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Some help with a S&W (Victory) model 38 s&w

GunHawkeGunHawke Member Posts: 576 ✭✭✭
edited June 2015 in Ask the Experts
Hello to all and Happy Father's day, where it applies!

I inherited my grandfather's S&W revolver that he brought home after serving time in WWII and Korea. It is a parkerized revolver on a "K" frame (my best guess) and has 38 Smith & Wesson stamped on the barrel. And, no, a 38 Special will not fit the cylinder...I tried so you would have this info.

It has the "D" shaped lanyard ring mounted on the flat bottom of the grip butt. Next to that are the letters WB and the flaming bomb stamped on the butt flat along with the serial number 9657xx. The yoke part of the frame is is stamped E 1227x (both sides,I cannot make out the last figure).

The barrel is pinned, and on the flat underside of the barrel is stamped 965769, the same number is stamped on the loading side of the cylinder. Only one grip is stamped with the number 9657xx which match the serial number of the gun.

Can anyone give me a year of manufacturer. The gun is in REALLY good shape, not even showing casing brass deposits around the firing pin hole. Like most folks, I'd like to know an approximate value of such a War revolver.....even if it didn't see action.

Thanks for your help! I searched the likely sites but you may as well ask me to prepare pheasant under glass!

Jim/GunHawk on GunBroker


  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,798 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    We can neither identify nor evaluate your gun without photos showing all parts of the gun. Show all markings, including the serial number on the bottom of the grip frame.

    Instructions for photo posting:

  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,320 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Made in 1942.
    Unusual for an American to have a .38 S&W, most of those went to England and other Commonwealth countries.

    Dollar value depends on originality and condition.
    Matching grips is a plus.
    Resale value in the middle hundreds of bucks IF "really good shape" happened to equal NRA Excellent.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My WAG, in that serial number range. Early 40's. Most in 38 S & W, cartridge. Went to the Brits and their commonwealth forces, who already had the .38/200 cartridge, in their stock rooms.

    Most all of the Brit lend lease revolvers. I have run across, over the years. Were marked with either British or commonwealth proofs. Being that yours doesn't have these proofs. It probably was issued stateside to security guards. Never made it overseas. Hard to say at this late date. How and where your grandpa, got hold of it?

    EDIT, #1,

    Being unmarked in 38 S & W. Would make it quite uncommon. And much more valuable, to a collector of S & W military revolvers. Most have both British commercial and military proofs. And have been reamed out for .38 Special cartridge. If your description is accurate? I wouldn't doubt that it would be a 4 figure gun, to a knowledgeable collector.
  • GunHawkeGunHawke Member Posts: 576 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    To all those who responded.....THANKS! The varied answers are at lest that; varied answers!> I got a kick out of the last forum response. The fact that this particular revolver was mostly issued to the Brits and the Commonwealth soldiers adds to my story even more! My Grand Father spent a LOT of time in the China-Burma (North Africa). This is where he was "issued" his revolver.....during a heated poker game!! I doubt that there are records of this transaction!

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My uncle Dutch was in the CBI theater, he said a lot of weird stuff happens at the end of the supply line.

    A friend was a carrier pilot over in the MIG ally neighborhood. He had to get a letter from the admiral for 2 things. He carried a P-38 Walther with 3 magazines for his sidearm instead of the normal issue S&W in the weak 38 S&W with 18 total rounds.

    He had to load the ammo for his planes guns himself. The Navy said every 5 round was to be a tracer. Gary said he wanted 100% of his bullets flying the same trajectory not 80%. The admiral's ruling was Gary was entitled to carry a 9mm shooting ball ammo if he provided it, if the Navy crew was loading the guns ammo they were to follow the SOP, however Gary could load the ammo how he wanted because it was his butt on the line.

    Must have worked for him, 2 air victories and a probable.
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