GR79-0822-4315, Smith & Wesson No. 3 Frontier Single Action. 1 9/16 inch cylinder. BUY NOW
GR79-0822-4315, Smith & Wesson No. 3 Frontier Single Action. 1 9/16 inch cylinder. . 44 Russian Cal. 6 Shot. In 1885 Smith & Wesson started manufacturing a batch of new No. 3 revolvers. They started a serial number range from 1 and went up, they made this batch of guns in 44-40 cal in hope to compete with the Colt SA. They appear just like the regular No. 3 revolver but the cylinder is ⅛ of an inch longer on this model than the earlier model. They were made with checkered hard rubber grips or checkered walnut grips. This gun has checkered walnut grips that number to the gun. Smith & Wesson’s idea did not catch on, many of the batch of 2072 guns were converted from 44-40 to 44 Russian. Many of those converted were sold to the Japanese government because the Japanese government was using the 44 Russian cal already in their military and it was an easy out for S&W to be able to sell guns that proved hard to sell in the American market.
This is an example of one of the guns converted to 44 Russian by the factory and then sold to Japan. There are no Japanese marks on the gun but it is listed in Neal and Jinks book by serial number to have been one of the 781 shipped to Japan in 1895 and 1896. 44-40 cartridges do not fit in the cylinder but 44 Russian does. All the serial numbers match on the gun except for the number on the cylinder. Even the number on the right grip matches so I believe that the only reason the number doesn’t match on the cylinder is because it would have been changed at the factory when converted to 44 Russian cal. The only thing needed to convert the gun to 44 Russian was to change the the cylinder. The gun retains about 40% original blue finish mixing to an even handsome patina. Lightly worn grips, very nice checkering and have never been sanded or cleaned. Crisp metal edges. Clear barrel address and patent mark on frame. There are flashes of bright case color on the trigger-guard. Excellent bore with lots of blue still in bore. Crisp tight mechanics. Handsome gun, I wish it was still in 44-40 but nonetheless still a hard gun to find.
Est. Retail Value: $3000
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