Original Smith & Wesson 1871 Russian Contract Model 3 Revolver in .44 Russian - Dated 1874

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. The Classic! A genuine Original SMITH AND WESSON RUSSIAN CONTRACT revolver in .44 Russian. Correctly marked along the top of the barrel rib in CYRILLIC Script:

Смита и Вессона оружейная фабрика Г. Спрингфильдъ Америка No. 13171

This roughly translates to Smith and Wesson Arms Factory C.[ity] Springfield America. It uses the pre-1917 version of the alphabet, so translation programs may have issues.

Serial number included in this script of is 13171, which differs from the serial on the grip, top latch, and cylinder, which is 13099, so some parts swapping definitely happened at the Russian Arsenals.  The serial number and characteristics indicate that this is a "Third Issue", which is also confirmed by the later date. 

In 1870/71 General Alexander Gorloff of the Imperial Russian Embassy visited Smith & Wesson and placed an order for 41,000 units. In 1872 Grand Duke Alexandrovich also visited the factory to great accolades resulting over the following years the Imperial Russian Army ordering over 130,000 of this Model Revolver in total. This was later followed, after the Revolution, by Copies made in various European Countries, particularly Spain.

Our example, serial number 13099/13171, is also marked over the left hand grip scale with Russian characters over 1874, the year this revolver was manufactured and supplied. In fine overall condition the finish is now blue/grey but shows no pitting whatsoever. Bore shows clear lands and grooves, with some light oxidation. Large spur on trigger guard makes this very distinctive. Single action Six Shot only.

Despite the great production, the original RUSSIAN Model is very rare and hard to find. A very fine example, completely honest, ready for display!

History of the Smith & Wesson Model 3

The Smith & Wesson Model 3 was a single-action, cartridge-firing, top-break revolver produced by Smith & Wesson from circa 1870 to 1915.

It was produced in several variations and sub-variations, including both the "Russian Model", so named because it was supplied to the military of the Russian Empire (41,000 No. 3's were ordered in .44 caliber by the Imperial Russian Army in 1871), and the "Schofield" model, named after Major George W. Schofield, who made his own modifications to the Model 3 to meet his perceptions of the Cavalry's needs. Smith & Wesson incorporated these modifications into an 1875 design they named after the Major, planning to obtain significant military contracts for the new revolver.

The S&W Model 3 was originally chambered for the .44 S&W American and .44 Russian cartridges, and typically did not have the cartridge information stamped on the gun (as is standard practice for most commercial firearms). Model 3 revolvers were later produced in an assortment of calibers, including .44 Henry Rimfire, .44-40, .32-44, .38-44, and .45 Schofield. The design would influence the smaller S&W .38 Single Action that is retroactively referred to as the Model 2.


Years of Manufacture: 1874
Caliber: .44 Russian
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 1/2  inches

Overall Length: 11 1/4 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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