Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 314: Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model Single Action Revolver

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Excellent Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model Single Action Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,500 - $8,000

Excellent Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model Single Action Revolver

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: American
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 S&W American
Barrel: 8 inch solid rib
Finish: nickel
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 622
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 167
Class: Antique

Manufactured from 1870 to 1872, the First Model American was the first top break, automatic ejecting revolver made in the United States. 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. The American model was introduced 3 years before the Colt Single Action Army revolver and is probably, more than any other model, associated with the historic American West. As S&W expert Roy Double pointed out over fifty years ago, "This was a work gun; a big, heavy-caliber holster gun worn openly and ready to hand; a timely gun indigenous to America on the move and a part of America's greatest adventures." Difficult to obtain in any condition, this high condition original nickel American Model revolver is indeed a rare and desirable firearm. The barrel rib is stamped with the one-line address/patent dates marking. The right grip panel is numbered to the gun. Matching assembly numbers are found on the grip frame, cylinder, barrel and barrel latch.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, retaining 97% plus original nickel plating with some scattered light flaking. 95% original case colors remain on the hammer and trigger guard. The grips are exceptionally fine with a tiny chip at the toe (right panel) and a few minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. An extremely fine large frame Smith & Wesson Top-Break .44 American 1st Model that will be a valued addition to any collection of 19th century American handguns!

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