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SMITH & WESSON, DOUBLE ACTION "FRONTIER " MODEL, 44/40 @ 1881

S&W first introduced this Model in 1881 observing the need to have a large frame Double Action revolver. First appearing in the .44Russian caliber, however management was quick to recognize the advantage of the 44/40 cartridge. It was the "combination" caliber, rifle and pistol, one in the same cartridge. The Frontier Double Action Model followed quickly, in the 44/40 offering. Several westerners of notoriety carried this model, Belle Star, and John Wesley Hardin. It was a large frame DA and in a very popular caliber. This one, Serial No. 1026X, has the six inch barrel, and factory finished in Blue. Of the original finish, about 30% of the blue remains, the balance a smooth pleasing blue/gray patina. The mechanical working actions function 100% correctly. Cocking, indexing, locking and smoothly releasing to fie, both on single action and double action modes. This also includes the breaking open and ejecting spent cartridges. The grips are quite interesting, as they are period with the DA.  Most think of stag as a more modern grip, HOWEVER, they were available in the 19th century for grip usage. In removing these grips the inside are very dark and old, similar to the reason you look at the back of an old painting, the canvas shows the age ! They are a perfect fit to the revolver, and have a very nice stag exterior.

The appearance of the DA Frontier is western indeed ! In reality, ONLY a little over 15,000 were manufactured, so the 44/40 is not all that readily available, and sought by collectors.

PRICE $2,450

 

"OIL HOLE" , 1st MODEL AMERICAN .44 REVOLVER, 3 DIGIT SERIAL NUMBER, CARVED IVORY GRIPS, 1870

This S&W is an incredible example of the early American Frontier. A 1st year production 1870 and a scarce example of the civilian trade. This American, Serial No. 98X is not a Military contract specimen, as 1,000  of the first 1,500 ( all oil hole models) went to the U.S. Government, eventually in Cavalry service in the far frontier. This American .44 represented the first large frame cartridge revolver on the frontier, years ahead of Colt. Discovered in New Mexico, and it comes with a Museum/ Gallery letter detailing pertinent information as to it's rarity and Frontier value. Bear in mind there were ever only 1,500 Oil Holes made, that feature was gone by 1871. The importance of this revolver was known to the ones who most depended on one, " Buffalo" Bill, Texas Jack Omohundro, Dallas Stoudenmire, E.G . Waters, on and on.... It was FAST to load, fast to fire, excellent balance with the 8 inch barrel, and sloping curve of the grip lessened recoil and improved accuracy. This American has about 30 -35% of the original factory blue finish, the balance is a "plum" patina , all merging to a uniform appearance. It has never been cleaned or touched, all original. The hammer exhibits a high degree of the original case color hardening, somewhat less on the trigger guard. All factory applied markings are present, all parts are original, and all matching serial numbers. It is fitted with ( ORIGINAL TO 1870) a pair of Mexican style carved Ivory grips. The Snake & Eagle/ Cactus pattern seen on may early revolvers from the West/Southwest.

When the right side escutcheon was lost, it was replaced by a Silver one for the grip screw, Silver was plentiful in N.M. Ty. The grips are untouched and have an appearance only 150 years can create. !

Even after 150 years, the WORKING actions still operate correctly. The star ejector rises, ejects, and returns to the cylinder, the revolver opens, locks closed, the hammer rotates the cylinder perfectly, and it indexes and locks into position for firing. As I said all correctly !! A RARE  and fine piece of the Early Frontier, and a scarce model variation. PRICE $ 4,850

 

 

The "Oil Hole" , found on the bottom of the barrel  & extractor housing. In theory it was to allow lubrication of the shell extractor mechanism.

 

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. 

   

 

 

APRIL 30, 2021

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