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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello S&W Forum,

greetings from Germany, i´m an newbe here. I startet collecting guns and bought some S&W and Colts. I bought a S&W Mod 10 i Think build in 1943 wit Serial V 518118 and same Numbers 72053 in Frame. Most informations about the gun is clear. But there ar some markings i don`t understand?

1. M o W befor the V in other direction
2. HE - M on Frame

Regards

Mario
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Mario! Your gun is not a Model 10 but it is its ancestor. The Model 10 has a different engineering design with a short throw hammer, hammer block safety and revised extractor rod. Your gun was known before WWII as the S&W .38 Military & Police revolver. By design, it is a Model 1905, 4th Change. You are close on the date of manufacture. It is either 1943 or 44. Someone with a database will come along and give more precise information. As to the stampings, the W stamp has not been accurately pinpointed to an organization. Some collectors believe it is the mark of the War Shipping Administration established by Presidential order in 1942. The HE-M stamp is for the Hessen police as authorized by the Allied Control Council in Nov. 1945 for Allied weapons furnished to civilian Police units. So, after the war, this revolver was provided to Hessen for police duty. Many of these guns were later sold through US military shooting clubs after they were removed from service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Guy Hello Bill,

thank you for your quick answers and the verry interresting details about my Revolver. Visiting this Forum was the right Idea :).

The Revolver has no U. S. Property GHD on the top Strap.

I have another S&W Serial 34468 in .455 and british Crossflag Frame Nr is 8268 tomorrow i wil take som Pictures and posting them here!
 

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V 518118 was likely produced in Feb/March 1944.

As Guy said, HE is Hessen, and the M stands for Municipal = städtische Polizei. These were issued starting in February 1946 and remained in service into the early 1950s.

The revolvers we have traced so far as issued to German police post-war all lettered as originally shipped either to the US Navy or the OSS. Without the topstrap marking (assuming it hasn‘t been removed), the latter might be more likely.
 

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It is an odd duck in our slang. And deserves some research. My reading indicates except Bavaria most German states and Austria received the British .38 S&W not the .38 S&W Special. The W is simply a known mystery. Unless the top markings were removed and the gun refinished it is more of a mystery.
 

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Austria and police agencies in the British zone got only the British variant, and the American zone of Berlin got only the .38 Spl., but the three Southern states of the US zone, Bayern/Bavaria, Hessen, and Württemberg-Baden, all got a mix of British and US variants. Guns we and the Germans have documented came from across the serial range, so they were apparently collected at war‘s end from whoever could spare them and shipped to Germany.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hanks again to everyone for the competent answers, it is really fun to collect such old sweethearts. I bought the revolver in Nuremberg, so it all fits pretty well.

I already have the revolver in the safe again, but I'll take another look at the place with the missing lettering with a magnifying glass. But the finish looks on this place authentic, do you think it's original?
 

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But the finish looks on this place authentic, do you think it's original?
Yes, original finish, no doubt about that. In fact, it is in surprisingly good shape for one of these ex-police issues. But given the crispness of the stampings and all other indicators, I do not believe it has been refurbished, with ejector rod, hammer, and trigger still as they should be.
 
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