A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Crushed Victory

Ever since I read of the destroyed Victory Models in John Henwood's book, I have wanted one. These were often sold at gunshows with the spurious story that they were run over by a tank. It seems a lot of tanks were running over Victory Models in WWII! The truth is, these revolvers were destroyed by our own government. The contract between the US government and Smith & Wesson for the Victory Model revolvers specified that the government would not sell the guns as surplus when the war was over. This protected Smith & Wesson from struggling in a gun market flooded with their own revolvers, as had happened after WWI with the M1917.

Thus, as excess Victory Models were removed from service, most were destroyed rather than sold. Comparatively few Victory Models reached the general public as functional guns. Government agents oversaw the destruction of most of these arms. An ordnance officer was required to be present as a steam powered hammer crushed each of these perfectly serviceable revolvers in three places; on the barrel, the cylinder, and the triggerguard. The remains were then sold as scrap metal.

Several enterprising firms purchased the scrap in bulk, and resold them as gun parts. The crushed Victory Models were usually priced under ten dollars each in 1980, and even included the grips, and lanyard loop. Either would cost over ten bucks today.

When I saw this stripped crushed Victory on a table at a recent gun show, I wanted it for two reasons.....First, the historical aspect, but secondly it is a US Navy rollmarked version, and it will help me avoid counterfeit US Navy Victory Models in the future. I asked the seller what he wanted for it, and I was relieved to not hear the old tank running over the gun story. The seller simply said twenty bucks. I handed it back to him with the comment that I could find one with a cylinder and grips for that amount. I turned to leave, and he asked "How much will you give me?" I told him it was worth ten bucks to me to be able to place it in a display of M&P revolvers. He thought a minute, and considered that he had gotten everything off the revolver he wanted, and agreed to my price. Call me crazy.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

That's just as bad as the Hummers sold to the US today. The military allowed AM General to include a line on their contract such that used Hummers would not be allowed for sale on the civilian market.

Y'all have a right to be angry, because that's yours and mine tax dollars going to waste, requiring that old Hummers be sold as scrap instead of being put to peaceful civilian reutilization.

All this to protect the AM General's business model.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous 1894C said...

---We've got questions---

"What CAN you do with that?

1894C"
--Xavier's Got Answers--

Oh, cool.

Thanks for the history lesson.

That's why it is always fun to visit here.

Regards,
1894C

4:18 PM  

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