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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need your help identifying my father's six shot revolver.
Thought it was a Model 33 but it is stamped Cal 38 special on the frame which I know is not right.
Can anyone help me?
I have added lots of pictures.
Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum. You have a 38 M&P from WW2. These were also known as the Victory model. You gun was originally made for the British in 38 S&W. Many were later returned to the USA and converted to 38 Special. Your revolver has been refinished at some point.
S&W did not use model numbers until 1958
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Rocky Mountain Girl! Jonesy is right on, as we used to say in the '60s :). Your .38 M&P Victory model British Service Revolver (BSR) was originally chambered for .38 S&W which has a cartridge shell (brass) length of .767". .38 S&W was the British standard cartridge for their revolvers. That stamp on the right side of the barrel is from proof testing done after the gun was released by the military for civilian sale. Most of the other proof stampings have been polished off. The Cal 38 Special stamp was placed there by the company that did the modifications to the cylinder so it could chamber .38 Special which is a smaller diameter but longer cartridge than .38 S&W. You can see the shoulders for the two cartridges in the cylinder chambers. The shoulder closest to the breech face is for .38 S&W and the one farthest away is for .38 Special. So, your gun can chamber and shoot either cartridge safely. As Jonesy says, S&W did not have model numbers until 1958. At that point in time, your gun's basic configuration with some improvements would become the Model 10.

The cartridge modification was deemed necessary since the more popular cartridge in the US was .38 Special. The companies importing these surplus handguns wanted something that would sell quickly and cheaply. Your gun would have likely sold for $30 or less in the 1950's and 60's. Often the barrels were chopped off to make a snubby. The size of your revolver is a K frame, square butt, and K/L frame square butt grips will fit it if you or your dad want to put some on that are more comfortable for shooting. A lot of folks think they are ugly, but Pachmayr or Hogue rubber grips are great for shooting. Yes, you can shoot .38 Special +P but keep in mind that because the chambers are larger than the .38 Special diameter, the casings will swell and may crack. That tendency will be exacerbated with +P ammo. You will not have that problem with .38 S&W because most manufacturers don't make it in higher pressure versions. .38 S&W is also more difficult to find for sale and will cost substantially more than .38 Special.

So, go find some ammo and give us a Rocky Mountain range report! 🤠
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forum. You have a 38 M&P from WW2. These were also known as the Victory model. You gun was originally made for the British in 38 S&W. Many were later returned to the USA and converted to 38 Special. Your revolver has been refinished at some point.
S&W did not use model numbers until 1958
Thank you very much for replying so quickly! The 38 S&W and 38 Special markings really had me confused!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Rocky Mountain Girl! Jonesy is right on, as we used to say in the '60s :). Your .38 M&P Victory model British Service Revolver (BSR) was originally chambered for .38 S&W which has a cartridge shell (brass) length of .767". .38 S&W was the British standard cartridge for their revolvers. That stamp on the right side of the barrel is from proof testing done after the gun was released by the military for civilian sale. Most of the other proof stampings have been polished off. The Cal 38 Special stamp was placed there by the company that did the modifications to the cylinder so it could chamber .38 Special which is a smaller diameter but longer cartridge than .38 S&W. You can see the shoulders for the two cartridges in the cylinder chambers. The shoulder closest to the breech face is for .38 S&W and the one farthest away is for .38 Special. So, your gun can chamber and shoot either cartridge safely. As Jonesy says, S&W did not have model numbers until 1958. At that point in time, your gun's basic configuration with some improvements would become the Model 10.

The cartridge modification was deemed necessary since the more popular cartridge in the US was .38 Special. The companies importing these surplus handguns wanted something that would sell quickly and cheaply. Your gun would have likely sold for $30 or less in the 1950's and 60's. Often the barrels were chopped off to make a snubby. The size of your revolver is a K frame, square butt, and K/L frame square butt grips will fit it if you or your dad want to put some on that are more comfortable for shooting. A lot of folks think they are ugly, but Pachmayr or Hogue rubber grips are great for shooting. Yes, you can shoot .38 Special +P but keep in mind that because the chambers are larger than the .38 Special diameter, the casings will swell and may crack. That tendency will be exacerbated with +P ammo. You will not have that problem with .38 S&W because most manufacturers don't make it in higher pressure versions. .38 S&W is also more difficult to find for sale and will cost substantially more than .38 Special.

So, go find some ammo and give us a Rocky Mountain range report! 🤠
Thanks so much for giving me so much information! Very kind of you to help out a beginner!
 

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Hey RMG,

Welcome to S&W!

Great fun ahead with that fine M&P!

Later, Mark
 
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A hearty Buckeye welcome from NE Ohio!

You have, in my opinion, the finest K frame to own, a long action with a 5” barrel. Many of these were cut back to make shorter barrels, snub noses, or worse. Yours has escaped that indignity.

These were made to be used hard so do not be worried about shooting it. Enjoy it for what it was built to do.

Kevin
 

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Welcome, thats a nice mod.10. I just joined recently and these members here are great and help out a good bit with the information. I myself just got started to collect a few S&W Revolers. Let us know how it shoots, and enjoy that one.
 
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