A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To Buy or Not to Buy

From an email:

I ready your blog daily and thank you for your insight on evaluating firearms. I have learned volumes from your writing and hope to enjoy reading your posts for years to come. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and recently found this revolver for sale on a local classifieds site.
I haven't contacted him because I wanted to get your take on the revolver. Does this look/sound legit? Thank you for your assistance.

"Victory" model Smith & Wesson .38 SPCL revolver
Sandy, UT 84070 - Aug 11, 2008
I have for sale a "Victory" model Smith & Wesson revolver. This was a lend-lease gun, and has the "British Nitro-proof" markings on the Cylinder and above the Smith & Wesson name on the left side of the barrel. The British converted this revolver to .38 SPCL, although the barrel is still marked .38 S&W CTG. All serial #'s match, and the "V" is stamped before the serial # on the bottom of the butt strap, and the face of the cylinder. The barrel has been professionally shortened to 3.5", and the lanyard ring was removed, probably for concealment purposes.
Buyer must be willing to sign a bill of sale. No phone calls after 8pm, please.
It's legit, but be aware that a British lend lease Victory was originally chambered in .38S&W. To rechamber it in .38 special, the length of the chambering is increased. What many do not understand is the .38S&W is a bit larger in diameter than a .38 special. Of course, this difference can not be taken away. The result is frequently ruptured shell casings and problems with extraction.

The shortening of the barrel is usually OK for a shooter if it's done well and a good crown is placed on it. The grips on this revolver, of course, are not original. The Smith & Wesson British Victory for sale is no longer historical, and it is likely a poor shooter. It's market value is between $125 and $175, depending on the area it is sold in. A good used Model 10 would sell for around $200-250. A M&P would sell for about the same. An unaltered Victory in .38 special (US) would sell for $300-450 depending on type and condition. An unaltered British Victory would go for about the same amount now.

There is no way I would pay $450 for the revolver you are considering. You can get a much better original gun for that money.

My two pesos.


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Blogger JPG said...

All of your response was, of course, spot-on, as was your advice to pass it by at that price. It's a shame that the prospective seller is so blatantly trying to mislead possible buyers with his speil.

One additional bit of information, though: If a person does end up with one of these repatriated S&Ws, rechambered to .38 Special, all is not entirely lost. Some of them -- likely most -- will still shoot .38 S&W cartridges quite well. The bore diameter remains correct, and so does the rear part of the chambers. The short little cartridges headspace on the rim, and all is well.


8:08 PM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

Incidentally, this is the sort of gun that Lee Harvey Oswald used to murder officer Tippet.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Firehand said...

Had a chance to shoot a M&P originally that someone had- badly- rechambered to .38 Special. Shot badly; lousy accuracy, and almost 1/3 of the cases split.

9:39 AM  

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