Original U.S. Smith & Wesson M1869 Top-Break Model 3 Revolver in .44 S&W with 8" Barrel - Serial 16234

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is an unusual old Wild West Revolver to find. This is a very nice Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver in .44 S&W, which was introduced in 1869 as the U.S. Army's principal sidearm, which they used until 1873. It features a long 8" barrel and has a cylinder capacity of 6 shots, and functions in single-action only. The top of the barrel bears all the S. & W. patent dates up to 1869:


The model 3 was produced until 1898, however new patents were added over the years, including 1875, so this revolver was produced sometime 1870-1875.

The serial number 16324 is stamped on the flat on the bottom of the grip, as well as on the inside the right wooden wooden grip scale. The cylinder, barrel lock and end of the barrel frame are numbered with 541, so this example was arsenal reworked and the barrel and cylinder replaced. This is a Top-break revolver making loading extremely easy and frankly a much better system than the side loading Colts and Mervin & Hulbert revolvers. This was the same model revolver that the famous Lawman Wyatt Earp used in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26th 1881.

This fine early revolver is offered in very nice condition, straight from a collection where it was cared for. It functions well, with a strong auction and functional spent cartridge ejector. As with any revolver of this age, it can be a bit finicky, and the top latch can be stubborn when breaking open the revolver. The ejection works great, with a functional ejector release. Bore has lands and grooves, though they definitely show wear. This was not a case queen!

A very nice used 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: c.1870-1875
Caliber: .44 S&W American
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 8 inches

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

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