View Full Version : S&W info requested.

May 18, 2002, 01:44 PM
Below is a query from Auction Arms. The 6" barrel gets me. Otherwise my guess is it is a reimport of M&P victory with spare cylinder instead of recutting chambers.

" Hey Guys: Can someone out there give me some info on a S&W hand ejector. It is 38S&W cal, brite blue, 6"bbl.,sn 713xxx, had lanyard ring like victory model, and there is a "P" stamped on butt. It came with an extra unmarked 38 spec. cyl. Is this a military issue?? Thanks all "

Enlightment would be appreciated.....Sam

Mike Irwin
May 18, 2002, 03:44 PM
Yeah, the bright blue 6" is correct for a gun in this range. Manufacture was probably early to middle 1940.

What I find odd is that it's not marked United States Property, so it sounds like it may never have left these shores.

It's also possible that this was a gun made BEFORE the Lend-Lease provisions required marking. I'm not sure when LL was actually enacted.

That said, though, every British gun I've ever seen has been stamped with British acceptance and proof markings, and lots have been stamped with unit designations, as well.

The lack of these also makes me thing that this gun may never have left the US.

The .38 Spl. cylinder was a relatively common conversion done after WW II. A spare cylinder would be taken and fitted to the gun to make it more usable.

May 18, 2002, 07:14 PM
Thank you Mister Irwin. I figured you'd be too busy stroking your new Model 24 to respond this early on this query.:)

I also had figured the extra cylinder was to make it sellable/useable.


James K
May 18, 2002, 08:30 PM
Lend-Lease went into effect in March 1941, but it was late in the year before things got organized and the U.S. actually started paying for (and marking as US Property) guns to be sent to the Allies.

S&W had begun regular (and almost exclusive) production for the British just a year earlier, in March, 1940. These guns were NOT Lend-Lease or US marked; the British had advanced money to S&W for the light rifle fiasco, and S&W was making revolvers instead.

A few of these guns were in the regular .38 Special, but most were what S&W called the Model .38/200 in .38 S&W. (So it is technically true that the M&P Model was never made in .38 S&W.) The early ones were standard commercial revolvers, blued and with checkered stocks. They had lanyard loops. To speed production and cut costs (S&W was betting they could provide enough revolvers before the money ran out), S&W soon went to smooth grips and Parkerizing, the so-called "pre-Victory" model. (The "Victory" model actually began at serial number V1; guns in the 7-8-900,000 series were not Victories.)

The gun in question could be a standard commercial M&P from stock with the lanyard loop and spare cylinder provided with the gun rather than reworking the gun. Of course it also could be a regular commercial gun that someone got a spare cylinder for and had a lanyard loop put on.

The absence of British commercial proofs or military markings could mean that it never got overseas, or that it went to a country that did not have a proof law or military proofs.


Mike Irwin
May 19, 2002, 03:04 PM

As far as I know, all of the Commonwealth countries that got guns, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, marked them in some fashion to designate that they belonged to that nation, and I THINK that Aussie and NZ guns also were proofed and so marked. I don't know about Canadian guns, but Canadian guns all have some sort of property stamp on them.

Sam, I can type with one hand and fondle my new 24 with the other. Not hard to multi-task. :)

May 19, 2002, 05:58 PM
Ignoring that....:rolleyes:

James K
May 21, 2002, 11:13 PM
True, Mike, about the UK and empire countries. But while the bulk of S&W production in that period was going to England, not all of it was. Other countries were buying guns also and there was still civilian and police production.

The lanyard ring would seem to indicate military use, but some police departments used them also, and even some civilians. I once put one on a Model 29 for a guy who wanted a woods gun and was afraid of dropping it in the snow.


May 22, 2002, 06:54 AM
Almost be worth it to get a 4" 29 fitted with lanyard loop at the factory just to screw with some neophyte collecter a generation or two down the line.:D


Mike Irwin
May 22, 2002, 11:03 AM

The caliber though is the kicker.

At this point it might be hard to tell which caliber it was originally made in, but if it started out life in .38 S&W/.380/200, it was DEFINITELY for a British-let military contract and was not intended to be a commercial gun.

Slugging the barrel might possibly reveal the original caliber, as the .38 S&W/.380/200 bore would have been a little larger.

At that time the only handguns S&W was making chambered for the .38 S&W round were I-frames. The first time S&W ever produced a K-frame in .38 S&W was for the British beginning in 1940. Britain was also the only country ordering K-frames in .380/200 as procurement for all of the Commonwealth nations, I believe. The contract guns that went to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were not, to my understanding, separate contracts let with those countries, but additions or extensions to the British contract.