Victory Revolver

At the start of the Second World War Great Britain found itself short of all the equipment needed to wage war. As well as rapidly expanding its own manufacturing capacity, the country turned to the USA to help fill the shortfall, using its currency reserves to buy weapons on a cash and carry basis from private suppliers.  Amongst the weapons purchased were a large number of revolvers for use as personal side arms for officers and other troops who did not carry rifles, tonight we are looking at one of those weapons, a Smith and Wesson ‘Victory’ revolver:imageOver 570,000 victory revolvers were produced by Smith and Wesson in the war and they were supplied to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Victory revolver was a standard Smith and Wesson Military and Police revolver, designed in 1899, re-chambered for standard British Empire .38/200 ammunition used in the Webley and Enfield revolvers already in service. It is a standard double action revolver made from carbon steel with a dual locked six round chamber. The revolver has a typical fixed blade foresight and a groove cut in the frame for a rear sight:imageThe revolver has a large Smith and Wesson badge etched into its frame:imageAnd is clearly marked ‘Made in USA’:imageUnlike British revolvers which are top breaking, the Victory has a chamber that when released swings to the side for reloading:imageAn ejector rod is mounted to the chamber and pushing this backward ejects the spent cartridges. The revolver has smooth walnut grips, in this case there is evidence of a very old repair to the grips that has been carried out with extreme skill:imageThe butt of the revolver has a lanyard loop and the weapon’s serial number, prefixed by a ‘V’ showing that it is a Victory model:imageIt is interesting to note that this particular Victory revolver has a much higher standard of finish than most which normally have a rough sandblasted or parkerised finish rather than the high quality blueing evident on my example. Drawing back the hammer reveals that the firing pin has been removed as part of the deactivation process to make the weapon legal to own in the UK:imageOf all the weapons in my collection, this one has the nicest finish to it. I must confess I prefer the Webley, but one cannot deny the quality of workmanship and finish on this weapon, nor the help the USA gave Britain and the Empire in the early days of WW2.

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