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SMITH & WESSON, 3rd MODEL .44 RUSSIAN REVOLVER @ 1878...MANUFACTURED BY ...ORBEA HERMANOS, EIBAR SPAIN...

Located in the Basque region of Spain, Eibar is home to Orbea Brothers Firearms Manufacturers, from 1840 - 1929. They had a long and successful run of manufacturing, mostly with exact  (or near exact) copies of the Smith & Wesson line. This No. 3 Russian is MAGNIFICENT ! It is FULLY, and I mean FULLY exhibition level engraved, to include the stock attachment, all matching. Serial No. 227X still has the original stock, and most rare, the original Lanyard Cord. OB had a long history of "presentation" revolvers to high level dignitaries, persons etc.. in Europe and the Mexican/ Latin countries. There is no doubt that this 3rd Russian was a presentation engraved specimen. The oral history that came with this stocked revolver was it belonged to a wealthy Mexican Rancher and land owner. Currently, it has about 90% of the original nickel plating present, the balance light gray patina, with some darker gray blended in the finish. the frame finish is exceptionally strong, with most patina on the barrel.  The face of the cylinder is very clean, indicating limited firing. I believe most finish loss was from inadequate storage for 139 years. The grips are a checkered black hard rubber, with OB in the circle at the top. They are in perfect condition ! This Russian is FULLY covered by engraving, on all physical surfaces of the revolver, exquisitely executed! Mechanically, it operates 100% correctly: opening, ejecting cartridges, closing cocking, indexing, locking tight, and releasing to fire.

All the case hardening colors are present on the hammer, and most of the blue on the trigger.( darkened somewhat). The Walnut stock in exceptional condition, no damage or brakeage, with a smooth antique patina finish. Most important, the metal areas of the stock ( attachment) are fully engraved, and MATCHING the revolver!

 

This is an incredible specimen, a 3rd Russian, by Orbea Hermanos, an 1878 PRESENTATION revolver to a "muy importante" person. In addition, in reading on company history, it seems they came into possession of S&W blueprints ! A multi faceted interesting revolver. PRICE $7,150

 

 

 

 

Theory: Above is a known example of engraving from the Studio of Gustave Young...maybe the master himself. Please note the almost identical similarity in engraving as on the No.3 Russian. Could this , after purchase have been engraved by Young ? for presentation, or ordered by the new wealthy owner?

 

VERY SCARCE !! S&W 2nd MODEL AMERICAN, in .44 HENRY RIM FIRE CALIBER, 1874...

The production of this variation, .44 Henry Rim Fire was in the hundreds of revolvers !! Even a smaller quantity with the hammer notch. This one, Serial No. 3256X, has the hammer notch, and numbers under 300 manufactured. This revolver is a bit of an anomaly, as it is so crisp ! every screw slot perfect, all edges perfect, just a very crisp example. The anomaly is the fact it is a blue/plum antique patina, NEVER having been cleaned, all natural. All the blue simply flaked off, my guess from poor storage for 143 years. The S&W shows little use, and has perfect 100% working actions. Opening to eject spent cartridges, closing, locking cocking indexing locking tight,  and releasing to fire. The Walnut grips show light hand wear, but are free from damage. ALL factory applied markings are present and vividly clear. The Henry Rim Fire maintained its popularity for a long time , even after center fire cartridges were available. Rim Fires along with Winchester 1866 Models could be found along the Tex-Mex Border, and in all the "wild regions".

 This is a fine example of a VERY SCARCE S&W Model. PRICE $5,850

 

S&W FACTORY LETTER...Special Factory Features... NEW MODEL No.3 , TARGET MODEL .44 Russ.

S&W introduced the New Model No.3 in 1878, as a direct competitor to the Colt Single Action. The  New Model was readily accepted, and used by famous Frontiersmen, like Virgil Earp, Wyatt for a time, and many on the side of the law, and many on the other side.  Manufactured up until 1898, and the warehouse sold them out until a little past 1900. A six shot revolver chambered in the .44 Russian caliber, with a QUICK break open eject and re-load system.  This revolver, Serial No. 2774X, is the Target version.  The factory letter describes it as you see it, 6-1/2 inch barrel, Blue, Target front and rear sights. One other very unique feature,  a Factory Checkered Trigger ! ** It was a factory Special Order of  ONLY  2 units !  even more interesting, it was shipped in April 1892 to a major Colt distributor, Schoverling , Daly & Gale Co. ,NY. NOT the usual M. W. Robinson distributor of S&W.  The No.3 has about 65% of all the original bright high polish factory blue finish. The balance is a natural blending patina. The hammer and trigger guard have LOTS of case color remaining. the grips are the logo checkered black hard rubber grips, in excellent condition exhibiting little to no wear. Mechanically, this No.3 functions 100% correctly on ALL working actions, every time ! ALL assembly/ Serial Numbers are matching, and ALL factory applied markings s are clear and present, barrel address etc... A scarce and highly collectable S&W, with VERY unique features, including the Letter !

PRICE $ 3,650

 

Factory Checkered Trigger, a rare feature on a 2 unit Special Factory order in 1892.

EXCEPTIONALLY  SCARCE !!!

SMITH & WESSON, "OLD, OLD" MODEL RUSSIAN, .44R (Identical in configuration to the American 2nd Model)

FACTORY SIX INCH BARREL............WITH IT'S ORIGINAL FLORAL CARVED CALIFORNIA SLIM JIM HOLSTER

This is an exceptionally scarce variation of the Old, Old Russian Model .44R. ONLY about 4.665 of the Old Old Russian Model were sold on the Commercial Market, they had the Eight inch barrel. ONLY ! about 2% were sold with the Factory Six Inch barrel, so therefore: less than 100, about 93 exist with a six inch barrel, this is one of them ! Serial No. 1166X from the 1871 production is a very stellar example. It has 85%+of the original factory nickel plating, and case color can still be seen on the hammer. the Walnut grips are smooth, with a fine patina.  Mechanically, this Old, Old Russian is 100% functionally correct on each and every working action. It breaks open, the ejector withdraws, closes tightly, cocks and locks perfectly, and releases to fire. The holster is VERY unique, first it is the ORIGINAL holster to the S&W, and is made for the six inch barrel, no others ! It is an early holster, 1871, period with and to, the revolver. Floral Embossed, and in superb condition for a holster of this vintage.

An early and scarce S&W , Old, Old Russian, a unique barrel length, and a even rarer Slim Jim holster. PRICE $4,850

 

 

MANY STOPS IN HISTORY, for this: SMITH & WESSON, NEW MODEL No.3, .44R, SERIAL No. 59x, from 1878, First Year....

This 3 digit first year production New Model No.3  has seen a very diversified life, with many stops on the way. One of the first orders for this revolver was placed by Hartley & Graham , NY. A total of 2,000 revolvers, falling in the Serial Range of 50 to 3,400. ALL were marked with a stamp in front of trigger guard, " EJERCITO ARGENTINO"  (in two lines) designating Military of Argentina.

As you can see above, the marking is clear and present. This New Model remains in excellent condition today, considering it's varied history. The cylinder retains about 99% of all its bright factory nickel plate. The frame and barrel have about 80% original nickel, with only some gray spots on the side of the barrel. The grip area is mostly a soft gray patina, with intermittent nickel . The smooth Walnut grips are perfect and no damage. There is still case color hardening on the hammer and trigger guard. Mechanically, it is 100% PERFECT on all phases of operation / unloading/loading/ cocking/ firing. This New Model was destined for Argentina, the question is ? did it make it there? Maybe yes, maybe no, as it exhibits excellent quality condition for a South American Military revolver ! Now the new phase of its life begins !! It reappears in history in 1995, it was somewhere in collection, and kept very well, for 117 years. In 1995 it appears as the property of Angelica Huston, Actor. The New Model now has a "Hollywood" life. It appears in the Movie of 1995, BUFFALO GIRLS, a Golden Globe nominated movie. It starred Angelica Huston, and THIS IS the S&W she used in the entire film. To that truth, this New Model is accompanied by a hand signed letter, listing the New Model by Serial Number.

Also with the new Model is its original Holster, which was used by Angelica Huston in the film. Without question we have a very unique S&W. A 1st year , 1st contract New Model No.3, destined for Argentina, finishing as a major part of a 1995 Western Film. Now being offered to the collector. PRICE $5,500

 

**ALL the above documents & tape, PLUS more in the booklet, go with the sale. **

ON THE BORDER !!

TEX-MEX OUTFIT of the 1870'S

S&W, 2nd MODEL AMERICAN .44 REVOLVER / ORIGINAL HOLSTER

This 2nd American, Serial No. 8325, is of the 1870 period, as is the holster. It is further glamorized by a set of period Ivory grips, with a beautiful 146 year old untouched patina. This holster is a typical Mexican influenced holster, with the barrel of the revolver deliberately exposed below the holster.  You can also find this style in the Bikini holsters for Single Actions, which came several years later. S&W introduced the American Model in 1870, the first .44 for the company, and the FIRST practical large frame revolver on the frontier, beating Colt by more than 4 years! It found immediate favor with high profile Westerner's, such as : Dallas Stoudenmire, Texas "Jack" Omohundro, Buffalo Bill, Cole Younger etc.......etc..... The well balanced 8 inch barrel, curved grip to reduce recoil, and FAST break open ejecting and loading ! This 2nd American was finished at the S&W factory in blue. Currently it has about 10-15% of the blue remaining, the rest is a untouched light gray patina, giving it a smooth attractive appearance. ALL company applied markings are clear and present, and ALL assembly and serial numbers are matching. Mechanically this S&W American has a PERFECT working action. ALL parts are original to this revolver.

Who knows for sure ? Do note the presence of 4 very small notches  on the curve of the frame in front of grip, and behind the trigger guard. This outfit exudes the old Border, and the Tex-Mex Frontier of 1870 ! PRICE $5,450

 

Note the Initials B T carved into the leather holster.

The top edge and the bottom edge have been deliberately "scalloped" cut for style.

S&W, "OLD, OLD" MODEL .44 RUSSIAN REVOLVER...44Russ. W/ORIGINAL @1870 STYLE FLAP HOLSTER..

In 1869, S&W was limited to the biggest revolver being manufactured by them , a .32RF No.2 Army. D. B. Wesson recognized they must have a large caliber Frontier revolver, to the drawing board they went. Simultaneously the Russian Government was interested in a .44 caliber revolver for their Army. This confluence of events gave us the first .44 caliber S&W revolver from S&W. The 1st Model ,.44 Russian, simultaneously the S&W American revolver, in .44 American caliber. Both were break top, 8 inch barrel, heavy style Frontier revolvers, S&W was in the new market ! This 1st Model Russian, a.k.a. the "Old, Old Model Russian has the 8 inch barrel and is finished in the blue. Today about 35%++ of the original blue is present, and the balance is a soft blending natural occurring plum patina. ALL factory applied markings: barrel address etc.. are present and clear. ALL parts are original to this revolver. The break open action works 100% correctly, each and every time. The working action: cocking, indexing, and locking are also perfect , every time they are worked. This Old Old Russian, is Serial No. 1158X, early in the second run with improved trigger pin bulge of metal for stability, therefore a 2nd Model. Probable production, 1872. Which meant ! these revolvers were in the hands of Frontiersmen, like Bill Cody, Texas Jack, and other men on the raw western frontier, almost 3 years before the Colt SAA. Quite an accomplishment. The Walnut grips are in fabulous condition, free from any damage.

NOTE: It was with a Russian like this that John Wesley Hardin shot Sheriff Webb in Comanche Texas . Putting him on the run for the rest of his free life! A CLASSIC revolver of the earliest cartridge revolvers on the Frontier. PRICE $4,275

 

19th Century Holster, @ 1881 -1895. for S&W Double Action, 1st Model, in .44 Russian or 44/40, with five inch barrel.

This holster is of the more protective type, known as a "flap holster". It is a very nice russet brown color, with a distinct  chain and flower, border stamping. The rear belt loop is not damaged, and there are no breaks in the stitching.

A very well made holster, with Chamois lining. Someone who wanted to carry and respect his new S&W DA   PRICE $350

The holster is clearly marked, 44 5 designating caliber and barrel length. It fits the 44 DA S&W of 1881, 44R or 44WCF perfectly

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.

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 28, 2018

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