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Inherited S&W

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Old 08-22-2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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Default Inherited S&W

Recently inherited an S&W .38 special ctg, also marked U.S. property G.H.D with serial number on butt of V 220045. I can't find out anything about the pistol but, would like to know age of manufacture and approximate value, and best load to shoot in it.

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Old 08-22-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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We'll be happy to help. Please post some pictures for us. We need to see it to make a proper identification.

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Old 08-22-2010, 06:53 PM   #3
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The "V" prefix indicates this is a Victory Model. Lend lease gun for the Brits during the early days of WWII.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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As Robo said- Victory Model. Besides Lend-Lease, they were also used to arm plant guards, etc. Be SURE it says .38 S&W Special, and not .38 S&W (made in both, they ARE different cartridges).

This is basically the Model 10, but may have lesser degree of finish, etc. Value will depend entirely on condition and originality. 95%, complete with lanyard ring on butt (frequently missing) these are about $350.

These were made for the standard round nosed lead 158 gr. There is also a military overun load on the market that is a FMJ round nosed 130. Light load, will not hurt your gun, stopping power for defense sux. The 144 or 148 grain Wadcutter target load will also shoot very well in your veteran. Victory model made 1942-1945.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:44 AM   #5
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Here is a description and explanation of the GHD initials:

"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 revolver shown here was manufactured in late 1943 and accepts the .38 S&W cartridge. The acceptance mark of Ordnance officer Guy H. Drewry was on the left top strap from about V300000 to end of production, prior to the period of July 1942 to about May 1943 it was found on the butt. The property mark was shortened to "U.S. Property" at about serial number V300000 to make room for the acceptance mark that was relocated. Just to the left of the property mark is a ordnance bomb mark. On the butt to the left of the serial number is a upside-down "P" mark which indicates this revolver has passed military proof testing. There were over 571,629 of these models produced between October 1941 and May 1945 for the British Common wealth countries."

That weapon should be fine with any standard load .38 Special ammunition. It is all still loaded to be safe in these old guns. Stay away from anything other than standard ammo. The 158 grain semi-wadcutter would be perfect.
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