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1st MODEL, "OIL HOLE" S&W, AMERICAN .44 REVOLVER , with Classic Mexican Ivory Grips.

In 1870 Smith & Wesson underwent a dramatic change. They introduced their first ! .44 caliber revolver, and in break top fashion, putting them into the Frontier Revolver market. This is one of them, the 1st model American of 1870, Serial No.74X. ONLY the very earliest models had a unique feature, a small oil hole on the base of the barrel.

This 1st Oil Hole American has about 5-10% original blue remaining, mostly in the flutes, and other more protected areas. The balance is a soft light gray, with some plum patina present. ALL factory applied markings are present, and ALL parts are original to the revolver. The only non factory variance is, and done "in the day", is a checkered back strap. Mechanically it functions 100% correctly: opening, ejecting, closing, cocking, locking, and releasing to fire. Absolutely, there were the FIRST large caliber practical revolvers on the frontier. This was not lost to westerners like, Cody, Omohundro, Stoudenmire, Cole Younger, and even John Wesley Hardin. It was FAST to load and unload, and had the 8 inch barrel, and an excellent balance point. S&W received a Government contract for 1,000 of this Model for the Cavalry. The "Oil Hole" is a highly collectable variation of this 1st Model American , particularly a THREE DIGIT Serial Number. They also had limited volume production, at only 8,000 before minor design changes, and the 2nd model appeared in 1873.

PRICE $ 4,150

 

The highly charismatic Ivory grips of 1870, in the Mexican Pattern of a Eagle sitting on a Cactus, holding a Snake in it's beak.

FACTORY SPECIAL ORDER...Worthy of a S&W Factory letter !

S&W Double Action "FRONTIER MODEL", 44/40 , 1880'S

This revolver, Serial No.1421X has a very UNIQUE feature, it has a 7-1/2 inch barrel ! The longest standard factory length on this Model was 6-1/2 inches. I say a factory letter would be worthwhile because, 7-1/2 inches is a Western Frontier length, as were the original Colts, etc..., it could have a very interesting ship location. This DA Frontier has about 75% of all the original factory nickel plating, the balance is a soft gray patina, blending very well preventing any harsh contrast. It's appearance is much stronger. The complimenting parts. such as the top latch, and trigger guard have substantial amounts of blue remaining. The trigger and hammer show faded case colors. The grips are original to this revolver, and have the color and fire only 130 years plus, can create. They have no damage, and really compliment the S&W.

Mechanically, this DA Frontier operates perfectly on single action mode, or double action mode. ALL factory applied markings are present and clearly seen.  It will be very interesting to the collector who acquires this unique S&W, as I am sure it eventually went West, and fit the "old tradition" of 7-1/2 inches, yet, the new faster double action !  PRICE $4,250

The original Pearl grips, full of antique luster and color.

SMITH & WESSON, 2nd MODEL, RUSSIAN, .44R ARMY REVOLVER, 1870'S

The Russian series of revolvers is very interesting. Starting with the Old, Old Model, same appearance as the S&W American .44, only in .44 Russian caliber. The Russian Inspector at the S&W plant, insisted on design changes, to closer fit Russian needs. This Model, the 2nd is vary hard to find, as all production was for the Russian Government. Either over run or, incidental production accounted for the ones sold commercially. The barrel address ending of Russian Model was added, following the Springfield address. It exhibits all the early characteristics, the long extractor under the barrel, and no tension screw on top of barrel, as found on the 3rd Model. This 2nd Model, Serial No. 3611X, has about 25%+ of all the original blue finish, with a blending of a darker gray patina, with touches of plum patina. It has a very pleasant appearance. ALL factory applied markings, barrel address etc..are present and vivid. Mechanically, it operates correctly on all phases of the working action. ONLY 6,200 of this Model, found their way into civilian  (commercial) sales !! This is a very scarce model for the collector to find, as the balance all went into Russia, hardly to never to reappear again.

This 2nd Russian was certainly used in the day, but not abused, and still for its  age and use is in very collectable condition. As a footnote: this Russian Model was carried by Pat Garrett, and Charlie Pitts at Northfield, with the James-Younger outfit. They were there on the old frontier. PRICE $2,950

The Walnut grips, have a fine luster, and no damage. The have at the circular top of the grip, a professionally done, INTERTWINED Initials of HB.

 

S&W 2nd MODEL AMERICAN, in Rare, .44 HENRY RIM FIRE, FACTORY/NY ENGRAVED, SNAKE & EAGLE IVORY, SILVER BUTT CAP...1874 with FACTORY LETTER....

This S&W American, Serial No. 3051X, is spectacular in appearance ! It has "THE" shipping location, Wexell & DeGress, Mexico City, and the physical revolver shows all this to be true, including the caliber. It has about 35-45% of the original nickel plate finish , and the balance is a soft gray patina, giving it an excellent appearance. The engraving remains very strong, showing minimal wear, it is distinct ! The screw heads are all crisp, and all applied factory markings are present: barrel address etc.. This S&W 2nd American has 100% perfect mechanical functions on ALL phases of working operations. The grips are spectacular, Snake & Eagle raised relief carved grips, in an untouched natural condition showing the 140 years of age, in their color and appearance.

The grip area is further enhanced by the addition of a Silver Butt Cap, and Silver Lanyard Ring. This is a "REAL"  flashy "south of the border" revolver, where .44 Henry Rim Fire lingered on forever, and was the popular cartridge.

This revolver embodies all the bells and whistles of greatness ! Engraved, Deluxe Ivory, Butt Cap, Shipping Address, and conjured up visions of a glamorous life, carried by a real "fancier" of deluxe and functional arms, in the old tradition of .44 Rim Fire.  PRICE $9,995

 

 

 

 

S&W, NEW MODEL No.3, .44R, with FACTORY STOCK, all HOLSTERS, AND FACTORY LETTER !!!  1886

It was once said, " Colt Arms America, S&W Arms the world" This ensemble has a very interesting factory letter, and markings on the holster. This S&W New Model No.3, Serial No. 2331X, has the 6.5 inch barrel, and is nickel plated. Approximately 35% of the nickel finish is present, the balance is a soft light gray patina, giving the revolver a homogeneous appearance. It is chambered for the .44 Russian cartridge, and has Walnut stocks. The original hard rubber S&W butt plate is present and in perfect condition. ALL factory applied markings are present and perfectly clear, such as barrel address, and serial numbers. The stock is original to the revolver, but is Serial No. 1282X, this is a quite common occurrence. When these No.3's returned to the U.S., seldom to never did they come as matched sets !! This Stocked No.3 without any doubt went to Australia, as many did. HOWEVER, due to markings NOT present, such as the broad arrow, and the PRESENCE of other markings, it probably went to New South Wales. As in 1881 new South Wales ordered the Double Action Model of 1881 in .44R with stocks, this is confirmed. Mechanically this No. 3 operates PERFECTLY on all phases of the working action.  The letter details the No.3 as you see it, and gives the name of an unusual ship destination in NY, an exporter, which makes perfect sense. Large framed stocked revolvers are scarce, and seldom encountered, especially with original accoutrements. An excellent addition to any collection!  PRICE $5,950 Hold/SOLD

It is incredibly rare that the holsters for the revolver and the stock are to be found with the pistol and stock, the ultimate accoutrement.

SMITH & WESSON, 2nd MODEL AMERICAN .44, .........1873...Cut for Stock..

In 1870 S&W introduced the FIRST practical Metallic Cartridge Revolver, and it was an immediate success. Quickly, small design changes were implemented, and the 2nd Model was the result. It had a little more "metal" around the trigger pin, and a slotted hammer to insure a tighter lock of the top strap. Otherwise, same as the 1st Model. The American chambered the .44 American cartridge, and had an 8 inch barrel. It found immediate acceptance due to its quick ability to load and unload cartridges, and time was IMPORTANT ! This 2nd Model, Serial No. 1413X, is a totally correct example. It has all the factory applied markings, barrel address etc...and ALL parts are original to the revolver, and are matching in serial   (assembly) numbers. The working actions are 100% perfect in all phases and functions. The Walnut grips are smooth, show minimal hand use, and have a fine antique luster and patina. Many famous celebrities of the Old West used this Model, such as : Wyatt Earp  (he actually carried a 2nd Model American engraved to the OK Corral fight), Texas Jack Omohundro, Buffalo Bill, Cole Younger, Belle Starr, Dallas Stoudenmire, just to mention a few ! It was a stout reliable revolver, and "FAST" to operate and fire. This one has a unique feature, the back strap is cut for a detachable shoulder stock. The stock used in this case was a " Key Hole" stock. The attaching end was cut like a key, inserted into the opening, side ways, then turned to lock it into position.

Unfortunately, the stock and American have become separated over the last 140 years. An excellent choice for a collection, a BIG S&W Frontier revolver, and THE FIRST on the Frontier !!  PRICE $4,350

This 2nd American has about 90%+ of all the original nickel plating, with the majority of the loss at the cylinder face, and breech end of the barrel. This makes perfect sense because, this is where the firing blast exits, plus the end of the barrel. Black powder was corrosive. The balance of the American is superb, with all the nickel plate present. There were really, despite their success, not that many made, ONLY 29,000 total between both Models. So, a high condition American is a scarce commodity.

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 $ 4,250

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

 

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 $ 3,750

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 $5,200

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 SOLD/HOLD

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

Price $ 50

**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.

FEBRUARY 20, 2016

Email:    ocy@ocyoung.com

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