Two Now

I have a pair of Victory models right now. Both have good stories. I bought them from the men who carried them — one in WWII and one in Vietnam. They sold them to me because they knew I cared, and still do. The Victory was long-lived in our armed forces and uses were found for them for decades after WWII. I predict some are still hiding in lockers or duffels around the world. My blued one helped protect a PT boat crewman in the South Pacific in WWII. The Parkerized one — showing some honest wear — rode in a Jeep quite a bit in Vietnam and, according to the soldier, “Made me feel a lot safer at times.”

I shoot them now and again and enjoy it every time I do. The small grips and sharp edges of the top-strap bite some, and after a couple of cylinders I stop. But that old S&W long action is smooth, predictable and familiar and I always smile. After 80-odd years, they still work, are still accurate and could be relied upon to protect a lonely guard, a 19-year-old tank commander or a G.I. in a foxhole on Iwo Jima.

Find a Victory model if you can — and listen to its story.