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Old August 4, 2011, 06:13 AM   #1
JACKAL0PE
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Please help me identify my S&W .38

My grandfather, a small town policeman, left me this S&W Snubbie. Can anyone help me identify the model and age?






Sorry for the really blurry last picture. The inscription is "V1254"

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

Jack
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Old August 4, 2011, 06:39 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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You show a Military & Police Victory Model; British surplus from WW II, probably around 1943.

It has been rebarrelled at 2 inches with loss of the front extractor rod latch, nickel plated, and fitted with plastic fake stag grips. It may well have been rechambered from .38/200 British (Same as .38 S&W with heavier bullet.) to .38 Special.
All that was done to enhance surplus sales in the Colonies in the 1950s and 1960s.

Resale value is nil, but it obviously has a treasured family connection.
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Old August 4, 2011, 11:36 AM   #3
JACKAL0PE
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Yes it does Jim. My Grandfather carried it for many years with the Sparta Georgia Police Department. If you'd told me it was worth $500, it would still not be for sale.

Thanks so much for the information. Is there any way I can get the exact date of manufacture?

Oh, and since you say the value is nil, there's no reason I shouldn't have it replated on the rusty trigger guard, right?

Last edited by JACKAL0PE; August 5, 2011 at 04:03 AM.
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Old August 4, 2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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FWIW, those guns were not rebarrelled, the barrel was simply cut off and crowned and a new sight put on. That eliminated the lock at the end of the extractor rod, but was OK for light use. A lot of that work was done in England, by Cogswell & Harrison, which was owned at that time by Interarmco (later Interarms).

The plating and grips are not original and were probably done after the "chopped" gun was imported into the U.S.

Jim
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Old August 5, 2011, 04:05 AM   #5
JACKAL0PE
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Sounds about right James.

Small town cops didn't make much money back then (or now either I suppose). I'm sure when he got promoted to plain clothes, he was looking for something that he could buy cheap and the timing is right for war surplus.

But I think James is right about it being re-barreled. Wouldn't it have to have been in order to shoot the .38 Special?

Last edited by JACKAL0PE; August 5, 2011 at 04:14 AM.
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Old August 5, 2011, 06:36 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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Jim K & Jackalope,

I have seen a lot of these with the factory barrel simply cut off with the factory sight or a replacement silver soldered back in place. But this one and a few others I have seen appear to have been rebarrelled; the shoulder of the barrel at the frame is like nothing else I have seen on a stock S&W. It is very visible in the fourth picture which shows the fitting number.

Or do you think they might have rolled the shoulder to tighten the barrel in the frame?
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Old August 5, 2011, 07:19 AM   #7
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The crown and BN stamp indicate Brit service at one time, probably a .38/200 British caliber. I have seen these Victories with both cut barrels and re-barreled. Most of the cut barrels started as US issue .38spl's.

Replacement value about $250+/-, heirloom value is priceless.
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Old August 5, 2011, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
heirloom value is priceless.
Ain't that the truth?

My Dad passed away a couple of years ago. My memories of him are filled with him working on cars, the house, boats, almost anything. He was a great "jack-of-all trades" and a professional mechanic in his younger days before he turned to management. When I was a boy, all I remember is that he bought us a lake cabin and the whole time me and my friends were playing in the water, he was always repairing the boat or the house...and the man couldn't even swim. He did it for my mother and I, not for himself.

When he died, as the only child I got all his tools, to go with my own fairly extensive collection.

I'm now the proud owner of over 300 screwdrivers, eight bench grinders and twelve levels (all about the same size, one not working).

And I couldn't sell a single thing. Maybe later, but not now. Those tools are my memories of a great father.
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Old August 5, 2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Hello, Jack. You wouldn't be the same Jackalope that posts on Yuku, would you?
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Old August 5, 2011, 04:08 PM   #10
JACKAL0PE
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I'd be the same that used to 2D.

How are you?
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Old August 5, 2011, 05:52 PM   #11
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I'm doing alright. Hot but doing alright. How are you?
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Old August 5, 2011, 08:20 PM   #12
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I'm good. Getting older and meaner. How are things in Athens?
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Old August 5, 2011, 11:13 PM   #13
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Hi, Jim Watson,

I don't think they either removed or replaced the barrels. I think that they wanted to eliminate the flat surface under the extractor rod and also the cross cut for the rod head, so they just set up the gun in a lathe with the muzzle in the headstock and a rest at the barrel shoulder, turned the barrel down starting at the rear, then cut it off and put the new sight on. That also removed the original markings which would have been partially cut away if the barrel had just been cut.

Jim
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Old August 6, 2011, 07:24 PM   #14
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;)

Here is what it looked like new

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Old August 6, 2011, 07:50 PM   #15
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Heh, my grandfather had those same fake-stag grips on his pre-27 .357. He shot a bear by the fishcamp outhouse with it.
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Old August 8, 2011, 09:32 AM   #16
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I'm good. Getting older and meaner. How are things in Athens?
It's good to hear from you, Jack. We got some much needed rain this weekend. How is Atlanta?
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