Smith & Wesson .38 Special
Victory Model - Army-Navy Issue
Ship Date: February 4th, 1943 S/N V399678

This revolver is a “Army-Navy” Victory model bought under the first Army Supply Program (ASP) contract and is featured in Charles W. Pate's book titled: "U.S. Handguns of World War II The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers" on Page 142. Originally shipped to the U.S. Navy on February 4th, 1943 it  has no marks to indicate other than Army issue and was acquired from the collection of Charles W. Pate in October of 2003.

Characteristics include:

  • 4 inch barrel

  • Parkerized finish

  • Flaming bomb, "US Property", and "G.H.D."

  • G.H.D stamping is the Inspectors mark of General G.H. Drewry is stamped on the left top strap of the frame.

  • American Walnut smooth grips

  • Case hardened trigger and hammer

  • .38 Special caliber, 6 shot

  • Lanyard loop

The first Army Supply Contract W-478-ORD-2104 was dated 7/15/1942 and had a per revolver price of $24.00 later adjusted to $22.05 on 9/15/1942.

The Victory model was so named for the "V" prefix which was placed before the serial number and represented "Victory" against the Axis powers in World War II. The pistol shown below is a early 1943 production Victory model revolver in the .38 special configuration.

Serial numbers for the .38 special Victory model began at about V1 in early 1942 and ran until VS811119 with a date of late August of 1945 (end of production). V1 to approximately V39,999 were predominately .38 S&W Caliber (I have observed revolvers in the 1-40000 range in .38 special caliber).  Serial numbers are located on Inside right grip, frame butt, Cylinder, extractor star, and bottom of barrel. Crane and crane recess are also serial numbered to each other, but this is a different number then the revolvers serial number as is correct for Victory model revolvers.



Ordnance inspectors bomb, US property mark, and Inspectors mark of General G.H. Drewry.

Cover of book - U.S. Handguns of WWII

Page 142 of Col. Pates book. Actual revolver laying on page is the one pictured in the book.

Text description from page 142

Butt serial number

Barrel serial number

Barrel Serial Number and
"S" inspectors mark

Frame stampings

Frame stampings

Numbers on crane
and crane recess.
"S" inspectors mark
  • There are no "P" proof markings on this revolver.

  • Reference:
    -US Handguns of WW II - The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers by Charles W. Pate
    -Americas Right Arm - The S&W Military and Police Revolver by John Henwood
    -Smith and Wesson 1857 - 1945 by Robert J. Neal and Roy G. Jinks

  • Images courtesy the T. Moore collection