Friday, October 23, 2009

Smith and Wesson Victory Model

As I mentioned a few days ago I picked up a Smith and Wesson Victory model revolver at the gun show. Turns out it’s technically a “pre-victory” or a host of other collector terms as it’s a lend lease gun with the “United States Property” stamp, but it’s just before they moved over to the “V” serial number block typical of the Victory model. So what the heck is a “Victory Model?” Basically it’s the Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver chambered to be compatible with the British .38/200 load (which is essentially just a .38 Smith and Wesson with a 200 grain bullet). The Model 10 is the direct descendant of the standard Smith & Wesson Military & Police revolver.

After the disaster at Dunkirk, the British army needed replacement armaments – and quickly. The United States provided over a half million of these revolvers to Britain and Commonwealth forces throughout the war. They were extremely popular – even more so than the indigenous Enfield and Webley revolvers firing the same cartridge. The U.S. also used the Victory model, though in American service the revolver was chambered for .38 special rather than .38/200.


My example (above) still has most of its original parkerized finish. It also has several proofs indicating it was in Australian service during the war, and has been through a Full Thorough Repair (FTR) in 1954. I also picked up a British canvas holster to go with the pistol.

There are several great references on the web about the Victory Model. This site has a great tutorial on the markings commonly found on the Victory model. The site includes links to pictures of each of the proofs and markings as well.

I’m quite pleased overall with my find. I’d wanted a Victory Model for some time, but I’d never been able to find one at a price I was willing to pay (as both historical collectors and Smith and Wesson collectors target these little gems). I feel I got a good deal on this pistol, and can’t wait to get it out to the range and put a few rounds through it!

Until next time!!!

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