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Old November 12, 2011, 03:58 PM   #1
Ben Cartwright SASS
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S&W Victory marked Boston PD - Questions

I have a Smith and Wesson Victory Model that letters to the United States Martime Commission in San Francisco in 1944. The gun is marked with what appear to be the proper Boston Police Property Marks. The letter acknowledges that Boston may have received it at that time. However to my mind it could also be some other department who used the markings B.P.D. and a number and letter. Boston always used one of 3 markings on Colts B-P-D, on Smiths until the 70's B.P.D. and since BPD and they used a number or a number and a letter. This Victory has "B.P.D. 296V"

The question I have is I have heard that with the DSC you can get archive records of where their guns were shipped, is that the case with the USMC?

I have posted this elsewhere, I am trying to find info and it is a relatively obsure question to me.
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Old November 12, 2011, 05:05 PM   #2
James K
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Nothing hard and fast, but usually those agencies don't know where the guns went after they became surplus. You might have a better chance trying the records of the Boston Police if you have not already done so. If you strike out there, then, as you say, it could be any city/county with the initial letter of B.

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Old November 12, 2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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The United States Maritime Commission has noting to do with the United States Marines. Nothing, Apples and Kumquats
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Old November 12, 2011, 06:24 PM   #4
Ben Cartwright SASS
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I realize that I was just abbreviating the name to save time. I collect US Navy Victories and know that the Marines used Navy guns, also they often carried K-Bars with Navy markings instead of USMC.
My Dad fought with the 4th Marines on Roi Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima and he carried a USN Mark II K-bar with the fiber sheath, I still have it.

Many people try to claim a Victory marked USMC is Marines, it is not. This Victory has not Military Marking what so ever, it is marked B.P.D. 296V on the backstrap.
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Old November 15, 2011, 10:42 AM   #5
gyvel
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An interesting topic as I have a very old Winchester 97 solid frame riot gun marked "B.P.D." I always wondered if it was a Boston gun or from some other city. (Baltimore, Birmingham, Boise, etc.)
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Old November 15, 2011, 06:12 PM   #6
Ben Cartwright SASS
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Binghamton NY also marked their guns B.P.D.

Boston did have 97's the only way to tell for sure is to find factory records that would show where it was shipped.

I think that is a really neat collectible! I would love something like that!
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Old November 15, 2011, 08:54 PM   #7
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What if its not Boston...

Here's an interesting thought...

What if "BPD" isn't Boston PD or any other US PD for that matter...

What if its Berlin PD? Many Victory revolvers were given out to German PDs following WWII. "B" could also be any other German "B" city.

It also makes sense since I'm thinking its a 38 S&W revolver, and that version would have been much more common and more often given / lent to the post war Germans than a factory 38 special version.
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Old November 15, 2011, 09:03 PM   #8
Ben Cartwright SASS
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It could be, a couple things, one the barrel, when I checked with S&W was originally on a Coast Guard gun.

The person I bought it from, an older gentleman in NH told me he bought it 30 years ago from a very close friend of his who was an armourer with the National Guard in Concord NH. His friend told him this gun came from the Boston Police Dept along with other stuff that should have been gotten rid of, in the Navy we used to call that comshaw. He got it because of it's history. I trust this guy so feel it is indeed a Boston gun.
I have 6 other revolvers S&W and Colt that have Factory Letters to Boston PD.
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Old November 16, 2011, 07:04 AM   #9
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Cartwright SASS
I realize that I was just abbreviating the name to save time. I collect US Navy Victories and know that the Marines used Navy guns, also they often carried K-Bars with Navy markings instead of USMC.
My Dad fought with the 4th Marines on Roi Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima and he carried a USN Mark II K-bar with the fiber sheath, I still have it.

Many people try to claim a Victory marked USMC is Marines, it is not. This Victory has not Military Marking what so ever, it is marked B.P.D. 296V on the backstrap.
Are there US Marine marked Victories? I would think the Marine Corps would have used US Navy marked Vic's.

What caliber is this Vic, .38spl or .38S&W?

Have you lettered this Vic with Roy yet?
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Old November 16, 2011, 09:20 PM   #10
Ben Cartwright SASS
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To the best of my knowledge the Marine Corps Victories were US Navy Marked, but I have heard of some that were Marine marked.

This is a .38 Special, you will find the .38 S&W's in the 5 inch barrels.

This gun letters to two different places, or should I say the frame letters to the U.S. Maritime Commission in 1944 and the barrel letters to a gun shipped to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943. The barrel was replaced at some point.

I talked to the dealer in NH, a gentleman in his 80's, and he got this gun for his personal collection about 30 years ago, he got it from a really good friend of his who was an Armourer for the National Guard who told him it came from the Boston Police Dept.

These are all BPD marked guns, 5 of them letter to Boston Police and I am waiting on letters for the others. The Victory is 3rd down on the left side

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Old November 17, 2011, 07:23 AM   #11
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That is a very impressive collection, all BPD.

I have a Navy marked Vic that has a inspection cartouche from the mid 50's. The Eagle/Star cartouche you normally see on Garand furniture.



I'm assuming this mark was some type of ink/paint originally. Difficult to capture in a photo.



To bad it wore full size grips at one time, they left a mark

It does shoot pretty good and I'm pleased with it.

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Old November 21, 2011, 12:11 AM   #12
gyvel
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Quote:
What if its Berlin PD? Many Victory revolvers were given out to German PDs following WWII. "B" could also be any other German "B" city.
I don't think "police department" translates into German as "PD."
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Old November 21, 2011, 07:39 AM   #13
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Go to the S&W web sight and here is the link,
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore.../other/LOA.pdf

Mr Roy Jinks is the person that issues the letter of authenticity.
$50 bucks and the factory will tell you exactly the date it left the factory, its destination, and how many were in the shipment lot.
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Old November 21, 2011, 03:08 PM   #14
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I'm afraid that I don't have much additional information to offier but it's a fascinating subject. I did discover, however, that the Boston Police Department marked some firearms "M.P.C.," for Metropolitan Police Commission, although I highly doubt that such marking were used consistently over the entire period since they first had a police department. I also noticed that some police departments used a suffix indicating the number within the department (like a rack number). Some even had precinct numbers added.

A Colt Commando revolver manufactured in 1942, still on issue in 1969, was marked "USN" (no periods) on the butt. Many revolvers and other firearms were marked U.S. Property, usually on the butt strap in the case of revolvers. That also made a good place for an owners name, too.

American made revolvers issued to European agencies, as many were after the war, are often literally covered with stampings, either proof marks (especially if they had British service) and additional property stamps. Some handguns can be found with the markings of corporations. All of this does make the guns a little more interesting.
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Old November 21, 2011, 06:38 PM   #15
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Hey ben

Not to be off topic here, but is that revolver, bottom and center, what I think it is? If so, thats one hell of a gun there...
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