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NAT’L – OPINION – “V” Is For Victory: The Smith & Wesson Victory Model Revolver

The Smith & Wesson “Victory Model“ was chambered in .38 Spl. and had a 4″ barrel as made under a World War II U.S. Navy contract. It is seen here being fired by Navy cadets. In mid-1940, when it was becoming increasingly likely that the United States would be drawn into the war raging in Europe, the U.S. Navy, along with all branches of our armed forces, was evaluating the projected demand for arms. The standard handgun for the Navy at the time was the M1911A1 .45 ACP pistol. It became pretty obvious that the demand for these pistols would soon overwhelm the available supply, particularly since the Army and Marines would also be clamoring for handguns when war began. The Navy adopted a policy of equipping its personnel with as many M1911A1 pistols as possible and obtaining a secondary source of handguns for “less critical requirements.” It was determined that the most suitable gun for this purpose was the Smith & Wesson Military & Police .38 Spl. revolver with a 4″ barrel. The M&P was Smith & Wesson’s “K-frame Military & Police” revolver which had proven to be popular in the civilian marketplace prior to the war. This course of action was related in the Ordnance Dept. document “Project Supporting Paper; Miscellaneous Pistols and Revolvers”: “In addition to the M1917 revolvers … sizeable numbers of various other revolvers and pistols were procured by Ordnance. The United States Navy, unable to obtain the standardized M1911A1 Pistol, placed contracts directly with Smith & Wesson for the Caliber .38 Special, Military and Police Model Revolver.“  [full article]

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