SOLD FOR: $3841
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: Victory Model
Serial Number: V176002
Year of Manufacture: 1942-1945
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot Double / Single Action, Swing-Out Fluted Cylinder Revolver
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON / 38 S.&W. SPC. CTG”. The butt of the grip frame, barrel flat (no letter prefix), rear of the cylinder, front of the ejector star (no letter prefix), and rear flat of the yoke (no letter prefix) are marked with matching serial number “V176002”. The side plate has S&W’s monogram logo, the right side of the frame is marked “MADE IN U.S.A.”. There are inspection marks on the crane, its cut, and the sides of the grip frame. The top strap is marked “”UNITED STATES PROPERTY””. The inside of the right grip panel is stamped “175002”, being one digit off we suspect that they shipped with these grips and that is was a simple factory mistake. The butt of the grip frame is also marked with a flaming bomb.
Barrel Length: 2”, Pinned
Sights / Optics: The revolver has a square notch at the end of a groove in the top strap and a half-round blade front sight fixed to the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut. There are some scattered compressions, scuffs, little nicks, and a few light scratches. There are some heavier marks into the wood on the bottom faces of the grips. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Black Magic
Finish Originality: Refinish, likely Arsenal Refurbished. The rear surface of the cylinder is notably smoother than the rest of the surfaces and it is possible that the markings were restruck or force matched.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 70% of its metal finish. There is thinning scattered throughout, the most noticeable is on the cylinder. There are some scattered spots of dark discoloration from previous oxidation, the most noticeable are on the cylinder. There is finish wear on the edges. There are some scattered scuffs and rubs. There are some areas of light scabbing and oxidation on the grip frame. There are some areas of erosion on the trigger guard. There is some wear on the front sight. There are light handling marks. The screwheads are lightly tool marked. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with some side-to-side play. The double-action trigger is smooth and the single action is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: At the beginning of WWII S&W began producing their M&P revolver for military use. They added a “V” for Victory to the serial number; this iteration thus became known as the Victory Model. As we entered the fray, we were producing them for U.S. forces as well as for our allies. Victory model revolvers were standard issue for Naval and Marine aviators as well as guards back in the States at defense installations and factories supporting the war effort. While we did get the Victory and win WWII, the revolvers went beyond the call of duty and were used long after the conclusion on the conflict. Continuing after WWII, regulations prohibited the 1911 and 1911A1 from being carried with a loaded chamber, this made racking the slide a difficult task for aviators as well as K9 handlers so revolvers were the clear choice. The preferred issue of revolvers for aviators lasted quite a while, and Army helicopter pilots even used Victory Models until they replaced them with modern double action 9mm semi-autos, a testament to the S&W design. This one comes from the collection of author Kevin Williams, best known for his exceptional work on the topic of General Officers Pistols & Clandestine Organization Pistols of WWII. With its rare 2″ barrel this is a nice addition to a WWII, U.S. Martial, or Smith & Wesson collection. Please see our photos and good luck!