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                   U.S.

1st MODEL"OIL HOLE".44,  GOVERNMENT ISSUE 1871 AMERICAN REVOLVER by SMITH & WESSON / FACTORY LETTER & OWNER INFORMATION

The importance of this S&W can not be overstated. First, this represents the first top break revolver made by S&W, and the first .44 caliber revolver. As with S&W this represents the first Government contract for a Cartridge revolver, with no ties to percussion. In the scheme of things, it was issued almost 3 years prior to Colt, and was used and in service well into the 1870's. Serial No. 628 is a 100% First Model American .44 exhibiting a feature which quickly disappeared the small Oil Hole on the underside base of he barrel. Originally thought to be useful in oiling the shell extraction ratchet system.

 The Government bought 1,000 of them and quickly issued them to the field for Cavalry units. A night and day difference from the old cap n' ball system, plus speedily ejected and reloaded. Few of these survive today in their ORIGINAL configuration. The US 4th Cavalry received many of these first, later multiple distribution to other units. ALL S&W  factory applied markings are present: barrel address, serial numbers  all locations including grip.

The side plate is engraved in a fine but not professional manner, Frank Weber. It is accompanied by detailed research revealing who Frank Weber was, and images. The original blue finish remains in about 3-5%, the balance is a soft gray untouched original patina. Mechanically it functions correctly on all phases of the working actions. A VERY important US revolver, steeped in history of the west, S&W and the Cavalry. PRICE $ 4,850

 

 

The US applied here by S&W on top of barrel rib is all but gone. Under intense light and magnification you can see pieces of the US. It appears an owner, post Cavalry thought it a good idea not to have a revolver with US on it ! visible.

Photo: once in Roy Jinks collection.

 

 

AMERICAN MARITIME HISTORY...S&W FACTORY LETTER...SMITH & WESSON, DOUBLE ACTION, FIRST MODEL .44...ANTIQUE...

Aside from the history connected to this S&W, it remains an interesting story on Smith & Wesson. S&W wanted very much to be a major player in the large bore Double Action field, introducing this Model in 1881. Chambered in .44 Russian Caliber. Five years later they introduced the Double Action Frontier in 44/40. The company was both puzzled and concerned as sales were slow. The Frontier had a 1-9/16 inch cylinder vs. the Russian at 1-7/16th. ALL the revolvers were made BEFORE 1898, and are antique, shipping was another twist in the story. They made about 56,000, and the warehouse was overstocked. To recoup their investment, all but about 2,000 were RE-Chambered to the known seller world wide, .44 Russian.  This S&W Double Action has the 1-9/16 inch cylinder, BUT is chambered for the .44 Russian, now known as the 44 S&W Ctg. The company was determined to empty the warehouse, and by 1914 all 54,000 were shipped.

This S&W Serial No.5440X, shipped in March of 1914 a Shipment of ONE, to H. A. Astlett, Walter St. New York city. Research shows that Harry Anderson Astlett was the owner of a major Steam Ship line traveling the globe. Specializing in Raw Rubber around the globe and South America.

No doubt this being a one of shipment it was intended for his use, or as a gift to one of his Captains. It certainly was important to be armed and prepared for any problems while at sea or unloading cargo etc... It was shipped as seen, 5 inch, nickel finish, pearl grips added by owner. The S&W was well taken care of for the last 109 years. Its working actions are ALL in perfect working order, and ALL Factory Markings are present.

An extremely interesting piece of American History and the Era of Steam Ships delivering the goods and passengers. Few times can we specifically indentify the historical figure, but this time we can !

PRICE $2,950

 

This DA 44 has about 99% of the Original Factory Nickel plate, 90% original blue on the trigger guard, and same case color on trigger and hammer.

SMITH & WESSON, 3rd MODEL RUSSIAN .44, RARE, RARE, RUSSIAN CONTRACT of 1874, CYRILLIC ADDRESS, A RUSSIAN, RUSSIAN.......

A Russian revolver is INDEED a rare find today, anywhere, especially in the U.S. Once these revolvers were shipped by S&W to Russia, they hardly if ever left the country. They were stored in the Arsenals, and unbelievably saw use all the way up to WWII. This 3rd Russian , Russian is Serial No. 1458X, and was in the first shipment of 1874. In 1874 Russia was entangled in a War with Turkey and Uzbek. Surprisingly this revolver is by all reasonable comparisons to service revolvers in very good condition. It has about 55-60% original blue, ALL parts are original, and the mechanics are PERFECT !

Cyrillic Barrel address and the Double Russian Eagle above KO the Inspecting Officer. This was a very accurate and dependable revolver. It began as evolutionary improvement from the 1st Model Russian, thru the 2nd Russian, the 3rd being the finished product of the cooperation with the Russian Inspectors and the design modifications of Alonzo King with S&W. It was a significant contract for S&W, and a smaller number were civilian production and sold here in the U.S. by M.W. Robinson, and to a lesser degree by Hartley & Graham. This 3rd Russian is ALL matching: all inspector numbers etc.. ALL parts are the original parts, including grips.

 

Besides the 55-60% blue present, you can also see traces of case color hardening on the hammer and trigger guard. Like I said earlier a fine example for what it is ! A RARE and seldom encountered S&W, with a great history! FACTOID: Most of these were Arsenal stored, and the beginning of the Russian Revolution, the " White" Russian Army seized the Arsenals, and fought against the "Red" Bolsheviks with these revolvers. SCARCE and HISTORICAL S&W revolver.

PRICE $3,995

 

 

SMITH & WESSON, MODEL No.2 ARMY, FACTORY SILVER PLATED and MAGNIFICENT RELIEF CARVED IVORY GRIPS, IN ORIGINAL CASING @ 1861-1862

The Ivory grip is relief carved into a typical Civil War era Patriotic motif. The carving is known as " Lady Columbia" wearing the Liberty Cap and surrounded by an American flag at her neck. The No.2 Army was the largest frame revolver that S&W had to offer during the Civil War, chambered in .32 rim fire long. Serial No. 1980X exemplifies the deluxe treatments available for the right buyer. It was extremely popular with the soldiers, both enlisted and Officers. Many famous personages carried them or owned them, such as George A. Custer, and "Wild Bill" Hickok. The number of presentations to the Military we will never know, BUT this one was certainly a special No.2. It is FULLY and originally Silver Plated, deluxe grips and cased. Mechanically it works 100% correctly on ALL working actions. The case has an antique patina, excellent color and NO damage. The interior is a wonderful wine color showing only age with NO rips or damage. The Silver plate is still very strong , with only a minimal spot or two where some patina has formed. Overall it is a 90% finish, still present. The cylinder still has the 1855 and 1859 original patent dates clearly exhibited around the center of the cylinder.

Price $ 4,650

 

3rd MODEL S&W RUSSIAN, in Very Scarce Caliber, .44 HENRY RIM FIRE, @1874, a.k.a. THE TURKISH CONTRACT MODEL

Domestically this revolver is incredibly difficult for the collector to obtain. Approximately 5,000 were manufactured for sale to the Turkish Government. This was accomplished by altering the standard production frame to accept the rim fire hammer. The center fire hole on recoil shield (frame) was filled, and the slot was cut to accommodate the rim fire hammer. Serial No. 4087X is one of these rare No. 3 Russians. This revolver was shipped to Turkey as one of the 5,000 filling the military contract. Removing the grips. on the left side of the grip frame, you will find Turkish Characters on the frame edge.

 This makes it  a REAL scarce 3rd Model Russian/ Turkish Contract Finished in factory blue about 35% remains, the balance of the surface has a mixing of plum patina and light gray. Mechanically the 3rd Russian/Turkish Model , breaks open, the ejector rises and falls correctly, closes tightly, cocks, indexes and locks correctly. In other words a perfect working action. This Model in this caliber is seldom if never seen in the U.S. for sale. The .44 Henry flat rim fire remained popular in the World and American southwest and Mexico well into the 20th century. It's popularity no doubt due to the pairing with Winchester rifles. The Walnut grips are in excellent condition, only minor hand marks, smooth with a fine antique patina. Important: all serial numbers match, as to all assembly numbers found on parts.The above right side image clearly shows the Rim Fire firing pin. ALL parts are original to this S&W. You find , UNFORTUNATELY, so many 2nd and 3rd models with their trigger guard Sash Hooks cut off, fortunately NOT the case with this 3rd Russian/Turkish.

PRICE $ 3,950

 

 

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.

Model 2 American full view right side

This Model 2 American was very popular on  the 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 $ 3,795

S&W 2nd model .44 American revolver

bottom view of this big frame revolver

95% of all original nickel plated finish

walnut grips in perfect condition

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

 

 

 

APRIL 30, 2024

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