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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone give me information on this 38 S&W CTG. Serial #856723. This number is found on the barrel and the cylinder as well. It has a BNP stamp on the left side, barrel as well as the cylinder. Also stamped, -38 767" 3 1/2 tons. On top of barrel stamped Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass. USA with patented Feb 6, 06, Sept 14, 09, Dec 29, 14. Made in USA stamped on right side of the gun. The butt of the gun also stamped with a W.B. and Australian. The round that was in it is stamped R-P 38 SPL+P.

When was this gun manufactured, worth, and what type of round is used. I have read discussion about 38 versus 38 special.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Welcome to the friendly Forum from Iowa.
You have a Victory model from about 1944. It is probably chambered for the .38 S&W round, which is different from the .38 Special. Some were rechambered to fire the Special round. In that condition it's probably worth about $250. Do NOT fire +Ps in it.
Jim
 

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British Service Revolver

SAcontract_red.jpg pix587463773.jpg Yours was likely military in appearance when it arrived in England. It left through the Birmingham Proofhouse in 1955 or later chambered in .38 S&W (actually .380 Rimmed, a bit stouter). Along the way the butt swivel was lost, more modern grips were added and maybe a new finish. Check and see many have been altered to accept .38 Special. WB is Colonel Waldemar Broberg who headed the Hartford Ordnance District.

Merry Christmas.

P.S. Without a V prefix 1940/1941 is the period of manufacture, not 1944 (^sorry).
 

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Welcome to the forum from Texas!

It is a British Service Revolver, the BNP stamp is British Nitro Proof meaning it was proofed in the UK and can shoot smokeless cartridges (CTG is the abbreviation for cartridge). The .38 .787" stamp is a specification for the round and brass. You should see some other markings indicating if the gun was proofed for the military (flaming bomb) and some initials as to who the inspector was. Without those, it was likely a commercial gun. It started life as a M&P Hand Ejector, with ongoing engineering changes, based on the Model of 1905 4th Change design, and that design evolved into the Model 10 in the 1957/58 timeframe. It will shoot the .38/200 or .38 S&W round (same thing). Unless it's had the cylinder rebored, it will not shoot .38 Specials. If it has been rebored, and since the .38 Special is longer and narrower, there will be a 2nd ridge in the cylinders, as thus:
38 sw Cyl Conversion.png

Your gun is lacking the lanyard ring (hence the hole in the butt). It does not have the "V" prefix so is not a Victory issue, simply a .38 M&P model. The serial puts it in the 1941-1945 timeframe. Serials 700000-1000000 fell in that timeframe. When 1000000 was hit, the serials picked up the V prefix. So yours is about halfway through that 300K range, so would have to presume 1941 issue. Lend-Lease started shipping them over in 1940.

It looks to be in good condition. Not sure the grips (stocks) are original to the gun. If they are, the right side panel may have a pencilled in, or stamped in, serial number - see if it matches the one on the butt. Others who have a better knowledge of the gold medallions on the diamond magna grips will be able to weigh in on that. My limited research suggests the stocks are 1952-1967 issue.

If you want to shoot it, any commercial .38 S&W load will shoot fine.

Value of the gun, if the grips are original to the gun, and it wasn't refinished, I'd hazard $350-$400 range around here. If rebored, and/or stocks on't match, then about $250-300. If refinished, then about $250.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the information. It is truly appreciated. I believe it has been rebored. It does have inspector initials and the flaming bomb etched into it on the butt of the gun.
 

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Thank you for the information. It is truly appreciated. I believe it has been rebored. It does have inspector initials and the flaming bomb etched into it on the butt of the gun.
You can shoot standard lead-round-nose .38 Specials in it, if it was rebored - typically 158 grain loads are fine, just not anything marked +P. The rounds of the day were actually stouter than the 158-grain LRN loads today, but then again your gun is 80 years old.... Also expect the brass to swell, possibly rupture - do not plan on reloading that brass!

38 s-w_38 spl_stamp.jpg 38 sw conversion 38 Special brass.jpg

Have fun!
 

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The butt of the gun also stamped with a W.B. and Australian. The round that was in it is stamped R-P 38 SPL+.
A pre-Victory British Service model with serial 856723 was manufactured in late 1941, maybe November (+/-) shortly before or just about the time Lend-Lease took over paying for the guns.

I‘m not sure what your mention of “Australian” refers to. I can’t make that out on the butt, and the BNP means the gun was surplused out in Britain. If there was a .38 Special round in the gun, it has obviously been converted post-service since the barrel is marked 38 S&W CTG.
 

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In my experience of over a dozen converted BSRs shooting .38 specials in a converted chamber is totally random in result. So far as I know all the barrels are .358. The British made guns may run .360 or .361 but not the S&Ws. So I find them to be acceptable in accuracy. If the cases stick use a punch individually one chamber at a time. Do not bang on the ejector rod and risk bending it!
 
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