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WWII Victory model 4" .38 special


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Having carried one of these for about the first six years of my flying career, I can tell you that you could expect about %20 of the rounds in your target, about %20 in each of your neighbors target, %20 in the dirt in front of your target, and the final %20 completely disappear and you suspect they either went over the top or jumped over to the range next to you. I'm only about half tongue in cheek.

I will take it out soon and put some carefully hand loaded rounds through her and let you know what I find.


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I will take it out soon and put some carefully hand loaded rounds through her and let you know what I find.

 

Just don't expect it to shoot to POA unless you duplicate the service load, and accuracy may also suffer depending on your recipe. When I run the light loads through mine, I have no expectation of duplicating the weapon's accuracy with service ammo. The notable exception being the M1909, whose service round very closely anticipated .45 Colt cowboy loads...

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I thought you were somewhat kidding because my Navy Victory 38 was more accurate to pick and shoot and hit the target the first time then was my WW I M-1911 U.S. Army Colt 45, Japanese Nambu and my civilian 357 magnum.

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

Having carried one of these for about the first six years of my flying career, I can tell you that you could expect about %20 of the rounds in your target, about %20 in each of your neighbors target, %20 in the dirt in front of your target, and the final %20 completely disappear and you suspect they either went over the top or jumped over to the range next to you. I'm only about half tongue in cheek.

I will take it out soon and put some carefully hand loaded rounds through her and let you know what I find.

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Then you got what is known as a shooter. When I was a 2LT, we went to the range and one of the old crusts shot his round and couldn't qual. His rounds were everywhere. He tried three times and was visibly pissed. He was blaming the gun, ammo, everything but himself and the Range NCO chided him about it. He stormed off the range, came back with a Colt Python he had in his vehicle and five shots off hand, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam. All the rounds were in the face of the target. "Still think it's me Sarge". Took his .38 out of his holster and threw it at the target (almost hit it) "F#$kt your .38" and left the range. Didn't go well for him, but the point was made.

I carried a Ruger M108. To qual with mine, I had to aim 6" left of the targets right ear to hit it in the left side of the belt line. They either shoot or they don't.


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Thanks Hawk that's the first I have heard of them not shooting well. So your saying the one you where issued shot so bad you didn't carry it? Wow wonder what the deal was that caused them to shoot so bad? Do you know if these ever got arsenal rebuilds after any war? If not maybe that's what the problem is with the ones that won't shoot straight. Did you notice if the bad ones had loose cylinders or maybe the gap was wrong or anything like that? Could be the barrels are shoot out on them to. It's strange that so many of them won't shot good I would have never thought it. So in your experience you either get one that shots or you don't you say? Maybe I'll try to buy one that the owner has shot and says shots ok. I'm not expecting tight groups but I would like to have one that will hit the target.

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I had one of these Victory models several years ago and like a fool I sold it. It was marked US Navy and was a really good shooter up to about 20 yards. I never tried it farther than that. I guess some of these old revolvers have had sights bent and everything else over all these years.

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Thanks Hawk that's the first I have heard of them not shooting well. So your saying the one you where issued shot so bad you didn't carry it? Wow wonder what the deal was that caused them to shoot so bad? Do you know if these ever got arsenal rebuilds after any war? If not maybe that's what the problem is with the ones that won't shoot straight. Did you notice if the bad ones had loose cylinders or maybe the gap was wrong or anything like that? Could be the barrels are shoot out on them to. It's strange that so many of them won't shot good I would have never thought it. So in your experience you either get one that shots or you don't you say? Maybe I'll try to buy one that the owner has shot and says shots ok. I'm not expecting tight groups but I would like to have one that will hit the target.

 

No, I didn't say I didn't carry it, I did carry it and every year shot the thing aiming in the same place. It got comical trying to see how high and left you had to go to get center of mass. The ones we had were quite worn. We had quick release shoulder holsters and we were constantly dropping them out on on the ground, so bent blades, fixed sights and no one ever filing the front sight down or they were over filed. I do remember the cylinders being loose. Every numbskull that didn't know anything about revolvers would open the cylinder, give it a hard spin and then slam it shut like in the movies. Actually, thinking about it, I'm amazed they shot as reliably as they did. I can't remember a one of them not firing.


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Hawk im sorry I miss understood you so you did carry the victory. I got you would they not let you carry something else? Probably most of the problem with them was the neglect you talk about. Hate it when I see guys spinning and slamming a cylinder on a piece. It really does cause problem by loosing it all up and theat will affect the accuracy of the pistol. So I say that was a lot of the problem sounds like the guys with ones that have been taken care shoot fine. Never expected one to shoots as good as a colt gold cup but I was surprised to hear your story. Caused me to re think my idea about buying one. But now I think i will just find one that looks like its been taken care of.

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I have both the Army and Navy versions and mine shoot very accurately with Viet Nam era USGI ball ammo. Thanks, Al Hirschler in Dallas.

 

Al that's what I have always hear that they where good shooting pistols. That's why when Hawk said he had seen and fired a few that where bad I wanted to know why. His story of the way they where taken care of told the story of why. Plus to telling how many rounds of ammo went threw the last ones still n service? Can anyone think of any they ever saw that where arsenal rebuilds? I haven't and now that I tink of it I don't know if they rebuilt any at all. Seems like most of the ones I have looked at for sale over last five yrs has been lightly used. Maybe a lot of the ones in collectors hands where the better ones all along. Not being mistreated and fired as much as the ones coming out of military at the end. Hawk if you don't mind what yr was it they where still issueing them to you guys? And do you know if the military still has any in use?

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Al that's what I have always hear that they where good shooting pistols. That's why when Hawk said he had seen and fired a few that where bad I wanted to know why. His story of the way they where taken care of told the story of why. Plus to telling how many rounds of ammo went threw the last ones still n service? Can anyone think of any they ever saw that where arsenal rebuilds? I haven't and now that I tink of it I don't know if they rebuilt any at all. Seems like most of the ones I have looked at for sale over last five yrs has been lightly used. Maybe a lot of the ones in collectors hands where the better ones all along. Not being mistreated and fired as much as the ones coming out of military at the end. Hawk if you don't mind what yr was it they where still issueing them to you guys? And do you know if the military still has any in use?

 

We had ours up until abound Desert Storm time and that is when we transitioned to the 9mm, so that would have been 1992. We had both S&W's and Ruger M108's and I recall the Rugers being sturdier feeling and more accurate. God only knows how long they had been in service and how many rounds through them. The Guard took them out of service and then sold them to the public in a sanctioned auction to include all the 1911s, Reising machine guns, Thompsons, and most of the riot shotguns. I vaguely recall the .38's being sold for around $65 dollars. There was no way I was going to get caught dead buying those pieces of junk for that much money, nor those useless 1911s for $100. Can you guess who has egg on their face now???


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That's why when Hawk said he had seen and fired a few that where bad I wanted to know why. His story of the way they where taken care of told the story of why.

Mine shot for crap because it was a smoothbore. It had a Border Patrol stamp on the barrel, so Lord knows how long it had been in service...

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Can anyone think of any they ever saw that where arsenal rebuilds? I haven't and now that I tink of it I don't know if they rebuilt any at all.

 

The S&W Victory Model did not undergo any formal Government Arsenal rebuild program. Indeed, the only formal rebuild program that occurred was just after the end of WW2. A contract was let to S&W to rebuild approximately 25,000 Victories. Those revolvers were rebuilt at the S&W factory in Springfield, Mass.

 

And do you know if the military still has any in use?

 

While there might possibly be a few Victory Models laying around an arms room in a small NG armory somewhere I believe that officially and practically speaking all Victory Models are now out of the system.

 

The US Military continued to buy quantities of the Military & Police model revolver up through the 1970s and perhaps later. ("Military & Police" was the Smith & Wesson name for this model of revolver in .38 Special, 6-shot, K-frame, with fixed sights. In 1957 this model became known as the Model 10.) These revolvers were in both 2 inch and 4 inch barrels with round butt and square butt versions. I believe that there continue to be some quantities of these guns still in the inventory of the military, but not in regular use.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

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I have both the Army and Navy versions and mine shoot very accurately with Viet Nam era USGI ball ammo. Thanks, Al Hirschler in Dallas.

 

Al,

 

Very few of the Victory revolvers were used by the Army. The majority of "US property" marked 4 inch Victory revolvers were shipped to the US Navy, regardless of "Navy" stamping.

Got this info from Roy Jinks himself, the S&W historian.

 

GAP

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