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welcome01 to the forum.

There will be a Victory expert along shortly I am sure. Yours would have shipped in 2nd half of 1943.

Rule of thumb on Victory's (compliments of DWalt)

1942: 89xxxx - V21xxx
1943: V21xxx - V49xxxx
1944: V49xxxx - V74xxxx
1945: V74xxxxx - SV81xxxx
 
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Your revolver was not plated when it left the factory, and of course had wooden grips originally.

It looks to be in great condition. Welcome to the forum.
 
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Welcome to the forum!

Your gun is a WW II lend lease hand ejector known as the British Service Revolver chambered in .38 S&W caliber, not .38 Special, that has been refinished and nickel plated. The grips appear to be plastic by Franzite. Although it was originally a .38 S&W, the cylinder may have been altered to accept .38 Special ammunition. This was a common practice after WW II when thousands of these guns were brought to the US. If a .38 Special cartridge fits all the way into the cylinder, it has been altered, if not, only 38 S&W ammo will work. The 38 S&W is a shorter, fatter cartridge than the Special and the size difference when used in the 38 S&W may cause 38 Special cartridges to bulge or split. Also, most guns shipped to the UK were 5" barrels. Yours is an unusual 4" and may have been shortened. Most of the 4" guns of that period were .38 Specials and stayed in the US.

It's a great keepsake so enjoy it and pass it down.

38 s-w_38 spl_stamp.jpg

This is a Brit Serv Revolver in original 38 S&W

Briy Serv Rev 38-200v_05.jpg

Franzite grips, very popular after WW II...
Franzite grips stamp.JPG
 

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Welcome to the forum!

38 sw Cyl Conversion.png 38 sw conversion 38 Special brass.jpg

To carry forward from ArkieVol's post, this would be what your cylinder would look like if it had been reamed out for .38 Special if originally chambered for .38 S&W (though if the reverse were done, you couldn't tell just from the cylinder). The 2 ridges are a dead giveaway. The longer and thinner .38 Special rounds needed a bit of material removed from deeper in the cylinder to fully seat. The side of the barrel will read ".38 S&W CTG" if it were originally reamed for .38 S&W, else it'll have ".38 S&W SPCL CTG" stamped on there.

The second shot is what your brass might look like if you shot .38 Specials out of that cylinder. Lots of folks have and do. Just don't ever plan on reloading that stuff!

If you shoot that keepsake, (and you know it to be in good condition) then suggest you stick with 158 gr LRN (lead round nose) ammo. Easily available. 158 grain is the bullet weight.
 

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.38 S&W 145gr lead round-nose rounds are also available new from PPU - some gun stores will special-order them, or you can order them on-line.

These basically duplicate the earlier US .38S&W rounds - like the Winchester Super-X (X38SWP) I just shot from my Enfield No2 Mk1 pistol earlier today. ;)
 

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online print screen



I have had good luck with both of these in my .38SW Victory's and BSR's.
 

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Rule of thumb on Victory's (compliments of DWalt)

1942: 89xxxx - V21xxx
1943: V21xxx - V49xxxx
1944: V49xxxx - V74xxxx
1945: V74xxxxx - SV81xxxx
One correction on the DWalt ranges, which may have resulted from a typo at some point:

The V21xxx is missing one digit and should be V21xxxx.

On this gun V361xxx, I would think August 1943 (+/-) to be the ballpark.
 
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