Smith & Wesson Victory Model

The Smith & Wesson Victory Model is a fine classic with two critical considerations.

by RK Campbell

The Smith & Wesson Victory Model is a great revolver and fine collector’s piece but there are two dangerous possibilities with the revolver. The first is an omission in manufacture of revolvers produced without a hammer safety lever that was correct on some revolvers and the other is poorly-considered chambering work that is downright dangerous when coupled with modern ammunition.

The revolver covered in this checklist and list of warnings is among the most common Smith & Wesson revolvers. It is the revolver that got Smith & Wesson back on its feet financially after the Great Depression. Some 571,629 of these handguns were sent to the British Commonwealth between 1941 and 1945. Additionally, over 350,000 were supplied to the Unites States armed services. Most of the British-exported revolvers were chambered in .38 Smith & Wesson and fired “Revolver Ball, .380 in, MkI .38-200” with 200 grain bullets or the MkII variant with 178 grain bullets while most of the American revolvers were chambered in .38 Special. These revolvers are an important piece of American history. As for the common problems, gunsmiths familiar with Smith & Wesson revolvers will be able to address these.

It doesn’t matter if the handgun is an older handgun that has been in service for many years or if it is a used specimen just hitting the case at the pawn shop, the procedure for checking is the same. Issues and concerns are narrowed if a customer has fired the handgun and has a specific complaint but I still like to begin with a complete inspection.
Read more in the March 2016 issue.

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