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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! Folks already told you pert much everything. Collectors know it as the British Service Revolver chambered for the .380/200 Webley cartridge. Basically, that was a .38 S&W with a 200 grain lead bullet. Your gun was built by S&W under contract with the UK before we entered the war. After we entered, it got a V prefix to the serial number as did all the .38 Special revolvers. .38 S&W ammo is still manufactured although you may not find it except at big box sports stores and it is more expensive than .38 Special.
 

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38 sw Cyl Conversion.png

This photo I "borrowed" from another forum member - it shows the 2 steps folks were talking about. Given the cases on any typical rimmed handgun round are wider than the bullet seated in those cases, using those ridges will keep you from putting a .38 Special into the cylinder for a .38 S&W. With a rimmed cartridge, all you really need to position the round is the rim itself.

The .38 S&W is shorter and a tad fatter than the .38 Special. So when they reamed the cylinder out for .38 Special, it formed another ridge deeper into the cylinder. I am reminded it could also be the reverse, someone reaming out a .38 Special so it would chamber .38 S&W. But that's really rare, I'd think. Who wants to go to the .38 "short and weak" when the .38 Special will deliver more punch? Plus the brass of a .38 Special would tend to swell in the unsupported portion of the chamber, maybe even split. Makes those rough to reload!

Anyway - .38 S&W is a low pressure round, so assuming the condition of the gun is such it can be shot, any commercial .38 S&W ammo will shoot fine out of it. Range reports ASAP, please! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #24
View attachment 246690

This photo I "borrowed" from another forum member - it shows the 2 steps folks were talking about. Given the cases on any typical rimmed handgun round are wider than the bullet seated in those cases, using those ridges will keep you from putting a .38 Special into the cylinder for a .38 S&W. With a rimmed cartridge, all you really need to position the round is the rim itself.

The .38 S&W is shorter and a tad fatter than the .38 Special. So when they reamed the cylinder out for .38 Special, it formed another ridge deeper into the cylinder. I am reminded it could also be the reverse, someone reaming out a .38 Special so it would chamber .38 S&W. But that's really rare, I'd think. Who wants to go to the .38 "short and weak" when the .38 Special will deliver more punch? Plus the brass of a .38 Special would tend to swell in the unsupported portion of the chamber, maybe even split. Makes those rough to reload!

Anyway - .38 S&W is a low pressure round, so assuming the condition of the gun is such it can be shot, any commercial .38 S&W ammo will shoot fine out of it. Range reports ASAP, please! :D
20171227_143305_HDR.jpg Looks dirty but i don't see the two steps. Thanks for the help.
 

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That cylinder has been reamed for .38 Special. See the discolored area in front of the shoulder (step)? It's rough from the reamer cuts while the cut before the reamed area is smooth. Whoever did it used a reamer for the .38 S&W. That's why only one shoulder.
 

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That cylinder has been reamed for .38 Special. See the discolored area in front of the shoulder (step)? It's rough from the reamer cuts while the cut before the reamed area is smooth. Whoever did it used a reamer for the .38 S&W. That's why only one shoulder.
So any .38 Special round will rattle around a bit in the chamber. Yeah, I saw the rougher reamed part so it makes sense they just ran the .38 SW reamer a bit deeper. Wouldn’t want to see the brass on the Special round after firing, NONE of it is well supported in the cylinder.

To a large degree the brass swelling under pressure seals the burning gasses away from the firing pin ( most noticeable in semi auto pistols)... so the Special rounds may allow gasses to seep backwards.

Given all that I’d stick to .38 SW rounds exclusively.
 

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It also looks as if the barrel was shortened and the front sight soldered on. This not an atypical alteration of a British Service revolver. Nickel, remodeling to mimic the 4 inch M&P and faux stag grips were late 1950's cool!
Concur that the faux stag grips and shortening the barrel were cool things to do!

If the barrel has been shortened, then the various logos will not be centered on the barrel. So if you see something like ".38 S&W C'' by the time the wording reaches the muzzle, and not ".38 S&W CTG" neatly centered on the barrel, it's been shortened. Not a bad deal, lots of folks like the balance of a 4" or 5" barrel over 6" and 8" ones. It's a pretty common alteration all told. Refinishing is common, but alters the value of the piece badly.

So what you have is a shooter, but one that should give you many thousands of rounds of good recoil therapy!!
 
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