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1st MODEL , AMERICAN .44 , by SMITH & WESSON..1870

The 1st Model S&W American is a singular important revolver in the history of S&W. It was introduced in 1870, and was the FIRST break top revolver from S&W, and the first .44 caliber. At the time, it was the ONLY  practical  metallic cartridge on the market, and not a converted percussion revolver.  The government was so impressed it gave S&W it's first contract, and ordered 1,000 of the Americans. They were subsequently issued to Cavalry units on the Frontier. Their popularity didn't stop there, MANY famous Westerners used and carried a .44 American. Within two years the identical model was chambered for the .44 Russian caliber, and 20,000 + were purchased by the Russian Government for Military usage. This is why the 1st American is so important. only about 8,000 were manufactured, before a small design change, and the 2nd Model appeared. This 1st American, Serial No. 604X, with all matching Assembly Numbers of 362, is a 100% 1st Model American, with all the early characteristics. This 1st American saw steady use on the New Mexico Territory Frontier. It was discovered in New Mexico just a while back. However, it must have been carefully maintained, as the WORKING actions are 100% correct in ALL their functions. It opens, the star ejector rises, returns to the cylinder, closes correctly, cocks, indexes, and locks perfectly every time the action is called upon. The overall finish is mostly a blue/gray patina, with maybe 10% blue remaining. The blue is in the flutes, at the pivot point and edge of the grips. The grips surprisingly are in very fine condition, and match the American. The walnut grips have a smooth patina and feel.

All factory applied markings are present, barrel address etc...ALL parts are original to the American. 1st Model Americans are VERY SCARCE to find, as they were the first on the frontier, admired, and used ! THREE years before Colt had a Single Action on the drawing board ! As I said, a very important revolver.

PRICE $ 2,995

There are portions of case color hardening still on the hammer, and blue in strongly protected areas.


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





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.




MAY 16, 2019


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