Help Identifying Handgun

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by OldWoreOutMarine, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. OldWoreOutMarine

    OldWoreOutMarine Active Member

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    Can someone help me identify the Handgun strapped to this Marine. Looks like a 357 to me.Perhaps Smith & Wesson. Not much to go on I know.

    Sorry a senior moment this is in the wrong place but I don't know how to correct it. I have placed myself in detention and no beer tonight.



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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Too low-resolution for me. When I zoom in, it gets blurry and the gun, the holster, and the Marine's other gear all start blending together.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I'll guess: Based on the right stock (grip), I'll go with S&W model 10 or a "pre- model 10" (made before 1957) with a 6" barrel.

    Even though those cartridges look really long, like .357 magnums, the holster looks like it's rather small. For K-frame guns at best.
    Not Colt's E/I frame, which they used to build .357 Mag Colts.
    Did S&W make skinny-barrel, fixed-sight (I'm assuming that's what any GI would want) K-frame .357 wheelgun in the 1950's to mid 1960's?
    In so it "could" be one of those, but I'll say the odds are better that it's a .38 spl.

    Like this one:
     

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  4. OldWoreOutMarine

    OldWoreOutMarine Active Member

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    I believe you are correct on the Model 10. I did find out that S&W did make a very few of the model 10's with the skinny barrel and fixed sight in the 357 and that may very well be one of them. I know that the Victory model was still in use during Viet Nam by aircrews but I am sure that the barrel length would not have been 6 inches. A very few of the early Victory model had a 6 inch barrel. The long bullet is what got me. It sure looks like a 357.
    Thank you for your input.
     
  5. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    S&W started selling 6" barreled K-frame model 19's in 1963.
    They had a fully shrouded ejector rod , and adjustable sights, and (I think) came with oversized target stocks.
    The gun in that Vietnam pic has its rear sight and ejector rod hidden from view, but the stocks don't look right for a six-inch M19.
     
  6. OldWoreOutMarine

    OldWoreOutMarine Active Member

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    Guess we will never know. One thing that I do know for a fact is that more came in care packages from home than hot-sauce and real food. There were some fine handguns of the day in Marine hands that Mama & Daddy sent son.All the ones that I knew of were given away or throw away when going back to the World. Might be the history behind the Pistol in question.
     
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    why would Dad send his son a 6-shot revolver, even a .357 magnum, when the service member can get a free 1911 and several extra mags to carry?
    If both are loaded with the same kind of ammo, round nose lead or FMJ (non-expanding), I'd think the .45 would be the better manstopper.
    And with 7+1 capacity and the ability to reload in a second or two with a spare magazine, I'd say it's far superior to use in a gunfight.
    The only thing I can think of, and the 6" barrel might be very important here, is the accuracy at longer ranges. Going single-action and taking head shots at a partially-concealed enemy at 50 yards. That's where the 6" revolver would do better.
     
  8. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    Because the Services won't just give you one, even if you ask nicely. All the Services have some version of a Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE or TO&E) that says how many tents, rifles, motars, trucks, and etcetera they will have (e.g. The Third Infantry Div's TO&E specifies that sunglasses will be issued to Tomb Guards).
     
  9. OldWoreOutMarine

    OldWoreOutMarine Active Member

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    I cannot speak for the other Branches of the Military during 1968 but the Marine Corps did not issue a 45 or any other pistol to everyone or to anyone that wanted one. Officers got one, The Doc got one, Air Crews got one and that is about it. In my case I carried a radio(prick25) on my back with either a 3 or 10 foot antenna(aiming stake). I did not get one. I carried a M16 with open flash suppressor like everybody else. The pistol was sought after as a last resort means of defense or and you don't want to mess with this one very much a quick and effective way to avoid capture and all that followed. But don't take my word for it ask around with people who were in that mess at that place and that time. Please don't think I'm messing with you with this answer. I am not, the answer ain't pretty but honest. Dad did not know the real reason Son wanted that small caliber weapon just that he needed it.
     
  10. Casual User

    Casual User Member

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    My ex-BIL had a .357 when he was over there. He was an 0-1 with the engineers in the Corps. I'm not sure where he got his, I think someone rotating out left it to him. As an officer, he had a 1911, but liked the .357 better, so it was fairly common. Or at least not unusual. I suspect the perception that a revolver is 100% reliable, while a 1911 takes a good deal of practice, and civilian ammo vs ball ammo would have been more effective at the anticipated engagement ranges. 7-10 yards.