Apr 30, 2014

Collectors Pick: Smith and Wesson Victory Revolver

[Click photo to enlarge]
The Smith & Wesson Victory revolver in .38-caliber was produced for use in World War II.
S&W produced 571,629 Victory revolvers for allied countries, while less than 40,000 were made for use by US troops. The first production was the M&P style revolver chambered in the British .38/200 cartridge as part of the Lend Lease Program and sent to England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. By the time the United States entered the war after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7th, 1941; S&W added a “V” for victory in front of the serial number. Thus, it became known as the Victory model S&W. 
It was usually issued to Naval and Marine aviators as well as guardsmen in the states as part of the national defense installations and security force of factories supporting the war effort. It is designed for Military and Police applications complete with a lanyard ring at the base of the grip handle.
Most that you can find on the market today are pretty much worn, especially the hand grips for some reason.
The only thing odd about the revolver is that the half-moon front sight, when the hammer is up to fire in double action, you cannot see the front sight. When hammer is cocked rearward for single action shooting, no problem.
I have not fired this weapon at the range because I do not have none in my inventory. But among collectors, it is a nice revolver. Of course, although I like the “firepower” of semi-autos, my real love in handguns is the revolver. Simple operation, easy to disassemble, easy to maintain and clean. It holds six cartridges, but my philosophy is that if one cannot hit anything with six rounds – they need to spend more time at the range. For those who want more cartridges available, when not at the range, like for conceal carry; there is always the speed-loaders available that fit into leather pouches like auto mags have, attached to the pants belt. In the military having a large-capacity semi-auto like the Beretta is a good thing to have or the powerful .45ACP Model 1911; but for civilian conceal carry, six rounds and spare ammo in a speed-loader is sufficient and .38 caliber like 9mm does the job.
It is reported that one can obtain 3-inch groups at 15 yards – so that makes it a good concealed weapon because when stopping an attack or armed criminals, the targets are less than that range.
US issue are chambered for .38-Special. More information at this PDF.
The following YouTube video about a Victory revolver is interesting:

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