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SMITH & WESSON, 2nd MODEL, .44 AMERICAN REVOLVER @ 1873

The Model No. 3 , a.k.a. The American .44 Model, really put S&W into the game ! Prior to 1870, the company's only "big frame" revolver was the less than big frame Army No. 2 in .32 rim fire. However in 1870 they geared up and introduced the top break, .44 Models, the American Model in .44 AM, and the Old Old Russian Model in .44R, physically the same except for caliber. QUICKLY followed by the 2nd Model, which made a slight change in the frame, to accommodate the stronger trigger hold pin. This 2nd American, Serial No. 2175X, is in remarkable condition. It has about 95% of all the original nickel plated finish. What is IMPORTANT, it has never been touched ! no cleaning, polishing etc... it has that natural 141 year old luster. ALL assembly numbers are matching, all serial numbers match, and ALL parts are original. Mechanically it operates PERFECTLY, breaking open, closing, cocking, locking and firing , every time ! ALL factory applied markings are present and visible.

This Model 2 American was very popular on t he frontier, used by the likes of: Wyatt Earp, "Texas Jack" Omohundro, Dallas Stoudenmire, John Wesley Hardin, Cole Younger, Belle Starr, and so on and so forth....  PRICE $ 4,350

The Walnut Grips are in perfect condition, with a fine antique luster, and are numbers to the revolver.

 

SMITH & WESSON , 2ND MODEL, "U.S." SCHOFIELD .45 REVOLVER.. FACTORY LETTER

Smith & Wesson was very eager to get back into business with the U.S. Government, as they had not had any orders for revolvers since the initial 1,000 S&W American 44's.  Almost four years has passed and Colt is receiving all the business for Cavalry revolvers. So, in 1875 S&W designed a "NEW" revolvers in .45 caliber. Vanity would later cause its downfall, as it was .45 Schofield ! not .45 Colt. The Schofield successfully passed Ordnance Inspections and in 1875 about 3,000 were ordered, the 1st Model Schofield. By 1876 a slight top strap latch alteration took place, making the latch easier and more practical. Then the Government ordered about another 5,000, that is what this 2nd Schofield is ! Serial No. 811X is FULLY documented in the S&W factory letter that goes with the sale.  Delivered April 11, 1877 to Springfield Arsenal. Currently, it has a soft gray patina, with indications of blue in protected areas and in the flutes. Case color can still be seen on the hammer. The smooth Walnut grips have normal wear, but unfortunately the cartouches are to week to be seen . ALL Military markings are CLEAR and present. The U.S. and the Inspector initials of W P are present, so it is fully and correctly marked.

As I said earlier "Vanity"  would end the run of the Schofield's with the U.S. Cavalry. The fact it was .45 Schofield vs. .45 Colt became to difficult to manage, so only one would stay, in turned out to be .45 Colt. Then the Schofield's went on to NEW lives all the way up to 1900. Refurbished by H&G and Bannerman, they found new lives with Express Companies, and Police work. This is why it is SO DIFFICULT to find ALL original Schofield's, that have not been altered. This is one of them, all authentic, all original, and with the letter to back it all up ! PRICE $5,200

Smith & Wesson, "Old Model" Number 2, Army, .32 Rim Fire, a.k.a. No.2 Army

This was a big seller for the firm from 1861 - 1874, but by 1874 it was "outdated" even by company standards. However, the six inch barrel model was quite popular among the military involved in the Civil War from 1861 -1865. A footnote: George Armstrong Custer has a double casing, silver plated of this Model, he kept until his demise in 1876. In fact, though this IS NOT a Custer arm, it is Silver Plated, fully. Serial No. 528X is fully factory plated from the Factory.  It has the six inch barrel, and highly varnished Rosewood grips. Overall condition is 100%, only areas have began to tarnish as silver does, but it has 100% coverage. The grips are spectacular, and have all their original varnish, even over top the escutcheon.  ALL factory applied markings are present, even the cylinder patent line.

Mechanically, it is in PERFECT working condition, everything. A very unusual No.2 Army from S&W, and 1861. PRICE $2,500

SMITH & WESSON, 3rd MODEL, .44 RUSSIAN with ORIGINAL PERIOD HOLSTER

This Model represented the final design in the series of Russian revolvers, sold both to Russia and commercially in the United States. It was designed partially with the input of the Russian Ordnance Inspector " KO", and S&W designers. This model is quickly identified by the shorter extractor housing, the tension screw on top the barrel, and the "Sash " kook on the trigger guard.  This Russian 3rd Model is a domestically sold specimen, @ 1874 , with its very fancy original holster. This piece undoubtedly saw use in the American West, as demonstrated by the holster. Serial No. 649X is in remarkable condition. It has about 98-99% bright original factory nickel finish. The Walnut grips are smooth, fee from damage, and have a fine antique luster. Mechanically :

It breaks open flawlessly, ejecting shells, and then accepts for loading and closes perfectly. Its mechanical operation is PERFECT , it cocks, locks, indexes, releases to fire ALL with perfect precision. These Russian were also popular in the west, as Pat Garret at one time carried one while hunting Buffalo, and other upright creatures! One was dropped by Charlie Pitts, at the Great Northfield Bank Raid , and the James Younger bunch. It certainly is a western appearing outfit.

PRICE $4,950

 

 

SMITH & WESSON 1st MODEL AMERICAN .44 REVOLVER

This Model may well be the most significant model in the history of S&W. Prior to 1870, all S&W's were "tip- up" revolvers, and the biggest caliber was .32 rim fire ! This 1st American took the company light years into the future. It was a top break, and in a sizeable caliber .44, with a fabulous loading and ejection system. So remarkable was this revolver, the U.S. Government gave S&W the first cartridge revolver contract ever, for use by the Cavalry. They ordered 1,000 revolvers, S&W went on to make 8,000 more. They were sold to the commercial market. Among one of the most famous buyers was " Buffalo Bill " Cody. This 1st Model, Serial No.3568 has a antique patina finish. It is some blue blending with plum patina, with some areas more blue than others. All natural and untouched original antique finish. ALL factory applied markings are visible and present. ALL assembly numbers are matching, and all serial numbers are present. The original smooth Walnut grips have been checkered into an unique pattern, during the time of the American. Mechanically it operates perfectly, on breaking open, closing, cocking, indexing, and locking tight.  A great action for a 144 year old revolver.

If you like Americans, this is an early specimen that saw use ! but still has dignity, and value. PRICE $ 2,750

 

1st MODEL, SMITH & WESSON, SCHOFIELD .45, "U.S." ARMY REVOLVER with WELLS, FARGO, & Co. CONNECTION....

Serial No. 98X is the scarcer of the two Models of Schofield's produced and sold to the Government during the Indian War era. In 1875 only 3,035 were manufactured. This has the barrel release catch mounted on the frame, rather than the top of the barrel. It is chambered for the .45 Schofield round. Which later proved to be a problem for the Cavalry carrying two different .45 rounds, Colt & Schofield. Eventually, this was a contributor for the Schofield being deleted from Government/ Cavalry service. This Schofield is mechanically PERFECT !, it breaks open correctly, closes, cocks, locks, indexes, locks tight, and releases to fire. Somewhere in time this Schofield found its way into Wells, Fargo & Co. service. This happened BEFORE the 1890's when they were bought by Central Purchasing after being refurbished and sold by Bannerman and H&G, NY. This is a pre 1890's regional Superintendent Purchase, or maybe ? an employee who was in the Cavalry. As it is stamped on the butt with a property room number, and the company name. This is how it was done BEFORE corporate purchasing. Individual company markings, and issue numbers for record keeping.

The overall finish of the Schofield is about 5% - 10% blue, with a plum patina. Surprisingly though all the case colors remain on the hammer. Despite some damage, the smooth Walnut grips have a fine appearance. A true and unique revolver, the U.S. Cavalry, and Wells , Fargo, a real veteran of the west ! PRICE $6,550

This Schofield butt tells the whole story ! Beaten and Battered, and so were many express company revolvers, used  as a hammer for nails, boards in crates etc.. etc.. It is marked, and original to the era , 3110 and W.F. & Co. . It was a tool as well as a protector ! The left and right grips pictured to the left, show some collateral damage from the handle being used for other purposed, crates, nails etc...etc... ALL of this only serves to authenticate this as a true Wells, Fargo & Co. Express revolver.

 

 

SCARCER TO FIND. THAN THE PISTOL THAT FIRED THEM !!

FRANKFORD ARSENAL CARTRIDGE BOX, FULL (20) FOR THE "U.S." S&W AMERICAN .44 OF 1871

In 1870 the government ordered 1,000 Smith & Wesson, .44 American revolvers for issue to the Cavalry. They were the FIRST cartridge revolver ordered by the U.S. Government for cavalry issue. You can only imagine, with only 1,000 in Service for a little more than 4 years, not much ammunition was produced and packaged. Here is a full and complete box, scarce hardly begins to describe this box. If you are a Martial collector, or a S&W collector, and have a "U.S." S&W American .44 in your collection, this is the ultimate accompanying display item.

**Box is plastic wrapped to protect the box and its contents.

PRICE $ 1,250 SOLD

1st Model S&W U.S. Schofield .45..WELLS , FARGO & Co. EXPRESS

 The saga of the Schofield revolver is a story of the American west, the Cavalry and "Expressing" across the great expanse of America. Originally issued in 1875 to the U.S. Cavalry ( 1st Model, followed later by the 2nd Model) was a competitor to the Colt Single Action, and both were in service simultaneously. However, and there are many stories why, the Schofield's were pulled from service and sold as Government surplus. Two major dealers bought the Schofield's, Bannerman and Hartley & Graham. They viewed them as excellent revolvers suitable for Police Departments and Express companies as working revolvers. All had their barrels shortened to five inches, and were re-finished either blue or nickel plate. One of the main buyers from both dealers was Wells, Fargo & Co. They always had a need for guard guns on the stages and trains, plus their offices. Each company marked their refurbished revolver for Wells, Fargo in slightly different styles, BUT always the same PLACE, and ALWAYS with the serial number following the company marking. Hartley & Graham used a slanted Italic style marking, while Bannerman used the standard block letters. THERE WAS ONE RARE variation !! 99% of all the markings used "CO." in the marking, 1% used "CO'S", this is one of the Schofield's marked in this manner.

These Schofield's had two lives ! one with the Cavalry and Indian Wars, then years of daily service with Well, Fargo & Co. A testimony to the quality and durability of this Model. Today this 1st Schofield has a soft gray patina with remote traces of blue and case color, with smooth Walnut grips, numbered to the revolver. Mechanically the Schofield operates perfectly on all phases of operation, unloading loading cocking locking, indexing, firing etc..

Historically it simply doesn't get much better than this, an Indian Wars veteran going on to guard the rich shipments of Wells, Fargo. Sometimes it was the only line of defense between the road agent, and his demand "throw down the box", maybe just instead he threw down some lead from  this Schofield ?

PRICE $4,250 SOLD

 

This Schofield Serial No. 271X, still bears its original U.S. and Government Inspector markings, as well as the new Express Company markings.

Smith & Wesson, 2nd Model American .44, Nickel and Original Ivory grips."FACTORY      LETTER"   1874

The American Model from Smith & Wesson was one of their best success stories, although they only made a total of about 29,000 revolvers ( between 1st and 2nd Models). They first appeared in 1870, and were immediately admired and purchased by the westerners, of both fame and everyday life. In 1872 they made some slight mechanical improvements and the 2nd Model was introduced. This 2nd Model , Serial No. 2801X was shipped in 1874, and comes with a Factory Letter detailing all the specifics. The revolver matches the info precisely, including the addition of Ivory grips. All factory applied markings are present and distinctly visible.This 2nd American has about 75% of the original bright factory nickel, and the balance is a homogeneous blending light metal, with no contrast points. There are some sporadic darker gray spots on the surface. There is even significant case color hardening still present on the hammer. The Ivory grips are a wonderful 140 year old patina ! Mechanically, it operates correctly on all phases: breaking open, closing, loading cocking and firing. The 2nd American Model was known to have been carried by Cole Younger, Belle Starr, and even Wyatt Earp. Technology was not lost on the savvy shooters of the old west.

PRICE $4,250

NEW MODEL NO. 3 , .44R FACTORY LETTER...SHIPPED TO MEXICO  1882

In 1878 S&W introduced the New Model No.3 to compete with the many single action frontier revolvers on the market. It came in many calibers, but the bulk of production was the .44 Russian cartridge. This one, Serial No. 670X is in nickel finish, with Ivory grips of the same age 1882. This factory letters as you see it, 6-1/2 inch barrel, nickel, butt swivel, grips were added by Wexel & DeGress.

ALL factory applied markings are distinct and clear. ALL parts are original, and it is 100% mechanically perfect. It has about 90% of all the original nickel plate finish, with the loss being the left hand side of the barrel, holster wear ! This No.3 shipped to Mexico City, Mexico in 1882, as they were very popular south of the border, for the ease of loading and their accuracy. This quality wasn't lost in the U.S., Virgil Earp carried one most of his career, including the fight at the "OK" Corral. PRICE $ 3,850

SHOWN WITH IT'S ORIGINAL HOLSTER !

EXTREMELY RARE !!!

SMITH & WESSON, 1st MODEL AMERICAN .44 REVOLVER,WITH FACTORY SIX INCH BARREL !!

            1870 - 1872

To give you an idea of how scarce this revolver is, I would like to quote, Flaydermans Guide to Antique American Firearms, 9th edition, page 233,

"standard 8 inch rounded barrel, and a FEW 6 inch length."

We all know only 32 1st Model Americans were made on special order for the Nashville Police Department in 1871 with 6 inch barrels. MAYBE, thinking there was a  market, they made 50 or 100 with six inch barrels, creating an extra 18 or 68 revolvers to be sold commercially. This would certainly be correct using the word FEW to describe the rarity of a 6 inch 1st American. Serial No. 438X is one of these American revolvers. Currently it has about 80-85% of the original factory nickel finish, and is fitted with Ivory grips. These grips are numbered, and appear to be original to the American.

Mechanically the revolver operates perfectly. It has a very crisp cocking and release action, and the cylinder rotates, aligns with the barrel, locks tight, each and every time the American is cocked. It breaks open perfectly and the star ejector rod raises and drops back into the cylinder correctly. Considering the scarcity of this American, and when comparing it to its peers, it is a super fine example, and maybe decades before another one is available. The Ivory grips are in a magnificent patina, a "mustard patina" color that only 140 years of age can produce. In looking at the face of the recoil shield it is apparent it was used, but on a very limited basis. ALL factory applied markings: barrel address, serial numbers etc.. are clear and present. ALL parts are original to this revolver, and ALL are matching. The knurling on the hammer face is crisp and present, and some case colors are still visible. A six inch 1st American is a once in a collecting lifetime discovery, and in this overall condition and with Ivory grips, is a fine addition to any Frontier collection, or S&W collection.

PRICE $6,250

This six inch American .44 has a marvelous appearance, and shows it received excellent care an respect over 143 years.

 

 

SMITH & WESSON, 2nd MODEL, .44 AMERICAN REVOLVER, WITH ORIGINAL  IVORY GRIPS.

Smith & Wesson introduced their first large frame .44 caliber frontier revolver a full three years before competition from Colt. It was an immediate success, and the 2nd Model which had some design improvements, quickly followed the 1st Model. During the first half of the 1870's the American revolver WAS the choice of frontiersmen ! Quick to load and unload, excellent grip profile and easy point of sighting target, making it very favorable among "shootists". Like Cole Younger, Wyatt Earp, Dallas Stoudenmire, Belle Starr, John Wesley Hardin and so on, and so forth. This 2nd American, Serial No. 2282X, has the 8 inch barrel, and still has about 75%+ of the original nickel plate finish. The balance is a soft light gray patina. It is highlighted with original Ivory grips ! ALL mechanical functions operate PERFECTLY through all phases. This is without doubt a frontier used revolver, and has a fine frontier appearance.

PRICE $3,350

SMITH & WESSON, 2nd MODEL .44 AMERICAN REVOLVER ....

The American revolvers in .44 Caliber were a gigantic leap forward for the firm of  S&W. Introduced in 1870, and the 2nd Model introduced in 1872, with minor improvements  made from the 1st Model. It was an immensely popular revolver, and was used by many of the "notable" characters of the Old West. This 2nd Model Serial No. 1700X, is a very clean well preserved specimen. It has about 10% of the original blue finish, scattered throughout in more protected areas, with the balance a soft gray patina. All factory applied markings are clear and sharp, and ALL assembly numbers are matching. ALL parts are original to the 2nd American. Mechanically it is perfect: breaks open, ejects, closes tight, cocks, indexes, locks, and fires correctly. The walnut grips have fine luster, and show minimal handling wear. This was an important model for the firm of S&W, it was their first .44 Model, and first break top, features which carried them to great heights through the end of the 19th century.

All factory applied markings are present and vividly clear. A very fine example of an 1873 S&W 2nd American .44 revolver.

PRICE $4,150

Blue finish appears on flat of frame in front of trigger guard, and butt of revolver.

1889 HARTLEY & GRAHAM ADVERTISEMENT, FEATURING THE S&W, NEW MODEL No.3 TARGET REVOLVER

Price $ 75

**Interesting to note, on the reverse side, are the Newspaper Clippings regarding the Court Martial of a Cavalry Officer, and his "physical confrontation" with another Officer.

OCTOBER 31 , 2014

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