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Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Lot 246: Smith & Wesson - American

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Rare Experimental Serial Number 14 Smith & Wesson Model 3 American First Model 44-100 Rimfire Caliber Single Action Revolver with Early "Oil Hole" and Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $6,000 - $10,000
Item Views 231 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Smith & Wesson - American ManufacturerSmith & Wesson ModelAmerican
TypeRevolver Gauge44 Catalog Page56
Barrel8 Inch Solid Rib FinishBlue GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a rare experimental Model 3 American revolver chambered for 44-100 caliber. In the factory letter Smith & Wesson historian Roy Jinks states that the factory records only show that this revolver was manufactured in June 1870, and he concludes, "Since it is not a standard caliber for this model and more an experimental gun, there may not be any additional information." As confirmed by Jinks, it is known that a two digit serial number revolver was shipped to Wexel & DeGress of New York City on August 16, 1870 with 200 44-100 cartridges. The top of the barrel rib is stamped "+SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT. JULY 10. 60. JAN. 17. FEB. 17 JULY 11. 65 & AUG. 24. 69+". The vent hole (oil hole) is located on the rear extractor housing under the barrel, a feature that was only on the first 1,500 revolvers. The trigger has been modified to a more curvature configuration as compared to standard models. The barrel catch is hand checkered. Pinned German silver blade front sight with notch rear sight on the barrel latch. The assembly number "A6" is stamped on the rear face of the cylinder, barrel latch and barrel with the low two digit serial number stamped on the butt. The revolver is fitted with smooth walnut grips. The right panel is numbered to the gun ("14") while the left panel is stamped with the number "15".

ConditionGood. The revolver retains traces of original blue finish in the protected areas with the balance a smooth gray patina with minor pitting overall. The grips are fine with a series of pressure dents on the bottoms. Action needs work as hammer does not hold a full cock position.
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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.