American Rifleman - December 2020 - 51

e

e
h

l.

d

d

n

.
er

Department to determine (the) effectiveness
of the Smith & Wesson Hammer Block. Results
of the test showed the Hammer Block to be
unsatisfactory. This test was confirmed by a more
carefully conducted test at Springfield Armory,
authorized by Office, Chief of Ordnance. Work was
commenced immediately by Ordnance and Smith &
Wesson to develop an improved Hammer Block capable of
preventing discharge even if the revolver fell several feet,
striking on the Hammer. This was desired because of the
possibility of a seaman dropping a revolver from one deck
of a ship to a lower deck. Deliveries of revolvers equipped
with the present improved Hammer Block commenced
in early 1945. The improved Hammer Blocks are vastly
superior to the old type, samples tested having withstood
90-foot lbs. impact without firing."
The death of the sailor due the S&W Victory Model's
flawed hammer block design resulted in the U.S. Navy
requesting that Colt .38 revolvers be supplied for future
requirements instead of the Smith & Wesson revolvers.
However, it was reported that " ... improved quality and
the quick development of a new hammer block convinced
the Navy to stay with the S&W revolvers."

Victory Model Revolvers
With 2" Barrels

While the vast majority of the S&W .38 Spl. Victory Model
revolvers had 4" barrels, there was also a little-known variant
that was otherwise identical except for having a 2" barrel.
The revolvers were the subject of a May 10, 1944, letter from
Stuart K. Barnes, vice president of Defense Supplies Corp., to
Capt. F.M. Volberg, Small Arms Branch, Chief of Ordnance:
"[W]e have received advice from Smith & Wesson,
Incorporated that they are prepared to produce a limited
number of 2" barrel .38 caliber Special revolvers without
impairing their production schedule.
"The War Production Board, under the date May 8,
1944, has given approval for the production by Smith &
Wesson of 500 .38 caliber Special 2" barrel revolvers in
order to supply essential non-military users. Therefore, it
would be appreciated if permission would be granted for
the production of 500 2" barrel revolvers in lieu of 500
4" barrel revolvers on subject contract at the earliest
convenience and placed in the stock of Defense Supplies
Corporation at Smith & Wesson Incorporated.
"These 500 revolvers would not be additional to
the contract of the 35,000 4" barrel .38 caliber revolvers, and would not constitute an increase in cost to
Ordnance and this Corporation."
According to factory records, the 500 Victory Model
2"-barrel revolvers were shipped to the Office of Strategic
Services on Aug. 22, 1944. It has been reported that some
were utilized by couriers, intelligence personnel and other
individuals needing a handgun that was a bit more concealable than the standard 4"-barrel revolver. The only martial
AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

te

R2012_F_SWVICTORY copy.indd 51

SMITH & WESSON VICTORY MODEL
WITH ORIGINAL 2" BARREL
Photos courtesy of Rock Island Auction Co.

The U.S. military "flaming bomb"
insignia was applied to this S&W
Victory Model with 2" barrel.

marking typically applied was a small "flaming bomb"
insignia on the top of the frame.
It is easy to identify a genuine 2"-barrel Victory Model
revolver from a 4" revolver that subsequently had the barrel shortened. If a barrel was cut down from 4" to 2", a portion of the lettering on the barrel would be missing and a
replacement front sight would be required, sure indication
the gun had been modified. There was a well-made leather
shoulder holster fabricated specifically for these 2" Victory
Model revolvers that had "US" embossed on the front. This
would be suggestive that some were indeed used by U.S.
military personnel. Original examples of these revolvers are
quite uncommon today.
The S&W Victory Model revolver's role in World War II is
sometimes minimized or given little more than a cursory
mention. Production of the Smith & Wesson .38 Spl. Victory
Model revolver under U.S. government contracts (DSC,
Navy and Ordnance) between 1941 and 1945 totalled the
not-insignificant sum of 352,315 guns. While it wasn't
employed as extensively as was the M1911A1 pistol, it
accompanied many U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators
during the pivotal battles of the Pacific Theater. Its contributions to the war effort should not be overlooked.
Even though none were manufactured under government
contract after 1945, the Victory Model revolver's legacy
extended well beyond World War II. It continued to be
issued to some Navy and Marine Corps aircrews during the
Korean and Vietnam wars and beyond. Uncle Sam certainly
got his money's worth from the Victory Model!
DECEMBER 2020

51
10/8/20 4:10 PM


http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - December 2020

Contents
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C1
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C2
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 1
American Rifleman - December 2020 - Contents
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 3
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 4
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 5
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 6
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 7
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 8
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 9
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 10
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 11
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 12
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 13
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 14
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 15
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 16
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 17
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 18
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 19
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 20
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 21
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 22
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 23
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 24
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 25
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 26
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 27
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 28
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 29
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 30
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 31
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 32
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 33
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 34
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 35
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 36
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 37
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 38
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 39
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 40
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 41
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 42
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 43
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 44
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 45
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 46
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 47
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 48
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 49
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 50
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 51
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 52
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 53
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 54
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 55
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 56
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 57
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 58
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 59
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 60
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 61
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 62
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 63
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 64
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 65
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 66
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 67
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 68
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 69
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 70
American Rifleman - December 2020 - State_1
American Rifleman - December 2020 - State_2
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 71
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 72
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 73
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 74
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 75
American Rifleman - December 2020 - 76
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C3
American Rifleman - December 2020 - C4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_20210607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201608r
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201005_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200907
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com