Original Smith & Wesson Model 3 Frontier Revolver in .44-40 with 8 inch Barrel circa 1875

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. An honest Revolver dating to the 1870s widely used in the American West this is a Smith & Wesson .44-40 Caliber FRONTIER Model Revolver in Single action only. One of the competitors to the COLT M-1873 Single Action Army Revolver, the Remington 1875 and the Merwin & Hulbert Frontier Revolvers were all overshadowed.

Jessie James was said to have carried an S.& W. .44 caliber Frontier Revolver. This example serial  29259 has seen considerable use but still functions perfectly. The original finish is all gone and various markings are much faded nevertheless it has never been "played with" and in a very acceptable display condition for a Frontier Revolver already more than 140 years old.

The top of the barrel rib still bears traces of the original markings:

$ SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT. JULY.10.1860. JAN.17. FEB.17. JULY.11.65 & AUG.24.69. $

There is definitely no trace of "Russian Model" on this, so it is definitely not one made for the export market. The cylinder is also only 35mm long, making it too short to use .44 S&W or .44 Russian.

This example is fitted with a longer than standard 8 inch barrel, which still has clear rifling, though there is some pitting in the bore.

Ready to 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.

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