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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Handguns ID and condition Please?

My buddy who is not a gun enthusiast got two handguns from his old father's estate. It was the first he ever knew of the guns. He brought them to me to look at. They looked cruddy, but cleaned up nice. The barrels are perfect inside and everything is tight.

One is a S&W 38 Special that I think is a K frame with fixed sights. The rear sight is a groove the full length of the top strap and on one side of the groove is stamped US Navy. Another friend says it is a Victory gun, made by Smith in WWII. My buddy would like to target shoot with it, and wonders whether it is still strong enough. Looks good and strong to me, and it is tight -- no signs of abuse. His father left it loaded with old wadcutters. It is nickel plated, which I suppose was a post-Navy job. Did Smith ever make any weak revolvers? Does nickel plating ever weaken the gunmetal?

Question 2: The other is a pistol made by Savage Arms. I didn't know they made pistols. It has a S/N 28072E and a couple of early 1900s patent stamps. One side of the slide is stamped 9-m-m and the other side is stamped .380 cal. Savage makes a good rifle. What about their pistols??

Thanks for any input.
Dave
 

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Dave,

The Smith does sound like a Victory model.

The Savage is possible a M1907/1917. This is a striker fired pistol, not hammer fired. The gun was also chambered in 32ACP besides the 380. Savage made a large frame model in 45ACP to compete for the US contract of 1911. I used to have a similiar 1917 that was parkerized sometime in its life. Have the gun check by a gunsmith for a clean bill of health for mine once fired when I moved the safety from safe to fire! It was a good shooter during the time I had it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
What's the difference between striker and hammer fired?
I am curious -- was your misfiring gun badly worn? I once had an old side-by-side inherited shotgun that had been heavily used by my Uncle Jake all his life. One day in the field I snapped the action shut, my fingers nowhere near the triggers, and as soon as the action closed it blew a big hole in the dirt in front of my feet. Scared the heck out of me! That rule about NEVER pointing a gun at anything you don't want to destroy is a good rule!
Dave
 

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Greenhorn Dave said:
What's the difference between striker and hammer fired?
Dave
Hi Dave,

In hammer fire gun the hammer strikes the firing pin to set off the primer. The easiest to visualize is a revolver.

A striker fire gun has a spring on the firing pin/striker that causes the firing pin/sticker to hit the primer when it is released. A bolt action rifle works this way along with many auto pistols.
 

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The Savage looks like it has a hammer, but that hammer-shaped extention in the back is actually directly connected to the striker...it's a hammer shaped cocking indicator. Were not as many .380's produced as .32's, but there are few Savage collectors. Have it checked.

The Savage pistols ran on an odd system...the barrel is kind of 1/2 way locked. Barrel actually rotates a bit (caused by the bullet being engraved by the rifling) and the rotation is supose to retard the blowback. Made the pistols a bit more complicated to make, and the roatation lock really didn't work (NRA tests of the day fired them with the rotation lug removed with no real difference observed in cycling).

A lot of .38K-frames get classed as victory models, and yours probably is...but most of them were pretty roughly finished, saw use in England, many show British proofs...but not all of them. Some also found their way into U.S. service. A little more looking may turn up some small stamps that can point to a better explaination of what it is.
 

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Hi, Dave:
Just be sure that S&W isn't chambered for .38 S&W instead of .38 Special. The S&W is shorter and fatter.

Bye
Jack
 

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FWIW,

Again someone talking about an accidental or un-intentional discharge says the gun mis-fired!!! This is not what that term means.

To say a gun mis-fired is to say that it didn't fire when the striker, hammer, or whatever fell. The term originated in days of flintlock guns, and was originally expressed as "missed fire". The meaning was that either the priming had not ignited due to a poor spark, or that a "Flash in the pan" had occurred meaning that the priming had ignited but the main charge had not.
 

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Victory's

Jack Monteith said:
Hi, Dave:
Just be sure that S&W isn't chambered for .38 S&W instead of .38 Special. The S&W is shorter and fatter.

Bye
Jack

INDEED the Victories do require 38/200 S&W Ammo instead of 38 S & W Special...

38 - 200 by comparison is a bit wimpy

be VERY careful

Yodar
 

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yodar said:
INDEED the Victories do require 38/200 S&W Ammo instead of 38 S & W Special...

38 - 200 by comparison is a bit wimpy

be VERY careful

Yodar
Yes, I must agree, it sounds like the S&W could be what is known as a "side ejector" the were the first model in the S&W line with a swing out cyl, they have so many names it's not possible to list them here, The Victory modle is easiest to identify it has a V prefix to the serial number, also has a swivel on the butt for a lanyard, although other models also have this, usualy the barrel is five inch, some particularly the .32/32.20 have a six inch, also the .455 and the longcolt 45. the english and Australin army had them in WW2 then they were called the .380-200 ( 200 gr slug) the projectile was an exterior lube much like the .22rim is now. I and my son still use these models for black powder, but modern loading can be nearly the same as a 38 spl. A word of warning though, these old S&Ws will not take .38spl cases
the .38S&W is a thicker case, even thicker than a .38 Colt, but that is another story. About every fifth revolver S&W made were plated with .825 silver, it's like nickle but whiter, the same as the back strap and guard on the early Colts Paladin

PS: It is possable to cut down .38 spl cases for light loads or black, .38S&W case are as scarce as rocking horse do da,
the .38 S&W does use a .357 projectile
 
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