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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Guys,
About a decade ago I inherited a Smith and Wesson (along with a German P-38 and a Colt Model 1903) from my uncle and was wondering if anyone could help fill-in some of the details.
On the left side of the barrel it simply has Smith & Wesson. On the right side of the barrel it says: 38 S & W Special CTG. Also on the right side of the body it has Made in U.S.A. and the S&W Trademark. Underneath the barrel and on the metal frame part of the butt of the handgun is serial# (I believe that is what it is) V4105. And there is also a metal lanyard ring. Along the top of the barrel it has the Springfield name and some patent dates that look like Feb 3 06 Sep 14 09 Dec 28 14, although may be something close to that as it is hard to read (eyes not as good as they used to be). The handles are a plain, dark walnut stain and on the frame between the two wood sides there are two vertical lines that look to have been filed into the metal (possibly afterwards?).
I've attched two photos that may be of some help. the first is a standard side view and the second is of the markings on the grip.
Any information or input would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
Oh, I also have what I believe to be the original holster for this revolver. Let me know if a picture would help. Thanks again!
Joe side view.jpg rear view.jpg
 

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Hi Joe. welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! You have a very early Victory model .38 Special revolver from WWII. Your serial number is so low it was likely the first month of production for the Victories. Take the grips off and see if the serial is penciled or stamped on the right grip panel. If so, they are original to the gun. Sure post the holster. We love pictures of old gun thingies :D.

Those notches are not original. May have been done as an easy identifier or maybe they were kills. We'll likely never know.
 
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Hello jclovis and welcome to the forum.

It looks to me that you have a Victory Model.

Yes indeed, more pictures of both the revolver and the holster would be helpful. I for one, would like to see a closeup of the caliber markings. You indicate that it's a ".38 Special", but there is a possibility that it started life as a .38 S&W cartridge (a different caliber).........and it may have been modified to accept .38 Specials (not a wise modification) or it may still remain .38 S&W.

Best Regards,

Geezer
 

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Welcome aboard from Florida the "GunShine" state.fognbov

State of 1 Million Concealed Carry Licenses and counting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply guys.

Thanks for the info Guy. Do you know which year they started manufacturing the "V" model?
Geezer, I've posted some more pics of my .38 along with some pics of the Colt model 1903 and German P38 that my uncle brought back from the war and subsequently given to me a few months before his passing. thought you might enjoy them. Any info here as well from you two would be appreciated.

Thanks again and it's good being in the group. I may have to trade in my current carry (Springfield XD40) for a S&W.

Joe 38 S&W barrel markings.jpg 38 S&W holster manufacturer marking.jpg 38 S&W holster.jpg 38 S&W in holster close up.jpg 38 S&W in holster.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another pic of .38

I'm only allowed to do 5 pics per reply so I'm adding this reply with one more pic of the .38 seriel number and some pics of my 1903. Next replies will be of the P38. Hope I'm not boring you.
And Guy, I tried to unscrew the grips but they are not going anywhere and I was worried about stripping the screw. Sorry. 38 S&W seriel #.jpg Colt Model 1903 left side.jpg Colt Model 1903 right side.jpg Colt Model 1903 in holster.jpg
 

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Hi jclovis, The first Vs shipped about August (officially April) 1942 through end of the war. Toward the end of this 811,000+ run one sees SV indicating an improved hammerblock. The majority were for Commonwealth service and chambered in .38 S&W; serials were concurrent. Most U.S. guns were 4", most Brits were 5".

Your Walther P-38 bears the ac42 code which indicates "ta-da" it was made by Carl Walther, A.G., Zella-Mehlis, Thuringia, Germany.

Welcome aboard,

Waidmann
 

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Joe, your Uncle left you some real history from the "Greatest Generation" and they've been well cared for. Congrats. He must have thought a lot of you. Beautiful guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Grasshopper. Along with the guns he also left me 1930's era slot machine and his gun safe. That's where he always kept them then and that's where I keep them now. They don't get out too often. The slot machine still gets played and still takes my money. Lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@ Grasshopper, my uncle had no children and was a hunter. He left my brother his hunting rifles and me his WW II pistols. I'm happy with it.
 

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Very nice guns and holsters, Joe! Since your gun is stamped .38 Special, it is likely a US gun. Some .38 Specials were sent to a few British Commonwealth countries, like Australia. But, the Brits wanted .38 S&W guns with a 200 gr. bullet which was compatible with the Webley. So, S&W made K-200 or .38/200 chambered guns for them. Many of them have come back across the Atlantic reamed for .38 Special.
 

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jclovis, Oddly enough many (most?) U.S. Victory Models were sold through the Defense Supplies Corporation to defense plants, local police departments and the like. If your revolver is marked U.S. NAVY or UNITED STATES PROPERTY on the left side of the top strap then it was military issue, absent that marking likely it is a DSC gun. The Victory Model was standard issue for Naval aircrewmen both USN and USMC, later other Naval activities received them. Only the earliest were marked U.S. NAVY.

Your P-38 holster was made by Friedrich Offerman und Sohn(son) Lederwerk (leather work) of Bensberg, Germany.

W.


As far as German war records go, I would not hold too much hope for something that mundane. After extensive remodeling by various allied air forces, division into four zones of occupation, the French carting off Walther's machinery and resuming as Manhurhin, not forgetting the Iron curtain years, I would not know where to tell you to look for them.
 

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good to see some nice quality old leather!!!!

are your intentions to begin shooting these vintage weapons, or to keep them locked up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Waidmann > Thanks for the info. I had not heard anything regarding the DSC guns. Mine does not state "US Navy" or "United States Property" anywhere on it. I originally thought that it may had been my uncle's service revolver when he was a deputy sheriff. But later started leaning towards thinking it was from his military days.Briefly, being a 1st generation Polish/American who spoke fluent Polish my uncle was recruited into the OSS when he enlisted into the Army during WW II. I have located his name and some info from the recently declassified OSS archives and am currently working with the OSS Society in McLean, VA with the hopes of filling-in more of the missing spaces in regards to my uncles service to our country. After the war he ETS'd out of the military and went to college. While at college he also became a deputy sheriff in order to help make ends meet. When the Korean Conflict broke out he went back into the Army as an officer and served in Korea. After this war ended, he again left the Army and started his career as a civilian. So now I'm not sure where the .38 came into play.

m657 > Thanks. All of the leather is in very good shape. I've never done anything to any of the leather except for keeping it in a controlled environment. I have fired the Colt 1903 twice and it worked like a pro. Firing the .38 and the P38 have crossed my mind but I have not yet done so due to safety concerns. I would probably have them checked out by a gunsmith first but cannot see this happening in the near future. I do keep a light coat of oil on them while stored.
 

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A very light application of neatsfoot oil will not harm the holsters. I SOAKED the old Hunter brand holster I use for one of my toys, and it came back to life beautifully (but chocolate dark instead of the original color). I also keep the 1930s basket weave stamped top flap service holster for my 3rd Model .44HE regularly oiled.

Nice guns. Your P38 would go nicely with my Wermacht CZ24 (NOT Reich proof marked, not Czech unit proof marked) that was a battlefield trophy. 3rd Reich armament records can be really easy to find, or nearly impossible. Since your P38 is not sporting SS runes, it falls into the nearly impossible category. I grab up every real piece of 3rd Reich ANYTHING I can afford, I have a mid war Hitler Youth knife that was assembled post war from left-over parts and sold through the Boy Scouts of America in the late 40s. Acid dip brought out the very faint "Blood and Honor" etching in the blade. Isn't worth much since it is beat to crap, but, collectors go bonkers over them. Blade is stamped with the 1942/43 RIG under a mountain, with post war Solingen Germany next to the early maker's marks. Handle is the 1943 hard nickel over injection molded high tin potmetal.

I'd straight swap you for my .44HE if they were not family heirloom guns. You can't put a price on family history.
 
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