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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Victory that was originally .38S&W but was converted to .38spl. To shoot the .38S&W cartridge again, is it only necessary to change the cyclinder back to the correct chambering? How hard would this be: 1- to do and 2- to find the correct cyclinder?
Thanks
 

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Assuming the conversion was typical you don't need to do anything to safely shoot .38 S&W in it. All the conversions I have seen were accomplished by simply reaming the chambers out to the length of a .38 Special, hence it should still chamber the shorter, slightly fatter .38 S&W. Most of these converted revolvers actually do not perform well with .38 Special, the cases often split on firing and the smaller .357 sized bullets may or may not work well in the .361 bore of the .38 S&W. The conversions I have seen were all done in England (Cogswell & Harrison and Parker), the barrels were never changed and the cyclinders were simply reamed. If, however, you have a revolver that started life as a .38/200, and someone switched the barrel to the smaller bore size .38 Special (.361 vs. .357 nominal) and the cyclinder was also switched that is another matter - but I think this is highly unlikely.

Look at the serial number on the butt, does it match the number on the rear face of the cylinder and the underside of the barrel? If it does the revolver has all its original parts and most likley the chambers have just been reamed.

Does it chamber freely .38 S&W? If so, and if its other wise mechanically sound (timing, lockup, endshake, etc.) have at it. Finding a new cyclinder would be possible, but you would need to have it fitted by someone that new what he was doing - Smith revolvers cyclinders are not, generally speaking, drop in parts.

Enjoy it - I really like shooting my .38/200 Victory and Webley, but factory ammo is a bit pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the advise. This Victory is all matching and the barrel is branded .38 S&W. I had assumed that it was a Cogswell & Harrison conversion, did not know that Parker did this as well. I have not had any split cases with .38spl but accuracy was not exceptional (that could just be my shooting). Its great to know that I can still shoot .38 S&W without changing the cyclinder (I would have tried a drop-in...THANKS). I don't have any .38 S&W at the moment but have been thinking that the old girl deserved the original.
I wanted a .38spl Victory but they are getting beyound my budget. I currently have a line on a war time M&P in .38spl (non-Victory). We'll see how that goes.
Thanks again for the advise.
 

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I also have a converted British contract Victory model. I've never fired .38 special cartridges out of mine but I have fired Winchester .38 S&W cartridges with 146 grain lead round nose bullets. Accuracy was terrible and then I read where these revolvers had their sights regulated at the factory for 200 grain bullets. > Gary
 
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