SHOT 2016: Smith & Wesson Victory


SHOT 2016: Smith & Wesson Victory

I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to shoot S&W’s new BuckMark III… er, I mean, Victory, at Range Day, but I dropped by the S&W pavilion and checked it out.

As you can see from the pictures, it’s a very nice gun, and I definitely want to try one out. I’m very happy with my Ruger Mark III Hunter in stainless. I’m easily three times more accurate with it than with any other gun I own, and I’ve dumped a bunch of money into Volquartsen mods for it. But I’d give the Victory a chance.

While I was at the S&W booth eyeballing the Victory, I took a moment to rib the rep about the similarities between this new pistol and certain other popular pistols. “For a minute I thought I’d wandered into the Ruger booth…”, and so on. He good-naturedly pretended not to hear me. Then I tried in all seriousness to get him to tell me why S&W hadn’t made the magazines compatible with the ubiquitous Ruger MKII/III mags, and he just wasn’t having any of that. Who knows, maybe someone will somehow mod this thing to make that idea work, because the mags do look very similar.

On wandering over to the Performance Center part of the pavilion, I asked the main rep if there were any plans to make a Performance Center version of the Victory.

“I’ll never say ‘never’ to that, but we don’t currently have one in development,” he replied.

Yeah, right. Of course they have one in development. They just don’t want to kneecap this product launch by talking about a higher-end version that might be available later; the focus has to stay squarely on the version they’re trying to sell right now.

If this rimfire pistol takes off in the market, I’m sure they’ll put out a PC version. And even if they don’t, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the usual aftermarket suspects offer enough enhancements that you could basically make your own.

The folks at TFB put some rounds down range with the Victory and were impressed. They also did a video with the gun, where they shoot it and talk about how easy it is to disassemble.

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Jon Stokes is Deputy Editor at

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