Hi, Mike and guys,
Remember the "V" was stamped in the frame when it was made, the number was stamped later. So the "V" was already there on the first guns. The "S" had to be stamped either ahead of it, behind it, or behind the number space.
The logical place would be ahead of the "V" to make the serial read SVxxxxxx, and I seem to recall seeing them that way. I have also seen VxxxxxxS. Was the "S" placed pretty much at random or was there a system? I think if some folks who have Victory Models contribute the information on their guns (X out the last three of the serial if they want), maybe we can figure out the system. (My Victory Model is a Vxxxxxx, with the old style hammer block.)
There are a lot of unanswered questions about those guns. For one thing, pre-Victory Model serial numbers were stamped starting from the rear and reading toward the lanyard loop. Victory Model numbers were stamped starting at the loop and reading toward the rear. That apparently was done to allow room for the "V". The first guns had the V behind the hole adjacent to the number. But at some point (probably when numbers went to six digits, the "V" was moved to the front of the hole to allow more room for the serial.
Also, apparently S&W had some revolvers left over at the end of the war and sold them with the "SV" number. SV809978 was blued and had checkered grips when it was shipped to the NYC police in March, 1946. (The last Victory Model has been reported as SV811119, so the NYC PD gun was apparently a leftover, not new production. Was the gun unfinished or was the Parkerizing removed?)
I think I will try to see if I can find or create a decent data base and figure out the system, if any. There is a lot of confusion now, what with pre-V, V, VS, SV, not to mention the "S" being reported as a "5" and vice-versa, fake Victory Models being made from Post-War M&P models, etc.
So, again, let's see pictures or at least a FULL description of Victory serials.