A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Analysis of a Victory

From a current auction on Gun Broker. The seller says:

Click to enlarge
US Navy marked Smith & Wesson M&P.
This is not a "Victory" model.
Frame serial number: 969XXX
Parkerized finish that looks near mint. Based of the sharp clear lettering, in my opinion, this is the original finish.
This gun looks unfired (but it has been) and I think it would be very hard to upgrade. As with all military weapons they do get test ("proof") fired.
BARREL: 4". Rifling appears to be sharp with no pitting (bore is dirty, could use a good cleaning). Marked "38 S.& W. SPECIAL CTG" on the right side, "SMITH & WESSION" [sic] on the left side and a two line address with patent dates on top. No import marks.
Click to enlargeFRAME: Marked "PROPERTY U.S. NAVY" on the left side under the cylinder release latch and the right side has the S&W logo with "MADE IN U.S.A." No import marks.
SERIAL NUMBERS: matching on the grips (stamped into the wood), butt and cylinder. Assemble numbers matching on the crane and frame. This is all as it should be.
Hammer, trigger and lanyard ring are case colored.
Matching numbers on the butt, cylinder, barrel, grips and extractor rod.
Matching numbers on the frame and the crane.
This revolver is presented for auction as an original finish gun in the seller's opinion. It clearly is not. It has a parkerized finish, which also covers the ejector rod and most likely the extractor (which the seller is careful not to show.) Original finish Victory revolvers have blued extractors and ejector rods. The original finish of these revolvers was not parkerizing.

The Property of US Navy marking on the left of the frame is interesting. Genuine Red Victory marking, Click to enlargeThese markings were applied by the US Navy, after receipt of the revolver, resulting in a damaged finish. The letters were often filled with red paint, as shown at right, to prevent rust in the bare metal at the bottom of the stamping. The commonly used red paint led to the moniker "Red Navy Victory" among collectors. This mark is also perhaps the most commonly faked marking among S&W revolvers. Finding this marking filled with parkerizing is a certain indication of a refinish.

The seller hedges his bets, stating his offering is a "US Navy marked Smith & Wesson M&P" True enough, but marked by who? He goes on to state "This is not a "Victory" model." Again, true enough. He even states it is parkerized. It appears to me this seller is guarding against a return on the gun, banking on the buyer's enthusiasm and ignorance at the time of the transaction.

The seller claims a serial number of 965XXX, and states that the grips match. There, the serial number can be discerned. 965675. Only Roy Jinks can say for certain whether this revolver shipped from Springfield to the US Navy, but since the seller gave his opinion on it's authenticity, I'll give mine. It didn't. Someone at sometime though, wanted to make it appear as though it did.

Postscript: The auctioned revolver went for $717.00.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
Why does it have "Seattle Police" stamped on it?

Ronaldo

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me if I’m wrong…isn’t that red paint on the thumb latch and just below it in the pin hole and also in the crevice between the top and bottom lines of words? Should that be there if it was done many moons ago? Just wondering.

Ronaldo

2:33 PM  
Anonymous BillH said...

Seattle Police engraved on the one in the third pic too, and a pitiful scratched "civil defense". I'd be interested to know the story behind that gun. Is that one of yours Xavier?

2:47 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Many of the US service revolvers were sold off as surplus arms after WWII. Some went to law enforcement agencies, others to civilians. This one apparently went to the Seattle Police Department.

Having been an enlisted sailor, I can tell you that the application of paint isn't something sailors are very persnickity about. The letters were filled with paint by enlisted men after the same men stamped Property of US Navy into the frame. Probably they greased the gun, stamped the frame, then slathered on some paint and wiped off the excess with a rag. It's no different than armorers using White-Out and stenciels with spray paint on the grips and stocks of guns today.

In this instance it does appear the paint was applied after someone buzzpenned "Civil Defense" into the frame.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

The revolver is, sadly, not one of mine Bill. I borrowed the pic from this site. It is, however, the genuine article, authenticated by Roy Jinks. You can read more about it in the Navy section of the website, including the letter from Roy. It's the Navy 1942 M&P, from the collection of Ty Moore.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Here's a link to the portal of Ty's website.

Beaucoup valuable information there!

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's early for ugly gun sunday
but is this Steyr Hahn Model 1912 pretty or pretty ugly?
tinyurl.com/6hckwj

12:04 PM  

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