Hi, Mike and guys,
I have been reminded of an error that I have made before, but I am not sure if it really is that serious a one. I have generally followed the practice of most collectors in calling any WWII M&P with a serial number starting with "V" a Victory Model.
But just to get it straight for the record, the factory did not do that. S&W made the M&P for the British and other countries in .38 S&W from about 1937 on. The standard caliber for the M&P was .38 Special. (The otherwise identical guns made in .32-20 were not called the M&P Model - they were called the .32-20 Hand Ejector.)
So S&W called the .38 S&W caliber model the ".38/200 British Service Revolver" or "K-200". Those guns were numbered in the M&P series and when the numbers reached 999999, they added a "V" (for Victory) in front of the number. AFAIK, at that point, they had ceased making any M&P revolvers for the commercial market.
Those guns were not, strictly speaking, "Victory Models". Around V40000, the U.S. contracted for revolvers for American forces, to be otherwise identical, but made in .38 Special. S&W then began to use the term Victory Model in the factory for those guns, but not for the guns in .38 S&W (.38/200) being made for the British. So, using the strict factory terminology, there were no Victory Models under serial V40000 and no Victory Models in .38 S&W.
I hate to try to explain all this every time someone calls a .38/200 a "Victory Model", so should I (we) continue the error of calling any "V" numbered M&P a "Victory Model"? Or is V123456 in .38 S&W a K-200 while V123457 in .38 Special a Victory Model?
Now does that clear things up? I think I need a drink.
Last edited by James K; July 6, 2013 at 09:02 PM.