Smith & Wesson .38 Special
M&P Model/Pre-Victory Model
"Property of U.S. Navy"
Date:1942 S/N 983276

  This pistol was shipped on May 15, 1942 as part of a Navy contract to U.S. Navy Depot, Norfolk, VA. (see S&W research letter below). Its a neat old revolver that had three lives first the U.S. Navy, then civil defense and finally the Seattle Police Department. All serial numbers match, including grips. There is a gun just like the one pictured with U.S. Navy Property, Civil Defense, and Tacoma Police markings in the "US Handguns of WW II - The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers" written by Charles W. Pate on page 148. I Highly recommend this book for anyone interested in collecting WWII revolvers.

 The "Property of U.S. Navy" mark found on the left side was actually applied by the Navy upon receipt of these revolvers, this is unlike the the "U.S. Navy" marking found on the top left strap which were applied at the S&W factory. The revolvers that have the Navy applied property marks draw a premium price. It appears the Navy applied property mark on the left side (not top strap) is the rarer of the two Navy variations.

 The U.S. Navy contract orders were for a total of 65,000. These were 2 individual orders with 1 of 20,000 and 1 of 45,000 while the second order was with military finish. The first contract date was March 2nd, 1942 for 20,000 revolvers and delivery was to Norfolk, Virginia and Oakland, California U.S. Navy depots. According to Charles Pates book the last Navy contract pistol was delivered in January of 1943.

 Total production of this model S&W revolver (Model 1905, fourth change) was 758,297 and was produced between the years of 1915 and 1942.

 This revolver also has a second ID number engraved on the left side, after observing other Seattle Police Department and Civil Defense marked revolvers it appears the number was assigned by the Police Department not the Department of Civil Defense.  It has been reported that under the Civil Defense Act Police Departments were supplied with these revolvers and some U S Carbines. [free of charge]. This program was used to set up the "Police Reserve" program in case of a National Emergency.

Left Profile

Right Profile

World War II Holster

S&W Research Letter

Navy Property mark

4 inch barrel

Seattle PD Property Number

Butt S/N

Cylinder S/N

  From the collection
of T. Moore
Check out this 1943 Civil Defense marked Model 11 shot gun - Click here
  • Serial numbers are correct and matching. These 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 standard on most manufacturers revolvers.

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