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Old November 4, 2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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Smith & Wesson .38 Special

I was just wondering if anyone can tell me anything about a Smith & Wesson .38 that I recently acquired such as date, model etc? Serial number "V 385xxx" All I do know is it has ADC 31704 etched into it. Arkansas Department of Corrections I assume. Just wondering how old and any additional information anyone may be able to tell me.

Thank You
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Old November 4, 2008, 05:18 PM   #2
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try looking on this web site for information on your S&W
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Old November 4, 2008, 07:13 PM   #3
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It's a war production (WWII) Victory model. Is it .38 SPL or .38 S&W (shorts?)
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Old November 5, 2008, 09:49 AM   #4
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It's a .38 special. Thanks for the info
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Old November 5, 2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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It was made in the spring or summer of 1943. FWIW your gun should have smooth walnut stocks, a lanyard loop on the butt, and a tiny "flaming bomb" U.S. military acceptance mark on the butt in front of the loop. Most Victories in this timeframe had "Black Magic" finish, which is a matte finish similar to parkerizing but more dark grey than black, and it tends to be thinner and more easily scratched. However, these guns were frequently refinished and fitted with aftermarket stocks when they were resold on the surplus market after the war.

The meaning of the "ADC 31704" marking is hard to nail down. A large number of Victories were issued to guards at public and private facilities that were deemed vital for the war effort, such as factories producing war materials. The marking could actually be an identifier used by a private corporation during the war.

In military service, these revolvers were most frequently issued to aircrewmen in the U.S. Army Air Force (predecessor to the USAF) and the Navy, or to sailors aboard Navy warships. However, the "ADC" abbreviation doesn't strike me as something with U.S. military significance.
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Old November 5, 2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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We should post a sticky thread for researching Ruger, Colt, and Smith & Wesson revolvers by serial numbers. We get these questions pretty often.

It would be as useful as the revolver check-out thread.
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Old November 5, 2008, 02:00 PM   #7
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Mine is missing the lanyard loop on the butt, is there anyway to get a replacement?
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Old November 5, 2008, 02:53 PM   #8
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IIRC, Smith & Wesson still makes the lanyard loop and swivel for the Model 22-4 1917 Revolver. If they doin't have it available as a spare part, try Brownell's or Gun Parts Corp.
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Old November 6, 2008, 06:48 PM   #9
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Following the conclusion of WWII, many of the Victory revolvers were assigned to state and local government organizations, who frequently added some kind of marking to the revolver. These are post-war U.S. markings on the 4" bbl .38spl Victory revolvers previously issued to and carried by the U.S. military during the war.

S&W Victory revolvers were NOT commonly issued to civilian agencies during the war. The revolver most commonly produced and issued to civilian organizations during WWII (and only rarely to military units) was the Colt Commando .38spl revolvers.

Last edited by LionHunter; November 6, 2008 at 06:50 PM. Reason: tense correction
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.38 , serial number , smith & wesson

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