S&W Model 12.
Recently inherited a S&W Model 12 with the serial number V 740XXX The butt of the revolver is dissimilar to most I've seen as it has what looks like a ring for a strap (maybe military surplus?) screwed into the middle of the butt. The serial number is starts with V on the left of the ring and the rest on the right. The 7 looks slightly different than the rest of the numbers as it is pretty flush against the screw of the ring, whereas the other 5 number are pretty close together. Nothing seems fishy, just odd.
Are there any other markings that may be helpful?
I also have the instructions and parts list for the revolver in excellent condition. The date on the instructions are 1958, so I assume the gun is older than that. How much older I have no clue.