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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 04-13-2024, 10:20 PM
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Cool M&P - Modified and German Engraved After WWII

Over the years I have seen more than a handful of these tastefully modified M&Ps with the Red Stag custom grips - more than half of them were engraved. I've always wanted to have one in my collection and finally I was the winning bidder on one. I really like it and would love to hear your thoughts about it. Also, if any of you have another one of these guns, please post it here.

































Thanks for letting me share,
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Old 04-13-2024, 10:29 PM
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That is stunning!
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Old 04-13-2024, 10:44 PM
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Absolutely beautiful !
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Old 04-13-2024, 10:56 PM
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Congratulations Richard !!! Its gorgeous and as previously said...truly stunning!
The stocks are very beautiful and unique
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Old 04-14-2024, 01:29 AM
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A beauty! The blue wear on the sides of the barrel and ejector rod works well with the two tone engraving.
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Old 04-14-2024, 06:39 AM
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Impressive Richard, and would be the center piece of my collection. In your case, looks like a nice carry piece!😄
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Old 04-14-2024, 07:53 AM
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Wow, that is fantastic, the amount of engraving is just right.
Congratulations.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:26 AM
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Wow! Beautiful!
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:33 AM
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That one is a beauty. Very well executed and detailed engraving, glad you were able to add it to your collection. Those stag grips are spectacular too.

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Old 04-14-2024, 09:41 AM
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Very very nice! I think that the German engravers are outstanding craftsmen, and your revolver demonstrates their talent and their ability to do just the right amount of engraving! I can't post anything because I have nothing to compare with your beautiful M&P. Congratulations, it should fit in nicely with your fantastic collection of engraved handguns.
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Old 04-14-2024, 03:47 PM
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A great example of a beautiful engraving job done with minimum of tools but a very experienced engraver and perfect layout.

Very simple scroll/leaf & vine pattern, one that is/was very common to German & Austrian engravers.
This one was cut using but one chisel for all the line work.

The Shading was all done with just one 'Liner Tool'. That a graver that cuts multiple parallel lines.
They are commonly used but uncommonly used to their best advantage.
Here the engraver did use it well in that the graver was tipped up onto one edge to start and then rolled down as the cut continued. This produces a single shade line to start but then gradually adds more shading lines as the cut continues.
The engraver can then roll the tool back up again ,,to either side and make those additional shade lines start to fade away and back to just one and then nothing.
It takes practice to do that as well the mind set to want to use the tool that way.
Usually you will see the liner tool used in just making squared end cuts at full tool width here and there to add some(thing) to the pattern.

The background was stippled with a small dia hollow punch. It was used very carefully so as not to cover the engraved line(s) that were first cut to make the scrolls/leaf/and vine elements.
That way the bold cut lines remain and outline those parts of the pattern.
If the stippling is done right up to the leaves & vines, it will visually make them much smaller when viewed and in most instances ruin the final appearance of the pattern.
You can retrieve the look but only by going back and re-cutting all those lines you stippled over. Hard lesson to learn, but that's how it usually works!

Another larger dia hollow punch was used for a couple decorative borders on the gun,,the top strap for example.
Those hollow punches at the time were generally made by the engraver at the bench.
That's the way I was taught and still make them. But most engravers buy them now from supply houses. A couple engravers were shocked that I would take 'precious time' to actually make a punch. Oh well.

The matte pattern on the added rib on the bbl may look like it was done with a machine of some sort, but is actually done by hand with the common Wriggle Cut .
The same engraver cut many know from the Wolf&Klar engraving.

This time it's done with a much wider Flat graver and done with more pressure and very steady & even pressure to ensure the pattern is even when complete.
The two lengthwise borders are cut first by hand. Then the across the rib Wriggle cuts are done, one next to the other.
Lightly scribed guide lines are often placed on the rib at right angle to the length to keep the engravers cuts art at angle to the rib.

The graver will walk off the edge and into the border cut usually and sometimes leave a small burr at the start side border as well.
When the entire length is complete, another cleanup cut is done up and down each border to even them up and remove any/most of those small dings.

This was a common method of matting SxS shotgun and DR bbls up to WW2 in Europe, so it wasn't anything new. Though machine done patterns were used as well.
Different patterns were used, some as simple as going straight up the rib and back down with a fast Wriggle cut.
The metal is soft, like Cold Rold Steel soft. It cuts very easily.
The revolvers cut nicely too.

Wish they all did!

Last edited by 2152hq; 04-14-2024 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 04-14-2024, 04:39 PM
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Gorgeous revolver and thank you so much for sharing with us.
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Old 04-14-2024, 04:45 PM
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That revolver is absolutely stunning. Thanks for posting the photos.

WYT-P
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Old 04-14-2024, 05:21 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Another time when the ďLikeĒ button just isnít enough. I need to express love and adulation on this one!

A few observations; first, it appears to have been born as a plain old mil-Spec M&P, about 1941 or so, perhaps even a Lend Lease gun... it had the lanyard loop swivel which is almost invisibly plugged. Also, I would venture that the ribbed barrel was not original to the gun, rather was added as part of its rebirth.

Immediately post War, the German economy was pretty much in shambles and some of the most talented gunsmiths and engravers in the world were out of work Germans, so Iím sure some such artisan was willing and eager to take a job such as this from some American willing to pay his very reasonable price. This type of exquisite work is not likely to be seen again at anything like the prices offered then, if at any price. It is... words fail me! Too wonderful!

Congratulations on another outstanding find.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:32 PM
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I love the German style of large scroll and stippling. Beautiful job and congratulations on your acquisition.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:45 PM
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Chambered for .38-200 ?
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Old 04-14-2024, 10:55 PM
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Default lovely engraving

Thank you Richard, this is a beautiful example. 2152hq, that is a very good critique. I can understand your points.

This revolver is a well-mannered expression of symmetrical classicism. (:word salad The stocks are wonderful and the screws appear to be timed.
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Old 04-14-2024, 11:13 PM
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WOW ! AWESOME Weapon !
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Old 04-15-2024, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpage View Post
Chambered for .38-200 ?
If .38-200 is the same as 38 S&W, then yes (it is NOT a 38 Special)

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Old 04-15-2024, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
A great example of a beautiful engraving job done with minimum of tools but a very experienced engraver and perfect layout.
THANK YOU for taking the time to share your expertise. I always love it when you weigh in on any engraved gun. Reading through your detailed and expert analysis on this gun, I can see the engraver setting at his bench performing each of the tasks just as you described.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
... The matte pattern on the added rib on the bbl may look like it was done with a machine of some sort, but is actually done by hand with the common Wriggle Cut .
The same engraver cut many know from the Wolf&Klar engraving... it's done with a much wider Flat graver and done with more pressure and very steady & even pressure to ensure the pattern is even when complete.

The two lengthwise borders are cut first by hand. Then the across the rib Wriggle cuts are done, one next to the other.
Lightly scribed guide lines are often placed on the rib at right angle to the length to keep the engravers cuts art at angle to the rib.

The graver will walk off the edge and into the border cut usually and sometimes leave a small burr at the start side border as well.

When the entire length is complete, another cleanup cut is done up and down each border to even them up and remove any/most of those small dings.
For those of you that commented on the rib (which was definitely added later), here are a few additional photos:





Thanks to all who have commented... thus far.
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Old 04-15-2024, 10:59 AM
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There is a lot that I like about this one, not the least of which is the fact it was not only beautifully engraved, but carried, used, and appreciated. This one definitely has a history I would love to learn! Those stags are amazing!
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:57 AM
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Richard, very nice as always. Love seeing your acquisitions.
I have some questions about the gun itself.
I want to start with a statement by Roy Jinks.
In "History of Smith & Wesson" he says.......

The most important variation of the .38 M&P is a group of revolvers produced for the British Commonwealth nations. These are identical to the .38 Hand Ejector Model of 1905 Fourth Change, except they were chambered for the .38 S&W instead of the .38 S&W Special cartridge. Because this cartridge was loaded with a 200-grain, round nose, lead bullet, the revolver was nicknamed the .38/200 British Service revolver.

Is your gun a BSR?
Were there .38 M&Ps in .38 S&W that were not BSRs?
Is the box you show correct for this gun?
In SCSW 4th the lowest number I see for a BSR says beginning around 680,000. Your gun 652,268.
History of Smith & Wesson says production began March 11, 1940 but does not list a starting number.
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:18 PM
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Its SN would put its shipment to probably be in 1936, plus or minus a year. Therefore it could not be a BSR. It is possible that it could have a substituted barrel and cylinder. What are the SNs on the barrel and cylinder?
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:08 PM
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Richard,
First of all congratulations on your new acquisition. It found a very fitting place to be enjoyed and admired.
Were it not for the Red Stag grips, which to me are exhibition quality, I would have never guessed that the engraving was German or Austrian in origin. I found the engraving so pleasing that it had an almost International style not typed to a particular era or location.
Thanks very much for sharing and for the exposure you offer to all.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DARE View Post
Is your gun a BSR? Were there .38 M&Ps in .38 S&W that were not BSRs?
I know very little about the M&Ps, as I own very few of them. I saw DWalt, responded above with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Its SN would put its shipment to probably be in 1936, plus or minus a year. Therefore it could not be a BSR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARE View Post
Is the box you show correct for this gun? In SCSW 4th the lowest number I see for a BSR says beginning around 680,000. Your gun 652,268. History of Smith & Wesson says production began March 11, 1940 but does not list a starting number.
I do not know if the box is the correct or not. It does not number to the gun, but it is for the correct 5" barrel length. The box SN is 650747, only 1521 SNs lower than the gun.



It was a box that I purchased years ago (for about $35 or so if I recall correctly). I never had anything to put in it, and since I like to store my guns in a period correct box, this one seemed to fit the bill... AND I really like the "patent boxes" - guns just look cool in them. Hopefully, someone will correct me if I've got the wrong era box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
...It is possible that it could have a substituted barrel and cylinder. What are the SNs on the barrel and cylinder?
The SN on the barrel and cylinder match, but the SN on the barrel has a "V" in front of it (there is no "V" on the butt SN)... One knowledgeable forum member thinks that it is a Victory model, but that the V was somehow removed from the butt when the gun was prep'd/buffed for engraving.





I have a ship date request into Roy, so hopefully I will find out something that adds a little more light on this...

M&P, 5", Blue, 652268
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
One knowledgeable forum member thinks that it is a Victory model, but that the V was somehow removed from the butt when the gun was prep'd/buffed for engraving.
I am not very knowledgeable, but it makes sense to me that Herman the German engraver did not realize the "V" on the far side of the lanyard loop was part of the serial number.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:42 PM
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Logical that the V on the butt was somehow removed or worked into the engraving.

Last edited by DWalt; 04-15-2024 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-15-2024, 07:23 PM
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Unfortunately, Roy says that it is "open on the books" so that he cannot help with a ship date...
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Old 04-15-2024, 07:29 PM
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652268 is open on the books. I wonder about V652268?
Think it is time for the Victory experts.
V652268 on the barrel.
652268 on the cylinder.
Also think I can see evidence in the photos of a butt swivel.
Would that be consistent with a Victory revolver?
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Last edited by DARE; 04-15-2024 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 04-15-2024, 07:36 PM
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Also think I can see evidence in the photos of a butt swivel.
It's definitely been plugged......Ben
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Old 04-15-2024, 09:57 PM
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Stunning!!!
Nice find sir!
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:13 PM
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Hello Richard:

Your revolver was once a Lend Lease Victory Model. As revealed by the S&WCA's Victory Database it likely shipped from the factory in the September, 1944 time frame to the Hartford Ordnance Depot in Springfield, Mass.

I have seen quite a few Victory Model revolvers, both .38 S&W and .38 Special, that were engraved in West Germany after WW2. These guns were very inexpensive once surplused and were excellent vehicles by which German engravers could demonstrate their considerable skill. One of the engraved guns in the Database was reported to have been engraved in Darmstadt, West Germany by A. Reich. Perhaps that might be a clue as to who engraved your revolver.

Neat gun!

HTH.

Regards,
Charlie
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:58 PM
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Hello Richard:

Your revolver was once a Lend Lease Victory Model. As revealed by the S&WCA's Victory Database it likely shipped from the factory in the September, 1944 time frame to the Hartford Ordnance Depot in Springfield, Mass.

I have seen quite a few Victory Model revolvers, both .38 S&W and .38 Special, that were engraved in West Germany after WW2. These guns were very inexpensive once surplused and were excellent vehicles by which German engravers could demonstrate their considerable skill. One of the engraved guns in the Database was reported to have been engraved in Darmstadt, West Germany by A. Reich. Perhaps that might be a clue as to who engraved your revolver.

Neat gun!

HTH.

Regards,
Charlie
Thank you Charlie - very helpful! So do you think the "V" was removed from the grip SN?
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Old 04-16-2024, 11:31 PM
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Thank you Charlie - very helpful! So do you think the "V" was removed from the grip SN?
Yes, it was removed.

Glad to be of assistance.

Regards,
Charlie
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Old 04-17-2024, 10:49 AM
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I just realized that I posted no photos of some of the cooler features of this gun, namely:

The Back Strap...



The Front of the Grip Frame...



The Knuckle...



... and something that did not show up well in the photos I first posted - the Jeweling of the Hammer and Trigger





Thanks again for all your comments and observations and for you M&P experts confirming this gun as a Victory Model.

All the best,
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Old 04-17-2024, 10:51 AM
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You certainly found a treasure there. I've seen a few engraved Victory revolvers but none as nice as that one. Great addition!

Jeff
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Old 04-17-2024, 11:33 AM
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Richard

Regarding the serial number, what is stamped on the rear face of the cylinder? Is there a V anywhere on the rear face of the cylinder? Does the cylinder chamber a 38 special, and if so have the chambers been bored through, to accommodate the longer cartridge? Will it chamber a 38 S&W?

Regards, Mike Priwer

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Old 04-17-2024, 11:40 AM
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I really like those grips......Ben
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Old 04-17-2024, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Regarding the serial number, what is stamped on the rear face of the cylinder? Is there a V anywhere on the rear face of the cylinder?
There is a "P", a "V" and the SN



Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Does the cylinder chamber a 38 special, and if so have the chambers been bored through, to accommodate the longer cartridge? Will it chamber a 38 S&W?
It does not chamber a 38 Special, so it has not been bored. I did not have a 38 S&W round handy, but since that is what is barrel stamped, I believe that is what it will chamber...





Mike:

With the above, any thoughts?

Thanks,
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Old 04-18-2024, 01:16 AM
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Richard

Sure - the odds (2 out of 3 ) are that the serial number is V652268. The V is part of the serial number, so that is the number that you should use when asking Roy about the gun.

The chambering is consistent with the roll-marking on the barrel, so I'd say that its all original.

You might do one more check. Open the cylinder, push the extractor rod down all the way, and see what is stamped on the inside of the extractor star. It ought to be the serial number of the gun, with the V, but it might also be the work order number of the gun, which is stamped on the inside of the yoke.

The only question is - what happened to the V on the butt? In your pictures I can see the outline of the plug filling the hole for the lanyard. Typically the lanyards have a flange with a diameter larger than that of the lanyard stud that goes into the hole in the butt. That flange might have covered up the V, if the V were stamped right next to the 6. In that case, the V would have been stamped on the other end of the butt.

Maybe, when the gun was being cleaned up and engraved, and after the lanyard hole had been plugged, they didn't realize that the V was part of the serial number, and they filed it off. Maybe.

You also might ask about the meaning of the P that is stamped on both the barrel flat and the rear face of the cylinder. I've not seen that .

Try asking Roy about it, again. Point out the caliber as being 38 S&W, and ask if that is consistent with the records.

Good luck, Mike
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  #41  
Old 04-18-2024, 09:31 AM
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If the V was stamped in lightly, the engraver likely just filed and then polished the area smooth to blend in with the other end. You won't necessarily see a low area in the steel if done right.

If the V was heavily stamped into the gun, then some engravers will simply fill the V with a 'steel' inlay. The same process as if it were being gold or silver inlaid.
Once done and polished off,,and if you use a correct filler 'steel' the old letter will dissappear.
It will generally not show when blued , Hot Salt or Rust blued.
It's a quick process if you are used to doing it.
I use it a lot to fill damaged areas. I have had poor results with welding up damage or marks and not them having them show up either 'In the White' or when blued later. Hard sports in the weld & pits are other issues.

But, sometimes the gun planets allaign and things go well.
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  #42  
Old 04-20-2024, 07:36 PM
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"Thank you" to all of you for your input and comments. In addition to the relatively simple BUT well laid-out pattern (masterfully executed) and the the added rib, some of the small master engraver touches to this gun, that make me appreciate it more and more, include:

1. It was used for the purpose it was intended for. Lots of holster wear, and each of the screw heads show signs of being removed often (I do wish the prior owner[s] had a better fitting hollow ground screwdriver...:rolleyes):





2. Flattened and engraved screw heads that appear to be "clocked"





Although still domed, the cylinder lock spring retention screw (in front of the trigger) it is still engraved and clocked:



3. The grip screw head and tip are both engraved:





4. I just love the backstrap!!! The bluing is mostly worn off from use, leaving it more of a French gray on the flats, with the darker blue still in the cuts and punch recesses (I captured it better in this photo)...



5. And the color, feel and fit of the grips is amazing to me...



Thanks again,
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Last edited by RKmesa; 04-20-2024 at 07:59 PM.
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