What Model is This Old S&W .38 Revolver?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dglockster, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. dglockster

    dglockster New Member

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    Below are five pictures of a .38 S&W revolver.

    The friend who owns the revolver says that his father brought the revolver back from WWI. He also says that it has never been fired since, to his knowledge, since his father brought it back. The barrel is bright without any pitting and the cylinder doesn't show any wear except for the faint ring around the cylinder showing that the cylinder has been cycled.

    The revolver is parkerized and other than being dusty, appears to be well cared for.

    What is its model and an approximate value?

    Thanks.

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    I apologize for the poor quality of the photos.
  2. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    WW2 mate. Military and Police model.

    4" Barrel for US and 5" barrel for UK lend lease. Smooth grips suggest mid/late war production
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    No need to apologize for the photos.....they're fine!

    Soooo.....it's not WWI, it's WWII and what you have is a Smith & Wesson "Victory" Model.....basically a "no frills" version of the S&W Military & Police (pre-Model 10), manufactured for Uncle Sam during WWII.

    Approximately 240,000 were made from 1942 to 1945, and it should have a "V" serial number prefix. They were chambered in both .38 S&W and .38 Special, and many that were in .38 S&W were shipped to Great Britain under Lend Lease. Others were issued to the U.S. Military, the Post Office (railroad mail car guards), defense plant gate guards, etc.

    Your friend's "Victory" appears to be all original, a U.S. Model (if without British proofmarks), and in remarkable condition.

    After WWII, many of these were sold as surplus to various distributors & wholesalers who converted the .38 S&W caliber ones to .38 Special.....those have less value. Yours is original!

    Here's what the Blue Book says:

    S&W Victory Model - U.S. Govt. Models:

    98% - $650
    95% - $525
    90% - $450

    I'd suggest that your friend hang on to this revolver and keep it just as it is. "Victory" Models are getting collectable, and will only go up in value.....and your friend's is in great condition, I'd say about 90+%.

    P.S.....a little trivia: The "GHD" after "US PROPERTY" is the Military Inspector's mark for Guy H. Drewry Lt. Col., USA, who was the inspector for Smith & Wesson .38 Revolvers, Colt .45, 38 and .22 Revolvers and Pistols, Winchester and Underwood M1 Carbines, Colt Ace .22 Pistol from 1930-1946.
  4. dglockster

    dglockster New Member

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    Thank you very much. He will be pleased to know this information. He is in his late 70s and will be leaving the revolver to his son. I will be sure that both he and his son get the information.
  5. h2oking

    h2oking Former Guest

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    Xracer, that was cool and very educational. I would have just told him it looked like a military and police model 10 in excellent shape because that was all I knew.
  6. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Well, h2oking, it really is a Military & Police (with the accent on the "Military") just a WWII "no frills" version. :D:D:D

    BTW....During WWII, I grew up in Connecticut, and during the summer my parents used to take my sister and I to Hammonasett beach (on Long Island Sound) swiming. I remember seeing the Coast Guard Beach Patrol walking up & down the beach carrying their '03 Springfields and "Victory" in a holster on their hip (and eyeing the girls).
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little surprised by it. It was my understanding that the American guns were 38 Special, while the guns made for the Brits were 38 S&W. So here we have a gun with the top-strap stamped US Property, and the barrel is stamped 38 S&W. Don't seem right,somehow.
  8. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Now really. All of the ones shipped to Great Britain were .38 S&W (.38/200), but those sold for U.S. Gov't use were a mixture of .38 S&W and .38 Special.

    BTW, all of the Victorys were marked U.S. Property, since even the Lend Lease ones were only "loaned" to the British and were supposed to returned after the war. There were a number of M&Ps (offically .38/200 British Service Revolver) that were sold to the Brits pre-Lend Lease (about 110,379) and those don't carry the U.S. Property stamp.
  9. Geezer D

    Geezer D New Member

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    :DGREAT INFO XRACER!! Thank you....
    I also recently collected a Victory Model 10 38 Special w/4" barrel from my
    grandfather that recently passed away. It seems to be in very good condition complete with plain wood grips and swivel lanyard under the grips.
    Marked as "8 US PROPERTY G.H.D."...ALSO HAS THE "38 S&W SPECIAL CTG"
    on the side of the barrel. I can also see the small 5 digit number just behing the swivel out cylinder on the frame. I almost missed the "V" on the serial number as it was on the opposite side of the lanyard clip from the serial number. It took me awhile of searching to verify that this is a Victory Model 10 as there was no markings on the gun for a model number. But with several good quality photos, and info such as yours, I was able to confirm what I have here and have no intentions of selling it any time soon.
    THANKS again Xt!!!

    Geezer D in Oklahoma
  10. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi Geezer.....welcome to TFF. :)

    Well.....it's not marked as a Model 10 for two reasons.

    1. It's not a Model 10....it's a "Victory" Model.

    2. The "Victory" was made from '42 to '45. S&W didn't start model numbering until 1957. Even the Military & Police models made after WWII weren't model numbered until 1957. Those are often referred to as "Pre-Model 10s".
  11. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    If anyone is thinking of acquiring one of these pistols, be on the lookout for one marked "U.S. Navy." The marking is usually found on the left side of the top strap above the cylinder, and may be very faintly stamped and hard to make out. These bring a much higher price than the ones with just a U.S. Government marking. And if you're really lucky, you might turn up one of the really rare ones marked "U.S.M.C."
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