Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Old Guns, Smith & Wesson Victory.

Yesterday I did a post on my old lantern and the question was asked about the story behind the old stag handled revolver in the picture so here is some history and of course a little rant.
The revolver in the picture is a K frame Smith & Wesson (pre model 10) made during WWII
During the war most arms manufacturing was busy in the war effort and S&W was no different. These revolvers were 'no frills' handguns and originally were produced with smooth grips like the ones shown in the lower right of the picture.
These guns were sold to the Navy and Army and used mainly for security on military posts, ports and military manufacturing plants, they were also used by air crews and pilots even up through Vietnam.
The picture here shows a WWII air crew all carrying the Victory Revolver.  Also many thousands were made and 'leased' or loaned to the British, Canadian and Australian governments. The ones made for U.S. use were chambered for 38 special while most if not all for Commonwealth countries were chambered for 38 S&W which is basically a short version of the 38 special.
These revolvers were all called Victory Revolvers and are easy to spot due to their "V" prefix in the serial number. Many times you will find them missing the lanyard ring as surplus guns were reworked to look 'civilian' and the hole may even be plugged to hide the original mounting point on the butt of the revolver.
At one point these guns were cheep and plentiful and there are still plenty available however they are going up in value. If you do find one marked U.S. Navy or United States Property as the two examples shown here they are worth a lot more but be warned because they command a premium price they are faked quite often and I don't know if I would be able to spot a counterfeit marking.
 I have a couple of these revolvers one was made in 38 special and is in excellent condition.




The one shown in the post yesterday was first chambered in 38 S&W (The CTG was short for Cartridge) and more than likely was 'leased' to England or Canada and like most returned to the US after the war where the government sold them to the civilian market.
Many of these guns (like mine here) were then re-chambered for 38 special and re-marked as such. The markings are faint but can be made out in the pictures at right.
The 38 S&W has a bore of 0.361 while the bore of the 38 special is 0.358 (or .357 thus the origin of the 357 mag) so it is slightly larger however this particular gun is very accurate especially with lead bullets, the action is smooth and overall an excellent shooter.

Side note, my experience has been that any Smith & Wesson 38 of this era (and prior) is that it is more accurate with lead bullets because that was what it was designed to fire, even police used lead bullets mostly up through the 1950's and in fact this revolver is the father of the Model 10 which was a police standard gun (along with Colt) till the early 1980's

  Because this gun has been re-chambered it is not original and is at the lower end of the price range for these revolvers ($200-$300 range) I did not feel the need to find period correct grips and just left the stag grips like I found it at a gun show a few years back.


Now for a little 'Duke Rant'..... Those of you who are astute will notice in the first picture as well as the last couple of pictures the firearm is loaded. You can either see the cartridge heads or the bullets in the chamber. The reason I mention this (beside the fact it makes liberals lose bodily functions)  is because it kind of gripes me so many times when watching a gun video someone has made, they go out of their way to show it is unloaded and safety checked like they think it will go off in the camera and kill someone through the computer. Now I am all for safety especially when doing a function check or cleaning but give me a break, taking pictures will not cause an accidental discharge.  An unloaded gun is nothing but a paper weight and anyone who can't talk about their gun or do a video or take pictures without the need to impress upon me that it is unloaded may I suggest you need to either find another hobby or learn better control but that is just me, you are responsible for your own actions.
 Remember, I always treat a gun as if it is loaded because it is.

24 comments:

  1. Neat info to know and I agree with the loaded rant. Especially when it's a revolver.

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    1. PP, yes, if you can't tell a revolver is loaded you really have no business handling it. Thanks.

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  2. Thank you! Don't you dare even think about changing those grips, what a classy old gal.

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    1. James, I kinda agree, it does have a rustic, old school, throw back charm. Thanks.

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  3. Paws up to the Victory. Got one myself and always looking for more, esp. a Navy marked one. Yours look good and they each have their own history. I'd be proud to own either one.

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    1. Murphy, It has been a long time since I saw one marked 'US NAVY' and I am sure it would be priced closer to $1000. Thanks.

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  4. +1 on the rant, and concur. Good lookin' revolver!

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    1. Thanks Rev Paul. Stay warm my friend.

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  5. Yes, it's not really amazing what a firearm WON'T do if it's being properly handled. Too many folks have become cowed by the liberals having gun-related grand mal seizures when you see them going to such great lengths trying to prevent negative feedback.

    Nice looking revolver, Duke.

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    1. Matt, Very true, the general public has been brainwashed by liberal sources till they cower to their pressure and stop thinking rationally for themselves.

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  6. Actually the Navy was STILL issuing them in the 1980's... I was issued one for some flights in 1986!!!

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    1. Old NFO, Actually I had heard that but was not sure how widespread it was. I guess air crews used them more for survival use therefore they stayed in service longer. Thanks for the update.

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  7. Well done, Bubba. See 'ya tomorrow...bring donuts.

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    1. I'm calling your wife, are you allowed donuts ?

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  8. They really are going up in price. The last Southern Ohio Guns catalog had one in the "collectibles" section, a nice one with the right markings, for nearly a grand. Five years ago the local pawnshop here had six of these pistols, in pretty good shape, and they were all $200.00 each. I wish I'd bought one or two then.

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    1. Harry, they are going up in price, sometimes you will see one at a pawn shop that nobody has figured out what it is especially if the lanyard loop is missing (those can be replaced) Stay warm friend.

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  9. Cold weather + firearms = Bonfire at the range. Let's go, we can talk about Stephen.

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    1. Senior, I am ready, tomorrow I will be out of pocket for most of the day. We can talk.

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  10. Amen on that last sentence (TREAT EVERY GUN AS IF IF WERE LOADED) - the most common excuse for accidental firing is 'I didn't know it was loaded'.

    Very nice revolver btw, those surplus S&Ws are very cool!

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    1. Anon, Thanks, I think most people use the 'I didn't know it was loaded' excuse to cover up what they knew was a stupid act.

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    2. Thanks for sharing this pictures. I like guns and ammo's. The Smith & Wesson M&P is a popular choice nowadays. I want to buy one for target shooting and it is also suits for home safety purpose.

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