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Thread: Victory 38 Snub

  1. #1
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    Victory 38 Snub

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    This is my Victory 38 Snub. I inherited it from my Dad who was a chopper pilot during the Korean War. The serial is V651XXX and all the numbers match, even under the barrel. It is a pinned barrel. My Dad told me it was issued to him by a supply officer who was a close friend, as is with the grips and nickel. The supply officer said it was rare that a customized gun was in inventory and it was likely originally issued to a big wig who either died during service, or left behind. Only big wigs would be allowed to customize a weapon. The Standard Catalog of S&W seems to date the serial number to 1944. It is not a cut down barrel. I have been told Victory Snubs are rare.
    I have no interest in selling this gun because it has a lot of sentimental value. This gun was always around the house and I have to admit it was taken for granted due to pure ignorance of its value. I carried it with me when deer and duck hunting as a kid to shoot snakes and other pests. It went fishing with me and my Dad had it in a drawer in the back of his motor home where it bounced around back there all over the country. Up till recently, I had it in my desk drawer at my business until a customer enlightened me that it might be valuable. Obviously, I have it safe at home now.
    Any one out there have any idea what it might be worth. Not selling, but might need more insurance on my gun collection. LOL.
    LeMat likes this.

  2. #2
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    Most likely this piece was shipped to a police department during WWII. A factory letter will answer this. Given the plating some of the finer markings may be concealed. My guess is that it was personal property brought in theater and for whatever reasons "found on post-returned to military control". According to Charles Pate's book on WWII military handguns the "big wigs" to include Eisenhower, Patton etc. carried Detective Specials.

    No doubt your Dad acquired and retained the piece under irrregular circumstances. Victory snubs unaltered have crept at or above $1,000. In this state I'd hazard half that, but as you indicate, its going nowhere. In the same vein I would preserve it in the condition received. Its greatest value is as a treasured family heirloom.

    Waidmann

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    i am planning to get a letter. hopefully it will tell me more.

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    I can't quite make this out...is there an S in front of the V of the serial number? Also, the first number looks like an 8 not a 6 to me. If it is an 8, the chances are very high it was a part of the commercial order of nickel guns made at the end of the war. The highest known SN of that 86 gun batch is SV811832 so that would make your gun the highest known nickel variation of that batch. It would also increase the value substantially. The SCSW says the lanyard ring was removed on them and the holes plugged. So, yours would be unique and likely extremely valuable...if Roy authenticates it.
    MOONDAWG likes this.
    Guy

    S&WCA #2629 | Ex-Navy Vietnam Vet. / Submariner | NRA Member


  5. #5
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    No, there is no S. It's a wear mark with no indication of an S. Also the serial number under the barrel does not have a S. There is a V stamped on the inside of the frame visible when I open the cylinder. No "S" anywhere on the gun. Will double check the serial number to verify the 8 or 6 when I get home tonight and will post here.

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    Since the ejector rod is shorter & the barrel lug still there this isn't just another cut-down Victory Model. I'd like to know how he got to keep it after the war?Very interesting gun. Thanks for sharing. Is it a .38 S&W or .38 Special?
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment & buy one" Jesus - Luke 22:36

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    According to Pate, less 500 that went to the OSS and have never been seen again, the snub Victories were sold through the DSC. There were apparently some retrofits postwar but the matching serial numbers tend to exclude that. The population of true snub Victory Models is so small a letter should end speculation.Name:  220px-OswaldRevovlerNARA.jpg
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Size:  83.3 KB A nice V snub. The legion of "snubbed victories", "Oswald Specials", etc. retain the full length ejector rod and are cut behind the forward lock. There were no .38 S&W snubs; a handful of SVs in nickel that shipped commercial.


    Sorry about my shortcomings posting.

    W.
    LeMat likes this.

  8. #8
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    I am not sure how he got to keep it. I know he was in the reserves for decade after the war. I assume it stayed with him in the reserves and they lost track of it in inventory. However, a lot of things from his service stayed with him such as his flight helmet and other things. Another vet from the same time frame said that he thinks during that time, the military was allowing a lot of commissioned officers to keep stuff in an effort to reduce surplus. Wish I could ask my Dad this question.
    Today, I was in the gunsmith shop and there was a young guy in there with a nickel victory, but it was a cut down. The gunsmith used mine to show him what a factory snub looks like. No doubt, mine is factory. The differences are very easy to see, and yes mine is a 38 special. I am going to apply for a letter soon. I do not think the nickel is factory. I think it was nickel'd between WW2 and Korea. This is also why I think it was originally issued to someone with sufficient rank to get away with doing the nickel. But who knows?
    Last edited by hsegura; 01-22-2013 at 07:12 PM.

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    Nice piece!
    DO NOT let it get away from you, I hope you have someone in your family to pass it on to.

  10. #10
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    Yes it will be passed on. Could never sell it. Uh,,,well,,,maybe for some really ridiculous offer. But, it would still be tough to let go.


 

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