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Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Lot 1394: Smith & Wesson - 3 American

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Excellent Rare Early Three Digit Serial Number Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model "Oil Hole" Single Action Revolver
Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000
Item Views 236 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Smith & Wesson - 3 American ManufacturerSmith & Wesson Model3 American
TypeRevolver Gauge44 American Catalog Page183
Barrel8 Inch Solid Rib FinishBlue GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionManufactured from 1870 to 1872, the Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model represented a number of firsts for Smith & Wesson. It was the first top break auto ejector and the first in a large caliber (.44 S&W Amer. and .44 Henry Rimfire). There is an "oil hole", as found on the first 1,500 or so of this model, located on the rear of the extractor housing on the bottom of the barrel lug. The one line address and patent dates appear on top of the barrel rib flanked by Maltese crosses. The serial number appears on the butt with the matching assembly number "A4" on the right rear heal of frame (under grip), rear cylinder face, barrel and barrel latch. Blue finish with casehardened hammer and trigger guard, pinned blade front and notch rear sights and fitted with smooth walnut grips. Under contract to the U.S. Government Smith & Wesson produced 1,000 of this model for the cavalry soldiers of the U.S. Army and the remainder for civilian sales. This particular revolver is a Civilian Model. Difficult to obtain in any condition, an American Model revolver is indeed a rare and desirable firearm.

ConditionVery fine. The revolver retains 80% original blue finish with areas of smooth brown patina on the barrel and cylinder, and some thinning on the front strap. The hammer retains nearly all of the original beautiful case colors and the trigger guard shows a mix of muted original case colors and smooth gray patina. The grips are very fine with some lower edge wear and a few minor dents and dings. The markings are clear. The action is excellent. The combination of the early oil hole and the overall condition of this revolver make it extremely difficult to improve upon.
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Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.