This is an early Smith and Wesson New Model Number Three Single Action Revolver in caliber .44 S&W Russian. Standard 6-1/2" barrel, 1-7/16" cylinder, original nickel plated finish, with checkered hard rubber grips. S&W produced just under 36,000 units from 1878 to 1912. The New Model Number 3 was the best and last of S&W's early line of large frame single action top breaks. This one is the early version with the exposed ratchet style ejector and slightly larger lug beneath the barrel. The serial number is 6,058 which isn't too far from another famous early nickel plated S&W New Model No. 3 (serial number 3,766) that was purported to have been used to kill outlaw Jesse James by Bob Ford on April 3, 1882. The serial numbers are all matching which includes the frame, barrel, latch, and cylinder (See photos). Overall Condition grades at NRA Antique Very Good with Approximately 35% original nickel remaining on the barrel and 60% cylinder...balances having worn to gray steel. The frame and gripstraps are gray with only slight traces of nickel remaining. Hammer shows good traces of case colors...mostly on the back face. Very Good screws and pins throughout. Latch and hammer retain sharp checkered knurlings while the barrel address is Excellent. Original oval front sight is intact and unaltered. The grips are in VG+ to Fine Condition with sharp checkered and no chips or cracks. Action cycles with full and half cock engaging. Cylinder indexes and locks up as it should. Barrel to frame latches up tight. Automatic ejector works. Bore has fairly bright lands while the grooves are semi-bright and a little frosty. Fine bore overall. A very good solid example of a historic S&W large caliber topbreak revolver.
Disclaimer: While most of our customers agree that the acquisition of a historical item such as this makes them the proud owner and custodian of a piece of American history that will hopefully become a fun and fruitful investment to be passed on to future generations, we find it occasionally necessary to remind prospective buyers the following: Given that we are in the Antique business and not modern gun dealers, this revolver, as are all of our items, is being sold as a legal Pre-1898 Antique in accordance to the Federal GCA of 1968. Since it is 1. Nearly 140 years old, 2. Designed for the lower pressures of black powder, 3. Is built of much softer 19th century era steel, and 4. We are not licensed gunsmiths, the description of the mechanics and bore are solely in reference to the condition/grading of this revolver as an Historic and Antique Collectible and not an endorsement, neither written or implied, for its safety or reliability in use as an actual firing weapon. All items come with a 3 day inspection/return privilege provided the item is not fired or altered.