Charlie and I corresponded about an H&R Reising Model 165 Rifle today, and the subject of this S&W Victory revolver came up. The reason it came up was a Model 165 sold at auction recently that featured what appears to be the same markings and finish of the Victory revolver featured here. For those who may not know, I have an affinity for Reisings, particularly the .22 rifles, such as the Models 65, 165, 150, 151, and MC-58. The Marine Corps adopted the H&R Reising Model 65 as their M1 Garand training rifle in 1943, and repeated so in 1958 with the MC-58, again for the M1 Garand. They did not adopt the Models 165, 150, and 151, which were all branded as H&R's "Leatherneck" series of .22 rifles. Just to clarify, the USMC did not adopt any of the "Leatherneck" branded rifles.
I've been working on a book on Eugene Reising's Firearm Designs for several years now, and when I saw a Model 165 available at auction that featured similar USMC markings, and a unique serial number, I wanted to see it. I placed an auction bid that ended up being less than half of what the rifle sold for, which was about $1400. In placing the bid, I let my guard down a bit, based on the overall appearance of the USMC marked Model 165, and thought that just maybe, H&R gave the USMC a rifle or two to evaluate, or for some kind of special presentation. Based on the appearance of this S&W Victory revolver that Charlie pointed out, I am now convinced both were faked.
Here is a comparison of the markings and finish of the Victory, and the Model 165. Both firearms were refinished similarly.
I want to thank Charlie for remembering, and forwarding this post to me.
Happy New Year!