some of the conclusions reached by the Warren Commission.

Nevertheless, LHO was never tried and convicted by a jury of either murder, and under the U.S. legal procedure for criminal acts he remains innocent until proven and adjudged guilty. So the adjective "alleged" must apply to LHO, even though it was almost certainly he who pulled the trigger on both victims.

How much more evidence of guilt could a murderer have against him than O. J. Simpson did? But he was nonetheless acquitted of murder by a jury of his peers. Only in the later civil trial was he found guilty only because the evidence standards of guilt in a civil action are much lower than for a criminal trial.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:21 PM
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And many also disagree about some of the conclusions reached by the Warren Commission.

Nevertheless, LHO was never tried and convicted by a jury of either murder, and under the U.S. legal procedure for criminal acts he remains innocent until proven and adjudged guilty. So the adjective "alleged" must apply to LHO, even though the preponderance of evidence indicates it was almost certainly he who pulled the trigger on both victims.
He was guilty, he just never made it to trial.

Are Mohammed Atta and his 18 pals allegedly guilty? John Wilkes Booth? The Las Vegas shooter? The Texas church shooter? Every other creep who took his own life or was killed by the cops?

None of them deserve an allegedly, though I concede the point a jury never convicted them.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:47 PM
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I think it is safe to say that all those people, including LHO were convicted by a majority in "THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION "


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Old 01-07-2018, 09:49 PM
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If you believe the tabloids, JFK is only "allegedly" dead.

Since Jack Ruby's conviction was overturned and he died awaiting retrial, I guess he only "allegedly" killed Oswald, although I'm pretty sure that's what I and most of the rest of the country saw on live TV.

What fun we have protecting the alleged honor of dead men.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:52 PM
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Guys, with respect, why do we have to pollute a nice thread about a 2" Victory with a bunch of Kennedy/Oswald conspiracy theory ****. There are sites that specialize in such mental...exercise....
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:25 PM
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Guys, with respect, why do we have to pollute a nice thread about a 2" Victory with a bunch of Kennedy/Oswald conspiracy theory ....
Indeed. So let's close with a few notes on Oswald's 2" Victory.

For a modified BSR, his V510210 was actually a bit uncommon.

Ordered by Oswald from Seaport Traders in L.A., it had its barrel shortened, the cylinder converted, and the swivel hole plugged, but retained its original finish and came with correct, although not matching, smooth walnut stocks. The stocks came off V74149. It also had CAL 38 SPECIAL stamped on the left frame. This has been observed occasionally, but so rarely that it may have been the practice of only one specific importer/converter.

Just for the fun of it, I've been looking for one in that specific configuration for quite some years, unsuccessfully so far among the masses of refinished Franzite-gripped chop-jobs
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Old 04-20-2024, 09:03 PM
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Well my wife has paperwork from S&W and the victory 38 2 inch barrel and very rare!
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Old 04-20-2024, 09:33 PM
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Well my wife has paperwork from S&W and the victory 38 2 inch barrel and very rare!
Well, this thread got the dusting off didn't it? Can you post pics of the 2 inch Victory? I'd like to see it and at least the gist of what S&W said about it...I like Victory Models.
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Old 04-20-2024, 10:08 PM
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Well my wife has paperwork from S&W and the victory 38 2 inch barrel and very rare!
Welcome to the Forum.

Yes, please post pictures of your wife's 2" Victory model.
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Old 04-20-2024, 11:07 PM
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If you do have a historical authenticity letter that establishes its original shipment from the factory during WWII and that it was shipped with a 2" barrel, then you do own something that is of great interest to S&W collectors. There are some pre-Victory 2" M&Ps that were manufactured prior to the war, some of which were shipped after the war, which are also desirable and collectible, but they do not have the value associated with the wartime Victory snubbies.

Last edited by DWalt; 04-20-2024 at 11:30 PM.
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