Production of these revolvers started around 1886 after the tooling was purchased from Ludwig Loewe. Although approximately 35,000 were manufactured, these revolvers saw hard use and had a low survivability rate, making them very rare in the U.S. and reportedly just as rare in Russia. Offered here is an early example with the first year production two-digit serial number "37" and markings. It has the Tula Arsenal Cyrillic marking on the barrel rib which includes the manufacture date "1886," the serial number, double headed Russian eagle, and Russian inspector initials N. Kushakevich. The cylinder is also numbered to the gun. For more information see www.russianrevolvers.com. Provenance: Joe Leiper Collection.
Very good plus, retaining 30% original blue finish on the barrel and frame and strong traces of original blue finish on the cylinder flutes with the balance a gray patina. There are a couple dings on the barrel and a couple patches of minor pitting. The grips are fine with some minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. A solid first year production Tula Arsenal No. 3 Russian that will be a welcome addition to any Russian military or S&W collection.
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