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Interesting factory letter , destination & configuration

s&W NEW MODEL No.3, in .44 R...1881

this new model no.3 has a shipping destination outside the normal destinations. s&W shipped almost all to m.w. robinson, in new york. this one shipped in a special order to hibbard,spencer & bartlett, chicago, ill. in 1881.  there were five new models, all with 6-1/2 inch barrels, nickel plate finish, only one with pearl grips ! serial no. 1468X. all of this is detailed in the factory letter. interesting to note, the pearl grips was the most expensive! The fit and feel is perfect, as it would from the factory. the pearl has vibrant radiant colors, and no damage. the no.3 has about 95-97% of all the original factory nickel plating, bright and clean. the balance is a soft gray mostly above the grips were hands tended to be over many years. the top latch has the fire blue still present. The no. 3 was S&W's answer to the single action, only quicker and easier to load and unload. mechanically this no.3 has a perfect working action, and perfect break open, and eject spent cartridges, closing perfectly. all factory applied markings are present: barrel address, serial number was fairly popular on the western frontier, as virgil earp carried one, and recently appearing in western movies, like tom horn, tombstone and others. However, the no.3 found huge ! popularity around the world, and was the pistol of choice for japan and australia. a very handsome revolver in appearance, and interesting letter.

price $3,750





This is an incredibly unique holster in it's construction, and unique for an 1870's holster, as well as the expected design for the time period. It fits the EIGHT inch barrel correctly, only a S&W , as there is NO accommodation for an ejector rod on a barrel. It is ONLY one step beyond the Slim Jim holster of the early 1870's, as it has a 3/4 skirt and VERY narrow. In addition it has the SLANTED loops on the holster.

This holster has a VERY unique offering ! It has a retaining strap for the revolver. However, the way it is constructed it can be used or not used. I suggest when danger was imminent the strap was unsnapped, BUT when heavy riding  on the range it was left closed to keep the revolver from being dislodged, yeah, even losing it ! This holster was OBVIOUSLY made by a Master Saddler/ Holster maker, for an individual. It is in EXCELLENT condition, a dark chocolate like color, NO broken seams anywhere, and crisp engraving. A holster with very similar work appears in " Packing Iron", but the retaining strap, stands alone ! Below I have holstered an Old, Old Russian, for the visual purpose of seeing this holster with THE correct revolver.

PRICE $ 650

NOTE: The retaining strap is integral with the holster !  It is cut from the back, and folded over, then decorated same as the rest of the holster. It could be folded back right into the space it came from, unique !


John R. Hughes was a Texas Ranger from 1887 - 1915, retiring in 1915. This S&W is a 1st Model, Double Action, in the .44 Russian caliber, and letters as you see it.  Six inch barrel, nickel plate finish, and letter remarks that undoubtedly the Ivory grips were placed there by the selling dealer, M. W. Robinson. Serial No. 3815X has about 20% of the factory nickel plate finish present, the balance is a soft gray patina. The finish is all natural, and never been cleaned, it is as time and use has made it. ALL factory applied markings are present, Logo, Barrel address, serial numbers etc.. ALL numbers are matching, and ALL parts are original to the revolver. The Ivory grips have that mellow color only age can produce, and they are damage free. Mechanically, the S&W operates 100% perfectly , all phases, of the working action. What makes this S&W is the fact it was the property of John R. Hughes, Texas Ranger, and Ranger Captain, "The Border Boss". Hughes was also before becoming a Ranger was a Cowboy, and entrepreneur in the Old West, joining the Rangers in 1887 at the age of 32. He was feared, and the mere fact he was after you caused many to surrender willingly, or if not consequences were severe. He retired at the age of 60, in 1915, and had been a Texas Ranger captain for more than 20+ years. This revolver has an engraved back strap, in serif block letters, Capt. John R. Hughes, Texas Rangers. This was one of his personal weapons, and so engraved.

Law enforcement agents were always looking for an "edge", so carrying a Double Action .44 was very true and understood. The DA .44 shows much carry use, NOT abuse, the grips have that marvelous finish of hands on many times, and the finish shows holster or pocket wear. This was a constant companion for Capt. John R, Hughes while working as a Ranger. Besides the letter, I have put together a comprehensive amount of information on John R. Hughes, and the Texas Rangers, which goes to the buyer. Amazing isn't it, he did not die until 1947, at 92 years of age, and his favorite thing was driving his car !!!

Captain John Hughes is seated in chair , to the right, front row.

Here we have Captain J. R. Hughes posed in a familiar "Old West " pose, wearing the S&W DA .44 with Ivory Grips, in the six inch holster on his left hip. See on Page 245 of above text. PRICE $9,995 SOLD / HOLD





This Texas Ranger Commemorative print shows Hughes with "THE" S&W DA .44 Ivory grip revolver on his left hip, in the holster designed for the six inch S&W. He carried this S&W  during this period.

This is the original Texas Ranger Commemorative of "The Oldest Ranger" issued after 1915. He is wearing THIS S&W DA .44 on his left hip, in a Holster to fit the S&W.

FACTORY SPECIAL ORDER ... ...with Factory Information...ONLY ONE KNOWN TO EXIST.....

1st MODEL, S&W Double Action "FRONTIER MODEL", 44/40 , @ 1890'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. Factory information, according to Mr. Roy Jinks, S&W Historian states: This was in fact a Special Order revolver, and was shipped to Iver-Johnson Sporting Goods Company, Boston, Mass. in August of 1906 . A one only shipment. *Remember ALL of this Model are classified as antiques, PRE 1898 manufacture, per Supica & Nahas' definitive text on S&W. They were moderate sellers, so shipped way beyond production dates. 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. Being a Special Order, no doubt this was for a very specialized shooter !! Potentially for a shooter in a Wild West Show, as the 7-1/2 inch barrel was Frontier Length. Positively for a specialized shooter, be it target or show business. PRICE $3,950


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

An honest statement  would be , this is so rare. you more than likely will NEVER see another!


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  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

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




OCTOBER 20, 2019


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