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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 3/2/2006 5:46:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 6:35:14 PM EDT by KeithC]
This started off interesting, then became intriguing and now is just annoying. Got to talking guns with a woman at work and she mentioned her dad had given her one years ago, it "had jammed on her" and she never touched it again. I'm no expert on revolvers but have several and offered to give it a cursory inspection and a good cleaning (and teach her to shoot the damned thing!) and she agreed to bring it in to work for me.

My first impression is that the thing's hardly been fired. There's barely a hint of drag line around the cylinder. There are no impressions from fired cases on the recoil plate inside the frame. The finish is completely flat black - no gloss or "blue" to it at all, almost brown in color. I first thought she had some cheap knock-off that was wearing S&W grips. The barrel is a 4" taper, stamped with a fading "SMITH&WESSON" on the left side. There's no housing for the ejection rod but there is a lug to lock it. The flat over the rod is stamped with "V 72XXXX P" (big gap after the "V" - not part of the s/n). That s/n matches the butt (square butt, btw). The left side of the frame sports the S&W logo and "Made in U.S.A." It looks to be a 5-screw and the barrel is pinned. The front sight is a thin metal half-moon and the trigger is serrated.

Now it gets weird (for me, at least). The cylinder has the same s/n but is not recessed. There's a little divot half-under the cylinder release latch that I don't recognize. The hammer is the same flat-black - I'm used to it looking like heat-tempered steel. There is no caliber marking anywhere at all on the entire pistol. There's no model designation anywhere at all on the pistol, unless the tiny "K" stamped in the yoke and the grip frame counts.

So.... I'll still clean it and a real basic function check looks like it's in working order (I'm wondering maybe handloads? bullet backing out?). But what the hell is it? I thought M&P or M-10 but I can't place the age for the combination of features and the whole no-caliber-stamping thing seems "pre-lawyer-society" to me. And the near-pristine condition.... Yeesh.

Any ideas what it is and if it's something that shouldn't be shot?
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 4:08:24 AM EDT
According to the serial number it should be a Victory model made during WWII.

Link Posted: 3/3/2006 2:53:01 PM EDT
Yep, sounds like a standard Victory model Smith. Essentially the military'e version of the Military & Police model, now known as the Model 10. Quite common. Production during WWII was a bit short of a million as I recall. The serial number would make yours one of the later ones. Widely used by pilots (particularly Navy), guards, and the like. Not really a front line weapon as such tho many undoubtly showed up. Many lend leased to the Brits in 38 S & W caliber.

Market for these has increased in recent years.
Link Posted: 3/3/2006 6:18:57 PM EDT
Yeah, as is usually the case, I found the "magic combo" of search terms and came up with pics that matched. The one I'm babysitting either had the lanyard ring machined off or the hole just really well filled in. Other than that - Victory model. Ah, well. Could be worse - now I don't feel badly shooting it .

Was it common practice to not etch the caliber onto the barrel? I've got an old "lemon squeezer" from 1902 and even that's labeled.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 4:02:17 AM EDT
You may have a very well-worn revolver that has been refinished through the years and many of the markings may have become very thin or buffed completely off.
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