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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I am new to the Forum and am looking for information on a .38/200 revolver. I think it has British markings on it.
Any information would be appreciated. I tried to down load pictures but was not able to do so.
Thank you.
S_W.jpg
S_W.jpg
 

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I can't tell you much more than it was a "Lend/Lease" pistol sent to the Brits. We sent them the weapons without immediate cash payment so we (the USA) couldn't be charged with directly supporting the Brits in the war before War was officially declared on December 8th, 1941.

I have never heard if Great Britain ever paid us back for the hundreds of millions of dollars of support we gave them in the 2 world wars. My guess would be they never paid it all back.
The British proof marks indicate that the pistols met the British requirement for reliability, and quality of workmanship, and could hold up to the specific chamber pressure specs that the British called for.
In any given lot the Brits would select a certain number of guns and test them. If the lot samples passed all of the pistols in that lot would get the British proof stamp approvals.

I don't recall ever hearing if any of the pistols sent to them ever failed their tests. It seems to be just one more thing that proved that these pistols were British owned and approved, to keep the US out of political hot water for supporting the war efforts, without Congressional approval.
 
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I have never heard if Great Britain ever paid us back for the hundreds of millions of dollars of support we gave them in the 2 world wars. My guess would be they never paid it all back.
You are absolutely correct. (Please, Brit apologists...spare me the "they provided us with bases" excuse; the bases were as much for THEIR benefit as ours.)

But did the Victory models have the S&W medallions?
 

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I must respectfully disagree. During 1940 S&W owed the Brits $1,000,000 for the failed Light Rifle of 1940 project. This is part of the pay-off and not Lend-Lease. That came a bit later. What you have pictured are the standard collection of Enfield Arsenal inspection/acceptance marks. The military proof is crossed flags. Your variant has the "Lazy E" on its side. Some are of the opinion this indicates the work was done off site. In any event your revolver was manufactured to commercial standards, not the later war time one of the Victory era. The Brits owned this one free and clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the information. I wasn't entirely sure that the proof marks were British.
 

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Waidmann provided the correct information.

Serial 771273 would have shipped around June 1941, about half a year before Lend-Lease began to cover revolver shipment. It went to the British Purchasing Commission in New York, likely part of a large batch of 1000 or more. Many such batches letter to the BPC during those months.

The double stamp of the British broad arrow (property) and the crown-inspector code-E (acceptance), together with the crossed-pennant military proof which you should find on the left frame in front of the cylinder, were applied at Enfield until the L-L revolvers started arriving with the UNITED STATES PROPERTY on the topstrap. Serial-wise, that occurred in the upper 800-thousands in late 1941.

Shortly after that, the commercial finish changed to brush blue and the checkered stocks with medallion to simple smooth walnut.
 

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^ With one caveat. It appears the military proof function was delegated to S&W prior to Lend-Lease. Witness the P found on the butt of some of these weapons prior to the Ordnance bomb and U.S.Property markings.

With British Service revolvers anything can happen. No extra markings, the 38/380 barrel markings, Re-chambered .38 Specials (more so Colt's), multiple nationality markings etc., etc.
 

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^ With one caveat. It appears the military proof function was delegated to S&W prior to Lend-Lease. Witness the P found on the butt of some of these weapons prior to the Ordnance bomb and U.S.Property markings.
.....
I think we’ve discussed this before. Since we find plenty of guns with both the P proof on the butt and the crossed pennant proof from at least spring 1941 (I have a specimen shipped in May), it seems unclear whether one was understood to replace the other.
 

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These were a couple more pictures I took. Hope they upload.
Thanks
Looks to be in nice shape overall, and original. It also seems to have escaped post-war British commercial proofing. Are there any marks on the butt besides the serial?

You should double-check whether the cylinder has been bored out to accommodate .38 Special; that happened to many. If still original, it should look like the picture below, with clear sharp shoulders about halfway down the chambers.
 

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If it received civil proofs in London they would be on the right side and not as bold as Birmingham proofs. Again everything happened or didn't with these guns.
 
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