S&W Lend Lease 38 Special

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by njretcop, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. njretcop

    njretcop New Member

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    This is a very unusual S&W lend lease 38 that started life as a 38 S&W and was converted by Parker Hale of England.

    The barrel has been shortened, a ramp style front sight added, the cylinder changed to 38 Special, and military, plain, walnut grips and lanyard ring added.

    Many, many guns were sent by S&W to England at the start of the war and different English companies turned them into military arms. Apparently Parker Hale, one of the finest firearms companies in England, did this one as it is stamped Parker Hale England on the ramp front sight. There are many British proof marks on the gun including the military acceptance "P" on the butt.

    [​IMG]
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    when this revolver was accepted by the british the caliber was 38 S&W or as they called it 38-200, which was their standard service revolver caliber. it should have british military acceptance marks from the 1940's to show this. the caliber change and new front sight was done in the late 1950's by Parker-Hale after it was declared obsolete/surplus by the british military. it should have british commercial proof marks (post 1955) to show that. i doubt the cylinder was actually changed most likely just the shoulders inside the chambers were lengthen. grips and lanyard ring are standard and not added by Parker-Hale.

    i discovered some of this information while researching purchases by the british government of iver johnson's arms and cycle works revolvers during WWII. some of which found their way back over here in the 1960's.
    bill
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  3. njretcop

    njretcop New Member

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    Bill,

    Thank you for your interesting input on this gun. One thing though, this gun will not chamber a 38 S&W round, the case is too big.......

    Your right about the proof marks, there are many on this revolver.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    if this revolver has a 38 special cylinder it is most likely one fo the ones purchased directly from smith & wesson during 1940/1941 era, when the brits were buying anything that would shoot a bullet. when accepted by the british military the 38 special version of the S&W M&P revolver were marked with a red band around the barrel and stenciled in black ink .38 specl. this is from ian skennerton's book 'british small arms of world war 2'.

    there has been much written about the u.s. handguns used by the british during wwII but only those in original configuration will bring collectors prices. the one not original like yours make excellent shooter. on the plus side those that were converted or altered by british gunmakers like yours are rarer than the hundreds of thousands that were imported back to the u.s. and sold here by wholesale mail order houses before 1968. these will usually have nothing but the british markings as the importer's markings were not requried until 1968. many of these were modified is someway, like refinishing to make more saleable and some even had their barrels shortened.
    bill
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