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s&w model 10 (not victory) enter service?

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field manual 23-35 (1960) covers colt detective and m1911a1, field manual 23-35 (1971) covers colt detective, s&w, and m1911a1. my question is when did the s&w model 10 non victory enter service? should add enter service in us army.

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This is one of those mealy-mouthed hair splitting answers--since the weapon was already in service prior to Smith and Wesson's introduction of model numbers in 1957, the Model 10 entered service in 1957. I don't know when what S&W collectors would call the 'pre-Model 10' (post Victory commercial weapons) entered service, but I have such a weapon factory lettered as delivered to the Marine Corps in 1953--so I'd speculate the army was also buying them by then.


After WW1 the govt dumped excess M1917 S&Ws on the commercial market. S&Ws WW2 contract stipulated the govt couldn't repeat that behavior with Victories. So after WW2 many Victories were scrapped...and then the govt resumed purchasing the same weapon in the '50s. Your tax dollars at work...

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think i understand: your saying the smith and wesson .38 revolver never left the service after wwii.

what had me confused is i didn't see it in the 1960 field manual and there it is in the 1971 field manual and the operators manual (should point out the copy i have is a reprint) tm9-1005-206-14 p/1 1971 does not state this manual supersedes any thing.

i had heard stories of pilots carrying them in vietnam i had assumed (and we know what that makes me)that the victory was a stop gap that ended at the end of wwii, and i was wondering if what they said was tru, or if they just got the model wrong because they had more inportant things to worry about (like staying alive)then what make and model their revolver was.

had also thought maybe the model 10 didn't enter service until 1971 based on the fm, and tm manuals.

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Out of curiousity I dug out my copy of TM9-2200 SMALL ARMS MATERIAL AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT dated October 1956.This TM illustrates the 'Revolver Cal. 38 Smith and Wesson, Military and Police, (short action) 4-inch barrell [sic]" The illustration shows a M&P with the front sight adapted in 1952 and commerical stocks with diamond escutcheon which lasted until circa 1968. I find the term 'short action' significant; this was an improvement dating from 1948; I'm assuming this means they still had 4" .38 Special S&Ws with the long action in service; that is, Victories. Immediatally following a similiar weapon is listed, but without the short action provisio. Its impossible to tell the finish from the B&W illustration, but the weapon shown has plain Victory non-magna stocks, early rounded front sight, and is missing the 'Marcus Registradus' stamp added after the war. I believe this weapon could be a Victory.


Also shown is the 'Revolver, Lightweight, Cal .38 Special, M13 (Colt and Smith and Wesson)' I find this interesting in that supposdly most of these weapons werer scrapped after only a few years. Also shown is a Colt Detective Special, with a SQUARE butt, which was a relatively uncommon variation even by the beginning of WW2. It also illustrates and list the 2" and 4" barrel Colt Official Police--which it describes as 'formerly Commando.'


I'd say all this indicates that by the early '50s the military was buying postwar commercial revolvers to supplement similar models wartime guns. John Henwood states in AMERICA'S RIGHT ARM that over 133K M&Ps and Model 10s were ordered from the '50s through the '80s. My guess is that the fixed sight .38 S&W Special (whatever one calls it) stayed in service in one form or another from the first WW2 contract weapons until the 9mm Beretta was introduced.


During the early 70's I knew an enlisted aircrewman who said he'd preferred carrying the S&W .38 in Vietnam because he could hit more accurately with it. I'm not sure if he had a Victory or a commercial weapon. During that same timeframe I recall seeing a military policewoman carrying a S&W as a holster weapon. I'm sure this was a commercial weapon because it was a round butt model. Shelby Stanton's US ARMY UNIFORMS OF THE COLD WAR has a photo on page 233 clearly showing army aviators in May 1969 firing a Colt Commando, or perhaps its an Official Police--but its definitely one or the other. In the '70s I personally examined an army aviator's Colt Police Positive Special; other than a hand stamped US on the toe of the butt, it was commercial in every way. I mention all this to show the variety of off the shelf .38 revolvers the army used for decades.


If you wanted to search the Smith and Wesson forum, or post a question, they could probably supply you with detailed information.

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I was a Army Small Arms Repairman and did one tour in Viet Nam, 67-68. I worked on and inspected a few revolvers while I was there. Most were S&Ws of various models, I only remember seeing one Colt revolver, it had a two inch barrel and I do not remember the model.


Most all Army revolvers came from Army air crew personal, some were from FAC Air Force people assign to Army units. The Army had a few long action S&W M&Ps, I assume these were left over Victory’s, but most were Mod. 10s. The AF people had M&Ps and a few K38s. The Army CID and other security people (I do not remember their acronyms) in Second Corp had a mix of revolvers, Colts and Smiths.


We had one manual to cover these ’commercial’ Revolvers, TM 9-1005-206-14/1 dated Feb 71. We also had another TM to cover ’commercial’ pistols.


The list of revolvers is from a Dept of the Army publication dated May 71 and is a listing of Ordnance items, most are things that had been used since WWII. Many of these items, such as the 105mm RR (& yes there was a 105mm RR) had long since been dropped from serious Army use, but they were still in the list, but this list also contained current equipment being used such as the M16A1. But this publication was a criteria for inspecting these items on the assumption that some or all were still in the “system”.


I believe the first Revolver listed is the Victory








This is only the revolvers from this publication.




1005-00-214-0934----------Rev, Cal 38 MP S&W 4BBL------------R91244

1005-00-317-2464----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Pol Spec 4BBL------"

1005-00-690-3762----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Spec Off Mod------"

1005-00-691-1288----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Pol Spec

1005-00-716-2938----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Pol Pos 4BBL

1005-00-726-5666----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Off Pol 2BBL

1005-00-726-5687----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Off Pol 4BBL

1005-00-726-5786----------Rev, Cal 38 Colt Det Spec 2BBL

1005-00-830-2497----------Rev, Cal 38 S&W K38 Master

1005-00-831-0234----------Rev, Cal 22 S&W K22 Master

1005-00-840-7304----------Rev, Cal 38 S&W MP 4BB W/H

1005-00-910-8752----------Rev, 38 Colt Dep Spec 2BBL

1005-00-937-5839----------Rev, Cal 38 S&W M10 MP 4BBL

1005-00-937-5840----------Rev, Cal 38 S&W M10 MP 2BBL---------R91107



The W/H means “With Holster”,, have no idea why there is no Cal, on the ‘Colt 2” Dep Spec’ and I would think the Dep should be Det for detective. Was there a Colt revolver called the ’Deputy Special’ ???? And why the S&W 2” MP rated a different Line Number is beyond me.


The LIN is the number starting with a R , all of thes revolver have the same Line Number or LIN R91244 EXCEPT the very last one which is R91107.



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