VERY SCARCE !!
WADSWORTH, "NEW MODEL ARMY .44"....1877
Forehand & Wadsworth was a known manufacturer of quality firearms, BUT in the Pocket Size revolvers. By the Mid 1870's the demand for large frame frontier revolvers was reaching a zenith, driven by the American Western Frontier. F&W went to the drawing board and introduced a Large Frame Frontier revolver, the "Old Model" Army .44. In fact it was good enough to receive a Test by The Army Ordnance Board in 1875. ( an image of one can be seen at the bottom of this page) By 1877, and listening to the pros and cons of the Old Model, once again they went to the drawing board, and introduced a completely new design, the "NEW MODEL ARMY" .44. For reasons unknown, they ONLY made about 800 of them, so they are INCREDIBLY SCARCE & RARE! Additionally. most were in nickel finish, quoting Flayderman, "Blue is worth a premium" This New Model .44, Serial No.6X is a remarkable specimen based on availability. It has about 60% of the original factory blue finish, and most all case color on the hammer is still visible. ALL factory applied markings are present and clear, barrel address etc... Serial Number. ALL parts are original to the revolver, and ALL the working actions function correctly. The Walnut grips show only light hand ware, and are free from damage, even the Lanyard Ring is present.
This is an incredibly scarce Frontier Revolver, and this one is an outstanding specimen. PRICE $3,950
The virtues of this revolver were clearly detailed in the May 1877, Field & Stream Magazine, as shown in the ad copy.
WADSWORTH, .44 "OLD MODEL" ARMY REVOLVER...Scarce Blue Finish
During the 1870's there was a popular demand for big frame Frontier revolvers. "Old School" companies like S&W and Colt were enjoying phenomenal sales. Forehand & Wadsworth was also an old school company , BUT had restricted their manufacturing to smaller Pocket Pistols. They rethought their position, and went to the drawing board, and introduced their FIRST large frame .44 caliber Frontier Revolver. This is it, called the "Old Model " Army because F&W redesigned this model and introduced it a little later, a.k.a New Model Army. Serial No.75X is the Old Model Army, and was limited in production to slightly LESS than 1,000 pieces. So, they are very scarce ! and a complete and correct model is infinitely scarcer. They found favor on the Frontier and with the demand for big frames generated by the growth on the western frontier. This Old Model .44 had a blue finish, a bit scarcer as nickel was dominant. Today it has maybe 15%+, in flutes and protected areas. The balance is a "plum: color patina (correct for blued specimens), smooth metal and sharp edges. ALL factory applied markings are present and clear. ALL parts are original, and it is mechanically perfect, It loads, cocks, indexes, rotates and locks tight, then releases for firing. The Walnut grips are near perfect, with remaining varnish. This Model is seldom encountered due to low production numbers, and comparing this Old Army to it's peers, is an outstandingly fine specimen. A RARE and different 1870's Frontier Revolver. PRICE $3,850
This exact same Model , with Serial No. 10 was forwarded to the U.S. Ordnance Board for Testing against Colt, and S&W. The F&W faired very well, and had the best blue finish tested for durability.
FEBRUARY 29, 2020
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