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S W Victory Model Serial Numbers

S&W Victory Model Serial Numbers

The Smith & Wesson Victory Model revolver was a modified version of the .38 Military & Police (M&P) model that was produced during World War II for the United States and its allies. The Victory Model had a "V" prefix in its serial number, which distinguished it from the pre-war and post-war M&P models. The serial numbers also indicated the caliber, barrel length, finish, and other features of the revolver.

History and Production

The Victory Model was introduced in 1942, after the United States entered World War II. The U.S. Navy and Army Air Forces ordered large quantities of the revolver, chambered in .38 Special, to supplement the standard M1911A1 pistol. The British government also ordered the revolver, chambered in .38/200 (also known as .38 S&W), for its Commonwealth forces. The Victory Model was also supplied to other Allied countries, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, and France.


The Victory Model serial numbers were a continuation of the numbers used on the S&W .38 revolvers made for the British government prior to the U.S.'s entry into WWII. The U.S. Victory Model was introduced at serial number V-40,000. The British Victory Model started at serial number V-1 and went up to about V-769,000. The serial numbers were stamped on the bottom of the butt, along with a lanyard ring. Some early Victory Models did not have the "V" prefix, but were retroactively marked with a "V" over the original number.

Features and Variations

The Victory Model was based on the M&P model, but had some modifications to simplify production and meet military specifications. The most noticeable change was the finish, which was a smooth gray parkerizing instead of the usual bluing or nickel plating. The parkerizing was more durable and resistant to corrosion than the bluing, and also reduced glare. The grips were made of smooth walnut instead of checkered walnut or hard rubber. The sights were fixed and consisted of a blade front sight and a notch rear sight.

The Victory Model had a 4-inch barrel as standard, but some variations existed. The U.S. Navy ordered some revolvers with 2-inch barrels for use by aircrew and special forces. The British ordered some revolvers with 5-inch barrels for use by tank crews. Some revolvers were also fitted with 6-inch barrels for target shooting or training purposes. The barrel length was indicated by a letter suffix after the serial number: S for 2-inch, L for 4-inch, C for 5-inch, and T for 6-inch.

The caliber of the revolver was also marked on the barrel. The U.S. revolvers were chambered in .38 Spl., while the British revolvers were chambered in .38/200. The .38 Spl. cartridge had a longer case and a higher velocity than the .38/200 cartridge, which had a heavier bullet. The .38 Spl. revolvers had "38 S&W SPL" stamped on the right side of the barrel, while the .38/200 revolvers had "38 S&W CTG" stamped on the left side of the barrel. The .38 Spl. revolvers could fire both cartridges interchangeably, but the .38/200 revolvers could only fire their own cartridge safely.

The finish of the revolver was also indicated by a letter suffix after the serial number: P for parkerized, B for blued, or N for nickel-plated. Most Victory Models were parkerized, but some were blued or nickel-plated for special purposes or civilian sales. Some revolvers were also marked with additional letters or symbols to indicate their service or origin. For example, U.S.-purchased guns had "US Government Property" roll-marked on the topstrap, along with the flaming bomb ordnance mark and the inspector's initials. British-purchased guns had various markings from British services, such as broad arrows, crowns, or proof marks.


The Smith & Wesson Victory Model revolver was a reliable and versatile handgun that served in various roles during World War II and beyond. It was one of the most produced handguns of the 20th century, with over 6 million units made. The serial numbers of the Victory Model provide a wealth of information about its history and features, and can help collectors and enthusiasts identify and appreciate this classic firearm.


  • : "V" Is For Victory: The Smith & Wesson Victory Model Revolver

  • : Smith & Wesson Model 10 - Wikipedia

  • : Smith & Wesson Victory Model Revolver - AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

  • : Classics: Smith & Wessons Victory Revolver in .38 S&W

  • : Ibid.

  • : Ibid.

  • : Ibid.

  • : Ibid.

  • : Ibid.

  • : Smith & Wesson Model 10 - Wikipedia


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