Smith victory model?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by fleetwood1976, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

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    I just got this as a christmas present. I needed a victory model for my collection. This one is different though. The serial number has not v or vs. Just 872225 then lanyard ring and then WB then ordinance bomb then a small capital P. Under the grips on the frame is I H F around the right side grip pin and on the left side 3 and H 8. nothing that makes any since to me. It is all numbers matching and there is an "s" in the corner under the barrel where that serial number is.


    I have concluded that it is a 38/200 victory model within the serial number range of the M&P 1905 4th change. About '41 or '42 production. It has not been rechambered. Educate me, If i am missing something. I like it because it is original and has lots of character. Lock up is great and I wouldn't hesitate taking into battle again. Is anyone familiar with this Importer? Any info of where it was sent or how used would be awesome.

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  2. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

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    more pics

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  3. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

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    Yet more.

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  4. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

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    Does anyone know if the Vam distribution from OHIO is an old importer? I have never heard of them.
  5. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

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    I cant help you on the info but I too think that is one fine piece and wouldnt hesitate to shoot it, in battle or the firing range.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I typed VAM DIST CO LLC into google, and came up with this.

    Vam Distribution Company Inc.
    1141-B Mechanicsburg Rd.
    Wooster OH 44691
    United States
    (330) 262-0622
    (330) 262-0623
    Company description
    Manufacturing: Small Arms
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Well, VAM didn't manufacture that gun; they are probably the importer that brought the gun back from some foreign country. You should be able to ask them with the info Alpo has provided. The other markings are standard S&W markings of the period; the letters inside the grips are S&W inspection marks.

    A bit on the "Victory Model." That gun is indeed in .38 S&W, aka .38/200, and was made on the contract for Lend Lease for England. Technically, it was U.S. property, on the legal basis that the nation could not lend or lease what it did not own. WB was Col. Waldemar S. Broberg, head of the Hartford/Springfield Ordnance District from July 1, 1941 to June 16, 1942.

    Your gun is sometimes called a "pre-Victory Model." The Victory model came about in a somewhat prosaic way. As you see by the serial number on your gun, S&W was fast approaching the million mark on those guns. But their numbering machine only went to six digits so they planned to add a prefix letter that would be stamped on all frames before they even went to be serial numbered. Supposedly, they planned to use "A", then someone suggested "V", "V for Victory" being a common slogan at the time. "V" it became, and the Victory Model was born. There is some discrepancy as to when the first Victory Model, V1, was made. One source says November 1941, another says April 1942, but regardless it followed 999999. Lend Lease, incidentally, took effect PRIOR to US entry into the war; the law was passed in March 1941.

    The government never used the term "Victory Model", calling it the Military & Police Model (to S&W, it was the .38 Hand Ejector, Model 1905, Fourth Change), and S&W called it the same thing in official correspondence. The term "Victory Model" was used in S&W advertising, though. The .38 S&W for the British and the .38 Special for the U.S. were intermixed throughout production.

    Jim
  8. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

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    Jim, That is what I was leaning toward too. I was a little off on the date. It probably is pre U.S. involvement in the war. I like the fact that it is totally original. not converted or enhanced in any way. I really like these wartime surplus pieces. They are like opening a history book.
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