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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday an elderly friend dropped by and presented me with a lovely gift, a Model 10 Victory Model Smith that he carried aboard ship in WWII. It has been kept unfired in its military holster for almost sixty years. Yet it is clean and tight and its bore is excellent. Today I will deliver it to a good gunsmith for a complete cleaning and interior check. If all is as it should be, I plan to shoot it with standard pressure loads. Can anyone recommend a non+P JHP to use in it should I decide to make it a house gun? Thanks for any feedback.
 

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Hello. You might consider the Corbon std. pressure 110-gr. DPX load from your 4" Victory. I did find some stabilization problems with it in the 1 7/8" snubs, but none in barrels 3" or longer. (I did not shoot it in anything longer than a 4" barrel.) There's a report on what I found in the caliber section of the site.

If you can find them, I've had good luck with the std. pressure Federal 125-gr. Nyclad hollow point. These have been discontinued for commercial sales, but the ammunition can still be found here and there.

Best.
 
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Corky,

The last time I check www.ammoman.com, they still had some of the Federal 125-grain Nyclads Stephen mentioned. Law of supply and demand has really increased the price on these, so I'd grab some while (if) you still can. It is an excellent load for snubbies or non +P rated guns like your Victory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you, Mr. Camp, for the suggestions. The rather high velocities which the DPX load generated in tests had me assuming that it was +P. I will order some soon.

Let me take this opportunity to ask you about the various Hornady .38 Sp JHP loads--all of which, I believe, are standard velocity. What is your opinion of them? From my less than extensive shooting of Hornady handgun ammunition, I have been quite satisfied with its quality and accuracy. However, I seldom, if ever, find it recommended for defensive purposes. Is it loaded too light to reliably expand?
 

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Hello, sir. I've not shot much of the Hornady ammo in other than 9mm and .45 ACP. That said, I've gotten very consistent and usually reliable expansion out of the XTP line of ammunition. Where one does not get extreme expansion, he might just get a bit more penetration. I've shot some of it in .380 ACP and 9x18mm Mak and both expanded consistently. The latter seems to expand more aggressively than is "normal" for the XTP in other calibers but I'm guessing that Hornady figured in the Makarov caliber, most would want it; don't know that for sure.

While I do NOT have much personal first-hand experience with the XTP in .38 Special, I HAVE been quite happy with it in others. Next time I see some, I'll buy some std pressure .38 XTP's and try 'em in a snub and 4" gun...or handload some to the same velocities.l

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mr. Lester,
Thanks for the information. By coincidence, I just dug down into my ammo cabinet and found a half box of the Nyclad .38's as well as a box of Federal's 129 Hydra-Shok +P .38s. I read somewhere that Federal loads this round on the light side for a +P rated load and that shooting it in non+P rated revolvers should not be a concern. Any truth to this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mr. Camp:

I have a 1950's production French Walther PP in .32 ACP that is very finicky regarding what it will feed; however, it loves the Hornady 60 gr. JHP and shoots such tight groups with it that it astonishes me. That's what got me thinking about the Hornady .38s. I would most appreciate your testing them--especially for expansion--when you have the opportunity.

Let me add that I much enjoy this forum and wish it growing success.
 

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Hello. I sure plan to. It might not be in the immediate future, but I will do it.

Best and thanks for the kind comments on this site Josh put up.
 
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Mr. Lester,
Thanks for the information. By coincidence, I just dug down into my ammo cabinet and found a half box of the Nyclad .38's as well as a box of Federal's 129 Hydra-Shok +P .38s. I read somewhere that Federal loads this round on the light side for a +P rated load and that shooting it in non+P rated revolvers should not be a concern. Any truth to this?
Corky,

Federal rates the 129-grain .38 Hydra Shok at 950 fps from a 4-inch vented barrel. That's pretty much in line with all other 125-grain +P loads, so I don't believe they're loaded any lighter than others' comparable ammo. Perhaps you're thinking of the 110-grain Premium Personal Defense load? That uses a Hydra Shok as well, but at standard pressures.
 

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Corky,

Is there any reason not to use +P? The pistol should take them...

And by this I simply mean practice with the standard stuff and put the +P in the chambers when you get home. I can't see how putting six, or even 12, through it would hurt.

If this isn't your only pistol, I would use it for fun instead of serious work. The reason is that, even in a rightous shoot, the revolver will most likely be seized as evidence and may not be returned to you.

Sorry 'bout the bunny trail there... just got me to thinking about the 1897 Winchester I'll inheret from my Grandpa and how I could never put it into a SD role, even though it would make a very nice riot gun.

Josh <><
 
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Josh,

Smith & Wessons of that era aren't +P rated guns. Much like the J-frame until fairly recent. While some folks did do as you suggest-practice with standard pressure loads but load with +P- I tend to think this isn't a good idea. Far better, IMO, to practice with the load you'll carry or at least one that closely duplicates its recoil/muzzle blast/point-of-impact and aim. Also there is the possibility that over time, one may lose track of just how many +P's have been shot. It could accelerate wear on a historical and cherished firearm.
 

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Bill,

Thanks for the info on the old K-frames. Could explain why the .357mag K-frame doesn't do what I expect from a .357, if it wasn't even intended for hot .38spl loads. I'm talking structural design here, not metallurgy.

I've not really appreciated revolvers until fairly recently. Because of this, my study of them has not been as intense as that of the autopistol.

I'm perhaps wiser about statistics and what works than the platform itself. This goes for many autopistols as well.

Ok, bunny trail off, might start a new thread in this, or another forum, but I don't like to hijack.

Thanks again,

Josh <><
 
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Keep in mind that the "problem" with K-frame magnums was only discovered when folks started shooting a whole bunch of full-power 125's. As an example, I had a 4" Model 19 that I doubt saw more than 250-500 .38's. By far I used 140- and 158-grain bullets, almost always loaded to full Magnum pressures, to the tune of a few thousand rounds before I finally traded the gun. I never had the slightest problem with forcing cone erosion or top strap cutting.
 
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Can anyone recommend a non+P JHP to use in it should I decide to make it a house gun? Thanks for any feedback.
With a low velocity load such as a 38 special, I generally suggest that a non jaceted soft lead HP load be used to ensure some expansion. in 38 special, the std pressure 125 grain federal Nyclad is a good choice. (I believe the product code is P38M), The Nyclad has the advantage of being a soft lead projectile, while the nylon coating tends to decrease the fouling a little. (I hadn't heard these were discontinued, it is a nice load)

I used to have a 5" victory model which was rechambered from 38 S&W to 38 SPL. It was a nice revolver, but since I did not have a single holster to properly fit a 5" K frame I eventually sold it (Although it didn't have the history associated with yours). The external finish was pretty rough, but internally, the weapon was flawless. Enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you, car 541. I certainly hope to enjoy it for a long time and may simply reload for it. However, I will give the Nyclads a try if I can find a source at a reasonable price. I am hesitant to use up the half box I have.
 

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Corky;
I just caught this and have not read every post but pay partacular attention to the caliber designation on the barrel to be sure it does not simply say ".38 S&W" instead of ".38 S&W Spl."

About 90% of Victory models were actually .38 S&W though some will accept the longer .38 Spl. Even if it accepts it the chambers are bigger at the back if it was originally a .38 S&W. Not dangerous to fire a Special in it but I would avoid the higher pressure loads.

Good luck!!!
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Mr. H. I haven't gotten the revolver back from the gunsmith who is cleaning and checking it out. But I'll be sure to determine the true caliber.

An interesting aside: the man who carried it in WWII told me that they were originally issued lead bullets for their Victory Models; however, these were thrown overboard and replaced with FMJ ammo when the Japanese announced that anyone captured with lead loads would be executed.
 
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I have to respectfully disagree with Jim's statement of "90% of Victory models were actually .38 S&W..." It largely depends on the serial number range. Your chances of getting a .38 S&W with a serial number V1-V39999 are very good. But the vast majority of U.S. Property marked Victorys were .38 Special, with the highest serial number known so far as V811119.

Keep in mind there were some very similar guns made for British Lend Lease that were .38 S&W's. There were also Victory revolvers made for the commercial market intended for defense plant security, police, etc. They are virtually identical to true Victory models except for a lack of U.S. property and inspector's marks. Their serial number ranges are concurrent with the military arms but can be found in .38 S&W even after the almost universal switch to .38 Special after, I believe, mid-1943.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mr. Lester,
The Victory Model I've been given is marked "Navy" and the ancient ammunition which the fellow gave me is .38 Special. Although that doesn't guarantee anything, I am almost certain that the gun is marked ".38 S&W Special" on the barrel, but will double check. I don't recall the serial number.
Thanks to all of you for your interesting and helpful contributions. I look forward to shooting it in the near future and reporting on its accuracy.
 
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Yes, please do keep us posted on how this classic shoots. Any chance you have a digital camera and can snap some pics for us S&W loonies?
 
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