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Old July 4, 2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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Join Date: April 24, 2006
Posts: 1,810
I'm no expert but I believe that S&W shipped revolvers to Great Britain from 1939-42 that were serialized in the commercial range. Collectors may call these "Pre-Victory Models."

In 1942 they hit 1,000,000 and started over with V1. They were made until sometime in 1945 but I don't know how high the serial went. These are the true "Victory Models" according to serious collectors. In 1945 a new safety to block the hammer was added these were stamped SV.

Most VMs came with 4" barrels in 38 Special for use by U.S. military and civilians (defense plant guards, etc were often issued these pistols) or 5" barrels in 38 S&W for Great Britain (this includes Canada, Australia, etc). A very, very few were made in 38 Special with 2" barrels and collectors go nuts over these.

After the war many of these were reissued to German civilian police departments during the reconstruction period. I have one marked for a PD in Saxony and I joke that it was packed by a "Saxon pig."

Many of the 38 S&W guns were cut up and reamed for the longer 38 Special. Sadly, these guns are pretty much ruined. Most often the barrels were cut to 2" because that was cool but the front ejector rod lug is usually lost at this length. The 38 S&W bore is slightly larger than the Special and combined with the lost lug these guns can be unreliable and very inaccurate.
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