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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently acquired 2 revolvers that I believe are pre WWII. The 1st is a nickel S&W in .38 i believe it is a Victory model. The photos do not show, but there is a "p" stamped in the back side of the cylinder and the front site has "Parker Hale England" on it, not sure if the photos show that.

The 2nd is a Colt Police Positive Special in 32-20.

I've done some searching, however haven't found any information that I would say is solid. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I can start with a little history on the S&W . It's been in England to see the Queen but I don't believe it is a Victory Model, Pull those cheap Jay Scott grips and tell us what the serial number with all letter prefix and suffixes'. It has also ( out side of the S&W factory ) been heavily buffed and plated, again not at the factory, during WWII Parker Hale was contracted to repair and refinish military firearms but I don't believe that is a Parker Hale job My erred, I must have a had can of dumb for breakfast, I missed the one picture, it does appear to have a V prefix. Sorry about that, If no one jumps in I'll dig out my S&W book.
 

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I can start with a little history on the S&W . It's been in England to see the Queen but I don't believe it is a Victory Model, Pull those cheap Jay Scott grips and tell us what the serial number with all letter prefix and suffixes'. It has also ( out side of the S&W factory ) been heavily buffed and plated, again not at the factory, during WWII Parker Hale was contracted to repair and refinish military firearms but I don't believe that is a Parker Hale job My erred, I must have a had can of dumb for breakfast, I missed the one picture, it does appear to have a V prefix. Sorry about that, If no one jumps in I'll dig out my S&W book.
I did pull the "cheap Jay Scott" grips, serial matches the bottom. Also there is a "P" stamped on the cylinder left of the "V", can't really see it in the photos. It doesn't appear to be plated in hand, as all of the stamping is crisp
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was referring too having been plated after being manufactured and distributed. Such as being blues from the manufacturer and then plated.
 

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You have two pretty much run of the mill revolvers. The Colt looks to original except for the late replacement grips. It shows as being made in 1932. The S&W is as stated a buffed and plated victory model with a replaced front sight.
 

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C Wayne, you can tell the plating is not factory by 1. craters around the pi n holes where someone was a little too heavy with a buffer,. 2. The trigger and hammer is also plated, the factory would never do that. 3. the plating itself does not look like factory plating. After the war Parker Hale did take surplus guns and reworked then into " sporting firearms." because of the sight yours may be one that was gussied up to sale better on the US market. I would not be suppressed if the chambers were also opened to .38 Special. The plating does not look like a Parker Hale job, but it could be. but that work cuts the value by 2/3s Sorry about that, I will let someone else guessamate the current value.
 

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It's value is a shooter only. If the gun is mechanically sound and tight it could be a 200 dollar gun. I would not pay more then that for it. Many like myself would just pass this one by due to the condition. Some one looking for a cheap shooter would do well with it. The other problem is as a shooter it may still be in S&W 38 which has a different bore diameter then 38 Special and is more expensive. If opened up to 38 Special the accuracy may suffer and the shells will not reload.
 

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A S&W Victory model rebuilt by Parker Hale goes for around $350 in fine condition. ( at least where I live )
There were two models made from the refurbished Victory. One was in 38/38spl and the other was in 22 rim fire.
Note, I do not consider that pistol in fine condition.
 

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They may be off a diamond back but it does not matter much since someone sanded a couple hundred dollars worth of wood off of them.
 

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In regards to the.38/.38 special round. Am I incorrect in saying that the.38 has a larger diameter and shorter in length compared to the.38 special round? Looking a little closer at the cylinder, it appears to have a sleeve of sorts in it as well as being drilled out on the out going end, I put a.38 special round in it, and it seems snug diameter wise and it fully seats in the cylinder. I can't see where anything has been done to the barrel in regards to inside diameter.

They may be off a diamond back but it does not matter much since someone sanded a couple hundred dollars worth of wood off of them.
Any idea what the original grips would have been? The set on it now do appear to be diamondback style, they are walnut, but like you said, someone sanded the value off of them for whatever reason (that doesn't make me happy)
 

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At one time used Diamondback grips were not expensive, so I'm not surprised that a previous owner decided to customize them.

Yes, the old .38 S&W round has both a shorter case and a slightly larger diameter bullet than the .38 Special.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They may be off a diamond back but it does not matter much since someone sanded a couple hundred dollars worth of wood off of them.

Any idea what the original grips would have been? The set on it now do appear to be diamondback style, they are walnut, but like you said, someone sanded the value off of them for whatever reason (that doesn't make me happy)
 

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Regarding the ammo chamebering, years ago lots of 38S&W Victory revolvers were imported to the US. The importers often ran a reamer into the chambers to lengthen them, and sold them as 38 Special caliber. Not a great procedure. But in those days 38 Special was like 9mm today. Very inexpensive. Often you would see the ads in the back of magazines. Genuine S&W Victory model $39.95 for 38S&W or $49.95 for 38 Special. They were offered in various grades (conditions) I can't remember for sure, but maybe even plated. So, no telling what has been done to it. Those were great days. You could mail them a money order and in a couple of weeks the gun would be in your mail box:) The govt stopped that after Kennedy was killed, so that no more presidents would be killed with a seven dollar rifle.
 

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As indicated your Victory model in it’s altered state (Victory’s were not made chrome or nickel plated) is valued only as a shooter. It obviously started it’s life as a 38 S&W and was altered to Special via the sleeves. Too bad honest Victories are bringing a priemium today.
While responsible for firearms training etc. at a PD I traded our surplus Victory revolvers to a local gun shop for duty weapons. The pistols were put in the case at a reasonable price but no one wanted ugly guns then, he later put them in a bucket with a sign “WWII special—your choice” and a raised price....they all sold within a week.
 
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