This is an excellent example of a 1st Model No 3 Smith & Wesson commercial revolver. Also known as the "Old, Old Model Russian Revolver", these revolvers were developed for the Russian Government in 1871 and manufactured until 1874. The total production of the commercial First Model Russian was 5,165. These revolver were identical to the Model 3 American except chambered for the 44 S&W Russian cartridge and the "RUSSIAN MODEL" marking on the address. The top of the barrel rib is marked "SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD. MASS.U.S.A.PAT.JULY.10.1860.JAN.17.FEB.17.JULY.11.65 & AUG.24.69. RUSSIAN MODEL" The serial number is marked on the butt and the matching assembly number "U445" is marked on the rear cylinder face, right frame heel under the grip, barrel latch and barrel. Pinned blade front and notch rear sights, nickel finish with casehardened hammer and trigger guard, and fitted with smooth two piece walnut grips. The inside of the right grip panel is stamped with the matching serial number. The revolver is not fitted with a swivel on the butt, there is a screw in the hole as usually found on this particular model. The accompanying factory letter verifies the commercial variation, caliber, barrel length, nickel finish, smooth walnut grips and that it was shipped as 1 of 50 to M.W. Robinson, N.Y., N.Y. on April 30, 1873.
Excellent. The revolver retains 98% plus original nickel-plated finish with very minor flaking on the barrel latch and on the edge of the side plate. The hammer retains 95% original case colors and the trigger guard shows 70% muted original case colors with a smooth gray patina on the balance. The grips are excellent with a few minor impressions. The markings are crisp and clear. The action is excellent. An exceptional example of a commercial production Model 3, 1st Model Russian Revolver- the nicest this auction house has ever handled and one of the finest known to exist.
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